Female president takes the helm at maritime museum

February 18, 2021 BY

The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum held its AGM late last month.

THE Queenscliffe Maritime Museum has elected the first female president in its history.

June Negri was chosen by her peers on the committee to take over from outgoing president Les Irving Dusting at the museum’s AGM, which was held inside the Wharf Street building on January 30.

Mrs Negri and her husband Peter have been involved with the museum for many years.

She served as the employed museum administration officer for seven years and as secretary for another seven years.

In these roles, she was instrumental in developing links with the Borough of Queenscliffe, other community organisations, and the museum’s group of volunteers.

Mrs Negri was elected unanimously by the new committee, which includes new members Dean Zanoni, Rodney Nicholson, Andrew Scorgie, Peter Crofts and re-elected treasurer John Burgess, as well as incumbent members Les Irving Dusting, Martin Warneke, Carolyn McKinnon and John Micallef.

“The new committee is committed to helping me bond volunteers and other community organisations so that the museum can continue to play a significant role in the Maritime Borough of Queenscliffe and help people connect with the Borough’s historic and current day maritime activities,” she said.

She acknowledged the work of outgoing committee members Colin White and Jennifer Gilbert, and said the pair had devoted much time and effort to the museum, especially during the past year when COVID-19 restrictions kept the museum closed for many months.

The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum’s origins date to when the lifeboat Queenscliffe was offered to the Borough of Queenscliffe for care and display. A committee was created at a public meeting on March 13, 1980, to investigate how the lifeboat could be preserved.

This led to the formation of the Queenscliffe Lifeboat Preservation Society Incorporated, which oversaw the early stages of restoration of the vessel and the establishment of a museum that opened in 1986 to display the lifeboat.

The museum has since expanded to cover the maritime history of Queenscliff, Southern Port Phillip and Bass Strait.

In 1998, its name was changed to the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum to better reflect the ever-expanding collection.

Since then, a boatshed has been built to house exhibits and provide workshop space. Items continue to be added to the collection, donated by individuals, families, collectors and companies.

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