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Mornington Boat Hire wins Heritage Award

Paul Pingiaro, owner of Mornington Boat Hire, was thrilled to recently receive his second Mornington Peninsula Heritage award – this year for signage based on his research of the story of his business. Starting life as ‘Irvine’s Royal Public Baths’, Paul found that as early as 1879 the Mornington sea baths had evolved to offer a kiosk and boat hire venue. In those days thousands of day trippers came by ferry to bathe at Schnapper Point, Mornington.

A few decades later the boat hire part of the operation was moved along the bay slightly when ANZAC hero Sam Gallick built a boatshed in 1918 to house it – on the exact site that Mornington Boat Hire is today. The story of the boatshed and Sam Gallick is now featured on a sign at Mornington Boat hire, for all to enjoy.

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Mornington Peninsula Shire, recently presented Mornington Boat Hire with an award for Excellence in Interpretive Signage. This award recognises Interpretive Signage of a high quality that acknowledges a person or place that has contributed to the Heritage of the Mornington Peninsula.

The 2019 Mornington Peninsula Heritage Awards recognise those in the community who have demonstrated excellence in retention, restoration, enhancement, interpretation and reuse of heritage places; including public and private places, buildings, gardens and objects. Heritage places are an integral part of the Mornington Peninsula community and the Mornington Peninsula Heritage Awards highlight a commitment to celebrate and promote this heritage, building community awareness of our heritage.  

This year there were 11 recipients of Heritage Awards across the three categories of; 'creative use of a heritage place', 'restoration of a heritage place and specialists trade skills' and 'excellence in interpretive signage'. 

"I‘m really proud in being acknowledged with a Heritage Award, over the last few years I've researched our history and found the incredible story that is Mornington Boat Hire," said Paul Pingiaro, owner. "Our Award was based on our sign celebrating our story and historic photos of the Mornington Harbour region." 

The Awards were presented by Seawinds Ward Councillor Simon Brooks and Ms Kristin Stegley OAM Chairperson of the National Trust Board of Management. 

The judging panel consisted of a Heritage Officer from the Mornington Peninsula Shire, a member of the National Trust Conservation Team and a Mornington Peninsula Branch representative. 

Photo: Paul Pingiaro with National Trust Chairwoman Kristin Stegley and Seawinds Ward Councillor Simon Brooks.

Mornington Boat Hire:
Schnapper Point Drive,
Mornington Victoria 3931

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