A few weeks ago I received a small “package” from Andrew Denman, whose company Denman Marine in Kettering, Tasmania, has been contracted to complete the restoration of Te Rapunga. I hesitate to use the word package as it was so light, it was hard to imagine anything being inside. I joked with the postmaster that this was possibly a new way of sending a letter. There was in fact a letter inside, but also a wondrous surprise – a beautiful little wooden spoon. The letter explained it’s creation by a young shipwright, Locky Rankin who, while dismantling the interior of Te Rapunga pulled out a beautiful but nail ridden piece of Kauri wood. “Though not original timber from Germany,” Denman explained in his letter, “the Kauri is symbolic of George Dibbern’s long association with New Zealand.”
“I love the shape,” he continued, “as it is unique small, quirky, but has purpose – not unlike George himself. The two small nail holes that remain are both a reminder of the piece’s heritage and also a reminder that something doesn’t have to be perfect to be useful – much like Te Rapunga herself.”
You can see from the photos, how the shape of the spoon – which I, too, love – speaks of wooden boat lines, to me at least! A local wood worker here on Cortes Island where I live, on examining this treasure, expressed his admiration for how cleverly and beautifully Locky dealt with the challenge of providing strength to the narrowest and most potentially vulnerable part of the spoon.
What a stunning and precious gift! Now I have a piece of Te Rapunga, light as a bird, that I can cradle in my hand, that charms my imagination and that has a practical purpose as well.
Thank you, ever so much, Locky and Andrew!