On New Years Eve 2018 Greens candidate and Master Mariner Captain Bill Fenelon took command of Tall Ship South Passage on Sydney Harbour to participate in Sydney’s Harbour of Lights Parade. On board the ship that night were families from Uki and Fingal Head.
This week Fenelon will again command South Passage on a sail training voyage from Sydney to Brisbane, with a crew of 24 youth completing the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The Award is a leading structured (non-formal education) youth development program, empowering all young Australians aged 14-24 to explore their full potential regardless of their location or circumstance. The Award is a fully inclusive program and has no social, political, or religious affiliations. The youths will learn to crew the ship and stand sea watches 24 hours a day throughout the 10 day voyage.
South Passage is owned by the not-for-profit organisation, the Sail Training Association of Queensland, and Fenelon has been a captain of this ship for over 12 years.
Fenelon, who is also the current candidate for the Tweed Greens, said the ship is a 100 foot, gaff-rigged schooner, similar in design to sail-powered trading schooners from the 1900s. ‘It is totally traditional in its operation, requiring physical effort to raise sails, trim sails and even the anchor is lifted using manual effort,’ he said.
South Passage is expected to pass by Tweed Heads on approximately January 16.
Fingal Head resident Bill Fenelon founded and leads the Tweed Valley Sailing Club, focused on youth development through sailing. He is the Club Commodore and has also developed a programme to enable those with disabilities to enjoy sailing as a sport. ‘Having sailed the globe as a Master Mariner, I am proud to call the Tweed home and am passionate about retaining its unique natural beauty and ambiance,’ said Fenelon.
Motivated by community interests and a desire to protect our unique, pristine environment, upon his return Bill Fenelon will embark on a political journey as the Greens candidate in the March 2019 state election.