Queen’s Birthday Honours for couple’s service to maritime history

Peter and Jill Wasley have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d493791
Peter and Jill Wasley have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d493791

IT is not often a married couple are both awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

But Coodanup couple Peter and Jill Worsley have been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to maritime history.

The pair has spent much of their lives, particularly since their retirement, carrying out research for the Maritime Museum.

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Peter was also involved as a volunteer in the construction of the HM Bark Endeavour and both worked as volunteers on the Duyfken.

Peter grew up on the Swan River and is passionate about all things maritime – “if you can’t beat them, join them,’’ said Jill, who has been married to Peter for more than 52 years.

He has recently finished his latest publication on wrecks, an 840-page e-book and the fourth in a series.

Jill has her own book about to be published by the Maritime History Association, The Wagyl and the Swan, that looks at the history of the river from 1650 to 1850.

The couple have both been heavily involved with the Association and Peter has edited its journal for more than 20 years.

They are also both members of the Maritime Archaeological Association, diving on many WA wrecks in their younger days.

When their children were small, the family spent time on the Abrolhos while living in Geraldton.

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Peter is a keen model boat builder and also a qualified boat builder after studying boat building for a year in 2000 in Albany while his wife travelled every week from Geraldton to Albany by bus, a trip of almost two days.

Jill is a member of the Save the Children Mandurah branch and Mandurah Historical Society.

The couple said they were “gobsmacked” by the award for something they so enjoyed.

“We have been helped so much along the way and we hope some of this honour rubs off on those who helped us,’’ they said.

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