31st March 2011, 20:53
Joe was 23 and Second Steward on the Deucalion. When we were in Townsville, Queensland, in April, 1951, Joe got permission to return to Port Alma where he became engaged to a girl he had met only a few days previously. The girl's father apparently had a farm at Archer and it was Joe's intention to return there and settle down. I still wonder what happened to Joe.
31st March 2011, 23:39
Ian, out of curiosity I looked up the Rockhampton White Pages (it's so easy these days, isn't it?). There is an S. Birch listed ...Joe would be 82 now so this person could easily be a relative. Maybe he did come back .... "Power of the Pouch" it's known as here!
20th June 2011, 21:09
Just noticed your reply to my query, John. Sorry not to have seen it sooner and thanks for your interest. I don't suppose I'll ever find out about Joe. See you're a former R/O, like me.
12th January 2013, 00:02
Hi Ian M, I came across your post by complete chance and just had to reply. My dad was called Joe Birch and in April 1951 he was 23 and worked for Blue Funnel. I also know that he got engaged to a girl in Australia around that time. So, I'd say its a pretty good chance it was the same person.
In fact he got a ship back to Liverpool to tell his mum that he was emigrating to Australia. Incredibly, at exactly the same time his twin brother was on a ship emigrating to Australia with his wife. Joe only discovered this when he returned home to Liverpool. As Joe's dad had died in WW2 he decided he had to stay at home to look after his mum and younger siblings. I'm sure he was heartbroken at the time.
Anyhow, Joe did get married in England in 1956 and continued working for Blue Funnel/Ocean until 1979. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2006 just before his 79th birthday.
17th January 2013, 20:27
Please send me your email addressed again.