Fond Farewell to an Old Friend of the NZ Coastal Trade

21st October 2009, 12:46

Back when I was growing up, the Port of Onehunga, located on the world's fifth biggest harbour, Auckland's Manukau Harbour, was invariably a hive of activity shipping-wise, with the wharf regularly fully occupied.

Sadly, it's not the case these days, with the weekly "in Thursday, out Saturday" visit of "Spirit of Resolution" supplemented by the infrequent calls of "Milburn Carrier II" and 'la grande dame' herself, "Westport", Holcim's cement carriers. And that's about it! :-((

"Westport" is still going strong since its maiden voyage in 1976, and I can still recall her arriving at Onehunga one murky, filthy, wet-as-in-bucketing-down Saturday morning in May that year, not long after her arrival in NZ, in the company of her near-sister ship, "Milburn Carrier", built in 1972 in the same Hamburg shipyard.

Both ships, along with the Anchor Line trio of "Totara", "Titoki" and especially "Puriri", remain particular favourites of mine - regular visitors to Onehunga during my formative years.

A particularly fond memory is of my first ship visit (back in the days when they were permitted), with Capt. Paddy Ginley RIP showing me and my family around his pride and joy, the "MC", one sunny Sunday afternoon in the mid-1970s.

"Milburn Carrier" was sold in the late 1980s by Milburn Cement, as they were then known, and has been plying her trade primarily around Europe over the course of the last twenty-odd years, most notably as "Arklow River" and "Rhodos Cement".

Sadly, from around June 19-20 this year, she is no more, as can be discovered via this YouTube link filmed in Esbjerg, Denmark:

Farewell, old friend - thanks for the memories.

28th October 2009, 18:47
I did a few trips on her when she was Arklow River. Nice ship on a good run. Pity to see her being dismantled like that.