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I wonder if there are any members that sailed on the Aussie coast in the early 1950's.
There were many British ships from different companies charted to the Australian government running cargo.
Ropners had a few and I was an apprentice on the S.S.Firby which was wartime built "Ocean" ship.
We carried coal from Newcastle NSW to Port Adelaide and Melbourne and the iron ore from Wyalla to Port Kembla and Newcastle.
It was a two-year charter and I think when we completed it we were the last ship to leave in 1955.
As I was young then when I joined after flying out from the UK at 16 years old there may not be many to tell the tales.
 

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Having sailed for many years with ex Austalian and N.Z. Coast officers in the 50s and 60s I still remember the horror stories they would tell us of the power of the seamen's union and how it impacted on their lives as officers. One story that still comes to mind is of the ship where the cook, with his lucrative overtime, was earning more than the captain. Another of a Union S.S. ship' crew refusing to sail because the company had not had the electric coffee pot repaired.

Nick
 
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