The other day I was invited to a very intimate soiree to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr Patricia Kailis AM OBE. It was also her 80th Birthday, which made it extra special.
It was held at the Art Gallery of WA, to a crowd of close family, friends, and a few members of the media.
There was a really lovely exhibition of photographs spanning Patricia’s life, her late husband, Michael Kailis, and her 4 children.
I have to be honest, I did not know much about Patricia Kailis. I just assumed that she was the business partner to her husband’s vast fishery empire – lobster, prawns, tuna, ship building and pearling.
I didn’t know that she was a medical doctor and a genetic counsellor for neurological and neuromuscular disorders for over 20 years. And that she was awarded an OBE and AM for her service to medicine!
She was also responsible for developing handling and processing methods to keep oyster shells disease free, and thus set standards for the rest of the pearling industry – which I found to be so so interesting. (I love how knowledge from different industries can cross over.)
The more I learned about her and her acheivements, the more my respect and admiration grew. I just stood there listening to her speech, a bit dumbstruck, conceding that yes, this here is an amazing and inspirational woman.
It made me hope that at the age of 80, I will have had a fulfilling, significant, successful, well-rounded life, surrounded by family, friends… plus with a lot of great stories to tell.
So what does the wife of a pearling tycoon have in her Private Pearl Collection?
A shark brooch!
It’s no surprise that when a pearling company hunts for their perfect spherical pearls, there are lots of irregular, non-spherical, shaped pearls (called baroque pearls) out there too.
So it was *such* a delight to discover these rare one-of-a-kind creations!
A shrimp brooch!
Apparently the little shrimp legs wiggle and move about. How utterly adorable.
A little pearl Australia pin.
And last of all, look at that pair of beautiful pearl lovebirds.
They must be priceless.
Kind of makes me want to marry a pearl farmer too :)