Mandalay wreck relic be returned to descendents

Cecilia AllenManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Safe-keepers Gary and Ross Muir with a plaque from above the captain’s room which was salvaged from the Mandalay wreck in 1911 by the Muir family and passed down four generations, will now be returned a descendant of one of the ship’s captains. Credit: Walpole-Nornalup Visitor Centre
Camera IconSafe-keepers Gary and Ross Muir with a plaque from above the captain’s room which was salvaged from the Mandalay wreck in 1911 by the Muir family and passed down four generations, will now be returned a descendant of one of the ship’s captains. Credit: Walpole-Nornalup Visitor Centre

An artefact from the shipwrecked Mandalay will be returned to a descendant of one of the captains after more than 100 years.

A plaque from above the captain’s room was salvaged by the Muir family in 1911 after it ran aground off the south coast of WA.

The Walpole-Nornalup Visitor Centre was gifted the plaque by Gary Muir, who is the fourth generation in his family to possess the artefact.

It will now be returned to Arne Kolbjornsen in the USA who is the great-grandson of former ship captain Edvard Julius Ellersten.

Although captain Ellersten was not aboard the ship when it ran aground, he, his brother and his six daughters were part-owners of the Mandalay.

Mr Muir said Arne and his son Greg visited the shipwreck last year.

“We’ve looked after it for over 100 years and it’s an honour to return it to the family,” he said. “It’s an amazing story and we’re still finding things from the ship now.”

Visitor centre manager Adele Brown said the Mandalay wreck, which is often covered in sand, is visible for the first time in more than a decade.

“Recent storms have uncovered the shipwreck on Mandalay Beach – 13km west of Walpole,” she said.

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