Dedication to whaling museum makes waves

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Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington with Retiring Chairman Peter Snow.
Camera IconAlbany Mayor Dennis Wellington with Retiring Chairman Peter Snow. Credit: Supplied.

Peter Snow’s mission to transform Albany’s whaling station into a multi-award winning tourism attraction was recognised at the State Heritage Awards last week.

Mr Snow’s bold vision led the Jaycees Community Foundation to turn Albany’s beloved whale world into the Historic Whaling Station museum, described by Heritage Minister David Templeman as “internationally significant”.

WA Heritage Council Chair Anne Arnold, Peter Snow and Minister for Heritage, Hon David Templeman, MLA
Camera IconWA Heritage Council Chair Anne Arnold, Peter Snow and Minister for Heritage, Hon David Templeman, MLA

His two decades of work earned him the Voluntary Individual Contribution to WA Heritage award but Mr Snow said he alone did not deserve all of the accolades.

“While the award is most humbling, I was more delighted that the Jaycees Community Foundation was recognised with the award for a community-based organisation,” he said.

“The awards recognise the combined efforts of the foundation’s board — Jill Bell, the late John Bell and their son Peter who has spent all of his working life on the site.

“I’m also grateful for all of the work that John's successors put in — Les Bail and Glenn Russell and more recently Elise van Gorp.

“Their work has allowed us to host two million visitors and contribute more than $40 million into the local economy since we were gifted the old station by the Green family 40 years ago.”

“These awards are the icing on the cake as the foundation is in the process of gifting the whaling station to the community of Albany.”

The Cheynes Beach Whaling Company was the last whaling company to cease operations in Australia, closing in 1978.

In 1980, the Jaycee Foundation acquired the station and transformed the derelict whaling station with Peter Snow as its non-executive Chairman until 2004.

Heritage Minister David Templeman praised Mr Snow’s “vision and drive”.

“Albany’s historic whaling station gives visitors an authentic experience to absorb the history of the site that would otherwise be lost and I encourage everyone to come and see it,” he said.

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