“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
— William James 

1885

NORMAN R. WRIGHT

 

Norman Wright, was one of the true doyens of the Australian Wooden boatbuilding industry. He is arguably the greatest mentor of classic wooden boat builders in our history.

NORMAN WRIGHT, HIS HISTORY AND HIS BOATS.

 

Norman R Wright was born in 1885 in rather unremarkable circumstances in the isolated suburb of Bulimba, adjacent to the shores of the Brisbane River in Queensland Australia.  

The Bulimba Electorate was created in 1872 and in 1879 the Bulimba Divisional Board was created as the local government authority for the area from Tingalpa Creek to Stone's Corner. Most of the housing subdivisions in this area took place during the land boom of the 1880s. Bulimba, Bulimba Bridge, Circular Quay, Bulimba Ferry, and the Love and Jamieson Paddock Estates were all developed in central Bulimba during this period. The building boom resulted in a great increase in the number of developments and residents in Bulimba. 

The staff at the original Norman R Wright Newstead boat yard. From the left, Ted Jackman, James Hogan Smith, Percy Tripcony, Gilbert Lumsden, Morris Brooks, Norman R Wright, Blucher, "the yard dog', Frank Gould, Jack McLeer and Charles Crowley in the loft.

By 1909 Norman’s vision had broadened and when an opportunity presented itself to buy out an ailing boat building business owned by a Mr. Woodhead, Frederick Hart, agreed to lend Norman the sum of £200.00 to get him started and with his solid reputation as a quality tradesman from his days at Whereats, he ventured out on his own.

The first boat commissioned to Norman Wright to build was a shallow draft, gaff rigged schooner called “Superb” built for James Hogan Smith.

1885

Oenone was built for the Hancock family, started in 1932 and completed in 1934, this boat and the income derived is said to have helped Norman R Wright, survive the great depression. 

By 1909 Norman’s vision had broadened and when an opportunity presented itself to buy out an ailing boat building business owned by a Mr. Woodhead, Frederick Hart, agreed to lend Norman the sum of £200.00 to get him started and with his solid reputation as a quality tradesman from his days at Whereats, he ventured out on his own.

The first boat commissioned to Norman Wright to build was a shallow draft, gaff rigged schooner called “Superb” built for James Hogan Smith.

Shortly after the refit of the cargo vessels, Norman Wright was commissioned to build 4 of the British designed Fairmiles to be used as coastal patrol vessels and escort ships. The Fairmiles, built by all of the Commonwealth nations during the war era were 112’ long and were shipped in kit form owing to their ease of construction and quick turnaround times.

NORMAN AND RONALD WRIGHT TAKE OVER THE BUSINESS.


Ron Wright formally took over the business in 1953. It was incorporated into a new business Norman R Wright and Sons Pty Ltd.  


Whilst the boat building business continued to flourish, throughout the 1950’s in the shadow of their Fathers racing pedigree, both Norman and Ronald dominated the 16’ and 18’ class racing skiffs, taking a number of Australian titles as well as a world championship in 1956. 

Shortly after the refit of the cargo vessels, Norman Wright was commissioned to build 4 of the British designed Fairmiles to be used as coastal patrol vessels and escort ships. The Fairmiles, built by all of the Commonwealth nations during the war era were 112’ long and were shipped in kit form owing to their ease of construction and quick turnaround times.

RON & VALERIE TAYLOR

Ron and Valerie Taylor opened our eyes to the wonders of marine life, and specifically sharks. Ron and Valerie were born in 1934 and 1935 respectively, and met as members of the St George Spearfishing Club in Sydney.

Norman R Wright was born in 1885 in rather unremarkable circumstances in the isolated suburb of Bulimba, adjacent to the shores of the Brisbane River in Queensland Australia.  
 

The Bulimba Electorate was created in 1872 and in 1879 the Bulimba Divisional Board was created as the local government authority for the area from Tingalpa Creek to Stone's Corner. Most of the housing subdivisions in this area took place during the land boom of the 1880s. Bulimba, Bulimba Bridge, Circular Quay, Bulimba Ferry, and the Love and Jamieson Paddock Estates were all developed in central Bulimba during this period. The building boom resulted in a great increase in the number of developments and residents in Bulimba.