Our History – Plumley Pearson & White

Our Organisation traces its origins in marine surveying to Captain R. Douglas Taylor and Captain James W. Herd, both members of the Marine Board of Queensland, with Captain Herd succeeding Captain Taylor as a member, upon his death.

Captain R. Douglas Taylor
Captain R. Douglas Taylor
Courier Mail news clipping - 1943
Courier Mail news clipping - 1943

Captain Herd was a member of the Commonwealth Salvage Board and was instrumental in the salvage operations of the “Rufus King” and “Niagara” during World War 2.

Captain Herd on “Niagara” Salvage
Captain Herd on “Niagara” Salvage
Salvage Vessel & Diving Bell for “Niagara” Salvage
Salvage Vessel & Diving Bell for “Niagara” Salvage
“Rufus King” Salvage
“Rufus King” Salvage

Captain George A. Gatt later joined with Captain James Herd forming a Company which they named ‘Jas W. Herd & Gatt’ in 1953.   Captain Herd died in 1956 on his way to work.

Captain David James commenced practice with the Company in 1958, with the Company being renamed ‘Gatt and James’.

Following the retirement of Captain Gatt in 1965, Captain Michael Plumley commenced practice, with the Company being renamed ‘James and Plumley’.  Michael Plumley continued working with the Company until 2012.

Captain Michael Pearson joined the Company in 1976 and it was again renamed, this time to ‘James, Plumley and Pearson’.

Captains James, Plumley and Pearson are all Extra Masters and during this period of the Company’s history, provided representation for most of the major Classification Societies as well as providing sea-trial Master for the Oil Tankers built locally in Brisbane during that time.

The “Anro Asia” beached off Bribie Island
The “Anro Asia” beached off Bribie Island
“Anro Asia” Salvage 1981
“Anro Asia” Salvage 1981

Captain Richard White joined the Company in 1985, prior to the retirement of Captain David James in 1994 following which it was finally renamed ‘Plumley, Pearson and White’, the name it bears today.

Captains Plumley, Pearson & White
Captains Plumley, Pearson & White

The depth and strength of our organisation today bears witness to those who went before us; their seamanship and survey skills being passed through the generations with practical instruction and mentoring.

Captains Michael Pearson, Michael Plumley and James Standfield, on the occasion of Michael Plumley’s retirement in 2012
Captains Michael Pearson, Michael Plumley and James Standfield, on the occasion of Michael Plumley’s retirement in 2012

Captain David James in 1975 described what we do as “fairly demanding and requiring a certain amount of dedication or love for the work”.

Although the ships, tools and times have changed, what we do still requires a certain amount of dedication or love for the work which is fairly demanding.

Plumley Pearson and White Proudly Serving the Shipping Industry Since 1917