By Molly Magennis
A new children’s book has been released by a local Hobsons Bay author, celebrating an iconic part of Williamstown’s history.
Seymour the Seaplane is written by Barbara Audas, co-owner of Melbourne Seaplanes with her husband Brett.
The duo have been running the business for six and a half years and have a deep passion for aviation and meeting people who come to visit the historic maritime city.
It was this passion that sparked Ms. Audas’ desire to write a children’s book, with central character Seymour based on The Spirit of Williamstown, the seaplane used to take customers into the air.
Ms Audas said she always had a passion for writing, but officially started writing the book two years ago.
“I have a little miniature seaplane outside our terminal in Williamstown and I’ve just seen how great it is with the kids as some kids come and sit in it if they’re small enough and spin the propeller around,” she said. .
The constant closures in 2020 and 2021 have been difficult for Melbourne’s seaplanes, which rely heavily on tourists to keep their business afloat.
“It was very hard for us, especially as you know, in the tourism sector, and also being stuck at home like everyone else,” Ms Audas said.
She hosted an official book launch for Seymour the Seaplane on March 20, where she had a book signing and face painting outside the terminal.
The success of Seymour the Seaplane so far has filled Ms. Audas with pride. Although it was only launched three weeks ago, it has already sold out to readers in New Zealand, Ireland and the United States.
“I hope it brings a lot of people to Williamstown, because once people read the book, you know, they’ll be encouraged to come and visit us,” she said.
Seymour the Seaplane can be purchased through the Melbourne Seaplanes website.