Located on the Capricorn Coast near Fisherman’s Beach. The foundation slab is about thirty feet in diameter and two feet thick. The frame of the Ship is in two parts, a concrete structure in the shape of a ship’s bow and mast that resonates or “sings” when struck by the prevailing wind.
The monument is 40 feet high, and is seen as a billowing sail side-on. On the concrete block behind the prow, shaped to represent an anchor, are bedded vertical columns. Between these and the curved tip of the prow are suspended a series of steel pipes of varying lengths and diameter.
The first pipes of larger diameter are protruding beyond the tip of the sphere and represent the mast. The second series of three sets of smaller piping is the rigging.
In each of the pipes air vents have been cut, circular and rectangular in shape, and placed at varying intervals. The pipes are open at each end and notes of different pitch and tone are produced when the wind blows.
The memorial project was adopted by the Rockhampton and District Historical Society. It was built with donations from the Lions Club, the Emu Park Progress Association, the Rockhampton Rodeo Picnic Club, and many more local donations.
The memorial was designed by Mrs Peggy Westmoreland, a local artist, who won a competition held to select a suitable design for a memorial to mark the 200th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s journey up the east coast of Australia. Mrs Westmoreland had some knowledge of acoustics.
The monument was constructed by Steve Kele, a steel and concrete contractor from Rockhampton.
The engineering and acoustics were by George Cain and David Thomas from the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education.
In 1980 the point of land where the monument is located was officially named Kele Park, to recognise Steve Kele for the creation of the structure, and to recognise his dedication and determination. Steve Kele had completed the building of the monument at his own expense when the funds of the ‘Celebrations Committee’ ran out.
Unveiled on 30th May 1970, by the Hon. Ian Sinclair, Minister for Shipping in the Federal Parliament.
Five years after its unveiling, a time capsule was placed in the base of the foundation stone, to be opened on the 300th anniversary of Cook’s discovery.
There are two plaques here, below the time capsule indicator, cast by Burns and Twigg, the main one is to honour Captain Cook:
THE SINGING SHIP
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK R.N.
EXPLORER NAVIGATOR CARTOGRAPHER
WHO DISCOVERED AND NAMED
23-28 MAY 1770
ERECTED MAY 1970
The second plaque pays tribute to the Artist, the Engineer, the Acoustician and the Builder:
UNVEILED BY THE HON. MINISTER FOR
SHIPPING MR IAN SINCLAIR
DESIGNED BY MRS C.M. (PEGGY) WESTMORELAND
CONSTRUCTED BY MR S.W. KELE
ENGINEERED BY W. THOMAS
ACOUSTICS BY G CAIN
GPS Coordinates: -23.256238, 150.829138
Cook’s Log, page 493, vol. 10, no. 1 (1987)
Cook’s Log, page 1052, vol. 17, no. 3 (1994)
Endeavour Lines, page 9, no. 51 (Nov. 2008)