The Northern Star and "The Association".


A collection of newspaper articles on the Northern Star from the early 1950s, together with links to Trove.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Friday 20 January 1950, page 6

But Pip and mate want new ship. WITH £30,000 to spend enterprising Pip and Yvonne Bolton have sailed a former patrol boat to Melbourne from Cairns in search of a cargo ship to carry on trade with the Indies. Since December, Mr. Bolton has been captain of the "Northern Star" - a 112ft. Converted Navy Fairmile – which does luxury tourist runs from Cairns to Thursday Island in winter. The sea holds no mysteries for him. Bom in Fleetwood, Lancashire, England, Pip went to sea when he was 13, rising to be bosun on the "Aquitania" when he was only 24. In 1938 he came to Australia, but returned to England and joined the merchant navy when war began. With his wife it is a different story. When Yvonne met Pip in Cairns during the war she was a showgirl. Now she cooks on board, cleans the decks, and even takes the wheel. "She's got the sea in her blood, though," her husband said yesterday. "Her father was an extra master on the China coast." And Yvonne added: "During the war I was with an entertainment group. We were transported around the islands in any old tub. I wasn't sick then - so I never will be. "I love life at sea. I couldn't stay at home now. We have a flat in Cairns, but it's generally locked up." Now Pip and Yvonne have one aim - to own their own ship.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Friday 10 February 1950, page 23

LUXURIOUS YACHT ON TASMANIAN CRUISE The Northern Star, a 112ft. yacht which is on a pleasure cruise from Cairns to Tasmania, arrived at Burnie from Stanley shortly before 7 p.m. Yesterday. A CONVERTED naval craft, the yacht is the most luxurious seen on the North-West Coast for many years. Her owner is Mr. C. R. Paterson, of Cairns, plywood manufacturer, and principal of a large timber industry in North Queensland. He is accompanied by 10 friends -Mr. and Mrs. H. Tucker, Sydney; Mr. and Mrs. E. Shipp, Cairns; Mrs, J. Martin, Cairns (Mr. Martin remained in Melbourne on business and will rejoin the party later in Tasmania); Miss Val Burrows and Miss Joan Homewood, Melbourne; Mr. R. F. Cotter, Manly (N.S.W.), and Mr. L. H. Stirling, Melbourne. Capt. R. Wardrop, of Melbourne, is in charge of the yacht, which has a crew of five. Mr. Paterson's original, plan was to reach Hobart in time for the Regatta, but the yacht was delayed in Melbourne by rough weather. In a leisurely Summer cruise, the Northern Star left Cairns on December 4 and sailed along the Barrier Reef through Whitsunday Passage to Brisbane, thence to Sydney and Melbourne. The Northern Star left Melbourne on Tuesday morning and after an uneventful trip across Bass Strait arrived in Perkins Bay on Wednesday night. She will leave Burnie for Launceston today. Mr. Paterson said last night he expected to be two or three weeks in Tasmanian waters. The yacht, which has a cruising speed of 10 knots, can carry 16 passengers, a crew of nine, and sufficient provisions for a fortnight. She is luxuriously furnished and fitted, and equipped with two-way radio. In Winter she is employed in the Great Barrier Reef tourist trade.

Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), Wednesday 10 May 1950, page 2

PLEASURE CRUISER BUFFETED SPICK and span in spite of terrific buffeting by heavy easterly weather between Melbourne and Brisbane, the pleasure launch Northern Star arrived at Mackay on Monday, five days out from Brisbane. She was delayed six weeks at Brisbane for repairs and a new coat of paint after storm damage. Among the guests on board Northern Star are General Sir Thomas Blamey and Lady Blamey, who joined the party at Brisbane. The vessel, owned by Mr. C. R. Paterson, of Cairns, is on a cruise of the Great Barrier Reef and islands.' She will leave Mackay at 3 p.m. to-day. Northern Star had an uneventful trip up from Melbourne until she struck a heavy easterly swell between Newcastle and Brisbane. Big seas swept aboard for several days, battering the rails and stoving in the lifeboat. The heavy seas made it impossible to put in for shelter at any of the coastal ports, and she had to run north, fighting it out, all the way. SHORT ON SLEEP One of the guests, Mr. L. H. Stirling, Melbourne Insurance assessor, who was at the wheel, had only four hours' sleep out of 60 hours, during the storm. Conditions were very unpleasant for the rest of Mr. Paterson's guests, but no-one was injured by the heavy buffeting. First relief from the storm was when the vessel reached Moreton Bay. Six weeks were spent at Brisbane refitting, repairing storm damage, and repainting. Although the yacht is on a pleasure cruise, and some of the guests bear titles, it doesn't mean "all play and no work" aboard the Northern Star. Mr. Stirling has taken his trick at the wheel, and Lady Blamey and Lady Robinson have been seen on deck stringing beans and shelling peas to help the yacht's chef. "Highlight" of the cruise was the sight of Lady Robinson, dressed In dungarees, doing some painting. She equipped herself with brush and pot, and finished off the deck, which had been left incomplete in the hurry to leave Brisbane after refitting.

THE GUESTS Guests on board include Lady D. Robinson, of Melbourne; Miss Beverley Winter, of Devonport; Miss Joan Buxton of Sydney; and Miss Ina Mackay and Miss Irene Astele (both of England). Misses Mackay and Astele, former members of the English women's war services, found themselves with "itchy feet" after the war, and are on a tour of Australia. They have been out here about 12 months. Northern Star's itinerary is an extensive cruise of the islands. Sir Thomas Blamey, who knows the northern coast of Queensland well, is a keen fisherman, and will "start In" on the mackerel soon after leaving Mackay. Some fishing has already been done. A good catch of sweetlip was made on Sunday night off High Peak Island. Northern Star has made an extensive tour of the South, including Tasmania, Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Melbourne and Sydney. The party will visit all the well-known islands along the Barrier Reef, and will go through the Whitsunday Passage. The yacht is scheduled to arrive at Cairns on May 22, her skipper, Mr. Roy Adams, has a crew of six - bosun, two deck hands, steward, chef and engineer. Her overall length is 112ft. She is equipped with two 300 h.p. Hercules diesel engines, and has a cruising speed of 10 knots.

Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954), Thursday 18 May 1950, page 2

Mr. C. R. Paterson, of Cairns with a party of guests, arrived in Townsville on Tuesday in the Northern Star, returning from the Cairns to Tasmania pleasure cruise. He expects to leave for Cairns this afternoon. The vessel is a 112-foot converted Fairmile. Unbelievably good weather was enjoyed the whole way on the present leisurely cruise. Leaving Cairns on December 4 last the vessel made its way down the coast, calling at Dunk Island, the Whitsunday group, and various ports. After spending one month In Melbourne a visit was made to Tasmania, and the first port of call on the return was Eden (N.S.W.). Several members of the original party were unable to afford sufficient time to complete the trip, and left the Northern Star at Brisbane.

Included among the guests are Sir Thomas and Lady Blamey, Lady Robinson, Miss D. Wynter and Miss Baker, both of Cairns, Miss Buckston, of Sydney, and two English visitors, Miss Mackay and Miss Astel, who joined the ship at Brisbane on the way up the coast.

Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921 - 1955), Friday 14 July 1950, page 10

OVERSEAS VISITORS The Northern Territory is certainly attracting overseas visitors. Latest hitch-hikers to arrive were Miss Ina MacKay of Worcestershire and Miss Irene Astle of Hampshire. The two English lassies were accompanied by Miss Jane Buxton of Sydney. The party met on the launch Northern Star during the hazardous trip which was reported recently in North Queensland papers. They decided to hitch their wagon to a Sunbeam and travel together. Fellow passengers on the Northern Star included Sir Thomas and Lady Blamey and Lady Robinson of Melbourne. Incidentally they have travelled in the traditional Aussie way - and were guilty of jumping the rattler on one occasion. The ladies who are at present in Darwin are capable stenographers and they are seeking employment.


  1. "Blamey got the Queensland wing going while ostensibly on a fishing trip there in 1948".

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Here is a summary of the web page:

    - **The Northern Star and "The Association"**: This is a blog post that collects newspaper articles on the Northern Star, a 112-foot yacht that was used for pleasure cruises in the 1950s. The blog author also provides some comments and links to related sources.
    - **The Northern Star's history**: The yacht was a converted naval craft that sailed along the Australian coast and visited Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. It carried various guests, including Sir Thomas and Lady Blamey, Lady Robinson, and two English women who hitch-hiked their way to Darwin.
    - **The Association**: This is a reference to a secret organization that was allegedly formed by Sir Thomas Blamey, a former Australian commander-in-chief, to overthrow the Labor government in 1948. The blog author suggests that Blamey used the Northern Star as a cover for his political activities.
    - **References**: The web page contains many references to newspaper articles from Trove, a digital library of Australian cultural heritage, as well as links to other sources such as Quadrant, NDTV, Forbes, and MSN.


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