10.9 C
Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Remembering Peter Warner

Latest News

New COVID venues of concern Lismore and Coraki

Following a second case being identified in Lismore, that is no longer in the area, several more COVID contact venues have been identified.

Other News

Will Sydney’s trash be Richmond Valley’s ‘treasure’

Richmond Valley Council say they have welcomed an announcement by the Deputy Premier John Barilaro and the Minister for...

Farewell Sue – a much-loved Mullumbimbian

You could say that Sue Mallam was destined to run a business in Mullumbimby.

COVID venues of concern at Evans Head and Lismore

Three new venues of concern have been added to the list of COVID-19 venues of concern following a student...


Modelling the billions of connections within the human body to determine illness? Modelling one individual’s billions of connections to...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 15 September, 2021

Inception – Byron Theatre’s first post-lockdown live event Cancelled twice owing to the local lockdown, Three Lords’ Inception and AV...

New ocean temperature data help scientists make their hot predictions

We’ve heard that rising temperatures will lead to rising sea levels, but what many may not realise is that most of the increase in energy in the climate system is occurring in the ocean.  

The late Peter Warner. Screenshot from Docastaway – Desert Island Experiences.

Ballina’s legendary man of the sea Peter Warner died doing what he loved best, sailing, during an attempted crossing of the Ballina Bar in rough conditions last week. He was ninety years old.

Mr Warner’s life contained many adventures, one of which is about to become a Hollywood film. He was the son of a wealthy businessman who ran away to sea to avoid joining the family electronics business. Later, he studied law and accountancy, but always remained passionate about the ocean.

Sailing his yacht Astor, Mr Warner won line honours in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 1961, 1963 and 1964, and came second in 1962.

The Astor in its glory days.

He also raced Astor in the 1961 Trans-Tasman race from New Zealand to Australia, and the 1963 Trans-Pacific race from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

Lost and found

Peter Warner became famous again in 1966 when he accidentally discovered six lost Tongan boys on the island of ‘Ata.

In a much more positive story than Lord of the Flies, the boys had managed to survive as castaways for more than a year, having been given up for dead by their families.

This story was the subject of a bidding war by Hollywood studios recently, and is now being filmed. The survival story and rescue is also the subject of a recent documentary.

In 1974 Peter Warner was once more in the right spot at the right time, when he rescued a shipwrecked sailing crew on Middleton Reef in the Tasman Sea, with the help of Sione Filipe Totau, one of the Tongans he had rescued earlier.

Peter Warner. Photo supplied.

Mr Warner lived in Tonga for thirty years, joining the Baha’i faith, and founding a school.

In the 1990s he moved to the Northern Rivers of NSW, and becoming a noted macadamia farmer and tree manager near Lismore, before settling in Ballina.

In 2020 he published three volumes of autobiography; Astor: Adventures Ashore and Afloat, Ocean of Light: Thirty years in Tonga and the Pacific, and Twilight of the Dawn.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

State gov’t services failing to keep up with regional population growth, says independent Ballina councillor

Cr Cadwallader told The Echo on Thursday she’d be asking council staff to pursue the matter of policing resources in the shire after last month winning majority council support to pressure the government on the future of Lennox Head Public School.

Update: Lismore going into lockdown at 6pm

Lismore local government area (LGA) is going into lockdown for seven days from 6pm tonight following a positive case of COVID-19 in Goonellabah yesterday.

Is all cannabis the same? How do its variations impact us?

Are you interested in learning more about the cannabinoids you use? Researchers from Monash University are asking both smokers and non-smokers to help research the variety of cannabinoids and their impacts.

COVID venues of concern at Evans Head and Lismore

Three new venues of concern have been added to the list of COVID-19 venues of concern following a student at Goonellabah Public School testing...