Butterbox boat is on display

Beautifully restored: Butterbox boat with Andrew Dowling, Richie White and Rod Carmichael.

Beautifully restored: Butterbox boat with Andrew Dowling, Richie White and Rod Carmichael.

A beautifully restored hull of the oldest boat left in Robe the “Butterbox” has now been put on permanent display at the entrance to the Robe harbour.

The restoration of this important piece of our history was undertaken by a small group of Robe residents at their own expense.

The restoration process was started by the late John Stuart skipper of the Robe charter boat Hot Spot with Dennis Currer.

The restoration was then taken over by Ritchie White,Rod Carmichael and Andrew Dowlling, who again at their own expense painstakingly brought the hull to the splendid state it now enjoys.

It was originally built for the Royal Australian Army, and served as a small supply boat, taking provisions and equipment to personnel engaged in the lonely and dangerous job of monitoring enemy troop movements by sea, around the islands to our north during the Second World War.      

After the war the boat was bought by fisherman Luke Birmingham, who then brought it to Robe and put it to work as a fishing boat.

Jan Birmingham, the daughter of Luke Birmingham, will be conducting the religious ceremony the Blessing of the Fleet this Sunday as she has done for the last 10 years.

The history of Robe’s fishing families is rich in character, and the story of Luke and his Butterbox boat is part of it.

Join the fishermen of Robe, Cape Jaffa and Kingston for the Blessing of the Fleet at the Robe Marina this coming Sunday, and be a part of that important tradition.

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