ALANA – Where Is She
Recently I was contacted by Al Laslett regarding the launch – Alana, that his grandfather, Alan Laslett, owned in the 1950’s. Subsequent correspondence with Al’s mother, Anne Palmer (nee Laslett), has uncovered the above photos and intel on the vessel below.
Alana was built in the 1950’s in the backyard at, Anne believes 54 Tarawera Tce., St Heliers or on a property nearby. Anne it not sure of the exact date she was launched, but believes it was before mid 1958. Anne believes that Alana was kauri planked and her mother once told her it was approx. 36’ > 40’ in length.
Anne’s father, Alan, was quarry manager for McCallum Bros. on Pakihi Island from approx. 1958 until his sudden death in May 1960 (heart attack). He had separated from his wife, and was waiting for the divorce to come through when he died. Because he was still legally married, the launch passed to his wife Elsie and the family do not know what happened to her after that – presumably sold. The family has tried several times to find where she is now, but to no avail. The only reference they know is a single mention in a Radio Hauraki news bulletin in the 1980’s about a cabin fire on a launch called Alana on the Waitemata Harbour.
The unusual cabin design was because Anne’s father was a very tall man and specifically built a cabin where he could not hit his head. She was rigged for deep sea fishing, but Alan never got the chance to do that. Alan died just before his 50th birthday, at the time Anne was only 19 months old and her sister was 6 weeks old. Sadly Anne has no memories of my father or the launch, only the old photos above.
In the photo at the wharf at Pakihi Island, Alan is the tall, balding man at the back, is full name was Alan Edgar Laslett. He used to drive taxis in Auckland just before he and Anne’s mother went to Pakihi Island.
So woodys – big call out today – Anne and her son Al, would love to find the Alana and if possible see her in person – I’ll give a WW t-shirt to the woody that provides the best intel.
30-03-2020 Update / Input from Anne Palmer
Anne was sent the photo below from her cousin David who lives in Australia. David commented that the boat was nearing completion in the backyard of Alan & Elsie’s property at Tarawera Terrace, St. Heliers, taken in December 1955.