Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Wartime gun restored to former glory

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Whyalla City Council, Media Release, 12 March 2021

After nearly 20 years of waiting, a rare World War II artefact has finally been restored to its former glory and unveiled to the public.

The 40mm Bofur gun – one of only 11 produced during the wartime year of 1942 – has been part of the Whyalla Maritime Museum collection since the early 1990s, desperately awaiting restoration due to age-related deterioration.

Bofur gun at Whyalla
The 40mm Bofur gun before and after restoration. Photo: contributed.

But now, thanks to the generosity of CSL Australia, this valuable piece of Australian wartime history has finally been restored to its former glory and is now available for the public to see.

At the unveiling, City of Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said it was very satisfying that the project had finally come to fruition.

“To see it restored in this way, adding value and interest to the Maritime Museum collection – helping further entice tourists to our city while preserving an important part of Australia’s wartime history – is very satisfying,” Mayor McLaughlin said.

“I’d like to sincerely thank CSL Australia for their sponsorship – it’s genuinely encouraging to see locally-based businesses invest in the Whyalla community.

“I’d also like to thank our Tourism Assets Development Officer Paul Mazourek for his tenacity and unwavering commitment in following this project through to completion.”

CSL Trans-Shipment Coordinator Wendy Armour said CSL was proud to be involved in the communities in which they operated.

“We are pleased we have the opportunity to contribute to this important project for the Whyalla Maritime Museum,” Ms Armour said.

Bofur gun unveiling
Celebrating history: From left, back, CSL Trans-Shipment Fleet Superintendent Rolando Alejo Jr, Cr David Knox, Cr Bill Simpsons, Cr Phil Stone, Cr Tamy Pond, Council CEO Justin Commons. Front, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin, CSL Coordinator Wendy Armour and Council Tourism Assets Development Officer Paul Mazourek. Photo: contributed.

“CSL understands the important role of maritime activities in Australia, both today and in the past, and we support the continuing historical education of the Whyalla community and those who visit Whyalla.

“The CSL Donations Committee this year wanted to acknowledge not only maritime history, but also support the tourism industry of Whyalla after a tough 12 months.”

The gun was originally donated to the museum in the early 1990s from the Australian Army’s Keswick Barracks. It has now been carefully placed onto a concrete display pad in the museum gardens, accompanied by interpretive signage outlining anti-aircraft gun information and history.

The project also benefited the local economy, with all of the work – including the actual restoration – carried out by local contractors.

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