A Woodys 104th Birthday Party


A Woodys 104th Birthday Party

We don’t normally do Happy Birthday stories on ww but today is a little special – Keith Dawson is celebrating his 104th birthday. Keith these days resides in Port Macquarie, Australia but 82 years ago he skippered the 34’ ketch Seaward.

Below is a NZ Herald article of 5/10/1935 written by Leslie Crago about a day trip down harbour on Seaward. This article was sent to me by Ross Dawson, Keith’s ‘younger’ brother.

In the article Les Crago refers to himself as the ‘mate’ & while the skipper is not named Ross is confident it’s his brother Keith. Life was a lot harder back then without a motor J

The ‘girls’ onboard may have included the brother’s sister, who turns 101 next month. Good genes in the Dawson family.

Speaking with Harold Kidd he mentioned that he had Leslie Crago’s photograph album that included photos of Seaward on this trip or one similar, these are the b/w ones above.

So Keith Dawson Happy Birthday from all us woodys & I’m sure you will be pleased to see the old girl is still sailing the Waitemata J

Input from Neil Chalmers – The same Keith Dawson who along with his mate Dick Wellington sailed  the 26 foot  ‘Roxane ‘ (built by Lou Tercel and his brothers) from Auckland to Sydney in 1937.
Neil tells me Keith’s  book about this voyage -‘Voyage of the Roxane’ is a good read, I must hunt a copy down.



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5 thoughts on “A Woodys 104th Birthday Party

  1. Just re reading this posting after word of Keith Dawson crossing the bar (so prefer that term to “dying” -the latter sounds so final somehow(!).
    Harold always said Seaweed was a trifle slow. But so (in scale and comparison) was Endeavour. Cook jilled round off Cook Strait, I seem to recall, for some six weeks waiting for a fair wind to blow them through. So as Maurice Griffiths always said, “Make the wind and tides your friends.” I am sure that a man with 105 years under his belt did this metaphorically if not actually. Old age comes at the wrong time, is not for the faint-hearted (Warren Johannsen) and remember above all, you do not get old by being stupid!


  2. Pingback: ROXANE & a 105th Birthday Party | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  3. Wow the trip down sounds like ours on Sunday just gone, but three hours from the town side of Motuihe to Browns !! I could swim it quicker, I know Seaward wasnt happy to go to windward but that sounds gruelling, 18 hours to mechanics bay.


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