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Tom Finlay is a qualified Stonemason who started his apprenticeship in Western Victoria aged 14. Tom worked on a variety of construction sites and in 1988 registered Get Stoned with Tom as a business that became Finlay’s Stonemasonry Pty Ltd in 1990. Since locating his business to Yarrawonga (Palmerston) in 1991 Tom has developed the business and site since.

Finlay’s Stonemasonry offers a comprehensive range of Landscaping Supplies including Sones, Pavers and Landscaping materials from the Northern Territory, Australia and Overseas. Tom is the only supplier of Porcelinite (sometimes spelled porcelanite). This stone is unique to the Darwin Peninsula and is suitable for all forms of construction and sculpture.

Tom is proud to be associated with various major construction sites over the last 25 years including KPMG offices in Smith St. restoration of Government House and the Administrator's offices including the Garden Walls, Entrance Walls at Robertson Barracks and all the Regimental Walls, Stonework at the Vic Arcade for Paspaleys, the Feature Wall at Sky City Casino and a number of Entrance Statements to Housing Estates like Cullen Bay and Bayview Haven. Tom was also involved with many other Projects with the Public and Private sectors.

Finlay's Stonemasonry is centrally located to the expansion of Darwin and Palmerston as well as servicing all areas with all types of Landscaping materials, Constructional Stonework, Building Stone, Slate and Garden Rock, Feature Walls and Retaining Walls.

opening hours

"Get Stoned with Tom" at
Finlay's Stonemasonry (Google Maps)
4 Pierssenne Rd, Yarrawonga.
(Off Tulagi Rd.)
Phone:(08) 8983 1733
Fax:(08) 8983 2702
Mobile: 0413 052 843
email: sales@finlaysstone.com.au



Statue of Stuart

Named after John McDouall Stuart who was born on 7 September 1815 in Fifeshire, Scotland.
He arrived in South Australia in 1838 and there joined the Survey Department.
In his capacity as draftsman he joined Captain Charles Sturt in 1844 on an expedition into the centre of Australia.
His first attempt to cross the Australian continent was in May 1858, which failed.
In April 1859 he set out on a second journey to the north, reached Lake Eyre, and had to return.
On 2 March 1860, Stuart set out again to reach the northern shores and he discovered a number of major NT features but had to turn back. He made a further attempt in January 1861 and again was forced back by dense scrub and shortage of rations.
In October 1861, with a larger party under real hardship he reached his target - the northern shores - at Chambers Bay on 24 July 1862. (extract from Darwin City Council " Darwin Memorials")


Coastal Trader Tulagi

Named after the Australian Coastal Trader of 2300 tons which had a near miss in the bombing of Darwin in February 1942.
The Tulagi, which was used as a transport ship, was beached and refloated near Channel Island.

MV Tulagi was built by the Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock Co. in 1939, a twin screw motor vessel of 2281 gross tons, service speed 12 knots, length 254ft and breadth 44ft. Until November 1939, she traded between Sydney and the Pacific Islands and the west coast of North America, then joining MV Montoro on the Sydney - Darwin via Port Moresby run. She was manned by twelve Australian Deck and Engineer Officers and thirty two Malay and Chinese crew.

Late in 1940 MV Tulagi was in the vicinity of where the German Commerce raiders were operating and was kept under surveillance by a floatplane but was not attacked.

MV Tulagi departed Sydney on 5 December 1941 (two days before Japan attacked Pearl Harbour) for Port Moresby, via Brisbane and Cairns. On 23 January 1942 Japan invaded Rabaul. At that time MV Tulagi was en-route to Darwin where on her arrival the harbour was obviously congested with Naval and Merchant ships of all nationalities, some with passengers fleeing the Japanese southward advance, others with troops and equipment for the defence of Darwin.

Thus on 19 February MV Tulagi was still at anchor in Darwin Harbour but it still had remaining on board troops of the 148th Field Artillery US Army. Then occurred the first of 70 Japanese raids on Darwin and other northern centres.

MV Tulagi was only superficially damaged, but because of the large number of troops aboard Captain Thompson put the ship aground on a mud bank, north of Harper's Folly and south of Sweir's Bluff. Though in a crocodile infested creek, if the MV Tulagi was attacked everybody could get ashore. That now occurred, however later in the afternoon Captain Thompson and the Chief Engineer Mr. J.R. Ward went back on board.
(It is worthy of comment that as standard practice Merchant Mariners were classified as civilians, and as such, every person who was employed aboard MV Tulagi signed Articles of Agreement with the Master. This contract ceased when the Master ordered "Abandon Ship." Captain Thompson, when he requested the former crew members to reboard MV Tulagi was offering them re-employment. As the pay of the ship's personnel of MV Tulagi ceased when they were ordered to abandon ship there was consequently no obligation to return. It is understandable, given the dramatic circumstances, that a number chose not to do so.)

Being a British Registered ship (Hong Kong) the United Kingdom Department of Defence assumed control of the vessel in February 1944. MV Tulagi loaded with a full cargo of flour for Colombo sailed on 10 March 1944 under control of the British Admiralty in the Command of L.W. (Dusty) Millar Mr. Ward remained aboard as Chief Engineer The ship was to be subjected to some structural alterations on arrival at Colombo and to then form part of the Royal Navy Fleet Train. Leaving Sydney she proceeded down the New South Wales Coast thence via Bass Strait and rounded Cape Leuwin. The weather was fine with smooth seas. On 27 March MV Tulagi's voyage ended abruptly.Carrying fifty four persons(crew 16 Europeans, 26 Indian, 7 Malay and five gunners of the Royal Australian Navy) she was torpedoed somewhere in the Indian Ocean by the German Submarine U532. commanded by Fregattenkaptain Oscar Junker of the First Monsun Submarine Group. The attacking submarine had sailed from Penang Malaya, now a Japanese Naval Maintenance and refuelling base for Axis Forces, on 4 January 1944, (The U532 had sunk seven other vessels one being the USS Walter Camp, 7130 tons by the time she returned to Penang on 19 April 1944). The survivors reported that at approximately 0100 hours Tuesday 28 March, and with a terrific explosion, the ship was hit by two torpedoes on the starboard side, between number No3 hatch and the engineroom.

The following survivors record tells the rest MV Tulagi:- sank in 20 seconds, stern first and rolling to starboard with the loss of thirty nine persons. The survivors now on rafts were the Chief Engineer, 2nd Mate, 3rd Mate, Purser, Deck Cadet, 3rd Engineer, the 5 Naval gunners 3 Malays and 1 Indian.


Bert as a soldier WW1

Named after Thomas Herbert (Bert) Pierssené and his wife Eunice (nee Aitken).

Herb Pierssené was born in 1901 at Morley in Western Australia, the son of Herbert and Angela Elizabeth nee Piferrer. His father was the compiler of "The Western Australia Directory" in 1894-1895 and the "Albany Guide and Handbook of Western Australia". His father was a merchant and importer of English Continental and Ceylon goods. He was an agent for McCulluch Carrying Company and a bottler of West Australian wines. His parents married in Kalgoorlie in 1899.

Pierssené's earliest service record (5862) was when he was a young boy in the Navy. This service ran from 19 October 1916 until 29 August 1917. His adult service commenced when he enlisted under an assumed name, Thomas Herbert, in Brisbane in 1918. His name was amended to the correct version on 3/9/1919 (Private Thomas Herbert Pierssené). His service record states he had no legal guardian and his parents whereabouts were unknown at enlistment.

He was a member of the 6th Reinforcements Egypt. He embarked on 16/10/18, on HMAT 'Malta'. On 22 November 1918 he disembarked at Suez.
He left Suez on 26 July 1919 and disembarked in Australia on 22 August 1919. He was discharged from service in Perth, 5 September 1919.
Electoral rolls place Herb Pierssené in Katherine in 1929 (motor driver). He is listed in Darwin in 1928 (contractor), 1931, 34, 37, 40 living in Mitchell Street, (Carrier).

Following service in WWI he worked out of Broome on pearling luggers before coming to the Top End of the Territory in the mid 1920s.
He took on various contracting jobs in the area and for a time worked for the Gaden family, shooting buffalo on Kapalga and Marrakai.
It was at this time he met EUNICE Aitken who was a cousin and companion to Mrs Ada Gaden. They were married in Darwin in 1929.
He married Eunice Edith Aitken on 17 December 1929 at Christ Church Cathedral in Darwin. Newspaper articles mention him as an active member of the Darwin Rifle Club in the late 30s and early 1940s.

World War Two evacuation list 1/CA1070/CRSF430 states that AH, KJ, VL, ER and Mrs E.E. Pierssené were evacuated on the 'Zealandia' on 20 December 1941. They were destined to stay with a Mrs V.L. Aitken, 27 Jellico Street, Hurstville, NSW. National Archives office in Darwin [www.naa.gov.au] has records for various land acquisitions by Pierssené in Darwin in the 1940s.
He later worked for the PMG in Darwin as line foreman and then as Stores Manager until his retirement in 1966.

Bert Pierssene died in 1973 and his wife Eunice in 1976.

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