Call for pirate ship ‘to sink’ the celebration
THE replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavour will stop in its birthplace Fremantle, and other WA ports during its controversial $6.7 million circumnavigation of Australia next year. But not everyone is happy.
The journey, commemorating the 250th anniversary of lieutenant James Cook’s arrival, will stop at 39 different spots.
The replica was originally built in Fremantle by WA’s colourful Alan Bond. It was launched in the Fishing Boat Harbour 25 years ago.
Prime minister Scott Morrison had described the voyage as a “re-enactment”, but Captain Cook did not actually circumnavigate Australia, and Mr Morrison later clarified he just meant the voyage would be “retracing” the east coast course.
The prime minister hopes it’ll be a big tourist draw and the the federal government is giving $6.7 million to the National Maritime Museum to fund the replica’s journey.
The response to the big spend on a pseudo-reenactment has been mixed.
Comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, a long-time supporter of the “Change the Date” campaign to shift Australia Day, was annoyed that so much was being spent to commemorate Cook’s arrival. She started a GoFundMe campaign to “raise money to build a pirate ship with the aim to sink The Endeavour”.
But the website admin scuttled her campaign.
“The GoFundMe is temporarily suspended until I demonstrate that I do not intend to buy an actual cannon. Yargh,” Ms Raskapolous posted on January 23, after the campaign had scarcely been up one day.
Mr Morrison said Captain Cook has had a bad rap of late and was pretty enlightened for his times.
After several scientific voyages, Cook was killed in 1779 on Hawaii, while he was attempting to kidnap the local leader Kalaniʻōpuʻu. He suspected locals had stolen one of his small boats and thought he’d be able to ransom the leader to get them back. The locals were not happy, and killed him. According to the Captain Cook Society, they cooked his body but did not eat them.
“The Hawaiian Islanders who killed Captain Cook were not cannibals,” the Society’s website states.
“They believed that the power of a man was in his bones, so they cooked part of Cook’s body to enable the bones to be easily removed. It was the cooking of his body which gave rise to the rumour of cannibalism.
by DAVID BELL