Gladstone Maritime Museum interior designer Tess Groen-Int-Woud, museum manager Ian Griffiths, Deanna Wassell and president Lindsay Wassell with the new display cabinets purchased through a generous donation of $40,000 from local jeweller Ross Patrick and his wife Rhyll. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone Maritime Museum interior designer Tess Groen-Int-Woud, museum manager Ian Griffiths, Deanna Wassell and president Lindsay Wassell with the new display cabinets purchased through a generous donation of $40,000 from local jeweller Ross Patrick and his wife Rhyll. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Gladstone jeweller donates $40k in honour of father

WHEN Gladstone’s Ross Patrick heard the maritime museum was calling for assistance, he picked up the phone and offered to donate $40,000 as a way to honour his legendary yachtsman father Noel’s memory.

The Patricks Jewellers owner read a story in The Observer about the Gladstone Maritime Museum needing donations so he thought “it was about time” he called president Lindsay Wassell.

“I saw the story that they were asking for assistance to set up the new museum, so I got in contact with Lindsay and ‘he put the word on me’,” Mr Patrick said.

Ross and Rhyll Patrick (centre) celebrate Patrick Jeweller's 100th anniversary at the Gladstone Grand in October 2019 with staff.
Ross and Rhyll Patrick (centre) celebrate Patrick Jeweller's 100th anniversary at the Gladstone Grand in October 2019 with staff.

“He said we really need some new cabinets, the Ports Corporation want us to have new display cabinets in the new museum.

“I asked how much that would cost and Lindsay said over $40,000, and I thought it was about time I did something so I put my hand up on behalf of my family.

“I don’t think Lindsay expected me to say yes, rightio, here’s forty grand.

“He was worried, they wanted something nice and new and they didn’t have the money.”

Mr Patrick’s father Noel was renowned in maritime circles, having designed and built many boats, his first when he was just 16.

“There is a lot of my family and a fair bit of my father in that museum, because of all the boating he did he was well known,” Mr Patrick said.

President Lindsay Wassell and manager Ian Griffiths at the entrance to the new Gladstone Maritime Museum at East Shores. Picture: Rodney Stevens
President Lindsay Wassell and manager Ian Griffiths at the entrance to the new Gladstone Maritime Museum at East Shores. Picture: Rodney Stevens

“He was always designing and building boats, mostly sailing boats, most of his life.

“Wistari was a yacht he built, which he launched in 1965, and she still sits in the creek opposite the yacht club.”

Noel Patrick went onto win four Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Races over 50 years in Wistari and also designed the Reflex, a line boat used for mooring ships, which still sits at the marina.

Tragically he died of a heart attack while on board the pick-up boat Gedrick in 1993.

“When I heard the museum needed help I thought it was about time I get involved, so I thought bugger it, here’s the forty grand for the cabinets they needed,” Mr Patrick said.

Gladstone Maritime Museum took delivery of the 26 cabinets from Melbourne company Showfront on Friday morning.

Mr Wassell said it was fantastic to see the new museum at East Shores coming together.

He said without the extremely generous support of Gladstone Ports Corporation, delivering this state-of-the-art facility would not be possible.

The new Gladstone Maritime Museum display cabinets purchased through a generous donation of $40,000 from local jeweller Ross Patrick are moved into the new museum at East Shores. Picture: Rodney Stevens
The new Gladstone Maritime Museum display cabinets purchased through a generous donation of $40,000 from local jeweller Ross Patrick are moved into the new museum at East Shores. Picture: Rodney Stevens

“We are absolutely blown away by the donation,” Mr Wassell said.

“The fact a local family can come forward with such a generous donation is overwhelming really.

“These brilliant cabinets are specifically designed for museums.

“Now that the Brisbane Maritime Museum is closing up, these cabinets will make the Gladstone Maritime Museum what it really deserves to be – world class.

From Tuesday to Thursday next week, Mr Wassell said the museum was holding free workshops where the public was welcome.

“The cabinets will go a long way to getting us set up, but we always require more helpers and more donations,” he said.

“Anyone who wants to pop in to the workshops and get a taste of what the museum is all about is most welcome.”

The workshops will be held from 9am to 3pm at the new Maritime Museum facility at East Shores, behind Auckland House.

Attendees are reminded to BYO lunch.

Anyone interested in volunteering or making a donation to the museum can call Mr Wassell on 0419 722 495.