One of the colonial period's most famous dames celebrated her 50th birthday among friends and admirers yesterday. The former governor's yacht, previously named the Lady Maurine, was launched from the Kowloon Docks on July 30, 1953. Yesterday's party was held at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Although there was no birthday cake and candles, the boat's owner, Yu Wing-woon, made sure there was plenty of food and wine for the seven-hour gathering. With an original British admiralty flag still clinging to her side, the yacht, now renamed the Madame Maurene, sat proudly by the dock as guests took photographs. 'I wanted to throw Maurene a birthday party and show people how beautiful she is,' said Mr Yu, who rescued the vessel from an ignominious end in the scrapyard. He paid $210,000 for her and $2 million on her restoration. Posted near the yacht were news clippings and photographs of the Maurene with her illustrious passengers of the past five decades. They included Sir David Wilson, Sir Edward Youde, Sir Robert Black, and Lord Murray MacLehose. 'The 300 photos of the boat we have on the display boards have never been shown before. I don't think Hong Kong still has boats this old that are still running and continuing to make history,' Mr Yu said. Pointing to a photograph of the Yacht Club fire in April, 2000, Mr Yu's daughter, Anicia, said: 'The Maurene could have been burned down during the fire if the Yacht Club's staff didn't tow her away.' During the one-hour guided tour of the boat, Ms Yu explained that much of the restoration - from painting the rails to tying new rigging - had been done by the family. Other than a few air conditioners, toilets, a DVD player and a television, everything is faithful to the boat's appearance when it was launched. 'We tried to track down actual items that were used on it. For instance, the Morse code machine, bell, lights, dishes, mattresses, and even the refrigerator, are all original,' she said. The Lady Maurine traditionally carried new governors from Kai Tak to Central when they first arrived. They later used the boat for recreational trips. The yacht, which once entertained royalty including Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, now takes the Yu family fishing in summer. Mr Yu hopes the yacht, which was built in Hunghom and named after the wife of then-governor Sir Alexander Grantham, can be used to raise money for charity.