In front of family and friends at his Barmah home, Bill Vickers christened his boat, Pelican.TRENT HORNEMAN April 7, 2014 3:54am
Eleven years ago, Bill Vickers set about restoring an old boat, while awaiting a heart transplant.
On Friday, he finally got to christen the bow in front of family and friends at his Barmah home.
Mr Vickers recalled standing at the counter of Echuca timber company Dempsey Galvin ordering wood for the boat in 2003 when he received a life-changing phone call.
‘‘Guy Galvin came out and said I had a phone call,’’ Mr Vickers said.
‘‘It was my wife asking me whether I had my phone with me.
‘‘I told her that I did, but it was turned off,’’ he said.
‘‘I was in ordering timber for the boat and there was a guy on life support in New Zealand, who would eventually be my heart donor.’’
Mr Vickers said Friday’s celebration was a major milestone.
‘‘It is 11 years and one day since I started work on the boat,’’ he said.
‘‘It is (also) 11 years since the transplant, so I am 11 years old today.’’
Mr Vickers said the restoration was put on hold while he recovered from the transplant.
The boat, dubbed Pelican, was also put on hold while Mr Vickers built Heart to Heart House, a retreat for people recovering from transplants, which is just a stone’s throw from his front door.
He has also prepared a caravan to take travelling with his wife, Glenys.
Since his life-changing operation, Mr Vickers has been a strong advocate for people signing up to become organ donors.
He said his new heart allowed him to build Heart to Heart house, refurbish his boat and caravan as well as see his grandchildren grow.
While inclement weather prevented the Pelican from entering the Murray River on Friday, Mr Vickers said he had taken it for a test drive.
‘‘It goes like a 747,’’ he said.
Having previously boated the length of the Murray River, from Albury to Goolwa, Mr Vickers said he would like to do another long journey.
‘‘I did the full length in 1999,’’ he said.
‘‘I think this time around I would like to do something similar, but not as far.’’
Goulburn Valley Suns have taken it right up to Kingston City only to go down by a single goal in a hard-fought National Premier Leagues contest.
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
THREE words were chanted in unison at Hopwood Gardens, Echuca on Thursday night — bring them here.
EVERY day about 5000 motorists travel the Northern Hwy between Elmore and Rochester.
KYABRAM’S Margaret and Leonard Flint have come a long way since meeting in the early 1950s.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
YOU probably wouldn’t expect to find an intensive care nurse running an award winning hotel and brewery, but that’s exactly what you will find when you visit Tooborac.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
At 77 years of age, popular local golfer Paul ‘Tango’ has claimed his second hole-in-one.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.