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Does anyone remember the Dominion Monarch with her four Doxford engines and four screws? A dirty, smelly old girl down in the engine room. You only had to step into there to be covered in diesel oil, you just could not keep clean no matter what!!! But a good old workhorse all the same.
 

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Thankyou Doug for this lady. The only QSMV that I knew. When I was a youngster I travelled up from Ashburton to visit her at Lyttelton shortly before she was withdrawn. My overwhelming memory is of the wonderful heraldic shields up around the walls of the smokeroom. It is a shame now that a young person cant get near a wharf nowadays and getting on board a ship is impossible The first ship I ever saw was the "Persic" at Timaru in the mid 50's and I had the opportunity to go on board "Essex" about 6 months later - from then on I was hooked!
Selwyn
 

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She is an interesting vessel, one in as much she was just completed before the advent of WW2 and never entered service until nearly ten years after her completion. Two that she was designed to carry a relatively small number of passengers for her size, although of course her cargo capacity was not inconsiderable.Three that they chose the engines that they did and that they were as powerful as they were. Whatever I just wish they made them like that these days, she has a certain balance to the profile, not beautiful, a sense of power certainly and quite imposing close up...well in my view!!.
And I agree that its a shame that young people today stand no chance of doing what we obviously did..prodigious ship visiting!!...and believe it or not the Persic was one of the vessels that I did see visit in UK. Its a small world after all!!.
 

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The DM or Dominion Maniac as she was known amongst the crew's had built up quite a reputation. Apparently as soon as the name Dominion Monarch was chalked up on the board, it put the Fear of Christ into seafarer's and emptied every shipping office in the U.K. within seconds. Some of this was due to the crew accomadation being totally unbearable in the tropics, which being only two feet above the sea meant that the port's had to stay closed. Even in a calm sea, the slightest ripple would enter the port and flood the cabins. Such was the extent of crew not wanting to sail on her, she tended to end up with the more unsavoury characters of the shiping fraternity crewing her. Her last trip was to the USA at Seattle World Fair where she was used as a floating hotel in 1962 and in November of that year she sailed for Japan and the breakers. 23 years service she covered over 1,500,000 miles for her owners and her bell can be seen at the Riverdale School near Gisborne NZ.
 

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Thanks for that interesting perspective on her and I just love the alternate name!!. Perhaps we may even see a picture of her bell at sometime in the future!!!.
 

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Oh hell even I have been to Gisborne..what is this anyway...only once though and many years ago..would be interesting to see what it is like now..ah well next NZ trip I'll put it on the list!!. And David is welcome to pop in with his camera anytime..and the results of his labours come to that.
 

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Dominion Monarch: Heaven and Hell

She might well have been Hell for the crew, but I'll vouch for the fact that she was Heaven for the passengers. No liner or cruise ship since has afforded so much space per passenger or such a munificent crew to passenger ratio.

All of the accommodation was en-suite staterooms (something unusual for 1939) and I blame the seven week voyage to Wellington via South Africa and Australia (with a Daimler in her hold) for an enduring passion.
 

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If memory serves me correctly she was generally refered to as "The Bucket of Blood"
Her last call at Wellington was celebrated with a farewell ball at the Majestic cabaret,
I was a little young at this stage, but one of my older sisters attended this event!
I do remember the photographs in the "TRUTH' of some of the girls in their best frocks, perhaps someone else remembers this!
 

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The Old DM

We were in port with the DM when she was paying off to go for scrap and attended one of the many parties. Actually the word "party" was somewhat a euphemism. (as all Engineers will be aware)
When I came shoreside I found that the last C/Eng on the DM John Noble, (MI.MarE) lived just down the road from me (still does) and at the time he was senior marine surveyor for the East Coast North Island (NZ).
 

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The Dominion Monarch was undoubtedly an all time classic but I found Marapito's claims for her passengers having the best ever space and service interesting and it stimulated me into some quick research.
The Dominion Monarch was 27,155 tons, carried 517 passengers, with a crew of 385. The simple ratios are 52.52 tons per passenger and 1.34 passengers per crew member.
The Hapag flagship Europa is generally regarded as the best in the business today; 28,437 tons, with 408 passengers and 245 crew. Clearly Europa has far more space per passenger than the DM - 69.7 tons per passenger and no cargo carried - but at 1.67 passengers per crew member the personal attention may be less, depending on the effects of automation.
Without a doubt travelling as a passenger on board DM must have been a very satisfactory experience.

Fred
 

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I was one of those 385 crew between 1950 and 1952, and again for a voyage in 1955. For all her reputation as a first class passenger ship, her principal role was as a large cargo refrigerated cargo liner. She discharged and loaded in one NZ port (Wellington) until about 1951 when she began to alternate between Auckland and Wellington. And on my final voyage in her, in 1958/59, we called to Lyttelton. Whether or not calls had been made to Lyttelton in the years between !955 and my last voyage I don't know. As for a pleasant experience for the passengers, that could be said of the voyages after old Sir Henry Gordon handed over command and retired in about 1951. He, being of the old school (he probably served some time in sail!) insisted on 'running the easting down' between Cape Town and Fremantle, and all on board experienced some pretty miserable weather on the fringes of the 'roaring forties'. Something not covered in the passengers' sailing brochures.
 

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I sailed under a Chief Engineer on the Cretic who had been aboard the DM when she was almost caught by the Japs when they took over Singapore.. Evidently they had all engines in bits and were in drydock when the Japs came knocking at the door.. He told me they first got one engine going and once under way all hands worked on the other three engines. One by one they got all going and cleared Singapore safely.. The chief was from Australia and if my memory is right his surname was Muir.. As aussies goes I found him to be okay.

One of the skippers (John Hurst)on the William C Daldy here in Auckland sailed on the DM as 2nd mate.
 
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