TMA in the News

New showing for Tomaree Museum at
Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre in Nelson Bay

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

23rd December, 2021

Tomaree Museum Association has a new temporary home - under the bridge at the Port Stephens visitor information centre on Victoria Parade, Nelson Bay.

Members have set up an exhibition titled 'Sustainability by the Sea', featuring 12 large panels describing the array of underwater peculiarities familiar to the port, as well as a range of items and artefacts for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

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TEMPORARY HOME: TMA members (from left): Liz Warne, Chris Peters, Gabrielle Carrick, Nigel Dique, Doug Cross, Warwick Mathieson and Ross Carroll in front of the new exhibition.

Meet the locals: Warwick Mathieson -
a volunteer for all seasons

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

8 December, 2021

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any community and Port Stephens is fortunate to have a significant number of people eager to help out whether that be through hands-on contribution, by sharing knowledge and experiences, or showing strong leadership.
 

Nelson Bay's Warwick Mathieson would qualify for all of the above and more.

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VOLUNTEER: Nelson Bay's Warwick Mathieson dressed in his bow tie and coat preparing for another postie bike dash.

Rare historical photograph of landing craft at Little Beach a reminder of region's military past

Mike Scanlon
​Port Stephens Examiner

6 December, 2021

Nice weather for ducks, isn't it? And if not Army Ducks, or DUKWs, maybe Larcs, or some other versatile military watercraft.

Such amphibious craft were once a familiar sight around Port Stephens and its southern shores, often around October, over decades.

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Rare record: Army landing craft unloading during an exercise at Little Beach, Port Stephens, in late 1972. Picture: Author's collection

Tomaree Museum Association ponders whether Port Stephens' oysters could be
area's identifier

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

15 November, 2021

Did you know that Port Stephens was once described as 'The Biggest Oyster Farm in the World'?

It's a little known fact that is helping to drive the volunteers of the Tomaree Museum Association in their quest to discover and acknowledge the story behind Port Stephens.

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NEW COMMITTEE: Some members of the Tomaree Museum Association
(from left): Chris Peters, Mary Sillince, Elisabeth Warne, Doug Cross and Warwick Mathieson at the visitor information centre.

Shoal Bay: Tomaree Lodge Aboriginal land claim being assessed

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

4 November, 2021

The future of the now vacant Tomaree Lodge site and surrounding foreshore at Shoal Bay remains uncertain after it was revealed last week that Aboriginal land claims on the site were being assessed.

A spokesperson for Melinda Pavey, the Nationals' State Minister for Water, Property and Housing, told the Examiner that there had been two Aboriginal land claims on the Tomaree Lodge area by Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council.

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NO VACANCY: The now empty Tomaree Lodge at Shoal Bay has been the subject of two Aboriginal land claims. More photos on the Examiner's website.

Through the lens: Arthur Renforth's photos chart changes to Port Stephens

Ellie-Marie Watts
​Port Stephens Examiner

26 August, 2021

It was a friendship born in the dark room at Williamtown RAAF Base in the 1960's that sparked an interest in photography for Arthur Renforth.

But what began as a hobby developed into one of the largest historical photographic collections of Port Stephens, with Mr Renforth's many thousands of images taken during a 40-year period showcasing the many changes to the Port's towns, beaches, businesses and people.

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Arthur Renforth took thousands of photos of Port Stephens between the 1960s and 80s which serves to showcase the area's many changes over time.

Tomaree Museum Association open day well attended

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

3 June, 2021

Tomaree Museum Association members overcame cold and rainy conditions to host an open day at Bobs Farm Hall on Sunday.

 

Visitors were able to view new additions to the collection, including heritage panels funded by Port Stephens Council. Visitors also saw a diorama of WWII training at Zenith Beach, Shoal Bay constructed by local enthusiast Roger Rigby.

The event was aimed at generating awareness of plans to build a world class museum and cultural hub on the Tomaree peninsula.

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 DISPLAY: Roger Rigby with the diorama.

Commemoration Of Servicemen Lost In Crash In 1943 On Jimmys Beach

Marian Sampson
News of the Area

1st June, 2021

The irony was not lost on the small gathering who congregated at the Inner Light Marine Rescue station in Nelson Bay on May 24 to remember the seven pilots killed in a Catalina accident 78 years ago to the day.

Among those attending the memorial ceremony was Hartley Higgins, the nephew of Flight Lieutenant Brian 'Tubby' Higgins, and his wife Fiona Hasker, who had made the journey to Nelson Bay from Wangaratta in Victoria.

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The service commemorating the deaths of the Catalina’s crew that crashed on Jimmys Beach in 1943. Photo by Henk Tobbe.

RAAF crew remembered at Nelson Bay Inner Light 78 years after Catalina's deadly crash off Port Stephens

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

27 May, 2021

The irony was not lost on the small gathering who congregated at the Inner Light Marine Rescue station in Nelson Bay on May 24 to remember the seven pilots killed in a Catalina accident 78 years ago to the day.

Among those attending the memorial ceremony was Hartley Higgins, the nephew of Flight Lieutenant Brian 'Tubby' Higgins, and his wife Fiona Hasker, who had made the journey to Nelson Bay from Wangaratta in Victoria.

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CEREMONY: The memorial ceremony conducted by the Tomaree Museum Association for wartime crash victims at Nelson Bay's Inner Light station.

Community Calls For A Master Plan For Future Use Of Tomaree Headland Site

Marian Sampson
​News of the Area

26 May, 2021

THE site on Tomaree Headland is a state heritage listed site, adjacent to a National Park which offers spectacular scenic vistas.

Tomaree Lodge is one of the few known surviving examples of a purpose built WWII Army Camp in the State of NSW.

“Tomaree Headland Historical Group (THHG) has developed a creative vision for the future of the Headland, which identifies the Lodge site together with the spectacular adjoining Tomaree National Park as having the potential to become a nationally significant visitor attraction.

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Taylor Martin MLC for the Hunter at the Historic Tomaree Headland Site. Photo: Marian Sampson.

Last of the Tomaree Lodge residents vacated, Shoal Bay site to undergo assessment

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

20 May, 2021

The future use of the Tomaree Lodge site and its surrounds is being eagerly anticipated by interest groups as the last of the remaining residents exit from the Shoal Bay property.
 

A Department of Communities and Justice spokesperson confirmed this week that all former residents of Tomaree Lodge "have moved into their new group homes".

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PUBLIC HANDS: Peter Clough (left) and Geoff Washington say the Tomaree Lodge site offers unique opportunities for a future cultural, military, marine facility.

Port Stephens identity Daniel Carroll remembered

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

28 April, 2021

Well known Port Stephens identity Daniel Carroll passed away peacefully on April 16 after a lengthy illness. He was 84.

The son of Neil Carroll, who has a reserve named in his honour at Nelson Bay's Fly Point, Danny made a name for himself as an earthmover, who helped build many roads in the bay and cleared the land for many landmarks, including the Nelson Bay golf, bowls and tennis clubs.

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IDENTITY: Anna Bay's Danny Carroll was the only earthmover on the Tomaree Peninsula for some 30 years. Photo: Supplied by the Carroll family

Nelson Bay: Opposition to Tomaree Museum Association's Fly Point cultural precinct plan

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

1 April, 2021

There has been strong opposition against a bold plan by the Tomaree Museum Association (TMA) to transform Neil Carroll Park at Nelson Bay's Fly Point into a cultural and artistic precinct.

Last month TMA president Ian Farnsworth revealed a proposal to develop a $20 million multi-use facility that would feature a mix of art, tourism and cultural/heritage hubs surrounding an amphitheatre and overlooking the spectacular Nelson Bay waterfront.

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OPPOSITION: Opposing the TMA proposal are Ross Carroll (left), grandson of Neil Carroll, and Warwick Mathieson, from Nelson Bay Rotary, at Neil Carroll Rotary Park.

Tomaree Museum's bold $20 million plan for cultural and artistic precinct in Nelson Bay

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

11 March, 2021

An ambitious $20 million plan to transform Neil Carroll Park at Fly Point into a cultural and artistic precinct has been put forward by the Tomaree Museum Association (TMA).

The proposed multi-use facility would feature a mix of art, tourism and cultural/heritage hubs spread across approximately 3000 square metres of land overlooking the spectacular Nelson Bay waterfront.

AMBITIOUS: Tomaree Museum Association president Ian Farnsworth in Neil Carroll Park at Nelson Bay's Fly Point.

Charcoal koalas win AGL Port Stephens Art Competition people's choice

​Port Stephens Examiner

3 February, 2021

A charcoal artwork of two very good looking koalas has taken out the Peoples' Choice Award for the AGL Port Stephens Art Competition run by the Tomaree Museum Association.

The winning artwork, entered by Christine Leaming and titled 'What?.. But We Live Here!', was announced at a small ceremony held last week. 

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WINNER: The winner of the Peoples' Choice Award titled "What?.. But We Live Here!" by Christine Leaming.

Round two of Port Stephens Council's community funding program now open

​Port Stephens Examiner

3 February, 2021

People with ideas to inject vibrancy into the Port's towns, hold COVID-Safe events or support the community in other ways have an opportunity to make those dreams a reality with a council grant.

Applications for round two of Port Stephens Council's community funding program are now open for the Vibrant Spaces Fund, Community Event Development Fund and Community Support Fund.

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VIBRANT: Artist Jordan Lucky working on a public art piece in Nelson Bay. 

Check out AGL Port Stephens Art Competition entries on show at Broughtons at the Bay

​Port Stephens Examiner

27 January, 2021

Artist Lorna Bennett has taken out the AGL Port Stephens Art Competition organsied by Tomaree Museum Association with her acrylic painting 'The Lone Watchman'. 

Second and third prize winners announced on January 26 were 'Last Stand' by Lisa O'Donnell, a triptych acrylic of the beautiful trees of Tomaree Peninsula and 'Into the Burley Bucket' by Bev McKinnon-Matthews, a collage of Gyotaku hand prints of local sea-life.

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The winner of the AGL Port Stephens Art Competition was Lorna Bennett for her acrylic painting The Lone Watchman which features a lone bird guarding a beautiful Port Stephens landscape of bushland with water views.

AGL Port Stephens Art Competition Announces Paul Maher As Judge

Tara Campbell
News of the Area

12th January, 2021

TOMAREE Museum Association announces Paul Maher as the judge of the upcoming AGL Port Stephens Art Competition.

Newcastle-based artist, Paul Maher has been exhibiting art for 30 years both nationally and internationally receiving worthy accolades.

Well-versed in a variety of art disciplines including suburban landscape painting and drawing and ceramics, he also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) and a Post-Graduate Diploma of Painting.

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Tomaree Museum Association launches free pop-up exhibition in Nelson Bay

​Port Stephens Examiner

22 December, 2020

Port Stephens has its first natural and human history museum, albeit a temporary one, with the opening on Monday night of a pop-up historical and cultural exhibition in Nelson Bay.

Around 100 members and friends of the Tomaree Museum Association (TMA) celebrated the launch of the Port Stephens Council-sponsored Vibrant Spaces pop-up, which is located inside Broughtons at the Bay at d'Albora Marinas.

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Photos from the opening of Tomaree Museum's pop-up exhibition at Broughtons at the Bay in Nelson Bay on Monday, December 21.  Picture: Henk Tobbe

Port Stephens historical treasure recovered from Salamander Bay Recycling, donated to Tomaree Museum

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

15 December, 2020

A 190 year old map of Port Stephens has become the prized possession of Tomaree Museum Association.

Staff at Salamander Bay Recycling recently recovered the map of Port Stephens, dated from the 1830s, and found an excited recipient in the museum association.

Gerard McClafferty, general manager of Salamander Bay Recycling, said that the map had been uncovered by staff in among a load of items that had been dropped off at the centre by an unknown resident.

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RARE FIND: Julie Gallagher from Salamander Bay Recycling presents the map found by staff among donations to the centre to Tomaree Museum Association chair Ian Farnsworth.

Tomaree Museum Association hosting free pop-up exhibition in Nelson Bay

Ellie-Marie Watts
​Port Stephens Examiner

11 November, 2020

A rare map loaned to Tomaree Museum Association (TMA) will be one of the historically significant and interesting artifacts on show at a pop-up exhibition being held in Nelson Bay during the summer holiday period.

The map, drawn up in the early 1900s, is a proposed design for the development of Pindimar City which was hoped to act as a port to international shipping and naval base for the Pacific Fleet.

The map alongside story panels detailing the Port's natural and human history, audio-visuals and artifacts, artworks by local artists and information on East Coast shipwrecks will also be part of TMA's free exhibition, which has been funded through a Port Stephens Council vibrant spaces grant.

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INTERESTING: Tomaree Museum Association chair Ian Farnsworth with members Mary Sillince and Chris Peters. Pictured at the back is the Pindimar City maps which will be available to see in Nelson Bay in December.

Tomaree Headland Heritage Group approves plan of management for Shoal Bay site

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

23 July, 2020

A decision by Port Stephens Council to develop a plan of management for the Tomaree headland at Shoal Bay was a significant step forward in maintaining the site's heritage value.

Councillors at the July 14 meeting agreed to make a request to Tomaree Lodge owners [Department of Family and Community Services] for a plan of management for the headland site once the buildings are vacated. Councillors also agreed to investigate additional car parking, public transport options, amenities and appropriate signage.

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UNIFIED: Tomaree Headland Heritage Group's Peter Clough, Judy Washington, Nigel Dique, Ian Farnsworth, Dennis Corr, Tom Lupton and Frank Future.

Diamond python no obstacle for Tomaree Museum volunteers at Bobs Farm

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner

23 June, 2020

A live diamond python proved to be no obstacle for a team of volunteers who helped transform the Bobs Farm Community Hall into a temporary home for the recently established Tomaree Museum Association.

The TMA's publicity officer John 'Stinker' Clarke said the python was spotted by volunteers who took part in a winter clean working bee at the hall last Sunday.

"A team of committee and member volunteers managed to remove the odd piece of broken furniture, evidence of resident mice and a diamond python as they gave the historic building a new lease of life," Clarke said.

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WORKING BEE: Volunteers worked through Sunday morning to transform the Bobs Farm hall into a temporary home for the museum.

History buffs keen for a Port Stephens hub

Rebecca Riddle
Newcastle Weekly

4 October, 2020

"Port Stephens was once home to the world’s largest oyster farm, the training ground for 20,000 American and Australian soldiers under General MacArthur, and the site of Bert Hinkler’s crash landing.

It is its historical richness that is the driving force behind Tomaree Museum Association’s push to establish a museum within the coastal town."

Port Stephens' local identity John Clarke is inspecting a donated oyster barge he hopes to display if his museum dream comes to light.

Do You Remember?

Tomaree Museum Association
Newcastle Weekly

25th August, 2020

Up until the 1970s giant lobsters to 10kg crawled unchallenged over the reefs around Broughton Island. 

Known as “spiders” by the commercial fishermen the monster crustaceans were considered a nuisance as they jammed the entrances to their lobster traps preventing their smaller cousins from entering.

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Ray Alley photo collection donated to museum

Charlie Elias
Port Stephens Examiner

13th August 2020

"Nearly 50 years of work from one of the Port's most prolific photographers will go on display at the Tomaree Museum Association (TMA) to be preserved for future generations.

The Ray Alley lifetime photographic collection was this week donated to the TMA by the late photographer's son and daughter, Matthew and Jordyn Alley."

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Matthew and Jordan Alley with John Clarke

New Tomaree Headland Heritage group unveiled

Charlie Elias
Port Stephens Examiner

18th June 2020

Plans to strengthen the Tomaree headland as a tourist hub featuring bush walks, a museum, historic site and an educational and heritage centre have been unveiled by the newly-badged Tomaree Headland Heritage Group (THHG).

Formerly known as the Friends of Tomaree Headland, the THHG said it would work with other stakeholders and interest groups - including the eight community groups who made up 'Friends' - in steering the project once Tomaree Lodge has been vacated as a residential facility.

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VISION: Peter Clough and Penny Meharg at the front with members of the Tomaree Headland Heritage Group (THHG).

Tomaree Museum Association turns focus to developing a virtual museum collection

Charlie Elias
Port Stephens Examiner

10th April 2020

In response to the COVID-19 crisis the Tomaree Museum Association (TMA) has turned its focus to developing a website and a virtual museum collection in order to keep the community and stakeholders updated and informed.

TMA chairperson Ian Farnsworth said that work - including a range of new initiatives and achievements - on the museum project had been progressing through the use of electronic communication.

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ON THE GO: Members of the newly formed Tomaree Museum Trust (from left) Chris Peters, Ian Farnsworth and John Clarke in front of the Tomaree Lodge site in Shoal Bay.

$15 million plans for museum at Tomaree Lodge site

Charlie Elias
Port Stephens Examiner

1st January 2020

Less than 12 months after the Friends of Tomaree Headland (FoTH) was formed to "provide a strong voice to uphold the historic, cultural, marine and tourism value of this natural paradise", a breakaway group with its sole focus on establishing a museum has emerged.

The Tomaree Museum Committee (TMC), still in its embryonic stage, has plans for a historic and culturally significant museum on the Tomaree Lodge site at Shoal Bay, once it has been vacated, at a cost estimated around the $15 million mark.

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TRUST: Members of the newly formed Tomaree Museum Trust (from left) Chris Peters, Ian Farnsworth and John Clarke in front of the Tomaree Lodge site in Shoal Bay.

Something Fishy: 
"We need a museum" to honour early days

John `Stinker' Clarke
Port Stephens Examiner

24th July 2019

I have just returned from a trip along the south coast from Eden back home to Fingal Bay. 

Many of the coastal towns had magnificent museums honouring the aboriginal people and the pioneering families.

Made me think - what do we have? Not much. 

Certainly nothing to compare to the southern towns. 

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HISTORY: Teramby Road to S.S. Karuah at the New Wharf, Nelson Bay, New Year's Day 1912. Photo supplied.