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Chamber ‘adopts’ Alma

02 Dec 2014

Chamber ‘adopts’ Alma Image

The Docklands Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Alma Doepel restoration team in an attempt to raise funds for the completion of the project.

With at least a further $1.7 million needed to complete the project, the chamber will be promoting and educating the local business community about the restoration project in order to help secure more funds.

“They’re the peak body for commercial organisations in Docklands so it’s very exciting that they’ve decided to adopt us,” Alma Doepel restoration director Peter Harris said.

“The chamber is so supportive and positive, it’s very encouraging,” Mr Harris said.

In particular, the chamber will encourage its business network and the local community to take part in the “Buy a Plank” scheme.

According to chamber vice-president Bill Reid, all businesses in Docklands should get behind the project by raising $500 to buy a plank for the restoration of Alma’s hull.

He said the chamber planned to put together an exhibition on Harbour Esplanade providing information about the Alma Doepel’s history and restoration and charting the fundraising progress.

“It will be a static display, possibly an open container people can walk through, with information on display and a graphic charting the fundraising process,” Mr Reid said.

“We want to encourage people to donate and to get the Alma back on the water.”

“We think it’s a great thing to have here in Docklands because in contributes to the maritime heritage of Docklands that we need to preserve.”

Owned by not-for-profit company Sale and Adventure Limited, the 110-year-old historic three-masted topsail schooner has been under restoration at Shed 2 in Docklands since 2009.

It’s the last of its kind in Australia and is expected to become a key part of the Harbour Esplanade redevelopment.

The chamber has been a vocal supporter of the restoration project and in June hosted a fundraising event on board the Lady Cutler to make local stakeholders aware of the project.

It had been hoped that the ship would be back in the water by Christmas in order to avoid the damaging effects of the summer climate on the ship’s wood, but Mr Harris said this would not be possible.

“The volunteer team continue to work, but until we get some major funding, the professional team won’t be back,” Mr Harris said.

Around $800,000 is needed to get the ship back in the water and a further $900,000 to get it fitted-out and rigged.

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