Long oar gifted to UK

19:21, Sep 20 2012
Rowing away: Swiftsure boat builder Ron Perano and Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman lift in the boat’s new steering oar after the original oar was sent on its way to Marlborough, England.

A piece of Marlborough history left the region this week on its way to England for the second time this year.

The 6.7-metre steering oar from the replica whaling boat Swiftsure is off to the town of Marlborough in Wiltshire, where it will be mounted in the town's council chambers as a reminder of the Swiftsure's visit to row in the Queen's diamond jubilee regatta in June.

Marlborough, Wiltshire mayor's ceremonial officer David Sherratt suggested using the oar as a way to promote Marlborough, New Zealand, and the link between the regions.

Mayor Alistair Sowman said the oar would be a fitting reminder in England of what boat builder Ron Perano and the rowing crew from Marlborough Boys' College achieved, rowing the only New Zealand-made boat in the regatta.

The Marlborough District Council would be making a DVD video message to go along with the oar, Mr Sowman said, although Mr Perano joked he had been keen to make the trip.

"I said 'Oh, I will take it over personally', but I didn't think I'd get it as carry-on luggage."


The Marlborough Express