New home for maritime museum in Kyogle – only 80km from the sea

ABOVE: Wayne Finch at his home in Kyogle and in the background is the ship’s lookout his father built. Photo: Susanna Freymark
Susanna Freymark

For two years, Wayne Finch has been searching for a suitable site for a maritime museum in Kyogle.

And he has found it.

Wayne’s Highfield home has been heaving with the weight of his father’s maritime memories.

Frank Finch OAM served at sea for 46 years and when he returned to Kyogle, his home became a homage to his love of life at sea.

Frank even built a ship above the garage, complete with lookout and cabin. For years people came to the house to see the ‘home museum’.

The lookout will go to the new museum home along with uniforms, radio transistors, ship paraphernalia, models and photos

Frank’s son, Wayne followed in his father’s footsteps and went to sea for 50 years.

Both parents have died, with Frank’s death only two years ago, and Wayne is living in his parents’ home with the memorabilia.

Fay and Frank Finch of Kyogle. Photo: Contributed

“I didn’t want to be the one to see Dad’s memories go down the gurgler,” Wayne said.

Most of the items are now in 20-foot storage containers until they can be placed at the new museum on Summerland Way.

Wayne is thrilled about establishing a maritime museum at the former Tyres More building as you come into Kyogle, just past the big turkey.

“It has room, disabled access and undercover parking,” Wayne said.

Initially, the site will be rented with plans to purchase the property in the future.

“It’s a big relief now we have somewhere to put everything,” he said.

Wayne Finch with one of the maps his father collected. Photo: Susanna Freymark

Kevin Alvos who constructed the ship’s lookout in the backyard at Highfield, will be helping to take it to the museum.

“We put it up without a crane and we’ll take it down without a crane,” Kevin said.

The maritime collection will be moved to the new site in March and Wayne is keen for volunteers to help move and catalogue the collection.

The binnacle with compass that will be at the entrance to the new Finch Maritime Museum. Photo: Susanna Freymark

He is also seeking sponsorship to help pay the rent.

Wayne reckons the Finch Maritime Museum is the only ‘bush’ maritime museum in Australia. Most similar museums are located by the sea.

With support from the Brisbane and Newcastle branches of the Maritime Union of Australia, Kyogle’s maritime museum is going full steam ahead .

The board behind the museum has 11 members, all with an interest in maritime history.

Anyone interested in helping Wayne set up the museum and to keep it running can call him on 0408 305 098.

An old postcard of the ship Frank Finch built in his backyard at Highfield in Kyogle.

Welcome to Richmond Valley and Kyogle news

Scroll to Top
Like an alert when we add a story? Yes please No thanks