PRESERVATION work on a Mornington monument commemorating the landing of English navigator Matthew Flinders has been recognised by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
Work to restore the Matthew Flinders monument at Schnapper Point began in 2019, and the Mornington and District Historical Society and other community groups were so impressed by the result, they nominated the restorer Simon Lyne from Ventia for the award in recognition of his outstanding skills and commitment to local heritage.
Mr Lyne said restoring the monument work involved securing it with new mortar and applying gold leaf lettering to the commemoration plaque outlining the landing by Matthew Flinders near Mornington in 1802.
“The monument had been beaten by the elements over the years and was in need of repairs to ensure its integrity and safety,” he said.
A scissor lift was used to reach the top of the nine-metre high monument and Mr Lyne said he was in for a big surprise when he reached the summit.
“There was a massive gull nesting in the top of it,” he said. “I don’t know who was more scared.”
This is Mr Lyne’s second award for his heritage work, after restoring a 19th century fountain that had been hit by a truck. The fountain is now admired and used to fill water bottles by visitors to Mornington Park.
Flinders’ visit was made during the first survey of Port Phillip and the stone memorial constructed in 1952.
It is believed Flinders charted much of the bay from the Schnapper Point headland. He is credited with being the first person to circumnavigate Australia, between 1801 and 1803. Kuring-gai man Bungaree was an integral part of his crew on HMS Investigator.
Flinders was 40 when he died in 1814 and his remains were discovered in 2019 under Euston Station in London, which had previously been St James’ cemetery.
Details about the awards and a video are at shape.mornpen.vic.gov.au/awards-heritage-projects