MMHN November 2021 Update
Several pleasing announcements as we tentatively set sail, caste off and launch into the post Lockdown ‘new normal’.
First – an announcement that the new MMHN website is up and running. With a completely new look, the website is easy to use and showcases all our activities. The website was made possible through a grant by the English Speaking Union and we sincerely thank them, and our website designer, Dimity Mapstone. We encourage you to go online and check it out at https://mmhn.org.au/
From the administrative perspective, one impressive advantage of the new website is that it can handle online membership applications and renewals. No more paper forms to fill out or bank transfers to be made – the new process is simple via Paypal. Alternatively, if you wish to fill in a form and make an EFT payment, that is also possible. Memberships are due for renewal by 31 December. Go to: https://mmhn.org.au/membership/
Second – we are optimistically planning a face-to-face MMHN End of Year Gathering. An invitation and further information will follow in due course. Please note in your diaries Tuesday, 7 December, 5-7pm.
Third – the Jane Hansen Prize for History Advocacy
MMHN’s strong advocacy for history has been recognised by the History Council of Victoria with the announcement on 21 October that MMHN was shortlisted for the inaugural Jane Hansen Prize for History Advocacy. In a long list of candidates, MMHN was the only organization to receive such recognition.
History shapes our identities, engages us as citizens, creates inclusive communities, is part of our economic well-being, teaches us to think critically and creatively, inspires leaders and is the foundation of our future generations. Studying our past and telling our stories is critical to our sense of belonging, to our communities and to our shared future. MMHN was honoured to receive this recognition and endorses the Value of History statement by Australia’s History Councils. See: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/statement_of_value_of_history
In this edition:
- Pleasing news for OSSA
- COP26 – Shipping is a critical environmental issue
- OSSA Red Ensign Initiative
- Australian Antarctic News – The Nyuna has arrived!
- National Trust Australian Heritage Festival
- Shipping – Critical to Australia’s Survival
- Maritime Resilience Master Plan July 2021
- Docklands Doldrums
- Port of Melbourne in the early ’60s
- Heritage Fleet News
- Steve Irwin: Williamstown – for the time being
- Maritime Infrastructure – Bridges
- Goods Shed 5 – North Wharf exemplary treatment
- Australian Society of Marine Art (ASMA)
- Merchant Navy Association
- Serious maritime heritage lurks in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne
- The Australian Association of Maritime History
- Share your research and/or photographs in the AAMH journal
- Drones are doing everything!
- Submarine Drones
- Navy League News October 2021
- China Navigation (CNCo) – a company by any other name?
- Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG)
- Mornington Pier – research request
- Maritime History in Victorian Schools – Good to See
- Hongkong Maritime Week – inspiration?
- Climate Change and Maritime Heritage Vessels
- Trade Before the Container – VERY interesting AND important
- MMHN Advocacy this Month
- MMHN Board meeting captured in Zoom Mode
Pleasing news for OSSA
MMHN heartily congratulations to the team at OSSA! Grants are far from easy to acquire for any volunteer organisation. This is a significant achievement for OSSA and for all Antarctic maritime heritage – local, state and for Australia. A grant of $10,196 (net) from MMAPSS under the auspices of the Australian Maritime Museum, Sydney, is to restore the Aurora Australis Tank Test Model – and by the historic Blunts Boatyard of Williamstown!
One of the grant conditions is that the restored model be exhibited in public on a long-term basis. This really is an excellent outcome – and extraordinary to consider the role of this model in the development of the iconic and beloved Aurora Australis.
COP26 – Shipping is a critical environmental issue
The media is awash with the politics of COP26. However, MMHN views a ‘sideline’ event of COP26 as more important than mere politics. Few are aware that this ‘sideline’ event Shaping the Future of Shipping will be largest ever global gathering of corporate shipping and maritime States. Shipping is an immeasurably critical element in the world economy – and climate action is inextricably tied to shipping. CEOs of the largest shipping companies in the world, climate representatives and maritime ministers will meet to identify actions and recommendations for all leaders at COP26 and the International Maritime Organisation.
Shipping should be acknowledged as the backbone of the global economy. This has never been more apparent than now amid the pandemic and rising global political tensions. As world leaders look to a green future, they must eliminate the political risk around decarbonisation policies. This starts with the energy transitions, which underpin global trade. Maritime enthusiasts regard CO26 outcomes for global shipping as critically important to address Australia’s increasingly acute supply chain vulnerability, the humanitarian crisis for seafarers – and the climate crisis on this planet.
OSSA Red Ensign Initiative
Maritime flags symbolize much in the world of shipping and seafarers. MMHN commends the advocacy being undertaken by Offshore & Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA) through the Red Ensign Initiative to have the Merchant Navy Flag prominently flown on Merchant Navy Day, 3 September each year. In these pandemic times, the plight of the Merchant Navy is so dire – stranded and unwell while continuing to supply the world with essential goods like fuel, food and pharmaceuticals. You may wish to support flying the Red Ensign. OSSA reports contact with the office of Premier & Cabinet and the Ministry of Transport. MMHN has been in contact with the Office of the Ministry of Tourism and City of Melbourne advocating that given Melbourne is a great port city, still the nation’s largest container port, it is entirely appropriate that the Red Ensign flag be raised at the Town Hall. The Australian Red Ensign resulted from the Commonwealth Government’s 1901 Federal Flag Design Competition which required two entries: a flag for official Commonwealth government use and another for the merchant navy.
Australian Antarctic News – The Nyuna has arrived!
The RSV Nuyina docked in Hobart on Saturday morning amid a three-day lockdown.
(ABC News: Andy Cunningham)
The eagerly awaited arrival of the Nuyina, the centrepiece of the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan, launched on 27 April 2016 sadly arrived quietly without fanfare but it did briefly pause to show-off a little in the middle of the Derwent and demonstrate its 360 degree-turning capabilities, spinning several times and blasting its horn. The vessel represents a $1.9 billion package covering the design, build and 30 year operational and maintenance lifespan of the icebreaker, representing the single biggest investment in the history of Australia’s Antarctic program. The $528 million ship has taken 10 years to design and build and is bigger, faster and capable of staying at sea longer than its predecessor, the Aurora Australis. Nuyina (pronounced noy-yee-nah), means ‘southern lights’ in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines. We’ve been describing her as Disneyland for scientists, Australian Antarctic Division chief scientist Nicole Webster told ABC Radio Hobart. She said the ship had exciting capabilities for scientists: she comes absolutely bristling with sensors that are really going to act like eyes and ears and they can collect mountains of data in real-time, so things like echo sounders that help us locate fish populations and krill swarms. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-16/antarctic-icebreaker-rsv-nuyina-arrives-in-hobart/100541954
MMHN recommends you watch the spectacular YouTube video. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-16/antarctic-icebreaker-rsv-nuyina-arrives-in-hobart/100541954
National Trust Australian Heritage Festival
An alert! Event submissions are now open for Heritage Hobson’s Bay, Council’s local program within the National Trust Australian Heritage Festival. which will run from 18 April 2022. See: https://www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Community/Events-Festivals/Major-Events-Festivals/Heritage-Hobsons-Bay
Shipping – Critical to Australia’s Survival
MMHN is seriously concerned over the risk attached to the inadequate national approach to maintain our shipping capability. There are two aspects of this increasingly acute problem. The ‘penny is beginning to drop’ in the mainstream media – that we are an Island nation. Federation ‘ill-equipped’ to deal with 21st-century challenges as Australia’s vulnerabilities rise”.
The National Resilience Project (NRP) Report containing input from 250 stakeholders over an 18-month period contains recommendations on energy security, climate change responses, global and regional security risks, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Institute for Economic Research and think-tank Global Access Partners led the work. The successive closure of local fuel refineries, and risky reliance on the ‘just in time’ ideology based on the cost of storing fuel reducing market profits. Australia’s utilities, medical needs, mains water and food distribution all rely on refined fuel, which arrives by sea, Supply of such necessities will grind to a halt within three weeks of any offshore supply disruption. In the Defence White Paper 2016: Dependency on fuel imports ‘a risk’ amid South China Sea tensions, UNSW academic, Professor of International Security, Alan Dupont describes Australia’s growing dependency on imported fuel as an obviously a vulnerability. The South China Sea is a shipping route through which a large proportion of Australia’s refined fuel is imported, including diesel, unleaded and jet fuel. Distribution of food, water and medicine would stop within days. Regrettably, none of this is new news! Engineers Australia (EA) told a 2015 Senate Inquiry into the country’s transport energy resilience and sustainability that Australia’s total stockholding of oil and liquid fuel was two weeks of supply at sea, five to 12 days’ supply at refineries, 10 days of refined stock at terminals and three days at service stations. Further sobering estimations of Australia’s holdings: chilled & frozen goods delivery – 7 days, dry goods – 9 days, retail pharmacy supplies – 7 days, hospital pharmacy supplies – 3 days (source: National Roads and Motorists Association)
And the most worrisome aspect of Australia’s risky supply chain approach is not necessarily related to any actual ‘engagement’ with or in global conflict – it’s just simply straight economics. Regardless of Australia’s involvement in conflict, anywhere in the supply chain will adversely affect fuel imports. Tensions in the South China Sea and China asserting 12-mile nautical limits around certain reclaimed islands which happen to be located in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes where an estimated $US5 trillion trade passes through each year – is problematic for Australia given the majority of its refined fuel comes through the South China Sea region. As consequence of there being no Australian flagships, any aggressor can simply threaten the crews of foreign-owned ships and the likely result would be a reluctance to risk tankers and crews travelling though contested waters. Why would owners continue to run the risk of a passage down south to Australia?
Maritime Resilience Master Plan July 2021
Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) is a commercially and politically astute association that represents the interests of maritime businesses, primarily those operating maritime assets or facilities from Australia. MIAL is to be commended for producing a plan to lead Australia towards a less vulnerable maritime future. In essence – we need an Australian controlled shipping fleet to:
- Reduce risks to the effective functioning of the Australian economy and Australians’ wellbeing associated with disruptions to global supply chains
- Secure the future maritime workforce
- Enhance seaborne capability as the basis for Federal and State crisis plans.
Herald Sun, ‘New docks Marvel: Towers to soar above stadium’, 14 October 2021
From the historical perspective, the evolution of ‘modern’ Melbourne is enmeshed in Docklands – from the early maritime trade along the banks of the Yarra, to the ambitious re-shaping of the river, draining the Blue Lake (swamp, lagoon) and excavation of Victoria Harbor, the Docklands Precinct is at the very ‘heart’ of Melbourne. However, regrettably the struggle continues to induce all responsible authorities – local and State – to enable and enhance connections between Docklands and the CBD. The recent ministerial and council approval of Twin Tower on the east of Harbour Esplanade at La Trobe Street will further threaten entrenching the actual and visual segregation of Victoria Harbour and the CBD, forming a continuous ‘curtain wall’ of tall towers between the waterways and the city. As the Twin Towers project unfolds, let’s hope those making the decisions concentrate their efforts on strengthening the ‘connection’ and on optimizing the value of our magnificent, yet undervalued and poorly developed, waterways ‘asset’ so close, and yet so far, from the CBD. We have a magnificent opportunity to capitalize on Victoria Harbour’s unique qualities, as an aquatic amphitheatre – the likes of which would be celebrated, not ignored, in comparable international port cities. We encourage all decision-makers to recognize the immense economic potential of Melbourne’s valuable waterways and ensure that such public assets are not marred by unsympathetic new developments which are likely overshadow the waterways.
Port of Melbourne in the early ’60s
MMHN Board member Ross Brewer came across this wonderful ACMI video clip for your amusement. Ross writes: Love some of the images. Victoria Dock in particular. The Harbor Trust Commissioners deliberating about port expansion and most smoking! The Port Captain running around on his scooter checking on operations. No hard hats or other safety gear during stevedoring operations. We cannot afford to lose this history. Such footage is inspirational, reminding us that MMHN’s advocacy campaign to preserve our maritime heritage, and in particular to Save Victoria Harbor and Central Pier is crucially important.
Heritage Fleet News
Alma Doepel Collins Wharf – Afloat AT LAST! How marvellous. Congratulations to all those who have worked with such persistence to fundraise, promote and work so tirelessly to repair the vessel. There is obviously much further work – but this has been a ‘giant step’ forward – and gives such pleasure to all maritime heritage enthusiasts. MMHN Member Bill Reid urges you to have a look at this video from Mike Spectre Films of the Alma’s Return to Water – just sensational!! It’s important to watch it carefully at the 1-minute mark – just 2 seconds and it is gone!!See: https://www.youtu.be/xIWxjsC_Cqc
Also: https://youtube.com/watch?v=xKo5cycxUsU – Brett Hunter, Gizmo Drones
Steve Irwin: Williamstown – for the time being
Again, what remarkable persistence! MMHN congratulates Kerry Goodall for her staunch advocacy to local and state government to find a way to make sure this remarkable vessel remains accessible to the people of Victoria. We encourage all maritime enthusiasts to make a visit to the Steve Irwin this summer – to absorb its fascinating eco-warrior history and better understand its potential as a maritime heritage ‘asset ‘. Despite zero COVID financial support, Kerry reports that work to improve the aesthetics of the vessel continue and a new ship survey was conducted in October with reassuring results, which is necessary for insurance purposes. The vessel will be open for visitors from 6 November each Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to – sunset. Live music Sundays. An exciting collaboration with a new exhibit is to be announced soon. Given the uncertainty of its current moorings, maritime enthusiasts are invited to discuss proposals or potential collaborations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Maritime Infrastructure – Bridges
Bridges are of immense heritage value – engineering, purpose, historical, technical, context, etc. – if only they are properly understood. Regrettably, much of the time we are oblivious to their ‘story’. We are so busy crossing over them, or under them, we forget that our bridges embody tremendous historical value, ‘hidden in plain sight’ – especially the bridges of Melbourne.
Illumination is one solution – MMHN Board member Michael O’Brien encourages you to have a look at https://theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/apr/11/illuminated-river-thames-bridges-london-leo-villareal-lifschutz-davidson-sandilands
And what about this beauty?
Goods Shed 5 – North Wharf exemplary treatment
It is rare to see evidence of property developers in Melbourne genuinely acknowledging maritime heritage in their projects. MMHN wishes to give credit where it is due. Riverlee Developers promotional material (March 2021) describes the care being taken to preserve the heritage-listed Goods Shed No.5. Riverlee, Freyssinet Australia and Mann Group have salvaged and catalogued over 2000 heritage items. Retained items are now being assessed to determine origin, species and age: They include 1944 bluestone pavers, 20 timber sliding doors, 40 steel trusses and 105 steel window frames, Approximately 2km worth of timber purlin will be integrated into the reconstructed shed. Very pleasing indeed to see such detailed care taken.
Australian Society of Marine Art (ASMA)
Maritime art is very much part of our maritime heritage which is why MMHN is delighted to announce that a reciprocal membership arrangement has been agreed between AMSA and MMHN. MMHN congratulates AMSA, which is celebrating 25 years of Marine Art in Australia. AMSA president Karen Bloomfield and Vice President Julian Bruere: The exhibition showcases the best examples of the ASMA Members’ artworks that masterfully illustrate the rich maritime heritage, beautiful coastlines and waterways of our nation. Whilst emphasizing the continuation of and dedication to the Marine Art tradition, the exhibition also highlights the relevance of this specialised artistic genre in the contemporary context. ASMA seeks to encourage the practice and appreciation of Marine Art in Australia in recognition of the importance of this art genre that reflects Australia’s standing as a great Maritime Nation and to preserve our nation’s rich marine and maritime heritage.
See the online ASMA Exhibition concluding 20 November 20:
Merchant Navy Association
Source: Merchant Navy Website.
The global plight of seafarers shows no signs of abating – is the world doing enough? The Pulse Newsletter, October 2021 reports Trade groups urge UN to end humanitarian crisis for supply chain workers. Crews are being abandoned on ships in record numbers. without pay, food or a way home. Failing companies opt to ditch vessels too expensive to repair or too difficult to sell, leaving behind cargo-ship castaways trapped in ports or offshore. An engineer stuck on a cargo ship abandoned in a Black Sea port has waited four years to get paid and go home. Off the coast of Somalia, a crew awaiting pay languishes on a pirate-trawled stretch of the Indian Ocean while their ship slowly takes on water. Another 14 seafarers, stuck on a cargo ship off the coast of Iran, have run out of food and fuel. Some contemplate suicide.
Serious maritime heritage lurks in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne
One of the notable characteristics of Australian invention – maritime and otherwise – is a propensity to innovate, albeit modestly. Maritime enthusiast Richard Balsillie drew our attention to an intriguing plaque situated on a wall in a quiet Hawthorn street. The plaque commemorates a remarkable family of engineers and inventors whose work revolutionised ship propulsion. Clever brothers Anthony George Maldon Michel and his brother, John Henry. A.G.M. Michell was one of Australia’s most significant engineers. He made major practical contributions in the theory of lubrication and to the theory of structures. In 1905 he patented his most significant invention, the pivoted pad thrust bearing, which was designed to secure a spinning shaft, such as a ship’s propeller shaft, and counter the large force (thrust) that acts along the shaft. He invented the Michell Thrust Bearing, a tilting-pad device, which made possible much of the modern development of steam and water turbines and of propeller drives for large fast ships. By his early thirties, Michell had created three inventions, which were commercially successful: a water meter, a cross-flow turbine and a regenerative pump. The Michell tilting-pad thrust-bearing was his most successful, developed from his research on fluid motion, viscosity and lubrication. This revolutionised the way in which large ships could be propelled through the water, or propeller-driven planes in the air. As is often the case – timing is critical – and WW1 meant a great increase in turbine-powered ships, His work emerged in 1893 but was not recognised for its full brilliance until the 1930s.
This is fascinating. You may wish to read titled What Came out of the Box: A Biography of AGM Michell, see: https://www.amazon.com.au/What-Came-out-Box-Biography/dp/0228820537
The Australian Association of Maritime History
Photo: Peter Ridgway, September issue of the AAMH newsletter
The AMMH reports the significant 400th Anniversary of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse looms in 2022. The Dutch East India Company ship Leeuwin visited to the southwest corner of Australia in March 1622. Constructed of local stone, the lighthouse opened in 1895 is and is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia. Until June 1982 when the lighthouse was automated, the lens was rotated by a counter weight driving clockwork mechanism and the beacon was a pressure kerosene mantle type. A radio navigation beacon was commissioned in 1955 and operated until 1992. The lighthouse, also serves as an automatic weather station. An Interpretive Centre is housed in one of the original lighthouse keepers’ cottages.
Share your research and/or photographs in the AAMH journal
The AAMH is revamping its website and is looking for photos to illustrate and promote maritime history. For example, photos representing shipping and ports, exploration, maritime archaeology, coastal communities, industries, tourism – contemporary as well as historic images. If you would like to share your maritime research with other maritime enthusiasts, Professor Erika Techera invites you to nominate your research for publication in The Great Circle. Contact email@example.com
Drones are doing everything!
Sailing Drones – fascinating technological data is being sourced from seafaring drones. Saildrone a world leader in ‘autonomous surface vehicles and unscrewed systems’ can apparently deliver unprecedented intelligence on climate, mapping and maritime security. Seemingly durable as well as environmentally smart, e.g. over time and distance – 50,0000 nautical miles and a total of 13,000 days at sea with little no or low carbon footprint, supported by ML-powered marine identification system capable of sailing from the Arctic to the Southern Ocean. See https://www.saildrone.com, ‘World First: Ocean Drone Captures Video from Inside a Category 4 Hurricane. Sail drone Inc. and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have released the first video footage gathered by an autonomous surface vehicle (USV) from inside a major hurricane barrelling across the Atlantic Ocean. https://www.saildrone.com/press-release/ocean-drone-captures-video-inside-category-4-hurricane.And these drones are huge! Saildrone has launched a 72-foot ‘Surveyor‘, the world’s most advanced ‘uncrewed’ surface vehicle, equipped with an array of acoustic instruments for high-resolution shallow and deep-water Ocean Seabed Mapping.
Will all submarines, even nuclear ones, be obsolete and ‘visible’ by 2040? Troy Shepherd reports ‘Military experts have warned that submarines could soon be rendered obsolete by new technology including new weapon systems and submersible drones. Their warning was made before the federal government decided to ditch its $90 billion submarine deal with the French in favour of nuclear submarines, which may not be ready until 2040. There are also claims of other new technology that could make the ocean ‘transparent’, making even the stealthiest submarines detectable.
Navy League News October 2021
The Navy League editorial offers an informed perspective on the future of submarines; AUKUS; QUAD, the TPP together with commentary by Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, Bill Shorten MP, Russell Broadbent MP, Senator Jim Molan, Mark Schweikert and Paddy Crumlin. The Editorial makes specific mention of AUKUS and The QUAD – including recommendations regarding addressing the democratic deficit, for the NSC and PM&C, and the standing up of a QUAD HQ, before concluding:
China Navigation (CNCo) – a company by any other name?
Source: The Pulse, October 2021
Maritime stakeholders are likely to be familiar with China Navigation (CNCo), one of the most venerable 149-year old ‘brand’ names in Asian shipping and the oldest part of the Swire Group empire. CNCo started on the banks of the Yangtze River in 1872, operating a modest fleet of Mississippi-style paddle steamers. It moved to Hong Kong and then 13 years ago shifted to Singapore from where its fleet has diversified with a heavy focus on the Pacific. In August 2021, the Swire Group embarked on renaming the entire name Swire Bulk. However, the name of the UK holding company will remain unchanged. The China Navigation Company Ltd., the names of the company’s subsidiary and branches in China, as well as its brand name “太古轮船Taigu Lunchuan (CNCo) will be retained. Source: Splash 247 in The Pulse, October 2021.
Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG)
An INGINE’s Wave Energy Converter (WEC) technology provides an innovative method of generating power using the whole range of wave movement. Source: AOEG Website
MMHN is pleased to announce that we have a reciprocal Membership Agreement with AOEG. Wind, Wave, Tidal and Floating Solar energy will be ‘the future’ for this island nation – as well as renewal energy – and this emerging industry will provide new maritime employment for seafarers, specialist boat builders and all manner of emerging technologies. At the first Australian Ocean Energy Conference in 2016, the Australian Marine Energy Taskforce (AMET) was formed to accelerate the commercialisation of ocean energy through collection national and international action. AOEG members include energy organisations, research institutions, ocean energy users, innovators, project developers, technology providers. Current members are listed at: https://oceanenergygroup.org.au/membership/.
MMHN is delighted to find that the Victorian government has grasped the importance of this emerging industry, becoming the first state to become a member of AOEG. See: https://oceanenergygroup.org.au
Mornington Pier – research request
Source: Mornington Historical Society
MMHN has received an appeal for information on the Mornington Pier, which was originally built in the 1850s. The pier has been altered a number of times, including a NW arm which was built and removed during WW2. The search for information to date has encompassed Trove, the Public Records Office and the Mornington Peninsula Historical Society. The question: does anyone have further information or recommend other sources of information? Interesting information is to be found on https://bayfishntrips.com.au/news/the-mornington-pier-part-1-early-history
The township of Mornington (originally named Schnapper Point) was established in 1854. With inadequate roads to get to the small community, the decision to build the Mornington Pier was made in 1856, with two years for the build. Back in those days, the quickest route from Melbourne to Mornington was across the bay. The Mornington Pier originally cost about $17,000 (Stg £8761.25). Heritage information states that ‘three distinct zones were built: the inner rock abutment and wharf, the inner timber pier structure intersecting a ramp with a wider outer timber jetty’. From 1858, the pier became the ‘social and economic heart of the Mornington Peninsula’. Up to fifteen fishing boats with local owners had permanent moorings with other boats regularly transporting mail, fish, timber, firewood and supplies to Mornington. The ferries arrived in 1865, bringing visitors with them twice a week for their summer holidays. Around 1890 a northern arm was added to the Mornington Pier, forming a distinct L-shape, to accommodate the big steamers and paddle wheelers such as Ozone, Hygeia and Weeroona. (Source: Mornington Historical Society & Parks Victoria)
Maritime History in Victorian Schools – Good to See
MMHN is committed to engaging young people with our maritime heritage – and grateful that the RHSV has alerted us to the heartening news that the History Teachers Association of Victoria touches on maritime stories in their latest magazine, Agora, ‘exploring colonial ambitions that criss-crossed Europe, Asia and America, with Australia’s colonial history enmeshed at its core’. For example:
- The role of piracy in the rise of the British Empire
- Why the French did not establish a colony in Australia
- The indigenous man who was integral to circumnavigating Australia
- What coronial investigations into maternal deaths can tell us about life in colonial
- Why the naming of the Yarra River can be considered an act of colonialism.
Hongkong Maritime Week – inspiration?
By way of inspiration perhaps, MMHN member and historian Emma Russell alerted us to this event organized by Hong Kong Shipowners Association, Hong Kong Maritime Museum, Hongkong Trade Development Council Museum and Invest Hongkong. It’s described as a ‘fabulous week and maritime activities covering themes of shipping and maritime, ship finance, maritime law and arbitration, marine insurance, green shipping and decarbonisation, port and logistics, maritime education and green shipping. Some network – wow!
Climate Change and Maritime Heritage Vessels
Climate change is the single biggest threat facing all of us in the years ahead but, for historic vessels, there are some specific challenges. Being made of perishable materials and generally located by the coast or inland waterways, heritage vessels are affected by temperature changes, extreme storms and sea level changes. This is serious. Last month, National Heritage Ships UK published their 2-volume report on Climate Change and Maritime Heritage.Volume 1 provides an overview of the changing conditions and how they are likely to affect craft on the National Register of Historic Vessels. Volume 2 addresses the ways vessel custodians can better adapt and protect the heritage assets in their care.
Trade Before the Container – VERY interesting AND important
Source: The Conversation. Ceramic containers called amphorae were often used by the Greeks and others to transfer liquids like wine as well as grains, PHAS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.
Since the dawn of commerce, people have been using boxes, sacks, barrels and containers of varying sizes to transport goods over long distances. The U.S. military began exploring the use of standardized small containers to more efficiently transport guns, bombs and other materiel to the front lines during World War II. But it was not until the 1950s that American entrepreneur Malcolm McLean realized that standardizing the size of the containers, loading and unloading of ships and trains could be at least partially mechanized allowing seamless transfer from between modes of transportation. Products could remain in their containers from the point of manufacture to delivery, resulting in reduced costs in terms of labor and potential damage. In 1956 McLean created the standard cargo container, which is basically still the standard today. He originally built it at a length of 33 feet – soon increased to 35 – and 8 feet wide and tall. Products could remain in their containers from the point of manufacture to delivery, resulting in reduced costs in terms of labor and potential damage.
See: ‘Global shortage of shipping containers highlights their importance in getting goods to Amazon warehouses, store shelves and your door in time for Christmas’, https://theconversation.com/global-shortage-of-shipping-containers-highlights-their-importance-in-getting-goods-to-amazon-warehouses-store-shelves-and-your-door-in-time-for-christmas-168233
MMHN Advocacy this Month
Various Ministries, including DELWP Energy Group, Infrastructure & Transport, Tourism Victoria
History Council of Victoria
City of Melbourne
Australian Ocean Energy Group,
Star of the South
MMHN Board meeting captured in Zoom Mode
Post lockdown it will be wonderful to come once more together to really enjoy the camaraderie, which is so characteristic of the maritime enthusiasts now serving on the MMHN Board.
Mike, Ross, Jacyl, Jackie, Liz, Martin, Greg, Haya, Jeff, David and Andrew.
From everyone at MMHN – enjoy your Lockdown release – and do keep safe.
Until next month,
Dr Jackie Watts OAM
Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network
0400 305 323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org