Fremantle Ports BIG Maritime Day – What A Day!

By our Shipping Correspondent Jean Hudson* @jeansodyssey

Well-done Fremantle Ports for a great Maritime Day yesterday, 29 October 2022!

Despite grey clouds and sprinkling rain, everyone had a great time. There was plenty to do with over 90 exhibitions outside and inside the Passenger Terminal: harbour boat tours, tours of the HMAS Toowoomba, marching bands, samba dancers and naval choirs. For the kids – face painting, crafts and train rides.

The Coral Princess cruise ship, which tied up in Freo on Friday and was originally scheduled to depart Friday night, stayed on for the fun. She absolutely dwarfed the 1960s iconic Passenger Terminal and added so much to the marine atmosphere – so good to see a large cruise ship and visitors back in Fremantle.

The wonderful, post-war international style Terminal building is all open spaces of steel and concrete with large areas of glass. Today it was full to the brim with exhibitions and people.

The HMAS Toowoomba was a huge draw card. Tours of the Anzac Class Navy frigate allowed visitors to climb ships ladders and have a sticky beak below decks to see the crew’s mess, sleeping quarters, showers and heads. She has a crew of 190 including 40 women. Her gun has a range of 28km.

The popular harbour cruises took visitors on a 30-minute circuit of the Inner Harbour, which was chocker with ships of every description. The Coral Princess at the Passenger Terminal, next to her the Redhead Svitzer tug, the Navy HMAS Toowoomba and, around the harbour, six container ships, two RO-ROs and the Leeuwin Training Ship.

It was fabulous to get up close to these ships and the cranes on the north side of the harbour. During the day, three ships departed and one arrived. The viewing deck from the Terminal Building was the perfect spot to watch the tugs manoeuvre these huge ships in and out of the harbour.

The Dutch Australian Wooden Boat Foundation had an exhibition outside the Terminal and sailed their beautiful wooden gaff riggers around the harbour during the day.

St Pat’s Op Shop put on a fabulous fashion show with vintage clothes. There were Flappers in sequined dresses – donning martini glasses and cigarettes in holders, housewives in polyester dressing gowns – hair in curlers, Elvis lookalikes and Hippies. Neil Stanbury did a stellar job as MC.

The Passenger Terminal building is worth a visit to see the large collection of Howard Taylor’s art – friezes of trees, plants, birds and animals. A large abstract seascape of his has been refurbished and was on display today.

If you missed Maritime Day this year, make sure you put it in your calendar for next year! It’s a great way to celebrate the maritime industry in Fremantle’s working port.

* STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS by our Shipping Correspondent, Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is also a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. You may also like to follow up her informative Places I Love stories, as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs, right here.


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