Early years in pearling were magical

Kailis Pearls founder Patricia Kailis at her Crawley home.

Kailis Pearls founder Patricia Kailis at her Crawley home.

Early years in pearling were magical.

PATRICIA Kailis remembers getting her first string of pearls from her parents for her 21st birthday, long before her life would become entwined with WA’s modern pearling history.

“When I was 21, I was given almost the obligatory strand of pearls which I now know were Akoya for my 21st birthday which was the sort of thing that happened in those days,” she says.

“I’ve always loved pearls, before and since then.”

Dr Kailis, 80, still treasures the strand, but nowadays prefers to wear the pearls from WA’s north that she and her late husband Michael later became known for.

The couple, founders of the MG Kailis seafood empire, are considered pioneers of WA’s modern day pearling industry.

Dr Kailis has fond memories of the times she spent at their pearl farm in Roebuck Bay off Broome. She says watching pearls being brought in from a harvest is a magical experience.

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