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Happy birthday Polly

14 Nov 2011

Happy birthday Polly Image

Polly Woodside celebrated a milestone last month putting on a big family day to celebrate its 126th birthday.

Families flocked to the tall-ship, with many activities and shows ensuring everyone was entertained.

Face painting, balloon shaping and impromptu period drama performances were among the favourite activities, and of course exploring and learning about the ship itself.

A favourite for many were the pirate tutorials. In these, would be pirates were given a seminar on how to sword fight. Some were disappointed by the foam swords, but all enjoyed exercising their new skills, mainly on parents.

The boat was built in 1885 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and originally used as a cargo ship. It has been on display as a maritime museum in Melbourne for over 40 years.

The birthday bash also served as a grand re-opening of the ship to the public, after a $3.6 million refurbishment.

The upgrade coincided with the South Wharf and Goods Sheds re-development, creating a great buzz down that end of the Yarra.

Polly Woodside spokesperson Marcia Ryan said the crew was thrilled with the response to the re-opening and the family-friendly atmosphere the day created.

“Hundreds of families enjoyed the pirate and maritime-themed activities at the family day. It was great to see so many children embracing the spirit of the event by coming dressed in their best pirate costumes,” she said.

It wasn’t just the children though who indulged in a pirate dress up. One of Southbank Local News’ competition winners Kate McPherson got right into the spirit of the day, and wouldn’t have looked out of place on the set of a Pirates of the Caribbean film.

Kate and her family had a blast at the event, all getting dressed up and enjoying the day on the Melbourne icon.

“It was a fun day and my little family enjoyed it thoroughly,” Kate said.

There was great news for Kate and all who enjoyed the event.

“The Celebration of Polly Woodsides birthday is set to be our major annual event for Melbourne families,” Ms Ryan confirmed.

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