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This page was last updated on Friday, 6th January 2017 17:03:55 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 2017

Email / Date

Found this site again by accident and have enjoyed it very much. Sailed as Jnr. Engr.with NZSCo./P&O from 1967 to 1990(Ch.Engr.). Many old names in the correspondences bring back many happy memories.

Joe Mc Monagle


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


Further to my previous entry, there will be a New Zealand Shipping Company Reunion on the 10th March 2017, in both Otaki, NZ and Aberdeen, Scotland. This will be in conjuction with a Commemoration Service and stone laying Ceremony, for the loss of the SS Otaki 100 years ago, where Captain Bisset-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.This is a very important event in the history of the New Zealand Shipping Company. The NZ Governor General will be in attendance. Please contact Roger Blake via email for further details


I was on the M. V. Middlesex from 63 to 64, 18 months total. Will carry the happy memories until the last day.  Faboulous trip, brilliant crewmates. Michael Broderick


I'm trying to trace a ship of this line or a federal boat that the captain managed to sale a cago boat name unknowan. From newzeland yousing the hatch tarps as sales!!
I understand she was presumed lost then turned up in Cape Town some months later. I was on the Essex on home trade in 1971 briefly.
I am unaware of when this took place. Graham Durrant


I sailed on the Nottingham from 58 to 59 And the Devon from 60 to 61. David Turk


I served on the M.V. Rangitiki, as catering staff, finished as barman, date of joining, March 1954. Paid off 22 August 1960. Left to join B.O.A.C / British Airways, as long haul cabin crew. Had my retirement party from B A. At the Bird Cage pub in Auckland. Would enjoy to say hello anyone that remembers me. Regards Brian Harry Lee


I am trying to find out more about the ss Northumberland as this was the ship that my grandfather was on returning to Africa in January 1942. I understand from family history that it was torpedoed somewhere of the coast of Africa and he was on the only life boat to be recovered. Any information would be great to have. Joanna L Lipsey


I'm trying to contact anyone who may remember my brothers, Namely Jimmy and Peter Twiggs, I was looking at some pictures and saw a message from some one who might have served with one of my brothers. I am interested because I was in the British Army from 1966 and after Jimmy went to live in NZ the rest of my family followed,  My parents have since died and are buried in NZ, (The last I saw them was in 1969).  The first one brother is James Terrance Twiggs, he was a chef and the name of ship's he mentioned were the "Rangatiki" and the "Rangitoto", the year would be from around 1955-1963.
The second brother was Peter Twiggs, employed as a deckhand the years would be the same but I don't think they sailed together, He never mentioned any ships names that I can remember, Any information you have would be fantastic. I am trying to contact anyone that might have sailed with either of them. Please contact me via email Regards Colin Twiggs



Crossed The Bar - Raymond John Pethick

My father, Raymond John Pethick, crossed the bar Tuesday 16th May 2017. He was 83 years old.
He worked for the NZSC from 1954 - 1964 and the ships he sailed on were as follows...

Rangitata Sept 54 - Oct 55 4th/3rd 'leccy
MV Surrey Nov 55 - Jun 56 2nd 'leccy
SS Dorset Jul 56 - Dec 56 2nd 'leccy
Ruahine Jul 57 - Jul 58 2nd 'leccy
SS Pipiriki Oct 58 - Oct 60 Chief 'leccy
Huntingdon Dec 60 - Mar 63 Chief 'leccy
Rakaia Jul 63 - Apr 64 Chief 'leccy

The family would appreciate hearing from anyone who knew my father.

Thank you Audrey Forrest

Editor: Ray was a contributor on The History of New Zealand Shipping: You will find photos.


Dear Jeffrey Shaw,

On Rangitiki Web site I came across, with great surprise Menus and the passenger list etc. of the Feb/March sailing from Wellington. I was on this ship with my Grandmother and still have most of the menus And the passenger list. I was a first class passenger thanks to my grand mother.
I was only one of about six or seven teenagers. I wonder if any of the names below have been in touch with you.
Miss.S.c. White  Susan Elworthy, Mr. David Boyd or any other first class passengers still alive!

Thanking you for your attention.

Donald Paterson


I sailed with Ray Pethick on the MV Huntingdon as Jur Engr in 1962 ,for 7 mouths,from Falmouth to Canada,USA,down to Mexico and into Fedels threts, and through the Panamar Canal , acroos the Pacific to NZ, and back to the UK in April 1963. Les Bowcock


My mother and I emmigrated to NZ on the M.V. Rangitata, sailing from London 21.12.56 to Auckland 14.01.57.
I recall that Sir Anthony Eden, former British Prime Minister was on the same voyage. Nigel A. Kelso


Hello there, I'm looking for information as to who were the owners of the New Zealand Shipping Company in the year 1948 when the company was apparently in charge of the vessel MV Empire Windrush on behalf of the British Government. Any information you might have about this arrangement could also be very useful. Thanks for your attention. Sean Thorp


Greetings, My late Cousin Alan Gales-1921-2015 sailed as Radio Officer on MV "KOPARA", from 21 Sept.1938 to 25 Nov.1938.
I went onto this Site , out of several, as there was a Comment in the Header, on Screen, mentioning KOPARA and saying "I have a photo and a Crew List"...I would love to be able to even BUY (!) Copies of these Items, but I cannot even locate any mention of the Ship, on the List of comments from "Posters" I not Clicking on the right buttons ?? ! Look forward to your reply in due course. Cheers, Bruce Graham

Editor: We dont have what you seek. The contributor would have those photos


I sailed with NZS from 1967 until 1970 as an engineer. My first ship being the M/V Cumberland. I was also on the M/V Hauraki on her 31st voyage. On this trip the 2nd mate created a voyage chart of which I had framed, together with a picture of the vessel (the one shown top in you gallery of the Hauraki). I would like to upload a picture of this chart, but in order for anyone to read the small, detailed print, it needs to be in high definition - it languished at the bottom of a drawer before I found it and decided it was worth framing. Please advise the best way to send this picture. I think it would interest a lot of your readers as it includes a full crew listing. Thanks and I hope this finds you well, Bryan Wilson

Editor: Hi Bryan, thats very kind of you, scan in colour, save in jpeg and send by email


Sailed on RMS Rangitane as junior engineer for the round voyage from Auckland to London And back to Wellington during June to November 1957.. kept watch on refrigerated cargo , lamb, beef, apples and cheese to the UK then table grapes back to NZ .
Major events during the voyage to Wellington was being in the vicinity of the sailing Barque Pamir when she sent out a May Day before sinking near the Azores then experiencing Rangitanes collision with liberty ship Hawaiian Trader while in the Miliflores lake at Panama. The other vessel sand on a sandbank while Rangitane underwent bow repairs in Balboa. Memorable times now 60 years ago. Bob Jenkins


My grandfather, from Liverpool (surname Goldsmith), was a survivor of ww1 otaki. In 1961 I remember him being honoured on board a ship in Liverpool. Would this have been otaki 4? Jo Budd


Can anyone tell me the destination or ports of call for the cadet training ship "Durham" on its maiden voyage in 1934?

Mike Read


Dear Sir / Madam, I am enquiring to see if you have any records of my father who served as an Electrician in the New Zealand Shipping Company between 1948-1952. I do not have the name of the ship he served on but his name was Hugh Stevenson McDiarmid Robb, DoB 4th November 1927, born Leith in Scotland. Any information you have would be of interest but I am particularly interested in which position / rank he held on starting and finishing his service Thanyou for any help with this. Kind regards John Robb


I would like to contact some fellow NZSCo engineers who joined Otaio with me in October 1958 as the first group of engineering cadets to do their first 2 years at sea.They are Dave Howe, Dave Nightingale, Eddie Rowlands, John (Stan) Widdowson and Pat Booth Cheers Peter Tart


My Father served  on SS Westmoreland and then SS Cornwall for 7 voyages as an Apprentice with NZ shipping Co . I have his apprenticeship certificate which shows these voyages Ian wasse


There is an Association for all ex-employees of the New Zealand Shipping Company, namely The New Zealand Shipping Company Association. Very similar in name to Jeffrey's company! We have about 200 members spread mainly between the UK ,NZ and Australia. Looking for old shipmates to socialise with or find out about? Join us, and you might well catch up with them again!! I certainly have! In the first instance, please contact Roger Blake by email or  www. Captain Roger Blake


I sailed a an engineer with NZSC & Federal Line between 1957 and 1960, when I moved shipping Company to manage to get a higher position and shorter voyages. The staff were all first class engineers, I had previously worked in the R&D office at Doxford Engines in Sunderland prior to going to sea, so was very familiar with the machinery. Unlike today where staff have lots of time off and ships tend to deteriorate very quickly, then staff stayed on voyage after voyage and kept their ships in really good order. I found most of the so called National Service lads, me included were extremely good engineers, even though we were considered by the Company as cheap labour. I did however after leaving NZSC & Federal, that other organisations were a damned lot worse regarding staff. We were proud to sail on our ships and they were kept beautifully. I was always proud of my old engine, even if I did take a lot of ribbing from the engineers as having worked or served my apprenticeship
I left the sea in 1962 and returned to Doxford Design office where I stayed until 1989 having worked my way up to Assistant DO Manager. What a great shame that Margaret Thatcher decided that we should close along with all yards, as we were supplying about 80% of our expertise overseas. The last of the engine type designed for production was the "J" engine, named after the Technical Director, a wonderful man to work with.The engines were designed up to a maximum power of some 30,000bhp, suitable for most vessels. Very large vessels with single engines were causing lots of problems for owners regarding insurance, as there was no in built standby in the event of failure. We at Dixfird engines decided to design and build a medium powered engine in blocks varying from 10,000 to 17,000 bhp and geared in pairs to have to choice of shutting down one engine where necessary. We ran the prototype engine, a four cylinder 580bore 4cylinder for a little over four years, but couldn't get any form of grant, even for the fuel to run the engine from the Government.That engine then went to the wall, not through lack of trying I can assure you. We did however have one little savour for a short period, Mr Ted Ranson of City Liners, who said he wanted a smaller engine with only three cylinders of 580mm bore to be able to be installed in his mediteranean vessels. This engine was tailored to his requirements as the 58JS3 and developed about 5500bhp at 200rpm none geared direct drive. This kept us going a further few years and we also built the odd 4cylinder 760bore engine prior to being told we had to close. At the time we had a very good working relationship with MAN in Augsburg and did a lot of design work on their behalf. We also produced many of their spare parts. Prior to that we had opened our new crankshaft facility, which at that time had the finest machinery in the world to produce shafts. This lot was all sold overseas and now is lost forever, along with the workshops a nd of course the expertise, which will never be replaced. It is good however to see that our old pals at MAN are managing to plough along and are probably the biggest maring engine producers in the world, not from their own works, but through their Licensees. It is doubt full that we will ever see Marine engine designing and building in this country ever again. Even now in Sunderland one of the finest indoor building complexes is still nearly intact ,the NESL yard, which can build two 35,000ton vessels alongside one another and then simply float them out is still lying idle. We can't even get the river dredged to allow vessels to be repaired in that enclosed dock.
Well I think that about ends my going on about ships, I hope I haven't bored you to tears.

Best regards
John W Jordan.

Editor: Thank you for sharing, John. Very informative.


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 !!

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 togethers

More importantly I love reading your stories.

Jeffrey Shaw, Managing Director, New Zealand Shipping.

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