Doug Walton’s Custodianship: 1939 – 1950s
Lola was built in John Jansson’s shed near the Rhyll Jetty on Phillip Island, Victoria. The builder Doug Walton who, assisted by his 12 year old son Jack, commenced the work in 1939 and competed it in 1943. Work commenced in 1939 and was completed in 1943. The builder was Doug Walton who was assisted by his 12 year old son, Jack. The boat was modelled on Ken Lacco’s Victory but built one plank higher. Alec Lacco may have assisted with the build, as the Lacco signature is visible today on the top plank. The boat was originally named Edna after Doug’s daughter.
Jack Walton, now aged 96 in 2021, recalls the engine from a Rugby car was fitted.
It would run all day and not overheat as they circled the ‘couta and hauled them in.
Doug and his son Jack used Edna for 17 years catching fish in Western Port, Victoria and barracouta in Bass Strait.
Custodian: Graham Aley; 1950s – Early 1960s
In the 1950s, Doug sold the boat to Mornington fisherman Graham Aley, who renamed her Neta.
Custodian: Cliff Reeves; Early 1960s – Unknown
She was later sold to Cliff Reeves in the early 1960s. Cliff removed the mast and Ken Lacco added a cabin. The boat was then used for fishing as part of a charter business, taking groups out onto Port Phillip. Her registration was MB 47. Jack Walton recalled going to the pier at Mornington and thinking:
I know that boat with the ugly cabin. She was moored stern first to the pier.
Custodian: Len Masters; Unknown – 1987
Custodian: Ken ‘Stumpy’ Wood; 1987 – 2004
Neta was later sold to Len Masters of Mornington who continued the fishing charter business.
Len sold her in 1987 to Ken ‘Stumpy’ Wood. However, by this stage she was in some state of disrepair and hours were spent bucketing out diesel, fish remains and sinkers from the bilge. This was followed by a total restoration: 58 ribs were replaced due to internal damage caused by her previous owners crashing into the Mornington pier; the transom and stem were also replaced, with Ken’s wife Leon spending many hours as ‘dolly’ girl while fastenings were driven in; the huge Chinese diesel was removed and a new Yanmar fitted, while the Chinese unit went in to new service as the irrigation water pump on their Peninsula vineyard; new flooring and a two piece deck of Queensland Celery Top Pine were added, and the original name Edna was placed back on the transom.
After the restoration, she competed in numerous Couta Boat Association (CBA) events around Port Phillip, but especially at Mornington and Sorrento.
Custodian: Ray Bateman and Janice Stephenson; 2004 – 2015
In 2004, Ken Wood sold Edna to Ray Bateman and Janice Stephenson who renamed her Lola after their five year old daughter. Together they undertook extensive restoration work at Safety Beach and relaunched her at Martha Cove on Port Phillip in 2007. Ray had much success racing Lola in major CBA events. She won the Queenscliff Regatta in 2009 and 2011, the CBA State Titles in 2010 and was placed 2nd Handicap, Division 1, in the 2014 Portsea Cup.
Custodian: John Mulkearns; 2015 – Present
In 2015, Lola was sold to John Mulkearns at Metung, who became her next custodian. She is now moored at Newlands Arm, Paynesville, Victoria.