Sixty Six Wooden Launches Assemble Off Westhaven

Sixty Six Wooden Launches Assemble Off Westhaven

In early 1961 Auckland hosted the British Medical Association conference, with attendees from all over the Commonwealth attending. Included in the conference was a ‘break’ day where the delegates and wives were taken on a picnic to Motuihe Island.

In the photo above we see the launches that were transporting everyone to the island, assembling off Westhaven. At the time it was one of the biggest organised gatherings of pleasure craft seen in New Zealand with over 66  laid on.The weather gods smiled on the day and Arnold Baldwin’s launch – Valsan was the convoy flagship.

There are a lot of woodys in the photo that still grace the Waitemata today. The photo and details come to us from the April 1961 Sea Spray magazine via Angus Rogers.

2 thoughts on “Sixty Six Wooden Launches Assemble Off Westhaven

  1. I have decided to try & do a list of all the boats I know & can recall, which from all those years ago I am certain or am very confident, were a part of this “great day out.” Obviously after all these years this is very E & OE

    Naturally, I do not recall, or even know, all 66, but will do the best I can, with owners of the day’s names, where known, or recalled & hopefully others will be able to add to this list.

    Some of these I have been able to identify from the images in the post, in addition to my own recall & are as below;

    VALSAN (Arnold Baldwin), REIHIA (Bill Ryan), WAINUNU (Clive Power), VOYAGEUR (Jack Lewis), ROYAL FALCON (Jack Wrightson), GAY DAWN (Ralph Ricketts), HUKARERE (Les Ravenhall), TIROMOANA (Henry Allen) AURORA (Colin Stewart), ALCYONE (Aubrey Webster), MENAI (Clive Menzies) RUAMANO (Jim Luke), RAKANOA (Parker family), LADY EILEEN (Gordon Hunter), LADY GAY (Joe Wilson) LADY MARGARET (by Dick Lang) (Ted Clarke). LADY NORMA (EX WANDA II) (Gordon Cole), LADY CROSSLEY (Sanders), Manuroa (Len Swan), SAFARI (Karl Kasper), GALA LASS (Tony Hurt) & /or LADY RAE (Ken Simpson) – (identical sisterships), CONNIE V (Valentine family), NGARO (Laurie Woods), RAIONA (Secombe), MANANUI (Percy Colebrook), AMAKURA (Les Webber) ORARI II (Harry Julian) ISLE OF ARAN (Dr Douglas Guthrie), MATANUI (Joe Kissin) LADY CLAIRE (Stan Headland) — (Query RANUI & LUANA?)

    There was a section of the fleet that originated in the Tamaki River Half Moon Bay area, & they joined up with the main flotilla off St. Heliers Bay — KEN R


  2. I was with my parents on their GAY DAWN & about 6 specialist English medical practitioners, & I’m sure it is a day none of us, both owners & crew, & visitors who were there, will ever forget.

    It was JUST AMAZING, & Arnold B did a wonderful job, of putting it all together. it really was a great sight going down the harbour.

    One special little hilarity of the day was that a local brewery supplied copious quantities of their product to all of the boats, specially labeled for the occasion, unusual at hat time, (at least to me,) & containing the very important words in very large letters, which where in the form of the following instructions, “TO BE OPENED ONLY UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION,” which of course we all zealously adhered to.



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