Call to keep rare cannon at home

13 February 2001
News - Sunbury Leader

A rare cannon used by the Victorian Horse Artillery more than 100 years ago will soon be lost to an overseas collector unless an Australian buyer can be found.The 1859 cannon, one of the first breach-loading cannons made in England, was found rusting on a Geelong property more than 20 years ago by Gisborne military enthusiast Haydn Vesty.

Mr Vesty painstakingly restored the cannon, hoping to sell it to its original home at Werribee mansion.

However, mansion management says it can't afford to buy the cannon that is believed to be worth more than $100,000.

Mr Vesty also has an original 1880s gunners uniform, which he offered to include with the cannon.

He said the cannon would probably be sold to an overseas collector at an antique arms auction in May.

Only three other cannons of its type exist in the state. One of those is in a glass case outside Sunbury's Memorial Hall.

Mr Vesty said he was "thunderstruck" by Werribee Mansion's refusal to buy the gun.

"I reckon they could have got the money if they were interested," he said.

This article can be found in the Leader, Sunbury,Tuesday, 13 February 2001.

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