History anchored at Belongil Beach

IT languished in an overgrown paddock for years, but now an anchor from the TSS Wollongbar has a new home close to the ship’s final resting place.
Rescued by the Byron Bay Historical Society and restored, the anchor has been installed at Belongil Beach close to where the town’s second jetty once stood.
It is also just down the beach from where the Wollongbar sank in 1921 when torn away from its moorings in a big storm at the original jetty near the town’s swimming pool.
Part of the vessel is still visible today and is known widely by surfers as The Wreck.
The anchor was once located at the lookout at the intersection of the Pacific Highway and Coorabell Scenic Drive, but in recent years had been decaying in nearby long grass.
Historical society secretary Anne Laycock said the group had taken an interest in the anchor after a local resident had written to Byron Council suggesting the anchor deserved a better home.
Ms Laycock said the anchor was brought into town where it was restored and recently installed at Belongil Beach.
She said a plaque outlining its history would be soon added to the monument.
Adjacent to the anchor is a sign erected by the historical society with a short history of the time when Byron Bay was an industrial town and maritime port.
It is the first of three such sites that the group plans to erect at Byron Bay.
Ms Laycock said the group aimed to create a historical walk from Belongil Beach to Cape Byron.
She said the society was looking to raise the awareness of the town’s history, something which had been “sadly neglected”.
Installing the anchor and sign at Belongil Beach had cost the historical society more than $5000.
It is seeking grants for the other two sites and is also seeking support from the local community.
Ms Laycock can be contacted on 66854923.

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