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.’’
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
McIvor Creek – in and around Heathcote – has gone over its banks with all our recent rain, flooding streets and causing closures and detours.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
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.