Walkers Limited engineering works, founded in Maryborough in 1867, began building ships a decade later in 1877. The company built 10 warships for the Royal Australian Navy during World War II, including the corvette HMAS Maryborough, launched in 1940. A minesweeper and the city’s namesake, the Maryborough was the first naval vessel built in Queensland during the conflict. Walkers would go on to build 31 ships for the RAN between 1940 and 1974, all launched into the Mary River just upstream from the current town centre. Sections of the original ship-building yards and slipway are still visible on the banks of the Mary.
Image credit: Royal Australian Navy.