Patsy's Place: Landing to honour much-loved local
WHEN you're on an island and out of crab-pot bait, Patsy Lee is the sort of cheeky improviser you would want by your side.
After sinking a hook with a mullet fillet overnight to catch some bait was unsuccessful, the keen fisher had another plan.
"She told me, 'Go grab those shoes'," friend Dave Clarke recalled.
"I told her no, because they were her uncle Les's shoes and they stink.
"But she asked me again, 'grab them'.
"So we had one shoe in each crab pot, and we ended up catching two crabs in each pot."
Friends and family remembered the Gladstone icon at a wake today.
She died at the Gladstone Hospital, aged 91, on Tuesday.
Patsy was part of the fabric of Gladstone, a born and bred local who loved her fishing, cent sales, hockey and a good laugh.
Perhaps the largest legacy left by Patsy is the fishing spot named in her honour in 1998 that will soon become the centrepiece of the Gladstone Marina when the next stage of East Shores is complete.
Gladstone Ports Corporation chairman Leo Zussino, who lived on the same street as Patsy growing up, said Patsy's Place at East Shores was a fitting tribute for the local icon.
Patsy nursed Mr Zussino when he was a toddler, and up until last week she still called him bub.
"I'd be out and about in an official capacity doing my darndest to impress a politician or a captain of industry ... when Patsy would putt up on her scooter," he said.
"'Gidday bub,' she'd say, 'What's going on? Who have you got there'."
Two weeks ago Mr Zussino showed her the plans for Patsy's Place as part of stage 1B of redevelopment at East Shores.
He said it would become the centrepiece of East Shores, with a 90-metre by 27-metre recreational fishing platform.
"She said to me, 'Bloody well hoped I would be around to see it'," Mr Zussino said.
Former Gladstone State High School teacher Carmelita McLeod, better known as Miss Van Deventer, met Patsy when she was the school's cleaner.
Patsy would call Mrs McLeod whenever there was a full moon.
"She'd call me at midnight and say, 'Come on, get down here'," she said.
"Patsy would be down at the wharf picking up prawns and fresh fish."
A glimpse of local history was on show today, with Patsy's old fishing club, Sparks Hockey and Star of the Sea uniforms all there.
Patsy's cousin Ron Haslet said she was riding her scooter up until she was 87 years old.
"I told her I was always proud of her. I mean, not everyone gets a jetty named after them," he said.
Ron's wife Lorraine said Patsy's funeral "suited her down to a tee".
Patsy's late uncle was Joe Lee, who had a Curtis Island beach named after him.