Norwegian-Australian luncheon celebrates the Wyatt Earp

A luncheon held at Hadleys Hotel in Hobart on 27 September 2019, commemorated the maritime history of the Norwegian fishing vessel Fanefjord and her later Antarctic voyages as the Wyatt Earp.

Organised by the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) Club and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Canberra, the luncheon celebrated the 100th anniversary of the launch of the ship in Molde, Norway (27 September 1919), the 80th anniversary of the ship’s purchase by the Australian Government for the American adventurer Lincoln Ellsworth, and the 60th anniversary of the ship’s loss off the Queensland coast in a storm (see Australian Antarctic Magazine 36: 28–29, 2019).

Special guest, 96 year old Mr Norman Tame, attended the luncheon as the only surviving crewman from the HMAS Wyatt Earp’s 1947–48 Antarctic voyage. Mr Tame rang the ship’s bell, in the strict Navy tradition, at the opening and closing of the event.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Australia and the ANARE Club Past President unveiled a commemorative brass plaque recording the ship’s maritime history, which was presented to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania for permanent display.

David Dodd