HISTORY OF THE BOATSHED
MORE than 100 years ago William James Hooper established a boat hire and confectionary shop, W. Hooper Boat Hire, on the shores of Albert Park Lake, where the Boatshed now stands today.
Deciding to make the most of the safe and protected waters of the lake, Mr Hooper was soon teaching people to row and sail and, by the early 1900s, there were up to seven boat houses on the lake with a range of boats for hire.
It was inevitable that, having grown up around boats at the lake, William's son would follow in his father's footsteps.
So, after returning from World War II, William Arthur Henry Hooper built a new hire boat and sailing school which he called the Jolly Roger School of Sailing. He also founded the Albert Park Sailing Club and built his own fleet of special sail training boats.
The Hooper family stayed on at the lake, even when low water levels and weed infestation threatened the future of their business. William Alexander Hooper, known as `Buster', was born in 1947 and was raised at the lake like his father.
Buster and his brother John were both champion sailors at World and National levels. Buster was also an Olympic sailing coach and John became one of Australia's well-known sail makers.
The Boatshed continued in the Hoopers hands up until 2007 where the torch was handed over to Yachting Victoria to continue such a wonderful boating tradition.