History of Abell Point Marina
- 1904: The first settler and land owner of the area now known as Airlie Beach was Thomas Abell. Abell family played a pivotal role in developing the region into a thriving tourism precinct.
- 1938: As tourism and trade expanded on the mainland and islands, a jetty was established by the Main Roads near the VMR as a transit point for vessels.
- 1961: After a number of cyclones and pressures growing for a better and more protected tourist terminal, Shute Harbour & Lloyd Roberts jetty were completed
- 1988: APM consortium (three partners) started the development of the marina – north break wall, dongas, one jetty. In 1989 it went into receivership.
- 1990: Robinson family took over from the receiver’s operating until 2006, further developing the north and south marina infrastructure, including shore side buildings in the north and construction of break walls.
- 2006: Robinson family sold to Meridien Marinas. Meridien developed the buildings in the South Marina and landscape of precinct.
- 2011: Meridien went into receivership in late 2011.
- 2013: Abell Point Marina was purchased by Paul Darrouzet in April from the receivers, immediately restoring the correct spelling of the name to recognise the original settlers.
Abell Family Statement
Since 1904, the Abell family name has been incorrectly spelt in the Airlie Beach region, a historical mistake for the past 110 years. We graciously welcome the Abell Point Marina owner’s decision to rectify this misgiving by adopting the correct spelling of Abell and we formally express our gratitude to Paul Darrouzet.
On 12th April, 1869 Thomas Abell and his four children, aged 16, 15, 13, and 10 from Hereford shire in England boarded the Black Ball Line sailing ship ‘Young Australia’ in London, for the voyage to Australia. These original region’s settlers endured decades of hardship, however played a pivotal role in the development of this now thriving tourism precinct. The Abell family is most renowned for building the road into Jubilee Pocket.
As the great grandson of first settler Thomas Richard Abell, on behalf of the Abell family clan, we are immensely grateful for the decision to officially amend the spelling of the name for the Abell Point Marina. This iconic landmark is also intrinsic to the growth of the local community.
The Abell family is pleased to hear of the significant beautification upgrades at the marina including creating public access spaces, improving tourism facilities and shore based support services which will create a hub for the local community and visitors from surrounding regions, as well as augment tourism.
We are particularly enthusiastic about the proposed community parkland development and request consideration of a tribute to the original settlers to honor their place in history with a memorial located at Abell Point Marina to remedy this century old oversight.
The Abell ancestors are supportive of the marina’s vision to be a leading tourist destination, enhancing economic growth in the region and appreciate by reverting to the intended original name represents symbolic new and exciting beginnings for Abell Point Marina.
It is immensely comforting to know the Abell name will live on for future generations and flourish with the significant growth and expansion of Abell Point Marina. Thank you.
Colin and Naomi Abell, 2013