Pat Rafter's open invite to visit pop's old shop
THE NEW owner of a quirky little country bric-a-brac shop is so proud of its link with an Aussie tennis great that he has adopted the name and sent out an invite for the former champ to pop in.
Former ADF member Gordon Shellshear and his mother Theresa have purchased two historical Scenic Rim shops in the past year as part of an investment and a lifestyle change.
Mr Shellshear said he had no idea of his Harrisville shop's link to Grand Slam winner Pat Rafter until he uncovered some old newspaper clipping during a large-scale clean-up.
The shop on Queen St, Harrisville, was owned by the tennis champ's grandfather, also named Patrick Rafter, during the '40s and '50s.
"I'd already bought the other shop in Kalbar but then I saw this other place in Harrisville and I just thought it was a beautiful little town," Mr Shellshear said.
"At that time I didn't know it was once Pat Rafter's grandfather's shop. We did a bit of research when it came time to decide on what to call it and we came across an old picture and a bit of a story."
Patrick James Rafter was a policeman who had been appointed to Harrisville in 1941.
He operated the shop as a general store and service station. The store's motto was: Don't Pass Rafter's.
Mr Shellshear said he was thrilled to discover the link as he was a huge fan of Pat Rafter.
He said he'd attempted to contact the retired tennis hero in an effort to get him to visit.
"I straight away thought we've got to respect the name and the history of this place," Mr Shellshear said.
"The shop is more of a lifestyle thing for me. I want to embrace the Harrisville community and work with other businesses out there."
In its current incarnation, Rafter's of Harrisville sells an array of bric a brac, art and thousands of second hand books.
The store is managed by local Cam Mitchell and is open on Saturdays and Sundays 9am-2pm or by appointment.