World War I and World War II naval history
A new display of panels, banners, artefacts, model ships and dioramas has been completed, telling the story of Townsville’s association with the two world wars at sea, with as focal point the Battle of the Coral Sea (4-8 May 1942), which was fought between Japanese and Allied naval forces only about 885 km (477 nautical miles) north-east of Townsville. The showpieces amongst the models are HMAS Nestor (dedicated to Neville George who sailed on the ship and later founded the Museum) and the aircraft-carrier USS Lexington. A model of HMAS Albatross, an early seaplane carrier, represents the history of the Royal Australian Navy between the world wars. Also on show is a model of HMAS Townsville, a Bathurst class Australian Minesweeper. Enhancing the display are a series of short video documentaries, courtesy of the Australian National Maritime Museum and Schindler Productions, featuring, amongst others, the story of the Australian submarine AE2, Australian troop transports during World War I and the trailer for the documentary of the Z Special Forces vessel Krait.
Women’s War 2
The Women's War 2 exhibition , consisting of display panels and display cases arranged around a mock-up of a typical North Queensland living-room during the war, complete with a piano and blackout curtains.This exhibition tells some of the stories about life in Townsville during the years 1939-1945 from a young woman's perspective. The twelve participating ladies whose experiences are showcased had all worked in different local industries in the defence of the country, many of them associated with maritime industries.
Doug Tarca: Townsville's Reef Tourism Pioneer
The Maritime Museum of Townsville has started planning a new display, featuring Doug Tarca, who pioneered the establishment of Reef tourism in Townsville during the 1970s and 1980s that was affordable and available to both the local community and interstate and overseas visitors. Well-known projects were his Personalities Restaurant with the adjacent Tarca Coral Gardens shop and showroom (South Townsville) and his Reef Link operation between Townsville and John Brewer Reef featuring a fast catamaran, a pontoon for mooring, snorkeling and scuba diving and a specialised reef viewing vessel with underwater windows, the Manta aka Yellow Sub. The culmination of his tourism enterprises was the John Brewer floating hotel, the first of its kind in the world. Little that is tangible has been left of Tarca's operations, but his legacy lives on. The Museum's display will feature the original models of the Yellow Sub and the hotel, photos, personal memories, historical photographs and historical video material. The launch of the display is estimated to take place in April 2018
Image courtesy of Townsville CityLibraries