Royal Papua Yacht Club, Life Members



Born on October 10, 1940, in Queensland Australia, Trevor Graham Kerr arrived in June 1967, to join the firm of Frame Harvey as a Civil Engineer. He was a full member of the Royal Papua Yacht Club for 32 years.

Trevor began sailing in 1967, with the then senior dinghy class, the 3 man “Lightweight Sharpies”. As it turned out in the future the 3 members of the individual crew all became Commodores and Life Members of the R.P.Y.C; the other two being John Wild and Ted Harvey.

Trevor became involved in committee work in 1969, Secretary of the Lightweight Sharpie and class rep to the Sailing Committee, (in those days and until 1984 there were 9 sailing classes). In 1970, he became President of the Sharpie Class and held that position until 1973. In 1976 he was Captain Sail, a position held again on four different occasions, in 1977, 1979, and 1980. For his efforts in 1976 Trevor received the Yachtsman of the Year Award. The year was one of the yachting highlights with an approximate average of 68 dinghy class and 15 “A” Class yachts competing throughout the season.

Trevor represented P.N.G twice in the Australian Championships in his “Lightweight Sharpie” in Hobart and Brisbane and over the years collected all the class awards on the local scene. With the untimely death of David Purdy in 1977, Trevor became Vice Commodore and again in 1978, to the Commodore and friend, Hugh Richardson.

With the introduction of the Hobie 16’s in 1979, with long term crew member Bill Phillips, he became the Inaugural National Champion of the class and represented P.N.G in the 6th South Pacific Games in Fiji. While holding the position of Vice Commodore in 1981, Trevor took over the reins of Commodore from Brian Spencer in 1982. Trevor completed that year as Immediate Past Commodore.

In 1980, Trevor Kerr received the very special honour of being awarded the Dave Purdy Memorial Trophy, an award that had only been presented three times to that date. Valued at approximately K12,000.00 at that time, the solid sterling silver Trophy was designed by artist Lyn Plummer and styled by silversmith Ian Buchanan and is awarded for outstanding service to the Club, Sporting; Search and Rescue and Sail Training.

In 1977, he represented P.N.G, in the World Half Ton Championships off Sydney with skipper and Life Member, Greg Sheehan. In 1980 he became the Inaugural Race Director of the Cairns – Port Moresby Ocean Classic and was Sail Master on the winning cruising yacht “Karana” skippered by Hugh Richardson that finished second across the line to the mighty “Apollo”. With some 5000 nautical miles of blue water racing and some 4000 nautical miles of cruising, Trevor jointly owns, with his wife Elizabeth, the 46’ Formosan Cutter, “Blithe Spirit”, upon which they have since completed some extended cruising.

In 1984, the Club again honoured Trevor’s long involvement with it granting him Life Member status.

Trevors other great achievement in PNG was all the civil projects he worked on; the roads: Wewak - Angoram Daulo Pass to Watabung portions of the Highlands Highway; Kieta – Buin on Bougainville and the Luluai River bridge and finally the Tapini Bakoiudu road; the buildings: Pacific Place; Cuthbertson House; Gerehu High School Lae International Lodge and the GG’s residence redevelopment.

When asked what he remembers most Trevor responded that there were many memorable times “but one that I remain very proud of was being asked to be race coordinator of the Hiri Cup canoe race in 1978”. He said that at his ‘Go Pinis’ party Sir Wiwa Korowi thanked him for what he had done for PNG and his response was the opposite ‘it was what PNG had done for me that was so important. Raising Deborah, Neil, Sarah and Thomas in PNG also gave each one of them a great balanced start in life and many fond memories of their childhood.