VETERAN Tasmanian mariner Bern Cuthbertson, 88, rarely steps aboard a boat these days.
But he has made an exception this weekend to sail back to Flinders Island with the figurehead of a vessel that sunk off the island 100 years ago and is still visible off the north-east coast of Cape Barren Island.
The figurehead from the Norwegian iron-hulled barque the Farsund has become one of Mr Cuthbertson's most treasured possessions since he bought it for seventy pounds from a Bridport fisherman who had salvaged it more than 60 years ago.
Mr Cuthbertson, who became nationally famous for his historical re-enactments of the voyages of George Bass and Matthew Flinders, said that the caradog (figurehead) was special because it had been carved from timber.
The figurehead will be a central part of activities organised by the Flinders Island community to commemorate the centenary of the Farsund shipwreck.
Peter Rhodes, one of the organisers, said that an exhibition at the Lady Barron memorial hall will also feature 100 photographs of the Farsund taken over the years as well as shipwreck artifacts collected from the wreck-strewn coastline of the eastern Bass Strait islands.
``Activities this weekend will include scenic flights and charter boat trips to the site of the shipwreck to see what remains of the vessel that has been visible to islanders for the past 100 years,'' Mr Rhodes said.
The photographs include 25 taken by fisheries officer Stanley Fowler between 1938 and 1943 that have not been shown publicly before.
The Farsund weekend on Flinders was the brainchild of another resident and fellow organiser Gerald Willis.
``I was reading an old book, on December 18, last year and came across the date of the shipwreck and realised that we had to mark the occasion in some way,'' Mr Willis said.
The Farsund 100 exhibition, including the figurehead, will be on display today and tomorrow at the Lady Barron memorial hall.
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