ASHonline – published by the Sydney Maritime Museum; home of Sydney Heritage Fleet
The Lady Hopetoun & Port Jackson Marine Steam Museum was officially incorporated on December 3, 1965. Just over one month later the subject of its intentions, Steam Launch Lady Hopetoun, was officially handed over by the State of NSW and the Maritime Services Board (MSB). Saving Lady Hopetoun was a brave attempt and the story has been well told by Richard Morgan, then General Manager of what is now Sydney Maritime Museum, in the Museum’s journal, in print in those days, Australian Sea Heritage, No. 27.
At the start, other maritime-oriented organisations were trying to establish a traditional maritime museum in Sydney and there was even a fundraising scheme to have a replica of Cook’s ENDEAVOUR built in the UK. This came to naught.
At this time I was a junior Petty Officer in the RAN with an inkling that I might ‘pay off’ late in 1968 and become a commercial writer. To this end I was offering contributions to various magazines. In the December 1966 issue of Power Boat & Yachting magazine my article, Our early maritime history goes begging, was published. This article suggested use of the old Customs House in Alfred Street, Sydney Cove as a possible maritime museum. It was an idea supported by the then President of the Maritime Services Board (MSB), Mr W. Brotherson, a force to be reckoned with.
The article also attracted the attention of the late Mike Richards, draughtsman and published author and one of the founder members of the Lady Hopetoun group. He later introduced me to other founding members, David Phippard and Warwick Turner, both no longer with us, and I have spent the rest of my years involved in some way with the (now) SHF.
During those long years I have worked as a labourer on the LADY, WARATAH, WATTLE and JOHN OXLEY. I was the first and only certified Master for the organisation when LADY HOPETOUN was back in steam after her first restoration (although in those days a ticket was not officially needed) and I worked WARATAH as Master when needed. I was on board JOHN OXLEY on the night the Opera House was opened. My wife Winsome and daughter slept aboard in the now removed WWII boat deck house when we took the ship up to Pittwater and Flint and Steel Bay overnight following the official opening of the Opera House. The late Captain Ron Wayling was again Master on that, the pilot steamer’s last (but we trust not final) voyage.
After 11 years as a full time writer and magazine editor I returned to my first love and a stint driving Manly ferry BARAGOOLA and LADY NORTHCOTT, Sydney ferries including KANANGRA, and serving with the MSB as a launch and tug master/pilot cutter skipper, and surveyor and examiner.
The NSW Government of the day made me redundant in 1993. Since then my activities for SHF have included involvement in the SHF’s move to Wharf 7, Pyrmont and editing the print edition of Australian Sea Heritage magazine from 1993 – 2001. Following that I digitised the c.10,000 image SHF photo library, using equipment I bought for the purpose.
Since c.2010 my main interests have involved disbursing my photo collection to various organisations, libraries and museums around Australia, according to their interests. My original photo donations to SMM/SHF, from c.1986 are on display on the SHF website.
In a series of articles to be published by ASHonline, I will visually tell the story of ‘the way we were’ using images predominately taken by me, and some historic images created well before I was.
Graeme K. Andrews, OAM, Hon. Life Member SHF