Keith was fourteen years old when he went to sea. He spent two years on his uncle’s boat fishing out of Western Australia’s Geraldton. He went on to spend 50 years in the merchant service, working the coast, the international trades and the offshore oil industry.
Keith’s favourite ship was Adelaide Steamship Company’s Minnipa. It worked the famous Gulf Trip carrying 150 passengers on a £6 cruise of South Australia’s gulfs. It was a happy ship with a holiday atmosphere and, best of all, the crew spent every Saturday night home in Adelaide and sailed on Monday mornings.
When he retired Keith was asked to support the Maritime Museum by skippering our launch Archie Badenoch. Once a fortnight he spends the day taking school groups on tours of the Port River. Keith says ‘Archie is a great little vessel, a pleasure to handle. Every time we take it out the kids spot dolphins and they have a great. It is a nice way to keep my connection with the sea.’
In 2009 Keith received the inaugural Heritage Heroes Award from the Minister for Environment and Heritage (now Premier) Jay Weatherill. The award was presented collectively to the crews of the Museum’s vessels Archie Badenoch and ST Yelta.