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This page was last updated on Thursday, 01 January 2015 05:42:59 PM

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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 2014

Email / Date

I sailed on the Mataura in the early 70s, later the Tekoa and Westmorland as 4th Eng/3rd Eng and 2nd Eng before joining the Bulk Ships and later Maersk as CEO. Great days - great memories - great bunch of lads. Kevin Donoghue

Although my seagoing career commenced with British India after the "October revolution" the opportunity to sample other vessels in the GCD fleet brought me to an 8 months stint on Otaki 1973/1974 and coasting Essex from Newport to Liverpool both memorable, a excellent crowd good shipmates under trying conditions. Keith Walker
Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is Bart Dirkse from Holland and I sailed with my father, mother and brother in December 1951 from Willemstad (Curacao) to London with motor vessel "Rangitane" of your Shipping company. We had a good time aboard the ship! Yours sincerely, Bart Dirkse van den Heuvel


Can anyone throw any light on a voyage of the HURUNI which left Liverpool March 1963 light ship for NZ via Galveston. Master was Calcutt. Looking for names of other deck and engineer officers. David Slade was my 2nd frig. eng. A good shipmate. A copy of the obligatory pre voyage photo would be much appreciated. Jack Cotter


Editor: Received and loaded up Fred Thompson's 2 photos on the Papanui showing the ceremony they performed when they crossed the date line in 1959. 04.02.14
My dad, Joe Reilly, left Liverpool in July 1965 on the Hororata. They sailed right around the world, returning to Liverpool in December 1965. I was 5 years old. He is still alive, 88 years old. He was 43 years at sea. He has had an amazing life. Does anyone out there remember him. In the early fifties before he married my Ma he worked on a ship called the Springfinch or the Springfjord between Galvaston and Havana. He also worked on a ship called the Moto between England and Igarka in Siberia. These are just some of the ships names I remember. In WW2 he served on a destroyer called the Matchless, he was on a landing craft at D-Day and he ended up on the aircraft carrier called the Formidable. John Reilly


Hi I'm trying to make contact with anyone who worked in the deck dept on RMS Ruahine, RMS Rangitane or MV Turakina between1966 /68. Ray Elder
I served as a seaman on the M/V Sussex and M/V Nottingham in the early sixty's Ian Mason
I note the name Fred Thompson. I sailed with a 2nd Freezer on the Rangitane in '62/'63. We had a Chief Freezer called Jack Hill who was a source of much amusement. Wondering if it's the same Fred? Trevor Inman
I sailed on the Hertford, Tekoa, Sussex and Tongario, as Chief Fridge in the early 70s left for shore side but sea life was the one of the best chapters of my life, we were all the same, no politics or bullshit, but moved in the Corporate Life and ended up as CEO of International Companies across the world, now retired and have a new career as a writer my books are "The Baltic Triangle" "Deadly States" & "Angels of Deceit", Nicholas Clark
S.S. Hororata, My uncle was a crew member on this ship when it was torpedoed in 1943. It didn't sink but managed to get to limp to the Azores where it was secretly repaired. As far as the Germans were concerned it had sunk so everything was kept hush-hush. My Grannie thought Uncle John had died. I do have a newspaper cutting that's been handed down if you wish anymore information. Angela Lewington
Editor: I am sure everybody would enjoy reading the article Angela


Hi Jeff, I made a mistake with the " crossing the line" photos. I said they were of the Pap. I forgot there were two Paps. The Paparoa & the Papanui, the photos were of the Paparoa, sorry. In reply to Trevor Inman's query, yes I was the one. 2nd Freezer on the 'Tane and under study to the one and only Jack Hill !?*#. I don't know how I survived that trip. I think I was sacked 5 times by Jack for things ranging from the runners in the freezer compartment weren't straight to why I hadn't filled in his log for his watch. Funny fella. Cheers Fred Thompson.
Editor: Fixed


Looking for information on my wife's grandfather James Adams a Steward on board M.S. Rangitane sunk by German Surface Raider. He apparently died at sea. He is mentioned in the book "Ordeal by Sea". Denis W. Reid
I have just found and scanned a formal (uniform) picture of some of the officers from the Sussex. The pic was taken somewhere in either NZ or Aus, can't remember which.
If you would like it let me know and i will send it to you. Graham Perkins
Editor: Have loaded Grahams photos on the Sussex for all to see, thank you Graham for sharing. 17.03.14
I'm looking for photo's of mv Hertford (1948) mv Mataura (1968) and the wild flamingo (1972)? many thanks to whoever can help Richard Mitchell
An excellent website. Deck cadet on Otaio 1969 to 1972 then Cumberland 1972, Essex '73/74. Tongariro '76/77 plus other P&O in between and after until 1980 then joined Sealink UK at Dover.
Remember Essex with affection particularly rigging a canvas sail and sailing backwards off the Galapagos for four days on way out to NZ!! Voyage 39S I think.
For Richard Mitchell have a look at the following website, pretty well all NZS/Federal ships from start to finish.  Ian Cookson


I sailed on the Otaki 1969 ,first trip to sea catering boy, the trip we rescued the crew of the Greek freighter and Anastasia, which had broken it's back in the great Australian bight. dropped the crew off in Geelong, great trip great crew, and the next year sailed on the Piako, best trip to sea with the best shipping company bar none. Best years of my life, god bless to all the crews of those times. Ray Watson


Junior Engineer M.V.Northumberland 1965

I read HAYDEN THOMAS 11-01-12 with interest there was indeed an Engine disaster off the coast of Columbia as we were heading for the Panama Canal. I was on the deck just after 08.00 when there was a grumble and the deck heaved the third engineer was there as well, all he'll broke loose alarm bells every where going off. The third engineer flung his cup over the side said to me get your boiler suit on and get down to the engine room and ran for the accommodation as there was an emergency below. The seventh engineer had been taking his log readings between the SULZER engines and was just back at the controls when the balance weight came off number 8 crank shaft the doors off,7.8.9.crankcase flew off, sump got bust it was lucky it was at watch change over and the second was standing at the controls he shut both engines down by the time I got down the second had restarted the port engine. We then made our way to Colon. We were there three days and as usual we pulled a Piston, I was standing on top of a Piston grinding the lip of the liner when a voice shouted I HOPE THE F--- YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING. I took off my mask and goggles to see who was shouting at me that's how I met chief engineer JIM CLARK. Hayden must have joined when I paid off at Liverpool. Ian Thomson


My father was crew on several ships around 1960 to 1969ish, I know he was on the Pipiriki & the Rangitata but I cannot remember the third ship. I am trying to find if there are any crew lists available, and even better if there were crew photo's which may show him on. unfortunately my father passed away in July 2012. I was trying to find information even before he died but never got anywhere, it has now become hopefully me mission to find something. Hope you can help or point me in the right direction. Regards, Gary Perkins


My father was an Engineer on the "Turakina" mid-1920s. I have a number of photos of the ship, officers, engine room, live horse and dog cargoes and the ship's cat. I would be happy to share these with anyone interested. Ivan Learmouth

Editor: Ivan if you would like to scan your photos and save them as a jpeg file and email to me I will put them up on the Turakina page. Can you let me know your fathers name so we can acknowledge his contribution.
On the photo page for the Remuera the names below the lifeboat photo at the Everglades should read Albert Britain Andy Ross & Grant Wallace. Also it would me much appreciated if anyone has a Remuera crew photo of that period that they would be prepared to share. Ken Crackett
Editor: Fixed the names
Junior engineer MV NORTHUMBERLAND. 1965.
Continuing the story about the engine disaster when I joined the NZ COMPANY at the Victoria & Albert docks London, on June 1st 1965 there was a guy already in the office, I was apprehensive, but the guy started to talk to me which put me at ease, the one outstanding thing that I remember, was that he had lost a finger on one off his hands, which one I can't remember. He asked me was I joining NZ. I replied yes, he then said he was leaving the company and was going back to NZ to his girl friend he wished me good luck and said I was joining at great company. We then parted and went our ways, you may wonder what I am going on about, well after the engine disaster the yanks from the dock yard in Colon took deflection of the Starboard engine and declared there had been no damage to the crank shaft.
The rumour was the old man was given the option of going to GALSTON TEXAS for repairs. Jim Clark joined at Colon as already stated, we set out through the Panama Canal and onwards towards NZ. Across the Pacific on one engine, we work extra hours stripping the damaged engine down and might as well say it big Jim worked us like f---, even
after arriving on the NZ coast it got worse. At one point somewhere about the end of September big Jim accused the engineers of not working hard enough we were doing 12 hour shifts, some of the engineers mutinied I was on nights when they came to my cabin and said come on we have had enough of CLARK , i did not join them.
Anyway one day i was working along with shore side engineers who were doing the repairs, when i got talking to this guy who said he used to be with NZ and asked me how long i had been with NZ i replied this was my first trip. We carried on working but something made me think i had met this guy before, then i saw he he'd a finger missing it was the
guy from the shipping office. I could not believe l met this guy again at the other side of the world. Ian Thomson

Editor: Keep the stories coming Ian


Talking of unexpected reunions:
I and two toolmaker workmates wanted to go to sea and were accepted by the NZSCo in 1962.
We all joined different ships and went off at different times.
The day after arriving in Wellington for the first time, one of our three walked on board having arrived that very morning. Great reunion!
On my next trip we were in Wellington and I was sitting in a cafe on Lambton Quay and the third of our trio walked past the window having also arrived there that day! Another great reunion, couldn't have planned it that's for sure! Trevor Inman

It was somewhere about July/Aug in the Pacific we hit bad weather we managed to avoid the worse of it as we were in contact with a Shaw Savill boat and a Blue Star boat who were nearer to the storm centre than us, so we altered course according to the bridge and missed the worse. We might have missed what what was classed as the worse, but I had never experienced anything like it before.
We were told, for the next two days, not to go outside the accommodation verbally and by posted notices.
Me I was only 21 yrs old and after getting my sea legs thought it was great, I came off watch and had dinner everyone seemed to disappear, so I walked down our ally way and stood at the combing and looked out onto the deck, I watched the huge waves which were rolling us from side to side, I stupidly stepped outside onto the deck took a few steps forward and stood shifting from one leg to the other as the ship rolled, all of a sudden I lost my footing as the angle of the deck increased and I was off, sliding towards the deck side rails, I was moving at free fall speed, I hit the deck rails grabbed a hold of them and held on for dear life.
I got soaked but survived with only a slight bruising, I held on till she came back up then made a dash for the accommodation door. That was another lesson learned. Ian Thomson


J/Eng. Northumberland 1965.
I stood by the Northumberland for 11 days in London before sailing, there was the 4th eng. called TONY from Manchester who was good company, he suggested we go into London one night after evening meal, all who wanted to go set out for the station at Plasto, on the way there we stopped at the BLACK SWAN PUB. As we crossed the road we got to the other side just as a red routemaster bus past going towards the docks, there was an almighty shout from the platform of the bus - " TONY " - we all waved and went into the pub, we had just got the first round up when the door burst open and in staggered "CHRIS" the 5th eng. Covered in blood, Tony asked him what had happened to him, to which he replied "i jumped off the bus but misjudged its speed and crashed into a hedge in front of a billboard" CHRIS had a drink in him as he had been into LONDON and was on his way back to the ship, so we bought him a drink and we never made LONDON just stayed in the BLACK SWAN. We had a great night the first of many, remember walking back to the docks and stopping for a CODROE SUPPER it was delicious we all made it back to the ship slept well, next day was an other new adventure
Ian Thomson.


Could you please advise me how I can trace the voyages of the NZSCo ships I sailed on in the 1950's. I have the ships names, sign on and discharge dates from my seafarers passport - but can't seem to find a source of the ports at which they called during the voyages.
Thanks for maintaining such a valuable resource for us (ex) seafarers!
regards Nick Wheeler

I Remember arriving home after my first trip to sea  on the 'Tane and  shutting down around 6am in the RAD. Somebody said "The pubs are open", so off we went in engine- room garb to the pub just across from the dock gates and joined all the dockers on their way to work! After a prolonged session curtailed I vaguely recall  by the closing of the premises till later in the day, we returned along the quay to the ship singing raucously, amongst other ditties "Pack my bag pack my grip I'm not coming back next trip, bye bye 'tane" to receive I fair old rollocking from the more senior engineers to whom presumably a first home coming and a big dose of the channels was a dim and distant memory. Miserable sods..... but we were feeling no pain..... however it was quite an embarrassment to be met later at the railway station by my excited parents who were expecting me to step smartly from the train all 'Bristol fashion and shipshape' as opposed to lurching forth clutching my head! At least I didn't throw up on the spot. Great memories though. Trevor Inman


I'd love to know for my mum if anybody knew Raymond Voyce he worked for New Zealand Shipping think he left about 1964 any thing would be great to know. Still have so crew pictures. Ellen

Editor: Are you saying you have a few pictures, if so can you scan and send by email


One day after JIM CLARK joined I remember all the Engineers were working in the engine room, when an almighty FRACAS broke out down at the purifier flat, beside the oily water separator, between the CHIEF and the 5th engineer, CHRIS from NEWCASTLE.

Like all good theater and sport events you want to see and hear what's going on so every one to an engineer drifted towards the FRACAS. There was the CHIEF going on about pipe runs, valves and cross over valves to the 5th eng. who being a ginger nut was shouting back at the CHIEF, both really worked up and red in the face, the Chief shouting your the 5th you should know where all the relevant pipes and valves start from and where they go to and where the valves and bypasses are. the 5th shouting back, I've only been on the boat since joining at LONDON DOCKS well BIG CLARK lost it and told the 5th how long do you want to learn your job as the 5th eng. and what your responsibilities are, he shouted for the 2nd engineer, told him to get a bilge boiler suit which turned out to be made of a light rubber, got the 5th to put it on and in no uncertain manner told the 5th that he had two days to crawl about the bilges and make drawings covering all the pipes and valves which were relevant to his job as the 5th eng. and learn them off by heart and then bring the drawings up to his office in two days and he would check to see if the 5th had covered all the pipe runs and valves. It was over for the rest of us, but for the 5th it was just starting and for the next two days all you could and hear was the 5th cursing below the plates as he traced the pipes and valves all ended well and CHRIS remained the 5th.eng.but neither forgave nor forgot about that fracas.

Ian Thomson


Hi, I am trying to source some images and/or information about the Shipping Corporation of New Zealand, set up in 1974.
In particular I'd like to find a images that show their logo which was first designed for use in the 1974 Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch.(
Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated,
cheers,Gavin O'Brien


The Company's History in the The Second World War 1939-1945
Further to the postings by Angela and John, about the S.S. Hororata, my late father David Ritchie was also a crew member aboard the S.S Hororata when it was torpedoed on 13 December 1942, for his part in the saving of the Hororata he was awarded the British Empire Medal.
The New Zealand Shipping Company published a book:
The Company's History in the Second World War 1939-1945 by SYDNEY D. WATERS
This book was published in 1949 and was given or sold to members of the company, my father had a copy which was unfortunately lost to us  after being lent never to be returned, but about  ten years ago I managed to buy copy from a second hand book store here in N.Z.
The salvage of the Hororata has a chapter in this book. There is also photo of the patch that enabled the Hororata to safely make it back to Liverpool.
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
Appendix IV
Appendix V
This includes shore staff
If anyone would like a look up I am happy to help if that is okay with Jeffery

Please note this book does not contain passenger lists or crew lists
There are still copies of the book available; I saw one only a month ago in a second-hand shop here in NZ
Elizabeth Horgan
Editor: Yes please, Elizabeth. Thank you for your contribution


How one story prompts another....all we have is our memories.
My time on the 'Tane was under chief Frank Kent who at meal times would invite passengers down for a 'Cook's Tour', then grab any off- duty junior and say "Hey bloke, some passengers want a look round this afternoon".
We would grudgingly take the rubber- neckers down and  under linger under the manifold giving detailed explanations whilst they writhed in discomfort.
Those on watch would have a ball with alarms, blasts of steam and air, watertight door closures oiled handrails and perving up through the gratings at any young females (supposedly) unknowing enough not to wear discreet attire.
Then we would race to the fridge flat and into the Brine room....... What was it? minus 12C, with them in their flimsy tropical gear. Heh heh heh.
Oh the joy of it!
Trevor Inman


I was on the Rakaia Sept 65 to Sept 68 as a cadet. I would like to trace Jerry Walker and Jim Morrison or hear from anyone there at the time. John "Barney" Carter

I was trying to find a passenger list for Anchor Line's RMS Celicia. I travelled in it August 1954 to Liverpool. I finally wound up on this site while looking for a passenger called Miss Leslie Timlet who was a passenger on the NSZCo MS Rangitoto. We are same age, and both sailed from London's KG5 August 1964 to Auckland; she was a passenger, I was a restaurant steward and served her meals. We were close but lost touch. I believe she married a local archeologist.

In order to research facts about my ancestors I am trying (impossible it seems!) to find something about my father's (born India 1912) early life and about his parents (born Scotland date?) My parents (both long deceased) were VERY secretive. I am writing my life story chiefly for the benefit of my six children, 19 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren - because I do not want them to wonder anything about me. I also have children in Auckland, Vancouver, Sydney, and parts of the UK, all of whom SADLY I never met. I was born Karachi 10 August 1943 and following India's Partition migrated emigrated to the UK. I migrated to NL March 1986.

Terence W. Harris


Help any one who was on the Rangitiki 59 to 62 in the galley I was 2nd chef before moving onto the game and Toto  the ships cook on the surrey and the Dorset looking for Eddie spouse ads cook with me on tiki .. Tony Norbury
Ah the Doxfords.......Port engine has number 4 cylinder blanked off due to cracked crankshaft. Made it there and back OK!  Trevor Inman

Editor: Trevor has sent in a photo of the Rangitane engine room which has been loaded up for all to see
I would like to hear from any old ship mates from the New Zealand Shipping Company who may remember serving with me in the late 1950s and early 1960s.I served on the Papanui, Pipiriki and the Huntington. I sailed on the Manz run. James McKibben
Editor: Stuart Rae has sent in a photo of the officers on board the Whangaroa March 1961which is now loaded for all to see.
My Grandfather Captain RA Newton took the 1st NZ Expeditionary Force Troop Ship Arawa with the 9 other ships from Wellington to Alexandria Egypt 16 Oct- 1 Dec 1914. His pregnant wife Maria and daughter Winifred followed quickly, I believe on a NZSC ship, to meet in Plymouth UK. In 1917 Maria, Winifred and London born son Kenneth returned to NZ likewise I surmise on a NZSC vessel.

I am currently writing an account of the 1st Expeditionary Force based on grandfather's Arawa Work book and the Signals Log, Both rather faded and attacked by silverfish but just legible.
I would like to know which vessels and the dates of departure and arrival.

Your help in this endeavour would be greatly appreciated as I believe its is part of NZ's history not to be lost.

Yours Sincerely,
Ripley N Jones


My Dad was on the MV Essex in Malta (as an engineer). He has sinced passed away (in his 90th year); it was very hard to get him to speak about his time during the war. His name was Thomas Brown and worked in the engine rooms. He was born in Shotts, Scotland in 1920. Quite a modest man; as mentioned, he very rarely spoke about the war years... I did get a little info out of him, but when he said he was on the MV Essex, I 'dug around' on the internet to find info.
About a year before he passed away, I showed him what I had found (about it having been scrapped etc.) plus picture.
This was the first time I EVER saw my Dad cry his heart out... It was NOT a comfortable moment and I got little info out of him. He did mention being on board when the dock was dive-bombed by the Germans and I also have since found out that my sister (12 years older than me and living in Toronto, Canada - I'm in London, England), was given a 'dagger / paper-knife' to pass on to my nephew. I have still not seen it, but it seems it was etched with a message; 'from the people of Malta to Thomas Brown, for all his help & support in protecting Malta' (OR similar, my sister cannot remember the exact words!). I await confirmation. It also appears my younger brother (by 2 years) had 'words' with my sister; saying it should have come to me as the eldest son! (Oh dear; family arguments, and I didn't even know until after the event, such is the way, what can I say!). Anyway, when I find our more I shall let you know. Regards, John Brown


Not one of my happier stories......... On departure from  the Wellington dockside in '72, the Rangitane had barely moved away from the quay when a steward went down aft to where all the accumulated garbage of a prolonged stay in port had been stacked and tossed it into the harbour with crowds of shocked onlookers there to wave goodbye and sing 'Now is the Hour' whilst holding onto the  ribbons from shore to ship.
Those of us watching on board too were disgusted and embarrassed but in those days a lot of stuff got tossed overboard but discreetly one would like to think. I doubt there were any repercussions unlike nowadays albeit when the damage to a great extent has already been done.
Trevor Inman.


Suffolk under sail (canvas) Liverpool to Auckland March 1967 with Captain Sladen (slasher). 10 week voyage plus 10 days in Tahiti for repairs. Hatch canvas covers converted to jury sail. Hugh Macfarlane
Nothing important to say, I did my first trip as a galley boy on the Cambridge. Later I did two trips on the Rangitoto as one of the ships butchers. This was during the sixties. Stuart Robinson
I was reading the NZS Co site when I came upon your note wanting info on the Samkey. I have a book called The Liberty Ships (second edition) by L.A Sawyer and W.H. Mitchell. 1985 ISBN 1-85044-049-2

This covers "The history of the "Emergency" type Cargo ships constructed in the USA during the Second World War" built by Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyard No. 2295 as Carl Thusgaard, completed as Samkey
This gives some more information on the Samkey (Stafford ) and her sister ship Leicester (Samesk) and problems with stability and ballast in tween decks.
"The Court of Enquiry presumed that uncontrolled ballast in the Samkey had suddenly shifted, high seas had overwhelmed her and the ship had gone straight down"
The Samesk had "shifting boards carried away in Atlantic hurricane, and with a list of 70° was towed into Bermuda".
I sailed with NZSCo/Federal ships 1949 -54
Eric Dalzell


Hi Jeff,
Remember me?
Still writing poems.  My wife has finally entered a home for those poor souls suffering from Alzheimer.
Due to my own ill health, Parkinson's disease, severe heart trouble etc. I couldn't care for her at home any longer.
I would like to share the poems in my five books.
Would you like a copy of books 3&4 ?
If so, just give me a shout.
Editor: Yes i do and Yes please.



Bonjour Jeff,

Thanks for your rapid reply. I posted the two books yesterday but only by 2ndclass post; priority costs far too much. They should arrive within 2 weeks. You said in one of your messages that you liked reading our stories.

There are quite a few in one of the books.

When I organised the 50th. anniversary reunion of the Otaio in 2008 I knew that I had Parkinson's disease but never thought it would develop the way it has. My ticker isn't that good either. Having said this I am still in contact via émail with a lot of the men I sailed with.............and also their widows.

Springfield rings a bell, I think an ex cadet captain of the Otaio John Zealley, lived in this sleepy burgh. Enjoy the books.


Harry Simpson


Thought you might be interested in the attached photos:
The first one shows Course 11, Otaio Engineering Cadets, outside Poplar Technical College in 1968, the second one shows the surviving / traceable members in the same location in 2013.
Nick Waddington

Editor: The photos have come in as PDF's have asked Nick privately if he could scan and send as jpegs then it will be easier to load up.


Had it pointed out that I made a boo-boo in my recent contribution.
It was '62 when the the trash got thrown overboard in Wellington Harbour from the 'Tane.
Sorry folks, her life with NZSCo was well and truly over by '72.
Trevor Inman


What an interesting site, have enjoyed reading some of the past.
Joined MV Suffolk Bluff May 65. First experience help 4th start POLAR generator, bar flywheel, pump lube oil, open air valve, scare the hell out of me, flames coming from exhaust manifold and extreme noise.
Did 3 trips on Haparangi then 2 trips Hauraki July 66 interesting last trip, Starboard engine making noise, hammer test found no problem in NZ Chief requested stop engine after Panama found crankshaft coupling bolts had come loose and moving. Removed crankcase side cover plate approximately 3 meters wide x 4 meters high and replace the coupling bolts from oversize spares, Machined to size on small on board lathe, if I remember correctly there was approximately 10 and 90 mm diameter by 400 mm long. About 2 x 24 hour days to complete. Went in to Dry dock Falmouth stayed in Falmouth on various vessels overseeing repairs and coasting to Albert dock when surveys complete.
Joined Hurunui December 67 for 1 trip then final trip back to NZ on Northumberland January 68.
Fondly remember this period of my life, as 10 engineers on the ships, we partied together on shore and on board, and cannot remember one bad experience on ship or off.
Would like to hear from any persons who were on the same ships during this period and would really like some engine room photo's
Regards John Broughton 


Any clues as to where I can purchase a Crossed Flags tie, if such an article exists. Jack Cotter

Does anyone know which port was used to ship machinery/equipment to as part of the building of the Waikaremoana Power Scheme. My father was engaged in shipping the equipment (probably from Wellington) before WW11. Any ideas


Hi Jeffrey, With reference to Jack Cotter's enquiry 'Crossed Flags' tie, there was such an article, I have one in my wardrobe. Probably very rare these days I brought mine about 50 years ago at the office in Royal Albert Docks. Sailed on Ruahine, Rangitane, Derby and others in the 60's, happy days. Excellent website keep up the great work Bob Manning


My mother, an American who married a kiwi soldier in Egypt (yes there is a story in it, and I am writing it) travelled on the Rimutaka in July 1944 arriving in Wellington. The ship was in a convoy, and I would love to hear any stories people might have about that journey (I think from New York, through Panama) because I remember talk of torpedoes, depth charges, and I think a ship that went down. Ali Schaper


Have rediscovered your excellent site, lasted posted nine years ago 14.09.05. Now living in Bangkok and with a different email address, still at sea in command of a Singapore owned Dive Support Vessel in offshore oil and gas industry. I have happy memories of the years 1969 to 1982 from Voyage 25 on Otaio to signing off the Wild Gannett in Auckland and all the ships between particularly Tekoa 1973 to 1975, and Somerset 1976 to 1977 Regards to all Mike Fletcher


Jnr Eng. 1965 MV Northumberland. On arrival at NZ our first port of call was at an oil refinery on the north island where we discharged our deck cargo which consisted of fifty gallon drums which had been lashed around the holds on the deck, it was somewhere near Whangarei. We then coasted discharging at Auckland, then Lyttleton for Christchurch, then back to Whangarei, where we were told that the MV Northumberland was the first ship to use the brand new loading dock at Whangarei and if I remember we loaded bails of wool and a cargo of pea's, then back to Auckland for more cargo, then onto Littleton for final stage of loading. In the mean time Jim Clark was still flogging us to death to get the starboard engine repairs completed. The cargo was stowed and the hatches battened ready for sea but we were not going far we were towed off our pier and put out at the breakwater where we were to stay for the next two or three weeks by the end we were rely pissed off with the distance we had to walk to the pub every night after work then back to the ship. Towards the end someone organised a party onboard so we all chipped in and CHRIS the 5th Eng. went into Littleton and came back with a cargo and a load of girls, we were making for our accommodation on board when we were stopped by the old man and then Jim Clark who told us we could not bring drink onboard nor girls, after a bit of a fracas we retreated back off to the breakwater where we some how sourced a getto blaster and proceeded to party, with the old man and Jim Clark  hanging over the side threatening to get the police to us. All ended well we had a good night, the noise must have been driving them mad.
Ian j g w Thomson.


I first sailed as 9th engineer on the MV Northumberland in June 1965 until January 1966, then I joined MV Wharanui on 10th February 1966 as 6th engineer on the M.A.N.Z. run between the East Coast of America to both New Zealand and Australia, signing off in Jamaica 12th May 1967. On 7th September 1967 I joined MV Huntingdon as 5th engineer and signed off on 28th January 1968.  On 1st April 1968 I sailed as 4th engineer on MV Hertford and stayed with the ship on various trips until 12th March 1969. Then I joined on 7th September 1969 MV Manapouri on home trade then left the company to join the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand as 3rd engineer. I stayed with the company only about 6 months, then took up residence in New Zealand working shore side. On 7th January 1974 I joined my old ship MV Huntingdon in Auckland, New Zealand replacing 4th engineer that wished to go on leave. I took the ship back to England and I stayed with the Huntingdon until July 1974 as 4th engineer.  That is when I finished my sailing days and went shore side. Brian Pendleton


I did not know that there was a web site for the ships that went to New Zealand until your web site popped up this morning.  My relations travelled to New Zealand many times.  I just had a thought, that I looked up the old newspaper archives and I found their name and the name of their ship and the details thereon.  I just thought this may help you find more passengers to list for the people who wish to finish their family trees. Diane Leech


Served on Athlone castle 45-47 Union Castle line. Then ..... old Tekoa , Gloucester , Empire Windrush, Sussex , Orarai, Nottingham, Huntingdon. Joined NZ shipping co from Athlone Castle 7 yrs NZ shipping co I have photos of various ships and football teams. Leonard Ronald Spencer

I guess anyone who frequented the Royal Albert Docks would have visited the Custom House? Pub.

We were all in there one night and on meandering back to the 'Tane at 2E Bruce Rankin's insistence (gee they had some power in those days!), the ship was suddenly plunged into darkness.

Did we run, would have been away from the ship if Bruce hadn't have been there!
The gennie had dropped it's bundle, so we all piled down blundering about in the dark to get another on the board.

If there were emergency lights they were pretty feeble, like our efforts!

On the ensuing voyage we were pulling down one of said Allen generators for survey and were well advanced when the greaser blasted a hose onto the commutator of an on- line gennie, doing untold damage so it was onto 6 hour watches to box up the dismantled number knowing we would have to go through the whole frigging process again and the electricians spent many a happy hour repairing the comm. etc.
Loved it when I finally got onto B Articles with plenty of 'ovies'.
Does anyone actually go down below these days?
Trevor Inman


My father Charles Watson served as a steward on the MV Rangitoto from the UK to New Zealand in 1949. Matt Watson

MV Cornwall ... My first trip to sea in 1962 was as a deck boy on he above ship. She sailed from London to Swansea for a spell in dry dock then on the Liverpool. I wonder if anybody here remembers what happened on that short voyage, one thing is for certain that if your were part of the ships crew it will stay in your mind for ever. Rod Wohl


Looking for information or photos RE: S.S. KAIMATA in Convoy UGS-18. Dates: 15 Sept 1943 to 14 October 1943. Convoy was attacked by German A/C on 4 October 1943 off Cape Tenes in the Med. I am writing a book focusing upon another freighter in this convoy and am looking for first hand accounts from participants in the convoy from non-U.S. ships. Thank you Theron P. Snell


My father Peter Nelson Jeanes served onboard the Hororata, Essex, Pipiriki and Northumberland during the later part of the second world war and through until mid 50,s. I have found a few photographs that someone may find interesting about his time on board and would be happy to share them. Paul 
My father Thomas Frank Walsh, was Steward/violinist, on board the Rangitane 1936
Bernard Mcdonnell Walsh
My father Alfred Holbrook was stoker on Hororata on 1943
Ann White

Hello, When I was 4 years old ( 1959 ) My mother and I travelled to the UK and back on the Rangitata. Apart from Pitcairn Island, what other ports of call did the ship stop at? I would love to know as I was too young to remember way back then. I presume we went through the Panama Canal both ways? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks John Smith


In 1960 or thereabouts, I inherited a 'ship in a bottle'. One side portrays MV Sussex and the other, MV Hinakura. I believe this may have been made by my uncle who served on a number of ships during the 40's to 60's.

Do you know if a museum would like this? I am going to be in ChCh in December and could bring it over but only if it is of interest (weight!). Janice Marshall

Editor: Your request is out there now Janice, lets see what happens.


During the period of P&O GCD as an original engineer with B.I, met a number of NZS engineering staff and wonder if they, (after all this time) will read this. I sailed with Dave Handley on Carpentaria last known residence Hobart, then Tom Webster Otaki last known residence Melbourne and finally a CEO Richard Weston on Strathnaver ex Jumna last seen in Falmouth. If they read this or someone knows there whereabouts would like to catch up. Keith Walker

Editor: Bob Malcolm sent a photo of the M.V Northumberland 1967 football team that played a game in Newark, New Jersey, New York 9th June 1967 Football Team he mentions he was in the back row 2nd from the right ... photo loaded up in the Northumberland folder


Dear Sir, I recently obtained a 1.5m model of the MV Whakatane,which needs to be completed. I would like to know if the railings on the bridge wings are railings with timber tops or full screens with timber tops ?? Regards Rick .... Merry Xmas to you also

A Happy Christmas and the best wishes for the New Year to all the Gentle men that I sailed with in the Greatest Shipping Co on the planet. Noddy Bowcock.

Editor: I am sure there are a few fella's out there who would agree.
I have just discovered this site, as I am trying to write my life story in case my grandchildren or someone is one day interested. I travelled NZ-UK on the Ruahine in 1963 (maybe) but don't remember it. I do however remember travelling UK-NZ on the Rangitane in 1967 (June/July, I think), one of the happiest memories of my childhood. In particular I remember the Officer "Taffy," perhaps the Taffy Roberts mentioned elsewhere on this site as being on the Rangitoto. I was desperately traumatised by the Crossing the Line ceremony - but taffy remained a hero throughout my childhood, even if I have no idea who he was! Michael Godfrey


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 you 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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