Keith started boating (admittedly in a tin canoe bashed out of old corrugated roofing) circa 1920, graduating to a P class, and later Zeddie, sailed off Takapuna beach at the foot of Hauraki Road where his family lived.
I understand he was a foundation pupil of Takapuna Grammar School…albeit reluctantly….his sister says he was known to step through one door of the old steam tram, but dismount the other side to spend the day more productively at the beach! His first job was with John Burns, marine section.
He was a keen member of the RNZN volunteer reserve enjoying voyages on the cruisers HMS Dunedin & Diomede, based in NZ. He & mates often sailed the well known ketch “Seaward” on behalf of an absentee owner.
Together with his friend Dick Wellington, they purchased the Tercel yacht “Roxane” (ref. WW.) & sailed her across to Sydney, via Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands, and landfall at Newcastle At this time the Roxane at 26 foot overall was the smallest craft to complete the crossing…all this in the winter of 1937.
On his first night ashore at Sydney he met,…”a very attractive red head, Betty”. The result, he later married her, Roxane was sold, and Keith spent the next 81 years “in” Australia, but remaining, emphatically, a “Kiwi”! For many years he worked among the Sydney yachting scene, mainly as a rigger.
In 1987, on his 74th birthday his family arranged a surprise visit to Cairns, where to his delight he went for a sail on old Roxane. He later lost touch with her various owners, but this sturdy Tercel built kauri vessels quite possibly remains in some Aussie anchorage?
“Home is the sailor, home from the sea” (R L Stevenson) Voyage on brother…”
Woody Trip To The Riverhead Hotel
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