The Bust of Abel Tasman
There is a photo of a bust of Abel Tasman in the Waldie Research Room. The photo was made by Frank Bolt, and the original negative is held by the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston.
The bust was carved in January 1952. It was commissioned by Piet Maree, a Dutch writer/illustrator who had opened a tea house in a fine old house overlooking the coast near Penguin. When he said he needed a picture of Abel Tasman, Dirk Bolt offered to carve one, so he was commissioned to do so for £30. The bust was carved in the woodshed next to the ABC (Australian Building Corporation) workshop from two blocks that were glued together by, Dirk thinks, Jetze Schuth and Rieks Wierenga.
The process taught Dirk that art does not pay, and so he sought alternate employ- ment. This led to a career in architecture, and some of his work is in the temporary exhibit “Achievements of the Dutch migrants”.
The current location of the bust, rumoured to have been blacked with Kiwi shoe polish, is currently unknown.
Abel Tasman Portrait
In a short ceremony on the day of the Centre’s public opening on Saturday 28th July, the Dutch Australian Society (DAS) marked the occasion with a presentation.
The President of the Society noted a continuing and growing relationship between the two bodies, and expressed the wish that this continue.
The history of the Dutch migrants to the Channel area has been harmonious and productive. The DAS is pleased that this story can be told in the new facility.
A family portrait of Abel Tasman was presented to mark the occasion. The original was painted in 1637, and hangs in the Australian National Library, Canberra.