Richard Johnson was stationed in Tonga toward the end of his career as a master woodwork teacher in Tasmania at the bequest of the Tongan Government to build a school.
Every morning at breakfast whilst overlooking the fishing port he would admire the fishing boats of 25 feet and gaff rigged, go to sea, and return in the afternoon with a load of fish in the wet well. He decided that on his return to his home in Taroona once the school building was completed to build a boat of the same design.
He tracked down the plans for the Tongan fishing boats, drawn by RAN architect Arthur Swinfield, lengthened the boat by 3 feet and set to in 1983 to build Lillias.
Tasmanian timbers were used to construct the boat and each plank was splined with less than a cup full of putty used during construction.
Lillias was launched on 26 September 1988 and placed in the first berth, A1 at the Derwent Sailing Squadron where she still lays.