Newsletter #3. December 2020

It seems impossible that Christmas is only a few weeks away!  What a year we have had with Covid restrictions making life difficult for all.

In the last newsletter, I mentioned that we had been extremely busy this year and at last, we can share some of this exciting news!

Amazin’ Book Launch

The weather was kind to us during our book launch on the Surf Beach near our Amazon Shipwreck last Friday.  We were thrilled with the attendance of five wonderful children, who were in period costume with manners and behaviour befitting the era; just perfect.  Thank you to Grayson, Grace, Milly, Celena and Elise for making the event such a great success. 

Last week was the culmination of the year’s work with two of our goals being reached.  Our Committee was formed in October last year and  incorporated in November 2019 so to say we are thrilled with these achievements is an understatement.  Marion Chapman has been a major contributor, illustrating our book, ‘Inverloch’s Riddle of the Amazon’ which was written by our Secretary Karyn Bugeja and from which we hope will raise much needed funds for further conservation of the Amazon Shipwreck. 

The book is available from Inverloch Post Office, Bendigo Bank, Inverloch Newsagent, Inverloch Hub, Bunurong Centre and Clancy’s in Wonthaggi as well as the Wonthaggi Art Space/Information Centre.  We thank these outlets for their support with 100% of sales going toward conservation of Amazon Shipwreck artefacts.

Cr Les Larke acknowledging the work of the Amazon 1863 Project Team

Production of the Amazon Shipwreck book would not have been possible without the grant  received from the Bass Coast Shire which has kick started the fundraising.  We were thrilled to have Cr Les Larke attend the launch and thank him for his very kind words regarding the group’s achievements.

Thank you to Vee (Minuet) for all these fabulous photos of the book launch.  Vee is actually a Taswegian who due to Covid restrictions found her Australian tour curtailed and has spent most of the year in Inverloch becoming one of our most active members.  Vee, we wish you well as you make your way back to Tassie and thank you again for your contribution.  Please stay in touch!

Victorian Government Living Heritage Grants

Now, this brings me to the second big announcement, we were successful in the Victorian State Government Living Heritage Grantsand received a grant of $20,000 to conserve the deadwood from the Amazon Shipwreck. 

Trilby, Robin Hodgson who is our specialist wood conservator and Karyn Bugeja met with the Living Heritage contact last week for an inception meeting and we are thrilled with the outcome. 

Again, it seems we have been so fortunate with our relationships with the different departments we have been involved with, including Heritage Victoria, Parks Wonthaggi Depot, Bass Coast Shire and now Living Heritage, as we are all on the same page, working towards a common goal.

This is the deadwood after it was detached, then rescued from two king tides (by burying it with sand), then collected by and stored at Parks Wonthaggi Depot.

After the initial paperwork, permits, Christmas and New Year closures which we must take into account, we anticipate that the deadwood will be back IN INVERLOCH on display at the Hub potentially by April 2021.  We are privileged to be given this opportunity to display the deadwood here in Inverloch.  The deadwood joined the bow/stem to the keel of the ship and detached itself from the wreck on the beach in January this year. 

Thanks must go to Brian Martin and Parks Victoria – Wonthaggi for ‘minding’ the deadwood and trail board whilst awaiting conservation.

Trail board

This brings me to another conservation subject.  As many of you will be aware part of our Living Heritage Grant application was to conserve the beautifully carved trail board which is a highly significant artefact.  The carved trail board will take between 5 to 8 years to conserve but unfortunately funding modules require grants to be completed within a 2 year time frame. 

The beautifully carved wooden trail board

We are looking at a variety of options to achieve this objective and feel confident that conservation of the trail board can start in the next 12 months. 

Book: ‘Inverloch’s Riddle of the Amazon’

Please support us and Amazon Shipwreck conservation by purchasing our children’s book ‘Inverloch’s Riddle of the Amazon’ which is a great gift!

For more information on the book…


Thankyou to all for your support & encouragment over the last 12 exciting months.

Merry Christmas & a Safe, Healthy & Happy 2021.

Karyn Bugeja, Secretary.