Wairuru – Auckland to Suva, 1947


Waruru Cover

Wairuru – Auckland to Suva, 1947

I was recently contacted by Steph Mellors who advised she had a short diary written aboard the 1937, Charles Bailey & Sons built motorsailer Wairuru, during a passage from Auckland to Apia, Samoa in  June 1947.

On the cover (see above) is written in pencil Capt. Robt. Patterson, given the content of the diary, Steph does not think he wrote it. (I agree)

The NZ Maritime Index, records that Wairuru, owned by A G Bertram was sold in 1947 to O. F. Nelson & Co. Ltd., Apia, Western Samoa – who renamed her – Gaualofa. The records also sadly record that she was wrecked on 22 November 1953, on the South coast of Savai’i Island, near Sala’ihua.

Steph is unsure how she acquired the diary, thinks “probably rescued it from someone’s wastepaper basket in a fit of – it could be of interest to someone”.

Thankfully she saved it & now over 70 years later we get to share it. Enjoy the read, I did.

Any guesses as to who the author was?

Wairuru 1

Wairuru 2>3

Wairuru 4>5

Wairuru 6>7

Wairuru 8>9

Wairuru 10>11

Wairuru 12

I couldn’t do a WW post without a boat photo – my clinker dinghy Peg at Patio Bay. Which is a good excuse to remind you that today is the last day of the Classic Launch & Yacht – Clinker Boats Exhibition – details below – AND ITS FREE TO GET IN.

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Clinker Event Ad

4 thoughts on “Wairuru – Auckland to Suva, 1947

  1. Pingback: Wairuru & Lady Jocelyn | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  2. WAIRURU was designed by Ernie Bailey of Charles Bailey and launched in 1937. She preceded the LADY JOCELYN which was almost a sister but slightly larger at 60 feet. A number of the type (known as the Margaret class) for service in the SW Pacific were built at Auckland during WW2 as part of the wartime shipbuilding program. WAIRURU was the last vessel to serve the cheese factory at Waitakaruru.

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  3. WAIRURU was hardly a “motorsailer”. She was a 18 ton 52ft cargo launch used around the Gulf and to Whangarei by Robert Patterson (“Skip” Patterson’s son) during WW2 with the reporting number of 602. Patterson sold her to Apia owners in 1947 and did the delivery trip.

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