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At the entry to Walcowrie there is a hat which tells more than one story. It is an Akubra hat commonly worn by an Australian bushman or tradesman.

We were very fortunate to have Murray build Walcowrie, along with his wife Maree. They were both in their 60’s and had spent all their working life in country South Australia. As a young apprentice, Murray worked bush, but as his skills grew he became a master craftsman making wooden speedboats, then a cabinet maker and a general builder. Maree was always by his side.

To build Walcowrie, Murray and Maree had to travel five hours from their home and make the Island their temporary home. At that time we had very young children who quickly adopted Murray and Maree as their grandparents. We were blessed to see their craftsmanship and so proud to have them bless and enjoy the home on completion.

Soon after completion, Maree contracted Mesothelioma due to past exposure to asbestos. Sadly, she did not live long after her diagnosis. Murray, continued to visit and loved the fishing. Again, he too was diagnosed with Mesothelioma but remained a strong determined man.

On his last fishing trip with Hugh, he wore his much loved Akubra bushman’s hat which blew off and dived into the blue water and disappeared.

At least six months later whilst Hugh was fishing, he hooked something different. The “fish” came to the surface and it was Murray’s hat encrusted with oyster and scallop shells.

When you come to enjoy Walcowrie, please think about Murray and his contribution and the pride he gave into building the retreat.


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