Shipshape to raise anchor
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.’’