News

A Las Balsas party?

RAFT ANNIVERSARY: Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum volunteers Robert Jones and John Colville pictured last year with the Las Balsas raft on display in the museum.
RAFT ANNIVERSARY: Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum volunteers Robert Jones and John Colville pictured last year with the Las Balsas raft on display in the museum.

THERE is a possibility that a celebratory event will be held to mark this year's 40th anniversary of the arrival of the Las Balsas raft expedition in Ballina from Ecuador.

Ballina Shire Council in December agreed to a report being prepared on options to commemorate the anniversary.

This followed a report at the November council meeting on costs associated with the preservation of two other wooden vessels in the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum where the Las Balsas raft is housed, and costs of upkeep of the museum's building which needs to be re-roofed because of asbestos sheeting.

That report gave an option to councillors of "de-accession" or removal of the raft from the museum's collection, noting that it failed to meet heritage guidelines.

The councillors will meet at the museum for a workshop this month to further discuss those issues.

Cr Jeff Johnson raised the idea of a raft anniversary event in December, and his motion was supported unanimously.

"The unexpected arrival of the Las Balsas rafts in Ballina 39 years ago is something unique to Ballina and should be promoted as such," he said.

Ron Creber, curator of the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum where the Las Balsas raft is the centrepiece, welcomed the idea of a broader community celebration.

He said the volunteers at the museum were already discussing ways to mark the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the three rafts, and were keen to particularly get local schools and service clubs involved.

Owner of the tourism attraction Knockrow Castle, Tony Gilding, spoke in favour of the anniversary celebration. One of the promises he made as a Greens candidate at the last council election was to mark the occasion.

The three balsa wood rafts were crewed by 12 men of various nationalities, led by Spaniard Vital Alsar, and sailed across the Pacific with the prevailing winds and currents.

They aimed to sail the three rafts to Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, where a previous expedition of one raft arrived in 1970.

But they were driven south by a strong southerly current, and arrived at Ballina on November 2, 1973, where two of the rafts were towed across the bar by the Royal Australian Navy landing craft HMAS Labuan and local trawlers.

The raft currently on show in the museum is built from those surviving two rafts.

The third raft, too water-logged to be towed, was set adrift and ended up washing ashore on a beach north of Newcastle.

The 12 men of the Las Balsas expedition had spent 178 days at sea.

A decade after the landing, a reunion was held in Ballina and three former crew members attended.



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

Reggae group is ready to do battle

READY TO REGGAE: Jarulah Slabb is getting ready to compete in the upcoming Tweed Battle of the Bands competition.

Tweed Battle of the Bands 2017

NSW Blues all smiles after Murwillumbah visit

Blues star James Maloney was pumped by a community visit to Murwillumbah on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"We can have a significant effect on people”

Siege inquest: Police took too long to act after shooting

DAY THAT SHOCKED THE NATION: A panicked hostage runs to tactical response officers after escaping from the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney.

The coroner is handing down his findings into the Lindt Cafe siege.

Local Partners

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

All bets on Judah to win battle to become the Voice

Judah Kelly from The Voice.

Judah Kelly is the clear favourite to win the competition.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Reggae group is ready to do battle

READY TO REGGAE: Jarulah Slabb is getting ready to compete in the upcoming Tweed Battle of the Bands competition.

Tweed Battle of the Bands 2017

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!