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One-handed Model Boat Builder, Builds Replica of the Sailing Ship Barque Elizabeth that first brought the Sisters of Mercy to Australia

Found in: News & Events

Two years ago, Mercy Village ~ Wembley resident Ray Holwill took on the mammoth task of building a model replica of the sailing ship Barque Elizabeth which brought the Sisters of Mercy to Australia in 1846. The enormity of this task is made even more incredible given the fact that Ray built the boat one-handed, after a stroke in 2006 left him with the use of only one arm. In a ceremony to be held on Friday 23rd April at 4.30pm, Ray will hand over the model ship to Mercy Village ~ Wembley for display in the Reception Room of the Community Centre.

\"This was a difficult project, far more difficult than was first envisaged. However with the support of my family, friends from the village and fellow modellers the project has been completed!\" said Ray.

Ray scoured the world for information on the dimensions of the ship and finally tracked down the one and only drawing in existence of the Barque Elizabeth in the Plans & Photographs Department of the British National Maritime Museum. Upon receiving a copy of the drawing, Ray set to work building his masterpiece. The intricate detail in every spar, crossarm, the rigging and decking are testament to the many hours of painstaking work that Ray has put in to the Barque Elizabeth.

\"I do hope the Sisters of Mercy get as much enjoyment when looking at this model and understanding their part in the history and social development of Western Australia, as I have had building her!\" Ray said.

The Sisters of Mercy, led by Sister Ursula Frayne, left Gravesend on 18th September 1845 and arrived in Fremantle on the 8th January 1846. Mercy Village ~ Wembley, a division of MercyCare, is located on Ruislip St, Wembley.

For more information please contact:

Chris Gaggin, Manager, Mercy Village ~ Wembley. Tel (08) 9442 3444