15.4 C
Byron Shire
June 29, 2022

Remembering Peter Warner

Latest News

Main Arm Upper school are excited to be going ‘back to school’

It has been hard for many young people as they have managed the impacts of COVID over the last few years but for students at Main Arm Upper Public School the flood has meant they've been out of their school for almost half a year.

Other News

Women scientists are less likely to be credited for their work

Gender gap in publication and patent authorship suggests women’s contributions to science are ignored or unappreciated.

Concerns raised over heritage demolition proposal in Byron

The Byron Bay Historical Society has supported concerns raised by residents around a DA that proposes to demolish a home listed in a heritage area.

Firearm and drugs seized during vehicle stop; pair charged – Mullumbimby

A man and woman have been charged with drug and firearm offences following a vehicle stop in Mullumbimby.

No blame in this game

I do not wish to condemn politicians for the state of corruption in this country. However, I do wish...

Playing with fire

Victoria Cosford It’s my latest obsession; native thyme infused vinegar. Herby, a little sweet – it’s a knockout – a...

Byron Shire resident fined $60,000 for tree clearing

Council staff say a Koonyum Range resident was fined $60k for land clearing/ removing trees, and $10k for an unauthorised building.

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.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Lismore Lantern Parade – Vale John Lush

Once again the community of Lismore came together to celebrate with the Lantern Parade on June 25.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week in the Northern Rivers 

The Northern Rivers encompasses the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl nations with celebrations for NAIDOC taking place up and down the coast. 

Man charged following break and enter – Casino

A man has been charged following an investigation into an alleged break and enter at Casino.

Locals tix on offer for Writers Fest

Byron Writers Festival is again offering Sunday locals’ passes, supported for the third time by partners, Stone & Wood.