Fijian Sugar

IBlenkinsopp
13th December 2010, 11:45
Hi Guys,
As we juggernaut toward Xmas I am reminded of loading sugar in Lautoka, on Christmas Eve, the locals placed a number of dummies on the jetty (like guys) the were taken away after Xmas day, does anyone know the purpose of these, and did anyone have any experience of the 'Cargo Cult' in the Pacific.

Long shot; the sugar was brought down the jetty on a narrow gauge railway, locos were mainly Listers or Simplex, I photographed these and alos the internal railway system, alas all of these lost over the passing years, anyone got any snaps?


Thanks

Eddie Bl

Alan Rawlinson
13th December 2010, 16:48
[QUOTE=IBlenkinsopp;476762]Hi Guys,
As we juggernaut toward Xmas I am reminded of loading sugar in Lautoka, on Christmas Eve, the locals placed a number of dummies on the jetty (like guys) the were taken away after Xmas day, does anyone know the purpose of these, and did anyone have any experience of the 'Cargo Cult' in the Pacific.

Long shot; the sugar was brought down the jetty on a narrow gauge railway, locos were mainly Listers or Simplex, I photographed these and alos the internal railway system, alas all of these lost over the passing years, anyone got any snaps?

Hi Eddie,

Can't throw any light on your intriging memory of loading sugar in Lautoka - however it immediately conjured up memories of loading sugar in Cuba on the 'old' Ernebank. Several ports were involved in total, but the one that sticks in my memory was a little ' one horse ' town called San Ramon. We berthed at the end of a T jetty at the bottom of a hill, and the heavily loaded cargo waggons were gravity fed from the top of a hill where the factory was. The speed was supposed to be controlled by a sort of human jockey poised over a wind down brake operated from the top of the piles of sugar sacks. The skill of the rider was crucial, and it was always touch and go that the waggon managed to stop without demolishing the buffers alongside the ship. Unfortunately, someone was killed when we were loading after getting in the way of the waggons. A day of mourning was granted. To make it more interesting, the waggons had to pass through the centre of the village of San Ramon, and chickens and humans would scatter as the waggons came thundering down. I have a clear recollection of sitting at the cafe tables, drinking the lethal white rum ( locals doing it straight from the bottle) which would probably kill me today! Local kids were laughingly offering us very dubious services, and the whole scene is etched on my memory still.

Did any other Bank Liners load there?

Waighty
14th December 2010, 16:17
I never loaded at Lautoka but on Marabank 1971 we loaded Dominican Republic sugar for France. First port San Pedro de Macoris (come south through Mona Passage and turn right for 100 miles or so). Started off a/s the quay and the sugar loaded by bleeding bags through split hatch tops. When pre-determined draft reached, a wreck of a barge was placed between us and the quay. Apparently the bank beneath the quay went down on a shallow curve - we did this with three barges in total. Thence to Rio de Haina to finish off by fixed gantry. Working hours 0800 to 1200 and 1400 to 1800. Fabulous hours, shame about the place!

xrm
17th December 2010, 13:26
Loaded sugar in for the USA in San Pedro de Macoris we sailed on 31/12/70. Tween deck beam position had to be painted on the hatch coaming as the discharge would be by crane with grabs - the mate was well pleased as the beams were constantly being hit. There were curfews and power cuts during our stay, and during the stay we furnished "Pedro's Bar" on the boat deck by knocking off furniture from a local hotel - the old man had a fit when he found out as he had denied involvement by his crew in any theft.

Things I remember most were the wasps, and a very charming group of "ladies" we had down to a party - I got to bribe the gate control to allow them entry.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/262882/title/foylebankloading-su/cat/501

jimthehat
18th December 2010, 00:16
I never loaded at Lautoka but on Marabank 1971 we loaded Dominican Republic sugar for France. First port San Pedro de Macoris (come south through Mona Passage and turn right for 100 miles or so). Started off a/s the quay and the sugar loaded by bleeding bags through split hatch tops. When pre-determined draft reached, a wreck of a barge was placed between us and the quay. Apparently the bank beneath the quay went down on a shallow curve - we did this with three barges in total. Thence to Rio de Haina to finish off by fixed gantry. Working hours 0800 to 1200 and 1400 to 1800. Fabulous hours, shame about the place!

Only loaded suger once ,and that was on the old Etivebank in Durban,full cargoof bulk for vancouver,and that was a long trip.

jim

George Rollinson
18th December 2010, 02:34
Eddie,
I am sure I have some photos of the sugar trains in Fiji. Mine will be from 2001 but the engines were quite old. There was an extensive network of tracks that collected the cane from the fields and delivered it to the refinery. I am away at the moment but when I get back in the new year I will try and dig them out.

Regards, George

david harrod
21st December 2010, 08:36
I never loaded at Lautoka but on Marabank 1971 we loaded Dominican Republic sugar for France. First port San Pedro de Macoris (come south through Mona Passage and turn right for 100 miles or so). Started off a/s the quay and the sugar loaded by bleeding bags through split hatch tops. When pre-determined draft reached, a wreck of a barge was placed between us and the quay. Apparently the bank beneath the quay went down on a shallow curve - we did this with three barges in total. Thence to Rio de Haina to finish off by fixed gantry. Working hours 0800 to 1200 and 1400 to 1800. Fabulous hours, shame about the place!

Loading in Lautoka was the same operation, bleeding bags through split hatchcovers, the bags were slung off the little sugar train wagons; I did it on the Testbank; Peter Elder was promoted to Master and I flew back to the ship from leave to go as uncert 3/0.

Also loaded sugar in Guayaquil for Novorrosisk in the black sea on the old Rosebank (I think); as I recall we had trouble staying afloat alongside and had to slack off moorings at low water and slide out into the deep part of the channel to wait until there was enough depth tocome back alongside. Loaded it in another place called Salaverry on the Chilean coast; the port had been built by the Russians who had made a nasty mess of the breakwaters so that the port was open to long period swells...we had every inch of rope aboard set out; the technique was to allow a controlled surge...exciting. Sugar loading in Mackay for Port Kelang was interesting; a high capacity loader and a choppy sea drew interested comments from head office about the size of the lift...

Alan Rawlinson
21st December 2010, 18:15
[QUOTE=IBlenkinsopp;476762]Hi Guys,
As we juggernaut toward Xmas I am reminded of loading sugar in Lautoka, on Christmas Eve, the locals placed a number of dummies on the jetty (like guys) the were taken away after Xmas day, does anyone know the purpose of these, and did anyone have any experience of the 'Cargo Cult' in the Pacific.

Long shot; the sugar was brought down the jetty on a narrow gauge railway, locos were mainly Listers or Simplex, I photographed these and alos the internal railway system, alas all of these lost over the passing years, anyone got any snaps?

Hi Eddie,

Can't throw any light on your intriging memory of loading sugar in Lautoka - however it immediately conjured up memories of loading sugar in Cuba on the 'old' Ernebank. Several ports were involved in total, but the one that sticks in my memory was a little ' one horse ' town called San Ramon. We berthed at the end of a T jetty at the bottom of a hill, and the heavily loaded cargo waggons were gravity fed from the top of a hill where the factory was. The speed was supposed to be controlled by a sort of human jockey poised over a wind down brake operated from the top of the piles of sugar sacks. The skill of the rider was crucial, and it was always touch and go that the waggon managed to stop without demolishing the buffers alongside the ship. Unfortunately, someone was killed when we were loading after getting in the way of the waggons. A day of mourning was granted. To make it more interesting, the waggons had to pass through the centre of the village of San Ramon, and chickens and humans would scatter as the waggons came thundering down. I have a clear recollection of sitting at the cafe tables, drinking the lethal white rum ( locals doing it straight from the bottle) which would probably kill me today! Local kids were laughingly offering us very dubious services, and the whole scene is etched on my memory still.

Did any other Bank Liners load there?

Still in Cuba, same ship, but on another voyage to Yokohama. We loaded in Niquero plus a couple of other anchorages in remote islands off of the N Coast. Can recall the stevedores being the toughest ever seen, catching fish at their lunchtime break, and biting into them raw. Also taking off the beer bottle caps with their teeth after the supply launch had delivered. They almost all had bow legs which made me wonder if the heavy sugar sacks were the prime cause?

Did I imagine all this, or was it perhaps the white rum playing its tricks.

China hand
21st December 2010, 19:16
Loading in Lautoka was the same operation, bleeding bags through split hatchcovers, the bags were slung off the little sugar train wagons; I did it on the Testbank; Peter Elder was promoted to Master and I flew back to the ship from leave to go as uncert 3/0.

Also loaded sugar in Guayaquil for Novorrosisk in the black sea on the old Rosebank (I think); as I recall we had trouble staying afloat alongside and had to slack off moorings at low water and slide out into the deep part of the channel to wait until there was enough depth tocome back alongside. Loaded it in another place called Salaverry on the Chilean coast; the port had been built by the Russians who had made a nasty mess of the breakwaters so that the port was open to long period swells...we had every inch of rope aboard set out; the technique was to allow a controlled surge...exciting. Sugar loading in Mackay for Port Kelang was interesting; a high capacity loader and a choppy sea drew interested comments from head office about the size of the lift...
Memories of a load when I was mate in Teviotbank. Choppy draught readings taken thru binoculars. I thought we had gone a trifle over! Arrived in St. Johns, HJT called me up to get the Company Bollucking.
Usual BlaBla letter, then the magic slap on the wrist: "we note the vessel carried well." Lived another day.(POP)

dick burrow
22nd December 2010, 17:54
hi david, i loaded 14000 tonnes of sugar on rosebank in 1968 for galveston, texas, this was biggest load out of guayaquil at the time and we churned up mud all the way out of there on high tide, also went to salaverry but can,t rememeber cargo, and yes what a nightmare of a port with the surging, , on standby permanently waiting for ropes and springs to snap, happy days eh !Loading in Lautoka was the same operation, bleeding bags through split hatchcovers, the bags were slung off the little sugar train wagons; I did it on the Testbank; Peter Elder was promoted to Master and I flew back to the ship from leave to go as uncert 3/0.

Also loaded sugar in Guayaquil for Novorrosisk in the black sea on the old Rosebank (I think); as I recall we had trouble staying afloat alongside and had to slack off moorings at low water and slide out into the deep part of the channel to wait until there was enough depth tocome back alongside. Loaded it in another place called Salaverry on the Chilean coast; the port had been built by the Russians who had made a nasty mess of the breakwaters so that the port was open to long period swells...we had every inch of rope aboard set out; the technique was to allow a controlled surge...exciting. Sugar loading in Mackay for Port Kelang was interesting; a high capacity loader and a choppy sea drew interested comments from head office about the size of the lift...

China hand
24th December 2010, 20:07
Floating on my back in the swimming pool in Port Klang, big floppy Ossie hat on head, lukewarm beer in hand; listening to White Christmas crackling through the crummy old tree high speakers: Bing, of course. Hated that song then, and now with this weather, hate it even more.
Seasons Greetings, All and EveryOne.[=D]

david harrod
26th December 2010, 10:38
Floating on my back in the swimming pool in Port Klang, big floppy Ossie hat on head, lukewarm beer in hand; listening to White Christmas crackling through the crummy old tree high speakers: Bing, of course. Hated that song then, and now with this weather, hate it even more.
Seasons Greetings, All and EveryOne.[=D]

Better white xmas than the 3@##$% cricket!

rabaul
29th December 2010, 18:45
I visited Suva and Lautoka on the Corabank in 1980 - not to load suger -we were discharging general cargo from Europe - however I remember seeing twenty foot containers on the quayside in Lautoka each with 3 small round grey coloured hatch covers on their topside. I was lead to believe that they were trialling the carraige of bulk/loose sugar in boxes - did anything ever come of it ?

chrisrice
29th December 2010, 20:53
I visited suva and lautoka in 1961-2 and load suger on a hain tremorvah. Like to see photos if any one got some chris rice

Ivor Lloyd
29th December 2010, 22:11
Loaded Sugar and cased tinned Pineapple in Suva and Lautoka on MV Sutherland in Oct 1950. All cargo was brought out on Lighters to our anchorage. Discharged London.

trotterdotpom
29th December 2010, 22:39
I visited Suva and Lautoka on the Corabank in 1980 - not to load suger -we were discharging general cargo from Europe - however I remember seeing twenty foot containers on the quayside in Lautoka each with 3 small round grey coloured hatch covers on their topside. I was lead to believe that they were trialling the carraige of bulk/loose sugar in boxes - did anything ever come of it ?

Dunno, but if it did they could have called them "sugar cubes".

Loaded sugar at Lautoka and Labasa for Auckland in about 1972 on "Cape Clear", it was a fairly regular charter for SSM. First we went to Suva and loaded the labour - about 100 men who stayed on board and lived on deck for the duration. They had a great time, lighting fires on deck to cook their food and other H&S nightmares that nobody thought anything of at the time.

John T.

MikeK
30th December 2010, 07:53
Loaded sugar Lautoka around 1960's on either Thistledowne or Glynafon (memory going !) after picking up stevedores in Suva. Don't remember any dummies but do have abiding memory of stevedores breaking into song one evening and sounding like a trained choir. Everyone came out to listen entranced. One of those magic never forgotten moments (but not the name of the ship !)

Mike

Calm C
10th March 2011, 19:06
Hi Eddie,

Loaded sugar in Lautoka on the Inverbank in '75 for Penang. Remember the wee train and railway quite well but unfortunately no photos. Think we took about about 3 weeks to load 10,000tons. Split bags through a grating on top of the hatch, then ploughed into the corners with some contraption, using the winches.

bri445
11th March 2011, 22:00
Photo on Wiki at Lautoka showing the 2 foot gauge line.

IBlenkinsopp
13th March 2011, 23:14
Excellent photo, I remember they had some tankers for something or other, there was also one of the steam locos in the childrens play park, I can almost smell the sugar, sitting here in Whitehaven it all seems a long way off now!!

Eddie B.

Keith3134
13th August 2013, 21:42
Ian

What a memory you must have I remember Suva ,Lambassa and Lautoka but dont recall much about how the bags got into the hold.

I recall the sixer and second lecky had the "Raymonds"girlfriends out at anchor an PHT sent a launch out to take them ashore. Rocky got on the launch as he said if I am going to have to pay for it I am getting on it.

I also did sugar on the Ivybank in 1980 from Queensland to Penang for abou six months , nobody can compare the fun in the job then compared with now unfortunatley

Chief engineer with Forelands now , would I encourage anyone to come away to sea now? well yes , promotion is rapid , leave is one on one off so you have three months off to explore the depths of Kiwi for example unlike us ,six weeks on the coast and got no further than the dockside pubs.

Cheers Keith

Biggles Wader
14th August 2013, 22:22
Loaded Fiji sugar for Penang in about 1976 and I still have one of the knives they used to open the sacks.I cant remember the trains but do have drunken visions of the "nightclub" in Lambassa and a brief affair with one of the local princesses.They were all of royal lineage were'nt they?They certainly behaved just how they liked and got just what they wanted and who were we to object?Had the time of my life and would'nt have missed it.

Ron Stringer
14th August 2013, 23:10
Split bags through a grating on top of the hatch,

Same system was used in Durban in 1961 but the trimming was done by a lot of big Zulu fellas with shovels. Took 8 days to load about 8,000 tons (for Liverpool). The railway wagons were a lot bigger in South Africa.

spongebob
15th August 2013, 04:45
I only sailed into Lautoka once to discharge building materials from NZ before going on to Samoa and Tonga to load bananas.
After a few cold beer primers a group of us went ashore in the evening to try an Indian restaurant.
It was to be curries all round and when we were asked mild, medium or hot everyone had the bravado to say
"Hot,hot, just like you eat it"
I had a lamb Vindaloo and learnt a lesson that will last my lifetime. Others were in the same boat!

Bob

dave boy green
14th November 2013, 18:26
Hi Guys,
As we juggernaut toward Xmas I am reminded of loading sugar in Lautoka, on Christmas Eve, the locals placed a number of dummies on the jetty (like guys) the were taken away after Xmas day, does anyone know the purpose of these, and did anyone have any experience of the 'Cargo Cult' in the Pacific.

Long shot; the sugar was brought down the jetty on a narrow gauge railway, locos were mainly Listers or Simplex, I photographed these and alos the internal railway system, alas all of these lost over the passing years, anyone got any snaps?


Thanks

Eddie Bl

Got some photos somewhere when were there on the Southbank in 1960. I Will fish them out and post them

DBG