Two men who share a love for the sea are celebrating their 25th year as volunteers at the New Zealand Maritime Museum.

Roger Hames and Bob Hawkins have been mainstays at the museum almost since it first opened its doors in 1993. Roger, a former chartered accountant, volunteers as a model boat maker every Thursday. As well as building exact replicas of boats and ships, he brings a batch of freshly-baked muffins for the museum team every Thursday morning (that’s around 31,000 muffins so far).

Roger Hames. Maritime Museum image by Bradley Ambrose.

“I make muffins because they’re the only thing I know how to make. My wife Maggie does most of the cooking at home,” he says.

Roger has made models of several significant boats, including the Tiri, the original Radio Hauraki vessel which broadcast from the Hauraki Gulf in the 1960s, the RMS Niagara and the HMS Resolution. His quirky sense of humour is reflected in the miniature versions of his likeness as the captain at the helm of several of his models.

He donates the profits from the models he sells to either the New Zealand Maritime Museum or to charity. “If you try and make money from a hobby it kills it,” he says.

Bob volunteers twice a month as a skipper on two of the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s vessels, the SS Puke and the Nautilus,