Tathra Public School pupils deliver surf boat cradle to Tathra Wharf Museum

Year 5 pupils of Tathra Primary School were invited to be a part of history on Tuesday as they carried a new cradle to hold a recently relocated historic surf boat at Tathra Wharf Museum. 

The students took turns carrying the cradle from the Church of the Star of the Sea down to the Tathra Wharf.

The cradle was built with funds from a conservation grant from The Australian National Maritime Museum acquired by museum president Allan Collins last year. 

Mr Collins said that the boat has great historic value, as Tathra was one of the first Surf Life Saving Clubs along the NSW coast, it is possible the boat is the first of its kind.

Tathra Public School pupils deliver surf boat cradle to Tathra Wharf Museum.

It was a fitting task for the Year 5 group to undertake, as they are currently studying the Tathra wharf in class. 

Every class at Tathra Public School is looking at an aspect of the town, asking themselves the question, “what is our story?”

Other classes are looking at the history, people, clubs and tourism of Tathra, but Year 5 is studying its most iconic building. 

“This group is tracing the wharf history, looking at its formative years, what it is used for now and brainstorming what it could be used for in the future,” support teacher Sue Jennings said. 

“So this is a really special way for them to contribute to the wharf as they are learning about it, they become a part of the wharf’s history too.”

For the pupils, the journey to the wharf was a perfect chance to brush up on what they had learnt in class. 

“I’ve learned that the wharf was built in 1862 and it is the only wooden wharf in Australia,” Owen White said. 

“In class we learned the wharf was used to bring in ships for farmers and passengers, but now it is for fishing and whale watching and the cafe and museum” Jasper Defina said. 

The pupils agreed that the surf boat would sink if it was put in the ocean today, but the cradle would help it to last a lot longer and stay protected in the museum. 

“It would be great to come back in 20 or 30 years and still see the boat here, but I would be very surprised to see it again after that long,” Isobel Vaughn said. 

“I think it will last for a million years in the museum now,” Liam Chandler said. 

Later on in the semester, the class will build a replica of the wharf using toothpicks and paddle pops sticks, accompanied by steamboat models that will be animated by robotics. 

The final display will be on show at the Tathra Primary School museum event on December 8, when all classes display their knowledge of their town in a joint exhibition.