‘Marion’ by Any Other Name

The vessel ‘Marion’ was owned by Hector Tripcony and like many other small craft during World War II it was requisitioned by the Navy in July 1942.

Hector was not impressed when he heard rumours that the Navy was going to compulsory acquire his boat so he hid her in mangroves at the mouth of the Brisbane River (somewhere in the Boat Passage) but this was to no avail. The navy also took his tender which was equipped with a Johnson outboard motor, a prized possession at the time.

 After the War ‘Marion’ was taken over by Qld Department of Harbours and Marine 

in 1946 and used as a Survey Vessel with the surveyors and crew living on board for up to 3 weeks at a time. She was renamed ‘Ferret’ and was used in surveying almost all Queensland ports and made regular trips north into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Eventually she was declared beyond reasonable repair, with the stem and keel eaten out and around 1973 she was donated to the Maritime Museum at South Brisbane.  It is understood that the Maritime Museum removed the echo sounder and subsequently burnt the vessel.

Marion was equipped with mainsail and headsail and on one occasion Hector and a fishing party were outside deep-sea fishing and they had engine trouble so the vessel was navigated across the South Passage Bar and back to Breakfast Creek entirely under sail. Such were the lessons in seamanship and self-reliance, learned from his father Con Tripcony and Grandfather Thomas Martin Tripcony that this was considered an unremarkable event.

‘Ferret’ on the Brisbane River in 1952

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