River Travellers begin voyages following COVID19 restrictions

BY RIVER AND SEA July’20 by Frank Tuckwell

As the Inland Rivers National Marathon Register Team (IRNMR) comes out of its three-month suspension period of activities since the end of March, it now looks forward to picking up its work of meeting and greeting interstate river travellers to Goolwa. Unknown to the team our first voyager from upstream landed here on June 12. He started his voyage to Goolwa from Tintaldra, in the Victorian side of the upper Murray in the foothills of the Snowy Mountain. On returning home, the paddler was told of the Goolwa IRNMR team, so he emailed us for information on how he could lodge his application to register his trip. He has been sent a retro application form and guide to the registration process for him to apply for registration.

Now the South Australian borders are open to visitors, we expect that both powered or self-propelled river travellers will begin and continue through the seasons. The main weather window is between early spring to the end of autumn, but a few determined travellers will occasionally arrive through the winter period.

The IRNMR Team is based at the Goolwa National Trust History Centre in Porter Street and is a project of Goolwa branch, National Trust of SA. The project was established in 1954 to recognise, record and honour long distant interstate river travellers commencing or arriving at Goolwa and the Murray Mouth. The team is made up of registrars, photographers, archivists, researchers, public relations and property members and trainees.

Strategically, the IRNMR project is geared toward fulfilling its aspiration of creating a Inland Rivers hall of fame which would feature the voyagers who have travelled the Murray-Darling rivers in photographic exhibitions drawing largely on materials provided by the travellers themselves as proof of their journeys. It is envisioned these displays would be backed up by publications, collections sound recordings, objects and memorabilia associated with the project with a theatrette screening items of popular interest in river travel and features of the Murray Darling Basin. A fitting goal for the town of Goolwa, where the river ends, and the story begins.

Photo taken by Kaylene Maalste on Norm Schram receiving his certificate from Frank Tuckwell and Kathy Sutton on Goolwa Wharf.