Koala (Amaryllis)


Koala (Amaryllis) photo ex Sandy Richards (wife of the late John Richards, refer below) details ex Ken Rickets, edited by Alan H She was built by “Mac” McGeady at 1A Summer St. Ponsonby c.1955 for H T Morton a prominent businessman on Auckland’s North Shore. As an aside, a number of streets are named after him & his family on the North Shore e.g Dianna Drive (after Dr. Dianna Morton), Rosalind Ave., (after Dr. Rosalind Morton), his daughters, Morton Ave., & Varlene Tce. He was also a pioneer private aviator, who owned his own aircraft right back in the 1920s. She started life named Amaryllis (later changed to Koala) & followed on from Morton’s last boat, the McGeady built c.1938 bridgedecker Varlene, which was originally named  Lady Sunshine (bought off Com Hardley c.1949) which in turn had followed her predecessor, Spindrift. Dam launches & names changes – makes life hard 🙂 Originally powered by 2 x 4 cyl. Lees converted 80 HP Ford Diesels, installed by Tracey Nelson & was used by Morton for extensive coastal cruising right up to North Cape, one of his favorite spots was Mangonui & he spent much time there through many summer months. Ken recalls that in her earlier days Morton had a habit on running her on 1 engine at a time, at slow speeds, for longish periods, as a slightly embarrassing result of this, he completely wore out 2 gearboxes, as the shaft would spin on the engine not in use (he never locked the gearbox in forward gear, or fitted shaft clutches) & in due course this was the result. She was sold in the 1960s by Morton to a friend of Kens, John Richards, who was the owner that changed the name to Koala. Can anyone update ww on what became of her post John Richards ownership?

One thought on “Koala (Amaryllis)

  1. I remember as a school boy working for Frank Robinson about 1969-70 who had a marine engine reconditioning business at Devonport. I believe Frank owned Amaryllis at that time, don’t know when he purchased and sold her though.

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