Admella Model - A Shipwreck Commemoration Centrepiece

The Admella Commemoration Advisory Committee has recently taken possession of a large scale model of the S.S. Admella on behalf of the Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum.

The model is on display at the Lady Nelson Visitor Discovery Centre, Mount Gambier until the 23rd June and will feature as part of the Admella Exhibition “Catastrophe, Courage and Commitment, wreck of the Admella 6 August 1859” during the Admella 150 Festival, 6th – 16th August 2009. At the conclusion of the Exhibition, it will be moved to the Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum where it will be permanently housed.

The model, to a scale of 1:48 and mounted in a showcase, is approximately 1.5 metres long (5 feet) and was commissioned from the Melbourne based ship modeling firm, Float.a.Boat.

No drawings of the vessel are known to survive but a set of "reconstructed" plans was prepared, based on official registered dimensions including an original very detailed survey of the ship, contemporary paintings, newspaper descriptions and other published reports describing her in much detail.

The model is constructed in the scale and style of traditional "builder's models" where many of the ship's fittings are polished metal for artistic effect. The model is depicted in a diorama setting with some of her sails set in order to assist her steam engines economize on coal consumption.

Scale figures of passengers and crew dressed in appropriate mid-Victorian period fashion, walk the decks, while a pod of dolphins play at the bows of the ship as she gently moves through the "water".

The Admella Commemoration Advisory Committee and the Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum sincerely thank John Hirst, Anne Rawson and Andrew Hirst for donating the model to the Museum in memory of their great-grandfather, Admella survivor George Hills. It is anticipated His Excellency the Governor of South Australia Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce will formally dedicate the model during a proposed visit to the region in June.

Photo above: Adrian Brewer (Float-a-boat), Jan McIntyre (DCG Community Development Officer), Linda Hay (DCG Admella Project Officer), Mae Steele (City of Mount Gambier Tourism Manager)

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