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This page was last updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 01:00:24 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 2011

Email / Date

Fantastic site! I would like to add to the requests.

My Father Michael McCloy, was a 'main greaser' on the MV Hinakura from Dunedin New Zealand January 1954, until 4th March 1954, discharged at Cardiff. I would like to find a list of the crew members during this voyage. I am hoping this information will assist me in collecting any details of my Fathers previous history from the end of the first world war. My father served in the Australian Army during WW1. Thank you in advance. Frank McCloy.

Editor: I had reservations about putting this submission up because I am over receiving requests seeking crew and passengers lists but on this occasion since they share the same family name and his old man worked for NZ Shipping I will do so.


My Father serviced under the NZ Shipping Co Ltd for many year before during and after the war. One of the ships was "MV Empire Castle" from June 1943 to July 1944.But no record of this ship appears in the ships lists above. was it renamed? or is it missing from the lists above. Anthony Statham

Editor: Not a NZ Ship


G'day people! This is my first comment this year, although i did not hear a thing from anyone i knew last year! my details are all on the first comment last year 2-1-2010.where are you all? i was on the Middlesex, Toto, Remmy and surrey. Actually, i did the final trip on the Remmy in the bakers shop, thanks to Roy Evans [ex2nd stwd on the Toto], who got me the position! he came on as storekeeper! a great guy! i am now 63 and retired, due to an accident, but occasionally sit with a cold beer and think about all the good times i had with some of you guys. Like getting drunk in Charlies bar,[panama], getting clobbered in nicks bar, [Tahiti],we must have upset some of the locals!, and eating 26 weetbix on the Toto to set a record! not bad for a 17yr old kid! plus, losing my cherry in kiwi! she was old enough to be my mother! in ever got round to telling my own mother that! they were great times. I would never have guessed that four years later i would be tearing through the South Australian bush at breakneck speeds, in a 1962 holden sedan, competing in the Australian rally championships!.My navigator, and later, bro-in-law, was from Birmingham. i have a small black tray, which i bought on the Toto, on it are four etchings in gold of the Toto, Tane, Remmy and Ruahine. It is still like new and brings back countless memories for me. i think it cost me ten bob! i would love to hear a voice from the past and live in hope. If any of you guys are planning a trip to Adelaide, get in touch with me, i would be happy to advise or assist in some way to make your visit worthwhile! meanwhile, take care and stay safe. ooroo! [aussie for goodbye!] guys, hoping to see you soon.

Roger 'Titch' Sharplin  


Hi guys. In my previous comment i mentioned nicks bar in Tahiti. It was in actual fact, the infamous "quinns"! I was getting my wires crossed. That was one rough dive! hey Jeff, do you know if the Roy Evans in Brisbane was on Toto in 1964? If so, you can give him my details. It would be great to get in touch with him. he would have to be in his mid 70s now. have a nice day guys! Roger 'Titch' Sharplin

Editor: I see there is only one R Evans in the Brisbane phone book


I have asked to contact Harry Hogg I was engaged to him I went to Scotland to marry him he got a lady pregnant in New Zealand I stowed away on 2 of your ships from London 1964 got put of in Panama had to wait for sister ship to take me back to London went to Holloway for 14 days but worked my way home to Tasmania and been wanting to know how Harry is he worked on New Zealand ships please "Patsy" Patricia Brown

Editor: I think we would all like to know the outcome, Patsy.


Thank you for email me have lots of stories but to find Harry well that would be nice last saw him when the panama police took me off the Wahanuie hope that's how you spell it spent 12 months as had to wait for sister ship to take me back to London to jail I was 21 hope you can help I married a pom of Port St Laurence went back to London for 6 years not married  "Patsy" Patricia Brown


Thanks Jeff, you are right in respect that they never owned it. I have since found the history of this ship. Was built for the Ministry of War Transport 25/8/1942 and put under the management of the Federal Steam Navigation Co. (1/1/1943) which was part of NZ Shipping Company and was manned by NZ / Federal Shipping company staff till July 1944. I'm surprised that NZ Shipping Company Historical information does not mention any of this. Ship was later name the Gothic Star 2 then Nelson Star in 1947. Regards Tony Statham

Editor: This is a follow up to a contribution by Tony on 9th Jan 11... I found it interesting.



Hilary Sowden sent in a photo of the Otaki 1953 which has been loaded on the photos section. Thank you Hilary
Sailed on the Sussex in 1967 as a pantry boy. Any body remember me get in touch remember Tim and Colin other boys I worked with. Richard Robinson
Hi Mr. Shaw,
Great site, thought you could use this photo of the Gloucester. I did the last run on her out to New Zealand and Back as 2nd cook / baker Feb. 66 — June 66 . Paid off in Hull due to seaman's strike. One of the best crews I have ever sailed with. Best Wishes Tony Bradley.

Editor: Have loaded the photo, many thanks for making the effort.


Hello Again,
Just found this photo of the Rangitane Which maybe you can use. All The Best, T. Bradley.

Editor: The photo is up for everyone to see, ta 29.01.11

The photo of the Essex and crew, My father is back row 1st right with glasses E A Chapman: Chief Steward. Susan Davey

Editor: Susan has sent me photos which i have just loaded for the Waimate, Derby, Kent, Taupo and a vessel called the Potaro, anybody heard of this vessel !!!

Susan has also given me one of her dad and the crew of an unknown New Zealand Shipping vessel .. not sure what to do.. I could post it up and people could give us their response. 07.02.11

Hi, most mail boxes hold 5mb so sending another photo of my Dad he is front row 2nd left ( E A Chapman ) it is on a passenger ship looking at the dress, I have his discharge book he served on the Remuera from 1916 to 1922, then the Ruahine 1922 to 1925, plus many others. He sailed on the Otaio on her maiden voyage in a severe storm and the dining saloon windows were broken and the forward deck pushed down, I have photos of some of the waves, also photos of the pantry and seamen's mess from what I assume is the Otaio.

So you know what they ate on that day, plus I have some table ware with NZSC on, finger bowls, egg cups, sugar shaker and pepper grinder.

My brother also served on some of the ships as a radio Officer, but I have not found his discharge book ( he died last October )

Many other photos of ships also their uniforms which I don't know what to do with,



In 1968 I was living in wellington having no money to get back to England i went to N.Z. offices and asked if i could work my passage home. (it took me a while to realise the double meaning of this request) after several weeks and many visits to the offices, i was told to join the Huranui in Port Chalmers?. I borrowed the air fare from a kiwi girl and set out on my career as a mains greaser. I was just 18 had never been to sea and didn't have a clue, but the memories of that six weeks still make me smile. The donkeyman who made me paint the aft bulkhead in the morning and again that night because a junior engineer covered it in oil while we were bunkering. the cook jerry who borrowed my guiness ration, never mind at least i never starved. Last but not least board of trade sports when i was told to take the painter from the lifeboat and amused everybody by asking where he was to any body in the engine room on this trip April to June 1968 i would like to say thanks for a mil!lion memories.    Bill Green 


Hi Jeffrey, further to the info from Tony Statham and the Empire Castle later to become the Nelson Star then the Gothic Star and then again the Patagonia Star. I was introduced to my 5 years at sea doing a H/T trip from London on her to Rotterdam, Hamburg and signed off in Liverpool. That was July 1959.

I was due to do the next voyage, deepsea to Sth. America but at 11 knots and with ammonia refrigeration, SORRY! not for me.

Called into NZS office in Waters St,. Liverpool and within a week was on the Northumberland, the first of 2 double headers with the company. Enjoyed my time with the company. Also went deep sea on the Papanui and Hurunui.

After being launched in 1942 the Empire Castle was not scrapped until 1971.   Jack Cotter




Have just loaded up on the photo section (Essex .. Autograph of the crew for christmas) and the (Rangitata .. Invitation to dine with the Captain) courtesy of Sue Davey

Hi, just found your website great stuff. here are some pics for your album. that's me on the end. cheers, Fred Thompson.

Editor: Just loaded Fred's photos up on the Rakaia, Paporoa, Dorset (his photo of himself)

Once again we send condolences to the people of NZ re the latest tragedy to hit Christchurch, our media coverage is keeping us all informed hourly, however, deepest sympathies to all. Archie Clark
Editor: Sue has sent in the first photo we have for the Durham.  
I’ve been on the website looking at some of the photographs of old NZSCo ships and at some of the emailed comments. I’m attaching a photograph I took of ‘Rangitoto’ taken alongside in Lyttelton in 1963. I was a Radio Officer on board for two glorious years and only left because of a bereavement in my family.  I subsequently sailed on a number of other NZSCo/Federal ships, so will probably have some other pics to share with you if this email is successful. Regards Stuart Edwards


Editor: Just loaded Stuart Edwards colour photo of the Rangitoto in lyttelton.. great photo. Just been too busy due to earthquake 23.03.11
Editor: Started loading up Sue Davey's contributions check the Westmoreland, Sussex, Fare schedules, Hauraki  

Hi all. I was just reading a story about 'famous chef of the Rangitiki', Mick overall! what a story and what a man! after my first trip on the Middlesex, i was given the job as lift boy on the Toto. later i did the childrens dining room, and then the po,s mess. Mick was there prior to joining the Ruahine after what would seem a lifetime on his beloved Tiki! Mick, along with his galley crew always treated me well, even if i was the target of their resident practical joker, a cook named Brian, most of the time. another cook i recall was Norman. he seemed to be a bit odd, if not eccentric. the guys would stir him up and he would go cranky! but he was a really nice guy, and would always make sure i got served. the ch. stwd was John Reid, the 2nd stwd was Mick Dolan. i later did the final trip of the Remmy in the bakers shop, which gave me a taste of working in the galley. Mick overalls family are very proud of him, and justifiably so too! what chef could match that. i for one am! very glad to be able to say, yes! Mick overall, i knew him!. Roger Sharplin



My father, David Watson was from Glasgow and served on the Rangitata. He arrived in NZ and decided to stay - I think it is called 'jumping ship' - I believe this was in the early 1950s - I think he was an electrical engineer - it's a long time ago but I wondered if anyone remembered this or served on the Rangitata at that time. Bella Hill


I joined the NZSCo in 1961 as a deck officer apprentice, sailing on the m.v. Otaio. My final voyage as an apprentice was on the s.s Derby. We were the second tanker to discharge a cargo of crude oil at the newly opened Marsden Point refinery in 1964 - and what a welcome! Much appreciated after the long haul from Kuwait. Having taken my 2nd Mates ticket, I sailed on the m.v. Hurunui for some 2 very happy years. After taking my 1st Mates ticket, I decided to pursue a career ashore. Should you want them, I have many colour photographs (jpeg) of the Otaio, Hurunui and derby. Finally, your website is just wonderful - a historical document in the maritime life of New Zealand. John Nelson




Hi Jeffrey As promised in my earlier email of 6 March, I’ve been trawling through some of my photos and found the attached.  The pic of ‘Rangitane’ was taken when she was outward bound between Panama and Tahiti and was taken from ‘Rangitoto’ which was homeward bound.  I’m fairly sure that I took this in July of 1963.
The other pics I’m attaching are of ‘Hinakura’ anchored off at Apia Western Samoa.  We had come down from Panama via Christmas Island to supply the military at the atomic testing site and had been asked to keep a sharp lookout for a raft manned by a lone American seaman out from Peru to Australia and he hadn’t been heard from in weeks.  On arrival in Apia, there he was complete with his raft, his radio equipment had broken down hence his lack of contact. The name of the raft was ‘Age Unlimited’ and the name of the gent was William Willis, a 70-odd year old adventurer.  I feel sure when you look at the pic you’ll agree that sailing single handed across the Pacific in a vessel such as this could be construed as somewhat foolhardy.  I have this pic as my wallpaper just to remind myself that anything is possible at any age – but not this particular feat for me.  The date for these two pics is late October/early November 1963, just before JFKs assassination.

I hope you think them worthy of your site. Regards Stuart Edwards

Editor: Hiya Stuart, Anybody who takes the time to write (email) and upload photos deserves recognition.


Hi there, Harry Hogg here. Just found your site. Very nostalgic and very interesting. Perhaps I have some more good stories for you. I am about to contact Patsy Brown, watch this space. Thank you for this flashback after 45 years. Harry

Editor: October 2011, it's your duty to bring us up to speed on you and Patsy.


I was with the company from 1964 to 1970. I notice there is no mention of the SS Devon in your archives. John Goudie

Sorting through some family papers, I have come across a trsck chart for the SS Northumberland, showing several tracks in different colours giving mileages in pencil and some coaling details. If possible, I would like a date for this voyage and a passenger list as I do not know why the family kept this. I'd be happy to donate the chart to your museum  Nicholas Bloxam


My father sailed on the Rangitiki he has b+w pictures, he is alive and well and has just joined the online community at 78 years, he is on face book his name [sam betts snr] I suggest he look up Rangitiki on google. Sam Betts


Hi Jeff, Attached is a photo of the Huntingdon that my father EA Chapman was on, note that it is Christmas with a tree on the mast, Sue Davey

Editor: Photo loaded

My name is oggie kessell, sailed with NZS P&O GCD As engineer from 1967/ 1984. Rangitane, Northumberland, Turikina, Rakaia, Mataura most of the wild boats and ended on the straths with OCL. Am coming to Kiwi with my 17yr old twin sons for the Rugby World Cup. In Kiwi from 7th Sept for 4 weeks. I fancy sharing a beer with any of my Board of Trade aquintances who remember me. Oggie


The SS Turakina (11) was built 1902, came to Wellington 1914. It was torpedoed 120 miles west of Scillies en route to NZ via New York. all but 4 of those abroad were saved by the destroyer HMS Cockatrice. The ship was carrying 200 NZ troops who had finished their overseas service - all survived. Avis


I sailed with the nz shipping co from 1943 to 1947 i would like to hear of any one who remembers Mr Harland who gave us our next ship to join. he was a delightful character always a joy to be given the work with a smile and word of encouragement to go on our way with hope in those uncertain days many others must have similar memories i wonder how long he reigned in that post Peter Andrews


Hi, I was going through some old boxes of my father's possessions and found this photograph of MV Opawa taken in 1938. I would not have bothered you but for the comments on the back of the picture frame which said" Last ocean mail to New Zealand" and which I thought may be of interest to you. I have attached the photograph and a scan of the back of the photo to show the credits of the photographer. The back of the frame is messy; printing was by my father, now deceased. Yours David McLeod


Hi Jeffrey, Just found this great site. I sailed with the NZSCo from 1962 to 1969.I sailed on the Otaio from 62 to 64 as steward boy & galley boy, George Bayer was the chief steward then, a great guy. I also sailed on other NZSCo ships, the Whangaroa, Ranitane, Gloucester, Taupo, Rangitoto, Hauraki, Westmoreland, Haparangi and back on the Otaio for my last year as 2nd steward in 69. Great days and memories. I often wonder what happened to my old buddy Frank Hughes from the Otaio. Be glad to hear from any one who remembers me. I am now living in Brisbane and married to a Canadian lady. The GFC means I am still working. I look after a townhouse complex in Brisbane, not a lot different than being a 2nd steward really. Regards, Gerry O'Neill



My mother’s brother, George hall & brother in law Joe Cooke were officers (pursers?) with NZSC during the war years. George married a NZ gal & settled in Dunedin. Joe was lost at sea when his ship (liberty ship) went down during a pacific typhoon about 1947/48. I remember that time of great sadness vividly. I’m 71 now I must have been 6 or 7 then.  Any info welcome. I remember seeing my uncles off from London & photos of 'tiki, 'toto on top of a piano at home and their houses full of souvenirs from the Pacific, New Zealand & the Andrew sisters singing....'rum & coca-cola' on a very smart wind-up portable gramophone. I myself immigrated to Canada with wife & son in '67 & now sail my boat on Lake Ontario.  Donald George Morrisson


Great site, enjoyed reading the yarns and pics. I sailed as Engineer on The Rangitata in 1958, three trips, and it was a great old ship. I then sailed on the Wharanui on the Mann run for 14 months. London-New Zealand-USA-Canada- West Indies etc. 1960-1962 was 3rd Engineer on the Gloucester, then Emigrated to Canada. The NZSCo and FSNCo were great companies to work for, had the best time of my life.  Hi to all who were there. Good to have this site, thanks Mr Shaw and good luck to all. Will try and send you some material shortly. Brian Mathers


Hi Jeffrey; was R/O with NZSC from 1959 to 1963, two trips on Rangitiki, Otaio, Rangitane, Middlesex, Dorset, and the 61/62 triple header on the Gloucester. Have been watching your site for a few years now, hoping to spot someone I sailed with. At last your last entry 26/9 did just that. Will e-mail ship's officers photo taken in Sydney 1962. Great site. Donald Ritchie

Editor: I have loaded your Gloucester officer photo. Appreciate the time taken and acknowledged your contribution as I do with everyone.


I have just read the story of the exploits of an engineer off the Rakaia ,1961[first trip] through to 1964. A great read for anyone who sailed with the company around that time.

PS I am not the author !! Jack Cotter


Jeffrey forget to mention book is called 'Below The Waterline' and is available from my apologies, Jack

Aloha all. This is a re-post from 2006...

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 mid `60s we befriended two crewmen in particular, one was "Bill", whom I believe was a stores keeper (he had access to the ship TMs 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 trat was Englis 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, I would like to hear from you. Bud Scanned posts from 2006-2011 and didn't catch any replies. If I missed yours please contact me. Mahalo


Sailed on the Rangitoto as a steward found it to be one of my better experiences at sea. Alan Briggs

My dad was aboard MV Sussex from Dec 1966 to Jun 1967 he is trying to find out the route he took during Jan '67 (six day war period) as feels he was near suez at the time. I have old wage slips of his but cant seem to find much data on line any help greatly appreciated, thanks Simon Green

Information on vessel "Rakaia" No.1: Built by J.Bulmer & Co in 1873, Wrecked 1918. Rakaia was captured in South Africa in 1900 during the Boer War:
1st: Was "Rakaia" captured by the Boers or by the English?
2nd: Was it captured at sea or in a harbour?
3rd: What was the exact position of the seizure?

Thank you in advance for your trouble in satisfying my wish.
Sincerely yours
Günther E. Ahring


Have just found this web site superb takes me back years I joined mv Hurunui in 1967 and went onto mv Wharanui later and stayed on board for about fifteen month tramping round the pacific would love to hear from anyone who remembers these two ships. Jeff Cordwell


I am trying to find out some information about my father's involvement with convoys in the 2nd World War. He worked with the NZSCo on passenger ships after the war and I think was working with them during the War. His name was Claude L Lambe (AKA Minty) and he was a Chief Radio Officer. Miss E.D.Lambe


There was a First Radio Officer C L Lambe On voyage 83 RMS Rangitiki. This voyage terminated in London about the 18 December 1960. It was my first 1/2 trip as 4th Electrical Engineer Regards Noel Martin

Good Morning I was a Ch Freezer on the Paporoa and Papanui also Cumberland I was on the Pipiriki heading for the Panama canal when the Cuban missile crisis and we were also buzzed by American vessels and aircraft. At the time I learned from my wife that I had been called up for Army duty with Royal Engineers in which I did my National Service. Lucky escape I wonder! If any of the engineers in the Pipiriki are on your website it would be good to hear from them. Best Wishes Jeff Hughes


Is there somewhere I can check for a staff list that worked on the ships around New Zealand. Trying to track down a 'father' from the 1950's, Debbie

Thanks for the reply Jeff. I often wondered what and where is Gerry Dargle ex Ch Engineer of a few ships in the fleet. At that time we were good pals. He also was from that wonderful city Liverpool do you think some one might have information on him? I had heard that he joined LLoyds and went to Las Palmas?? If you can help that would be good.. Sorry to be a bit unsure of how to get back on to the web site we first contacted on . Can you tell me again? I didn't read all the communications. I would like to. Best Regards Jeff Hughes


My grandfather was capt John Low Beati Hunter of the Rangitata
Mrs C.Wood

Hello again Jeff I managed to get back on track and found the website again. Sorry for being a bit slow as I am not a buff on the computer. Its just great to read some of the e-mails. Brings back some good memories. B/R Jeff Hughes


MV Sussex is missing from your list of ships
Lew Martin

As I have mentioned in previous posts I joined NZSCo on the Otaio as a Navigating Officer Cadet in May 1969. I left the Merchant Navy in 1976 to pursue a career in HM Customs & Excise (HMC&E). Two fellow Otaio cadets who left to join HMC&E were the twin brothers Sean and Chris Barton. Those of you who knew them will be saddened to learn that Chris died suddenly last week (his brother Sean died about 6 years ago). Chris maintained his love of the sea rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve and being awarded the Queens Volunteer Reserve Medal. I have very fond memories of both of them. Regards to all. Gary


Trying to get in touch with an old Shipmate, Ian Hendry Kerr who sailed with me on the Huntingdon from Aug '70 to Feb '71 on the Manz run. I haven't seen him since I was bestman at his wedding in '75. He went off to join the fire service in Scotland then. Peter Bradshaw


I sailed on the Rangitata June till October 1960..I will always remember the song. Sung by the Ships Queers on board about a street in Auckland in the Pig and Whistle of an evening..... How many know it???

Girls of Queen Street.
Good girls are we.
We take a pride in our virginity.
We take all precautions, against all Abortions
Cos we are the Queen Street Girls.
Tra la la la la la la la la
When we go down to the beach for a swim,
Everyone remarks at the size of our Quims.
They shout and the hollar,its like a Horses Collar
But we are the Queen street girls
Tra la la la la la la la la.
Our head waiters a silly willy fool
hes only got a teeny weeny tool.
Its all right for key holes and little girlies pee holes
but not for us Queen Street Girl !!!!

Peter McNally



I received a heap of photos from Don McKenzie back on the 3rd October 2011 to do with the passenger list, menus, menu covers and officers photo. This evening I got around to loading them up on the Rangitiki photo album.
Thank you Don.

I came over from wellington NZ to Southampton ENG in July 1962 on the R.M.S. Rangitane i still have my passenger list. I'am just inquiring to see if the Rangitane that i came over on is the one that was broken up in 1976. Jocelyn l. Davis nee Tidy


If you have knowledge about the Old New Zealand Shipping Company 

Just type in the On-Line feed back form.
As this is a labour of love, please feel free to communicate with one another
If you are doing family trees the information you seek is on the passenger lists section
Read the information !!
There is no need to suck up to me and then turn around and seek crew or passenger lists
I am over it ... you can pay a small fee in NZ$ or A$ or
£ (In NZ, Oz or UK)
only then will i gladly put up your request seeking additional information on family members
If your are trying to flog off a product you can use the
Sales of Memorabilia section or tell folk you are giving it away

Can I respectfully ask that you type in lower case except where a capital letter is required
and supply your name so that folks can reply to you personally.

You will notice from 2008 onwards once we get your email we change the @ symbol
so it reads as at this is done so you don't get spammed.
So if you wish to contact one another remember you will have to revert the at back to @
As of 08.08.08 I have inserted address, phone numbers and how did you locate us,
this information will not go up on the site, it's to get a handle for future get together's

More importantly I love reading your stories

Jeffrey Shaw, Managing Director, New Zealand Shipping.

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