Letters 24.12.22

Oroton Angel

THIS is a feel good story, I call it The Oroton Angel.

Two weeks ago my husband and I were having lunch at the Coffee Club in Garden City.

While waiting for our order I looked in the Oroton shop.

I came back, ate lunch and noticed a young lady walk past with the exact bag I had wanted an never bought.

I caught up to her after a 50-yard dash and asked her about her bag, and it turns out it was given to her by her sister.

The I told her my story, that when I turned 70 we climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then went to a warehouse nearby.

There I saw the Oroton bag I wanted.

Sill me held it up and showed my husband waiting outside …. he shook his head!

We then went our separate ways … me, back to my slow-eating husband and she went shopping.

Then, out of the blue, the lady came to our table and gave me her bag!

I was so shocked, I barely said “thank you” but I shed many tears of joy.

My husband’s words to me: “Stop crying – people will think I’ve hit you.” Hahaha.

I would love you to publish this in your Letters to the Editor column in the hopes she may read your paper.


Not quite a museum piece

IN your story How just 18 feet made a museum (Herald, December 10, 2022) you state that: “The yacht (Australia II) had been purchased by the National Maritime Museum from a bankrupted Alan Bond…”.

This is not correct. The accurate string of events was that within a couple of days of Australia II winning the America’s Cup in Newport in 1983 the team was contacted by the Italian Azzurra Syndicate that was backed by the Aga Kahn and offered $2 million for the yacht. 

The offer was refused. 

The team then contacted the federal government and asked if there was interest in purchasing the boat. 

The result was that the federal government matched the Italian offer but added that the Australia II team could continue to use the yacht in their work to try and defend the Cup.

After Australia III and IV were built and sailing, Australia II was retired and was sent to Sydney to be one of the the main exhibits at the new Australian National Maritime Museum that was specifically designed to house her. 

In the late 1990s the then prime minister Paul Keating decided that many artefacts in various national collections should be sent back to the state to which they most clearly related. 

This resulted in Australia II being sent back to WA and, as you rightly relate, the drive by Richard Court to build a new museum capable of housing house her and other important state vessels and maritime material.

John Longley
Project Manager and crewman of Australia II
The Ed says: Thanks for the correction, John.

Thanks everyone

Thanks for all your letters this year; they’re one of our most enjoyable pages. Ever wanted to get your thoughts published but weren’t sure they were important enough? Well, they are, so send them off to us at news@fremantleherald.com

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