For his induction into the Cairns Game Fishing Hall of Fame in 2016
Patrick V. Gay AM, always known as Pat, is a resident of Brisbane but has been a frequent visitor to Cairns for nearly half a century, becoming one of Australia’s best known anglers and promoter of the region.
Pat was born in February 1935 into a central Queensland grazing family. Pat’s father died when he was aged 9 years as a result of injuries sustained during World War 1, resulting in Pat becoming a Legacy ward. He studied Junior levels at St. Lawrence’s College and Senior levels at evening classes at South Brisbane.
During this period, he completed an apprenticeship as a boilermaker at Evans Deakin, Rocklea. In the latter part of his apprenticeship, he studied for a Diploma of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
Upon completing his apprenticeship, Pat moved to the Gold Coast, becoming a beach inspector at Burleigh Heads and a very active footballer, running on for the then fledgling Burleigh Bears Club. His football skills saw him represent Gold Coast against Sydney during which time he was named the most outstanding forward.
In 1959, Pat returned to Brisbane and set up Gay Constructions, fabricating structural steel, initially under his mother’s house and then at East Brisbane. The company prospered and today operates as a leading manufacturing / engineering company in Queensland, employing approximately 100 boilermakers, engineers and support staff. Gay Constructions has successfully completed a wide range of construction and engineering projects across the State including resorts, high rise buildings, resource projects, convention and exhibition centres. Pat is still “hand on” in the organisation despite his now wide range of business interests which include the Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard, Archerfield Speedway and the Coomera Marine Business Centre.
From earliest times, Pat had a passion for fishing and a natural progression saw him embrace game fishing with his usual enthusiasm, becoming an early participant at Cairns in the quest for the giant black marlin. He fished aboard a variety of vessels, including the most successful charter boats of each era. His capture list is impressive including many fish over 1000 pounds, his best weighing in at 1208 pounds. In 1971, Pat set the World and Australian record for 30 pound (15 kg) tackle with his 816 pound black marlin. Pat considers his one week’s feat of 45 black marlin tagged and released as being his most memorable fishing adventure.
In 1979, Pat purchased and put into charter for 16 years the famous vessel Sea Venture skippered by Dennis “Brazakka” Wallace, a team that provided an opportunity for many anglers to fish the region. Pat supported Tag and Release from earliest times and actively promoted the concept, particularly during his tenures as President of the Game Fishing Association of Australia (1976-77). This organisation elected him to Life Membership in 1981. Amongst his various services to the sport in the region, Pat designed and constructed the first permanent weighing station at Cairns and, subsequently, the weighing facility on Lizard Island.
In 2007, Patrick V. Gay was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the construction industry and to the sport of game fishing. His worthy induction into the Hall of Fame now underscores his many feats and honours.