Union Auckland

flyer682
19th April 2005, 12:07
Built 1969 by Fredrikstad Mek. Verksted, A/S, Fredrikstad as COLUMBIA for Reider Rod of Norway.
12,782grt. 541' 10" x 74' 2" x 30' 8".
Sold in 1974 to Wigmore Ltd., Bermuda, renamed UNION AUCKLAND (British flag, registered London) and time chartered to Union Steam Ship Co.
When her charter expired she was purchased and in June 1985, her port of registry became Auckland. She remained in the fleet until 1997 when she was sold to Indian shipbreakers at Alang.
Originally purchased to handle bulk traffic on the trans Tasman trade and sugar from Fiji to Auckland, she also made several voyages to Nauru, bringing phosphate to New Zealand.
In 1989, the four forward cranes were removed.
The photos below show her at Timaru, on 29 June 1978 (her first visit) and 26 November 1980.

Jan Hendrik
19th April 2005, 13:00
I did not know she also visited Nauru to pick up birdsh..

Nauru Shipping had their own vessels after they took over from the British Phosphate Commission.
Nauru Shipping had Rosie-D and Kolle-D (bulkcarriers), both these did the phosphate run to OZ, so obviously USS did some with the "Auckland" .
Nauru Shipping also owned two cargoships Eigigu and Eigamoya and even an old rusty fishing boat.
It was the worst organised shipping company in the world and with each bill I had to get a court order through the sherriff.
Nostalgic time alright. They are long gone now and so is the phosphate

I had hundreds of photos , followed the drydockings, even spent 2 weeks in Philippines for Kolle D docking.
Have to try and find them.

flyer682
20th April 2005, 00:16
UNION AUCKLAND made a number of voyages to Nauru and Banaba (formerly Ocean Island) to load phosphate for New Zealand between 1978 and 1981.
A summary of those visits:

Nauru 1978 = 6, 1979 = 2, 1980 = 6, 1981 = 6
Banaba 1978 = 3, 1979 = 4, 1980 = 0, 1981 = 0

She would have been one of the last to have loaded at Banaba, as the phosphate ran out around this time. Nauru is now depleted too, and most supplies for Australia & NZ come from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean and further afield.

shipmate17
7th June 2005, 21:18
Will put another pic of her in the gallery.
shipmate17

Butters
10th November 2005, 03:20
I was 2nd.Mate of 'Union Auckland', 1979 and did two trips to Banaba (Ocean Island) in June with a full discharge at New Plymouth & then August Dunedin & Timaru - a proper ship after the 'slow greens'.

Lindsay Butterfield (Butters)

Paul J Burke
30th December 2006, 10:51
I was surprised to see Union Auckland did so many trips to Nauru and Banaba-formerly Ocean Island. how did Union Coy become involved in the Phosphate trade??? perhaps Butters could explain this.I went to Nauru and Banaba on Cape Hawke, which was chartered by British Phosphate Commission.when we saw Banaba on the board at the Shipping Office-no-one knew where it was!!!

sscott
15th April 2007, 14:13
I sailed on Union Auckland as cadet in 1978 and then as my first watchkeepers roel as 3rd Mate (after passing 2nd Mates in 1980). As cadet, I was on her for her inaugural Nauru phosphate cargo, under the command of captain Peter Kemp (and C/O Peter Phear). Capt Kemp steamed up to the equator "to make fresh water" and inducted us to Nemo's Clan in a Crossing the Line ceremony.

Attached photo of Union Auckland under the loaders at Nauru, enveloped in phosphate dust, and another of her at Chelsea Wharf, Auckland

Stuart

John Clarke
9th September 2007, 09:25
I sailed as cadet on this one for a few months. Not so fond memories of cleaning rust scale out of the duct keel in Tiwai Point Bluff. Spent a few hellish nights at sea off Bluff and the door on the main deck fwd end of accomodation somehow opened. Flooded the paint locker which then flooded the entire deck with ankle deep seawater and paints/thinners mix. Fumes throughout the accommodation. No smoking for a day or so!

Years later piloted her out of 2E in Lyttelton on her last call. A real lovely ship to handle compared to the handysized bulkers that succeed her.

trotterdotpom
9th September 2007, 14:27
.... As cadet, I was on her for her inaugural Nauru phosphate cargo, under the command of captain Peter Kemp (and C/O Peter Phear). Capt Kemp steamed up to the equator "to make fresh water" and inducted us to Nemo's Clan in a Crossing the Line ceremony.

Attached photo of Union Auckland under the loaders at Nauru, enveloped in phosphate dust, and another of her at Chelsea Wharf, Auckland

Stuart

Nice one Stuart, Captain Kemp must have been a bit of a wag - finally someone made use of all that drifting time at Nauru.

Presumeably the photo at Chelsea is discharging Fiji sugar. Was that in the days of bleeding sugar sacks into the hold at Lautoka and Labasa? I heard they ruined it by putting a sugar loader in Lautoka - glad I got there before that.

I remember seeing Union Auckland round the Kiwi and Australian coasts during the '80s - think she also carted paper rolls a fair bit.

Lots of stuff on SN about Nauru and phosphate islands if you search for Nauru Pacific.

John T.