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This page was last updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 12:58:55 AM

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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  (1999) as there are some great stories and links.
Comments for the year 2005 Email / Date

Hi everyone. I am looking to hear from anyone that was aboard the 'Cumberland', arrived Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand, 21st January, 1972(from Wellington) and sailed 26th January, 1972(back to Wellington). The vessel was owned by The Federal Steam Nav.Co.Ltd of London, part of the P&O Group. The 'Cumberland' vessels official number was 182901. Anyone aboard this vessel at that time, please contact me. Many thanks


I have just discovered this site while researching family history, specifically with reference to my paternal grandfather William James Hicks and his service on the RMS Rangitoto. William James Hicks was born on the 10th July 1893 at Sudbrook, near Chepstow in Monmouthshire and died on 6th February 1961, he is buried at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He was apprenticed at C.H.Walker, Shipwrights. During the First World War he joined the 1st Monmouthshire Regiment as Rifleman 2304 in A Company. He was wounded at Zonelbeke in the 2nd Battle of Ypres on Anzac Day, 25th April 1915 and was sent to Netley Hospital near Southampton where he spent 10 months. He was honourably discharged on 25th February 1916. He joined the merchant service and worked on Elders & Fyffes banana boats before joining the New Zealand Shipping Company as a ship's carpenter. He servI have several newspaper cuttings relating to the dedication and a picture from The New Zealand Herald (dated Saturday August 2nd 1952) showing the Rangitoto' at berth in Auckland harbour. I also have a 16-page commemorative brochure issued by The Journal of Commerce & Shipping Telegraph (dated Friday August 12th 1949)to celebrate the introduction into service of 'Rangitoto', "the largest merchant vessel out of the Tyne for ten years". I am keen to trace what happened to the altar and lecturn made by my grandfather following the breaking-up of the Rangitoto in Hong-Kong during 1976. Can anyone help please?


I have found a number of other web sites that contain photographs and information regarding ships of the New Zealand Shipping Company (and others), these may prove useful to fellow Contains data plus reproductions of photographs and postcards of the ships. Particularly good set of internal and external photos of 'Rangitoto'.'(1949).html

Photo of 'Rangitoto' in harbour. Photo of 'Rangitoto'in Sydney harbour. has all sorts of useful stuff, for example the plans of all ships built by Vickers Armstrongs on Tyneside (including 'Hertford' and 'Rangitoto') are listed on the website and I believe that these can be viewed by personal visit to the holding museum. I would appreciate details of any other links, particularly in relation to 'Rangitoto'


As an ex engineer with the N.Z.S.C./Federal  S.N.Co.(Suffolk,Rangitata and Whakatane).I was recently contacted by a friend who lost his father in the early years of the 2nd W.W. while serving on the Federal ship "Nottingham". The little that we have is that this vessel sank in mid Atlantic on the 7th November 1941 with all hands en route from Glasgow to New York According to my friend the above ship was on its maiden voyage (1st and last). Has anyone got any more details of the Nottingham.I sailed on the Suffolk which was built at John Browns at Clydebank and launched in 1939, would this ill fated ship built to the same design etc,? Any information would be greatly appreciated, Many thanks, Frank Kennedy


Heartfelt thanks for your efforts with the site. I came across it in a bout of nostalgia. I served as motorman on the Rakaia on her last voyage when she was sold off in Hong Kong. What I really want to know is the story behind the New York - Liverpool voyage apparently done under jury rigged sails sometime in the fifties. If anyone out there has the details I'd love to read them. Many Thanks Barry Taylor


Served on the M.V. Rakia as motorman on her last voyage when she was sold for scrap in Hong Kong. Would like to hear from anyone from that time. Barry Taylor

Good Morning!! i am a retired seamen, my love is now old ship's spz.reefer, i am starting a home page of world reefer ship's, from 1900 up to Question is you can help me with some pictures or dat from your old reefer ship's....Regards. walter rosenberger, a german in the Phil./Davao


I have photos of the cabins, ballroom, lounge etc of the Rangitoto, I can send copies by attachment to anyone who wants one, also photo of the officers of the Rangitoto, not known which year although it looks 50/60s. cheers.George Carr.


Rob Scott New_Zealand_Shipping_Passenger_Lists:

I have photos of the cabins, ballroom, lounge etc of the Rangitoto, I can send copies by attachment to anyone who wants one, also photo of the officers of the Rangitoto, not known which year although it looks 50/60s. I have lots of photos of the Rangitata cheers. George Carr.


Hi My name is Carol Jowett and my late father George Altham served with the NZ shipping line during the war. He sailed as an engineer on:- Orari 15.3.41 -12.8.41 NY. Argentina Uraguay Orari 02.9.41 -13.1.41 Australia New Zealand Orari 07.2.42 -10.5.42 Capetown Port Elizabeth Simonstown Orari 22.5.42 -21.8.42 Malta Operation Harpoon Orari 14.10.42-08.3.43 Argentina Uraguay Hororata 8.9.43-16.1.44 Australia New Zealand Durham 30.3.44 -7.5.44 New York& Halifax Durham 24.5.44-22.9.44 Australia New Zealand I have a good picture of the Orari if anyone would like a copy and I would love to hear from anyone who could let me know of any details of these voyages from shipmates. I know some of the "Harpoon" outcome but its the other voyages I am interested in.Also has anyone got a picture od the Durham. Many thanks Carol


Hi, I sailed in the ''Rangitata'' from the Albert dock UK in January 1957 to New zealand as engine room [dogsbody] brings back pleasant memories. Also sailed in the MV Surry in 1958 to Australia. With and Federal steam and navigation Co.A Stevens


I sailed on the Ruahine in 1963. The master was Captain Hocken who was also Commodore of the fleet at that time. It was his last trip and mine. The passenger fleet at that time consisted of the Rem (Remuera), the Toto (Rangitoto), the Tani (Rangitani) and the Ruahini (we appeared not to have a nickname. I believe we also had the Cornwall and the Kent as cargo ships but I may be mistaken. Our itinerary was Albert Docks, Southampton (pick up the bloods (passengers), across the Bay of Biscay (seasickness for all) onto Curacao (first happy valley), Colon (they always tried to keep us longer in port here (more port fees I think), through the Panama Canal onto Tahiti, then the New Zealand coast, Auckland, Christchurch and finally Wellington (2 weeks in each port). Met John Lennon whilst in Wellington, he came over the roof and down into the Chelsea Lounge, the official fan club of the Beatles at the time. He was unrecognised sitting amongst a bunch of young wingers all with "Beatle Haircuts". I think he had sailed on a NZSC passenger liner at some time. We always followed the Tani in to the New Zealand ports of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. The standard phrase from the NZ girls was that "they were made up over a guy on the Tani". Much to our chagrin. We did win the Auckland Sheild for Capt. Hocken, he had never won any shield on the Kiwi coast before and was delighted to win one on his last voyage. Inky was our coach and I played right wing. Coddy (Peter Codd) was in goal, deckies made up the back line, mid field the preserve of the chief lecky, sparks and purser, with five "wingers" (stewards to the non initiated) making up the front five. I have a few photos of the team as a momento plus other bits some where. From NZ we sailed back to Tahiti, through the Panama Canal upto Jamaica, Fort Lauderdale onto Bermuda (not allowed ashore Merchant seamen you see) and across the North Atlantic in a Force 9 or 10 (more sea sickness and "fiddles" on the dining room tables stops the plates from sliding around). Finally back to Southampton, drop of the bloods. I was discharged here, came home by train. Skeleton crew took ship back to the Albert Docks. I will have to find my momentoes of this trip and scan them in so that I can send them to you. Reply back to me if you are interested. Your Sincerly Terrence A Holmes (Terry)


Manapouri took mail from Auckland to London during March 1892. I have a letter carried on this ship annoted as such. John Garton
Lynn looking for Mathews from England to NZ in 1926

hi there what a fantastic site which i just found by chance - i would love to catch up with any old mates that i worked with especially John Evans from Wales I worked on MV Hertford 15/08/70 - 27/07/71 MV Hurunui 13/09/71 - 22/09/71 MV Essex 07/10/71 - 13/08/72 MV Trevalgan 3/03/72 - 10/07/72 MV Tekoa 21/08/72 -25/10/72 MV Taupo 25/10/72 - 27/03/73 MV Piako 14/05/73 - 7/06/74 I was known then as Mally (with the long hair) was mates with Ginger Montgomery, any one who remembers me or has any knowledge of the whereabouts of John please get in touch thanks a lot - Calum D Macleod, Isle of Lewi


Jill Shapland Can you tell me if the Rangitata sailed from Liverpool, England in a convoy during September 1940.? I was on that ship on my way to New Zealand and believe that the City of Benares was sunk in the Atlantic on that journey.


Hi My name is Richard S White and I travelled to NZ with my parents and family. We left on the Rangitoto from Royal Albert Docks London on the 13 March 1959 for Wellington via Curacao and Panama Canal. The family names are: Mr Bertrum White and Mrs Alice White Tony White, Erica White, Lynn White and myself Richard White. I have a copy of the booklet containing the original passenger list, crew photograph and other information. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who travelled on Rangitoto on that voyage, or any other voyages on the Rangitoto.I was 10 when I made that historic voyage, I am now 56 years old. I am at present trying to retrace my voyages and I would be so pleased to hear from anyone who can help.


Dear Mr Shaw, as like most other people i came across the sight by putting one of the ships I sailed in into a search engine and came across your site which brought back a lot of happy memories of days gone by on the New Zealand shipping co and the federal steam navigation co

My first ship i was on was the Suffolk as galley boy on a home trade run then we went to Kaohsiung in Taiwan to scrap the ship i can still remember to this day the feeling that every body had when they switched of the last generator a great loss after a great voyage I was then on the Manapouri on its first run to the UK then on to the Mataura for its first run to the UK then on to the Cumberland then onto the Rakaia then the Paparoa and finally back on the Rakaia I wanted to go for my ships cook certificate.


I came out from London to Auckland (via Pitcairn) as a little nipper of 15 months in 1956 on board the 'Rangitoto'. I would like to obtain, as part of my genealogical research, a passenger list and a picture of the Ship. I believe we arrived about 12 March 1956. Father tells me that we had a terrible storm in the Atlantic. I had just learned to walk and used to stagger around the ship like a little drunken sailor!

Also my grandfather was an officer on board the 'Rangitane' when it was overtaken by a German raider a couple of days out of Auckland. He had a picture of my mum and uncle (his two eldest) in his breast pocket. The photo had a small, perfectly round hole in it where a piece of shrapnel went through it. Grandfather was scarcely injured! I would love any information on Rangitane from around this time too, please.
Best regards - Robert Gillard


Pleased to see that your site is still generating some interest , but perhaps slowing down slightly.- I have not contributed anything for some time and my Email address has changed, due to an avalanche of spam mail on the old one, but I drop in occasionally to see what’s new- I got in touch with Richard Overall with some reminiscences of his father, who I remember from the "Rangitiki" and replied to Mike Veal, who was asking for my Email address. I have made contact with a few old shipmates over the last couple of years and I am wondering if anyone out there has any knowledge of any of the following from the Mid Fifties, whom I remember with affection…. 1) Eirwyn ("Taffy") Hughes – Electrician- Served his apprenticeship in Manchester. 2) Bobby Bennet – Electrician , from Dagenham. 3) Mike Firman – Chief Steward, from (I think) Essex I am still living in Lutterworth , Leics


Looking for John Alfred Bamford who came to NZ before 1871 Elaine Hollins

I sailed as an Engineer with NZS from 1968 to 1971 on the MVs Rakia, Hinakura, and Westmorland. The web site is excellent and brings back a few memories of trips to New Zealand. Jim Miller


Would anyone know of a website that has featured the sinking of the mv samkey in January 1945. Apparently there are photographs of the crew before they set sail. My brother John was unfortunately aboard her and was making his first trip. He was the youngest member aboard, being only sixteen at the time. 
It would be really nice to see photographs of a brother who's face I can all but remember.


A reunion is being planned for cadets from the P&O training ship Otaio, to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the August 1975 departure from the Royal Albert Docks. Dates are the weekend of 2-4 September Contacts: Capt Andy Patterson, Director Operations, Deas Pacific Marine, 12800 Rice Mill Road, Richmond BC V6W1A1, Canada. Tel 604-204-2301. E Mail or John Aries at  John Aries


SAMKEY - Correction to post 29/12/02
The Book 'The Serpents Coil' by Farley Mowat indicates the Leicester was formerly the Samkey. Further investigation shows there were two FSNC Sam boats in trouble in '48/49.

The Samesk - renamed the Leicester was under the command of Hamish Lawson and this vessel survived and is probably the vessel described in his book, not the Samkey.

I had a sad e-mail a couple of days ago from the brother of a 16 year old on his first voyage which was on the Samkey which was in ballast bound for Cuba which was lost with all hands north of the Azores.


sue collyns Passenger Lists

Kelly I have the "technical drawings" ( blue prints) of the ship ss alagoas which was built by hawthorn leslie & co. I also have the same things for Prince Potemkin and Dryden. Does anyone know if these would be of interest to anyone? I know Potemkin is a Russian ship. The others I have not bothered to look up. These hand drawings are huge. They are framed and I had them on my wall for a long time. I inherited them about 13 years ago. Thanks for your help.


I have just been trying to find any information on a NSSCo vessel. I have a reference from a vessel named SS Rangitata or this could be Rangitoto. It was given to an uncle of mine John Andrew McPhee and covers a period from Dec. 23rd 1925 to Jan. 23rd. 1927. Due to the handwriting it is difficult to be absolutely sure of the ships name, however on checking the ships names list the only Rangitata was not built until 1929. I cannot see any other ship with a similar spelling sailing over that period. I wonder if you can solve this for me? Thanks, John McPhee. Tweed Heads. NSW


I have just purchased a lot of silver plated cutlery and other silverware which have the New Zealand Shipping Co logo on them . Some have a flag with N Z S C in each corner and others have the capital letters only intertwined .Can anyone tell me how old these pieces could be ? Thank you


Hi I am Peter, I joined the merchant navy early 1972 out of Gravesend training school (catering). First ship I joined was the HURUNUI.( mostly relief crew ).Then on to the Treameadow (deep sea) joined her in Houston Texas Nov.1972- April 1973 payed off in Amsterdam, what a first trip. Others I sailed on. WILDAUK, OTAIO, SOMERSET, TAUPO, MELITA and MAKARIA. Peter Whittaker


Jill Parker  I sailed from Wellington to Sydney on the ???? Remuera in March 1963. Can anyone tell me please, what shipping line and where could I find proof of this?


Isobel jones  New_Zealand_Shipping_Passenger_Lists:Pattillo James @ Isabella sons John Alexander,George,James arriving 1906


Philip Shackleton sailed on severl NZS and federal ships during The P&O GCD days. !974 to 1984. MV Cumberland. MV Sussex MV Wild Auk and MV Westmorland. My addy is Love to hear from any old mates.


Kia Ora Jeffrey Shaw. I have had an awesome trip through your web site which I found in my search for information about the ship Ruahine which my father, born in 1900, travelled as a teenage soldier, during the First World War. I am the priviliged one to have been named Ruahine after the ship as well as his own name Te Au Pomana. I have only just decided to begin this research tonight after going out to the RSA for dinner and looking at the black and white photos of the warships displayed on the wall My husband informed me tonight that The Ruahine was a passenger ship. I didn't know that, so it was a wake up call for me. To Will Howard the artist who completed the picture of The Ruahine, I would love to buy a copy, I have your email and it's a NZ one so that is great. All the information I have gleaned through this site has been so exciting.Thankyou so much every one Ruahine Te Au Dickson


I am trying to find information on the SS Rumutaka,my Uncle Lawrence Lunn died on this ship in 1941 aged 23.I know he was born in North Wales , wether he was emigrating or serving with Merchant/Royal Navy.Any imformation would be much appreciated. T.Lunn


Would appreciate any details and information on the "IONIC" I think arrived NZ from the UK about 1925-26. Also any passenger list available and any photo available With thanks John Hutton


Passenger Mr Thomas Francis Keane DOB: 20 November 193? From Dublin? Ireland to New Zealand   Julie Keane


Tim McConkey New_Zealand_Shipping_Passenger_Lists:


Dear Mr Shaw, Does anyone have a photograph of the crew of the Wharanui sailing under Sydney Harbour Bridge around the beginning of October 1967.I was hospitalised when the orders for the photograph in question were made and would very much like a copy and happy of course to pay the cost involved. many thanks Peter Doran


Can anyone provide me with some information about a ship that plied the Australian/ NZ last century. I have come into possession of a shipping trunk in good condition with all its shipping tags in place. The vessel was the MV Wanganella and I would like some info on its commission date and what happened to it. Any assistance would be appreciated Warwick Isemonger


My family travelled to NZ in 1957 onboard the RANGITOTO via Panama Canal, arriving March I believe , I was 5 Years old at the time and at one stage Quarantined in the medical centre at the stern of that lovely ship for some time with what they termed 'German Measles'. A wonderful trip full of memories.Tim Self


Hello, ~ it's been a while since I last visited this grand website of yours, and I'm glad to see that it is still thriving.  My website has grown since its inception last year, and has been helped along by many former crewmen and women, families of former crew of the 'Rangitiki' and several passengers who sailed on her. A number of names familiar to this site (Bill Goyne, Len Chapman, Stan Dingwall, Les Docking, Tony Fry, Ken Hedges, Brian Probetts to name a few) have provided me with a wealth of information.  I have since discovered from Dad's records that he sailed nine trips on the 'Rangitoto' after the 'Rangitiki' was sold from fleet in 1962 , and his last six were made on the 'Ruahine' - his final trip in 1968 also being that ship's last voyage in Federal colours, and I believe, the Captain's final voyage before retirement. Thanks for keeping this valuable resource open to those wishing to explore the New Zealand Shipping history, and for providing the forum for people to seek and find information of ships, mariners, and others associated with the Golden Age of British/New Zealand shipping. Best regards, Richard Overall
Houston, Texas 


JOHN AUGUSTUS WRIGHT - SEAMAN - BORN IN NEW ZEALAND i am seeking information on a New Zealand seaman by the name of JOHN AUGUSTUS WRIGHT who wrote to my uncle saying he was going to stowawayt on the Oriana leaving San Francisco for new zealand late in 1912 john augustus wright left new zealand in a big hurry from wellington in 1909 for the USA. I have not been able to discover what ship or boat he was either a seaman or passenger or crewmember on.any feedback would be very much appreciated. ada fabling.


Thursday 07 2005 I am looking for information relating to a JOHN AUGUSTUS WRIGHT, aka JACK WRIGHT, a seaman of Wellington North. Yesterday I keyed in the incorrect date. The Oriana left San Francisco in 1910, not 1912. We have a letter from JOHN AUGUSTUS WRIGHT who advised my uncle he was going to to stowaway on the Oriana that night and show himself two days out at sea. He did make it back to NZ but there is no news or information as to whether he was discovered and where he landed.Does anyone know where I can check the passenger list for the Oriana that arrived in either Auckland or Wellington (Sep-Oct-Nov) 1910? Your response would be most welcome, either on this page or to my nieces email address: you. ADA FABLING.


Elisabeth Stringer nee Pearce. We travelled to NZ from London in Jan. 1956 on the Rangitiki arriving in Wellington on the 24th February. My parents, Dr John and Marjorie Pearce, emigrated with their 4 youngest children, Christopher, Robert, Peter and myself aged 9 years. We are intending to commemerate 50 years since our arrival next february and would be interested to hear from anyone else who was on that voyage. lis stringer


Dear Sir Delighted to find so much information on NZSCo.I spent many happy hours courting my wife,Christine, who worked as a secretary in New Zealand House,Water St,Liverpool in the late 60's.They were a great bunch in that building,and when I think it was "Ruahine" was sent to take all the Kiwi contingent home in the early 70's when P&O took over, we were on the point of leaving with them.Thereby hangs another story! We both visited Water Street recently from home in North Wales, and they do say never go back! Too many ghosts.Regards Ian Hunt


Dear Mr Shaw what an excellant site. I was wondering if anyone remembers, or sailed with my father Ray Brown during the 1950's. He was a refrig engineer and sailed on a few vessels including the Durham. He is retired in New Zealand and would love to make contact with old mates. Hamish Brown


Hi, I did not work for NZSC, but I did drive my fathers hire car for the Cunard office in Avonmouth, circa 1956-1961.I well remember the ships of this site, that were frequent visitors to Avonmouth, and I would have seen most of the fleet as I travelled through the docks several times each day. However, I think the first time I heard one of the names was when, in my first job as a garage forecourt attendant, the Haparangi was mentioned in respect of boot-topping. The garage owner, Albert Weatherhead, was care-fore for British Paints, and he had a store in Napier Rd, Avonmouth, and would supply paint and boot-topping A man called by phone to ask when the paint was to be delivered to the Haparangi. Later, after I passed my driving test, I went to work for my father in his car hire business driving for Cunard. They were nice times, and the ships were real ships, not like the modern flat-sided ugly monstrosities seen today. Cunard-Brocklebank-Donaldson and Port Line were the ones I went aboard, but the NZSC and Shaw Saville ships were equal in beauty, to anything afloat. Happy days. Pure Nostalgia. Best wishes to all Dave Hunt (Severn Beach) (PS, it is only a half hour or so that I came across this very interesting site. Long may it reign). David Hunt


Trying to trace Annie wood nee Bentley born 1853 Bridge Town Wensley Derby Emigrated to New Zealand 1886/1887 with her husband John Wood and young daughter of eighteen months. John Wood died 21-3-1887 Wellington Hospital. Wellington. Buried 24-3-1887 his occupation stone mason. Also shipping line they arrived on from England and Port they Departed from .June Hellen


Hi Guys I have just found your site, and what a great idea, I sailed with NZS from 1970-1975 as Chief Freezer on the Sussex, great memories, great guys, also sailed on the Tongario down to South America when a cargo ship (cant remember its name) was hit by a Tanker and all the crew were killed. We were re-routed from a ballest trip to NZ to pick up this ships, usual run, my last trip at sea as I took the wife with me (bad idea) anyone out there remember me. Nick Clark


Hello Jeffrey, My name is John Butler and a few months ago my daughter dragged me kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I was persuaded to buy a secondhand computer in my retirement. By chance I found "On-line comments" and feel I ought to add my two penny's worth and reminisce. The Ruahine was my first ship in Dec. 57 which was her 21st voyage. I was given the heady rank of 11th engineer, not junior as he arrived 30 minutes later. I was able to pull rankand we hadn't eve Best wishes to you all out there. John Butler.


m.v. Hinakura built 1949 what happened to the m.v. Rangitoto?

John Mcleod Mackenzie


Does anyone have any information about the Papinui. My mother was a baby, wrapped up and thrown down to a crewman in the lifeboat, when the ship was abandoned in 1911. Coincidently my husband's grandparents were aboard the same ship. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has a passenger list for the last voyage of the Papinui.

Valerie Leary


I would like some information about an old N.Z. Shipping company vessel the m.v. WESTMEATH.
I did a short voyage on her in 1962 from Middlesborough to Antwerp as Radio Officer. And that was her last voyage. What was her Radio Callsign.
Any information would be helpful. 

Can you please help me.

Thank you. 

Stephen Hawes.


Was there two Dorset ships ? I am looking for the one that came to NZ in 1921.

Heather Mcfarlane


Hi Guys I have just found your site, and what a great idea, I sailed with NZS from 1970-1975 as Chief. Freezer on the Sussex, great memories, great guys, also sailed on the Tongario down to South America when a cargo ship (cant remember its name) was hit by a Tanker and all the crew were killed. We were re-routed from a ballest trip to NZ to pick up this ships, usual run, my last trip at sea as I took the wife with me (bad idea) anyone out there remember me. Nick Clark


Hello Jeffrey, My name is John Butler and a few months ago my daughter dragged me kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I was persuaded to buy a secondhand computer in my retirement. By chance I found "On-line comments" and feel I ought to add my twopennyworth and reminisce. The Ruahine was my first ship in Dec. 57 which was her 21st voyage. I was given the heady rank of 11th engineer, not junior as he arrived 30 minutes later. I was able to pull rankand we hadn't eve Best wishes to you all out there. John Butler.



Just a short note to say i'm back at the desk after fairly lengthy travels overseas. Was in London on the day of London winning the 2012 Olympic City bid as well as the bombings, we had to wheel our luggage through the streets of London as no buses or trains operating. Got to see all the ports in England, Wales and Scotland bar two or three so this provides us with an insight to the traffic congestions confronting UK, the price of oil doesn't help the UK economy. P&O Nedlloyd have agreed in principal to be brought out by the Danish company Maersk Sealand 
(might be a different century but the Vikings and the Anglo Saxons continue the ongoing play of life)
I also notice whilst I was a way a run of family tree email requests whilst they mean well its not for this site (this section is about stories relating to people who have worked for NZSCO or who themselves have traveled on NZSCO or have stories to share about life on the sea or land or family who contributed to NZSCO. 
I have instructed Sam and Andrew to put these family tree requests onto the passenger lists section. I trust I find everybody well and in good spirits.


My name is george i sailed on the Ruahine 1966  was a young 21 year old .We sailed via PANAMA TO Tahiti then to Auckland .I can say that it was the best experience of my life. I am now 60 years young and would like to hear from any one on that trip. I have some photos of passengers and crew .Here is a few names just for starters Crew Jim and bob from Glasgow Vicky from LONDON Linda from Sydney Aust. Peter from Liverpool and last but not least Sam from Liverpool whom i shared



Have stumbled across your excellent site and spotted a number of names I recognise. Joined m.v. Otaio on 9th November 1969 as first trip Deck Cadet for voyage 25, subsequently sailed on voyages 26 and then 28 after ONC Phase 1 at Greenhithe on Worcester. Remained with NZSC/P&O GCD until redundancy in May 1982 when I relocated to NZ and lived in New Plymouth, Katikati and back to New Plymouth until 2000. Now living back in UK, still at sea working on Dive Support Vessel in offshore oil and gas industry. Have some mementoes of the old days still such as issues of Crossed Flags etc Regards to all Mike Fletcher


Nick Millar My father served on the m.v orari 3 in the mid 1950s his name was Stanley Millar. I am looking for more information can anybody help?


Please first may i say what a wonderfull site this is ,and it is only today Sept 23rd 2005 i have found it.I was at sea with the Federal line "mv Gloucester" on her last voyage from London to NZ and back to Hull before she was scrapped. Anyone who was on that trip i was the captains tiger (heady heights) and a taffy , the only crew member i can remember by name was the second cook his name was Tony,all the deck crew were i think from the north eastand the storeman was Snowy a cockney.The ship returned to Hull as the seamans strike was on "Reds under the bed" said Harold Wilson at the time. After the strike I did come back to the federal line only to work by on the Toupo,Westmorland and the Sussex. Yes happy days Cheers to all, anybody on that last trip of the Gloucester please enlighten my memories og that voyage Big song going around on that trip was Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfuncler regards. John taffy evan


My name is Peter Taylor. I have just found this site, and very interesting it is, too. I signed on Leicester in Napier as ordinary seaman and sailed to London. I signed on again and we were struck by extremely bad weather in the Atlantic which put is in dry dock in Auckland for some time undergoing substantial repairs. Forunately the return voyage to London was uneventful. Next trip was aboard Durham, and on this voyage we were again a long time in New Zealand when we were ca


Have just spent two very enjoyable and interesting hours visiting your Web Site, thanks to Google, I never imagined so much information and so many people so interested in NZSCo. It brought back many happy memories for me. I have often wondered if any of my old shipmates still survive today, and how they may be faring. I served on the SS. Papanui Official No. 165898 for three voyages on Deck: Namely (1) 12 Jun 1945 to 20 Mar 1946 . (2) 11 Apr 1946 to 19 Sep 1946. (3) 2 Oct 1946 to 9 Apr 1947. I also served on the MV. Rakaia 10 May 1947 to 8 Oct 1947. I kept very good records of the respective ships including photo's itinerary, dates and ports of call except for my first voyage on the Papanui were records have been mislaid I would be grateful if you or any of your many visitors or my old shipmates who may see this message could help me with info, or advise were it may be obtained, Congratulations on a great Site, George Haden


My name is Peter Taylor. I have just found this site, and very interesting it is, too. I signed on Leicester in Napier as ordinary seaman and sailed to London. I signed on again and we were struck by extremely bad weather in the Atlantic which put is in dry dock in Auckland for some time undergoing substantial repairs. Fortunately the return voyage to London was uneventful. Next trip was aboard Durham, and on this voyage we were again a long time in New Zealand when we were ca
Visited your Site for the first time in ages. Pleased to see it is getting back to basics i.e. about NZSCo. I was also in London on the day of the bombings. I might have passed you hauling your luggage along the pavement! It was a sad day but London is resilient as history has shown. Back to NZSCo matters... Earlier this year I visited New Zealand and while walking the streets of Auckland, came across a Lady from my past. She looked in good shape and was still working!  "The White Lady" is a Hamburger and Pie Cart ( a sort of mobile Cafe) that appeared each night at the end of Queen Street, just outside the dock gates. When the NZSCo ships were on the NZ Coast, the food was unexciting. So the opportunity for a healthy (and convenient) hamburger (or pie) and chips in Auckland was never missed. As a Cadet, I took the Engineers' orders and did the leg work to The White Lady and back. Sometimes a second trip was called for! I can almost taste the hamburgers now! They were far superior to any hamburger I have had since! Attached is a photo of The White Lady having a well earned rest. Kind regards  Len Chapman 
Len: What I noticed after the London bombings was how the BBC particularly Radio 2 retaliated by playing British music, most of it was in the key of C and G which is uplifting for the spirit: The Poms have definitely moved on, whilst the Yanks are still comatose by their media. Power to the Poms. Jeffrey  

Hello again. It seems as though only some of my last contribution got through (27-8-05). The Ruahine was home for 5 wonderful trips then 10 months on the Nottingham as 4th. Left the engineroom and transfered to refrigeration sailing on the Huntingdon as 2nd freezer until the summer of 63 and marriage.One more trip on the Cornwall as chief freezer and I left in Jan 64, it was such a memorable few years which I look back on now with great affection. There were rough times  John Butler


Goodness me, "The White Lady" of Auckland, still alive and well. Fond memories after a night at Ma's, the Oxcedental, or the Snake Pit. Rdgs, GCP 

With my younger sister, Iris, I sailed from London in October 1963 on the 'Remuera'. Ports of call were Curacao, Panama City and Papeete, Tahiti. We were aged 19 and 21 and had an absolute ball on board. We were emigrating from Glasgow to Christchurch, New Zealand, where I still live. Iris returned to London in 1965 and has now retired to Spain with her husband. There were only 350 passengers on the ship but someone may remember us. Betty Thomson


I'm hoping someone can supply any information or photos they may have regarding the following. My wife was friendly with a lovely lady called Mrs Jean Mabel Sowerby (nee Peacock) who died recently leaving her an item of interest. It is an old suitcase that was used by herself and her late husband when they immigrated to New Zealand in the late 40's just days after they had married. The suitcase has shipping company and cabin stickers attached to it which state that they sailed from London to Wellington via Sydney with the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company and during the journey occupied There are also stickers which, I think, relate to their return journey on 18th November (year unknown) some time later from Wellington to Sydney on the M.V. Wanganella, which belonged to the Huddart Parker Line Shipping Co., on which they occupied cabin 89.Other labels, from P.&O.S.N.Co. and The New Zealand Express Company Ltd., state that they travelled onward, on their return, from Sydney to London. Mr. John & Mrs. Jean Sowerby, at the time prior to them leaving the UK, lived in Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, England and this address is hand-written on a couple of the labels, although they spent their latter days in Stranraer, Scotland. Both my wife and I would appreciate any information received so as we may put the history of the suitcase together with the suitcase itself. Please e-mail with anything that you would think may be of interest. Thanks Alistair McDowell (Scotland)


I am looking for an Irishman from Dublin who was on the New Zealand Coast in November/December 1950. He met a lady in Wellington by the name of Beverley Pool. He was a 3rd Engineer and aged 24 years at the time. If you see this request and recognise the name or if anyone knows who this man may be, please contact me as this man is my father. Thank you. Colleen Palmer


Again I seem to have been cut off in my "prime", (01.10.05) There were rough times but they pale into insignificance when compared to the "work hard play hard" life we led. Ive scrolled through the site and found lads on the same ships as me but the wrong time and some the same time but wrong ships. Frustrating. Lets hope something comes of my rambling. Thank you for creating this web of nostalgia, "Neighbours" has now taken a back seat!! Best wishes to you all out there, Jo


This note replaces my earlier one 23/03/02 above, as my e-mail address has since changed:I was an NZSC engineer officer cadet - mv Otaio 1962-3, Poplar TC 1963-4, ss Papanui 1964-5. I've lost touch with almost 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 a    Mike Still


I joined the Rakaia as 7th engineer in 1961. i later sailed as her 3rd engineer from 1963-1964 on a double header. the chief was john cowper, he was looked upon by his engineers as a father figure, a supurb engineer who never suffered fools lightly and would not have a bad word said about his lads, especially at the centre table in the dinning saloon.

The Rakaia's engine room was a tough place, but she was always a happy ship. i still keep in touch with two of the 2nd lecky's that i sailed with at various times on the Rakaia

ie. Davy Lang and Brian Anderson ( The Bear).

The chief lecky's were Alex Henderson and later Ray Pethick who was a legend in the nzsc.

See my website

Dave Carpenter


 I wonder if anyone remembers Capt "Dickie"(?) Hollingdale. He was Captain of the MV Hauraki on my first trip to sea as an Engineer Cadet in 1956. I was one of three Cadets on board and we regarded Capt Hollingdale as more of an "Old Woman" than "Old Man", forever dragging us onto the bridge to see some mid Ocean marvel. In retrospect, of course, he gave three 19 year old lads some unique experiences that would be impossible under today's "Eye in the Sky" management environmen. Just before arriving at Sydney he announced he wanted to go fishing while in Sydney but the motorboat would be alongside the quay when the ship berthed. So, before the Pilot came aboard, the 3rd Mate and the three Cadets were put over the side in the motorboat several miles off Sydney Heads and told to make their way to Circular Quay! Several hours later we did arrive at Circular Quay. Not many 19 year old can say they first arrived in Sydney in an open boat! Hauraki sailed at night so we were back in the We were over the side again when the Old Man wanted fresh food, magazines and newspapers delivered to the Lighthouse Keepers in the Barrier Reef. Travelling across the Pacific, we deviated from our usual route to go to a Leper Colony Island (the name escapes me but I think it was French). Capt Hollingdale had us build a raft out of timber and oil drums onto which he loaded a variety of food. The raft had a mast and a large white flag on which someone had painted "HHH", which translated meant "Hollingdales Happy Holiday Ships". The raft was put over the side to float in towards the shore but the winds took it in the opposite direction. MV Hauraki then spent half a day circling to create a wash that pushed the raft towards the shore. Eventually we could see canoes setting off from the beach now some 50 years later I would like to say a belated "Thank you" to Capt Hollingdale and hope there are others who remember him. Regards Len Chapman MEALONE@BIGPOND.NET.AU


 Hi, this is a long shot but I'm trying to help my mother find her brother, Morris (or Maurice) Llewellyn of South Wales (UK). He was a crew member on SS Rangitoto from, I believe 1949 onwards - he may eventually have settled in New Zealand, but my mum lost touch with him just after he first shipped and has heard nothing of, or from, him since. She's now in her late 70s and it would be good to be able to give her some info on where her brother is (or family members are if he's As I say, this is a long shot but we would be interested (and grateful)to hear from anyone who knew, or knows him. Many thanks Paul Avard - on behalf of Joyce Avard (nee Llewellyn)


 I was told that my ancestors, James and or Charles Mills from the north of Scotland were involved in establishing the New Zealand Shipping Company. Can you provide me with any information on this subject? Thanking you for your time, Sincerely, Alexandra Mills

This site has an article and information on NZSCo plus some photos of the Ruahine's passenger areas.

Hi everyone. I am looking to hear from anyone that was aboard the 'Cumberland', arrived Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand, 21st January, 1972 (from Wellington) and sailed 26th January, 1972(back to Wellington). The vessel was owned by The Federal Steam Nav.Co.Ltd of London, part of the P&O Group. The 'Cumberland' vessels official number was 182901. Anyone aboard this vessel at that time, in particular, a Scot by the name of Terry Clark(?), please contact me. Many thanks


Hi My name is Ian Manson nickname Gil I sailed on the Ruahine as a engineer in 1967 under Captain Hollingdale my memory is not as sharp as it was Would be interested to hear from anyone who sailed on her.

Hi Is there anyone out there, who sailed with me on the following vessals: Hertford, Piakio, Sussex, Tongario I wasd chief fridge, joined nzs 1969 until 1974. nick clark

Anyone recall a r/o called robin (dusty) miller who joined the nzsc/federal line in 1953. we trained together at the london telegraph training college, earls court, london and lodged at kew gardens, alongwith bruce robertson and brian risdale. it would be great to make contact again after all these years.


 I was peggy on the tiki in belfast early 57 along with a guy from sky smithy was bo sun a nice man

 Still looking for Gus Gillies or anyone from Somerset, from 77-79. Pat 'The Goon' McCardle

Hi I joined the New Zealand shipping company as a Marine Engineer in 1965 and served on the Rangitoto, I am trying to contact Ian Wilson who was with me in 1965 he was from Scotland and was a great friend he visited me in my home town near Durham. Thanks


Hi, My name is Beryl (Tompsett) I left the Royal Albert Docks on the Rangitoto on February 10th 1961 and Landed in New Zealand on the 16th March '61 I was wanting to hear from anyone that was on board that ship passengers or crew that trip. What a shame she was wrecked.


Hello, My name is Don Frailey and I live in California USA. Recently I came into possession of a life ring from the WWII Turakina that was sunk by the German Raider Orian. This came from a sailor's estate who was on Orian. I would be interested to hear from any survivors of the Turakina.  


Was on Paparoa, and Haparangi 1952/1956 asa steward Ron Joyce

Hi all, my dad (Peter Ellerton) was an engineer on The Rangitoto 1962 - 1964. I,m putting together a little presentation for him as part of his Christmas pressie. I have searched a few sites and been fortunate enough to have found a few pictures of both the outside and the inside of the ship. I am particularly interested in pictures of the engine room, as thats where he worked most of the time. The presentation is coming on pretty well but if theres anyone out there that might ........


Hi all, I sailed with the NZSC, from 1953-1959. First ship was the Otaki on her maiden voyage. I was signed on as 10th Engineer. Her Captain was Captain Hocken.i noted that another writer also sailed with Capt. Hocken on the Ruahine. After that I sailed on the old Durham, the Sussex, Nottingham, Hertford, Norfolk and finally the Cumberland. Stood by on Dock staff on the Rangitane in Glasgow while getting engine repairs. Home every night on that job. Enjoyed reading the On-Line comments. will come back to this site for sure. Cheers, Bill Brown


At the age of 12, I sailed to NZ with my parents on the Rangitoto. We left the Tilbury docks in London on August 20th? 1966 and arrived in Wellington on September 22nd. It was the last voyage for Capt.(Crash) Lawson.

My parents have since passed on, and in my travels I've lost any remaining souveniers of that memorable voyage, and want to thank you all for the wealth of information that has been made available on this site, and would welcome emails from anyone that could help me locate any remaining artifacts from the Rangitoto. Mark Scott



New Zealand WW1 Mercantile Marine Medal recipients. Please contact me if you have or are interested in the above. I can assist with research. Phil Lascelles

Editor: Phil The History of NZ Shipping is a love job. I can put up a sub-domain thats devoted to Mercantile Marine boys and give you the acknowledgement and credit as i have done with everybody who has helped but their wont be any money in it Phil just love.


Hi Jeffrey Many thanks. I am Secretary/Treasurer of NZ Military Historical Society and original webmaster of Orders & Medals Research Society ( so understand well labours of love. Regards Phil