Badge, Port Macquarie Regatta; 1936; 2013.63


Port Macquarie Museum


Badge, Port Macquarie Regatta

About this object

This celluloid and tin button badge featuring a black and white photograph of the Australian champion sailing boat Tangalooma in the centre and text 'PORT MACQUARIE REGATTA 1936 around the outer edge was used to raise funds for and promote the 1936 Port Macquarie Regatta. It is a reminder of the earliest organised water craft events held on the Hastings River and of the community’s efforts to hold such events.

Port Macquarie held regattas from as early as 1882 and possibly much earlier. Originally a sailing event, over the years motor speed boats and rowing sculls were also featured in the annual Easter regatta.

This badge is one of a small number of surviving button badges associated with the Port Macquarie regatta. Fund raising and donations played an important role in providing the necessary prize money to attract entrants in the regattas. The Port Macquarie Regatta Club was assisted for many years by the Sydney Flying Squadron who provided boats, competitors and officials for the Hasting River regatta.

Regattas were once common on the Mid North Coast with similar events held on the Macleay and Manning rivers. The badge reflects the local community’s interest in river based activities and water craft sports and racing with the local regatta possibly taking its origins from the Sydney Australia Day Regatta first held in 1837.

The badge particularly evidences the work of the Port Macquarie Regatta Club’s committee and its collectors charged with raising the necessary donations to make the regatta financially viable. This badge was purchased by a Telegraph Point woman who it seems often purchased fund raising button badges for worthy causes.

Button badges like this one were very popular in the early to mid 1900s and were used during World War I to generate income and improve morale through their nationalist designs and sentiments. The practice of selling badges continued after the war for all kinds of fund raising activities in support of charities, sporting events, clubs and societies. This badge also illustrates the materials available which enabled the production of low cost badges from tin and celluloid and the use of photographs in badge designs.

Port Macquarie has been a seaside and water holiday destination since the early 1900s and river and water craft activities both for participants and spectators continue to serve as an attraction for some of the 1.5 million tourists who visit the area each year.

Debbie Sommers
9 June 2014

Date Made


Medium and Materials

Tin, celluloid, paper, ink



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Credit Line

Donor: T Ryan

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