Back in February 2017 I posted a photo (below) of Hirawanu, the 1948 Lidgard bridge-decker & asked the question – WHY? Well thanks to Gerard Dods, the grandson of George Nesbit Dods , who owned her in the 1970’s (& kept her in Tauranga) we now have a photo of her c.1977-78 to she her as she was a designed / built & looking very handsome.
Gerard commented that his grand father bought her off the estate of a man from Rotorua whose name was Walter Lee. Walter Lee and his brothers owned a timber business in Rotorua called ‘Lee Brothers’. His son, Colin Lee was a friend of George Dods and to the best of Gerard’s knowledge is still alive and lives in Te Puke. Gerard is not sure how long Walter Lee owned Hirawanu before his grand father bought her in 1974.
Gerard has also questioned the build her, previously on WW we have said c.1948, but he thinks its more like mid 1950s – I’m sure someone can clear that up for us. Harold Kidd is on record saying c.1946, so I would believe that over distant memories.
Hirawanui is a bigger version of the 1946 Lidgard launch – Monterey, this adds weight to the mid 1940’s build versus mid 1950’s. Monterey is owned my my friends Sue & Mark Edmonds, who have a photo of the Lidgard. shed, which looked like an assembly line – at the time, old Roy Lidgard was pushing out these boats like peas out of pod 🙂
Thanks to Ken Ricketts for forwarding in Gerard’s comments & photo
Harold Kidd Input – Well HIRAWANU was owned by C.T. Jonas in 1946 as recorded in his RNZYS membership from 1946 to 1948, equipped with a 30hp Lister. In 1952 she was owned by M. Matos. C.T. Jonas was a very well-known yachtsman at the time. He had owned the Coulthard CAROLYN (E61), then had Lidgards build MATATUA (B9) in 1938 and HINEMOA (A1) in 1948. HIRAWANU seems to have filled the brief gap between MATATUA and HINEMOA……all Lidgard boats.