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This page was last updated on Monday, 04 January 2016 11:32:16 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 2015

Email / Date

I would like to know what happened to the ss Devon i worked on her around about 1967 - 8 is there any photos of her around. Colin Silk

Editor: I have not received any Colin

Hi Jeff
I've come across some photos you may be interested in:
Rangitane passing Rangitoto in the Panama Canal
Cumberland leaving Wellington
Hinakura alongside at Napier
Rangitiki leaving Wellington for her last time 1962
Rangitoto taking on bunkers at Curacao
Rangitoto dressed overall for the visit of HM the Queen to New Zealand 1962(?)
Hinakura alongside at Wellington, Christmas 1963.  What a pity I didn't find this one for you just before last Christmas.  There may well be some Wellingtonians who remember this occasion.

Every good wish
Stuart Edwards

Editor: Photos loaded


Hi again Jeff
The attached two photos are of Royal Yacht Britannia arriving in Wellington with the Queen & Prince Phillip on board. (1962)
Stuart Edwards

Editor: Photos loaded

My dad died last week in Ireland. His name was Bruce Robert Warner. My sister and I are executors of his will. He served on several NZS and Federal ships during his sea-going career as Ch. Stwd/Purser. Latterly he was on the "Wild" small reefer ships and one or two of the PanOcean product tankers. One of his requests was that a small bequest was made to "The Durham Ass'n." I'd like to complete that task. Can anyone help? Nick Warner

I enjoyed logging in each month to see is there is anyone I know. Bob Malcolm
My father was a passenger on Hororata when it was torpedoed 13/12/1942. others were Mr.Prentice and Mr.kennedy.when the captain told them not to take anything if they had to board the lifeboats, Mr.Prentice said he would take his bible, my father replied he would take his whisky. They became good friends and Mr.Prentice sent us food parcels after the war until rations were easier when he told us to pass the parcels to those in need. John d Clink


Sailed on the Ruahine sometime in 1967 as a bakers boy . My memory has failed me , I cant remember the names of the bakers or indeed any of the crew . I would be grateful if anyone could come up with some names to jog my memory .Thanks David Mildenhall
Hi, not proud of what I did but do not regret it.On Rangitiki heading for New Zealand 1957 or 8 jumped ship in Panama. However came back and married my lovely wife. And that I do not regret and we are still together. I came back on the Rangitana ( I think ) Richard Ellis i:e Dick Ellis DBS
Hi, we have an original large tin sign painted of what we think is the Turakina 2, advertising the passenger service between NZ and London. It shows the ship on the water with smaller sail boats and a Maori canoe. We are trying to learn more about the Turakina if anybody can help. Kelly 08.03.15
With reference to David Mildenhall's enquiry about the bake house crew on the Ruahine. I did 4 trips as bakersboy from Apr'65 until May'66. Chief baker was Joe Baker, 2nd baker John Wilson, 3rd baker Duncan Mackenzie, Asst baker, Jimmy Denton. Chef was Mick Overall of Rangitiki fame, a pleasant man as long as you did your job. 2nd Cook was Ray Butler. Very happy days a very long time ago. Bob Manning

To Bob Manning...Thanks Bob..Those names were a big help T remember faces but not names.. Joe was the chief bakers name and John the second baker I am sure . I really regret not taking photos and keeping some record of my time at sea .But just didn't think about it then but anyway they were good years . The Ruahine was a good ship , lots of fun .Thanks again Bob...David Mildenhall


My father in law came out to Wellington on the Rangitoto in around 1954. I believe as a young lad he worked on it and jumped ship when he got there. His name was Ron Duff. I have a photo which I believe may be of his mates, it looks like the ship in the background and would love to know if the headwear on the right gives any clues. Julie Steele

Editor: Have loaded the photo on Rangitoto, I would suggest they were going across the international date line


I was in the merchant navy in 1953 sailing from the UK to Bowen in Qld in June 1953. I am visiting Bowen shortly and would like to learn why the Tongariro sailed in to Bowen at that time. Please email me details if you have them and let me know if there are any pictures/photos your web users may have given to you from the ship's time in Bowen. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you. Richard Snelling

Editor: I doubt if anybody would be alive to provide the information, you seek

A reunion is planned in Greenwich for engineer cadets from the NZS training ship Otaio to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the start of course 8. Dates are the weekend of 2nd to 4th October 2015. We have traced every cadet except Malcolm (Ringo) Walker and Ken Hagen. Do you have information that may help locate them? Kevin Bartimote


Hi Jeff, I came across your site purely by chance and have enjoyed reading all the comments. I joined NZSCo in May 1960 as a 2nd radio Rfficer and sailed on my first trip on the Norfolk from Liverpool. It was a double header via Suez to Australia, New Zealand, east coast of the USA and Canada, back to Australia and New Zealand then home - 10 months in all!. It was an eventful voyage - we ran aground in the Suez Canal cut causing chaos on the radio and I asked the Chief Radio, Ted Perrry, assist me handle the traffic as being my first trip I found it al a bit overwhelming. He replied "It's your watch - get on with it!" A baptism of fire. A week out of Panama heading back to Aus there was a hell of a bang early one morning. The starboard engine blew up throwing a con rod through the engine casing. We limped on to Brisbane for repairs at 4 knots.
I next joined the Rangitoto for a short trip to dry dock in Antwerp. I remember the 4th mate was Doug Butcher who is in the crew photo on the Rangitoto page. In June 1961 I joined the Northumberland for a trip to NZ returning to UK via Aqaba, Pireus and Genoa and then coasted the UK. My last ship was the Rangitata on its firnal voyage before going to scrap. The Chief Radio was Minty Lamb and the 3rd R/O was Tom Connolly. I left the Company after that voyage and sailed to NZ as a passenger on the Port Nelson to take a job with the NZBC as it was in those days.

I have some photos but I'm not sure how to attach them to this comments section. Regards, Vaughan Dean

Editor: Make sure your photos are jpeg, quick heads up on the photo and simply email and i will do the rest

Sailed on the medic carnatic in the 70s also the Cedric paid off in Wellington we had the pleasure on the medic of going backwards and forwards the most times than any other ship change of orders each time we went one end to the other so proud and yet so bored. Richard

Hi, my Grandfather - James Gates - asked me to share with you some documents (including poetry and pictures) from his time with the New Zealand Shipping Company. He saw in the 'History' section there were many posts from others reminiscing their time at sea, and he wished to share these through your website. Thank you Caitlin Eastaff


Writing on behalf of my father (Robin Newell) who was at school with Keith Lingard and lost touch in the 1960's; he dreamt about him the other night. Looks like he might have passed away from a comment in 2008.
Can anyone fill in the gap. Last heard of on ferry between North and South island?

Jenny Newell

I am trying to locate a shipmate that was on the Cumberland; it was in Lyttelton, Christchurch, around January 1972. His name is Terry and I believe he is Scottish. If anyone has any information on this person or knows where I might find such information it would be greatly appreciated. Julie Burton

A great site. I only did a few trips with NZSC but they were great ships to sail on; especially the 'Mighty Middlesex on her last trip before being turned over to B.I..

Keep up the good work Jeffrey and if there is anybody that remembers that ship, that trip and especially that skipper (Willie Dan), I would love to hear from them. I was 2nd Cook and Baker on there. Regards Rob Stafford

I believe there were two murders on the Cornwall snowy..........the Donkeyman and the Galley Boy I think ? The pantry boy was charged with the murders if I remember rightly. It was said to be some kind of 'Love Triangle'. The Cornwall used to catch hell from any other company ship she met up with on a few succeeding trips, especially if she was seen to be going astern !1 Regards Rob Stafford


Please find attached Officer photos relating to voyages 26 & 27 on the Ruahine
Many regards Dave Prime

Editor: Thank you for your contribution Dave I have loaded photos

I was a junior engineer on the Ruahine on the last two trips.
Roger Bannister Max Brewer 3rd Engineer John lyoid and Laurie Emeney second electician are some of the names I remember.if any one else remembers me I would like to hear from them.
Happy and exciting days. Alan Hale


hat a great site you have created . I was a 6 yr old passenger on the MV RUAHINE from London to Auckland in 1960 remembering such exotic places as Curacao, Panama and Tahiti. Shipboard life was amazing to me my Dad taught a group of us to swim in the ships pool and with each new stroke we learned we were rewarded with a 'traffic light'drink with the collectible metal cocktail arrows they used at the time, anyone remember them ? Martin Hill


My wife found me a copy of the New Zealand Shipping Company Ordeal By Sea 1939-1945, I was showing to my father who mentioned on seeing the photo of MV Dorset under attack in the Malta Convoy, that he was a deck officer on the bridge at that time.
I hoping to be able to confirm this and was hoping someone can help me with this. Point me in the right direction to find this imformation. His name was Colin Townend .. Rob Townend


I was the 7th engineer on the Mv Ruahine 1967, I have photos of our trips Panama, curacao, kiwi, and the rescue of the Captain of the Mv Kate "A" who had a heart attack please advise me on sending these photos, regards John Grist


I don't know whether this is relevent to you, but the song 'The Queen Street Girls' was a favourite in the British infantry in the 1950s. Mike Atkinson


My Father John Anson passed away on 7th September this year, he sailed on Middlesex first on 4th May 1956 from Liverpool as an assistant Steward he later sailed on Hertford, Haparangi, Cornwall, Gloucester and his last ship Essex in 1964. I would like to trace the ports he visited and if anyone remembers him and can help me with this task I can provide further details from his discharge book.
Gary Anson (son)


May I please enquire if you would know what date the Union Steamship Company reunion is for 2015. I believe it is in November sometime. My father Gavin Morris who is residing in San Diego would like to attend. Any information on when and where it will be held, would be very much appreciated. Carl Morris


I have my grandfather's personal log written on the Tekoa in 1899 when she ran aground off Cape Horn . If you have any Company records of this, I would be very keen to see them. (If it is of interest to you, I can send you scans of pages from his log, about running aground, and the launching one lifeboat, subsequently rescued by another vessel, and so forth) Anne Crawford


Thank you for re-awakening my memory of the Hinakura, I served on her as a Steward for a brief period in 1968. I joined her in London when she was berthed and sailed to Southampton and then on to the Gladstone Dock, Seaforth near Liverpool. She was loading farm machinery and other goods for Australia and New Zealand and back loading lamb for the UK. I didn't sail with her due to some bad experiences I had with perverts on the ship who were aggressively trying to force their homosexuality the young teenagers on the ship. I was seventeen at that time and courting my wife to be of forty four years. NZSC wouldn't tell me how long the voyage was going to be and I only found out after asking one of the Dockers who told me it was going on a twelve month tramp which, being my first deep-sea voyage, was too long. Patrick A Kavanagh


My dad Michael Wasse did his naval apprenticeship at HMS Worcester in London in about 1929 + and then  to gain his certificate of competency as a second mate he served on Westmoreland from 8 March 1931 to 4 Aug 1931 followed by 6 stints on Cornwall until 17 march 1934. It honed his life and thereafter and he went on to be the staion Commander RAF for the 75 NZ bomber squadron based at Mepal Cambridgshire. I have his Apprentices voyage record on his indenture certificate. Ian Wasse


I have the passenger list of the rms Rangitata, which left London on the 19th February 1960 on her trip to Auckland New Zealand. John Heringe.


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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