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

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Archive Comments
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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 2016

Email / Date

My wife's grandfather James Millar Adams was a crew member on board SS Rangitane sunk by  German surface raiders in 1940. He is mentioned in the book "Ordeal by Sea" He was killed during the attack or fatally wounded and died later. We are looking for any information regarding him and his time with the company or from anyone who knew him. Denis W. Reid


Although joined British India SN as engineer became involved with other vessels when P&O started GCD. Joined Otaki NZ 1973 for trip back to UK via Persian Gulf/Oz/Med/London, then coasted Essex Newport - L'pool. Later sailed on Strathnaver and sailed with CEO Dick Weston, would like information or to contact him. Keith Walker


Are there any memories of Chief Engineer Wally Woolhouse please? Ted Ashworth

Editor: What is your connection with Wally

We were both members of the UK Durham Association Committee. I became editor of the UK newsletter and being a Marine Engineer also, Wally and I would wax lyrical about Doxford Engines. I never sailed with him. He will be sadly missed. Ted


Hi I'm trying to find any old photos of chief engineer Angus Keddie, he served with the Union Shipping Company 1940s - 1978 and the Shipping corporation of NZ 1978-1987.
I'm his god son and its his 80th soon so was hoping to give him something special. cheers owen walton


Eng cadet course 10 mv Otaio sept 1967 trying to get in touch with other cadets on same course did sea time after poplar tech mv Rakai and mv Hurunui. Rakai was sulzer and Hurunui was b&w, not bmw!
left to go to further ed.  finally ended up with in telecoms and worked in usa 81-04. retired to Thailand and happy.  Hope you can help with this.  cheers, Roger Bedford


Have spent the last few days skipping through he comments from 1999 onwards. Stirred up the memories a bit. I was with NZSCo from 1959 to 1965. Sailed on the Cumberland, Devon, Whakatane (MANZ), Pipiriki, Suffolk, Turakina (Crusader) and Hertford.
Joined the Cumberland in Liverpool as 2RO at the age of 17. CRO was Jack Bilton.
I have some crew photos somewhere which I will try to look out and post here.
Cheers, Bill Aitchison.


I was on the last trip on the last trip to NZ aboard the tongariro or as we called her the tongaplonker.

Frank Edwards


My wife and I were passengers on the RMS Rangitoto, sailing from London to Wellington during March 1959. Purely out of a nostalgic interest, we would be interested in getting a passenger list for the voyage, to include in our family history files. Would you be able to assist? If so I would be delighted if you could email a copy to me at the address below. Brian Lee


Cadet on RAKAIA from mid 1955 I have 2 reasonable pics. of her sails helping her across the Atlantic after the 1957 breakdown. Peter Coles


Dear Sirs,  My father who we buried yesterday was a captain with NZSCo in the 60's + 70's.

His name wasJames Reid known to friends as Jim.  Many of the ship names on your site are familiar to me from postcards and from an actual voyage I went on as a child. I reckon in 70 or 71 we were lucky enough to visit NZ on the ss Devon.  Dad's recent death has caused us to put together a history of his life and his time with you had particular significance.  I would be interested to know if you have any details on my dad's service with you.
I have some stuff from the Devon which was scrapped not long after our voyage and my dad must have saved some momentos from his time on her.
We draped his coffin with the red ensign and had his captai's hat on top.
Would love to hear from you.
Doug Reid


Hi, sorry it has been awhile life can get complicated at times, I have scanned in, but can only send in batches of four, will send next batch after this email, these are photos of the rescue of the captain who had a heart attack on the Kate "A", whom we met Mid pacific,  we responded because we carried a Doctor on board, it was a good test for us as to our readiness to support an emergency at sea. Regards John Grist ex 7th engineer.


My Grandfather travelled on the RMS Remuera in 1923-24. I have a photo of the ship anchored off Pitcairn Island in October 1924. Was the island on the route back from Wellington to the UK? Thank you! Phillip Davies


I sailed the Cumberland as a child with my mum and dad 'John Webster' who was the frosty.  It was my first voyage and I went on to sail on the Tongariro and later the gas tankers Garala and Garinda, until I was too old to be allowed to sail anymore.  Does anyone remember me or any of the officers? Regina Webster


Hi Doug Reid, Sorry to hear about your dad.
I remember the voyage where your father had his wife and young child with him. The Chief Refrigeration Engineer had his wife and child with him as well, I also think the Chief Engineer might have had his wife with him!

I was Third Engineer at the time, and you would have been too young to remember anyone. Haydn G Thomas


I was an engineer (electrical) on the Rangitiki voyages 83 & 84 and  went to Pitcairn Island and as I remember we did not anchor there as the water is too deep around the island but just drifted under power with enginneers still in the engine room and mates on the bridge under standby Am I correct PS Im still in touch with some of those Pitcairn Island a lot now live hear in New Zealand Regards Noel Martin


I was a passenger on the Rangitane in 1939 I left England as a lone traveller at the age of 4 cared for by stewardess E.Green. I arrived at Wellington. Patricia Ina Lawrence


Hi Barry Templeman.Worked my passage to the UK early 1955 On Hauraki,Captain Hollingdale (The Duke) Master A shilling a month and still waiting for it.PWSTS 4 months at and then joined Whangaroa brand new out of John Browns, MANZ run for 16 months.Then Durham, Rangitoto, Cambridge, Pipiriki, Cornwall, Ragitiki, Ruahine, Rhodesia Star Runic, Carnarvan Castle Esso Tankers, RFA, Comito, a few more that were going where I wanted to go and back to Rangitiki.Stayed in the Marine industry in shore jobs till retiring.Would be great to hear from anyone that may remember the name,and hopefully I will remember yours as at 77 ????????


What a great site. Very much enjoyed reading. My birth father died before I was 1, so don't know much about him. I've now inherited all my father's papers ect kept by my uncle. Anyway Frederick Charles little (freddy) was a seaman on m/S RANGITOTO 5/12/67-26/1/68 Place of engagment Auckland, discharge Tilbury. Any info on this time would be greatly appreciated as this is my only way to get to know him. Located this site by reserching Rangitoto. Thanks Trudi Little


I joined nzs in 1963 until 1974 was in the catering dept sailed on m.v rangitane, m.v rhuhine, m.v piako, m.v westmorland, m.v midlesex, m.v tekoa, m.v hinakura (on her trip to the scrap yard in south korea) m.v turakina.
I would like to hear from anyone who sailed in any of the above ships. Wullie (Mr William J Waterson)


Since I visited as a tourist New Zealand twice, I resumed my ship postcards collection started in 1967. Now I am 74 and not many months to go.The only card I don't have it is the passenger ship Remuera of 1968 by Arthur Dixon. I would like to have it before my time ends but to no avail. Of course buying the card. Please, can you help ? Many thanks and best regards in any case. Jose

Editor: I take it you will leave your collection with us.


My brother James. Mackenzie from Fort William Scotland served on the Rangutane and Otiao in the late 60s early 70s as an electrical engineer. Fraser Mackenzie


Just like to say I served on the Piako when was NZ shipping company and when P&O cargo division group 2 took over the company in 1971 I served on the ship till March 1972 as a deck boy great memories. Mark Thatcher


On the 10th March 2017, there will be 100 year Commemoration Services, held in Aberdeen Scotland, and Otaki, NZ for the Sinking of SS Otaki by enemy action, in WW1.Captain Archibald Bisset-Smith was the second Merchant Seaman ever, to receive the Victoria Cross for his heroic actions. Stone laying ceremonies will take place in Aberdeen and Otaki.

It is also proposed to have a Reunion for all New Zealand Shipping Company employees, both afloat and ashore, at both Aberdeen and Otaki. Anyone wishing to attend the Reunion should contact me, Roger Blake. Many thanks


I sailed on the last NZ trip of the Gloucester in Feb.66 and paid off in Hull June 66 at the beginning of the seamans strike. I was 2nd cook & baker. I still have the old red duster from her.
After the strike I joined the Haparangi again as 2nd.cook and the chief cook was Ron Marder a real London cockney. I remember he refused to cook anything untill the officers had cleaned the Galley as they had cooked themselves while the strike was on and it was a right mess.With Ron i have never known anybody who could get so many swear words in a sentence and always had a fag on the go and a can of beer at hand but a great cook who taught me a lot.
I transfered to the Turakina in NZ and stayed with her for the next 3 years. Anthony Bradley


My dad, david Russell, was chief engineer from early 50's to late 70's. ships included rangitata, rangitoto, ruahine, mataura and manapouri to name but a few. I have some photos I would like to post plus would love to know if anyone remembers him. Jo Clutterbuck - nee Russell


The book you refer to on your opening page was titled:- Merchant Fleets 7 New Zealand Shipping and Federal S.n. Co.  Written by Duncan Haws and published in 1985 by TCL Publications, Burwash, East Sussex, TN19 7BW.
Hope this helps. Bob Norgan (Ex NZS Engineer)


Hi, I see it is almost 7 years since i posted a request for information or former shipmates of my father James (jimmy) Gow. meantime i found dad's pay statements which cover 22 voyages from 1937 to 1946 on 3 NZSC ships Rangitata, Hurunui (sunk by U93) then Sussex (see table)

Ship     Date                             Days
Mon 10 05 1937                        95
Tue 28 09 1937                         92
Mon 24 01 1938                        102
Tue 10 05 1938                         95
Wed 28 09 1938                        97
Wed 18 01 1939                        97
Tue 16 05 1939                         103
Rangitata Total 7                       681

Sat 30 12 1939                         210
Thu 12 09 1940                         204
Mon 14 10 1940                        19
Hurunui Total 3                         433

Wed 4 06 1941                         158
Fri 24 10 1941                           120
Wed 1 04 1942                         148
Sat 26 09 1942                         162
Thu 11 02 1943                         120
Wed 7 07 1943                         126
Thu 2 12 1943                           131
Sat 20 05 1944                         149
Wed 20 09 1944                        104
Mon 9 04 1945                          187
Mon 10 09 1945                        142
Wed 8 05 1946                         221
Sussex Total 12                        1768

Grand Total 22                          2882

Hurunui (3) Torpedoed by U93 14/10/1940 22:10 went down 22:25 2 crew lost A H Jones and A Puckett Dad picked up by steamer St Margaret then next morning transferred to sloop HMS Fowey which, with dad aboard, was sent to meet a convoy SC.7 which had been mauled by a wolf pack attack. SC.7 lost half of its 34 ships. (see Battle of the Atlantic, Jonathan Dimbleby 2015 p102-108 Night of the Long Knives) Dad did not realise he had been involved in this action (he remembered sailing through seas covered in floating timber pit props), until a colleague read an account in the 1980's which told of HMS Fowey's part in the disaster.

During 1940 662 ocean convoys were run mainly in North Atlantic, of 17,882 ships 101 were lost to U-boats Fowey landed survivors in Greenock on 20 October mum had gone to gran gibbons after saying goodbye to dad in Newcastle. Dad arrived at 7 Hillside Ave (see pic 7 December 1947) rather unexpectedly.

After the sinking dad briefly went to work at John Browns shipyard for about a week before receiving order to stand by mv sussex which was under repair from bomb damage on his 2nd voyage on the sussex carrying crated hurricane fighters and munitions bound for basra iraq via cape of good hope they were diverted at durban to singapore after pearl harbour was attacked and malaya invaded he sent mum a telegram from raffles hotel saying he met aunt may (code for singapore) unloading took 5 days under frequent bombing raids radio silence meant it was only when dad reached australia that mum knew he had escaped the fall of Singapore.

David Gow


I sailed on Rangitoto, Rangitata deep sea as an Electrical Engineer. In the 50's.
A special time of my life. I always remember the great camaraderie between us all.

David Garland


Hello.  My father, William Brennan, sadly passed away just a few days ago after suffering from dementia.  He spent over 10 years in the Merchant Marine and finished his time with the NZSC in the late 1950's. He told me his job was a 'Donkey Man'  I know one ship he used to speak fondly of before his illness and that was the Otaki.
If anyone on this site remembers my dad or has any information regarding voyages the Otaki made in the 1950's I would be most grateful to you.
I qualified as a RO in 1980 but unfortunately I did not get to sea - I do however maintain a keen interest in all things nautical and enjoy reading the wonderful stories on this site.

Thank you all
Liam Brennan


I sailed as 3rd Electrician on the RMS Rangitoto 1963/64  Then sailed on SS Papanui as 2rnd electrician 1964/65 I preferred cargo ships to passenger ships. Smaller ships have smaller crews. On the Rangitoto the crew broke up into small groups and there was a lot of "Us and Them" went on. On smaller ships with a smaller crew it was like being part of a large family. I spent most of my life at sea. Retired at 68 seven years ago. Robert Dickman


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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