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Alan Rice

The shipwright Alan Rice was born in Largs bay, South Australia. His trips to view cargo vessels and pleasure craft at Port Adelaide wharves as a boy, began an affinity for ships that never waned.

At ten years of age, his interest in locally owned cargo vessels compelled him to begin collecting archival material and artefacts relating predominately to Australian Coastal Shipping. He began his collection with postcards and by retirement in 1989 from mobil oil australis, had assembled one of the largest and most diverse private collections of maritime material in Australia.

As a youth he watched boats being built at a Port Adelaide boatyard, and as a consequence decided to become a shipwright. He went to sea as a shipwright on the tanker "Mobil australia" in 1974, which carried petrochemicals interstate. In port he spent most of his spare time researching and acquiring items worthy of his collection.

In 1984 Mr Rice offered his collection for sale to the South Australian Maritime Museum (SAMM), so that it could be available to a wider public audience. The SAMM did not have the resources to acquire, manage and display this collection and although he would have preferred that it remain in south Australia, Mr Rice subsequently sold it to the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Mr Rice assembled the bulk of this collection between 1974 and 1979 whilst serving as a merchant seaman in the Australian Coastal trade.