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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 2006 Email / Date
Very best wishes for 2006, Jeffrey - your "love job" is surely appreciated in many quarters, including this one. Bill Goyne, lutterworth, leics

My mother, sister, and I returned to Liverpool on the Rangitiki probably in the summer of 1945, (though it may have been during l944). I am trying to find out the exact date and having difficulty find appropriate passenger lists. Perhaps you would be able to help me. We had been evacuated to Canada on the Duchess of Bedford in l940. I would very much appreciate any help you might be able to give me. Thank you. J Della Alvarez


Hi, my name is Brenda Hale I sailed with my parents and brother on the Rangitoto from Tilbury docks in February 1964 and arrived in Auckland March 1964. I was thirteen years of age at the time. I am trying to contact two crew members one was our waiter Tony I believe his surname was Lee he used to visit my family in Te Puke when he was in dock and the other was a deck hand named Terry Elms. If anyone knows of their whereabouts I would love to know.


 I sailed on the M V ESSEX,1960 to 1963, as 4th Engineer, she was built in John Browns Shipyard, Glasgow in 1954, had twin 12 cylinder Sultzer engines, driving a two to one gearbox, magnetic drive wheels ( TWO ) drove the gearbox onto a single screw propshaft, the cast iron wheels covering the magnets, cracked when we were off the coast of Savannah, where we dry docked for two weeks while repairs were carried out by shoreside squads, I have photos of the flywheels being removed from engine room before and after repair, all ships in fleet, with same magnetic gearboxes had to have similar repair carried out.


Does anyone know the whereabouts of bill halton, who was radio operator on the mv essex 1960/62 then joined mv sussex as chief radio op, believe he might be somewhere in New Zealand, would like to contact him again, thanks. Archie Clark


Hello Jeffrey, I have just discovered your website whilst trying to discover more about the m/v Durham, on which I made my first voyage in the Merchant Navy in 1964. I served aboard her as a very junior 3rd. Electrician.

Apparently, the Durham had been sunk in Gibraltar Harbour (or whilst taking part on the Malta convoys),1943/44, by Italians operating from a midget submarine. The ship was refloated, patched up with concrete, and returned to serve F.S.N.C /N.Z.S.C for a further twenty years. A trip before I joined ,one of the Italian submariners who sank the Durham came aboard in Adelaide and announced himself as one of the chaps responsible for the sinking. He was duly feted by the Captain and Officers!

What has stirred this memory is that I happened , this morning, to see a snippet of a history program on the local television station ,TN, here in Buenos Aires, showing archive footage of the midget subs, and also, sitting in Gibraltar Harbour, was the "Durham"!

I wonder if you have any further information on the vessel's wartime history?  Charles King

Editor: I don't however i'm sure some will reply



Hi to all you old salts can you help did the Rangitoto carry engineer cadets or deck cadets october 1954 reply Harry Walker

Hi all, my name is Peter Bennett and I played football for all my NZSCo ships whilst on the NZ coast. Wonderful times had by all. The rivalry between Companies was quite hot to say the least. All striving to win "The Auckland Shield". I think your team had to win three games in a row to have your name put on the shield. (Unless someone knows different.) The big Question is where is "The Auckland Shield" now. Kindest regards Peter.
Editor: Good Question


I have a book titled 'Merchant Fleets - New Zealand Shipping & Federal S.N. Co.' by Duncan Haws. First Published 1985, updated 1988. ISBN 0946378118. It lists an in depth and detailed Chronological History of all NZSC and FSNC vessels. I purchased this book from the Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool. Ken Yesson
Editor: To think i was in the Albert Docks Precinct in August 2005


Limerick c. 1910, appears in the register for 1913-14. This vessel was an Iron Screw Steamer built in 1898 by Workman Clark & Co., Belfast. It was owned by the New Zealand Shipping Co. Ltd and was registered in London, Official Number 109983.Zelda


Trying to get photos of mv hertford and the sussex. Paul Kennedy

Chronological History

1769 The British connection with New Zealand dates from the visit of Captain James Cook who called at the North Island aboard 'Endeavour'.

This was well over 100 years after Abel Tasman discovered the territory in 1642. But it was to be another 100 years before local interested parties began to plan to reduce their dependence on the calls of overseas owned sailing vessels by establishing a New Zealand owned and operated shipping company.

1872 Nov 20: A meeting was held at Christchurch comprising of 'gentlemen interested in establishing a new shipping line between London and New Zealand'.

they proposed a Colonial company designed to increase the shipping potential to New Zealand with particular attention to the carriage of immigrants and cargoes of consumer goods.

The advent of immigration had been the result of Julian Vogel, treasurer to the Colony, who took the initiative of providing assisted passages plus grants of land. In the previous year only 303 settlers had found their way to New Zealand. By the time the Christchurch meeting was being held the number had risen 4,731 (and in 1873 was to reach 8,754). Also under Vogel's stimulus exports to Europe (and Britain in particular) had risen by 44% during the same period.

In agreeing to form the company the shareholders were not the first in the field. Back in 1858 Patrick Henderson's Albion Line held the premier position in the New Zealand trade ahead of Willis Gann & Co. amongst whose staff were to be found Robert Shaw and Walter Savill who in that year formed Shaw Savill & charter ships for the trade.

By 1872 these two concerns were already sending over 70 ships a year to the Colony. However the New Zealand Shipping Co., for that was to be the name bestowed on the fledgling, counted upon the benefits arising from local patriotism as well as a natural resistance to any domination of their markets by uncontrolled outside shippers.

(I can input another 10 pages or more of this historical data plus detailed information on the whole fleet if this is what you would like to see)

Editor Loved to


Hello Jeffrey,

If you don't already have the detailed information contained in the book that I mentioned, then I can forward it to you. If you already do have this information then I'm sorry I wasn't able to help.

I served my trade apprenticeship at Grayson Rollo & Clover Docks, in Liverpool, in the 1950's and worked on most of the NZSC, Federal and Avenue line ships.

On completing the marine engineering apprenticeship I sailed as an engineer on the Whangaroa, Whakatane doing the MANZ run from Canada to Australia and New Zealand and on the Rangitoto carrying immigrants out to New Zealand, so it is nice to see a web site dedicated to the NZSC. Ken Yesson.



What a happy site for old memories! 
To clarify for Ms Jill Shapland (if she hasn't already been told!). Rangitata sailed from Liverpool 28 August 1940. The convoy was attacked on the night of 30 August. The ship next to us was a victim. She was the "Volendam", a Dutch liner carrying evacuees to Canada. All were saved but I believe one or two children went again on the ill-fated "City of Benares". ("Volendam" was eventually towed back to UK) 
I was an evacuee and spent 5 wonderful years in Auckland, returning to UK late 1945 on SS "Themistocles".


To Harry Walker, The answer to the first part of your query is the Rangitoto did not have Engineer cadets on board in 1954. The initial group of Engineer cadets sailed on the Otaio in April 1958. I will leave others to reply about the Deck Cadets. Regards, John Talbot


My father worked for the NZ Shipping co in the 1950s.His name was Stanley Millar. I have a telegram from the captain to say their ship had arrived safely in NZ. That ship was the Orairi 3. I am looking for anyone who has any information.

DEVON Liverpool 1964 I worked by as a galley boy (1st job)

DORSET Liverpool 1964 I worked by on this after the Devon, I did'nt sail on either - all hands returned from leave to sail!

M.V.WIAPAWA~ SOUTHAMPTON 163657 GROSS TONN 727.07 NETTc52.64 B.H.P. 000 ~26/07/1966 Joined her in Liverpool after the seamans stike! she was to go to scrap we took her to Belfast, where we worked by as a skeleton crew on the lay-by berth of Harland & Wolfe, while she was supposed to be ripped out and filled with scrap to be taken on her last voyage to Japan for scrap! Seemingly Lyords Insurance checked her out in Belfast and gave her another lease of life!! Jim McIver


Hi  looking for anyone who sailed on mv Rangitoto October1954  Wellington to UK Harry Walker

Jeffrey, If I may clarify John Talbot's EMail about Engineer Cadets. NZSCo started their Engineer Cadet Scheme in 1952 with just one Cadet. Four Cadets started the scheme in 1954 (I was one of them) and more Cadets followed in subsequent years. NZSCo always had a Training Ship for Deck Cadets and eventually built the Otaio to train both Deck and Engineer Cadets.

Pre Otaio, the Engineer Cadets sailed as Engine Room Crew on NZSCo Cargo and Passenger Ships. The Cadets had correspondence courses they had to complete in their own time but otherwise did the same work as the Engineers. I can recall being alongside the Otaio in Wellington and watching the Deck and Engineer Cadets lined up for inspection on deck, in their NZSCo Uniforms, before being allowed ashore.We briefly suffered the same regime on our first voyage as Cadets but the Chief soon tired of that ritual! We Anyone know if that was true? Len Chapman



Hi, I am from Liverpool England. I attended The British Merchant Navy Establishment, Gravesend, England in 1968- 1969 and sailed out of London at 15-16yrs of age on my first ship as Deck Boy (Peggy) in January 1969 on the M.V. Antrim. I recall this was owned by either Federal Line or The New Zealand Shipping Company. I travelled via Panama Canal to Auckland & Dunedin, New Zealand then onto Melbourne, Adelaide and Bunbury, Australia, returning to Liverpool in May 1969 via Sout. I have been unable to trace anything of this ship.I did have a photograph but this was never returned after I lent it to the other `deck Boy` also from Liverpool years later. If anyone can give me any details of the ship or where I can obtain a photograph I would be much obliged.Tom Clarke


Len, You are correct, as I was forgetting about the apprentices who trained under what was known as 'the alternative scheme' which I think started in 1951. Two years at tech, 1 1/2 years at sea and a final year in a shore workshop with part time release to college. You say that you started in 1954 so does that mean that you went to sea in 56?
I was at John Brown's during the construction of the Otaio and was there for the first two voyages. Just like running in a new ship, the first trip for the engineering cadets also had it's problems, which were resolved by the start of the second, but that's another story. Regards, John Talbot


John, Yes my first trip was on the Hauraki in September 1954 followed by another on the same ship, then the Papanui to NZ and Rangitane back to UK. I believe NZSCo was the only company to have an Engineer Cadet Ship. Most Companies simply "trained" Engineer Cadets on board their regular ships and relied entirely on the "Alternative" Training Scheme (Alternative because it was the alternative to the traditional shipyard apprenticeship). The two years at College meant we studied with (and got to know) Cadets with other shipping Companies but rarely met fellow NZSCo Cadets!   Len



Dear Sir. In July 1943 I embarked on a troopship at Liverpool England. to the best of my recollection it was named Rangitani. Purely as a matter of personal interest, i am wondering if this could have been one of your company's vessels. we were in convoy, and in mid atlantic it developed engine failure, and as a mechanic [REME] i assisted in the changing of a piston, while the convoy encircled us. we stopped for refuelling at Freetown, called at Capetown, and i finally disembarked at Durban SA. i am currently trying apologise for any inconvenience this request may cause, but at 83 yrs. of age, [i reckon i've left it too late] my memory is fading fast, so i would be grateful for any comments you may have. Reg Bizzell


My name is Len King my first trip to sea was on the Rangitiki we sailed on 23 8 1952 from Liverpool as a Messman and later as a donkey greaser i done 3 trips and then i joined the Otaki it was trip after her maiden i done 6 trips and then I went to the Essex only 1 trip then the Cambridge i left the merchant navy Jan 1958 i remember on my first trip on Rangitiki we were coming back from the pub in Wellington and the ship was leaving a police boat took us out to join her I was ......


Len, If my estimation is correct, you would have returned on the Rangitane on the trip preceding the disaster trip, twisted port engine crankshaft and all other problems. My first voyage - at least it was a rapid learning experience. Many thanks John

I am trying to locate brochure (or copies) of the post 1949 Rangitoto. I would love a copy of the ships layout, etc. John Taylor (voyage on Rangitoto Feb 1963 from Auckland

My father, brother, and i sailed on the Rangatiki from Glasgow to Auckland , I think sailing in June, 1940, arriving six weeks later. my father was the only male passenger, (my father 62, my brother 5 months) the others being evacuee mothers and children. Rangatiki was being refitted in London with de-gaussing equipment against magnetic mines, effort eventually abandoned, ship went to Glasgow with only crew aboard, we went to Glasgow on blacked-out train. Rangatiki joined


I would love to know if the Paparoa sailed from England with passenger embarking at Wellington, NZ either 1908 or 1912. Would like to track down the passenger lists. My grandparents come out here settling in Island Bay, Wellington. My grandfather Earnest James Martin Oxenham & wife Eliza came with three sons, Cecil, Earnest & Leslie. They set up a grocery business with Jack Stoneham who also came out on the same vessel. Interesting reading. Cheers. Joy Jones


My father worked for New Zealand Shipping Company and said until the early 50's (I think). He sailed on the Hororata and I would love to find anyone who knew him, his name is Peter Williams and came from Cardiff, South Wales. He is 73 next week. I would also be extremely grateful if anyone would be able to inform me if there is anywhere I can purchase any memorabilia. He often talks about happy times when he was in New Zealand and would love to surprise him with something.
Becci Prest


Hi my name is Paul Beech,  I am trying to get a crew listing from The Rangitane (2) that was sold in 1968, how would I go about this as I have searched with no luck? My Father worked in a few Ships and would like to get a crew listing. Thanks

After I had completed a five year engineering apprenticeship at Erith Kent. I joined the N.Z.S.Co on Monday 4th March 63 and was set to work on the R.M.S.Ruahine in the London Docks, to gain some engine room experience before going deep sea. I received a telegram informing me thaqt i was to fly from London to New York on the 14th March 1963 to join the M. W Whangaroa. As I had nevwe flown before this was a big adventure, I was instructed to trevel to the West London air terminal and we were then transported to Heathrow Airport.We then all boarded a DC7C which took thirteen hours to fly over Canada and down to New York's Idlewild (now John F Kennedy Airport.) We were then driven in a grayhound bus to Newark in New Jersey where the Whangaroa was berthed, the thing that impressed me most was the pace of life as we passed through New York city. After several trips between Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand we sailed for Liverpool where we arrived on the 24th July 1964 After coasting we sailed to Newcastle Upon Tyne on the 27th August 1974 where I paid off.The Whangaroa was fitted out with additional refrigerated space and McGregor hatches, and she then sailed to New Zealand to be managed by the Union Steam Ship Company trading between N Z and India I think. I kept a diary of events but did not record the names of the crew during this period so if you were on that flight please make contact. Or were you one of the engineers involved with the repair of the fuel pump crankshaft that had sheared five days out from New Zealand with no spare? I subsequently sailed on the Piako, And the maiden voyage of the Tekoa from Sunderland as Chief Freezer.Another person I would like to contact is Barry Scott who lived ai Belvedere and we served our apprenticeship together,and both joined the N.Z.S.Co. at the same time I think his first ship was thr Pipiriki Now I am Approaching 65 I think of all the great times I had and the people I met and worked with Terry Lea


Hi my name is Doug Smith and I was interested in finding out about my Uncle who unfortunately passed away on the 18th March 06.  He sailed on the Rangitoto I believe as Bosan, his name is William "Bill" Smith from Aberdeen Scotland. I don't know between what years but I'd have thought the 40's / 50's. He had a boyhood friend in Eddie and they remained pals until Eddie passed away a couple of years back. 
Any feedback would be appreciated.  Thanks and Live a Long and healthy life


Hello, Jeffrey 
~ in response to Mr. Reg Bizzell's post of 10.02.06 it's possible that the troopship was the 'Rangitata'. The 'Rangitane' had, of course, been sunk by the German raider 'Orion' in 1940 and the 'Rangitiki' left Liverpool in June of 1943 and apparently didn't return until late September the same year. 
I am, of course, assuming that Mr. Bizzell sailed on one of the two surviving Rangi-Boats in 1943. Best regards to you,

Richard Overall
Houston, Texas


Does anyone have a passenger list for those on board the NZ Ship "Papanui" on it's last voyage? 
The Papanui was destroyed by fire near the island of St Helena (around 1912), the passengers were billetted on the island for 6-8 weeks until another vessel picked them up to continue to Fremantle Western Australia. My grandmother and coincidently my husband's grandparents were passengers on this voyage.


I would like to find a picture of the MV Rangitane NZ Shipping Co 1968, with the red funnel, white flag, blue cross. Please send to Andy Homan, Deck Boy JOS SOS EDH Served on Rangitane 1966 - 1968, last voyage 54. Captain Barett, Chief Mate Dickson, 2nd Mate Taffy Williams, Bosan Don McCloud, Deckhand Angus Buchannan and Murray MacKenzie, hail from the Isle of Stornaway . I had a son from a relationship with Carrol Dorset, nurse in Auckland, NZ. Paul Beech DOB Aug 16, 1968, step brothers David, Christopher all British seaman fathers. I settled in Vancouver, Canada 1972, now reside in Penticton British Columbia Canada, retired from School Dist. 67, with two sons now Anyone having information or wanting to communicate would love to hear from you. RMS Rangiane was sold to Greeks and later the following year 1970 went to scrap. Prev addy of deleted, sorry for any inconvenience. Andy



I sailed on the Piako 1976/77,same crowd on both trips,great times on the Kiwi coast, great bunch of lads. Abbo, spoonsie, Paul,toffee apple.etc.etc.Also sailed on the wild boats. Best wishes to you all..... Smithy

I would like to contact any members of the crew of the M V Piako that were on board when we were in transit down the States coast from Norfolk to Savannah on the 17th October 1965 when we received an S O S from the M V Marlin of the coast of North Carolina and rescued 23 of the crew and landed them in Savannah the following day. Regards Terry Lea Ex Chief Freezer.  


Still hunting down a few who were on Somerset 1977-79. Gus Gillies, John Taylor, Alan 'Linus' ? Davy Spencer, Vernon Belcher, George Nicholson, Julie & Liz (Cadets) or anyone.

As an ex Port Liner (66/77) I really enjoyed your site. Reading the stories, memories and requests for information brought back happy memories of NZ, Australia and our life on board those great ships. It was a very special era in shipping before the demise of those beautiful cargo liners we all knew and loved on the NZ/AUS run. I know that if I could go back in time I would do exactly the same thing. Thanks! Alastair Helme Houston, Texas


After training on H.M.S. Conway, joined my first ship as a navigation cadet, the Nottingham, and then was transfered to the Cornwall in Port Pirie before returning to UK to join the Otaio in Glasgow on her maiden voyage in 1958.Did four trips on the Otaio, before joining the Haparangi as 4th mate. Anyone around from those days ? Dave Collick


I am looking for information on ss otaki sank by German raider Moewe 10/3/1917, particularly crew lost with ship. Where was she lost and what were the details of her voyage, can anyone help please? if you email me please insert otaki in the subject to be able to pass security checks...thanks Jimbo


Unfortunately, I have no knowledge to offer, but I am seeking some. I understand my grandfather served on the ss Rotorua (he died in 1923) he was a Steward, named Harry Smith. My only uncle left living on my mother's side was only 18mths-2yrs when his father died so I can obtain no information there. Please could you help - ie: point me in right direction ?Many thanks. Elaine Holder


 I was not quite six years old on April 3rd, 1945, when together with my mother and younger sister, I sailed on the liner Rangitata from New York in Convoy HX-348 bound for Liverpool. It was an eventful voyage and I wonder if anyone has memories of that convoy? Flo W.

Hi my name is Ken Allan. I joined the Rangitane as junior sept.59 and did 4 trips on her, great times. I then sailed on the Hurunui, Whakatane and the Surrey. I was 4th eng on the Hurunui in April 61 when outward bound the bosun became seriously ill and needed urgent medical attention. We met up with a Norwegian liner mid Atlantic to transfer him in the motor lifeboat. Conditions were shocking, rough and stormy, big seas. The crew of the lifeboat, 2nd eng, mate and seaman, managed to make it to the liner and get the bosun lifted off. However on the way back the lifeboat motor stopped and wouldn't start. The crew had a harrowing time trying to row in those conditions, but with good fortitude and skilled manouvering of the ship by captain Plover they made it back . It really was a heroic effort by them, I don't know if they received any award for there deeds. I assume the bosun recovered. Maybe someone has more details of the event, I would be most interested to hear from tm. I have lived in Nelson NZ. for nearly 40 years, great place. Any old seagoing chums out there?


Trying to find out if anybody knows of a sailing or in particular navigation school that was set up around 1920 - 1930 in New Zealand. Captain or Master William Harmer Brown born 1890 would have been the founder.

Does anybody have any information regarding mv hinakura/crew docked Cardiff august 19/22 1963. information regarding John Rees of harrow road London will be gratefully received

I am seeking details on my father's career. He was a deck officer in NZSC in the period between 1926 and 1937 and sailed mainly in liners. Also the name of the NZSC ship which left UK in early 1941 for NZ, my grandmother returned to NZ on it leaving my mother and me in UK.


My uncle J.A. (Jack) King was a passenger on the Rangitane & was on Emirau? Island. He was a Flying Officer when he died in a flying accident in 1943. When he returned to NZ he didn't tell his family much about the sinking as he had been told that he shouldn't talk about what happened on Island, So the family has never really known the full story are there any books available telling the full story or even any crew or passengers still alive?  L Kirk


Hi are there any engineers who were on the RANGITOTO the latter half of 1954, or if they know any who were aboard but not on the net if they let me know details I will ring them from New Zealand. Harry Walker

Reading Terry Lea's note of the Piako reminded me that I have a copy of the Crossed flags Journal dated November 1965 which has the crew roster for all N.Z. ships at that time so if any one wants to know sailed with who on which ship at that time please e-mail me

Hello Jeffrey,  perhaps you could possibly help me in identifying a 1913 colour drawing, which is still wonderful in its condition, which I found in an old chest in the loft with other drawings of this era.  It is of a grand looking passenger ship of the NZSCo, with a single yellow funnel and twin masts, unfortunately the name is unreadable, but I could email a picture to you if required. Hoping you can help with this identification, King regards, Chris Shelton.


My comment is really a question. I believe the SS Ohau which foundered off Cape Campbell 14 May 1899 was one of the vessels of the USSCo
The chief engineer was Robert Burns 2nd engineer my grandfather John Turnbull YOUNG and the third engineer Douglas Grant Stevenson John YOUNG married Eleanor Smyth HAND in 1895. I think she was the daughter of George HAND who I think was a captain in the NZSCo. Do you have an archive section as have a "In Memoriam" photo which I may be interested in donating to a museum
Thanks Dennis Young

Editor: A good place to start would be NZ Maritime Museum. Auckland.


Just found this site and am delighted to read the comments from so many Ex NZSC crewmen.
My name is George and sailed on the 'Haparangi' out of Liverpool, to New Zealand, in 1962 on my first trip at the age of 20, as third electrician.
My second deep sea trip was on the 'Paparoa', this turned out to be a double headed, UK to Australia to NZ to USA, then back to NZ and Back to UK eleven and a half months later. Last trip was on the 'Hertford' UK to NZ and back.
I have run off pictures of the 'Haparangi' and the 'Paparoa' but could not find any of the 'Hertford' so if any one has one out there please contact me at
I look forward to hearing from you.
George Suffield


My name is Peter Loydstrom, my dad Jim served on Horoata as 3rd engineer and Kiamata as 1st refrigeration engineer prior to and during the early part of the 2ndWW.
Sid in NZ, if you see this would you please email me, at my new address below, as I have lost your email address. (new computer)


In reply to Peter Bennett's query 27/1/06 about the whereabouts of the Auckland football shields...They are in the NZ National Maritime Museum which is located at the entrance of the Viaduct basin, corner Quay & Hobson Streets, Auckland. They're not currently on display, but should anyone wish to view them they can contact me for an appointment.
Vicky Spalding, Registrar, NZ National Maritime Museum


Dear Jeffrey I had come across your site by accident and happened to skim over some of the queries and discovered that I knew some of the answers to them. I would encourage some of your members to contact their local maritime museums as they may find the answers to some of their questions, many of the larger maritime museums have research libraries and archives.

I have also passed on the link to your site to one of our volunteers who is ex NZSCo and is the secretary for the NZSCo Association in NZ, as I thought he would be interested in tracking down former crewmates and may also be able to answer some of those burning questions. 
Vicky Spalding
NZ National Maritime Museum
P.O Box 3141
Ph:(09) 373 0800 ext 834


Editor : Vicky, I am off to UK end of June 06. I was planning to make contact with Nautical Museum and or College at Whitby on Sea in Yorkshire it may have another name now, it was the place where Captain Cook went to prior to his travels to NZ
Do you have any contacts at this UK facility


Dear Jeffery I don't have any contacts personally in Whitby, the place you're thinking of might be the Captain Cook Memorial Museum which is in the building where Cook lodged when he was an apprentice. The website is:

There are other museums devoted to Cook, one is at his birthplace at Marton - Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Stewart Park, Marton, Middlesborough. There is also the Captain Cook and Staithes Heritage Centre, High St, Staithes, Saltburn-by-the-sea and the other is the Captain Cook schoolroom museum, 10 High St, Great Ayton, North Yorkshire.

By the way, in case you didn't know, there is a book with complete history of NZSCo and Federal Steam Navigation Company and their subsidiaries, it includes a general history/timelines, photos of all the ships and a brief history of each and complete fleet list. The book is called Crossed Flags, the histories of the New Zealand Shipping Company and the Federal Steam Navigation Company and their subsidiaries. It was written by W.A Laxon, I.J Farquhar and N.J Kirby and was published by World Ship Society, Gravesend in 1997. Not sure whether it is still being published, but just contact the World Ship Society.

Hope this is of help.
Vicky Spalding
NZ National Maritime Museum



Greetings Jeffrey.
I have picked up the link provided yesterday by Vicky Spalding. As a committee member (and past secretary) of the NZSCo.Assoc. I will try to assist with queries about the Company ships. Our information about crew members is very limited and we are unable to help with passenger queries. The NZSCo Association was founded in 1975 and has some 200 members in NZ, Australia, UK and Ireland. The sole requirement for membership is former employment with NZSCo/FSNCo. For further details contact The Secretary at PO Box 4061, Auckland or send me an email. Regards, Barry Parsons (NZSCo 1962-69)


My name is John Heron son of Gilbert Heron who was a long serving Engineer with the NZSC died from injuries when the "Westmorland" ( I think) was damaged in the Dieppe landing. He was also a survivor from the Hurunui sunk by a German sub in the North Irish sea in 1940,also a survivor from a ship sunk off the African Coast.
Not sure but I think this was the Durham.All this is a bit vague but I was only 15 when he died and most family history was lost in the Liverpool Blitzs and when his ships sank his personal papers were lost. I can distinctly recall at the age of 6 or 7 having some time with my father who as a Chief engineer was one of the lucky ones retained to service a number of the NZsc Ships laid up in the River at Falmouth ,Cornwall U .during the depression early 30's. Not too many will still remember those days. I have two areas of interest. If anyone has any information about my father , the ships he was on or his war record I would love to hear from them. Sendly I have memories of having seen a citation which was awarded to one of his ships for valour in sinking by gunfire a submarine. The name of the ship I do not know but I think he was on Tekoa for many years, Hurunui, Westmorland, Durham, Huntingdon and maybe others. I now have sons , grandsons and great grandsons who will no doubt love to hear more family history. Congratulations on your wonderful Web site, I only wish we had had internet 50years ago.


Jeffrey, Last week I visited Point Danger on the NSW/Queensland border. I was surprised to see a memorial to the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur which was sunk by a Japanese Submarine off the NSW Coast in 1943. The Centaur was an Ex Blue Funnel Line ship converted to a Hospital Ship. There is a display board next to the Memorial containing copies of the dispatches from the USS Mugford which went to rescue the survivors. USS Mugford was escorting NZSCo's MV Sussex at the time. The mv Sussex was told to continue its voyage while the USS Mugford went to the rescue. Apparently there was some discussion as to whether the Sussex should have joined the rescue but with an ongoing submarine threat the Sussex was told not to stop. Len Chapman



Still popping in and out of this wonderful site. Charles King asks about the history of the MV Durham during the War. It was quite a history I can tell you! Her main claim to fame was getting through to Malta with a full cargo and surviving an encounter with a mine off Cape Bon on the way home. It blew a hole in the starboard bow and the collision bulkhead and this meant that the No 2 fwd bulkhead was the main watertight bulkhead. They shored it up and still managed 10 knots or so as she sailed back to Gibraltar. The carpenter performed and act of great heroism when they found another mine entangled in the paravane. He went over the side in a bosun's chair and hacked at the wire with a cold chisel and the mine dropped clear. She was anchored in Gibraltar Harbour when attacked by the Italian midget subs from North Africa. They blew a hole under the engine room/No 4 bulkhead and also the stbd propeller shaft well aft. This meant that No 1 was tidal (mine) No 4 was tidal No 6 was tidal and the Engine Room was flooded as well. The old Lady had enough and she settled on the bottom with the water up the the heads of the engines and her decks above water. She was refloated after nine months and was towed back to Falmouth. There was of course no power and the food was cooked on a field kitchen on No 3 hatch. In four months she was repaired and back in harness and on her first voyage outward with war cargo she caught fire west of Panama. They smothered the fire with CO2 however they needed more from another passing ship. The fire was contained which is just as well as there was ammunition stowed in that area. The rest of the War was uneventful by comparison. A history of the after effects of all this is recounted in an article I wrote some time ago on the web site under Durham anecdotes entitled "Galveston Voyage". I trust this is of interest. Regards Capt Mike Smith


MV Durham

Did the last trip on her with my Brother before she went for scrap she held a few records she was sunk at Gib one of the first by Italian 2 man sub , was raised and towed back to the UK when the war was on
She never went in convoy as she was too fast she was I think a 16 cylinder she still had the degaussing gear on her For the magnetic mines and she had the last still working steam generator that was to go to a museum I think it went to Liverpool She was will ahead of her time
I was on Deck My brother was in the engine room We payed off in Hull then it went on to London


Dear Mr Shaw,  Greetings from Fort Collins Colorado, you have a wonderful site and it brings back many fond memories. I joined my first ship the mv Haparangi in 1964 as junior engineer. The 4th was John Mc cullough 5th Willy the wombat sorry that was the only name I ever heard anybody use. William Sparrow came in at 6th with ginger big tony willy crook and myself rounding the 10.The 3rd engineer got his hand fast in a cab door in Auckland and David Sladon came over from Hartford to serve as the replacement. All of these fine young men helped me through many screwups on my part to, survive my first trip. I went on to serve in Cumberland, Huntingdon and Essex The old brain is getting a little uncooperative these days and many names just leave you, it doesn't mean they didn't have a positive affect and all made the voyages pleasanter. Some of the other lads I remember with affection are Archie Hillis, Alistair Black, Ray Smith, Bob Mc Gregor, Robert  Jameson, Rory Walker, Alex Henderson and someone Chief Engineers like Mr Bert Shaw, and Fred Lambert. I was always impressed with the care and concern of the crews and shoreside staff who made each trip exiting. And boy was there some fine young ladies in Aussie & Kiwi. I'm about as far from the ocean as you can get, but all you have to do is close your eyes and the sights sounds and smells come flooding back. Truly a great company with outstanding people. Sincerely Brendan J Murphy.


Hello Jeffrey

In your photo gallery there is an excellent photo of Turakina (1923 - 1940). Would it be possible to purchase a copy of this photo so that it can be published in a book I am writing? I would be grateful to know whether this photo could be published or whether publication could possibly infringe on any copyright claims.

Yours sincerely

Gerald Shone

Editor: We received a scan of a photo, we were never asked for a payment we simply gave acknowledgement to the supplier which came out of book called crossed flags for memory or from another contributor. So it really is not ours to sell or profit by, we are simply doing this as a love job I'm sure you can simply copy the photo off our web site or see Vicky Spalding registrar at NZ Maritime Museum Hobsons Viaduct or Blakes Harbour, Quay St Auckland


Editor: I dropped into the NZ Maritime Museum, Quay St in Auckland on Tuesday 27th June and met up with Vicky Spalding the registrar for the museum who has helped a number of correspondents with their inquiries in the last month or two. I was introduced to Pam Smith Marketing Manager and Larry Robbins CEO. We took some photos of the museum to put on the history section however Larry's shots using my digital camera failed to manifest (he must have had a seniors moment.. i think we can all relate to that) anyway the museum has got some good news for anyone associated with
"The History of New Zealand Shipping" 

From 1st November 2006 to 5th August 2007 the museum is putting on an exhibition entitled  
"Crossed Flags" named after that excellent book which is all about the "History of New Zealand Shipping and the Federal Steam Navigation Company"

They are going to charge you NZ$12.00 per adult and NZ$6.00 per child to get into the museum
Hours during summer will be 9am to 6pm 
They do have a modern cafe / restaurant on site run by a private firm that over looks the water.

I'm off to see our Asian and European agents with intent to drop into Captain Cook Memorial Museum at Whitby on Sea, where my grandfather lived and got his captains ticket. Love to catch up with anyone

See photos of NZ Maritime Museum (placed on the Photos section)

Aged 24, i was due to emigrate 20th may 1966 from Tilbury to Wellington, unfortunately the uk seaman went on strike and i finally left early July. we sailed via Curacao, panama and Tahiti,an abiding memory is berthing at Tahiti early morning with the sun up and the tannoy coming on relaying world cup extra time from Wembley! the ship was the RANGITANI. i still have a leather cufflink box with the ships emblem attached that i won in a table tennis comp. we docked in Wellington Aug '66 and later in April '68 i came to Wellington harbour following a tobacco picking season on South Island past the Wahine laying on its side the day after the terrible disaster. anyone out there who was on that Rangitane voyage? Roger Simmons



I am looking for the route the Rangitiki would have taken in April 5, 1944 from New York during World War II. My grandfather Donald Anderson was on board during this time, and I wanted to know where the ship most likely would have docked. I know it is in England, but I can't read his writing. It appears to be somewhere near Liverpool, and starts with an "M". Chris Anderson


My first contact with NZSC was in 1946 when I was three years old; my parents wanted to visit family in Ireland so we sailed to London on the Rangitata and returned to NZ in 47 also on the Rangitata. The next contact was twelve years later when we returned to Ireland this time on the Ruahine in 1959. I did my apprenticeship in Belfast in heavy engineering and then traveled to London to live for a year. I was always dreaming of sailing on the Ruahine again but that was not too happen. In 1964 I was walking up Leadenhall St. in London and on the spur of the moment I walked into Houlder Brothers Shipping office and made enquiries as regards sailing as a junior engineer. The Engineering Super sent me to the Board Of Trade where I was assessed and two days later was employed as a Junior Engineer aboard the Hornby Grange a twin engine refrigerated cargo ship. The first trip was to Australia return and the second trip too Argentina. On returning to London we were informed the meat trade was slowing down and the ship was going to be layed up in Wales. When the ship was docked in London the first office I saw on the docks was NZSC. I went in and saw the Engineering Super and landed a job once again as a junior engineer, not on the Ruahine as I had always wanted but ended up on the Rangitane, what a beautiful ship. I did two trips on her one in late 1965 and then again early 1966 and I have many fond memories and also photos of both the ship and the engineers I sailed with. Although I was a refrigeration mech I never sailed as such and was always a junior engineer on main engines and watch keeping. I can remember quite vividly sailing from Auckland with the port engine relief valves popping like mad until after numerous complaints from the bridge it was shut down and we sailed on one engine. We were up all night removing a faulty piston with a hole in the crown. A spare piston was swung into place only to find the crown wouldn’t go past the lip in the liner that was worn in by the old piston, the new piston was swung out and the engineers then were lowered one at a time down into the liner with a hand grinder to grind the lip off. The engine was being kept at operating temp ready for starting as soon as the repairs were finished so it was like working in a furnace. I think we only lasted about ten minutes at a time then the next one was lowered in to carry on grinding. This went on all night until finally two ton of piston was successfully lowered into the liner and reconnected to the crank and the engine was restarted. I guess it is things like this that stay in your memory for ever. Also motoring around Wellington harbor in the lifeboat trying to break up fuel oil with teepol. The oil was accidentally discharged overnight. I eventually ended up in Melbourne Australia where I still live and often recall my time spent on those old ladies of the NZSC. Neil Hamilton


Hi I was on the r/toto 1967 2trips down to nz as jos then the dorset anyone remember mar gelesons in Auckland good times by all then went over to bluestar ss carnatic to end of 69 as edh but sadly missed boat in Auckland but what great ships they were. John

Dear Sir,
My request is about the "Invererne" (previously named the "Anne Laity Banfield"). I have built up a small booklet on this vessel starting with a copy of the builders certificate, share holders, captain, and when changes of ownership took place. It also contains information regarding the loss of the ship on 1st. January 1877 near Java and details of a Scillonian who lost his life when he went down with the ship - Peter Pender.
I am willing to let you have these details and wondered if there was any more information concerning this vessel which you, or any of your readers, might be able to let me have.
Regards, Roger Banfield


The Hawkes Bay Times of 10th March 1874.
The New Zealand Shipping Company's fine iron ship Invererne, 743 tons, Capt. Foreman, arrived in Hawkes Bay at 6 o'clock on Sunday evening, after a good passage of 107 days. She left Gravesend on the 22nd November, but meeting bad weather, was forced to lie for a week in the Downs; went down the
Channel, but the rough weather continuing, put into Dungeness, where she lay  two days; had light variable winds to the 5th December, when she landed her pilot. Made a passage of 29 days to the line, which she crossed on the 3rd January. Passed the meridian of the Cape on the 28th January, and from thence had moderate weather to New Zealand. Sighted Stewart's Island on the 28th February; met with light contrary winds along the coast until Friday, when off the entrance of Cook's Straits, when it increased to a fierce gale,
the direction of which changed to the south on Saturday at about 8 p.m. bringing the ship rapidly up the bay, which was entered on Sunday afternoon.
Anchored off the Town of Napier at about 6 p.m; and was shortly afterwards boarded by the Pilot, the Board of Health, and a number of visitors, who went off in the steam launch Bella. She was removed to the western anchorage yesterday morning. The Invererne brings 270 passengers, including a large proportion of Scandinavians. They all speak highly of the accommodation on board the ship, and the uniform kindness of the officers. There were two births on the passage; two marriages (of Scandinavians) on Christmas day;
and sixteen deaths - all children, the oldest being six years of age. The causes of death were scarlatina, bronchitis, and measles, and the last case occurred about six or seven weeks before the arrival of the vessel in port.
One passenger - a Scandinavian woman - suffering from congestion of the lungs was removed to the Provincial hospital. "
Regards, Roger


If anyone remembers A/B Len Joyce who served on the Rangitiki in the 1940/50s he would like to hear from you .Lennie often recalls his happy memories and talks about his good times aboard "Tiki" He was on several voyages on "Tiki" when she was dressed in grey. If I remember rightly he was also on the Russian Convoys. If any one can tell me where I can get a postcard/picture of this noble ship in battle grey I would be very greatfull. Lennie is now 80 years old and there is nothing he desires more than to fix the picture in the book of his life story. Thank you.  Derek Raymond best mate of Lennie Joyce.

I am trying to find anyone that sailed with my father, Frank Huddleston (I think he was chief electrician) on either his first ship the "pipiriki" or maybe his second, the "hinikura". My father is now 86yrs and in poor health it is therefore difficult for him to give precise dates. David

My first contact with NZSC was in 1946 when I was three years old; my parents wanted to visit family in Ireland so we sailed to London on the Rangitata and returned to NZ in 47 also on the Rangitata. The next contact was twelve years later when we returned to Ireland this time on the Ruahine in 1959. I did my apprenticeship in Belfast in heavy engineering and then traveled to London to live for a year. I was always dreaming of sailing on the Ruahine again but that was not too happen. In 1964 I was walking up Leadenhall St. in London and on the spur of the moment I walked into Houlder Brothers Shipping office and made enquiries as regards sailing as a junior engineer. The Engineering Super sent me to the Board Of Trade where I was assessed and two days later was employed as a Junior Engineer aboard the Hornby Grange a twin engine refrigerated cargo ship. The first trip was to Australia return and the second trip too Argentina. On returning to London we were informed the meat trade was slowing down and the ship was going to be layed up in Wales. When the ship was docked in London the first office I saw on the docks was NZSC. I went in and saw the Engineering Super and landed a job once again as a junior engineer, not on the Ruahine as I had always wanted but ended up on the Rangitane, what a beautiful ship. I did two trips on her one in late 1965 and then again early 1966 and I have many fond memories and also photos of both the ship and the engineers I sailed with. Although I was a refrigeration mech I never sailed as such and was always a junior engineer on main engines and watch keeping. I can remember quite vividly sailing from Auckland with the port engine relief valves popping like mad until after numerous complaints from the bridge it was shut down and we sailed on one engine. We were up all night removing a faulty piston with a hole in the crown. A spare piston was swung into place only to find the crown wouldn’t go past the lip in the liner that was worn in by the old piston, the new piston was swung out and the engineers then were lowered one at a time down into the liner with a hand grinder to grind the lip off. The engine was being kept at operating temp ready for starting as soon as the repairs were finished so it was like working in a furnace. I think we only lasted about ten minutes at a time then the next one was lowered in to carry on grinding. This went on all night until finally two ton of piston was successfully lowered into the liner and reconnected to the crank and the engine was restarted. I guess it is things like this that stay in your memory for ever. Also motoring around Wellington harbor in the lifeboat trying to break up fuel oil with teepol. The oil was accidentally discharged overnight. I eventually ended up in Melbourne Australia where I still live and often recall my time spent on those old ladies of the NZSC. Neil Hamilton


Dear Sir/Madam I am looking for the New Zealand arrival of an ancestor of mine – Mary Jane Boon. I am not having much luck, as I do not know which port she arrived here from Britain. Her death was registered in 1902 (1902/2585) and she died on the 29 November 1902 (age 58 years) at Burwood, Christchurch. Her death certificate indicated that she had been in New Zealand for forty years. It would appear then that she left England circa 1862?Mary Jane Boon from Wiltshire England married Denis Murphy on the 21 February 1870 on the Chatham Islands. The marriage certificate stated that she had been on the island for 2 years 11 months. Mary Jane was baptised on 29 April 1844 in the parish of Wilton in the County of Wilts, England. Do you have information on the Government Steamers that went to the Chathams circa 1866-70, and the passengers, in particular Mary Jane Boon and a Captain Robertson. Were they on S. Percy Smith's surveying team (Native Land Court) that went to the Chathams circa January 1868?I look forward from hearing from you. Regards Keryn Doesburg


Thank you Jeffrey. On your recommendation I took out "Crossed Flags" from my local library. What a great and nostalgic read, thoroughly enjoyed it. John Butler 1958-1964, ex. Ruahine, Nottingham, Huntingdon, Cornwall.

I came to New Zealand with my family on the Captain Hobson, arriving on September 21st 1956. I am trying to find out which dock it left from in Glasgow and the date of departure. Elizabeth Martin 15.09.06

Hello, I worked for the N line from 1956 to 1966 I sailed on the Piako, Rakia, Cumberland, Whangoroa. I would like to contact any of the old crew. Campel Tervit who was my best man from Glasgow Berni Crellin lived in Isle of Man
I have lots of photos and other information. Hope to hear from someone. Regards David Bramald


Help Please i dont know really how to find out the information i am looking for, my late father was crew on the merchant ship arlanza also Rangitoto ino he has been to New Zealand and all over i never knew this man can anyone help me find his ship mates please please many thanks, Barry,


Came across this site and it brought back many fond memories. I was born and raised in the Panama Canal Zone and frequently visited aboard New Zealand Shipping Company’s "Rangi" family of ships. My father worked in the Port Captain’s office in Balboa. In the late ‘50s thru early ‘60s we befriended two crewmen in particular, one was "Bill", whom I believe was a stores keeper (he had access to the ship’s bar where he treated my sister and I to ginger beer), and the other may have been named "Harry" whom may have had similar administrative duties (non-command or engineering). Another special treat was English candy… I still have a few empty tins in my home. These gentlemen may have served aboard several different ships. If these gentlemen are still around, or if someone can help refresh my memory with correct information, we would like to hear from you Bud


On the 13 December 1966 I arrived on board the Ruahine in Wellington to begin a new life in New Zealand. We had left the Royal Albert dock in London on the 11 November.

Hence this year I am celebrating 40 wonderful years in New Zealand, which started with that magical journey on board the Ruahine. My memories of that trip are warm and emotional when I recount the way in which the vessel brought me to a new world, with every day at sea opening my eyes to the wonders of the ocean and the anticipation of a new life ahead.

Shore visits to exotic places like Panama and Tahiti only increased the sense of security felt when you returned to your 'home' on board Ruahine.
Air travel today offers a speedier means of transport but the memories I have of that trip will stay with me forever. I met many friends, including my future best man, and the eyes of this Londoner were opened to the wonders of the world like never before.

Many years later I was to discover that a neighbour of mine had been on the same voyage, and despite the fact that we are the same age, born in the same year in fact, we had not met. Exchanges of memorabillia and addresses in old address books ( yes the same girls names featured), along with photos clearly show that we were indeed travelling companions, albeit unknown to each other.

Would love to hear from anyone else who has arrived in New Zealand via the Ruahine experience.


Vic Lawes 
Served on mv Norfolk in 1959 would like to obtain photo of the ship any ideas

If you came to New Zealand on the steam ship "Captain Hobson" as a child, and would care to share your experiences and feelings of growing up in NZ as an immigrant child, please contact me. I sailed to NZ on the CH as an infant with my parents, arriving in Wellington, in April 1956. Jan Pickering (formerly Janet Robinson).


I recently picked up a message on this site from a cabin mate. We both sailed as Deck Cadets on the maiden voyage of MV Otaio in 1958. It was great to get in touch with him again and we thought it a good idea to try and organise a reunion in 2008 to commemorate the half century. I know that Paul Wood, ex Rakaia, is interested. If there is anyone out there, even if you weren't on voyage N°1, please contact me...Harry Simpson.


Can anyone help me to trace details of the survivors of the MV Opawa - gobal ship number 20067398 and vessel ID 1162907. I read a brief article by Charles Green who left the Opawa before she was torpedoed in 1942. My father was one of the survivors. I am trying to find out any details which will help me to construct his story. Anyone who can help please contact me. Greer Owen


is there anyone out there that has a New Zealand Shipping Company Jumper with the Crossed Flags, that would part with it, condition unimportant, even Moth eaten, just to get the correct dimensions, to see if even, one could be made up new, regards John Macdonald


I joined mv.hurunui as a cabin boy in 1951 trying to trace what happened to her. Keith Wickers

any crew member mv.hurunui 1951to 1955 still alive and kicking? would love to here from you. Keith Wickers

If Vic Lawes (message dated 6th October re "Norfolk") gets in touch, I can help him with a photo. (The Email address that he supplied is not responding), Bill Goyne , Lutterworth, Leics

This probably not the right place to be writing this but I have just found a post card/photo of a ship named ;-T.E.V. Maroi (8303 Tons)  How could I find out more about this ship, we are thinking that maybe my inlaws parents may have got this ship from Fremantle Western Australia in or around 1926 to NZ. Cab you help me out or point me in the right direction. Thank you Regards  Shirley O'Brien


My grandfather Cyril Cremin and his brother-in-law Freddie Hamilton (both good south-east London boys) both served with the New Zealand Shipping Co having been taken on as apprentices in London. Cyril ended up a Master Mariner and lost at sea with the the SS Samkey in 1949 off Bermuda and Freddie ended up as
(I believe) Commodore of the NZSC. Can anyone shed any more light on them, particularly Cyril as I believe they both had a very colourful war! Many thanks.


Together with another contributor I have an interest in the Otaki sunk by the German raider Moewe in 1917. My grandfather, H.M.Wood (later Capt.) was, we believe second officer at the time, he survived and spent time as a prisoner in Germany. The action with the Moewe was well reported at the time but all our records have been lost, if anyone has any information about this incident we would be really pleased to receive it.


sailed on the ss Papanui on my first trip at sixteen years of age from the port of Liverpool in 1957. the trip took six months. have very fond memories of the friendliness and hospitality shown by the people of New Zealand. this will always live in my memory. terry fanning


Hi all, I am the son of the chippy of the Gloucester in the 50,s and all my life I have been bombarded with his stories of his time at sea . His name is Billy Campbell and is now 73 years young . He is not up on all this modern computer stuff but would be delighted if anyone has any recollections of his time at sea. My name is Mark Campbell and we all live in Cornwall by the sea (Off Course!) . I await in great hope that I some response. Thanks all Mark


I served on the m.v. Suffolk for two trips in the early sixties I was on her when she caught fire, any photos or information about that time would be great loved NZ loved the people wish I could come back

 I am looking for info regarding a 6 week sea trip on an NZ shipping company vessel when I was 5/6 during 1955/6.

I was in a cabin with my mother, Olga Baker, Sister Spiers (Spears) and Milly, a German Jewess who had lost her family in the death camps. We were on our way to the UK and I was very seasick, Milly looked after me...she was then moved to a cabin by herself and jumped overboard that night, such was her despair and distress.

As I am writing a book I would very much like the details of this awful happening. Many newspaper reporters were waiting on the wharf at Southampton when we docked.


Mr Shaw, what an awesome site, found it purely by accident, have always maintained nzs was the best company ever, magic ships and crews. Saw an e mail from bill pinder[06 04] and john[flash] temple. Sailed with both Dec 1959 voy 30.Shared a cabin with flash temple and 2 others and was looking at a photo of him in Queen Street, and Billy Pinder in our cabin xmas party, literally a couple of days ago when I found your magic site. Did the final 5 voyages on the Tane before she was sold, as a/bars and the Toto as x2nd stwd, with Charlie Cullen as 2nd stwd captained by Commodore Keith Barnett. Was in Panamaon Totos final voyage when Tane came in and tied up alongside us in her new colours, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Tried to get in touch with John Temple and Billy Pinder but to no avail. Names that spring to mind from those halcyon days, Angus Mackay bars, Barry Baldwin c/s, ray calver a/purser, Arthur, Capt Tiger, I also did a couple of voyages on Durham ! dec   1961to jan 1963 with Capt Holngdale.I ended up as P/C stwd on the Devon for 2 voyages 1969-1970. Thanks for some brilliant memories, all the very best to this great site. Before i finish would like to get in touch with Mick Craig who was an engineer 6th I think on the Tane circa1967-1968.Sincerely yours Rod Davey


Billy Campbell ( Dorset Chippy ) Update. He ended his days with the Dorset. So if anyone was with him on either The Gloucester or the Dorset, please get in touch as I have told him that I have posted the information and he is over the moon to think there may be somebody still going out there! Cheers Mark Campbell .


Editor: One of our concerns with the site is that with everyone's email address on display users may become the victim of spam (unwanted junk emails). We have discussed the issue in the office and we still think it is more important that people are able to communicate to each other. We will in the future add an option when making a comment to keep your email address hidden. In the mean time if you wish your email address to be hidden please put "email hidden" or such at the end of your message.




Greetings Jeffrey.
All readers who may be in Auckland from now until next August should allow time to visit the NZ National Maritime Museum on Hobson Wharf, just down from the Tepid Baths (still operating). An exhibition about NZSCo. was opened on 1st November and should not be missed. Heaps more to see in the museum, including models of Rangitata, Opawa, Durham - and the D.M.! Suggest visit in the morning, take a break for lunch, re-enter museum (don't have to pay again) and continue browsing.
Barry Parsons, NZSCo Association P O Box 4061 Auckland.


Hello, My mother, Betty Jean Mackie, worked for the New Zealand Shipping Co., in Leadenhall Street, London as did her best friend Edith (my godmother), before WW11 broke out. My mother died when I was ten, but I understand my grandfather was Chief Engineer, possibly on Rangitata late 30's. I believe he died before the beginning of WW11. I don't know his christian name, only surname Mackie.
Could anyone help me? Thank you, Jean Walker.


Hi, I was wondering if anyone was interested in an original copy of the sea trial recordings for the MV Piako, built by Alexander Stephen & Sons in Glasgow.
My father Alexander Thomson (recently deceased) was an engineer for Stephens at the time and worked on this vessel. I recently found the document amongst his old files. Regards Steve Thomson

Hello Steve
That's an interesting concept, I can put them up on our History of NZ Shipping for all to see
You keep the originals and either scan and email or post a copy set to New Zealand Shipping. Jeffrey

Hi, Apologies for delay in getting back to you - I've managed to get the information scanned - hope its of interest.
Regards Steve

Click here for Piako Sea Trials log

I went to the NZ National Maritime Museum's "Crossed Flags" Exhibition on (by chance) opening day. Great exhibits and very nostalgic. But didn't see any photos of Engineers or Engine Rooms! Len Chapman


My father Edward William Ward (b. 11 February 1920 at Lowestoft) who was known by the nickname 'Buster' served on RMS RAUHINE as 2nd or 3rd Engineer for a period during WWII. He was an artificer in the RN before the war but was medically discharged following what I believe was a boxing injury to an eye. I vividly remember he had one of the ship's red covered prayer books that was embossed RMS RAUHINE and an old passport that I loved to look at with the many and varied stamps from ports where he landed. I would love to hear from anyone who can add anything to my knowledge of his time with the NZSC. Kind regards, Malcolm Moss-Ward


Mr Shaw, once again what a brilliant site. Since posting a few memories of NZS I have been in touch with Bill Pinder from Rangitoto circa 1959/60. However I was looking out for the guy who was after a QM's crossed flags jumper, I have one albeit a tad moth eaten and if he wants to get in touch he is more than welcome to it [keep it in the family, as it were] and free, gratis etc. I also have a couple of crossed flag neck ties, and if anybody would like one they are welcome. Nice to know that the White Lady is still there. Have just retired from work and if all goes well am hoping to wallow in nostalgia by having a couple of months in Kiwi, have to see if it has changed a lot. Thanks for your time to make this site, yours sincerely Rod Davey


Dear Mr Shaw, Further to the query from Ken Hedges the Ships in Focus book is still available as I managed to buy a copy last year{2005}.It has been compiled by John Clarkson and Roy Fenton. Hope this information is of use. Yours Rod Davey


Hi Jeffery
Thanks for doing a promo for the exhibition. It was a lot of work to put the exhibition together and we are pleased it is bringing back memories for people and hopefully some people are even coming away having learnt something new.

If anyone has any NZSCo objects that they no longer want, the NZ National Maritime Museum will gladly accept them as donations for the collection. We are particularly interested in tableware, fixtures/fittings from the ships etc. Just send me an email if you have something that you think we might be interested in.

Vicky Spalding
NZ National Maritime Museum
P.O Box 3141
Ph:(09) 373 0800 ext 834


Hello Jeffrey - haven't visited this domain for a while (see my contributions of 5th & 28th May'03)congratulations on keeping your "love job" going, as a result I have been in contact with two old shipmates from 1950's - Australian Sid Thomas and Liverpudlian Ken Evans, and relived those day's with some nostalgia - though mostly in the mind now !! Others I know the whereabouts of, and some have passed on. Looking at "Shipping Fleets as at 3rd September 1939", the ss CORNWALL, Registered No 145038 (subject of my earlier mail) is listed as "Lost in the War", would like to correct that with the following quote from :- "CORNWALL, 10616 gross tons, built in 1920 by R & W Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn on Tyne, for Federal Steam Navigation Company, was damaged on 31st August 1940 by bombs from three Italian aircraft on passage Alexandria - Malta. With steering gear out of action, CORNWALL made it to Malta using her engines only. After repairs in Malta she continued her voyage". As a very Junior Engineer, I was privileged to sail on CORNWALL in 1948 with war veterans Chief Engineer Tulloch, 2nd Engr. Larry Hendry, Chief Refrig Engr Pollock - the Captains name eludes me and his signature in my Discharge Book is illegible. We paid off in Cardiff on 19th November 1948 - she was subsequently decommissioned in December that same year and scrapped at Avonmouth in 1949. The bombing was a contibutory factor, but oil in one boiler was the final blow to the demise of a grand old lady - I have a 1948 photo of her alongside in Port Chalmers NZ, which I will send under separate cover. Do All Have a Very Merry Christmas, and A Prosperous & Healthy New Year Kind regards  Kenneth Sayer


My grandfather Samuel John Ellis was Captain of the Kaimata and later became a Marine Superintendant for the New Zealand Shipping Co. I have a clock that was presented to him on his retirement stating... "Captain S.J. Ellis "P" Steamers 1924-1932. A.S.S. Co Ltd 1932 - 1964. from The Directors of The Australind Steam Shipping Company Ltd." If anyone can help me find out more about him and his service during these periods i would be very grateful!  Andy Reid


Family of Ada Fabling nee Malpas is looking for information relating to John Augustus (Jack) Wright. Wright left Auckland (we think as a stowaway) certainly in a big hurry on a liner bound for the US via Papeete in 1909. Can anyone assist with knowledge of this person? Thanks Warren Malpas.


I sailed from Gladstone Docks, Liverpool on March 17 1953 for New Zealand with a shipment of stud cattle for which I took responsibility for although a teenager. It was the most expensive shipment of livestock to be on the water to NZ to that date and other herdsmen had turned it down because of the responsibility. Our ship, the MV Hinakura was one of the rist vessels to have scavenger pumps fitted, the rationale being that we could take advantage of the cheaper crude fuel oil, centrifugal force in the pumps pushing lump of petroleum gel in lumps to feed domestic boilers whilst the refined fuel fed the motors. Our problem was the system went wrong off the Bay of Biscay and large lumps of burning fuels landed on the decks like napalm. My cattle were in wooden crates with tarred roofs. The sea hoses were the only way I could prevent a fire. We had seven such breakdowns en route requiring small launches to bring us spare parts for the pumps. The ship was alleged to have a curse on it because a previous skipper had blown his brains out in his steel cabin. It is said he used a Colt 45.He had a problem with too many ladies in various ports and his wife in England discovered this. She was ready to take all he had. It was further cursed because a drunken bosun threw the ship's cat overboard in Liverpool docks where the remains of the burnt out Empress of Canada lie on it's side leaking fuel oil. For the mainly Celtic crew and the fact it was St Patricks Day meant they would not set out from the wharf until the cat had been rescued and cleaned to be restored to her normal mousing duties. Those are some of my memories of the Hinekura which means in English (translated from Maori) red haired woman. Regards Alan Lewin