What a great night at Seaworks! Marg and I arrived just after 1700 hours to find our Promotions Officer Andrew Cohen already hard at work. “Need a hand Andrew?” – “nope, it’s all under control”.

We hadn’t been to Seaworks previously so we wandered around, checked out the pictures and memorabilia in the Pirate’s Tavern, met up with the flow of arrivals carrying salads and desserts, and chattered on. Andrew looked as if he had nearly finished organising the setting up of the area and laying out the silver and gold cutlery (plastic knives, forks and spoons) so it seemed a good time to ask again if he required help – I gathered from the glance he gave me that things were ok..

With nothing to do and the numbers swelling, we all wandered down the dock to view the tied up shipping – the Sea Shepherd in its camouflage grey and black, Tenacious, Ocean Warrior with its water cannon and looking to me a bit like a submarine with a modified conning tower, and of course Chris and Andrew’s 20 foot Golant Gaffer lost amongst the monster sized ships at dock around it.

Back in the Tavern conversations were interrupted by Andrew as he presented us with entrees of calamari, beef and chicken. He didn’t look as if he needed any help, but later as he announced that the main course was ready, I offered again anyway. “An hour or so ago would have been useful!” was all the thanks I got!

I must say that the barbecue was great, thanks Andrew, and the tasty salads and desserts were eagerly demolished, prompting an exchange of information and recipes amongst the providers.

 The highlight of the evening was of course the pictorial presentation of some of Williamstown’s maritime history by Geoff Dougall, local historian and early president of the Williamstown Maritime association - the forerunner to the Seaworks Foundation.

We owe a lot to people like Geoff who make the effort to gather and preserve memorabilia from our past to remind future generations of what went before.

As well as bringing back to us childhood memories, we all learned a lot about the early days of Williamstown and the people and activities of much earlier times. What hard conditions and workplaces many of our predecessors experienced and endured by our current standards.

Thanks again Geoff, and all the best with your forthcoming book.

Thanks also to Maurice Boyd, the president of the Pirates Tavern who kindly donated the venue and the BBQ for the night. All you “would be” pirates out there – Maurice has extended a welcome to each of you to join him aboard his vessel. Apparently walking the plank is optional!

And as they said - “a good time was had by all”!