Former SA politician Bruce Eastick donates model clipper ship to City of Adelaide restoration project

The restoration project of a historic ship has been given a boost thanks to a family heirloom of a former SA politician.

Bruce Eastick, who was the state opposition leader in the 1970s, presented a model to the volunteers who are restoring the city of Adelaide on Sunday.

The City of Adelaide was built in 1864 to carry passengers from Great Britain to South Australia and made 23 round trips.

“So there are about a quarter of a million people in Australia whose heritage can be traced back to this ship,” said ship spokesman Peter Christopher.

The ship was recovered in a swamp in Scotland and returned to Adelaide in 2014.

Since then, volunteers have worked in Port Adelaide.

One meter long model of a ship against a painting with houses and ocean
This large-scale model of the City of Adelaide was donated to the restoration project.ABC news: Claire Campbell

Bruce Eastick presented a model built by his great-grandfather to restoration volunteers on Sunday.

“It’s great to know it has found a place here as part of what an amazing amount of work is being done by people interested in the future of the actual ship,” he said.

Mr Eastick said the model “has been with me since my earliest days” and was passed down from his grandfather to his father, then to him.

“At 95, I can understand it’s something for the future,” he said.

The Steam Ship City of Adelaide was converted to a four-masted baque in 1890.
The city of Adelaide was used to transport thousands of people to South Australia in the late 1800s.Supplied: John Oxley Library

Mr Christopher said the model, which was built as the ship sails, would provide valuable information as volunteers complete the restoration project.

“There weren’t many photos of this ship at the time it was sailing, so a model gives us information that just wouldn’t be available otherwise,” he said.

Christopher said the project has cost $7 million to date and would be “nearly $25 million” by the time it’s finished.

A man with short gray hair in a navy blue suit is looking straight into the camera
Bruce Eastick donated a model of the city of Adelaide built by his great-grandfather.ABC news: Claire Campbell

The project has been funded through ship tours and onboard events, as well as donations.

Christopher said the ship generated a significant amount of tourism for SA.

“We have a significant number of interstate visitors who actually come to Adelaide and come looking for this ship, they know in advance,” he said.

“And now that foreign visitors are also coming in, we hope that will also attract.”

The restored hull of the clipper City of Adelaide arrives in Outer Harbor on the deck of a cargo ship.
The restored hull of the City of Adelaide clipper arrives in Outer Harbor on the deck of a heavy freighter after traveling from Scotland to Adelaide in 2014.ABC News: Alina Eato