Labour of love a prize-winner

Australian Matt Dyason has made an award-winning model of Queenstown's own TSS Earnslaw, the vintage steam ship on which he and wife Vivien travelled during their honeymoon in 1975. Photo supplied.
Australian Matt Dyason has made an award-winning model of Queenstown's own TSS Earnslaw, the vintage steam ship on which he and wife Vivien travelled during their honeymoon in 1975. Photo supplied.
An Australian man's first attempt at woodwork, re-creating the TSS Earnslaw on which he and his wife honeymooned almost 40 years ago, has won three prizes in a woodwork competition in Queensland.

Matt Dyason, of Currajah, was inspired to hand-carve his impressive replica of "the Lady of the Lake" after he and wife Vivien took a trip down memory lane to Queenstown and a cruise on the Earnslaw last year, decades after their honeymoon cruise in 1975.

Mr Dyason said he decided to build the 1.50 scale model to commemorate the centenary of the ship this year.

"It is an exact replica, designed from the blueprints, and the entire project took 400 hours. I gained a lot of satisfaction as it slowly took shape over almost a year.

"The solid red cedar model is radio-controlled. As I put in radio control I did not have enough room for two motors and screws, so made one engine with a slightly larger prop using brass and copper fittings.

"She sits exactly on her water line and does her scale speed and handles very much like the real Earnslaw."

Mr Dyason entered the model in the novice woodcarving section of the Innisfail and District Annual Show in May. He won not only the novice category, but also Champion of Show for Woodcarving and Grand Champion of Show for Woodwork.

The couple said they were looking forward to participating in the centenary celebrations from October 14-22.

"We are busy with our centenary dress preparations and are booked on the re-enactment cruise from Kingston to Queenstown on her official birthday on October 18, as well as the Glenorchy return trip, and the woolshed dance trip to Mt Nicholas Station," Mrs Dyason said.

"Matt can't wait to see the Lady of the Lake after her winter refit and refurbishment for her birthday celebrations. It sounds magic and I look forward to making a close inspection of her."