PUP LN 27 > TOPAZ
WW was recently contacted by Carol Jukes who is researching her late fathers fishing trawler – Pup, I’ll let Carol tell the story, below.
“My Father George Hemsley purchased the fishing trawler ‘PUP’ about 1933 from Akaroa, he fished out of Lyttelton with his friend Peg Gillard. Her registration number was LN 27. Pup was 25’ x 7′ x 3’ 6”. I have been able to follow the Pup’s life off and on to the present day, she is now on Stewart Island and has been so for the last few years. Along the way she had a name change and is now known as ‘TOPAZ’. At some time she was badly crushed by a boat in Dunedin, the damage was so severe that it must have been recorded at the time, unfortunately not having a date for this accident I have not been able to find a record of the event. A few years later the sad state of this boat was seen by a sympathetic boatie who bought her, and over the years did a fantastic repair job on her. Pup / Topaz was given a new lease on life. This boat must be around 100 years old.
I have managed to get some information from Papers Past, but there are holes in that. She was called into do a few heroic things so of course they are recorded.
I also have the name of the present owner and have spoken to the person who rebuilt her and have some photos of the rebuild, looking at the photos I think most people would have taken one look and run, I gather it had been sitting in it’s sad state for a few years before he bought it. I take my hat off for the rebuild. It’s actually a funny story, after my Dad died eleven years ago my brother took his ashes to Stewart Island, he decided to go for a ride on one of the boats there, he mentioned to the skipper about Dad’s boat, on the way back in this skipper pointed to a boat and said to David is this your Dads boat? As you can imagine David nearly fell overboard in shock because it was Dad’s boat, renamed Topaz.
It is since this incident that I have followed up and tried to find more about her history because at the time we knew nothing other than Dad had owned her. I am working away on a book on his life and this will be part of it.
Any information on this boat Pup / Topaz would be very much appreciated.”
In the first photo we see Pup on the dry dock c.1934 with owner George Hemsley. Photo two is her then named Topaz, after repairs.