Royal Papua Yacht Club, Life Members
Many new members of the club take for granted the facilities that are now available for their enjoyment. Few of us realize how many times since World War II the Club has been close to extinction, only to be resurrected time and again by the “Old Boys”, those men not seeking social status, influence or privilege, but those who are unpretentious hard-working battlers. One of those men is Life Member Jim Hayes.
Jim arrived in this country in 1949 as a welder for an oil exploration company, in a standover job for twelve months until his “turn” came for employment with a tin dredging organization in Malaysia. However, his lust for adventure waned and Moresby began to grow on him.
During the emergency in Malaysia, tin dredging became rather hazardous as hot lead flew in all directions .Jim, with a smile on his face and his hide unpunctured, threw himself into private enterprise to emerge as one of Port Moresby’s largest structural engineers.
Jim could count the number of times he was out sailing on one hand, would not have known what a water ski was, claimed to be a keen bottom fisherman, but could only just catch enough to satisfy his ego, and looked like an ill-bred leti after a night’s fishing at Idihi.
But Jim was at home with steel. He constructed the initial steel structure of the old club security bars; 3 pontoons, 1 catwalk, and supervised the fabrication and erection of the “Macdui” mast and other lesser items – all for the cost of materials.
In addition, Jim served on committees, had been a constant and active supporter of club policies and activities and did more than his bit socially.
Jimmy Hayes was granted Life Membership of the 7th June 1966 in recognition of his considerable efforts involved in his personal contributions and donation of the steel to the Club. We owe much to the “Old Boys”.