Maritime Monday: Good News on the Nashwauk Anchor

nashwauk anchorAt long last the process to put the Nashwauk Anchor back on public display has commenced and I sure am smilin’…

The City of Onkaparinga,South Australia  is taking it to public consultation and is seeking feedback which you can be a part of, regardless of where you live. However there is a tight time frame and the cut off date is, Friday 3 May 2013 but just click HERE for a link to quickly and easily provide your feedback online.

This would be of particular interest to those with Irish heritage and especially if their Ancestors were upon this ill-fated Immigrant ship when it was foundered and then sank off the coast of Moana, South Australia, taking all their worldly goods with it.   Information of the history of the “Nashwauk Anchor”, and the sites proposed for it’s re-location, is provided below.

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Many would remember my post of 12 months ago where I described the sinking of this immigrant ship on which my 18 year old Great Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, travelled from County Clare, Ireland to make a new life in South Australia. Susan and her sister Bridget were among the 207 single Irish girls who boarded this “bride ship” in Liverpool, UK which, after a three month journey, made its made its way up the Gulf St Vincent toward its final destination, Port Adelaide, South Australia. It had been an uneventful voyage and was a dark, but clear, moonlit night when at 4am the watch changed, clouds obscured the coast and the “Nashwauk” was wrecked adjacent to Harriott’s Creek (Pedler’s Creek) at the mouth of the Onkaparinga River, some 40 miles short of it’s destination.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Childhood stories of the shipwreck, the girls being carried ashore on the sailors backs and especially our family visits to the Nashwauk Anchor, whetted my appetite for researching all aspects of family.

Mum, my brothers and I with our car and caravan in the background. Circa 1954. Copyright(c)2012.Catherine Crout-Habel

Mum, my brothers and I with our car and caravan in the background. Circa 1954. Copyright(c)2012.Catherine Crout-Habel

It was a sad day when, preparing to take my own children to visit their Great Great Great Grandmother’s Anchor, it was not to be found…  No longer was it standing proudly and majestically on the foreshore adjacent to where the ship foundered and then broke apart, taking all of my Susan’s belongings with it.  Also gone was the Moana Roundhouse which kept the Anchor company during its constant vigil as well as providing us with yummy icecreams and ice cold cool drinks on those hot summer days.

Nashwauk.moana_beach_roundhouse_4

Sadly the Roundhouse is gone forever..  It was the first building erected in Moana. The stone laid on 19Nov1927 and this iconic building was demolished in 2006. To read about this sad event and view some irreplaceable photographs please click HERE. (please note: 2 days ago this links was working and now it’s not. I’ll leave it here for a while and see if it fixes itself)  🙂 …

Fortunately the Nashwauk Anchor has survived and has been in the custody of what was once the “Moana Caravan Park” but has grown and is now the “Moana Beach Tourist Park”.  Although I was terribly disappointed that it had been reduced in stature, and no longer had a commanding presence, at least survived.  I’m sure that those who dragged it ashore 73 years after the ship went down and then set it on its high concrete plinth, overlooking the sea, would be most pleased that it has not been lost or abandoned.

Nashwauk Anchor. reward to recover

In 1927 the Noarlunga offerred a reward to recover the anchor and Mr Robinson, his brother, son and three horses successfully completed the task.

Nashwauk Anchor. laying on beach. The Mail. 27Aug1927. page1

“Mr. Robinson said that one day in about every two years the anchor of the Nashwauk used to become visible about 50 yards from the shore off Moana, and when, in May of this year, he noticed the anchor showing, he decided that he would en- deavor to reclaim it. With his brother and son and three horses he set about the task, and after five or six hours of strenuous effort was successful. The anchor of the Nashwauk is 11. ft. long and weighs several tons, but Lake Beach Estate, Limited, which is developing Moana, has decided to transport it another hundred yards, and set it upon a pedestal to remain a link with history for all time. A concrete base to take the huge anchor has already been constructed.”

The entire newspaper report can be read HERE.

Nashwauk Anchor before restoration

Nashwauk Anchor before restoration

So highly regarded is the Anchor that it was taken to Canberra by Dr Richard Reid, restored by the National Museum of Australia, and put on display (17 Mar 2011)as part of the “Not Just Ned – A true History of the Irish in Australia” Exhibition. The Australian National Geographic reported on the significance of this Anchor as an important part of our South Australian heritage:

“Women were sent out on government ships to work as domestic staff on the new colony and to redress the gender ratio. The exhibition will display an anchor from the Nashwauk, a ship wrecked off South Australia in 1855, carrying 207 of these young Irish women. They were carried from the waters on the shoulders of men who swam out to rescue them – and they all survived.”  

To read the entire Australian National Geographic article please click HERE 

Dr Richard Reid

Dr Richard Reid

It’s wonderful that this precious relic has been cleaned, restored and has taken pride of place in such and important Exhibition but my fear, which I wrote about HERE, was that it would never come back to its rightful home in South Australia. Well, its back home and ready to go on display. To read about the   “Not Just Ned – A True History of the Irish in Australia” exhibition, please click HERE.  Thankyou Dr Reid. All that’s needed is a decision about the location which you, the public, is invited to be a part of. The City of Onkaparinga has listed 3 Potential sites:
a)  Moana Tourist Park: approximate cost $4,000

The proposal was to return the anchor to the Moana Tourist Park and to have the anchor semi-enclosed in a recycled timber and galvanised iron structure which would give the anchor some protection from the environmental factors at the site. The cost of the structure and concrete plinth is approximately $4,000 but does not include any enclosed side panels on the structure. This site has existing lighting which will reduce costs associated with its display. This location would not address the concerns of some people in the community who have expressed an interest in the anchor being located in a more publicly accessible area.

Roadway leading down the side of the Moana Pioneers Memorial Hall to Moana Tourist Park

Roadway leading down the side of the Moana Pioneers Memorial Hall to Moana Tourist Park

b)  Nashwauk Reserve: approximate cost $4,000 – $15,000

There is existing developed open space that resides between the Moana Surf Lifesaving Club and the Moana Tourist Park. This reserve was developed several years ago as part of the Coast Park program. The anchor could be located as a feature within the reserve. This location would not have the passive surveillance that it previously enjoyed at the Tourist Park to assist with avoiding vandalism. The cost of the structure would be $4,000 for the same structure as is proposed in the Tourist Park but would be increased if side panels were added to the structure to protect it from the sea environment. Lighting of the structure and anchor would also increase costs. For an enclosed structure with lighting the cost would increase to approximately $15,000.

Nashwauk Reserve viewed from Nashwauk Crescent

Nashwauk Reserve viewed from Nashwauk Crescent

Nashwauk Reseve viewed from Moana Crescent

Nashwauk Reseve viewed from Moana Crescent

c)  Moana Pioneers memorial Hall approximate cost $4,000 – $15,000

There is sufficient area in the open space in front of the Moana Pioneers Memorial Hall to locate the anchor and this would also serve as an entry statement to the Coast Park area. The cost of the structure in this location would be as described in option (b) above, dependent on the nature of the structure.

Nashwauk Pioneers Memorial Hall

Nashwauk Pioneers Memorial Hall

The City of Onkaparinga has provided this “birds eye” view to help folks get their bearings.

Potential sites for the Nashwauk Anchor placement

Potential sites for the Nashwauk Anchor placement

However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology via Google Maps, you can go for a stroll down Nashwauk Crescent, Moana, South Australia towards the Esplanade and check out the sites for yourself.  Just click HERE to begin your journey at the round-about, with the road to the Moana Tourist Park (proposal a) on your left, the Pioneer Memoral Hall (proposal c) on the corner… and as you travel down to the seashore Nashwauk Reserve (proposal b) is on your left.  Enjoy…

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The managers of the Moana Tourist park left a message, about this matter, on my blog… click HERE to read in the comments section.  I phoned, we chatted and they took up my offer to publish their point of view which differs from mine, because we’re coming from a different perspective, but certainly is worthy of consideration before any decision is made. Thanks Daryl and Sandi-Kate. Their proposal is as follows:

Proposal for  relocating the
Nashwauk Anchor
from the
Moana Beach Tourist Park

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“As the current Managers of the Moana Beach Tourist Park, we would like to contribute to the community consultation process in regard to finding a new location to place the Nashwauk Anchor. There is debate about the length of time that the anchor has been displayed inside the Park, but it has been a significant number of years. During this time many a guest to the Park have taken photographs of their families with the Anchor, some of them repeatedly each time they visit. The anchor is a part of many guest’s childhood memories of summer holidays spent at the Tourist Park. Over the 12 months of 2012, we received a visit from 549 families that reside within the City of Onkaparinga. This accounts for over 30% of all reservations for the year, and demonstrates that the Park is accessed by a high proportion of local ratepayers who qualify to be part of this engagement process. The residents that live on the Park under a lease agreement are also used to the anchor being a part of their home environment, and some feel very connected to it and are prepared to put forward their ideas. Over the years, the Tourist Park has built an identity around the anchor, with it’s inclusion on the Logo and photographs on the Parks Facebook Page. We would like to continue marketing the Tourist Park with the anchor as our point of difference, as it gives a great impression of history and proximity to the beach. 

We understand completely the views of those who have ancestors that were on the Nashwauk when it went down. They should be able to visit and view the anchor easily, and would choose for it to remain close to the actual site where it occurred. 

Everyone shares the same concern for the safety of the anchor going forward, that it can be protected from the elements and also intentional damage caused by vandalism. 

Daryl and I would like to propose an alternative site to the current 3 choices under consideration. We would love to see the anchor displayed at the entrance to the Park within close proximity to the visitor car park and Nashwauk Crescent. This would be a compromise to address the concerns of those in the community who have already expressed an interest in the anchor being located in a more publicly accessible area, and also allow it to continue the passive surveillance from Park Management in an endeavour to avoid vandalism. This location would also be ideal to serve as an entry statement to the Coast Park area from the south, along Nashwauk Crescent, while also highlighting and identifying the entrance to the Park.

This proposal would tie in comfortably with the proposed future upgrade of the Tourist Park entrance area and/ or the sealing of the dustbowl that is a visitor car park that has been put forward as a Capital Works Project for several years running. The associated costs in choosing this location would still be in the same vicinity as the other 2 sites that have been proposed outside the confines of the Tourist Park.

As with any issue that is undertaken, either by City of Onkaparinga or Moana Beach Tourist Park, you will not be able to satisfy each and every person with an interest in the outcome. However we suggest that this site would at least address the issues raised thus far by interested parties, and could be viewed as a positive result for all stakeholders.

Best regards,
Daryl and Sandi-Kate Hutchins
Managers Christies Beach and Moana Beach Tourist Parks.

Nashwauk. Moana Beach Tourist Park. panorama

To access the Park’s Facebook page please click HERE

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My vision is to see the Nashwauk Anchor retured to its former glory before being removed from the foreshore, tucked away behind boom gates and removed from the public eye.  It would be wonderful to see it returned to serve the purpose envisaged by Lake Beach Estate, Limited, which developed Moana when, in 1927, it set it upon a pedestal on the foreshore for it to remain a link with history for all time.

I envisage a future where exciting public events, celebrating this important aspect of our South Australian heritage, are held on Nashwauk Reserve… especially during May, which is South Australian History Month and also the same month the “Nashwauk” foundered and was torn apart by the stormy seas.

The 160th Anniversary of the shipwreck is only 2 years away – 13 May 2015–  and is a perfect time to proudly showcase Moana Beach, and its environs, pulling in tourists from far away just as the summer season is coming to a close.

For these reasons, of the 3 Potential sites, my choice has to be Option b) the Nashwauk Reserve. However, like the Management of the Park, I have an alternative, and preferred site, which is right there at the corner of Nashwauk Crescent and the Esplanade… overlooking the sea, close to the Life Saving Club and the Australian flag. Family picnics, fetes and history festivals could be held on the Nashwauk Reserve with the Nashwauk Anchor in full sight.

The view along Nashwauk Crescent

The view along Nashwauk Crescent

Corner of Nashwauk Crescent and the Esplanade

Corner of Nashwauk Crescent and the Esplanade

Just imagine swinging around the corner of Nashwauk Crescent, travelling past the Pioneer Memorial Hall, and being drawn towards the beachfront by the stately majesty of this iconic piece of South Australian History… and to see it floodlit at night would add to its magnificence.

This position is more central and protected than the reserve as it is close to the Lifesaving Club, the car park and with buildings on this corner of the Esplanade. If the Lifesaving Club has security cameras, this would be an advantage… if not, installing them would provide extra protection for both structures. If funding is an issue, maybe other organisations would be willing to contribute a little to help offset the cost… after all it is a State Heritage item.

These are my thoughts and I hope the City of Onkaparing gives them due consideration.  Your view may differ, and that’s OK…  remember that the cut off date is Friday 3 May 2013 which is not far away.  Just click HERE and you can download a hard copy of the form to provide feedback, or fill in an online survey.

On Saturday, January 26, 1929 – Australia Day… The Adelaide Newspaper “The News” featured a magnificent photo of the “Nashwauk Anchor” mounted high on its pedestal on the foreshore and the caption read:

                 MOANA BEACH LANDMARK

This old anchor has been mounted on a concrete base. It formerly belonged to the Nashwauk, which was wrecked at the mouth of the Onkaparinga in May, 1855.  After 72 years the anchor was em-bedded upright in the sand, but it has been since mounted and will be suitably inscribed in the near future.

How wonderful it would be to once again see the Nashwauk Anchor return to its former glory as a Moana Beach Landmark.

UPDATE:  The Councillors of the City of Onkaparinga met, on 23 Jul 2013, and decided that the “Naswauk Anchor” would be re-located adjacent to the Moana Pioneer Memorial Hall. Exact positioning not yet decided.

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RESOURCES AND FURTHER READING:
To provide feedback on the Anchor’s placement: http://onkaparingacity.com/onka/council/community_engagement/project_status_board/nashwauk_anchor.jsp

Nashwauk Anchor Needs a New Home:
http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/historic-nashwauk-anchor-needs-new-home-in-adelaides-southern-suburbs/story-e6frfkp9-1226624244320

A True History of the Irish in Australia – Not Just Ned
http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/irish_in_australia/home

Major Exhibition of Irish Australia to open in 2010:
http://www.irishecho.com.au/2010/02/17/major-exhibition-on-irish-australia-to-open-in-2011/2000

ABC includes interview with Richard Reed:
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/02/15/3139451.htm

Exhibition opened on St Patricks Day 2011:
http://www.irishscene.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=220:irishaust

The Irish in Australia:
http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/irish-in-australia.htm

Moana Roundhouse:
http://winecoast.heimat.eu/index2/moana_beach/pages/moana_roundhouse.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moana,_South_Australia

Treasures recovered from the Nashwauk: http://maritime.historysa.com.au/collections/shipwreck-collection/moulded-bricks-nashwauk
http://www.oceantreasures.org/blog/do/tag/nashwauk/

Nashwauk Passenger List:
http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/nashwauk1855.shtml

Historic Newspaper articles from TROVE:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/5291051
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/58536914
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/58533948

SAMemory – Shipwrecks:
http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=715

Moana Lifesaving Club History:
http://www.moanaslsc.com.au/history.html

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Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

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8 thoughts on “Maritime Monday: Good News on the Nashwauk Anchor

  1. Great post Catherine!

    Sylvia Habel

    Partner – Generative Leadership Project

    Director – Leading Potential

    President – William Glasser Institute Australia

    GLP-footer

    m| 0403041163

    w| genleadership.com

    • Thanks Sylvia… The Anchor has a fascinating history of its own which I wanted to share so that it’s importance, and value, is understood. Hope I did the Anchor proud… 🙂

    • Fabulous Kirrily!!!… Hope everyone who wants to give the Council feedback do so as quickly as you did and don’t “miss the boat”… so to speak 😀 Only 9 days left to make a comment… puff puff puff

  2. Hello Catherine, well done on a very informative presentation of the current situation. We have shared your thoughts on the Moana Beach Tourist Park Facebook page in the same spirit of respect for alternative views. Whatever the outcome, the preservation and security of the Nashwauk Anchor is the most important priority, and we will all raise our glasses and toast together on the proud day it is raised into position. Sandi-Kate Hutchins

    • Thanks Sandi-Kate… I certainly did my best to try and give a fair, balanced and detailed report, which provides readers with as much historically accurate information as possible.
      It will indeed be grand to see the Nashwauk Anchor back on public display. I actually believe that it should be placed in our magnificent “Maritime Museum”, in Port Adelaide, where it’s preservation and security would be ensured but would not expect this proposal to sit well with residents in the South. Cheers, Catherine.

  3. Pingback: TROVE TUESDAY: Busting the myth of the Nashwauk Anchor… | Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

  4. For all those who put in a submission and may not yet have heard… the Councillors of the Onkaparinga Council met last night (23 Jul 23013) and made the decision that the Nashwauk Anchor would be relocated near the Moana Pioneers Memorial Hall…

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