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  #1  
Old 19th April 2006, 08:19
Doug H's Avatar
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Female Radio Officers

I was just reviewing some posts about the former Australian Pilot vessell WYUNA (thanks Jan Hendricks for guiding us to the right reference point) when I saw Trotterdotpom's posting from last year:
"9th June 2005, 17:32
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I can remember picking up pilots from Wyuna in the early '70s, not sure how long she lasted in that role (or should I say roll?).

After being acquired by the Australian Maritime College, Launceston, in the early '80s, she did a trip each year manned by cadets and there are many hilarious tales of their exploits. Some of the cadets escapades resulted in a drastic curtailment of the voyages. Boys will be boys!

In the mid-'80s, Amalgamated Wireless of Australia (Aussie Marconi equivalent) sponsored the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race for a couple of years and Wyuna acted as a support and communications coordination vessel. She was provided with about half a dozen AWA R/Os (they must have found some "normal" ones), including Heather, the one and only female R/O on Aussie ships. I could have gone too if I'd worn my high heels!

John T.

which, as I spent a while on Australian coastal ships (a long time ago) and hadn't heard of a lady R/O, made me wonder how many there were. We mostly know about female R/Os on Dutch ships but were there any on British ships?? Maybe John T, you can tell us more about the Oz lady. Doug H
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  #2  
Old 19th April 2006, 10:31
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Sparkus Delectii

Doug, to the best of my knowledge, Heather was the only female RO on Australian ships. I met her a few times and found her to be very competent and a pleasant lady. She was around for 3 or 4 years (I think) and eventually married a BHP Chief Officer. She did seem to get used by AWA a bit for publicity purposes. I think she disappeared under a pile of nappies, but not sure.

There were also a few female Navigating Cadets who eventually got tickets, I believe. Don't know how far up the tree they went.

John T.

PS Sadly, AWA, an iconic Australian company, for many years involved in military and civilian electronics manufacture and design as well as marine communications, seems to have disappeared altogether now.
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  #3  
Old 19th April 2006, 11:28
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Mid 70's, NZ Shipping Corp had a female Sparks, who sailed on both the coastal and UK run vessels. I sailed with her brother, a Third Engineer, with Whitco Marine, London.
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  #4  
Old 19th April 2006, 11:37
Peter Fielding Peter Fielding is offline  
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I believe NZS had a female sparks, named Liz Banham, and I think her husband, Richard was a Frosty in the company. Maybe some of the NZS guys could confirm this, or correct my knackered old memory.
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  #5  
Old 19th April 2006, 12:40
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When I did my R/O training in 1968/69 we had one female on our course and I think she went to work for Safmarine, well, that was her intention.
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  #6  
Old 20th April 2006, 06:19
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I would say about half of the Norwegian radio operators were female in the 1970s, I don't know what the numbers were in the 1960s, but I met a few. I remember a Russian woman who was R/O on a Soviet ship in the early 1970s, also a Filipina woman on a ship from Taiwan in 1971. Around the mid-late 1970s I read articles about American women breaking in to the trade on US ships. I met a Canadian woman who was working keys on a Japanese-owned ship with a Panamanian flag and Filipino crew around 1974. Then there was a British R/O who might have been a woman working on a Greek ship, the crew wasn't sure either.
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  #7  
Old 20th April 2006, 07:07
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I remember speeking (QSO'ing) with various female Scandinavian R/Os in the late 50'/60's. The only Pommie female sparkie to my knowledge was trained in Bridlington, East Yorks, as I was and I think her name was Angela... never met her.
On this subject.... I thoroughly used to enjoy speeking with the European female ops in Holland, Demark, Sweden and Norway on R/T 2182 kc/s band..... memories,eh...?????
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  #8  
Old 20th April 2006, 07:31
johnmilne johnmilne is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom
Doug, to the best of my knowledge, Heather was the only female RO on Australian ships. I met her a few times and found her to be very competent and a pleasant lady. She was around for 3 or 4 years (I think) and eventually married a BHP Chief Officer. She did seem to get used by AWA a bit for publicity purposes. I think she disappeared under a pile of nappies, but not sure.

There were also a few female Navigating Cadets who eventually got tickets, I believe. Don't know how far up the tree they went.

John T.

PS Sadly, AWA, an iconic Australian company, for many years involved in military and civilian electronics manufacture and design as well as marine communications, seems to have disappeared altogether now.
I know of two female port pilots in Queensland! (Mackay Haypoint Also one at Cairns) Both doing a good Job)The one in HayPoint 'driving' the big ones
Cheers
John Milne
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  #9  
Old 20th April 2006, 07:34
cynter cynter is offline  
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I remember speeking (QSO'ing) with various female Scandinavian R/Os in the late 50'/60's. The only Pommie female sparkie to my knowledge was trained in Bridlington, East Yorks, as I was and I think her name was Angela... never met her.
On this subject.... I thoroughly used to enjoy speeking with the European female ops in Holland, Demark, Sweden and Norway on R/T 2182 kc/s band..... memories,eh...?????
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  #10  
Old 20th April 2006, 07:35
cynter cynter is offline  
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sorry about the "hiccup"
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  #11  
Old 20th April 2006, 08:18
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Doug H.
The name is Hendrik (not Hendrick) and both are my real Christian names.
There was a Jan (pronounced Yan or Yun) on site already, hence using my second initial. Not that it matters Douglas.....

Terry,
See, as soon as a female is involved you slip up....guess we all do.... Lol

.... /._ /..._ /. // ._ //_ _ . /.. //_ . _ . // . //_ . . //. _ //_ . _ _

The "Wyuna" was for sale.
Anybody knows the current status?

Last edited by Jan Hendrik; 20th April 2006 at 08:27..
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  #12  
Old 20th April 2006, 10:58
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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"Is that a Beam Tetrode in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?"

It seemed like every small Norwegian port had its own radio station - most of them manned by female operators (is that a paradox or an oxymoron?). There was a well known trawler RO in Grimsby who, after several flirtatious conversations over the radio, on entering port, bought up big on tins of Quality Street chocolates from the bond and trekked up the mountain to the radio station. When he got there, huffing and puffing, the Nordic Siren turned out to be a giggling 70 year old! Wonder if she still liked the "hard centres"?

Maybe the Norwegians have there own version of yodelling "......and your old lady toooooo".

Jan, sorry, but have to say "QSD" ("Your keying is defective") - can't make much sense of your message.

John T.
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  #13  
Old 20th April 2006, 11:16
cynter cynter is offline  
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"trotts".... mate, you're humour never changes. I can identify with it 100%...
I spent quite some time around Norway/Sweden/Demark and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Just wish I could go back a tad....
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  #14  
Old 20th April 2006, 21:26
Chris Field Chris Field is offline
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Come on, you NZ Shipping Corp lads (eg Coatal Trader...)- what was the name of our well-liked and respected female R/O- I think her father was a coastal skipper in NZ.
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  #15  
Old 20th April 2006, 21:36
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Well age is really catching up now, I've been puzzling all day about a female sparks we had on the Avon Forest in 78 or 79. She must have been Marconi as she would have been relieving Sid White on one of his voyages off. All I can remember is her being turfed out of the saloon for wearing a jumpsuit, as far as Roddy MacDougall, the skipper, was concerned it was a ******* boiler suit!! She didn't create much of a stir as we were used to women working on board. At the same time we had a Canadian 3rd Mate, Janice Nicholls (sent from ship to ship just to try me I think), Elenor Sim was Chief Cook and we also had three stewardesses. All very civilised really.
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  #16  
Old 21st April 2006, 03:47
Paul Christiansen Paul Christiansen is offline
 
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Sconz R/o

The radio officers name was Phillippa Reynolds. After languishing on the Coastal Trader for long enough to have the sauna room named after her, she was finally allowed to go deepsea. Not sure what happened in her career when sconz folded.
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  #17  
Old 21st April 2006, 10:37
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_Wood
Well age is really catching up now, I've been puzzling all day about a female sparks we had on the Avon Forest in 78 or 79. She must have been Marconi as she would have been relieving Sid White on one of his voyages off. All I can remember is her being turfed out of the saloon for wearing a jumpsuit, as far as Roddy MacDougall, the skipper, was concerned it was a ******* boiler suit!! She didn't create much of a stir as we were used to women working on board. At the same time we had a Canadian 3rd Mate, Janice Nicholls (sent from ship to ship just to try me I think), Elenor Sim was Chief Cook and we also had three stewardesses. All very civilised really.
Wasn't Avon Forest a Denholm's managed ship? Was the 'Sparklet' Dallas Bradshaw as mentioned on David Scott's post about Scotstoun in the gallery?

John T.
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  #18  
Old 21st April 2006, 12:40
david harrod david harrod is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Hendrik
Doug H.
The name is Hendrik (not Hendrick) and both are my real Christian names.
There was a Jan (pronounced Yan or Yun) on site already, hence using my second initial. Not that it matters Douglas.....

Terry,
See, as soon as a female is involved you slip up....guess we all do.... Lol

.... /._ /..._ /. // ._ //_ _ . /.. //_ . _ . // . //_ . . //. _ //_ . _ _

The "Wyuna" was for sale.
Anybody knows the current status?
Wyuna was sold a couple of years ago; i think it is now some form of charity ship...I was the first mate/lecturer on her when the AMC bought it in 79/80...
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  #19  
Old 21st April 2006, 12:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Christiansen
The radio officers name was Phillippa Reynolds. After languishing on the Coastal Trader for long enough to have the sauna room named after her, she was finally allowed to go deepsea. Not sure what happened in her career when sconz folded.
Memory failed me with her christian name - knew the surname was Reynolds, as I had sailed with her brother Terry. She went ashore as a Radio Inspector and now lives (married) near Whangarei.
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  #20  
Old 21st April 2006, 14:13
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Thanks for the info David. Ch. officer at the AMC site was a certain Angus, you would know him. Forgot the captain's name.

I thought they were still trying to sell the vessel "last year", but as time goes fast, then it might have been couple of years now.....
I have good memories of the dockins in Launceston and my visits to Beauty Point.
Jan

p.s. in case you missed it -- main page -- special purpose vessels -- 2nd page AMC ships.

Last edited by Jan Hendrik; 21st April 2006 at 14:15..
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  #21  
Old 21st April 2006, 14:25
david harrod david harrod is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Hendrik
Thanks for the info David. Ch. officer at the AMC site was a certain Angus, you would know him. Forgot the captain's name.

I thought they were still trying to sell the vessel "last year", but as time goes fast, then it might have been couple of years now.....
I have good memories of the dockins in Launceston and my visits to Beauty Point.
Jan

p.s. in case you missed it -- main page -- special purpose vessels -- 2nd page AMC ships.
Jan, Angus was after my time; Frad Hartnack was the original AMC master, I was Mate and later Master before Mike Wood and Bill, (blonde moment, forgot his last name, sorry)..there were a whole series of mates, Ian Moist was one , I think he is still at AMC...the ship did a great job of training cadets; Bob Frost was the original Chief Engineer, he came with the ship, in fact he had been with the ship since its delivery to the Pilots from Scotland in 1954 or thereabouts. I think his son John was Chief on her for a short whilwe after Bob retired...
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  #22  
Old 21st April 2006, 16:59
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Confirming what "Tunatownshipwreck" stated about females on Norwegian ships,
I was working on Norwegian ships for about 6 years in the 1970's, and half of the ships that I was on had female radio officers onboard.
All the Norwegian ships that I worked on, had females working onboard, radio officers, stewardess's etc, to have females working onboard European/Scandinavian ships in the 60/70's was not unusual.

Frank

Last edited by Frank P; 26th April 2006 at 23:54..
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  #23  
Old 21st April 2006, 20:03
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First female R/O on a British ship

I am virtually certain that the first female sparks on a British ship was a lady called Dallas Bradshaw. I am also virtually certain that Dallas was Canadian but trained in the UK at Colwyn Bay. I have read this somewhere and can dig it out if anyone is interested. She definitely worked for Marconi around 1970 and I think she did a couple of trips with Denholms at the same time as they were employing female cadets/apprentices.
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  #24  
Old 21st April 2006, 22:01
Chris Field Chris Field is offline
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Thanks Paul and ex-sailor for the info re Philippa Reynolds- another senile gap in the memory filled by this website. (And, Paul- we sailed together on SCONZ at some stage...)
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  #25  
Old 23rd April 2006, 09:58
Douglas Young Douglas Young is offline  
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Unicorn Lines of Durban, South Africa had three female radio officers working the two ro-ro vessels "Border" and "Barrier" from 1989 to 1992. They were Shona Graham, (no idea where she is now): Denise Rose (now Koch), married 2nd Engineer Errol Koch, and Jane (now Rennie) but can't remember her name before she married Captain David Rennie. These girls worked 2 months on, one month off, with Shona being permanent on the Border, Jane on the Barrier, and Denise relieving them.
I also sailed with Rose King who regularly writes letters to the Telegraph. Rose also sailed with Unicorn Lines, think she then went to Safmarine, and I sailed with her on Rogers of Mauritius' ship "Belle Etoile" in 1987.
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