From Norway to the Northern Beaches with love
The creator of a hugely popular Facebook group that celebrates all things Manly has launched a full-colour souvenir calendar featuring 14 eye-catching photographs of Sydney’s iconic Freshwater Class Ferries.
Lisa Sutton Lipman’s passion for the soon-to-be-retired Manly Ferries has not been diminished by living a world away - in Norway.
“I was so saddened by the news that Sydney's lovely, iconic Freshwater class ferries were to be phased out I was determined to do something to celebrate them, and I felt I needed to do something to help save them, too,” says Lisa.
“I hope the souvenir calendars will inspire people to call on the NSW Government to rethink its decision to retire the ferries.
“The ferries don't just belong to Sydney - they are a treasure that have been enjoyed by people from all around the world for decades.”
Lisa’s own connections with the ferries - and Norway - go back to 1901 when her great grandfather, Norwegian sailor Claus Clausen, jumped ship and ended up working on the docks at Walsh Bay. Claus later had a go at piloting the Manly ferry, too.
Four generations later, Lisa was born and raised in Freshwater. A few years ago, while researching her Norwegian roots online, Lisa met her future husband Ole.
They married, eventually moved back to Norway and now live in the oil town Stavanger, where Ole is an engineer.
All was bliss in Norway - but then Lisa began to get very, very homesick.
“Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Norway - so you can take the girl out of the Beaches,” she grins.
“But you can’t take the Beaches out of the girl.”
To help process her homesickness, Lisa started the popular ‘Lost Manly’ Facebook group.
It was an instant success.
It quickly attracted 22,000 members worldwide, the members sharing their own memories, images and stories of living in Manly - and their love of the four iconic ferries, Freshwater, Queenscliff, Narrabeen and Collaroy.
“Our group’s members include ferry deckhands, ferry masters who steer the ships, and photographers with a penchant for taking ferry photos, amongst many, many others passionate about the Freshwater ferries.”
The group has also gathered an impressive collection of high-format pictures of the ferries.
One member, a marine engineer, has put together over 200 images of just the 1980s launch of the Freshwater ferries.
“From that, the idea of a special calendar celebrating the ferries was born,” she explains.
The beautiful 2021 souvenir calendar features images taken by some of Sydney’s leading photographers, including Haig Gilchrist, Paul Cristina, John Darroch and Glen Olsen.
The spectacular pictures reveal Manly and Sydney Harbour in all their glory - by night and day.
But the true stars of the images are the majestic ferries themselves, one featured in every photograph.
The calendars are available online at lostmanlythenorthernbeaches.com - and Lisa hopes to see them soon in shops and tourism information centres across the Northern Beaches and beyond.
“Running the ‘Lost Manly’ Facebook group and making the calendar has been tiring. But I’m not complaining. It’s a lovely kind of tired… A complete labour of love,” she says.