COUN­TRY SHOP EM­BRACES LINK TO TEN­NIS LE­GEND

Pat’s pop used to own shop

The Queensland Times - - FRONT PAGE - AN­DREW KORNER an­drew.korner@qt.com.au

THE NEW owner of a quirky lit­tle coun­try bric-a-brac shop is so proud of its link with an Aussie ten­nis great that he has adopted the name and sent out an in­vite for the former champ to pop in.

Former ADF mem­ber Gor­don Shell­s­hear and his mother Theresa have pur­chased two his­tor­i­cal Scenic Rim shops in the past year as part of an in­vest­ment and a life­style change.

Mr Shell­s­hear said he had no idea of his Har­risville shop’s link to Grand Slam win­ner Pat Rafter un­til he un­cov­ered some old news­pa­per clip­ping dur­ing a large-scale clean-up.

The shop on Queen St, Har­risville, was owned by the ten­nis champ’s grand­fa­ther, also named Pa­trick Rafter, dur­ing the ’40s and ’50s.

“I’d al­ready bought the other shop in Kal­bar but then I saw this other place in Har­risville and I just thought it was a beau­ti­ful lit­tle town,” Mr Shell­s­hear said.

“At that time I didn’t know it was once Pat Rafter’s grand­fa­ther’s shop. We did a bit of re­search when it came time to de­cide on what to call it and we came across an old pic­ture and a bit of a story.”

Pa­trick James Rafter was a po­lice­man who had been ap­pointed to Har­risville in 1941.

He op­er­ated the shop as a gen­eral store and ser­vice sta­tion. The store’s motto was: Don’t Pass Rafter’s.

Mr Shell­s­hear said he was thrilled to dis­cover the link as he was a huge fan of Pat Rafter.

He said he’d at­tempted to contact the re­tired ten­nis hero in an ef­fort to get him to visit.

“I straight away thought we’ve got to re­spect the name and the his­tory of this place,” Mr Shell­s­hear said.

“The shop is more of a life­style thing for me. I want to embrace the Har­risville com­mu­nity and work with other busi­nesses out there.”

In its cur­rent in­car­na­tion, Rafter’s of Har­risville sells an ar­ray of bric a brac, art and thou­sands of sec­ond hand books. The store is man­aged by lo­cal Cam Mitchell and is open on Satur­days and Sun­days 9am-2pm or by ap­point­ment.

Photo: Rob Wil­liams

HIS­TORY LES­SON: Man­ager Cameron Mitchell and co-owner Gor­don Shell­s­hear from Rafter's of Har­risville.

Photo: Rob Wil­liams

Owner Gor­don Shell­s­hear has kept the Rafter name go­ing.

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