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My father immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1952. He is now 94 years old. He wrote about his trip about ten years ago and said that he came from Bremen on December 25, 1951 arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on January 7, 1952 aboard the Arosa Kulm. Yet I found his old immigrant card from Canada and it is stamped with a ship named the T.S.S. Neptunia. I cannot really ask him about this discrepancy because he has experienced a mental decline. But if I simply ask him what ship he came to Canada on he still says the Arosa Kulm. I contacted the pier 21 museum to ask them if they had passenger lists for the respective boats, but they said I’d have to contact the Canadian immigration. They thought my father might have misremembered. I wonder if he might have changed ships at a port after Bremen. In his writings he mentioned that there was an horrific storm and other details about the trip. I am trying to write a biography of father based on his writings. I wonder if there might be passenger lists hidden away somewhere, so I could confirm which ship my father traveled on.
 

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Try the Halifax newspapers. Search for that month of January and you will probably find then 'arrivals'. One of those ships would show up. Might help to narrow your search.
 

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Try the Halifax newspapers. Search for that month of January and you will probably find then 'arrivals'. One of those ships would show up. Might help to narrow your search.
Have a look here: Ship Arrival Database | Pier 21. Unfortunately I have not found a January 1952 arrival for AROSA KULM or NEPTUNIA (after a quick look). Could a photo of the AROSA KULM be of any help? A new monthly service from Bremenhaven to Canada was opened by the Arosa Kulm on 18th March 1952, whereas the Neptunia (ex Johan de Witt) commenced in April 1951. Therefore the most likely ship used by your father is the Neptunia, provided the date is correct.
 

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Try the Halifax newspapers. Search for that month of January and you will probably find then 'arrivals'. One of those ships would show up. Might help to narrow your search.
Thank you for your good suggestion. I did contact the Pier 21 museum. They told me to contact the immigration. I have a little trouble using their forms. Then I tried a library in Halifax asking for passenger lists. They referred me to the Pier 21 museum. That is where I started. In any case, I might contact the library again and see if they have any old newspapers from that time. I also wrote the Bremen city archives, but have not received an answer yet.
 

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Have a look here: Ship Arrival Database | Pier 21. Unfortunately I have not found a January 1952 arrival for AROSA KULM or NEPTUNIA (after a quick look). Could a photo of the AROSA KULM be of any help? A new monthly service from Bremenhaven to Canada was opened by the Arosa Kulm on 18th March 1952, whereas the Neptunia (ex Johan de Witt) commenced in April 1951. Therefore the most likely ship used by your father is the Neptunia, provided the date is correct.
Thank you. I see on the ship’s arrival database that the Neptunia Arrived on January 7th, 1952. It lists the ports. Halifax is listed third and Bremerhaven last. Not sure how to interpret that. I agree with you that if the monthly service from Bremerhaven to Canada didn’t start until 18th March 1952 on Arosa Kulm, it is more likely my father came on the Neptunia. It does mention that all arrivals are not listed like refugee boats. It would be nice to have a passenger list just to make sure, although it seems likely he came on the Neptunia. Then it makes me wonder how he got the boat Arosa Kulm in mind.
 

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He may have been a passenger aboard the AROSA KULM at another occasion.
 

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Have a look here: Ship Arrival Database | Pier 21. Unfortunately I have not found a January 1952 arrival for AROSA KULM or NEPTUNIA (after a quick look). Could a photo of the AROSA KULM be of any help? A new monthly service from Bremenhaven to Canada was opened by the Arosa Kulm on 18th March 1952, whereas the Neptunia (ex Johan de Witt) commenced in April 1951. Therefore the most likely ship used by your father is the Neptunia, provided the date is correct.
Except I found his landed immigration card showing a stamp of a January 7, 1952 so my inclination is to think that he came across on the Neptunia, although there is just a touch of doubt since if I ask him even now , what boat did you come to Canada on, he will answer the “Arosa Kulm.” I just wonder why he would have the Arosa Kulm in his mind. My next step is to try and get the passenger list from Canadian immigration. It is a little hard to fill out the forms since my father is not a Canadian citizen, nor a resident of Canada. If you check other, then they will not release information. I am a duel citizen (Canadian by birth) so I could fill out the forms but I need his permission. I have already written various places in Bremen including the museum, and the city archive but so far have not received an answer. It would also be nice to have a Captain’s log as some interesting things happened aboard like the S.O.S. of the flying Enterprise. Also the piano going overboard. I would imagine many people wrote letters about their experience because it must have been a violent storm. My father kept letters from way back and I would think he must have written my mother because she remained in Europe and came later on the Rijndamn. I did find a letter my father wrote about two weeks before his trip, but there is no mention of the boat. Probably, most of the people who made the voyage are all dead as my father is 94 years old. He was a gregarious fellow when he was young so I imagine he made friends with other passengers and crew, but in his writings there are no names; only that he talked to the crew and relayed information about the storm to other passengers. Thank you again for your help and interest.
 

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.” I just wonder why he would have the Arosa Kulm in his mind. .. My father kept letters from way back and I would think he must have written my mother because she remained in Europe and came later on the Rijndamn. I did find a letter my father wrote about two weeks before his trip, but there is no mention of the boat.


RYNDAM (Holland America Line - new in 1951) was the run from Rotterdam to New York. Also in 1952, AROSA KULM (former PROTEA) was 'new' on the run. Perhaps your dad had considered sailing in either of these vessels?
 

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.” I just wonder why he would have the Arosa Kulm in his mind. .. My father kept letters from way back and I would think he must have written my mother because she remained in Europe and came later on the Rijndamn. I did find a letter my father wrote about two weeks before his trip, but there is no mention of the boat.


RYNDAM (Holland America Line - new in 1951) was the run from Rotterdam to New York. Also in 1952, AROSA KULM (former PROTEA) was 'new' on the run. Perhaps your dad had considered sailing in either of these vessels?
 

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My mother was Dutch and my father was German. My brother was born in Germany. Sometime after my brother was born, my mother went back to the Netherlands to stay with her family, She thinks that she took the Ryndam when my brother was about a half year old. I see a passenger list selling on eBay for the Ryndam for the March 7, 1952. The seller will not tell me if my mother’s name is on it. It probably is a little early for my mother to have come over. My father went to Karlsruhe to get his immigrant visa to Canada. It was his intention to go to the United States eventually, but the immigrant visa to the States took too long so he thought he would be better positioned to get to the States if he first came to Canada. My father started writing his autobiography, but never completed it due to a hand tremor. Perhaps at the time, he didn’t remember the name of the ship and he saw that the Arosa Kulm transported many German emigrants to Canada in 1952, so he thought it was the ship he came over on. I don’t want to change my father’s words because it was his life and his memories. Yet I would feel comfortable changing the Arosa Kulm to the Neptunia if I see his name on the passenger list of the Neptunia.
 

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Ah. OK. Firstly. the ship sailed at the end of december 1951 and arrived Halifax in early January 1952. Could not possibly be AROSA KULM because ship did not commemce service until AFTER March 1952. Secondly, if you have the Immigration Card stamped TSS NEPTUNIA that is the answer. Unlikely that the immigration card was an error.... unless you just unlucky.

Years ago I was chatting my aunt Vera. She was a Cech national and she came to Bermuda, sailed from Southamton to Bda in P&O's CARTHAGE. Then she mentioned that she went back to Prague in 1948 for a visit. I asked if she had flown or gone back by ship. "Air to New York then ship to Southampton. Came back by the same way." I asked, "Which ships?" She Shrugged, "I don't remember." Vera was just in her mid 60s. Spot on memory, she just did not bother to remember from a ship for the crossings. Like today, do you remember every aircraft you have flown on? Anyhow, she remembered and old box on the shelf. Started to go through old photos, old papers etc. "Ah! Here they are. I kept two menu covers.! There it was. Sailed NY to Southampton in MAURETANIA and came back in the QUEEN ELIABETH!
 

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You are probably right. I have been on a few boats as an adult and I don’t remember their names. Although, my father had never before been on a big ship, and coming across the Atlantic to face a new uncertain life—especially encountering a fierce storm—would be more memorable than my uneventful journeys. However, he was recounting this trip many years after it happened. Whether or not the name of the ship would be salient many years after would depend. I would think survivors of the Titanic would always remember the ship’s name. My father still remembers many things but does not elaborate on the many stories he used to tell me. If I had in my possession the landed immigrant card ten years ago maybe that would have jogged his memory. Now he would just say, “I don’t know.” My father didn’t throw away much. I have found letters he wrote from the 1940’s. I am coming to the conclusion that he came to Canada on the Neptunia, but it still would be interesting to have a passenger list. Hopefully, I will get a positive answer from the Staatsarchiv in Bremen. I am glad your aunt Vera found the box with old photos and menus. It must have been gratifying for her to recall her trips.
 

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My aunt and uncle met during the war. Tim was in the Essex Scottish Regiment and was captured in the Dieppe Raid. Escaped three times and was just outside Dresden during the fire bombing. On his last escape he got to Prague and fell in with the Resitance. Vera was in the Resistance. When the war ended Tim came back and the following year Vera came to Bermuda, two sons etc. Tim passed about twenty years ago. Great old boy and I used to sit with him and get him to tell me about his war years. Likewise Vera. Sadly she passed some years ago also. Now to the present. My cousin Peter spent a lot of years living abroad, likewise for myself. Now we are two old codgers. Every time I mention something Tim or Vera, Peter gives me a blank stare and says, "I didn't know that. I never spoke to my parents about those years." Such a shame.
 

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Your aunt and uncle lived an interesting life and it is great that you had the opportunity to hear their stories and ultimately share them with your cousin Peter.
 

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Thanks. This is what 'ships nostalgia' is all about! Uncle Tim was a great story teller. He, like my dad, was born in Cork and lived there from 1910 until 1923. They grew up on Irish folk tales and stories and as a youngster I head many of his. Some are priceless. OK, let us know how you get on with your search.

Stephen
 
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