Sir Wilfred Lawson

Another piece of maritime history for Edithburgh Museum

By Jenny Oldland

Not much is known about the sailing history of the two-masted ketch the “Sir Wilfred Lawson” (1878-1908); however, a tip-off from a local spear fisherman led members of a State Heritage maritime expedition to her final resting place off Port Moorowie in 1994. 

What divers Cosmos Coroneos (State Heritage Branch Marine Archaeologist), Kelvin Taylor (Ardrossan) and Stuart Moody (Maitland) found when they explored the Gilbert Reef were mostly iron remains and, remarkably, the ship’s bell, which was well preserved considering it had been under water for 86 years !

Last week, just over 100 years since the ketch went down, the bell was returned to the community after being conserved by the Department for Environment and Heritage.

It will remain on permanent display in the Edithburgh Museum, along with a pictorial record depicting what little is known about the vessel.