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The River News, Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 5
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line the river front
PADDLE steamers converged on Waikerie
for an over night stay on Sunday as part of
their voyage to Chowilla Station for its 150th
Visiting vessels included the Marion and
Amphibious, both from Mannum, and the Oscar
W, from Goolwa.
The latter offered a cruise to Lock 2 on Sunday,
when Waikerie woman Vera Steinert was among
Mrs Steinert will celebrate her 90th birthday
on Friday, and the cruise was an early gift from
The cruise had special meaning for Mrs
Steinert, whose family owned Watcho’s Landing,
which is now the Caudo Vineyard property at
Mrs Steinert said growing up on the river’s edge
in the early 20th century meant she saw plenty of
paddle steamers pass by.
“I’d seen (the Oscar W) before but never been
on it,” she said.
Mrs Steinert currently resides at Riversgate
and has a family consisting of four children, eight
grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
“I love the river and being in a country area,”
Other local families and visitors to the area
featured on the Oscar W’s passenger list on Sunday.
The vessel is more than 100 years old and was
previously used as a work boat, carrying cargo
including wool and equipment for building the river
locks and Goolwa barrages.
Following decades saw the Oscar W passed
around to various owners and receiving restoration
works before it was recommissioned at Goolwa in
Alexandrina Council took over ownership in
2001, with volunteers maintaining the vessel since
then. The Oscar W began offering cruises in 2011
and has played a significant role in the Goolwa
Wooden Boat Festival in recent years.
For more information, visit: www.oscar-w.info
ALSO on its way to Chowilla Station’s 150th
anniversary celebrations was the Amphibious, which
is usually moored at Mannum.
THE ps Oscar W moored on the Waikerie river front
overnight before continuing its voyage to Chowilla
MORE than 45 historic
boats from Mildura to
the Murray Mouth will
converge on Renmark
this Sunday to celebrate
Chowilla Station’s 150th
The boats will take part
in a ‘Grand Flotilla Cruise’
on Sunday, September 21, at
3.30pm, led by Renmark’s ps
The Chowilla Lea,
originally built in 1920, and
the Lotus, originally built in
1910, will join the flotilla after
being restored by volunteers.
The boats belonged to the
Robertson family, and will
be joined by other historic
vessels from towns around
the Murray, including Red
Cliffs, Wentworth, Mannum
Andrew Cook, owner of
the ps Daisy, will bring the
vessel over from Cullulleraine
for its maiden voyage as a
The Daisy was built at
Echuca in 1896 and was
operated as a light draught
cargo/hawking steamer until
about 1906, when it was sold
to a fisherman at Menindee.
In 1943 it was towed to
Mildura, where a French
family used it as a residence
until the vessel sank.
The Daisy was salvaged
in 2001, with restoration
works beginning in 2007
and an official launch being
conducted earlier this year.
Chowilla Station’s James
Robertson said he was
pleased the event had brought
historic vessels together.
“To see all of these
steamers and wooden boats
on the river at one time will
be an amazing spectacle,”
Along with the flotilla,
cruises will run on Friday,
September 19, and Saturday,
Chowilla Station will hold
anniversary celebrations on
Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm,
featuring entertainment from
the SA Detachment of the
Royal Australian Navy Band
along with river cruises,
blade and machine shearing,
bus tours of the property, food
stalls and historic displays.
More information about
the event is available from the
Renmark information centre
HOTSPOTS TO SEE THE
18, 3pm: Vessels arrive at
Friday, September 19,
11am: Departing Renmark in
conjunction with memorial
service on board ps Oscar W
for recently deceased river
boat captain Syd Redfern.
Friday, September 19,
3pm: Arrivals at Wilkadene
21, 10am: Boats on display,
one-hour cruises on the ps
Industry and ps Oscar W.
21, 3.30pm: Grand Flotilla
Monday, September 22,
8am: Vessels depart Chowilla.
Monday, September 22,
1pm: Arrivals at Renmark.
WAIKERIE woman Vera Steinert (centre) received an early 90th birthday gift on
Sunday when she cruised on the Oscar W with family members. She is pictured
with Robert and Kath Steinert, along with Roger and Gloria Zeuner. Robert is
Mrs Steinert’s son and Gloria is her daughter.
CREW aboard the ps Oscar W, ahead of its cruise from Waikerie to Lock 2 and
back on Sunday.
PHOTOS: Ryneisha Bollard
Grand cruise to Chowilla for 150th birthday
WOOL bales from Chowilla Station are loaded onto the ps
Tarella. This photo was taken in the late 1800s.
WILLIAM ‘Bill’ Robertson (left), the great-grandfather of James
Robertson, standing on the Chowilla Lea.
WEIR pool water levels on the River
Murray upstream of Blanchetown (Lock 1)
and Waikerie (Lock 2) are being raised as
part of a program to improve the health of
the river environment.
Department of Environment, Water and Natural
Resources operations manager Jarrod Eaton said
the action would increase the natural variability
of water levels and improve the health of river
ecosystems, along with wetland and floodplain
“We have partially raised weir pool water levels
upstream of Lock 1 and 2 now, and may raise them
up to a further 20cm during spring,” he said.
“The action is not expected to adversely affect
irrigators, farmers or property owners.
“The department will stay in touch with the
local community over the next few months to keep
them informed of operations, and to identify any
The weir pool manipulation project is part of
the $100 million Riverine Recovery Project (RRP)
funded by the Federal and South Australian
governments – which aims to ensure that South
Australia’s River Murray wetlands remain healthy
far into the future.
Local weir levels raised
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