Ship­shape to raise an­chor

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jessie Tol­son

AF­TER 20 years of run­ning Ship­shape Port Dou­glas, Judy McLean is hang­ing up the fish­ing rods and hooks and clos­ing the doors for the last time.

Founded in 1980, Ship­shape Chan­dlery has been sup­ply­ing fish­er­men, yachties, boat­ing en­thu­si­asts and tourists in Port Dou­glas and the sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Judy and hus­band John cel­e­brated 20 years of run­ning the suc­cess­ful store in March but due to fam­ily cir­cum­stances, they have had to move on.

Mrs McLean said it is the end of an era.

‘‘My hus­band was here for the first 15 years but af­ter sev­eral open heart surg­eries, he found the cli- mate here wasn’t good for him and moved to Melbourne,’’ she said.

‘‘I have been go­ing down to Melbourne around six times a year and he has been com­ing here for vis­its also.

‘‘We re­cently found out he is des­per­ately ill and I have to get back to be with him.

‘‘It came out of nowhere, but he has been di­ag­nosed with can­cer and has been in hos­pi­tal since it was iden­ti­fied and we are not sure if he will come out.’’

Ship­shape cus­tomers and lo­cal res­i­dents alike have come out in force to help Judy and her daugh­ter Skye to get the shop cleaned up by the time the pair fly down to Melbourne on Satur­day to be by John’s side.

‘‘ We were plan­ning to have a big sale to clear out the shop, so we closed on Thurs­day to get ev­ery­thing ready for it and around four in the af­ter­noon a guy walked in and said he will buy the lot,’’ Judy said.

‘‘ Our cus­tomers have been un­be­liev­able with their sup­port.

‘‘It re­ally gives you faith in peo­ple and this has been a real eye-opener for me in re­gards to what some of our cus­tomers are will­ing to do to help.

‘‘ Some of th­ese cus­tomers have been com­ing in since we first took over 20 years ago.

‘‘Thank you to ev­ery­one who has sup­ported the store over the years and those who have helped me pack things up.

‘‘I will be back at some stage, it is just a mat­ter of when.’’

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