HMAS Gladstone: More than 120 sailors set to celebrate
There are few things that stir a man's emotion like a big engine.
President of the Gladstone Maritime Museum Lindsay Wassell estimates 90 per cent of the blokes who visit the HMAS Gladstone want to see the engine room.
He's had ex-sailors arriving on their Harleys to see the machines they used to work on.
"They come out and they've got tears in their eyes," he said.
More than 120 ex-patrol boat sailors are in Gladstone to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the commissioning of the first vessel in the Fremantle class.
HMAS Gladstone was the 14th and is considered the Fremantle's sister.
Now, thanks to the generosity of two Gladstone businesses, more people will get a look into the working environment of the ex-sailors.
CQ Tools director Ron Harding and the team from Walz Construction have worked together to install stairs to the Gladstone's engine room.
Access was previously via a ladder and Lindsay said the new stairs would make it possible for visitors to see much more of the ship.
With anniversary celebrations kicking off tonight and carrying on through to Tuesday, the timing is perfect.
Ex-sailors will catch up with lawn bowls or a round of golf, and the HMAS Gladstone will be open for the weekend.
"I wouldn't miss being here on Saturday and Sunday because some of the stories they'll tell us you couldn't print," Lindsay said.
"They're like a big family."
Morgan Pashley from Walz fabricated the staircase, helped by Shaun Kapernick during the installation.