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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 2012

Email / Date

I've just been reading my uncle's (John Barnes) diary of his passage to London on the Rangitoto (12th June 1954 to 12th July). He wrote a page for every day aboard the ship and I was surprised to find I couldn't put it down. He had a ball and made great friends. A diary entry two months later - broke and heart broken in London he reminisced, "Tonight I heard music from 'South Pacific' and lived once again for a moment or two in the Rangitoto's ballroom." Joanna Carey


Hi Guys,

Joined MV Otaio Spt. 63,course 6, voy. 12/13 as Eng. Apprentice (we were never cadets as we were fully indentured!) During this period the Duke of Edinburgh visited Otaio, then Poplar Tech. for 2nd year.

Phase2 Haparangi, Northumberland, Hurunui, Hinakura as Eng. Apprentice

Phase 3 Poplar Tech then Hinakura,7thEng,

Devon from1969 to 71 rising to 3rd Eng.

Otaio (HT) Dorset 71 to 72. After regrouping - Advocate (HT)Hain Line, Nardarna B.India. Couldn't handle P&O ways so joined Esso Petroleum (£ month trips) until retiring as Chief Engineer 1999. Most years with Esso but best years with NZS Co.

I have two books on NZS One hard back A4 size called "Crossed Flags" published by World Ship Society ISBN 0905617878 & Merchant Fleets No 7 (on NZS & Federal) TCL Publications ISBN 0946378029 - actually bought this from a now defunct bookshop in Falmouth, Cornwall. No books on Esso!! Only names that come to mind from joining are Dave Wilson & John Boxall, there was a tall lad called Fred ???. John Boxall emigrated to S.Africa, Dave Wilson went to Cleveland area, ending up director (?) of a company fitting anodes to ships hulls.

Anyone out there remember? I can come back with some stories again.
Haydn Gwyn Thomas

Editor: You do that - I have sent you a private email introducing you to someone else who lives in your local area who you can share your stories with.


Hi once again, this site is becoming addictive!

I read on a previous item about a Chief Engineer called Jim Clark of the Northumberland. He was Chief when I and two other engineer apprentices joined in Liverpool. So it must have been after the major engine disaster because Jim Clark went on leave about one week after we arrived in Australia. His reputation was such that when we sailed we lost three junior engineers by the time we left the locks, that put us three apprentices on watch as acting juniors! I do remember he was a large man and used to scare the daylights out of us, especially when you had to take the log book to him at noon, as he used to give you a good grilling on the days logs. It did train you know what you were recording and not just put it in blindly! Though it probably helped a lot later in my career when I was Chief reading log books. The engine room entrance door kept changing colour from white (as Jim wanted it) to black (as the second engr. wanted it, (he was a steam chief doing motor time)! This dispute kept us amused for a long time. Jim Clark also had a reputation of clearing the cheese board on his way to his seat in the saloon, to keep him going while he waited for his meal!

NZS/Fed. certainly had some characters, most of which i seemed to have sailed with!!!

Cheers guys, anyone remember the Doxford song? I'll print what i remember another time Haydn (probably remembered as "Taff" 
Haydn Thomas


Sailed in Papanui as Junior Engineer 1950-1952 (5 voyages)

I am interested to know what tonnage was the Rangatiki that sailed to Australia and New Zealand for 10pound fares in 1952,1954, I was a 16yr old boy working on the ship at that time for the New Zealand shipping company. Anthony Ralph Compton

As an ex Radio Officer with NZSC in the 60's serving aboard Dorset, Cumberland, Cornwall and Hurunui I read with interest Simone and Bryn Davies article regarding Peter and Leif Selwood. Both Peter and Leif where both shipmates of mine. They both played on our 1962 Auckland shield winning football team. Leif sadly passed away but if anybody can help me get in touch with Peter I would be most grateful as I have pictures of him and his brother to pass on.

Regards to everyone who remembers me.
Cheers Lawrie Summers


I am from Liverpool England and am interested to know if anyone remembers my grandfather John (Jack)Thomas Tunstall. He worked for the New Zealand Shipping Co from 1937-1967 as ships butcher/assistant cook. He was on the maiden voyage of the Suffolk in 1939 was on her throughout the war including the only time she sailed in convoy in 1942 as the Commodore ship.

At some point he was on the Paparoa although I don't know exactly when only that at least one time he was on voyage 20. I know this because he gave my Mother the homeward track chart from the Paparoa of voyage 20 from New Zealand to Spain/ France, who in turn passed it on to me.

I know that the Chief Steward on a lot of his voyages was Tommy Dumbell who I remember meeting as a child.

Also in 1950 and 1954 his Captain was Cpt. Rodger Dell. It is possible that this was on the Paparoa.

In later years (up to 1967) my grandfather, Jack Tunstall, was store keeper for the NZS company at Gladstone Dock. I have many fond childhood memories of visiting on the ships when in dry dock and having afternoon tea with the chief steward or captains and amusing the crew when I said I felt "sea sick".

Our family also became good friends with Captain Dell and his family and visited them a few times in Falmouth , Cornwall.

Sadly in 1967 my grandfather took sick and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis and was signed off work. This turned out to be lung and colon cancer and he passed away in a lot of pain in the April of the following year on my cousins 21st birthday.

I now live on the banks of the Panama Canal and often smile and think of my grandfather passing by on his voyages.

Lynne Hawksworth


It is with sad news that I wish to inform you all our old mate Graham Peers Passed away in Grand Bay new Brunswick on the 31st Dec 2011

Gary O'Keeffe


Hi great site. I first sailed with nzsc/p&o on june74 on the Cumberland, had trips on Strathdevon (gulf)Tongariro,(coastal) Somerset (nz) and spent two years on the Tekoa from july76 till sept78 paid off in Sharjah. I remember some of the crew ,the skipper was Sam Household ,bosun Albert Mason ,abs, Jimmy Main , George Balls, mad Mitch, Curley, Donald Crane, it was a great time to be at sea ,now living in Gisborne NZ fishing since 1979. thanks off watch. Duncanz.ab.R843824..

Duncan Ian macdonald


Hi, I have started family research on my grandfather, who served on the Essex when she was bombed in Malta in Jan 16, 1941 - the year my grandmother died in childbirth. We are trying to piece together stories, and find that maybe the Essex was out of action for quite a while whilst being repaired - and then returned to UK to go back into service in 1944.
Could you point me towards any one who has knowledge of what happened during the bombing - i.e. any personal stories or official ones? There has been little family contact, due to interesting circumstances, but apparently there could have been some bravery displayed by my grandfather. Thanks for any info! Bernadette Nagy


Hello I sailed on the SS Devon joining her in Falmouth dry dock Dec 1969.The Devon is not mentioned on the shipping lists. How can I find out more about this ship. Thanks Clive Hewitson

I sailed on the Rangitoto out of Tilbury London 3rd December 1951 as a child migrant with my group. arrived Wellington NZ 3rd January 1952.
I was nine years old and had no idea where I was going or why.
On board I sprained my ankle pillow fighting with other child & teenage migrants of my group. Also I broke my wrist in the ships cinema room having fallen off a stack of portable chairs.
The joke if true or not was the Captain stopped or slowed the ship so that the Doc could set my wrist.
We had a deck photo taken with my group and myself sitting in a lifebuoy to rest my heavily plastered arm & sore foot. Hence tonylifebuoy I have this photo showing most of the ship name.
See my 20 minute doco film: The Boy in the Lifebuoy.

I am also in the process of writing my full memoirs being published by my local area heritage Trust. I was adopted by kind NZ parents in Christchurch. I am still a kiwi boy at heart if born a Pom.

Please contact me to see if you would like to write a short article of the Rangitoto for my book.
Their will be a section of support stories in my book.
Hoping to hear back from you Jeff or to whom it may interest.
Anthony Chambers

Editor:  Here is a great opportunity for anyone to assist Anthony (Tony) with a shared story or two.


I am a nephew of the late Captain Jack Collier Tucket,14/8/1883 - 12/12/1942, Master of the Hertford, Dorset (Malta Convoy), and died aboard the mv Sussex in Sydney. A record of his life has been developed for the family and is available for others on request.
Bruce Henderson


I have just loaded all of Jack Cotters photos onto the photo section.
Jack has given us photos of the Cornwall, Cumberland, Hurunui, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northumberland, Papunui, Somerset, Westmoreland, Whakatane, Whangaroa.

I was an apprentice with NZSCo 1958-61, then deck officer until 1970. At the reunion scheduled for next month in Auckland, I think it would be appropriate to remember, amongst others, Graham Stuart- Jones who died in an accident at sea on the OTAIO in 1959. To my shame, I cannot even remember the date. Is there perhaps a memorial anywhere. I have searched various web sites but cannot find any reference to this very sad incident. Can anybody add any details?
Mike Keat

Editor: Email address is not a legitimate address


My Father Richard Hamilton Browne served with the Old Company on the Piako and was on it when it was sunk by U107 on the 18/05/41, after that he served on the Dorset from 13/12/41 to 17/2/42 when it was sunk as I visited him in Liverpool hospital in 1942 as a very young lad. I have a Record of service letter signed pp General Manager dated 7th January 1944 from 138 Leadenhall Street London E.C.3 Cheers. Peter Hamilton Browne


Just spent 2 hours reading your great site. My grandparents James Joseph & Mary Ellen Dwyer came to New Zealand with their 5 children as Steerage passengers on board S.S. PAPAROA.

They left Liverpool early 1920 and arrived in Auckland 1st June 1920. They left with high hopes which were badly dashed once they arrived.
There are stories about a very difficult sea voyage they had on the way out. The ship ran out of food and they had to eat potatoes and nothing else. The ship broke down and there was a mutiny.

This brief note is all I have and would be interested if anyone else was able to add to it as I am interested in the whole voyage. Are ships logs available somewhere for these older voyages??

Steve Thomson (Dwyer)


I sailed 1955-58 Federal Steam - Essex, Northumberland - anyone out there who remembers me - alias Tom Thumb - I a guest at Second Engineers Tindale wedding in Auckland about 57
Derek Talbot

Looking to organise a reunion of the Course 11 Otaio Engineer Cadets (Voyages 16 & 17), Location will depend upon where they are all at and timing, upon how long it takes to track them down!

So if any of the following are around or if anybody knows of their whereabouts, please get in touch: Bonnington (Nutter)), Cameron (Stunker), Davies (Worm), Gillam (Horse), Hanley (David), Inkster (Gibby, Jacklin (Don't over reaact!), Leith (Robbie), Oakley (Mess), Parkes (Choppa),Sharpe (Fish), Smith (Grimsby),Torr (Whippet),Towner (Nugz, Waddington (Hudd), Ward (Leaper), Winkle (Ears)

Don't think I've missed anybody but please let me know if I have.
Thanks Nick Waddington


Hi, my father sailed on the mv Rangitane in the late 60's. Almost 40 years ago my mother washed, shrank and threw out his uniform jumper, a navy jumper with crossed flags. I was wondering if there was anyone who had a spare one, or one for sale? if not can anyone point me in the right direction to acquire one?

This would make an old(ish) man very happy. Thank you in advance. Neil Macarthur


Tryin to find and get in touch with anyone that was aboard the Rangitane ship in 1958 coming from the Royal Albert docks to New Zealand! I John Shadrake was the ships writer the purser was Mr Cole. anyone remember me would be interesting to share stories .. look forward to any correspondence. John Shadrake


Does anybody remember a skipper on NZSC called (Mad) Willie Dan....The  best skipper I ever sailed with. I was with him on the Middlesex. The Chief Cook was Tommy Nolan (another mad bugger *smile*). I was second cook on there and the crew were great. Rob Stafford


Attempting to find an old ship mate (Alan Perrin) from the early 1960's on the "Rangi Boats" He is mentioned in the comments of Brian Tyro who sailed with Alan on the Turakina in 1970. I last saw Alan around 25 years ago when he was on a P&O container ship here in Wellington. If anyone knows of his whereabouts now, I would be grateful. I sailed with NZSC from 1960-64 first as galley boy on the Hertford and Dorset before joining the Rangitiki, Remuera and Rangitoto.Great memories! There were so many good guys, but Alan had to be the "King of joker's and pranksters" during the two plus years I sailed with him. Joe Mctaggart



I see you have the ship Ruapehu 1 list as year of service 1901 to 31 but latter in the list you have the ship broken up in 1911. did they build another on Thanks for your help. Paul Luscombe


I am researching the history of the vessel Papanui, built 1898, wrecked 1911 in the Bass Strait, apparently without loss of life. My grandfather (Leonard C. F. Gurr) was a crew member on this vessel and was one of those shipwrecked Phil Gurr


I have been trying to find John Evans who I used to work with in the seventies I have posted in 2005 comments but my e mail address has since it is now I was known as Mally back then with the long hair but anyone who has any knowledge of John could you please get back to me - many thanks, Calum Macleod


Good day Jeffrey.
Do you happen to have the updated email address of Jack Giles ex engineering lecturer on Otaio to late '60's. I can see someone else has asked the same question. His old email address (2002) does not connect. He is still around as he gave a charity donation this year. Appreciate your time. John Hughes ex cadet Course 6/1963

I joined NZSCo in January of 1969 as 2RO on the M.V. Hurunui. Consequently I sailed on the S.S. Devon, M.V. Turakina, and M.V. Otaio. I have photographs of all of these ships. I have some digitalised and many others in print form. David Pickler


Joined MV Suffolk as junior Eng (first tripper)1944/45 in Avonmouth for NZ via New Orleans & Manila. With supplies for USA troops in Philippines. Engines:- 2 5cyl centre scavenge Doxford Type ?, Polar atlas generators, Peter brotherhood air compressor. Scavange trunk fire in port engine. Not unusual. Good ship, c/eng. Prest,2nd Drumond 3rd.?,4th. Briggs / Biggs?. Outward trip Wellington and Auckland. Home round Cape Horn as Panama canal closed. Bunker oil in Venezuela then to London Royal docks. Any one remember The cyl bore size and type of Doxford? Was it J or later? L G Wrottesley


I remember a friend of mine in Wellington who served as an engineer officer with the union line of the Union Steamship Co. NZ between 1957 - 1961. His name was Denis Pollard & I have lost contact since he went back to UK Does anyone have any knowledge, memories or contact with Denis ?


Joined NZSCo in April 1959 on the Huntingdon. I sailed mainly on Doxfords with a few runs on Sulzers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with NZS and count myself very lucky to have joined such a great company. I have a couple of photos taken of the officers before sailing on the Haparangi and Rakaia. Bryan Curtis

Editor: Send the photos and I will load them up for all to see.


I don't know if this is relevant but I came to New Zealand from Great Britain in 1957 on the Captain Hobson which broke down mid Atlantic and had to be towed to Auckland instead of Wellington. Malcolm Elliott

Obviously not our ship

Jeff, the Suffolk had Doxford LB or LBD engines. The D stands for diaphragm, bottom piston rod seal to crack case. If there was no diaphragm it would have been LB. The "J" type came much latter after the "P" type. The "J" type was in my opinion the best engine Doxfords ever made. Graham Perkins


On 23rd September 1949, a 7 yr old boy, Julian Franklin, sailed with his mother Olive and 3 yr old twin sisters Rosemary and Jocelin to New Zealand to start a new life. I was at school with Julian and was told that he never reached New Zealand as he had died on board. I wonder if anyone knows anything about this or about the family. I have often wondered what became of them and thought of that poor woman, setting out so hopefully and then landing in a strange country without him.

Polly Kyte


Does anyone know of the British ship which was dry docked in Wellington in 1951? Michael McDonnell aka Patrick Donnelly was a crew member, may have jumped ship.

He was electrocuted on a building in Petone Xmas eve 1951. He had a woman friend who we would love to contact,or her family. I am his niece. This is a great site!

Gail Gilmour


My father, Lyall William Harrison Evans known as Bill Evans UK number R10445 and NZ Number R13172 served on the "Opawa" so I am told in 1934/35 does anybody know of him and where he served and was he on board when the Opawa was torpedoed.Thanks Huw Evans


I was a Deckboy on the MS 'Hinakura' from October 1954 to March 1955. We left Liverpool for Australia via Suez, calling at Freemantle, Adelaide, Geelong and Melbourne. There was a mixed cargo including a Diesel/Electric Engine 'Strapped' to the Deck. We left OZ for Wellington and New Plymouth taking on the usual Lamb and Butter etc. for our return trip via the Panama

canal. In Curacao for bunkers, we noted a number of ships that were very badly damaged during a Stormy outward-bound passage, and wondered what our fate would be on the final Leg back to the UK. The weather was as expected - very Rough to say the least. The ship didn't keep still for practically the whole 14 days at sea. I even encountered the Ghost of a previous Skipper who reputedly committed suicide on an earlier trip. This could well be dismissed as eyewash but I'm quite sure this was my experience.

(Interestingly enough, several years later I remember reading a newspaper report of a seaman who jumped ship in New Zealand, later claiming to have encountered this spectre.)

This latter voyage, and not far off my 18th birthday, was enough to decide me to sign-up for the Air Force - National Service was still going strong a the time.

My relatively short time in the MN, was very interesting. There is only one name that Sticks after all these years. That of an AB called Tom. Always ready to give the Peggy of the week a helping hand, washing up dishes after the evening meal. A very Kindly man.

The Boatswain and 'Most' of the Deck-crew were from Stornoway, as I recall.

John Cooper


Seeking information on Radio Officer Grahame Walker, serving on Rangatiki / Rangitata during the early 1950s.
Graeme & I were at radio school together around 1948-49. We  lived fairly close to each other in the village of Ewell, in Surrey. We shared an interest in radio and haunted the war surplus stores for equipment, eventually ending up with ex-RAF 1155-54 stuff which we shamelessly used to practice our morse code - no licence of course! 
The GPO finally pinched him but by that time we had our PMG 'tickets'. 
He went to sea with NZSC and I went with Anchor Line and later Cunard. We lost touch after a while but I thought it would be interesting to hear how my former partners in crime had spent their lives.
I'm now a fully legal 'ham' (VE3NPT / XE1FEX) and retired in Mexico.  At my age there are not many R/O s left and of course we're a dying breed now. If you have any idea where Graeme might be I would appreciate the info. Regards - George Selby


I wish to correct your statement that Owen Shaw was editor of the New Zealand Herald. I was a near contemporary of Owen's when he was a senior general reporter on the Herald. Owen loved the Auckland waterfront and shipping and as a new journalist i learnt a lot from him about news gathering and writing, when I first joined the Herald as an ex USSCo deck officer in 1967.
I don't think Owen ever aspired to hold a management type role in the Herald because he was so good at picking up great human interest stories. I understand Owen did wartime service with the RNZAF as an observer on flying boats.
I covered the shipping scene for much of the 20 years I was with the Herald. One of the greatest things about Owen was his ability to gain the confidence of those he interviewed and make a fair and colourful story out of it, wether it be a retired British Admiral sailing around the world on a cruise liner or a deck boy with talent for music who would later make an international name for himself.
Owen was a great believer in the saying that every body had at least one story to tell that was worth listening to.

Roy Vaughan

Editor:  Hiya Roy

I followed up today with a member of Owen's family

Owen started his cadetship in newspapers up at Kaitaia so like you I would imagine you had to serve your apprenticeship going around all the country towns before getting a job in the big smoke.

He loved sport and his passion for the sea came from his father Harry who went to Hull Maritime College. Harry went onto become master around the north sea before migrating to Auckland where he started his NZ career on the Waitamata Harbour skippering one of the ferries on the Quay St to Devonport and Birkenhead

Owen went onto become Features Editor and was given the title as Special Correspondent when it came to visiting royalty and dignitaries.

Would I be presumptuous to assume that in the Wilson & Horton era they give out byline titles to emphasis the story that's been covered.

Would you like me to load your email up onto the History site


Nice to learn about Owen's background and it explains his love of the sea.

The Herald was very mean about by-lines compared with today's media. They did not like ' personalities' apart from a few sports writers T.P Maclean

Don Cameron etc If he were writing to today Owen would have had his own column and be a well known media personality.

Most of my writing just had ' shipping reporter' on it unless it was a leader page or back page feature and then they would give you a by-line

Yes go ahead with my comments as Owen deserves a mention. As some one who had been at sea he saw maritime events from a seafarer's point of view. I can't remember him being the features editor, but it probably just my memory as I left the Herald after 20 year in 1987

Roy Vaughan


I had lunch with Peter Scherer yesterday, former editor of the Herald at the tail end of Owen' time. He confirms Owen was one of the top feature writers at the herald in the Features department but Owen never sought an editorship. It would have been a waste of his talent as a writer to put in what is generally an administrative job. Owen and I would often take a lunch time stroll down the waterfront and yarn about ships and life in general
I believe was a Flight Lieutenant in the RNZAF while serving on Catalina Flying Boats of long range surveillance flights in the South Pacific. I am sure he had a good few stories to tell about the war, but he hardly mentioned it.
I still have my sextant and all my nautical books have a small yacht to keep in touch with the sea.
Incidentally I shipped out to New Zealand in the Waitaki as 4th mate in 1964 (former NZSCo Whakatane) on her delivery voyage to the USS Co after being taken over from NZSCo, and my parents and brothers migrated to NZ on board the Remuera in 1964. They arrived in NZ about two months before I did

Roy Vaughan

Enjoyed Roy Vaughan's post. Don't know who the Retired Admiral Roy refers to was but I guess the Deck Boy with a talent for music was the late great Tommy Steele. Think he sailed on Rangitane

Len Chapman


Always interested to read about NZSCo which was not so much a Company as an Institution!
I visited NZ's East Cape at end of last year and came across a derelict NZSCo Loading Station. It's off the main road in Tokamaru Bay. Attached are some photos that may be of interest.
Kind regards Len Chapman

Editor: The Tokomaru Bay photos are loaded on the photo section


I'm sure Tommy will be shocked to be referred to as "late" John Sutton

Hello John
what year and whose entry does that refer to

Hi Jeff, it refers to Len Chapmans entry on 02/08/12 about Tommy Steele, don't think he's passed yet!
Regards John Sutton.

Hi Jeff, You were asking about Potaro, she was in the Royal Mail Line. I sailed on the Pipiriki on voy 45,46 and 48 as 6th and 5th engineer then was 2nd freezer on the Hinakura when she had a major breakdown a day out of Auckland and limped all the way to London. Been in touch with Hadyn (taffy) and I saw Alex Hendersons name, think he was on the Pip one trip. Brilliant work you are doing Jeff

Editor: Thank you


I am wondering whether know of anyone who may produce a 2013 calendar depicting NZ seaports or shipping (not necessarily NZ).

Graeme Cruickshank


I am looking for any member of the crew that sailed on the MV Cumberland to NZ April 1966.  Morando Bertoncini

Sailed on Rangitoto from Tilbury to Wellington in August - September of 1966, I was 12years old and still have many fond memories of that voyage. I collect odd bits and pieces of Rangitoto memorabilia , and enjoy reading the stories on this site.
Many thanks, Mark Scott

I worked as a Purser's Writer, on RMS Rangitane, during 1965-6.

Stephen Giles

I believe my late father sailed from NZ to UK in 1945 / 1946 and that I may possibly have a half sister born to a Betty Rhodes in Wellington in 1946
Fred Hillberg


Hi. I was wondering if you would be able to help me with some research. I'm trying to find out the cost of a passenger ticket from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch to Britain (UK), circa 1959-1960. It doesn't matter what company it is with. I understand, Shaw Savill & Albion, NZ Shipping Company & P&O, amongst others were offering passage to the UK back then. I'm aware of the 10 pound deal offered to immigrants to NZ about that time, but cannot find a definite price for the opposite journey. I hope you can help. With Regards.  Dallas Gopi.

Editor: The 10 quid offer was a one way only to Australia and NZ. Poms had to pay the lines full rate to go back to the UK, have no idea what that price was.

Suggest Edward Gibbons Wakefield library in Wellington or get in touch with a clairvoyant who could put in a free call to someone in the other world who was connected to or was a paying passenger

Dallas: I think I'll go for the clairvoyant option.


I worked as a Purser's Writer, on RMS Rangitane, during 1965-6.

Stephen Giles


I am looking for any one that sailed with my uncle Spencer Faulkner think he was in engineering staff served in MN ww2 was on Russian convoys and believe Malta convoys think he was sunk 3 times last seen Wellington NZ 1949 he was on one of the Rangi boats on its maiden voyage to NZ in 1949 then he was in engine room thanks Steve


As you are looking for information on the Papanui 1898 try looking on a site called ships nostalgia its free and a very good site
Andy Gow

Not seeking info, however, thought you may like to know I was a war bride with a a baby in tow on the m.v. Rangitata in February 1944-5 can't remember the exact year think it was 1945 also on board were RAF personnel going to Canada for training.

It was the most dreadful journey taking some 21 days from Liverpool to Halifax, freezing cold. However, I survived and still work as a news coordinator for an international organisation.

You site is brilliant and I look forward to exploring it more fully in the future. Cheers Jo-An Partridge


Tommy Steele, I joined Rangitiki (as an apprentice) in the autumn of 1957 prior to joining Durham to dockstaff and passed TS going down the gangway on to other interests! Was the same term on the Conway as Dave Collick (Otaio) Happy days!! Peter Robson


My Father recently passed away and I am in the process of going through his old slides. I have a number of slides of when I believe Dad was on the MV Essex some time I believe to be in the mid to late 60s. The photos are taken on the Panama Canal, Savannah Georgia USA, Philadelphia, Boston and numerous engine room and crew shots. There are also some photos believed to be in England with photos of a bus used by the crew in some sort of parade.

Would you be interested in these photos?

Would it be possible to obtain my Fathers service history.
My Dads name is John Geoffrey Taylor
DOB 21/1/36 form Forbes NSW Australia.
He was a Ships Engineer (I'm not sure of what class)

I hope very much I hear back from you.

Regards Andrew Taylor

Editor: Hiya Andrew

I trust there is someone out there who can offer you guidance and direction on securing a service history and that's because I have no idea.

If the slides can be converted into a) photos and then scanned and emailed or b) digital JPG format and emailed .. I would gladly put the photos up on the History of New Zealand Shipping. Any one who clicks onto the photos will see that I acknowledge the contributor in this case I would put your Dads name as well as yourself

Editor: Loaded all 68 photos on the Essex as of 18th April 2013



My father, Peter, sailed in s.s. Devon in 1924 from Liverpool to Auckland, in t.s.s. Dorset from Colombo to Port Said, possibly as mess room steward. Does that mean he was working for NZ Shipping? He has written a few poems on these trips. Also he was on s.s. Kaikorai in Geelong in Jan 1927. Is this one of yours? Have photo of Devon and black cap ribbon. Can share if you're interested.

Dimity Borra

Editor: Vessels that use English county names ie .... Devon and Dorset are Federal Ships. The Maori names are New Zealand Shipping vessels.

Could you kindly scan and email your photo in jpeg and I will load it up in the photo section and acknowledge your father as a contributor. Please keep the black cap ribbon as a family memento.



Having sailed on the Rangitoto 1966 & 67 as an engineer I have the officers list for those trips plus some pictures, how do I put them on your website?

Martin Shubert

Editor: Scan and save in jpeg and email your photos and i will load up

Editor: Loaded up the crew list on 20th April 2013 on the Rangitoto


Hi, I have attached 3 photo's that I thought you might want to put on the history section of your web site. One is of M.V Rakaia and M.V.Otaia and one of my father in his deck uniform. My father was a deck boy on board these ships between 1958 and 1960. I wonder if you also might be able to tell me where I can obtain any records of my father's time on board these ships.
Kind Regards
Cheryl Thomson

Editor: Have received your photos I will need to crop and paste before I load them up



I would love to hear from anyone that served on M.V Rakaia or M.V Otaia, my late father Reginald Stannard was a deck boy on these ships in 1958 to 1960. Can anyone tell me where I might obtain his records for this period? All I have is a picture of both ships and a photo of him in his deck uniform. Many thanks Cheryl Thomson


I am looking for a man called Billy Macdonald i believe he was on one of the Rangi ships that docked in Auckland approx 1960 i believe he was steward I am hoping someone may remember him and contact me. also i would be interested to know if anybody knows of a Johnny Clark who was also on one of the Rangi ships and possibly jumped ship in Auckland around early 60s

Kim Abraham



I joined N.Z.S.Co 1963 to 1974 one of my most memorable trips was a treble header on the Piako 1969 1970,Capt was Slasher Sladen.

William Waterson


My late uncle, Capt. Cyril Austin Miller, was in the employment of the NZ Shipping company from 1946-1972. He was the master on the SS Dorset, the Wharanui, the Otaki, the Turakina, the Hinakura, the Westmorland and possibly others. I have in my possession his ships logs from 1961 to 1972, some photographs and a capacity plan for the building of the SS Dorset. Do you have a museum for such items?

Alison Watson

Editor: If you scan the photos and the capacity plan in jpeg and email them I will, when time permits load them up on our History site and acknowledge your father. There was a time when I would recommend the Auckland Maritime Museum needless to say I don't and that's simply due to personalities who don't honour their word. I am sure many of our readers will make alternative suggestions.



We came to New Zealand in1965 on board the Rangitane and we are trying to find out if this was a P & O Ship or not. Barry Phillips
A distant relative of mine was, as far as I know, a hairdresser on Rangitiki when she was in the Jervis Bay convoy in 1940.His name was Robert/Bob Hunter age about 20/30 from Durham. Is there any way of getting info about him. I am trying on behalf of his daughter.I am ex MN myself - if that gets a sympathy vote. Thank you Alan Williams


Just discovered this website and have been thinking of the fact that on 26/04/14 I will have been in this country for 50 years. I was only 4 years old when I came out on the Rangitane with my parents, brother and 2 sisters myself being the youngest. I still have the original passenger list, tickets baggage labels quarantine info for our pet dog and other relative info. I do remember the trip especially going through the Panama Canal where my brother cut himself trying to pick up a glass from the deck after a heavy rain storm and my frantic parents being told that if he had gone overboard the sharks would have got him. He was found in the ships hospital several hours later. Also the night the Panamanian dancers came on board and not being a shy person I happily went and introduced myself saying my name was Maria. As they spoke Spanish This delighted them and my mother ended up refusing to have me back in the cabin until I had had a bath as I reaked of perfume. So many memories and I had wondered whether a special 50 year celebration would be arranged to mark what was certainly a major event in my life.

Maria Ashurst



Hi Jeff, I have found ,through your fantastic site, my long lost navy pal, Bill Halton. cheers for a terrific site

Archie Clark


I have acquired a log book from 1950's/ 60's belonging to M, J, Charleworth First Officer/Captain on ships on this line & Federal Steam Navigation Company. Logs of various voyages + return Liverpool to Australia voyage map for one & other ephemera. Patricia Jackson


Dear Sir / Madam, I am not to sure whether I have come through to the correct department, but I am looking for my Great Grandfather Captain John Evans.
John Evans was born in Chester, Cheshire, England on the 07 March 1851 and died in 1950 in Palmerston North, New Zealand. His father was Rev William Evans who came out to New Zealand with his family in the 1880's.

When I was looking on the Ancestry Web Site and found a Masters and Mates Certificate for John Evans and his Number is 9260. Do you have any other information about Captain John Evans as to whether there is a Masters Certificate for his Captain's Ticket and he started work on the ships at the age of 14 years old.

He started work on T & J Brocklebank, trading to India and China and then he joined Shaw Savill Line, New Zealand Shipping Company and some of the Sailing Ships were Sam Menda, Kate Kellock, British Queen and Lapwing which was owned by Owen and Dewar which was shipwrecked.

I do not know what other Ships he sailed on around New Zealand or the world.

Please let me know whether you have any information or would you be able to send this email to the correct people and thank you for your help?

Regards, Charmaine Simmonds



Hi Jeff, As per your story for my lifebuoy child migration book project....
due to management changes with my local area publisher the publication has been delayed.
I am still hopeful for publication sometime early next year.
In the meantime your story contribution as with all others are in the safe hand of my local editor.
Wishing you a happy sailing Kiwi summery Christmas.

Tony: Anthony Chambers the ex Boy in the Lifebuoy



I sailed on RMS Ruahine as a cook in the 1960's and have fond memories of our boxing and wrestling matches put on to entertain the "Bloods" with Reg (Inky) White ships printer. Mick Overall being the Chef

Ray. C. Franklin


Re Barry Phillips query, NZSCo was part of the P&O Group in 1965 although

NZSCo operated as a separate entity. When I applied for a NZSCo Cadetship in 1954, I was interviewed by an NZSCo Board at P&O's Headquarters in Leadenhall Street, London.

Re Patricia Jackson's email: I sailed with Mr Charlesworth when he was a First Officer and I was an Engineer Cadet. Not sure of the ship but recall he was a big guy but easy going and popular.
Len Chapman



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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