Wirihana Who ‘Built’ Her?

WIRIHANA

Todays post is in two parts – first an attempt to ID some of the Colin Wild crew that built Wirihana. Chris McMullen, the caretaker of Wirihana had been looking through a box old of Wilson and Gould family photos & uncovered todays photos. Chris’s guess on a date for the above photos is 1933. Even thou its over 80 years ago one of the ww followers may recognize a relation. So folks – dig out those old family albums & lets see if we can put some names to the faces.
Col Wild and Mr Martyn Wilson are on the right. The man with the black hair holding the dog may be young Jack Gould who was (Chris believes) Mr Wilson’s step son. That needs to be verified. The Gould Family still own Wirihana to this day.

The 2nd part is to try & confirm what became of the earlier Wirihana, as pictured in the photo below. The ‘smaller’ Wirihana was also owned by the Wilson family. There is a family photo album recording a cruise on her. The album is dedicated to ‘The Crew of the Wirihana 1930-1’.
Chris wonders if the original broke her mooring. Interestingly there are some photos (not in the subject album) showing the wreckage of a wooden vessel but regretfully no details. Could it be that the current Wirihana was a replacement?

Looking forward to some interesting feedback. If you know anyone that had family or a relation that worked at Colin Wild’s yard in the early 1930’s can forward this ww posting on to them & ask for their help with ID’ing the people.

And lasting I could not do a Wirihana post without a photo showing how magnificent she is today 🙂

Update from Nathan Herbert

The below press clippings from the NZ Herald (2nd August 1933) make interesting reading. Wirihana (1) was relaunched on 01/08/1933 after an extensive overhaul at Lanes yard, the work included a new keel – so the questions are

1. Was the work done following an oops ?

2. Was W1 renamed, as W2 (Colin Wild) was being launched around this time?

Harold – where are you?, put down that legal brief & join in 🙂

Harold Kidd Input

My reconstruction of this tangled web is as follows (and some of it is conjecture).
1. Lane Motor Boat Co built WIRIHANA (1) for Joe Wilson in 1929. There is an image of LADY GAY (1) on Lanes’ slip at Mechanics Bay and she’s indistinguishable from WIRIHANA (1). photo below added by AH


2. She flew a “Wirihana” flag because “Wirihana” is maori-ised “Wilson” (and is nicely euphonic).
3. Colin Wild built WIRIHANA (2) in October 1933.
4. The quote above concerning WIRIHANA’s overhaul in 1933 is from the NZ Herald (owned by Wilson) but there’s an almost identical quote in the Herald of 17th November 1933 but referring to the boat as “J. M. Wilson’s LADY GAY”.
5. Clearly, WIRIHANA (1) was renamed LADY GAY while getting her big overhaul at Lanes in 1933 and after WIRIHANA (2) was launched. Her cabintop was altered drastically to provide full headroom so that her earlier semi-bridgedeck style disappears.
5. Wilson kept LADY GAY/WIRIHANA until July 1935, shortly before LADY GAY (2) was launched.
6. He then sold her to H. Walker and I lose sight of her, obviously with an agreed name change.
7. Sooner or later we’ll find out what Walker called her and say “Of course!”.

7 thoughts on “Wirihana Who ‘Built’ Her?

  1. Pingback: Mystery Location & Launches + Wirihana 1 | waitematawoodys.com – the #1 classic wooden boat blog

  2. How absolutely fascinating.

    Definitely a boating version of that old 1940s song “I’m My Own Grandpa.

    Whilst we all know the provenance of the present LADY GAY & WIRIHANA as individual & present day boats, little could one have dreamt, they were part of such an intermingled incestuous & confusing, & confused heritage. —

    Wonderful post –

    Like

  3. Sorry to be late on the job here. Our server died.
    My reconstruction of this tangled web is as follows (and some of it is conjecture).
    1. Lane Motor Boat Co built WIRIHANA (1) for Joe Wilson in 1929. There is an image of LADY GAY (1) on Lanes’ slip at Mechanics Bay and she’s indistinguishable from WIRIHANA (1).
    2. She flew a “Wirihana” flag because “Wirihana” is maori-ised “Wilson” (and is nicely euphonic).
    3. Colin Wild built WIRIHANA (2) in October 1933.
    4. The quote above concerning WIRIHANA’s overhaul in 1933 is from the NZ Herald (owned by Wilson) but there’s an almost identical quote in the Herald of 17th November 1933 but referring to the boat as “J. M. Wilson’s LADY GAY”.
    5. Clearly, WIRIHANA (1) was renamed LADY GAY while getting her big overhaul at Lanes in 1933 and after WIRIHANA (2) was launched. Her cabintop was altered drastically to provide full headroom so that her earlier semi-bridgedeck style disappears.
    5. Wilson kept LADY GAY/WIRIHANA until July 1935, shortly before LADY GAY (2) was launched.
    6. He then sold her to H. Walker and I lose sight of her, obviously with an agreed name change.
    7. Sooner or later we’ll find out what Walker called her and say “Of course!”.

    Like

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