Halvorsen – 75 Years in Australia

Lars Halvorsen Sons

On Sunday the 9th of April 2000 a boat building legend celebrated his 90th birthday in style. The Halvorsen club with Mr. Tony Mackay at the helm organised an historic event bringing together perhaps the single largest gathering of one manufacturer’s boats in Australia and possibly the world to honour their club patron and founder of Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty. Ltd. Mr. Harold Halvorsen. It also marked 75 years of boat building in Australia for the Halvorsen Family originally under the directorship of Harold’s father Lars who died prematurely in 1936 at the age of 49.

Mr. Harold Halvorsen celebrated this special day as the guest of honour onboard “Silver Cloud II”a 65′ timber Halvorsen designed by Harold’s son Harvey and built by Lars Halvorsen Sons P/L in 1968.

The right Honourable Mr. Gordon Samuels Governor of N.S.W. also attended this auspicious occasion lending a vice Regal air to the days events.

94 old timber Halvorsens ranging in size from 21 feet up to “Emma” a 90 footer built in 1976 and the last big boat built at Halvorsens yard in Australia, lined up on Sydney’s Hawkesbury River to honour a man of remarkable skill and ability who has dedicated his life to the design and building of boats.

Leading the fleet was the 26′ Norwegian racing yacht built by Lars and launched in 1927 as a gift to his teenage son Harold because of his passion for sailing. “Maud” is based in South Australia and was specially shipped over for the Cavalcade by her owner of 31 years Mr. Smith.

A fabulous cross section of “old Halvo’s” starting from the 21 footers, thru 26′ and 36 charter boats, then the 32′ and 40′ Viking class and finally up to the 50 foot+ post WWII bridge deck cruisers proceeded to motor past Silver Cloud II where with great pride Harold took the Salute of the many owners who’s prized possessions gleamed and sparkled under the noonday sun.

The Australian Government also announced in June its decision to award Mr. Harold Halvorsen with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) which by definition recognizes Australians for their outstanding achievements and contributions in their particular field of endeavour and for service worthy of particular recognition. This award was given in part for his contributions during WWII where he designed and built service craft for the Australian Army / Air force plus US Army & Dutch Government including patrol boats, seaplane tenders, torpedo recovery vessels and supply craft. In total 237 vessels were built including 16 of the English designed 112 foot Fairmiles all being constructed at the Halvorsen factory at Ryde in N.S.W.

Old Halvo’s are a collectors item these days with Media personalities, Australian Prime Ministers and World Class Yachtsmen being just a few of their proud owners. They are instantly recognised wherever they maybe cruising The Halvorsen family. 130 years and 5 generations and the tradition continues ….