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The Alma’s return wades closer

Jack Hayes

The decade-long restorative journey of Docklands’ favourite tall ship, the Alma Doepel, is set for completion with the vessel’s revised return to water date planned for October 7 or 8. 

Although the usual fanfare this momentous occasion would conjure has been stymied by COVID-19 restrictions, virtual viewing and celebrations will continue unhindered, marking an historic date in Docklands’ rich maritime history. 

With the final confirmed date still at the mercy of a purpose-built crane ship’s voyage down Australia’s east coast, Alma Doepel’s restoration director Dr Peter Harris told Docklands News his team was completing a few final touches in readiness for the ship’s launch. 

“The crane ship will arrive into Melbourne on October 6, from there we have a window of one or two days, with October 8 looking the most likely date,” Dr Harris said. 

“We are in the process of fixing the nameboard and gold-plated beak on, which features acanthus ornaments, popular in ancient Greece and Rome; they symbolise rebirth, immortality and resurrection – fairly apt considering the Alma’s history.”

“Sadly, we won’t have the Lady Cutler on hand as a spectator boat, however, we will be livestreaming the event, with those details to be confirmed closer to the date.”

Stopping short of encouraging mass congregation, Dr Harris said locals could grab vantage points around the harbour with views of North Wharf during their allotted hours of daily exercise. 

The event, in conjunction with the City of Melbourne, Development Victoria, the Docklands Chamber of Commerce and Lendlease, will be promoted through a range of different mediums, and with the encouragement of a close friend of the Alma, in Channel Nine News presenter Peter Hitchener •

For more information: facebook.com/AlmaDoepel

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