Volunteers from the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum are very excited to be able to start refurbishment works at their Hibbard slipway shed.
The oldest continuous working slipway on the East Coast has a rich history which the group hopes to showcase more prominently after the works are complete.
President of the museum, Ted Kasehagen, said work will begin in the near future thanks to the Community Grants program.
“Today we are excited to receive $3,087 in funding from a Community Grant from Federal Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker,” Mr Kasehagen said.
“Our shed is in desperate need of some loving work and the money we have gotten will go a long way to repairing the roof and replacing the inside structures.
“The shed itself was once part of the Westport Tennis Club and once it came to us we haven’t really been able to upgrade it in any way.
“It has served us so well but it does need some work done.”
Mr Kasehagen said the museum – spread across three sites in Port Macquarie – plays a large role in showcasing our local maritime history to locals and tourists alike.
“The museum is an important part of our local history and shows the extraordinary history of our local region which really began in 1821 with the arrival of 44 military officers and 60 prisoners,” he said.
“And since 1884 the slipway has been in constant use and even today our dedicated volunteers are still working on boats here.”
Museum secretary Jan Howison said the money will help breathe new life into the slipway.
“The idea of the grant is so that we can make the site a bit more presentable for visitors,” Ms Howison said.
“We have lots of members of the public stopping by along with groups or tourists and school children and to be able to show them the working slipway will be great.
“People on the Hibbard ferry see it everyday but it could look a lot nicer.”
The other museums sites are the Boatmen’s Cottage on William Street and the Pilot Boat Shed on Clarence Street.
“We get lots of community groups and schools come to the museum to explore our history and we hope that in the future we can make all three sits part of a historic loop that people can go and visit,” Mr Kasehagen said.
“This grant will go a long way to helping us restore the slipway site.”
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