May 17, 2018
Thomas Timothee Vasse became lost from the French ship Le Géographe off Wonnerup Beach, near Busselton in Geographe Bay in June 1801. Vasse was a helmsman second class and, by all accounts, an excellent seaman. He was dumped by a wave during a storm, disappeared without a trace and was presumed drowned. Baudin, captain of Le Géographe, later revisited the area hoping to find a trace of Vasse but missed the spot and sailed on.
In 1834 some Wadandi people showed British settlers the grave of a white man, who they said used to spend his days gazing out to sea waiting for his ship to return. It seems that man was Vasse and he was waiting for the return of Baudin in Le Géographe.
The Vasse River behind the present town of Busselton and the Wonnerup inlet was named Riviera Vasse. In 1924, the name Newtown was changed to Vasse in homage of the French sailor.
The Timothy Vasse artwork is designed to be an interactive attraction at the entrance to our village, funded by the Vasse Joint Venture Partners as a gift to the Vasse community and those who visit.
Artist: Russell Sheridan