Otaki - Ships Nostalgia

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Old 7th February 2006, 11:59
dave beaumont dave beaumont is offline
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I remember going on Otaki in 1969 and being shown the Victoria Cross that was won by the first Otaki's master A.Bissett Smith in WW1. Does anyone no what becameof the medal after Otaki sold.
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Old 7th February 2006, 21:48
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Doxfordman Doxfordman is offline  
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I too saw that medal in 74 - god only knows what happened to it - and he ain't telling!
Dox (R907127)
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Old 10th March 2007, 04:29
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Kiwi Mike Kiwi Mike is offline  
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I sailed on the Otaki in 1976 and the Medal was not on board then.
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Old 16th March 2007, 02:10
alex page alex page is offline  
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Could be at his old school in Aberdeen

Last edited by alex page; 16th March 2007 at 22:18..
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Old 16th March 2007, 17:23
Jim S Jim S is offline   SN Supporter
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There was an article in the Aberdeen based "Press & Journal" newspaper in early October 2006 it said that later that month the grand-daughters of Capt. Archibald Bisset Smith of OTAKI would be handing over the original citation for his posthumous VC to Robert Gordon College, his old school.
Thearticle went on to say that that Capt Smith's VC remains on display at the New Zealand offices of P & O (as succesors to New Zealand Shipping Co).
I have read elsewhere that it was on display in the office of the P & O chairman. - Take your pick, but at least it appears to be secure.
In conjunction with P & O I believe that Robert Gordon still send a star pupil awarded the "Otaki Shield" to New Zealand each year. The Otaki Shield Award was presented to the school by the family in 1937.
In addition to the VC citation, the school has a painting on display of the gunfire action between Otaki and German raider Moewe.
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Old 10th June 2007, 22:30
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gingerbeer73 gingerbeer73 is offline  
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I was on Otaki in 1970 and again in 72. Don't recall anything about a medal.
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Old 11th June 2007, 09:58
jock paul jock paul is offline  
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Hi Jim S. Wonderful what you learn on this site! I went to Robert Gordons for 3 years. I vaguely remember the Otaki Shield, but this is the first time I've heard its history. Cheers, Jock
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Old 15th June 2007, 01:05
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Tom Haywood Tom Haywood is offline  
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Captain Smith's family gave the "Otaki" Shield in his memory. This was awarded annually to the most outstanding all-round boy at the Robert Gordon's Colledge, Aberdeen, the school of which Captain Bissett-Smith was such a distinguished old boy. The holder was brought on a visit to NZ by NZSCo. back in those days.
I was on the second "Otaki" in 1967 & 68 and the VC was on board then and I seem to remember that it was in the old man's day room mounted on a plaque.
Tom Haywood
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Old 7th November 2010, 17:34
grimned grimned is offline  
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I was a Deck Boy on the OTAKI Mar - June 1968 (Eddie WAITE).I recall seeing
the VC in the Officers mess but I believe it was only a copy - not the original.I also possess the track chart of the journey from NZ back to Europe / Uk.
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Old 9th November 2010, 09:25
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Mike S Mike S is offline  
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As far as I know the replica is in the Wellington Museum however this is info that is umpteenth hand. Perhaps some of the ex NZS folk living in NZ could enlighten us.
I coasted her in 1961 and it was mounted on the aft bulkhead of the Officers Saloon then.
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