Contact Us
You are on the Australian Trade & Shipping web site  Shipping     
Home Shipping Timetables Insurance Documentation Products Radio Search
 Local Time | Exchange Rates | Australia Post | Bulletin Boards | Trade Terms | AdvertiseJokes | Travel  

New Zealand Shipping On - Line Comments
This page was last updated on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 11:54:23 PM

You are on The History of New Zealand Shipping domain

In the BeginningOn-Line CommentsVesselsSalesPhotosPassenger Lists
Archive Comments  | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008  from 2009 onward you go to

Welcome: Because of the amount of comments, support and input from members of the public having the total archive of comments on one page is now impractical. We have now separated the comments by year. 
If this is your first visit to the site I strongly recommend that you start from the beginning as there are some great stories and links.

Comments for the year 2002 Email / Date

My name is Alan Lucy I sailed on the mv Rangitata from Tilbury on 24/2/50 arriving wellington28/3/50 I was a child migrant aged 14yrs and was sent to a back country farm in Gisbourne within two days of reaching NZ but every thing worked out ok I would love to hear from any one on that same trip my email is  PS it was a wonderful voyage with great food and service on a great ship it took me years to work out why the odd! crew member had traces of make up on when serving breakfast cheers: Alan Lucy

6 / 01 / 02

Hi! my first 2 years at sea on the best name on the kiwi coast 'SOMERSET'77-79. what memories, where has the crowd gone to. I'm still swashing my buckle in the north sea. good to mention the old girl. All the best lads and a few lasses!! The Goon Pat Mccardle
10 / 01 / 02

Served with nzsc between 1966 -1971 and lost all photos would love to find some more on the Pipiriki Derby Clark Mackswell 
12 / 01 / 02

Hi my name is John Broughton I am originally from Doncaster I now live in NZ. I joined M.V.Gloucester as a.b.1964 to do a m.a.n.z. run with Dick Hodge. bosun john hay,  lampy Bob Heslop. Skipper Max Hellings. then joined M.V Devon. Tekoa. bosun Tim O,leary took the Suffork to scrap 1968 also joined the Hurunui and came back d.b.s.on the Cumberland I also joined the Paparoa in Liverpool my last shipping co ship was the Westmoreland the skipper was Capt North also a m.a.n.z run hope this is off some interested and may trigger a memory or too John Broughton 

15 / 01 / 02

Dear Sir, One article in your shipping info, and to inform the source, is that the Shipping Corp NZ was nothing to do with N.Z.S. I sailed on the Tue alias New Zealand Pacific which was Blue Star. Shaw Savall port line all together and Sir Tom Skinner as boss plus son Jeff not bad for job for the boys ... bit of info john


Found this site by mistake. Have very few memories of my time on the 'Otaio' although I would like to dig them up wherever they are hiding in my head. They must be there. Was on the 'Otaio' from 1971-72 as a navigation cadet. Danny Meadows
20 / 01 / 02

Hi Sorry, I do not have any info for you. I am looking for information re the MV Kaimata. My father sailed on her during WWII and I would like to learn some more about her, especially any photos of her. Can you help, or point me in the right direction? Many thanks Essex Havard
21 / 01 / 02

Please could you send me to a website that would give me some details about the sinking of the Rangitane in 1940. My late uncle, James Hunt, served as a steward on that ship. Any information, however little, would be greatly appreciated. Patrick Hunt Irish Independent Dublin
22 / 01 / 02

Very interesting site which I came across whilst searching for information about HMNZT Turakina which was torpedoed in the North Atlantic 13 August 1917. My Grandfather now deceased some ten years was sixth engineer. I have an original of "The Klink" a souvenir of the voyage of HMNZT "Turakina" 1917. I would be prepared to look up names and any relevant detail if needed. Peter Cornish

23 / 01 / 02

Re..Patrick Hunts' query 22/01/02 (the sinking of the "Rangitane ") , I have sent him the relevant information , gleaned from "ordeal by sea" as usual. Bill Goyne
28 / 01 / 02
When looking for some photos of ships i sailed on found this site (its great) i started life with NZSC on the old Pipiriki then the ss Derby i was also on the Joya Maccance and the clerk Maxwell but being young and Stewpet never got any photos so would love for any anybody has or for any one to just get in touch. thank you Ray Allen
28 / 01 / 02
I am looking for any information on John Orr Watson who was on the MV  Aorangi during world war 2.  Maryellen Duffy
30 / 01 / 02
My name is James Joseph Kelly (Jimmy). I come from Bootle, Merseyside. I started in the Merchant Navy in 1939. The ships I have served on are Westmoreland, Huntingdon, Ruahine, Empire Whimbrel, Kent, Mahana, Empire Viceroy. I served as fireman and greaser. Is there anyone out there who sailed in those ships between 1939-1945 who remembers me or anything about the ship/journey/characters? I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has any memories of these. James Joseph Kelly 

30 / 01 / 02

I am looking for a David Charles Patrick Lloyd who was a 'Mate of Tasmania Star of the Blue Star Line. About 58 years of age. He was originally from UK but was living in New Zealand. The last address was.. ss/Tasmania Star. J.E. Watson and Son. P.O. Box 812, 19 Tay Street, Invercargill, Southend New Zealand.
I know that the Blue star line is no longer in existence but any information would be greatly appreciated.  Helen Rennick - Woodstock
Editor ..Blue Star is now part of P&O Nedlloyd and is still called the Blue Star service operating from Australia to NZ to USA. I wish you luck 
Footnote 28.02.02 Dear Mr Shaw. Please remove my request from the New Zealand Shipping history as sadly we have found that David Lloyd is deceased. Thanking you for your help. Helen Rennick.
Editor I felt that there may be others like Helen who may find solace in knowing that their prayers were answered perhaps not in the manner that they had hoped but at least they found completion in the knowing. 
Perhaps when you come to read this, you too may feel the need to reach out to someone long ago, all you have to do is ask and send us an email

2 / 02 / 02

I am a collector specialising in everything about Pitcairn islands whilst trying to find information on H M V Rangitoto when writing up a competition entry about shipping calling at Pitcairn I stumbled upon this site, how interesting it is. Has anyone any postcards or envelopes with Pitcairn cancellations to offer me please. Doug Lawrence
4 / 02 / 02
Have done a search on Turakina and came to this site, I did my primary schooling in Turakina and , as I recall, there photos and possibly some historical notes, of Turakina vessels on the walls of the school. Coincidentally the school has its 150th Jubilee coming up, will confirm then Regards Doug
13 / 02 / 02
My dad sailed/worked on board the M.V. Hauraki and SS Derby between the years of 1961 - 1965 during his merchant seaman days. can anyone out there let me know where i can obtain pictures of one or both of the aforementioned ships. Thanks in advance
NB- any other web-sites relating to these ships would also be appreciated. David Wray
14 / 02 / 02
As an X crew member of the Last Three trips on the Rangitata, Maiden Voyage Remuera and Rangitoto. Could you Please tell me how long was the Penant which was flown on the last trip of a ship. Regards John Wallace.  
15 / 02 / 02
In 1948 I was employed with N.Z. Loan of London UK and shipped out from Liverpool aboard the MV Hurunui as a Stud Livestock attendant, and signed ships articles as a Supernumerary member of the crew. There were 14 Dorset Horn Ewew and two Wessex Saddleback pigs.
Liverpool 8/7/48 via Las Palmas, Suez, Freemantle, Adelaide and signed off at Melbourne on 20/8/48 Masters name was Captain F.Lockheed. This was the maiden voyage of the Hurunui.
I would be interested in making contact with any of the deck crew, officers or passengers that are interested. Also interested in finding the source of info relating to the MV Hurunui. Eric Walton  Vancouver Canada 

25 / 02 / 02


I was looking for information of the ship M.V.RANGITATA, because I own a little pocket knife with the name of the boat on it and also a picture. I am a collector knife and was wondering if the knife was coming from this boat, and maybe find more information about this special knife. Thank you in advance for the information Jean Marie Bélanger
25 / 02 / 02
Greetings Mr Shaw,
My thanks for the prompt reply to my request for information about my voyage on the Maiden Voyage of the MV Motor Vessel Hurunui from Liverpool 1948. The main reason behind my query is that I am updating a document that relates to my various voyages as a Stud Stock Attendant on vessels from UK to Australia and from Australia to USA etc. If by chance someone may read my insertion who was a Deck Officer or passenger, only passengers on this voyage was relations of deck officers. This was my first voyage after getting out for the army in '47, and I enjoyed every second! of it, I would presume that the MV Hurunui is very similiar to the Haparangi? any information you can supply me would be of interest, I was employed by N.Z. Loan company for various voyages, now the company is part of the Dalgety's I understand, so all info would be lost?
Thank you again for the opportunity to contact you, and the Internet is a great venue to research my past shipboard voyages. Regards to you and yours, Eric Walton Vancouver Canada.

25 / 02 / 02

Hello. My name is Bob Chartres and I was a Cadet on the Rakaia from Feb 1958 till Dec 1959. I am hoping that this excellent site will help me get in touch with some of my old friends who joined at the same time. I have already traced Andrew Grieve but would love to find some of the other 8 Cadets who joined the Rakaia in Belfast after she had under gone repairs to the engine. The trip before she had broken a con-rod and Captain Lawson with his crew rigged square sails and sailed her back to Liverpool from just outside New York.
Those were happy days - never to be forgotten. I would also like to get my hands on the ships log of those days or the Cadets Log as mentioned by another above. R M Chartres

27 / 02 / 02

I am researching my family tree. Having acquired my uncles CRS10 card I have found that he served on the following ships. "Athenic" 1959 (F/man), "Kent" 1964 (F/man), "Surrey" 1964 (GRS), "Dorset"1965 -1966 (F/man. D/GRS) "Hauraki"1966 (D/GRS), "Nottingham"1966 (D/GRS), "Piako"1966 (D/GRS) "Huntingdon "1967(D/GRS),"Hauraki "1968(D/GRS) "Somerset "1968(D/GRS) "Sussex"1969 (D/GRS) "Huntingdon" 1969(D/GRS), "Otaio"1970 (D/GRS), "Hertford" 1970(D/GR).  
I am trying to trace his family. If anyone knew him, or how i can find an address for him I would be grateful. Any information at all will be gratefully received. Kay Stanley

28 / 02 / 02

Re: Previous message. I am Researching my family tree! I omitted to name my uncle. The following details are all I know about him.
Name Reginald Auguste OLIVER. 
Discharge No.R106908
D.o.B 3/1/1913.Southampton.England.
Fathers name George OLIVER.
Regards Kay Stanley

28 / 02 / 02

My father, Capt. Thomas ('Tommy') MONCRIEFF, was with the NZSC from about 1930, as apprentice seaman, until his death in 1964, as marine superintendent based at Albert Dock. 
I have a fair number of photographs taken on (and of) NZSC ships between these dates, service records, notebooks etc.
I also have some uniform items and other items of 'hardware' (tallboy from 'Rangitiki' cabin, 'Ruahine' memorial paperweight)
I can remember a few anecdotes from my father. Some are serious ('Rangitoto '/'Jervis Bay' convoy, 'Dorset' in the Med), some comical (crocodile hunt).
At the time of his death, I had already been in boarding schools for 9 years, and, apart from the school holidays (and the Christmas Parties on board Rangitoto and Rangitiki in Albert Dock) I did not see as much of him and the his work as I would have liked.
However, he left me in no doubt as to a) the very high esteem in which the NZSC was generally held, and b) his immense pride in being part of it.
I have spoken to other NZSC people since, who confirmed the company's professional reputation, and its strong 'esprit de corps.'
I would welcome a chat with any of his contemporaries (or their relatives, wishing to fill knowledge gaps) Alastair Moncrieff  OR

1 / 03 / 02

Sir, is there anyone out there in the UK that could give me a used ltd crossed flags jumper, as supplied to the crews of the day, any condition, moth eaten or whatever, serving merchant seaman, discharge book no uk035770. Stornoway.  John Macdonald 
4 / 03 / 02
I am looking for information about an Edwin Sands Dawes who had something to do with the NZSC any information would be greatly appreciated. Michelle Jones
5 / 03 / 02
My name is Jack Chilton and I was on the "Essex" in 1961-62 and the "Piako" 1962-63 as an Engineer. Would like to hear from any other crew members on these ships in New Zealand or UK. Jack Chilton 
6 / 03 / 02
I sailed on several N Z S co vessels as an AB, and have photos of some, would like photo of Ruhine, Rangtata, Wangerer if anybody has them I would be pleased to pay Mr M Holberton
7 / 03 / 02
Would anyone have a photo of R.M.S Tongariro around 1911, I would appreciate one. I have a passenger list for this vessel which left London for New Zealand on 20th October 1911 if anyone would like a look up. Garry Stuckey
7 / 03 / 02
Good web site keep up the good work. Did you know that Friends United, the successful website in UK for finding your old school friends has now opened a workplace site. NZSC has been listed 3 ways and has only a few names so far. Worth logging in and adding yours guys !  I suggest we all use the same company name, try New Zealand Shipping Co limited I was with NZS from 64-69 training on the Rakaia and subsequently serving on Hauraki, Dorset, Otaki and Westmorland. Great times! David De Barr

8 / 03 / 02

Sir, I served as a junior engineer on the m.v.Middlesex from 1966/67 on what was then called a double header. I still have a photo of her in Melbourne (Appleton dock c) after reading all the interesting comments of all the other NZ Ships I was disappointed to read nothing at all about the m.v. Middlesex there was 10 engineers her engines were twin 10 sulzers reduction gear box and a magnetic coupling. Her revs were 210rpm.she had a 580 mm piston head. I'm looking for a good friend of mine his name is David Charles Evans 8th eng (Henry the eighth) from cwm bran in South Wales. By the way I was on the m.v. Huntinton on new years eve in Bluff harbor 66/67what a place to spend new years eve. pubs then closed at 6p.m.I still have a copy of crossed flags magazine for 1967 also I still have my tie. I must say what a great time I spent with NZ Ships. David Kavanagh

9 / 03 / 02

I served an engineering apprenticeship with NZS starting in 1965 (course 8). I did two trips on Otaio, and later served on Tekoa, Devon, Haparangi. I am looking for any original engine-room photos, any ship. Any course 8 out there? Peter Edwards  
10 / 03 / 02
Brian Richardson here and I sailed on the Northumberland, MV with my cousin Fred Richardson. We sailed from Liverpool to Auckland, It was in 1968 I think; I can remember that trip because we spent more time adrift, i can remember a life lost his fingers while they were changing one of the pistons
Editor Brian never left email address and the rest of his email was all upper case I don't have time to drop it to lower case to make it easier to read. So Brian if you want to resend you are more than welcome
Brian you sent me another email this time with your email address however when I sent you a confirmation your email address comes back as an error suggest you retype your email address and send it again
13 / 03 / 02
I sailed on the M.V. Rangitiki on the 9th May 1958 from London to Auckland. I have a passenger list, photo of the ship's officers, ship's plan and many menus that I can refer to if anyone wishes information. If any passengers on that voyage wish to contact me, they are very welcome Stuart Andrews
14 / 03 / 02
My name is Donald John Morrison from Stornoway. Isle of Lewis. My next door neighbour (Kenneth John Montgomery) and I joined m.v.Essex as deck boys in March 1970 after leaving N.S.T. School ,Gravesend. (X Class 1969) Bill Emberton (Oxford) was a good friend. Henry Angus Macdonald was also with us. He is still at sea (RFA). Chief Officer was Ian Rutherford (Big Eye) from Edinburgh. He regularly evicted us out of the crew bar. Ian Macinnon (Glasgow). Nobby Clarke??? are names that I remember. We did three/four trips to N.Z before going our separate ways. Westmorland (`72), Somerset (`72), Hinakura (`73) were my other ships before skinning out Lyttleton 1973 from M.V.Hinakura (The Big H). I remember Jack Bradshaw (Greaser) on the Hinakura. He settled in Wellington working for a brewery!!! Also my good friends Jimmy Dallas (Keith, Scotland), Jimmy Hickie (Cork, Ireland) etc etc.
Returned to UK 1976 dbs on Tekoa. I still communicate with one or two old shipmates from Isle of Barra including John Evans who also skinned out Lyttelton 1972. Does anybody know of a reunion in Stornoway this year.? Best Regards, Dolan ... D.J. Morrison (Sneb) 

14 / 03 / 02

I was an NZSC engineer officer cadet - mv Otaio 1962-3, Poplar TC 1963-4, ss Papanui 1964-5. I've lost touch with all the people I knew so well then, and would be pleased to hear from any of them (I am now based mainly in Singapore/Thailand). The names I still readily remember from those days include: Duncan Smart; David Sambrook; "Edna" Savage; Allan Slack. I recall that the Chief Engineering Instructor Officer on the Otaio in those distant days was known as "The Blob", assisted by messrs. Callan and Moley. Michael Still

23 / 03 / 02

I worked for the New Zealand Shipping Company, in New Zealand, from 1965 when I left school until 1971, firstly in Head Office Accounts, Wellington, then Wellington Branch Accounts. In 1967 I moved, with my family, to Auckland and joined the Auckland Branch on Quay Street. Here I worked for both Homeward and Inward Freight Depts. 
It was at this time when I saw much change with the Line. Many new ships came into the fleet whilst still operating with old ships which were gradually retired. I remember the "Rangi" ships, Remuera, Hororata, Hauraki and others. The old ships had beauty about them and many had seen service during the war. Hororata I know was involved. She (or Hauraki) also had a fire on board in Wellington while loading wool and I remember the scene of bales of wool floating in the harbour after they were dumped over board.
Then came the introduction of the Container vessels and again further change occured with the creation of OCL. Many staff were asked to transfer into the new comapny but after a time it was considered that container trade into NZ was going to be later than expected and so all the newly appointed staff came back again. It was long after that the changes started to impact.
In 1971 I came over to the UK and I am now living in London. 
I enjoyed my time with the company and enjoyed sitting on the quayside at lunch time watching the ships.
My last spell with the company was doing the Customs entry and clearance for the vessel and crew. This necessitated some 'good-bye' drinks with the crew before the vessels sailed. It was "hard" life.
Those in the former company will remember "Crossed Flags" and the "Maori Club". I still have the tie and also I have some of the photos of some of the fleet back in NZ. I am pleased I found this site and be able to read the on-line comments. Brings back great memories. Paul Martin

25 / 03 / 02

Does anybody have any information on a Captain Gorn of the NZSL in the 19th Century? Thanks Andrea Hyde 
27 / 03 / 02
I am looking for a photograph and any WWII information about the M.V. Kaimata on which my father sailed as third radio officer. Can anyone help me? Essex Havard 
02 / 04 / 02
Jeffrey A friend of mine in Brisbane told me about William Torrance who sketched, painted and photographed ships on the Brisbane River over a number of years. One of his books is "Motor Ships of the Thirties" and that contains a section on NZSCo vessels. ISBN 0959144919.
I understand that the Cancer Society of Queensland may have copies of his books and his paintings/drawings for sale. Regards Len Chapman 

07 / 04 / 02

Editor We get many jokes and stories for our jokes domain however this one resonated so well that I decided to put it up on the History of NZ Shipping who knows we might flush out a few more stories.

A extremely depressed young blonde was so desperate that she decided to end her life by throwing herself into the Sydney Harbour. 
When she went down to the docks, a handsome young sailor noticed her tears, took pity on her, and said: "Look, you've got a lot to live for. I'm off to Europe in the morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on my ship.
I'll take good care of you and bring you food every day."
Moving closer, he slipped his arm around her shoulder and added, "I'll keep you happy, and you'll keep me happy.".
The blonde nodded 'yes'. After all, what did she have to lose? 
That night, the sailor brought her aboard and hid her in a life-boat. From then on, every night he brought her three sandwiches and a piece of fruit, and they made passionate love until dawn.
Three weeks later, during a routine search, she was discovered by the captain.
"What are you doing here?" the Captain asked.
"I have an arrangement with one of the sailors," she explained. "He's taking me to Europe, and in return I'm letting him screw me." 
"He certainly is screwing you lady" said the Captain. 
"This is the Manly ferry."
09 / 04 / 02
I am enquiring into the arrival date of the Hororata and would like to know if it came to NZ in 1926 fron England, I would like to also know where I can get a passenger listing for that year. I am trying to research my family tree on the Cutts family and have been told he came out that year on the Hororata with his wife and 8 or 9 children regards Alison Toopi
9 / 04 / 02
Can anyone tell me if the Rangitiki or Rangitata called in to Wellington in 1946 from Durban? I know they were troop ships at one stage but maybe they weren't at that date? My parents were passengers returning to NZ. Have a couple of deck photos but no ship name. Regards Beverley B. C. Bolland 
12 / 04 / 02
The following item of NZSCo. ephemera may be of interest.

Manuscript Programme of Entertainment on board the New Zealand Shipping Company Ship SS Rimutaka dated 6th May 1915

An attractive, interesting and unusual item of shipping ephemera being a manuscript programme of entertainment on board the New Zealand Shipping Company's ship S.S. Rimutaka given on the 6th of May 1915. The programme is written on an illustrated "Programme" sheet of the "Royal Albert Aged Merchant Seamen's Institute." The Captain of the vessel is named in the programme as Captain F.A. Hemming. The preamble to the programme starts "...At 8 Bells on Promenade Deck The "Reckless Rimutaka Rollickers" will toll forth and..." The first item of entertainment is entitled "Who shall kill The Kaiser" which confirms both the date and the common sentiment of the period. The programme measures 25cms x 19cms and is in very good condition.

This is the second of the three vessels to bear the name S.S. Rimutaka. Built in 1900 weighing 7,765 tons. The ship was scrapped in 1930.
Warmest regards, Philip Christian
10 Papa Panteli Michail Street, 4566 Kalo Chorio, Limassol, Cyprus

14 / 04 / 02

Hello its Bill aka 'Plum' Chalkley here. I served as a Navigating Officer cadet on Otaio for voyages 13-18 28/2/64-15/11/66 and was Cadet Captain for voyage 18. I completed my cadetship on Cornwall with Peter Rainford and as a result of the OCL announcement at about that time decided on a career change and have been in IT ever since. I have lived in Melbourne, Australia since 1971. Through your site I have made contact with Alex Chisholm and Peter Herring. I have had continuous contact with David Bell who joined with me but otherwise have had no contact with the dozens of guys from that era. If any of you are out there it would be great to hear from you. I am also trying to find out if there is a Melbourne chapter of the Durham Association and contact details - can anyone help. 
It was through this search that I stumbled across your sight and many memories have been recalled as a result. I have several photos from Otaio days which I am happy to make available to anyone interested. Hope this will activate some other contacts. Bill Chalkley 

16 / 04 / 02

Did anyone travel on the final voyage of the Remuera from Albert Dock to Auckland in 1964  Patricia Stirling
21 / 04 / 02
My name is Gregory King. I joined the Otaio on 17 March 72 as a Deck Cadet. I sailed on her for three trips (until 1973). Gordon Cox was there also. We were recalling how we met (joining the Otaio in the Royal Albert Dock) and decided to see if we could locate and find out what happened to the rest of our class. I'm married and living in the US (New Hampshire). I stopped sailing in 1984, worked for a while as a Surveyor, and am now a computer tech. Young Gordon is a Marine Surveyor in Lousiana, working for his own company. He is also married.
Currently, the only names that come to mind are Harry Marshall and Mick Cooke, although as I recall there were 14 of us, but John Donner died on our first trip.
Please contact me directly through my email address. Thank you, Gregory King

23 / 04 / 02

Greetings from Blenheim, NZ. I am compiling a history of wartime activities in Marlborough 1939-45. As well as the Air Force flying training and Army units, I will include include the Sounds defences, radio fingerprinting, Navy and Merchant Marine.
I thought it would be appropriate to include the Provincial Roll of Honour, and have details of all but one name from sources including the commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Any information or suggestion where I might find this for: Elliott, J. would be appreciated. He/she is noted as "on Kaikoura List" but I've drawn a blank there. Not among the Armed Forces' casualties, so wonder if he (she?) might have served in the Merchant Marine.
Any assistance will be gratefully received and faithfully applied - and acknowledged. Robert E. Montgomery.

29 / 04 / 02

Sir, I arrived at this site when I was searching for "Japanese torpedo incidents in New Zealand waters WW2". I have been told that a ferry from Lyttleton to Wellington (or vice versa) was threatened. Could someone tell me where to go to find this information. Meanwhile I have enjoyed reading the postings on your site. Many thanks, Jenifer Josephs-Cato
05 / 05 / 02
Hello my name is Charlie Picknell I served on the Haparangi from 1956 - 1959 will be good to here from anyone from them times remember Ron Joyce who left a message but left no mail address. please let me know if you get this message as we have tried before. Charlie Picknell
8 / 05 / 02
I have whilst going through some old photographs to do our family tree found some of a great uncle, serving on the SS Hororata. His name was John Edward Quayle, although most people knew him as Jack Quayle. The photographs I have are taken in different parts of the ship and include different jobs (they are quite interesting, unfortunately they are starting to fade) including boat muster, coaling, and washing decks, there is also one with the ship on fire in the mid pacific. Most of the people on the photographs apart form Uncle Jack are unknown to me, but two of them have names by them Q.M. W J Healey who is in full sailors uniform and R Mc Intire in the outfit of Hororata FC.
Amongst the photographs are some of the ships pets a numerous array of cats and a monkey called Jacko. 
Although we know uncle Jack served on the SS Hororata we would like to know if possible what rank and or job he held. 
He died according to the Manx papers (from where he originated), at sea 8th November 1918 in service. 
If anyone can help with any information I would be very grateful. Elaine

8 / 05 / 02


Re Hinakura. Roy Brown was Junior Engineer on this ship on its last refrigerated passage Auckland to Tilbury. c 1955 1956 Ship returned to NZ with steel to Auckland. Roy was signed off there as the next destination was an Eastern scrap yard. Seeking when and where it was made. Roy recalls twin Doxford diesels
13 / 05 / 02
Just to correct Peter Noonan. Hinakura was still fit, well and afloat in 1959 when I had one trip as engineer cadet.  John Osborne
14 / 05 / 02
Although I'm sure that many of you were aware of this story, others may be interested in the following which is an extract from a 'Questions and Answers' page in the British Daily Mail dated May 13th 2002. Unfortunately the correspondent's name was not mentioned in the copy I saw.

Question -

When I served on the New Zealand Shipping Co's m/v Otaki in 1959, her dining room sported the Victoria Cross of a Captain Smith, who had served on a ship of the same name during World War 1. The second Otaki has long been broken up. Could you tell me what happened to that VC ?

This Question elicited two replies which I post here with all necessary apologies etc for any breach of copyright. 

1. As secretary to Lord Sterling, chairman of P and O, I see this medal every day, proudly displayed on the wall in his office. It is mounted as it must have been in the dining room of the last mv Otaki, where it sat alongside a portrait of Captain Smith.

It has this inscription : 'This Victoria Cross was awarded to Captain Archibald Bissett Smith. Master of the New Zealand Shipping Company vessel ss Otaki. He was was born in Aberdeen on December 19, 1878, and educated at Robert Gordon's College. He joined the Company on June 2, 1904 and was promoted Master in July 1912. he died on March 10, 1917, when in command of the ss Otaki, which was sunk in the North Atlantic after a very gallant action with the heavily armed raider 'Moewe'. The Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously to commemorate this epic of the Merchant Service'.

The New Zealand Shipping Co, a P and O subsidiary, acquired the medal by auction in 1951 and it was carried aboard it's fourth Otaki, which served from 1953 to 1975.

This is signed ; Lyn Allen, P and O SNCo, London

2) On March 10, 1917, the refrigerated meat ship Otaki, commanded by Captain Archibald Bisset Smith, sailing 350 miles east of the Azores, was sunk by the German commerce raider Moewe, but not before the Otaki's 4.7 inch gun had inflicted so much damage on the Moewe that, although able to reach Kiel, she never returned to sea. The Otaki lost six crewmen, including Captain Bisset Smith, who went down with his ship. Smith was a civilian and therefore not strictly entitled to receive the VC, so he was posthumously gazetted a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve. The London Gazette of May 25th, 1919, details the award.

In 1936, the relatives of Captain Bisset Smith presented the Otaki Shield to the Governors of Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen, where he had been educated, to be awarded annually to the scholar judged pre-eminent in character, leadership and athletics.

From 1938, the New Zealand Shipping Company added a travel scholarship in the form of a return trip to New Zealand - a tradition which continues, with P and O now providing the passage.

In March 1951, Captain Bisset Smith's VC was bought at auction by the New Zealand Shipping Company and for two years it was housed in Robert Gordons's College, but was then placed in the 'new' Otaki when it was built in 1953.

It remained in the officer's dining room until the Otaki was sold in 1975. The medal has since been in the possession of PandO, in pride of place in the office of the chairman.

Signed ; H.O. Smith, Head of Geography, Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen

I remember in the early seventies sailing with a couple of schoolboys and two 'young farmers' signed as supernumeraries on OCL's Discovery Bay but cannot remember what school they were from.

Also, those of you interested may wish to visit the web site at, where many people have signed onto the various UK nautical colleges featured in the schools section, but also many ex NZS employees in the 'Workplace' section under 'Merchant Navy', 'P and O' and two spellings of New Zealand Shipping Company. After registering an e-mail address the site is free to enter but there is a charge if you wish to contact somebody through the site.

Thank you for maintaining this excellent site. 
Colin Nisbet NZS / P and O 1973 - 1983

Editor Please note the article submitted by Colin is about New Zealand Shipping Co in its previous incarnation as part of P&O. The current company has no connection with P & O Nedlloyd although we do slot space on some trade lanes.

21 / 05 / 02

Dear Sir, I am looking for any information from anyone who may have sailed with my father on the M V Rangitoto in the 1960's his name was Donnie Lindsay from south uist and he worked in the engine room , I would be very grateful if anyone who remembers him would get in touch. photos of the ship would also be very much appreciated Thanks in advance Donald Lindsay (son)
28 / 05 / 02
I am looking for photographs of the Mv Cumberland built 1948, on which I served for a short while. Can you help?
Editor If you can supply name and email address someone is bound to help

29 / 05 / 02
My name is Bob Gallacher I sailed aboard Haparangi in 1968, Junior eng. I had my 21st Birthday between Panama and Pitcairn - that was memorable. Of the few names I remember there was Dave Lesley cadet eng, Owen "Wagga" Ward from Bluff 5eo and Dave Cowdell 4eo.
There was also one of the Wiigs, electrician from the South Island somewhere. I was transferred to Hurunui in NZ for the return trip to UK. Discharged Hurunui in Le Harve. I'm originally from Wigan in Lancashire now residing in Sydney Aus for the last 30 years. Anybody out there remember me or have any contact at all with these guys, would be good to hear from you. Bob Gallacher

30 / 05 / 02

Dear Sir, Trust that you or others may be able to help me. I believe that my great grandfather was a master mariner. His name was Walter Smith (born approx 1838)he came from Austria and married one of his passengers a Mary Petersen (born approx 1870) from Denmark. I am not sure but I think his main port was Port Ahuriri (Napier NZ). Perhaps his ship may have been the "Taveuni". Any one with information on him his ship etc would be great fully received, even hints on how to find more information. As a child I left NZ for Australia aboard the Wanganui or Whangarei (lousy memory bank) had a wonderful trip but parents did not. Thanking you Frances McNair

30 / 05 / 02

G'day, My name is Graham Perkins, great site which i have just stumbled across. I was and Eng Cadet with NZSCo 70 - 74 at Poplar Tech. sailed on Tongario (Tongaplonk) Essex, Sussex, Hauraki, all during the early 70's. Unfortunately during the revolution I ended up in the Gulf for my sins. What ever happened to names like "Scarface Leachman", The Mad Monk, Mary Baker, The Black Musium all great names from the past and with happy memories. I now live in Hobart, Australia and any one who might know me is welcome to drop me a line. Keep up the good work. Graham Perkins

03 / 06 / 02

I am trying to find any info about ss Ionic which sailed between UK  and NZ in the year 1923. maybe someone can tell me how to find a passenger list, a photo or anything that might be of interest to me what shipping line was it with etc. Regards Ann Sue
12 / 06 / 02
In the section Reconstruction of the Fleet (1939 to early Fifties), you have a query as to the build date of the Rangitane. 
I joined her in December 1949 when she lay at her builders, John Brown of Clydebank in process of completion. After sea trials, we sailed for London and from there carried out her maiden voyage to NZ in January 1950.
Her sister, Rangitoto was in Auckland when we arrived at the next pier and was then on her second voyage having left the builders some months before. The build dates therefore were during 1948/49/ Hope this helps. Bill Whitehead

12 / 06 / 02

My father, Frederick E Greatorex was a passenger on the MV Rangitata in July 1941 on passage to South Africa. He was in the Royal Air Force being posted to South Africa. Landed at Cape Town then on to Pretoria. Ship travelled in convoy. Helped ships carpenter while underway, as he was a qualified joiner/carpenter. Remembers the ship with affection. 14 / 06 / 02
Dear Sirs I would like to contact some old ship mates who sailed with me on the mv Hertford, between February 1955 and November 1956. I was Captains Steward (Tiger) I also sailed as a Ist Class Dining steward on the Rangitata from October 24th 1957 to February 14th 1958 John Appleton
15 / 06 / 02
Hello Jeffrey, it has been a long time since we last communicated, but I was given details of your site by a newly found cousin of mine and feel after reading some of the details re the Index I passed on for the use of anyone, that I must update some of the information for you. I have a set of three little books, one of which I did the index from, the book itself is called "Ships of the New Zealand Shipping Company" and it was compiled by Gavin McLean with photographs from the Wellington Harbour Board Maritime Museum Collection 3. ISBN 0 477 00015 0, by GP Books. It is a small collection of photographs with very little detail on each ship, and it had no index to say which ship was mentioned in the book, hence my little index. Over the years this small index which is on my web page has helped a number of people looking for photographs of these particular ships, hence the index is available for anyone to use and I am quite willing to scan individual l photos from the book and send to people who require a photo of the ship their ancestor may have been connected with in some way. I know from knowledge of the NZ Shipping Company this book is not complete, but my index only pertains to the ships and photos mentioned in this book. If you would like to update your list to mention the name of the Author etc it may help others. Sorry that was left off so many years ago. keep up your great work on this site, it is good to have good sites to refer to. Ailsa Corlett

Editor: Your baby has grown Ailsa I trust I have done a good job as its mid wife (ha ha) although I must say it would be nice to finish off the vessel section. If someone reading would like to put the whole vessel list together in word or excel format and email it to me, I will make the time available between work commitments to install it on the vessel section and give them the credit for doing so, as a big thank you, from all of us.

15 / 06 / 02

Hi Jeff
The site is great and a real credit to you. I could not have done it as well, I just don't have the time any more to devote to family history which is a pity, but maybe later on when I retire one day. Anyway your site and you have prompted me to think more about the book I have and the photos in it, so if you like I am going to finish scanning (half of them already done) the rest of the photos in the book, place onto CD and send a copy to you. I did not put the photos on my web site as the book is copyrighted, but felt scanning one or two when asked by someone who required a copy of the photo for their research was ok, I would suggest you do the same in this case, but at least you can have a full copy of all the pictures of the ships in the book, I just need a postal address to send it to, and give me a couple of weeks to finalise it. The wonders of Cd Burners now. All the best Ailsa

Editor: That would be nice I am sure we can help people in the manner you have suggested. Ailsa web site is

We received a number of photos (black & white) of New Zealand Shipping vessels from Ailsa and immediately set about creating a section containing these photos. I might add if you have any photos yourself please go ahead and email us in jpeg format. As always we will acknowledge you as a contributor (something for prosperity) Jeff  
My father, Eric Leach from Liverpool, served with the NZSC from 1925 until his marriage in January 1938 when he left the sea and worked at The Royal Albert Dock. It gave him so much pleasure to see some of his old ships dock there.
My parents received a canteen of cutlery from the Catering Department of R.M.S. Ruahine as a wedding gift dated 15th January 1938. My father died in 1984, but my mother, who is 93, tells me that the crew were torpedoed.
Is that correct? Does anyone have a 'photo of the Ruahine please? Valerie M. Vine

19 / 06 / 02

What a good site. Cheers, Sneb. How ya doin'? Between '65 and '72 sailed on Huntingdon, Ruahine, Nottingham, Essex, (Canberra Star of Blue Star Line), skinned out in Kiwi from Cumberland in '73. Came back to Scotland in '98. Would love to catch up with Ian Kerr of Fort William. His brother Hughie also sailed with us on Huntingdon circa 1970/71.
Any old shipmates who remember me can get in touch via supplied email. I see Joe Quinn all the time plus lots of ex 'Shifting Company' Barramen if anyone one wants to make contact. A good day's been made better. Cheers, John Evans.

19 / 06 / 02

Hi Jeff, Thanks for yours in response to mine regarding Rangitane and Rangitoto build dates. Very pleased to hear it will be in the newsletter. Speaking of which, I have somehow deleted the web site address, would you please advise me of it. I'll bookmark it this time. Thanks again and best regards Bill
22 / 06 /02
Please I hope someone can help me, I am looking for a photo of the Merchant Vessel Cambridge, that sailed in New Zealand waters in 1956. It is really important for me to get a picture. Please please please can anyone help me Thank you Regards Meryl Oliver
23 / 06 / 02
My name is Duncan MacDonald. I sailed in "Orari" on six voyages as 4th. and 3rd. Officer under Captain Nelson Rice between 2/9/41 and 21/2/44 including the Malta convoy in June 1942. Of the six ships in the convoy, only two reached Malta and we were struck by a parachute mine at the entrance to Valeta harbour. "ORARI" had a charmed life like the time she brought back a live German torpedo that had landed on the after deck as the ship rolled to port in a heavy gale. I am now 87 but like to hear from any shipmates who can remember me as there is lots more to tell !!! Sincerely. Duncan Macdonald, M.B.E.

24 / 06 / 02

Looking for information on our uncle Spencer Faulkner? served in RNZN on A M C Monawii. Later merchant marine Russian convoys, was known to be in Portsmouth naval hospital with T.B. date unknown was last seen 1949 maiden voyage on Rangitoto, or Rangitane Wellington N.Z. has not been heard from by my mother since. Any info would be appreciated. Garey
24 / 06 / 02

Hi Ailsa, I have sailed with the old NZSCo during 1960-64 and have recently completed a model of the MV Rakaia on of the ships I sailed on. I am now starting to construct a model of the Rangatoto and have acquired the general plans from Tyne and Were Archives. I am having some trouble acquiring photographs to help me to complete the superstructure. Would you have any that you could scan and e-mail to me? If this is any trouble please do not bother.     I like your web site.    I have attached a jpg of the model I made as it might be of interest to you. Best regards. Alex Henderson 41 Island Bank Road Inverness IV2 4QT   Phone 01463 238397
Editor: click here to see Rakaia once this page opens up you will have to scroll down the page to see photo of Alex's scale model


Jeff, thanks for a terrific site. Isn't it interesting that many of your contributors recall service with NZSC as the happy days. I could'nt agree more.
Once long ago, I defected and sailed with Union Castle, but how I missed the Rangi boats. It was not long before I was back with the Tiki !
When serving "On the Coast", round about the middle forties, I recall that all the bars closed at 6pm, but to the less civic minded of us there was a place in either Auckland or Wellington that we used to call Ma Gleason's, where after some shifty door knocking, one could purchase what was known as "sly grog".
By direct contrast, a little later in the early fifties, there was a milkbar in the main street of Auckland, near the Ferry Building, called Duffy's Tavern. Anyone remember it ? Great days. Bill Whitehead

01 / 07 / 02

Hi, I'm researching my brother John Cameron (Joe) who served on the Ruahine as Radio Officer during the 2nd World War. If anyone served on the ship and new my bother, I would love to hear from you. Ian Cameron
03 / 02 / 02
Hi, I really like the site. Well done. I have a framed print of MV Huntingdon purchased at a Marine auction in Sydney some years ago. Can somebody refresh my memory - which has taken a battering over the years - which "H" vessel was it that suffered a fairly large engine room fire in Liverpool docks around 1970? or so. I was aboard the said vessel the evening prior to the fire, borrowing spares for Hurunui where I was duty engineer.
I was back aboard the "H" vessel the next day loaning them equipment to help to get things started again. Bob Gallacher

04 / 07 / 02

Hi Jeff, Just discovered your site and have spent the last hour reading back through the messages, fascinating and brings back all sorts of memories. I joined Durham as an Apprentice, the first trip after the war as a cadet ship, in the London docks. Pilcher was the master. Last trip before second mates aboard Haparangi, after trips aboard the old Kent and maiden trip aboard Rangitane (farmer Maltby master) as far as Auckland then transferred to Leicester (ex Sam Key) for the trip back to London. I was lucky as Leicester went down with all hands the next voyage. I then left the NZSC and joined RFA where I spent six years then Nigeria with the Ports Authority where I started piloting finally finished my working life in Australia as a New South Wales pilot for twenty years. There is or was a Durham Association in Auckland organised by Capt Dunsford and he was trying to form a branch here in NSW never did hear if he was successful or not. I am anxious to obtain the NZSC crest and am hoping that someone maybe able to help. The mention of Ma Gleesons brought back a few memories good and bad. It was a pleasant hour reading all the emails many thanks. Sam Twyford

07 / 07 / 02

My name is Tina, I am Looking for a photograph of the ss Papanui. My Dad, David Jane, served on this ship from 1957 onwards, although I'm not sure for how long. I have had no luck on the web yet and would be grateful if anyone has a picture they could forward to me. Many thanks. Tina
08 / 07 / 02
My father, Captain Fergus Cross, received his cadet training on the "Northumberland" and later commanded the MANZ Line (Montreal Australia New Zealand) vessel "Ottawa Valley"
Our family journeyed with him in 1947 to Australia and New Zealand aboard the Ottawa Valley. Halifax to Australia, New Zealand, England, and back on the SS "Ottawa Valley"  Captain Fergus Cross - Master

This is an account from the journal of Jean Cross, wife of the Master, written during the voyage in 1947.

Halifax, Sunday September 28, 1947.
I worked like mad all day to get house finished so I could leave. Keith (Morrow) came over about 7 pm to collect trunk and suitcase. I had all the boys asleep early. Cynthia (Hunter-Smith) and I finished our coffee and did the dishes and then I cleaned the kitchen and put away the final odds and sods. All clean except floor. Got coffee and sandwiches ready as Keith is to call at 2 am for us. Got the boys and Cynthia up about 1:30 am. Didn't leave until 3 am as Keith overslept and was late. Ian and Duncan slept in the car. Angus and I tried to but were too excited.

Monday, September 29th.
Arrived in Mulgrave around 8 am. We found the wharf and had breakfast in the trainmen's sleeping and eating car. The ship arrived shortly after 9 am and the seaboat picked us up right at the jetty. Everything went fine and the day was perfect, hot, sunny and calm. The boys are all happy. Partly unpacked and settled. Ian and Angus have Spark's (radio operator) old cabin. Duncan is in his basket on the settee in Fergus' room. Lots of room. I can still hardly beleive I'm here. Duncan 20 days old. Ian 14 months. Angus 5 years. What a nerve we have starting off for Australia with them all. Angus is in his element and we're all happy to be leaving. Halifax for the winter. Wonderful day but am I tired!

At sea, Tuesday, September 30th.
Cool and lovely sunny day. Calm and all well.

Wednesday, October 1st
Hot, rainy and windy - a real storm blowing up. Have to keep ports closed and so hot inside it's really suffocating. Nearly all unpacked and put away. Very rough and not very comfortable. Ian keeps falling but it doesn't bother Angus. I keep banging into the settee. Going pretty slow today.

Thursday, October 2nd.
Rain has stopped but still windy and ship rolling more than yesterday.
Everything swinging and banging. We are all eating three meals a day and its just uncomfortable trying to stand up in one spot. Ian not falling so much. He's still jealous of Fergus and roars for me all the time. Duncan no bother except for his appetite and his pants.

Off Bermuda, Friday, October 3rd.
Passed Bermuda in the distance. Saw the lights and a plane or two. Getting warmer and calmer.

Sunday, October 5th.

Hot weather now. The kids in their summer clothes again and I'm hot in summer dresses. Passed Puerto Rico, really down south now. Should reach Curacao on Tuesday. Weather good. Rains nearly every night and getting hot and humid.

Curacao, Tuesday, October 7th.
Reached Curacao this morning about 10 am. Went to Carracas Bay first and waited, and then went right into Willemstad. Grand sight. All the signs are in Dutch. Millions of ships around and a smell of oil all over. Hot as Hades. Not much air at all. Boats of all descriptions full of black men putt-putting all around us. The crew put the boat over the side and it's running to the town every little while. Angus went in and out on it all afternoon and went ashore with the boys for a beer. They took Ian one trip too up to the best hotel for a lime squash. Fergus and I slept. too hot to go ashore til later. Nearly melted away. Went in about 4:30 and looked around. Amazing sights we saw. The banana boats, like Nova Scotia fishing schooners. They tie up along one side of the street and sell their wares from there. On the other side are the stores. all little shops about 4 feet wide piled with clothes, hats, shoes, material. the proprietors sitting in a chair by the door and the front of most stores open. All black people talking Dutch, in every kind of garb. Very picturesque place.
White plaster buildings and red tile roof tops. No grass anywhere. Must have been an old volcano as everything around is old lava. I bought a sun hat, purse, and stockings. Had a couple of drinks at the big hotel. Walked over the bridge to the other side. The bridge swings across the river.
It's built on floats. The government buildings are all beautiful and there is one wide main street but the streets with all the shops are only wide enough for one car. The streets where the people live are just narrow lanes. all paved between rows of high buildings. Some people wear shoes and some don't. All the storekeepers are black or nearly black. In fact we saw hardly any white people. Everyone has new cars though of the better makes. The white people must live outside the town as we didn't see any homes at all. Went back to the ship for supper. Put the boys to bed and then went ashore again for a couple of hours. Went to the hotel for a

Collins, the Panama Canal, Friday, October 10th.
Reached canal about 10 am and got through to the Pacific side by about 5 pm. Very interesting going through the locks but the heat and humidity simply awful. Angus thought the engines that pull the ship were fascinating and watched everything. Ian was used to the black people and didn't stare like in Curacao where even the agent is black. Got a letter from Mother, none from Cynthia. Fergus got some, but no more news for a month now. Mr. Yosh, someone from Norton Lilly's came down and took us ashore about 9 pm. Drove us all over Bilboa and into Panama. Looked beautiful at night. The homes were grand. Huge - spacious, white all frame. some of course weren't so hot but it's so different and the huge palm trees and white buildings look grand. He dropped us at the International Hotel, but there were not any people dancing, just gambling, so we went across to Kelly's - a nightclub affair and had some collins and saw the floor show. Some of it good - some awful. I'd never seen strip tease before but I certainly did there. The Chief Steward and Sparks came along and sat with us. John Bostock and another engineer showed up there too. The girls aren't fussy. The old dame Kelly even had two over with some Chinese- better looking than some of the white men around - motto must be All welcome. We left there and went to El Rancho but were late and the crowd had left as it had rained and the dance floor was roofless. Had a few dances to the organ and then back to the International. still nobody there but danced anyway. coolest place since we left Canada. Really air-conditioned. Tried to go in the game rooms but the Steward and Sparks didn't have jackets so we weren't allowed. Fellow with a gun sitting at the door. Went to the El Rancho but most of the crowd was gone. Had a couple of drinks and dances on the wet floor and got a cab back to the ship. Fergus and I stopped at the ship "Northumberland", Fergus' old training ship. Captain Fred Lougheed made us very welcome and two of his passengers, Mr. Dickson, and Mr. Wellbrook came

At sea.
Coldest day yet. The day we crossed the equator. Fergus sends daily messages to "Northumberland" comparing speeds. We are doing about the same as they are.

Tuesday, October 20th.
Duncan 6 weeks old today. Weighed him on the cook's scale 12.25 pounds before his breakfast. He looks lovely now, smiles at us all the time and so big and fat and nice looking. His hair is growing and he has a sunbath every day now. Fergus wants to take him in the big bath with all the others. Angus has been back aft all afternoon. Ian and Duncan and I sat out in front, then Ian and I spent an hour in the pool. Horribly hot but nice breeze. Angus presented Chief Officer with his 2 hours overtime sheet. He got a big kick out of it. Later played crib with Sparks, Chippie, Beave. We won but not my playing that did it. I'll learn eventually. Fergus looked after the kids as the all woke up. Chief came up for a drink before bed. Talked of his experience in lifeboat during the war. Bed about 11:30

Wednesday, October 21st.
Beautiful day. Very hot and humid these days. Chippie finished Angus' dory and he has it in the water. Ian and he playing in pool. Duncan asleep here, just going to sunbathe and then a dip to cool off. Fergus still working on car. Sat out here with kids all morning. This is a wonderful change. Really enjoying the sun, rest and most of all being all together.

Thursday evening, October 22nd. 
Did I say rest? I played crib with Sparks, Holmes, and Pete Clark but we lost. Then Sparks showed me 45's again. Fergus read his book, "The Border Lord". I played 45's and asked questions. Know a bit more about it anyway.
Had a couple of lemon gins and went to bed early. The clock goes back again tonight. About 3 am. just as I was trying to get back to sleep after being up with Duncan, Fergus woke up with a horrible pain and stomach ache. The stone in his kidney again he thought. He was horribly sick the rest of the night. Nothing seemed to help much and the pain was terrible.
The kids all woke at 6:15 am. and Ian only slept about 3/4 of an hour today so we are all weary tonight. It's been a beast of a day too. The hottest since Panama and a scorcher. Fergie napped or tried to all day in between drinking lemonade and bringing it up. I tried to keep Angus and Ian in one spot and as quiet as possible. They are all asleep now, thank goodness. Just finished the washing and hung some out, had a bath and trying to cool off. Am sure pounds melted off last night and today. The fierce pain has gone but Fergus still bringing up everything, trying Bovril now. Hope he sleeps tonight and that it's moved tomorrow. we'll see a Doctor as soon as we get to Sydney, as this wasn't funny.

Friday, October, 23rd.
Fergus still not so good but think it is improving. Passed two islands today, or one last night and one today. One inhabited by 150 people and the other not. Going to stop at Tahiti if Fergus isn't better. Should be there Sunday. I have rubbed him and put hot water bottles on continuously.

Saturday, October 24th.
Passed more islands. Fergus seems a bit better. Had a mustard bath which seemed to relieve the pain some. Also started hot cloths which seem to be better than hot water bottles. Think it is getting better. Gave him more laudanum last night and he got a bit of rest. Started ordinary kidney pills which may help. He's very tired so should sleep tonight.

Sunday, October 25th.

Fergus feels much better. Thought he passed the stone today. Had a good sleep last night which helped him too. Got to Tahiti about middle of afternoon and were by it by dark. We were only 1/2 mile off so had a good look at it anyway. It's all hills and mountain peaks and passes - all wooded from this side. Supposed to be 18 miles - 4,000 inhabitants. Wish we could have stopped but very glad we didn't have to for Fergus. Couldn't see the town from here but it was good to see land again. Has been a hell of a day though. Thank goodness tomorrow will be a new day and a better one, I hope. I couldn't stand another like this.

Monday, October 26th.
Fergus better but stayed mostly in bed as it stormed all day. Rained buckets and the waves are getting bigger and rolling more all the time. Really running uphill all the while.

October 31st. Halloween
Angus and I had a Halloween Party. Dressed him in my old smock and straw-hat and purse, lipstick. He looked cute too. We made pumpkin faces for all the lights. Went and called on the Chief and John. Got a bunch of chocolate bars from each. It was raining and windy so we didn't go anywhere else. Came back and drank coke and played a few games. He was thrilled and we had fun. He misses his playmates.

Friday, November 1st.
Sewed most of the day. Still cool and cloudy most of the time. Angus was up on the bridge most of the day. Fergus finished putting the car back together so it looks like a car again. Hope it works when he tries to start it. We miss a day tomorrow, just isn't, and next day is Monday.
Still just water all around. 88 million square miles of it the Chief said. We whip right along but it is such a long way from Panama. Has been good weather all the way though and we are nearly there now. Hope we can find someone to mind the boys so I can see Australia after all this. It's good to be missing the winter at home all alone. I'm thoroughly enjoying the trip and being with Fergus most of all. Can't imagine going to sea from choice, not on a run like this, just sitting here in the middle of nowhere with time and the world going by and having no part in it. All they do is play cards in any spare time, or a game of deck quoits.

November 4th.
A beautiful day. Had a couple of rain showers but much warmer, just about right. We are near New Zealand now and should reach Sydney Saturday pm sometime. Helped Fergie with the car today, cleaning the upholstery. It didn't start today but likely will tomorrow. One of the cats had been in it and it smelled lovely, I don't think. Fergus has been playing cards and i just finished the washing. The kids are in bed and quiet , thank goodness. They keep going all day but I can stand their noise and bother with Fergus around too. At least it's not just looking after children.
They're cute though in spite of their badness and they're not really bad anyway. We really whipped along today at 15 knots. You'd never know we were moving. Three big albatross are following the ship now. The boys are all busy painting the ship, looks nice and clean again. Angus has been helping ?? up on the bridge. Yelled "Good morning Sam" to someone this morning and when I asked who he meant he said it was "Beaver's Fodder" who works up in the wheelhouse. Tonight he said one of the boys who works there is named "Ketchup". I must get some letters written before we get to Sydney. Thought I'd get lots done but haven't written one. Just been enjoying myself doing lots of nothing and liking it. I'm so glad we could come. Duncan is thriving and Ian has grown a lot too. Still has his wheeze but if it warms up it should cure us all.

Saturday, November 8th.
Arrived Sydney at 2 pm. a beautiful hot, sunny day. Went out to Clifford and Sylvia Kidd's that evening. His mother and father were there too. Had a nice evening. We went over and back on the ferry which we got at Circular Quay. They have a small apartment. The "john" outside, around the corner, but the rest very nice. Had "supper" about 10 pm and got the 12 o'clock ferry home.
Next day was very hot and we couldn't drive the car yet, so we took the ferry to Manly Beach. Left Duncan on board. Saw the sharks in the pool and the fenced in pool for swimming. Rode the ferris wheel and Angus went on the merry-go-round. Then went over to the sea promenade and beach where they surf. Looked marvelous and there were thousands there, a scorching day. Ian got something in his eye and looked awful. The ferry home was so crowded we had to stand , then took turns at one seat. Went out to Tom and Merle McGrays next evening. Took Duncan along. Their little girl Joan, stayed up all evening and played. Sydney - Melbourne - Sydney - then New Zealand Napier - Christchurch - Palmerston North - Lower Hutt - Wellington
Entertained royally everywhere. Trade Commissioners, Board of Trade, Mayors, Police Commissioners, Doctors, Agents, Mission to Seamen - everyone so friendly and happy to have a Canadian ship and family to show around their beautiful countries. Have a long list of friends made in both Australia and New Zealand.

In New Zealand - Napier for Christmas.

Friday, January 23rd., 1948
Left Lyttelton, New Zealand at 6;40 pm for Panama and home. Had a busy time as it was a short stay here. Lovely day, cooler but sunny in the afternoon. Had lovely hot weather since we arrived in Lyttelton and had 2 good swims at Summer Beach. Windy and cold when we got out to sea, and rolling quite a bit.

Saturday, January 24th.
Sunny and cool, very windy and rolling a lot. The kids stayed in all day as it was to windy and tossing to much for out on deck. Milder tonight but still rolling away. No one bothers but it is hard walking. Had Duncan up in the baby-tender all afternoon and the other two played in the room with their ca-ca's (cars) while Fergus slept.
This was the 2nd. Saturday we could have done without. Cold and windy and rolling like mad. Everything flying all over and the kids don't like it much either and were pesty all day. Played with them all afternoon but certainly glad when they went to bed. Then Angus up at 12:30 am and Ian woke from the rolling. Fergus' hat fell on Duncan and wakened him at 2:30 am and then Angus was up again. I spent most of the night getting up to them all.

Saturday - week later  
It's been windy and rough most of the week. Thursday and Friday weren't to bad and we sat out in the sun on deck in the afternoons. Fergus fixed the chair and made a couple of canvas covers and is going to make a hammock.
Started to blow again in the night and although the sun is out occasionally it's rough again and very windy. The temperature isn't so cold though, thank goodness. Had a good thunderstorm last night. Sounded like some earthquake rumbling. Made a pair of mitts and trousers for Angus this week and nearly finished knitting a pair of pants for Ian. We cut Ian's hair yesterday which improved him a lot. He talks all the time now.

First part of week Still cool and windy, not going very fast.

January 27th. to 31st.
Warming up a bit. Have the swimming pool going and sit out in the sun every afternoon and then have a swim. Fergus is making a hammock and fixing deck chairs.

February 1st.
Duncan got his first tooth or I just noticed it today. It's very up and another is nearly through. The wind slowed us up so we passed Pitcairn Island at night so we couldn't stop. All disappointed but it couldn't be helped.

February 2nd. to 7th.
Sat out in the sun and swam later. Getting a tan again. The sun is hot but a cool wind all the time which nearly blows us out of the pool. Duncan loves it too. He goes in everyday and just cried the first day. Kicks and grins and floats around.

February 9th.
Duncan 5 months today. Is nearly to big for his basket. His feet are at the end and he can almost get right out by pushing his feet on the side. Afraid he will upset it any day now. Got a burn today in the sun. The hammock is very comfy.

February 10th.
Almost finished Fergus' typing so will have to get back to my sewing. Been carving men out of chunks of wood for Angus. He likes them. Good weather. Still blowing but nice temperature. Wish it were like this when we get to Halifax.

February 11th.
Duncan has another tooth. He had a lovely swim today. He practically floats on his own. Ian and Angus are both half fish. Made more little wooden men for the kids. Finished the typing then sat and talked and drank port half the night. Didn't have a game of checkers today. First we have missed for ages. Didn't have a walk either.

February 12th.
A hell of a day from start to finish. Felt like the dickens all day and everything went wrong. The Chief came up for a drink at night. A fiasco of a day. Better not to have been and please God there won't be any more.

Friday, February 13th.
Good weather. All had a good swim today. Nice and hot, but a breeze. Getting warmer and muggier now.

February 14th.
HOT! "Friend" arrived, and how! Can hardly move and couldn't have a swim. Fergus took the kids all in and they had a good time. I went to bed from noon until 2. Helped a little. The Chief was up in the evening.

Really getting hot and humid. Rained on and off. The boys all went swimming. Really felt sick all day. Should be better tomorrow. The Chief was in for drinks and stayed til 1:15 am. All getting tans now. Rained like mad in the evening and so hot. Engine stopped during evening.

Monday, February 16th.
Hot and still and not a breath of air and sea is calm as a pond. Stopped at noon to fix engine. Angus fished but no luck. Saw lots of flying fish and dolphins this afternoon and evening. A lovely day. All had a good swim and the boys had a "pash-pash" before bed tonight. Duncan really loves it now and squeals, laughs and kicks. He's getting huge. Moved his basket to the floor as he tips over now. He's getting a bit browner now too. Gave him a swing before bed again. He loves it.

Arrived at 5 pm at dock and left at 2am. Fergus and I went up to Mr. Yost's house for a couple of hours. Had a nice evening. She gave me a table cloth and a hankie. Both very nice and a grand change after so much sea. Winter now so weather just about right.

Sunday, Curacao
Got a car and went ashore in the afternoon. Took our bathing suits and the driver took us to big hotel and bathing beach. Left Duncan on board and we all had a good swim in the ocean. The car came back for us at 4 pm. Had the dearest bottle of beer at the bar, all the way from Holland. Drove all over the island. Saw the planes leaving from airport. Never saw so many goats before in all my life. A dry barren looking island, mostly cactus and negro huts. Left about dark. Had the same nice pilot. Had good weather all next week. Sat out in shorts until Saturday when it began to get colder and blowy.

Sunday rough and cold.

Monday, March 1st.
Arrived New York city. Temperature around 32 degrees (F) Snowed later in day but changed to rain. Called Harvey and Louise (Glover) but he was at union meetings. I couldn't go ashore as I didn't have an up to date passport, so have to go on to Saint John on ship. Called Mom and Dad from end of dock. Called Howard (Glover) next night to meet us in Saint John. He has been transferred to Halifax office (HFC- Household Finance). Told him to phone Cynthia.

Wednesday, March 3rd.
Left for Saint John. Should arrive Saturday am. Cold as Greenland, 15 degrees below F. Hope it warms up a bit. To much of a change in such a short time.

Saturday, March 6th.
Strike on in Canada. Advised to delay arrival. Wired Howard to wait until he heard from us, may go on to Halifax. Steaming around Bay of Fundy all morning waiting. Finally got word to go straight to London. So guess we have a chance to see England whether we want to or not.

Thursday, March 18th.

Had some good weather and some pretty rough. Arrived London about 7 pm. Mr. Cross waiting on dock. Very pleased to see the kids. Before Customs and all the men had left Mrs. Cross sent message in from gate. What a mix up. She came down and sat in one room, then I put the kids to bed and she sat in bedroom and Fergus and Dad in living room. Wouldn't speak to him at all. A heck of a mess. She finally left about 10:30 Fergus walked to bus with her. I made sandwiches the rest of the evening and Mr Cross stayed all night. Moved Ian to our room and Angus to Ian's bed, but he slept with Grandpa anyway.

Friday, March 19th.
Fergus in City all day. Got back to ship about 6 pm. Had kids ready and got taxi out to Loughton. Arrived 8 pm Bill and Mrs C at hospital so put kids to bed and they got home about 10:30 pm. We all had Mrs C's room and she slept in the living room.

Saturday, March 20th.
Fergus to get car at Brown's. Left early for ship and hoped to be back early. Waited all afternoon for Bill and finally got home at 5 without him. Piled kids in car and went for a drive around. Were on a hill from which you can see 7 counties. Stopped at old inn where Dickens wrote some of his works. Saw his insurance policy 1812. Inn built around maypole.
Very old and lovely. Got home and put kids to bed and got something to eat. Bill got home while we were eating. Wanted to look for Timpsons but Fergus didn't feel like going out so we sat and talked but it ended in a horrible argument. Wished we had gone out. Got to bed at 4;30 am. Plan to get up and drive to Folkestone on Sunday and see Angus on Monday as we leave on Tuesday. Got away at 1 pm. Arrived Aunt Jean's at 4:30 She was home and I guess glad to see us all. Rational at times if kept talking about outside things. Place a mess. Never saw so many locks on doors before. Left shortly after 6 and stopped at parents of old friend of Fergus. Very nice old couple and very thrilled and pleased to see us and the children. Had a good drive home. Beautiful countryside and got to Loughton at 9:30

Tuesday, March 23rd.

Left for Canada and home to Halifax. An experience to remember. Dad Cross on pier waving goodbye. Really sad.

April 8th., 1948
Met by irate company officials on arrival in Halifax. Fergus had already sent in his resignation so they couldn't fire him, but we all got to Australia and New Zealand without management consent and approval and loved it, but boy were they mad! Always regretted not bringing Mr. Cross home with us. He wanted so badly to come. Don't know how we would have managed, but would have found a way I am sure.
And now back to real life.
Jean Cross, April 9th., 1948.

Post Script by Angus

Quite the voyage for a little guy, just turned 5 years of age, on departure. I remember a few things from the trip. The donkey engines that pulled the ship through the locks of the Panama Canal.
The swimming pool the crew made for us. It was about 12' x 10', and located one deck down from the bridge on the starboard side.
Seeing the sharks in the shark pool in Sydney, Australia.
The fag/fig story.... Mom smoked and called cigarettes "fags". One day, while we were touring in the Blue Mountains of Australia, she got me to go into a shop to get her some "fags". The Aussies din't know what I was talking about and gave me a package of figs. It was a big joke.
The clean the heads story..... The old man ran a clean ship and always had the crew cleaning and polishing. One day he decided that the heads in one of the cabins needed a good clean. The crew unbolted the head and brought it out on deck so it could be washed with a steam hose. In my capacity as "junior bosun" I kept calling the Chief Engineer and demanding more pressure on the hose. Finally he had enough and maxed the pressure whereby the head broke into a bunch of pieces. I can't remember if the old man thought it was funny but myself and the crew thought it was a big joke.
I remember the dory that "Chips" made for me. Also when I we left the ship in Halifax he gave me a tank that he had made for me. It was green and had wheels and a turret that I could climb into and drive the tank. I was the envy of my friends on Vernon Street.
I guess the most memorable part of the whole thing was that I had spent so much time with the crew that I had picked up quite a remarkable vocabulary. When I went to Grade 1 at LeMarchant School that year my teacher's punishment for being bad was that you would have to sit behind the piano. I spent a lot of time behind the piano my first year of school for uttering bad words.

Angus Cross, August 10th., 2000.

SS Ottawa Valley Home Port - Montreal, Canada, Owners - MANZ Line ( Montreal Australia New Zealand Shipping Company ) Angus S. Cross

Editor: On behalf of everyone who will come to read your story, thank you. I really appreciate the time you took in reading the diary and then transferring it in to legible typing. Thank you for sharing Angus.

10 / 07 / 02

Hello, my name is Bernadette Cozins and I have taken a year off work to write a book based on 7 generations of my maternal family starting with my great great grandmother through to my own grand daughter. My great grandmother emigrated from Ireland to New Zealand in 1878 settling in Winton Southland. She left behind her firstborn (my grandmother) because she developed chicken pox before they embarked. My grandmother did not get to meet her own parents or younger brothers and sisters until she was 38 years and had 5 children of her own (my mother being one) They left Ireland in 1916 on a ship that left the Port of London the day after the Luisitania was torpedoed by the German Navy. I am interested in any information of conditions for passengers traveling as immigrants, how long the voyage would take in 1878 and in 1916 and the names of ships that would have been in service at those times.
Unfortunately, as is usually the case, now that I finally get around to this life long dream, all family members who could help are no longer living. I would be grateful for any help. Bernadette Cozins

10 / 07 / 02

In 1947/48 I joined the refrigerated ship SS Northumberland in Auckland as a Junior Engineer and sailed on her for about 18 months until I had sufficient time in for my 2nd Class Engineers certificate after which I left the Company to join another ship as second Engineer. I have to give a life and times talk to my Probus Club in Lower Hutt NZ in a few weeks and intend spending a bit of time referring back to the Northumberland days. Perhaps you know of a site on the Web where I may find some specific info on the ship, (for instance the machinery installation), as distinct from the basic details you provide. If so would you please advise. I also spent a bit of time on the Kent and Tekoa while on standby during those days. Although they were all, including the Northumberland, ancient and slow with shocking conditions compared to today, they were extremely reliable gave the NZS Co., great service.
An ommission I notice on your site is the NZS Co., SS Samkey. She was an ex Liberty ship and disappeared with all hands in the Caribbean area while I was at sea during my first voyage. Despite endless searching not a trace of her was, as I recall, ever found. I remember the disaster well because there was so much talk about it among the deck/engineering officers on the Northumberland who might have known members of the crew aboard the Samkey. Probably you are familiar with the case? Regards, John Griffiths.

14 / 07 / 02

I sailed in the mv Rangitata as a passenger from New York to Liverpool in October of 1944. She was a troopship and there were 1200 of us aboard. We started off in a convoy of 120 ships and the voyage lasted just short of three weeks. It was by no means a pleasant trip. The convoy was attacked by submarines, several depth charges were heard and felt not too many yards away from us, we were strafed by "bandit" jerry fighters and we had a collision with another ship half way across. 
I have often wondered about the fate of the Rangitata. Is there any information available as to her final resting place and when she concluded active service as a passenger vessel ? Graeme Roberts 804---6880 Wallace Drive Brentwood Bay, B.C. Canada V8M 1N8 tel: 250-544-4811 fax: 250-544-4822

21 / 07 / 02

Hello everybody. Just found the site, and it is very interesting to read all the comments of some really good ships. My name is BILL NADIN and I served with NZSCo from May 1957- December 1960. I was Engineer on Haparangi - Nottingham - Rangitata - Cumberland. In my time on the Haparangi, we did the run to Galveston to pick up the cargo from the Durham, We were there about 6 weeks and saw quite a few places. Some of us got very friendly with a family called ANDERSON, The father played the organ on the pier.
While on the Nottingham I had to prospone my wedding twice because we got held up in China, Christmas day 1958 we had a boat race while at anchor in Shanghi, We managed to get back home 2 days before my wedding on 14th February. The old RANGITATA brings back some good memories. Its nice to read peoples comments about their time with NZSCo, I don't think I heard anything really bad about the ships. If anybody remembers me please give me a call. BILL NADIN

23 / 07 / 02

I would like some information on the sailing ship "Duneden" which went down about 1890, Master of ship was Arthur Roberts. Thank you Jean Jenkinson.
25 / 07 / 02
I am looking for information regarding the ship Elingamite. The only information I have concerns its last voyage from Sydney to Auckland when it was wrecked on the Three Kings Rocks at the top of the North Island of New Zealand. The information I need concerns any voyages the Elingamite may have made from either Auckland or Wellington to Sydney in the years from 1895 to 1902, the year it sank. I have been told that my grandmother Nellie Oldrey travelled to Australia on the Elingamite but have been unable to find any records of its voyages, other than the last one. I'm not sure whether she travelled alone, or whether she travelled in the company of her mother and stepfather, a Mr Newman. If possible I would like to know how I can access passenger lists that may have her name on them. Any help would be appreciated. Margaret Pryor

25 / 07 / 02

Editor: I have had 3 emails in 2 days requesting passenger lists of ships that came into NZ in the 1840's to 1930's. None of these requests have any relationship what so ever with the History of NZ Shipping. Can I therefore ask that anybody reading with a similar request direct their inquiries to a) Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington or b) Auckland Maritime Museum
Its either that or I charge A$30.00 for such requests to go on this page.
I simply do this as a love job in amongst my business activities. Thank you
Dear Jeff, Thank you so much for your prompt reply to my request for information on the "Elingamite". I'm a novice at using the internet and stumbled onto the site where I submitted my request. I must admit that I wasn't really expecting a response and was pleasantly surprised to find yours when I accessed my mail today. I will follow up your suggestions and hopefully find a few more pieces for my jigsaw puzzle. Thanks once again, Margaret

26 / 07 / 02

I came across your site when searching the internet for details of MV Otaio, which I now see was sunk in 1941. The reason for my search was because I have a rather good framed photograph of Otaio, bandw except for her funnel and derricks, which are coloured yellow. She is at anchor somewhere. The mount for the picture attributes it to "D Harris, 94 St Elmo Avenue, Swansea". Whether this is Swansea in Wales or another in Australasia I do not know. My father was a chief engineer during the war. The picture was amongst his belongings. Whether or not he served on Otaio I do not know, but he does have the Atlantic and Pacific stars so I suppose it is possible. My mother and father spilt up in the 50s while I was quite young but I do know he was at sea for the duration of the war. A harrowing time it must have been - as his collection of books about the war and history of shipping indicate. If the picture is of interest please let me know and I will try to get a copy to you. James King North Berwick Scotland

28 / 07 / 02

I would like any information on the boat Ruahine which traveled to New Zealand from England in 1926. Which port it arrived in, Passenger list etc. Also trying ot find about my grandparents which traveled on the Ruahine to New Zealand. Name is Thomas Tiplady and wife Racheal Tiplady nee Lilburn. They settled in the south of the south island in NZ, until there death. They have 7 children which 6 are still alive and live in NZ. Any information would be great. Thanks Sonia Tiplady 

27 / 02 / 02

1920 George William Slack Arrived in New Zealand aboard the New Zealand Shipping Company vessel the RUAHINE 1909 – 1949 Being the second vessel of that name weighting 10,832 tons was when build the company’s largest ship. Able to accommodate 520 passengers in four classes, the RUAHINE survived two world wars and served out her years trooping and carrying emigrants. Sold to Italy in 1949, she was broken up five years later. [The first RUAHINE was built at Dumbarton Scotland in 1891. She was 6127 tons and 131 metres long. With a much larger cargo capacity than the New Zealand Shipping Company’s original steamers, and ample passenger accommodation, she was the shape of things to come. The family of the Slack's consisted of My Mother, Letitia Constance Slack, with parents, George William Slack and wife Letitia [Riley] - Slack. Arrived in New Zealand aboard the Ruahine. There was no constructed port of call and and each passenger had to be winched off board by a bosun's chair. At the top of the hill a horse was walking in circles pulling in the rope attached to the Bosun's chair. On board Mother made friends with a girl named Fay, when told one day she could not go on deck she saw people putting something over the side, and was told Fay had died from seasickness. George William Slack had been a stocker in His Majesty's Navy. He had been torpedoed three times the last time concussion took away his memory. He had been found in the water still with his Bosun Mates hat on with number 8 on the brim. He was taken to Gibralter and remained there 3 years till they discovered his identity and reunited with his wife, Letitiia who he never knew form a bar of soap. Then one day he had a stroke and his memory came back, but from then on he was paralyzed down one side and remained in hospital until he died several years later Grandad use to work on the railroads making the beds to support the rails, starting at Rye Valley up to Picton, Wellington through the Wairapa, till it was completed at Waihi. Where he had to wear a side arm revolver because of the Gold and the many criminals liable to treachery. Many gold mines collapsed, and the railway house at Waihi was sinking in one corner, and they had to move.
Is there any passenger lists of the Ruahine for around 1920 ? I have wonder too about who Fay was, the Captain would have had to record her demise and burial at sea. regards Robert Todd Porter

31 / 07 / 02

I am wanting to know about the Rangitiki that sailed to the U.K about 17th October 1957. My mother brother and myself set sail to the U.K. and I would like to know whether we sailed from Auckland or Wellington. I think it was the last sailing of the ship. Please could you help me with any information. We returned to N.Z. on the Rangitoto to Wellington on the 14th April 1959 It would be much appreciated if you could give me any information. My mothers name is Mrs Joyce Robertson my brother is Shannon Neil Robertson and my name was Gillian Adele Robertson. If you are unable to send me the information, could you email me what I could do to find out. Thanking you for your time and I await your reply. Gillian Morrison

31 / 07 / 02

Hi, I posted an email to your site back in January, which I did not quite finish off. After leaving nzsc I worked my passage to New Zealand on the mv waitaki in may 1964 (ex mv whakatane ?) this vessel had been sold by the nzsc to the union steam ship company of NZ and I was the electrical officer for this voyage. Norrie Cumming
01 / 08 / 02
I am trying to find a crew member that was on the Cumberland; it was in Lyttelton, Christchurch, around January 1972.His name is Terry Clark(e) and I believe he is Scottish.If anyone has any information on this person or knows where I might find such information it would be greatly appreciated.
04 / 08 / 02
I am trying to find information on the Schooner named "Surprise " which was the first ship to go up the Wanganui River in 1820. It was owned by Jock Mc Gregor of Wellington . I would like to find out where the ship originally came from and what year. Any information would be appreciated. Andrew Wiringi
07 / 08 / 02

On behalf of my uncle, Frank Ellison, I am trying to locate John Thompson, originally from Bootle who sailed with Frank on the RMS Rangitane in 1940 when it was sunk by the German raider Orion in the Pacific. Also trying to locate Charlie Grant (C. H. Grant) originally from Bristol who was sunk on the Afica Star. Frank, John and Charlie were all interned in the Milag Nord POW camp in Germany until the end of the war. Any leads would be most appreciated. Trevor Bell

10 / 08 / 02

My Dad was a Master in the New Zealand Shipping Company 1961-71. He joined the Company as a cadet in 1947, He is still shouting orders down the corridor at home. I scoured his library and found 9 publications re the NZS.

1. Ships of the New Zealand Shipping Company. by Gavin McLean ISBN 0477 00015 0

2. Clipper Ship to Motor Liner. by Sydney D Waters

3. Ordeal By Sea. Sydney D Waters

4. Sailing Ships of the NZS. By Alan Bott ISBN 07134 0467 1

5 Ships in Focus. by John Clarkson and Fenton. ISBN0952117959

6. Crossed Flags. Laxon, Farquhar, Kirby and Perry ISBN 0905617 878

7. A Tale of Two Tankers. by John Russell ISBN 0953854620

8. Merchant Fleets. by Duncan Hawes ISBN 0946378 11 8

9. A Pinch of Salt. By John Agnew and John Russell. ISBN 0953854604

My Father was, and still is Captain G.W. McCathie RD* RNR Ret. He can be contacted via my Email, by colleagues and interested parties. Tom McCathie

10 / 08 / 02

Have just come across this site, what a great place Jeff. I'm afraid I don't have any information to offer, just a query. I'm researching my husband's father whom he never knew, we are trying to track the years between 1918 when he married and the 1930's when he left NZ for Australia and never returned. His name was Claude Milne, he was born in 1899 and we understand that he did his apprenticeship with NZ Shipping as an Engineer, we weren't given any dates but I assume it would have been sometime from 1918 - mid 1920's.
Would anyone be able to direct me as to where I might find the records of such an apprenticeship. Thanking you in advance. Sue Blight - Western Australia

Editor: I have a solution you can ring and set up a telephone appointment at A$50.00 for 30 minutes to 1 hour and speak with Kerry she is a gifted medium. Your husbands father will give her the details that you seek and she in turn can pass them onto you. That's provided he hasn't reincarnated back into your family which quite often happens. Her phone number is 07 3299 5588 Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm Australian East Coast Standard Time (no daylight saving in Qld)

11 / 08 / 02

My Grandfather emigrated to Australia in November 1910 on the Rimutaka. I am looking for any information about the ship it's living conditions ( The manifest shows food for 600 people, yet only cabins for 240 ) and possibly how much it cost for him and his family to emigrate. Any one know where i can get information on this voyage/ship? Mandy Edlin Gulley
12 / 08 / 02

I had the pleasure of sailing aboard the MV Otaio as a deck cadet from July'74 until July '75, I also sailed aboard the MV Mataura from Jan until August '76.I had a wonderful time, and even though both ships were now under the P and O GCD Banner, the feeling aboard was very much NZS.
I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who sailed aboard these vessels during this period. I went on to sail as third mate on the Container fleets ships Moreton Bay and Jervis Bay from 1978 to 1980. Many thanks for your excellent site Regards Rob Arlington.

13 / 08 / 02

Hi there My name is Ron (ZULU) Warman. While I spent most of my short ( but bizarre and would not have missed it for quids ) career in the Merchant Navy( 61 to 64)with other shipping companies my best memories are still in the short time I spent on MV Durham MV Hinakura. 
If anyone out there still remembers my contribution to having a good time then please contact me. (if I still owe them or they owe me a sub which is unlikely just forget it !)
Incidentally if anyone out there has a decent photo/pix of the MV Durham I would appreciate it. 
Congrats on a great web site and if there is a "DURHAM " Club in Australia please let me know, Cheers "ZULU " Ron Warman

14 / 08 / 02

Joined NZSCo July 1963 (Eng Schoolie - 'Otaio') left at end of Oct 1970 for Poplar until '72. Great job and cadets, great ship, great company. 
I am in touch with several old friends from those days: Peter Wright (Ch. Freezer); Bill Bain (Ch. Eng); Peter Milburn (Deck Schoolie/Mate); Charles Turner (Mate; Peter Heald (Radio); John Mitchell (Eng Schoolie); David Bissland (Eng Cadet) and recently John Boxall (Eng Cadet).
Dive time between Cumbria (UK) and Lyttelton (NZ) 2 to 3 months each year.
Have names of all the cadets and officers who served on 'Otaio' in my time and copies of the 'all's well' telegrams, plus other bits and pieces, photos, etc. Excellent web-site - well done. Jack Giles

15 / 08 / 02

We have a swivel captains chair with the initials NZSc in a central crest. It stands on a centrally attached gold coloured iron tripod foot of what we think are dolphins. Is there any way we can trace the ship it came from. The frame of the chair is probably mahogany and there is a carved flower centrally at the back. Can you suggest how we could find out more about it? Thank alot.
21 / 08 / 02

I have nine old photographs of the M.V. Opawa's engine room that were taken by my father in 1938. If anyone is interested in them for archival purposes I will gladly e-mail them to you. Each photo has the details written on the back of it. My father, David McLeod, is still alive and we live on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. David McLeod
04 / 09 / 02

Please excuse my complete lack of naval knowledge on naval matters but can somebody explain the difference between a Captain and a Master. In a previous posting I said that I was trying to find somebody from the Rangitane sunk by raiders in 1940. I am compiling a list of Rangitane crew and passengers from various sources (now standing at 80 of the original 300+) and have found a Captain Upton who was Captain and Captain Marshall who was Master. What is the difference? Trevor Bell

05 / 09 / 02

Dear Mr. Shaw, here are the first four of the photographs of which I told you earlier. I am sending them in a moderate size and quality suitable for printing but they will be to big for posting on a web site. It was done this way to give you the option of doing with them what you will. It should be simple to reduce the pixel per inch count to make them smaller for your web site. I hope that this is not too much of an inconvenience.
All of the photos are dated 1938. My father has fond memories of this ship and repeatedly says it was the 'happiest' ship he ever sailed on. After he left the Opawa he returned to Dundee, Scotland and sailed on tankers for the duration of the war. He gave up the sea in 1945. He 'discovered' Canada's west coast while sailing with the Royal Mail Line.
The details on the back of each photograph is as follows:

port side main engine controls -  Controls for port side main engine (BL/INJ) Sulzer s/chgd  2str  9 cyl + 2 scav pumps and twin comp. ea shaft (total 13 throws p/shaft)

Aft main engines - looking aft between main engines from control platform builders - Harlands,

Belfastacross main eng control - view across main eng control platform. T.screw  Sulzer  2str  bl/inj s/chgd

Main Engine tops - main engine tops (from w/shop door) looking aft

I hope you find these photos satisfactory.

Dave McLeod
Comox, BC

Editor: We have set the photos up on Opawa 1931 - 42 you can click or just scroll back up the page, look in the left hand margin and click photos of New Zealand Shipping


I have just found your site, its great, took me back years when reading about the Rangi Ships. My late husband was a "boy" on the Pamir on trips 3 and 4 when she sailed out of Wellington. What a wonderful job you have done keeping this all together Regards June Evans 
10 / 09 / 02

Where can I find the ships of the union steamship co, in ww2 Dave Evans

aveevans1947@hotmail.com10 / 09 / 02

Hi I just found your site a couple of days ago. The best trips of my short career were aboard the "Hertford" March to July 1961 and "Wharanui" Oct.'61 to Apr.'63. I still have the Wharanui's Track Chart for the Auckland to Norfolk Va, USA leg. Keep up the good work. Michael (Mick) Taylor
15 / 09 / 02

Hello, Frank McKay here. I sailed on NZS Ships under the guise of Pand O GCD.

"TEKOA" 1972 UK to South America (E. Coast) with, if memory serves, Capt. Fred Angus, Ch. Eng Paddy McClurg, 2/Eng Duncan McLarty, 3/Eng Malcolm (Tot) Scott, 4/E Harry (Mary) Baker, etc. Then.......

"HUNTINGDON" - U.K. Coastal in '74. Followed by a long, long, time on .......

"SOMERSET" - June '74 to Jan '76 - too many names to mention.

I have a reasonable scanned photo of the Somerset - would it be possible to upload for this site ?

Greetings to any old (and not-so-old) shipmates who may read this. Frank McKay

24 / 09 / 02

Thanks for your reply, Here is the photo (reduced in size for the web) of the Somerset for the site. Keep up the good work. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be ! Frank McKay
25 / 09 / 02

what became of the TURAKINA which was built in 1960, transfered to Federal Line in 1973 and later sold to P and O ?
25 / 09 / 02

Worked on the Hauraki 1969. Wellington to London. New Zealand shipping company. Purchased by P and O. Any information on this please. Regards Stephen Vickers
26 / 09 / 02
Editor We have gone to a new T 3 server which can handle 100,000 global customers at once hence the delays in putting up comments.  

In October of 1944 I sailed along with 1200 others on board the SS Rangitata from New York to Liverpool. The only persons I remember were Vivien Leigh's daughter whose name I have forgotten and a chap by the name of Clive Baxter and his sister, Meribah whose father was Beverly Baxter a well known journalist who worked for Lord Beaverbrook. I am hoping to find somebody "out there" who might have been on that same voage ? We were in a convoy of 120 ships to begin with and it took us three weeks to get from New York to Liverpool via the Azores. Cheers ! Graeme Roberts Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

15 / 10 / 02

Essex Havard re M. V. Kaimata. Have attempted to contact you on several occasions but messages are being rejected. Sid Le Quesne.
17 / 10 / 02

My grandfather, Charles William Erwood, was a ship's steward who, I am led to understand, sailed regularly between Britain and New Zealand until he ended up living in New Zealand in 1914. In 1936, at the age of 44, he is believed to have resumed his career in the merchant navy. Does his name ring a bell with anyone ? Sally Erwood-Carryer
18 / 10 / 02

I served on the Northumberland from march 1964 to may 1965.I was a junior engineer. 
I have been looking for a web page on N.Z.S co for a while now and stumbled across this one by accident and I am so glad I did. It's a beaut set up.
I left the N.Z.S in 66 and worked ashore for 10 years..
Got itchy feet and joined the Australian Merchant Navy.
Retired in 1992.Looking for any old ship mates including Bob Fisher, Len Byford, Don Mckenzie, and Ewan Cunningham and anyone else that was there, I would love to hear from them.
At the time my nickname was pepi.

Regards Peter McManus

22 / 10 / 02

This letter was from son Robert Smith to his father, WAW Smith after returning to England from Waipawa. Typed by Kevin Breyley-Smith (descendant of WAW) from a handwritten transcript by Graeme Lawrence, (WAW descendant), who discovered the letter in a biscuit tin, in the outside laundry along with other correspondence between members of the legal first family of W.A.W. Smith and the bigamously achieved second family in New Zealand. 

The recipient Dear Sir, Our Father, (William A.W. Smith) had disappeared, having left London in 1853, arriving in Geelong on February 14, 1854, as navigator aboard the Phoenix. He disappeared without trace for many years. The family believed him dead until by an incredible fluke, a new arrival on a West Australian railway construction who had met W.A.W. Smith in New Zealand, bumped into his nephew, giving him the incredible news that his grandfather was alive in Waipawa. He wrote home informing the family of his discovery. William Smith’s son Robert travelled out by steamer, caught the train to Waipawa and found that it was, to his amazement, so. His father had sailed to New Zealand 42 years before whereas now Robert was able to use publicly available transport from door to door: train, steamer and train from, London, to Waipawa. Robert had been a boy when his father had left the London quayside for three years to “redeem all that has been sacrificed for me”. His father recognised him and acknowledged him as his son. This transcript is an account of Robert’s voyage home.  
14 Lee Street
17the June 1887

Dear Sir, Our Father,

I hope you learned of the safe arrival of the Aorangi at Rio de Janeiro and Plymouth through the medium of your newspapers, and hence my reaching England. There was nothing of any moment to note of the voyage beyond the fogs, damp and icebergs, till we rounded Cape Horn and passed the Falklands, one of which we saw quite plainly. The harbour of Rio we made about 3 pm on our twenty-first day and I went ashore with some of our passengers but was too late for the celebrated Botanical Gardens and the Grand Grove of Palm Trees. I had dinner and walked about the ten till past 10 pm, and then off to the ship. Next morning I had a bad headache and vomited a little and was altogether too ill to keep up the departure let alone to go ashore again in the morning as intended. By tea time I was able to take a cup of tea and so got right again. Not so however a very large number of our passengers and officers to the Captain to some of the stewards who all had a turn of vomit and cramps keeping the Doctor well in practice. This lasted with some for nearly a fortnight. The Second Officer said half of us would have had the fever if we had stayed there another day. So after all I came off very well. All through the tropics we had the good fortune of a slight breeze against us which did not help our running but kept us cooler than we should otherwise have been and as it increased in force as we neared Europe, our running came under three hundred miles a day for the first time during the voyage till we sighted Cape Finnisterre and finally the Eddystone Light about half-past eleven p.m. on Saturday night, thirty-seven days out from Wellington. That was another splendid run for our ship, she, beating the Ionic by nearly three days. Our run up the Channel was very unpleasant in foggy weather and half a gale blowing the fog becoming so thick that we dropped anchor off Dumferness (?) till break of day completing our journey up to the docks through nasty drizzling rain and I reached home to find my wife and family reasonably well taking all things into consideration. My wife has, however, since my arrival, brought another son to my already far too large a family. Unfortunately I have not got anything to do , neither do I see much prospect of obtaining any. The country is excited over that old humbug of a Gladstone and his Irish measures, which has forced on another election and causes a general upset to most business. Sarah called on me a day or two after I was home and I gave her one of your photos I brought home and we had a chat about you. But I did not give a graphic account of all and recommended her to go over to see you. That  suggestion I am afraid will never be acted upon but she would not mind paying a share of the expenses if I had brought you to the old country so she said. Haywood I have not seen for three weeks and I think it rather strange as I then called upon him. I was very sorry to hear of the volcanic disturbance with the loss of life [the Tarawa Eruption – June 10th 1886] and am afraid you at Waipawa must have experienced some of its effects. But I earnestly hope without any ill effects.  I want to send you a photo of myself and wife but her’s and the weather’s condition do not permit. That however is in the future and perhaps I may bring it with me if I leave here for N.Z. at the end of August as I shall in all probability do unless I get into a job of some sort. So if you can suggest something by the time I reach there it may be acceptable. And now as my paper is very short I must quietly close. With the very best wished for you and yours at the antipodes. Sincerely hoping that health may be spared you – Peace be with you and prosperity attend you and your new family’s every effort. With the kindness of thoughts and wishes for all your new children from one of the old. And remembrance to Mr. Ben Johnson, Mr. Jull, the Station Master, the porter, also Mr. Quinlan, {?} auctioneer, Mr Britten the butcher and every other one I may have made acquaintance with during my short stay at Waipawa. Hoping ultimately to see you again, I am your Loving Son, Robert    

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank-you for your response. I just want people to enjoy the wonderful glimpse into the past of the voyage of my grandfather's half-brother, seeking his bigamous and disappeared father. If you think it's a good idea I will further improve the context of this letter for you but I am sending it now so you can see it and post it on the site. Regards, Kevin Breyley-Smith

5 / 11 / 02

How is it, that I can remember my first trip to sea but absolutely nothing of my last ?.

I joined the M.V.Suffolk at Gladstone dock, Liverpool in August 1957 as Junior Engineer, I can remember going up the gang plank as if it were yesterday; an old docker passed me as I was going on board and asked if I was sailing on her, when I said I was, he remarked that he wished that he was.

We sailed for Auckland a few days later, the Chief Eng. was Jones, 2nd was Mullen a Geordie who told me straight away that he didn't like Scousers, 3rd was Humphrey's from Cardiff, I believe, the 4th was George Mac from Barrow and the 5th was big Ernie another Geordie. The rest of us Juniors included Bob from Glasgow, 'Kiwi'John Macnamara who taught us the Haka: Jimmy Quinn from Clydebank and Kenny Latimer from Annan. Other lads I remember were Spike the Radio and Allister Campbell the 3rd Elect. Also Ben Bernard the 2nd Fridge Eng., the only other one besides myself from Liverpool.

I survived the first few weeks but after sea sickness and doing a hammer test in one of main engines, crank cases at Curacao it was a near do. Finally we arrived in Auckland and berthed at Jericho wharf, miles from anywhere.

We stayed in Auckland for about 6 weeks before sailing to Wellington and then New Plymouth ( I was absolutely fascinated at the sight of Mount Egmont) from there we went to Opua in the Bay of Islands the first large vessel to go there since before W.W.2 We had fine time there, a great party at the Harbour Masters house was particularly remembered also a trip around the Bay in a pleasure boat was fantastic. Our visit to Opua was recorded in the Auckland Weekly News with lots of pictures,I  had a copy of it until recently but I am afraid it did not survive a house move.

Later that trip we called in to Napier and Bluff were I was transferred to the fridge as 3rd Fridge Eng. and in this elevated capacity we sailed back to London just in time to encounter the Dock strike, swinging off the hook at Southend for about two weeks waiting to go in.

I stayed on the Suffolk for two more trips in between spending some great months laid-up in the Fal by the King Harry ferry. I then sailed one trip on the Rangitata and then did a 12 month stint on the Whakatane as 3rd Eng.

After this I joined Cunard, got married got my 2nd's ticket and sailed on the Carinthia, Queen Elizabeth, Brescia and eventually the Samaria which had an Air-conditioned control room from which you maneuvered the engine with small keys not like the great huge lever's that we had on the Suffolk

My name is Frank Kennedy and I would be absolutely delighted if any one remembers me and gets in touch via E mail.

6 /11 / 02

I was on the Toto from 1959-1961, utility steward then stewards messman with other taff John Everson, memories now, written as they come to mind....Capt. I W.Fulcher, extra second Don Bagley, Arthur the Captains Tiger, Danny Mc Gee, Brian Lofty hall 2nd butcher, Larry the linen steward, Felicity, horse face the baker who was glassed in Tahiti, so many of them....Tahiti when they were making the film..mutiny on the bounty along with Freddy from Southend and Canada. I was in the car with Trevor Howard the film star and the island police arrested us after he had banged into lots of parked cars in his drunken state and we went for a ride with him....enough reminiscing.. if any body remembers please get in touch.. Dai (Taff) Richards

7 / 11 / 02

Editor: I have started to receive emails which contain unsolicited suggestions or overtones of New Zealand Shipping memorabilia for sale. This section is not a FREE advertising bill board for such things.
It's about sharing with others your time at sea and on shore.
I give my time for free as do you, the contributors.. Perhaps it may be time to set up another page entitled memorabilia for sale and charge an advertising fee, like newspapers do with their classifieds. (I would be interested in any feedback)

I was a cadet on the Rakaia from 1961 to 1964, and I have just acquired a painting of the Rakaia leaving Nelson by Robert G Lloyd.
I am thinking of putting together a book on life aboard the NZSCo Cadet Ships, and so I would be delighted to receive any anecdotes from those who sailed on the Durham, Otaio and Rakaia. 
I have already received some encouragement from members of the Durham association, including the Secretary, Des Jones, for my idea of producing a book of anecdotes about life aboard the cadet ships, and so I would very much appreciate using your web site as means for obtaining some of these. Paul Wood

8 / 11 / 02

Is there any way I can find a passenger list from m.v. Ruahine which sailed from Kings Cross, England in 1915. My mother was on it and I would like to search of how many family members came with her. She was a child of 4 and is now 92. Thank you for your help
9 / 11 / 02

Can anyone please provide me with technical information about the main engine on the M.V. Rakaia? My research so far shows that it was a 2 cycle double acting Burmeister and Wain type engine with 8 cylinders with a bore of 550 mm and a stroke of 1200 + 400 mm. It was apparently started by compressed air, and it had a BHP of 7500 at 115 rpm.
As a cadet on Rakaia, I remember being fascinated by this engine every time I was allowed into the engine room - usually when I acted as Carpenter's Mate.
However, all my attempts at finding pictures of this or a similar engine together with details of its construction have led no where. I would much appreciate help on this. Paul Wood

12 / 11 / 02

i would like confirmation about Charles and Elizabeth Cutts along with 8 of there children were passengers on board the Hororata which sailed from England and arrived in New Zealand 10-04-1926  lots of thanks Alison Toopi 
16 / 11 / 02

Hi my name is Peter Ellerton from Darlington Co Durham and i sailed on the Rangitoto during 1964 from the Royal Albert docks London. I made friends with John the kiwi and Ian Wilson from Lanarkshire Scotland. We had some great times but the second engineer didn't seem to like people from up north so he gave us a hard time. I once remember that when in the tropics he had the three of us dress in our blues and find in the engine room the oil pressure release valve we found it just before we were about to collapse with heat .It would be nice to hear from engineers on the Rangitoto at this time, i still have some memorabilia of the ship and some old dinner menus.

Editor .. No email address was sent with this email. Perhaps Peter if you get around to reading this .. you will revert with details


15 / 11 / 02

I'm hoping for some or any information on a ship called Karhu, it had an altercation with another ship called the Pacific Liberty. The time would have been around 1944. My father who has now passed away was from New Zealand and stayed in Australia when the ship came into port. The reason I'm asking is that we have no history of dad and would love to trace his family and travel over to meet them. A long shot is he lived in Wonganuoi near the brick works and his name ( Donald Thorpe ) Regards Scott Thorpe

Editor Scott could be referring to Wanganui and this email he gave us doesn't work 


23 / 11 / 02

Further to my previous postings, I have started a simple web site telling the story of the RMS Rangitane and the events leading up to and after her sinking by German raiders in 1940. Also on the site is a complete crew and passenger list compiled from a number of sources. I would be grateful for any feedback to add to, or correct, anything on the site.
Trevor Bell

29 / 11 / 02

I Have a small sailor type doll that was given to me by my fathers cousin who sailed on or traveled on M V RANGITOTO.
The doll is dressed in sailor clothes with the name of the ship on its hat.
My fathers cousins name was Geoff Burdett (des) he was from the north of England but settled in New Zealand. Any information about the doll or Geoffs family would be welcome. D Archer

3 / 12 / 02

Hi All. I am trying to find a passenger list (or passenger lists!) for the Ruahine. My family arrived on it from the UK somewhere between 1923-1926. A couple of other people are interested in receiving this information also, if anyone can help it will be sincerely appreciated. Cheers, AnnaLiese Bishop.
6 / 12 / 02

I sailed with NZS co 1968 - Sussex, 1969 - Nottingham,1970 - Huntingdon as engineer any body from that time drop a line. Ian Masson, George Mason 4/e re-Sussex, Jed Toman re-Nottingham. Barry Stovold
7 / 12 / 02

Dear Jeffrey Shaw, I have discovered and read through your amazing site. I especially liked the extracts describing life on the voyage out to New Zealand by Jean Cross and the wonderful letter from Robert Smith to his father.
My query relates to my great grandmother, Jane Elliott (formerly Burge) who was a stewardess on the New Zealand Steamship Co carrying passengers around the turn of the century. Her mother-in-law was Elizabeth Vestey and I wonder if that could be how she landed her job?
I am researching my family history and can only do this through documents, Regards Gail Hennessy.

9 / 12 / 02

I am trying to trace anyone who may have known my father, Kennedy Smith (Kenny), who worked for the NZSCo between 1960 and 1962. His log no. was R733842. I am particularly keen to contact anyone who may have sailed with him whilst on Christmas island. If you have any memories of him at all I would be very grateful if you would get in touch with me. Callum Smith
9 / 12 / 02

My grandfather - Archibald Hamilton Ryley CBE was a captain at the NZ shipping Company. According to my father, he was the first person to ride a motor bike in New Zealand when he rode it off the ship he was skipping onto the dock at Wellington. He retired in 1920 and joined Trinity House who run UK's lighthouses. If anyone has any info about AH Ryley please email me on Thanks John Ryley
14 / 12 / 02

My father, Thomas Arthur Edwards (originally from Cardiff) was a chef on board the Rangitiki (& Rangitata?) before and during the war. He used to call in at Liverpool and met my mother there (she was working at the Littlewoods pools building plotting shipping movements and the fates of their sailors during the war). He never told his shipmates he was going out with a Liverpool girl as so many of the crew were fleeced by scouse prostitutes Liverpool girls were not generally liked.

He was lucky in that one of the ships he was supposed to sail on was torpedoed with great loss of life in one of the convoys, but he had swapped his place on board with another sailor so he could spend a few more days in Liverpool.

He always said New Zealand was the part of the world he would like to have lived in apart from the UK but never got to live there because I was born in 1946 and it was round about then he got the ultimatum "It's the sea or me!"

Tom used to say that "It always pays to keep in with the cook" illustrating this with tales of how the crew used to come to the galley door to get a warm (& maybe a bit of extra grub). I think he was involved in baking bread or vegetables rather than haut cuisine. One major bloomer he used to mention was when someone put enough rice for everyone in the pot, forgetting it would swell up. It made enough rice for several days in one go!!

On leaving the sea he became a master butcher after volunteering to work for a Mr Maudsley for a week for free and if he was no good then he'd move on willingly. He used to buy much of his meat from the market from Weddells - a name that crops up several times in the NZSC history.

My father died in the mid 1980's and I doubt if there are many folk out there who sailed with him but my mother & I would be interested to hear if anyone does remember him or the person he swapped with.

I must finish by saying what a great site you've got going here.

John Edwards, Solihull, England

17 / 12 / 02

Thanks very much. your website is excellent. Ive now found that his first command was the Papanui in 1909 and his last in 1920 was the Kent in the federal service. John Ryley
17 / 12 / 02

Hello shipping friends, to 12, November 1939 the sailing Ship JOHN & WINTHROP 319 BRT/1876 build (the union Steamship company of New Zealand ) and an unknown number of other ships in the I Tamar River on Iceland Tamar blown up.

Question: Why these ships were blown up and sunk which other ships was still blown up.
Greetings from Germany

Th. Dorgeist

19 / 12 / 02

Hi to all ex. NZS employee's. I served with nzs from 1970-74 on the Huntington, Sussex Tongerio, and many others as Freezer Eng. I am after some information, as to the ships that were used, as Mother Ships to the Russian Trawlers lying off Newfoundland. Taking on frozen fish, and taking the cargo to a Baltic Port ? Good to see this page, brings back many great memories, to the best days of my life. Regards Nick Clark
28 / 12 / 02

Re John Griffiths 14/07/02 missing info. The Liberty ship Samkey was renamed the Leicester and in the summer of 1948 sailed for New York from England and ran into a hurricane and was abandoned (with the loss of six lives) in mid-atlantic. Captain Lawson I think lived in the Lythe Valley near Kendal. Best info I have found is in a novel by Farley Mowat, a gregarious character who comes from the Rock (Newfoundland) who is not unknown as an entertainer, to turn his back upon the audience and raise his kilt!

The Book you should look for on the Leicester is: THE SERPENTS'S COIL by Farley Mowat, published by Ballantine Books, New York No. 23828 (1961) Library of Congress Catalog Card number 62-9543 SBN 345-23828-1-125

I believe it was as a result of this tragedy that all nzsco ships initiated a two radio officer policy on what was originally single operator ships, until austerity set in, I think in the early sixties.

A further Book which may be of interest by the same author GREY SEAS UNDER by Farley Mowat Ballantine Books Library of congress catalog Card Number 58-11440 SBN 345-23784-6-125

Mike Parker

29 / 12 / 02

1941 - MV Sussex. Captain P.B. Clark(e) Arrived at Liverpool loaded. At Sanford Dock attacked and shed of meat spoiled. Ship OK. Early Summer. Loaded up and sailed out, passed Northern Ireland passed Iceland and New Foundland - Arrived at Curacao, no room inside at Willemmstad. Took outside loading of Oil. To Colon and Christabel - through Panama Canal to Balboa. Left took approx 17days for first sight of the three Kings of the toe of NZ. Into Auckland At the Awettea (?) Key, bottom of Queen St. To Wellington. There for a month as they put her into dry dock and steam cleaned. Of in the evening to Napier, Hawkes Bay. One week in and a few days out for loading. 8 days South and East to within 100 miles of the South American coast - WHY? As PB Clark told us aft, " Gentlemen, there are raiders operating in the Pacific, but the British Navy is there." In fact it was Q ships out of the Galapagos. Arrived at Balboa waiting in line to go through the Canal. Upset as two Japanese ships loaded with pig iron and concrete were holding up the parade. US troops were all over the canal- they were held back, Note the date ( September 1941) Very rough seas across the Atlantic saved us from Submarines.

Written by Leonard F. Cobb. Galley Boy ( 17yrs old.) Great ship - great crew. Proud to have served. After into RAF 5 odd years. Len

30 / 12 / 02

Hi, My name is Bill Harman I sailed on deck with NZSCo From 1969 [last trip of the Rangitoto] till 1972 when I jumped the Otaki, in between I was on Paparoa, Somerset,and Cumberland, I would like to hear from anyone I knew from those days.A couple of names that spring to mind are .Pete Woods & Angus Smith, Thanks, great site Bill Harman
31 / 12 / 02

Hello Mr Shaw, My name is Paul Alexander, I joined the NZSCo in Dec '66, MV Otaio, as a Navigation Cadet, I subsequently served on Pipiriki, Huntington and Hertford, leaving in'69 to coast smaller ships. I would be interested to find out any member associations in New Zealand - purely selfish - I would like to trace a young lady I dated back then.
Incidentally, I came across a chap who had a film of the Otaio taken on the trip immediately prior to when I joined. (1) Are there any other copies of that film? (2) Can I bespeak a copy? Paul Alexander

Editor (1) not that we are aware (2) perhaps some one reading may have a copy. Good luck with the chickee babe " seek and you shall find " I believe is the request

24 / 01 / 02



If you have knowledge about the Old New Zealand Shipping Company and would like to share
please proceed to the On-Line feed back form hosted by New Zealand Shipping.

Jeffrey Shaw, Managing Director, New Zealand Shipping.