Black Watch & The Rev. Jasper Calder
photos & info ex Ken Ricketts. Edited by Alan H
Black Watch was either built for, or bought new, by the late Rev. Jasper Calder an Anglican sea loving vicar.
Ken Ricketts first saw Black Watch under construction in c.1947-48 on the port side of the creek, in the right hand corner of Leigh Harbour. She was at the stage of completed hull & combings, with no or little paint, her hull was built of very narrow Kahikatea planking & from memory kauri combings. She was as she appears in the photo except that she was initially painted completely black.
Black Watch was actually Calder’s second boat, the first being a 1925-30 vintage bridge decker, approx. 38 ft., called Crusader, that he owned in the 1930s. Ken recalls his father, Ralph Ricketts, when he was cruising on the Glennifer with the late Trevor Davis, attending impromptu church services on board Crusader along with many other boaties of the day. The crews would all tie their dinghies to the stern of the Crusader for the ‘church’ service most Sunday mornings in Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island over the warm summer months. You can see Crusader marked in Ken’s photo, taken Xmas 1948, of Mansion House Bay.
Ken commented that Calder did not have a lot of money to spend on his boats & love of the sea & Black Watch’s original engines were one 6 cyl Perkins diesel & one Ford V8 (probably both second hand.)
Black Watch was bought by Gordon Cole from Calder’s estate in c.1952-53. Cole owned Black Watch until c.1958-9, when he purchased Wanda II. Cole changed both Black Watch & Wanda II’s names to Lady Norma. (Black Watch/Lady Norma possibly later became Lady Alisa).
Note: Calder towards the end of his life, acquired an interest in an unfinished 75 foot H.D.M.L. naval vessel, which was the only one the navy disposed of for many years, which Ken believes was still under construction when WWII ended, so the Navy sold her possibly unfinished. Calder named her Black Watch as well.
Ken sighted the Calder’s H.D.M.L. recently at Bayswater on a swing mooring, in an extremely neglected state. Previous to this Ken had seen her in the 1980s, tied to a wharf in Schoolhouse Bay, Kawau Island, where see remained most of the time, for a number of years. She had then & possibly still has, twin 6 cyl Perkins diesels. She was modified many years ago in the 1970/80s to a type of semi motor sailer with 2 masts & a semi clipper bow.
Harold Kidd Update
CRUSADER was built for Rev. Jasper Calder and Charlie Goldsboro by Collings & Bell in the winter of 1929, originally without her later bridgedeck. She replaced Calder’s 20ft mullet boat NGARO.
I wonder who built the first BLACK WATCH for him?
Calder had two HDMLs, both called BLACK WATCH. The first, Q1349, was returned to Navy in July 1952 and has since reverted to BLACK WATCH. All RNZN HDMLs were built in North America, none were “under construction when WW2 ended”.
Jasper Calder died in 1956.
Bayswater Dec 2014