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In January 2011, Captain Doug Hislop and his tugboat Mavis saved Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge from destruction when they maneuvered a fast-moving 300-tonne slab of concrete away from its pylons.
The event captured the imagination of Mater volunteer and Wellington Point resident Dianne Lonergan who has just published a children’s book to honour Mavis and her brave Captain—with profits going to Mater Little Miracles.
But with no previous writing experience, Dianne turned to her fellow volunteers Caroline Bauer, June Jolly and Robert Walsh for help.
“I realised that I didn’t have all the skills to write a book on my own and there were three people who wanted to help me, which is why it’s such a magical book. We would get together each Wednesday afternoon at my home and we’d write the book around my dining table.”
Illustrator Leo Herreygers donated 13 canvas paintings to be used as illustrations for the book.
“Leo’s paintings are so beautiful, they really make the book come alive,” Dianne said.
Mater Private Hospital Redland Volunteer coordinator Karen Marks said it was great to see everyone band together to help Mrs Lonergan realise her dream to write a children’s book.
“A great deal of research was done to ensure that the story is authentic and Doug Hislop, the skipper of Mavis has also been involved,” Karen said.
Mavis the Amazing Tugboat is $10 with all profits being donated to Mater Little Miracles to help sick and premature babies and children at Mater.
Copies are now available from Mater Private Hospital Redland, Foundation on 3 at Mater Adult Hospital in South Brisbane or online by clicking here.