The tiny replica of the historic Dutch sailing ship Duyfken left Fremantle this morning on her journey to Shark Bay where she will take part in the commemorations of Dirk Hartog, the first European man to set foot on land in Western Australia 400 years ago on October 25, 1616.
Minister Bill Marmion, the brand new Netherlands’ Ambassador Erica Schouten, Josh Wilson MP, Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillor Dave Hume were among the crowd to wish the crew a safe trip.
The replica was built in Fremantle in 1999 for $ 3.6 million and is a gorgeous ship.. The original sailed from the Indonesian island of Banda in 1606 under Captain Willem Janszoon who became the first European to map Australia and explore the norther and eastern coast of Australia.
The Duyfken will be in Bunbury from August 22-September 4, in Mandurah from September 5-14, at Hillarys from 15-27 of September, Jurien Bay from September 29 to October 3, Dongara from 4-7 October, Geraldton from October 8-16 and in Denham from October 19-24.
I went to the DUTCH JOURNEYS TO THE WESTERN EDGE exhibition in the State Library in Perth and highly recommend it to anyone interested in WA’s history or our connection with the Netherlands.
Why report this on a Fremantle blog some might ask, but I believe there are a lot of connections to the Dutch history here in Freo. The wreck of the Dirk Hartog’s ship Batavia is at the Shipwreck Museum and the replicas of the Dutch sailing ships Endeavour, Duyfken and Leeuwin were all built in Fremantle.
The exhibition was curated by Dutch born Nonja Peters who migrated here as a three-year-old child in 1945.
On the train on the way back to Freo I reflected on the ‘stopping the boats’ policy by the Liberal and Labor parties here in Australia when I read at the exhibition that during the second world war 170,000 Dutch people found refuge in Australia, 13,000 of them in WA.
But the Dutch of course fitted in well with the White Australia Policy with their blue eyes and blond hair and were considered to be adaptable, unlike those brown, non-Christians we refuse entry into Australia to at present.
In that context it will be interesting to see how many Brexit ‘refugees’ we will be welcoming in WA without anyone claiming they take jobs away from local people
The Duyfken will be sailing from Fremantle in August to be at Shark Bay on October 25 to celebrate the arrival there of Dirk Hartog 400 years ago in 1616. There will be an exhibition in all the ports she visits; Bunbury, Mandurah, Hillaries, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Geraldton, Denham.