Axel Stenross officially opens new gallery

Axel Stenross Maritime Museum has welcomed some new additions to its facilities, including a new gallery which will display a collection honouring a Port Lincoln boat-building pioneer.

The museum officially opened the Lang Foundation Gallery on Saturday which will feature photos and restored examples of work from boat builder Jack McFarlane.

The Lang Foundation funded for the new gallery and founder Roger Lang was in attendance for the official opening.

Building of the gallery took place over nine months and the project involved two years of planning and designing.

Museum president Mike Roberts said the museum was indebted to Mr Lang and the foundation for their ongoing support.

"Roger, we at the museum and indeed the community of Port Lincoln owe the Lang Foundation so much for your ongoing support of our endeavours to present the maritime history of our city and region," he said.

Mr Lang, who was honoured with a plaque and honorary lifetime membership, said he had been impressed with the way the museum had developed over the years and the outstanding exhibits on display.

"They're always stuck for a bit more room and this was an opportunity to provide that," he said.

"It's very nice to be honoured in this way and it will be a wonderful gallery when it's completed."

Items are still being added and when complete the gallery will display the history linked to Mr McFarlane, who built the boat shed on the museum site in 1930 with his father Tyzak.

Among the items in display in the gallery at the moment is the cargo lighter 'Vici', which was built by Mr McFarlane on the site in 1936 for use with ketches 'Harold' and 'Ena'.

Curator Andrew Chappell who headed the project said it was important to recognise this history as Mr McFarlane was the genesis of boat building on the museum site.

"It became apparent in later years that there was an earlier boat builder on this site and we had some of his vessels the whole time," he said.

The museum also received a new item, a scale model of the topsail schooner 'One and All' from Richard and Dianne Mollison of Adelaide.

Mr Mollison said after hearing from the Langs about the new facilities, and knowing the One and All's association with Port Lincoln, he decided to donate the model to the museum.

"We knew it would go to a good home and be looked after so people can come here and enjoy it, rather than have it locked away," he said.

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