I was contacted yesterday by Greg Philpott, up until recently the owner of the Opua General Store in the Bay of Islands. Greg is on a missions – I’ll let him tell the story.
“By way of introduction, my partner Margaret and I have recently sold the Opua General Store business after owning it for just short of 6 years. During that time I became immersed in the history of the General Store and Opua itself (along with it forerunner Te Wharau, which was the town that grew up in the 1870’s/80’s to service the Loading Ground – the site where Kawakawa coal was trans-loaded to ships at anchor. In 1884 the rail line was extended to Newport (now Opua), many buildings were shifted from Te Wharau to Opua and as such the township of Te Wharau has now totally disappeared.) The reason for relating that little snapshot is that all manner of launches, workboats, ferries and tourist craft have been a part of Opua (and by locational connection, the Bay of Islands) for its entire existence.
And so on to my current project – The Boats of the Bay. This is looking at the history of the commercial tourist Boats of the Bay of Islands. Their origins, their working life and their final situation
Here’s where I need help – Knoxie III was built for A E Fullers and Sons by Warne Bros at Matauwhi Bay in 1939. She was renamed Miss Ida in 1949. Whilst built originally to enhance the Fullers fleet for the Cream Trip it appears that much of her latter days were spent as a work boat and as the back-up launch for the Opua Okiato vehicular ferry, photos above. I am looking for pictures of her carrying the name Knoxie III And when did she depart the Fullers fleet and what was her history post Fullers?”
Over the weekend two of waitematawoodys cub reporters 🙂 were snooping around Sulphur Point Marina in Tauranga & put their iPhones to good use. Thanks to Jason Prew & Nathan Herbert for this peek at some of the classics in the Bay.