Some time ago I read that there was a model made by John Grono, the pioneer Hawkesbury shipbuilder, and it could be found in the Hawkesbury Regional Museum at Windsor, New South Wales. Not seeing the model on previous visits, I made a point of looking for it the next time I was there.
On a recent visit in January, I viewed the items on display but could not find Grono’s model ship. On inquiry I learnt that it was in the museum’s collection but currently not on display. I was informed that the model, a favourite in the museum’s collection, had been in a recent exhibition. I was led to a back room and there it was.
Described as a ‘gaff rugged cutter’, it was not made by Grono but by his grandson Thomas. From an accompanying card I leant that the hull was hand carved from an off cut of a stanchion that was part of the South Creek railway viaduct.
Later that day I revisited historic Ebenezer church on the banks of the Hawkesbury River at Portland Head. After paying my respects to John Grono whose grave is situated close to the church’s entrance, I took notice of the fine book case on the porch wall. It was owned by the Scottish born, first minister at Ebenezer, John McGarvie. The book case. another piece of information I read about since my last visit, was made for him out of Hawkesbury red cedar.
The visit was concluded with a hot chocolate and scones while taking in the beautiful, relaxing view down to the river. I never tire of visiting this place of memories and stories. And the lesson for the day – don’t be afraid to ask because you might be pleasantly surprised by the response.