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I was a junior engineer on the M V Centaur in 1978-79. Sailing out of Freemantle for round trips to Singapore and Penang. Just wondering if there is anyone else who who sailed on her or remembers her.
 

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Greetings Pertius and a warm welcome to SN from a member in the south of England. Plenty of us engineers on board. Enjoy the site and bon voyage.
 

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Hi Pertius,

I was a BF 4/Eng and sailed on the Centaur around 66/67. I relieved due to illness. A wonderful ship. We wont see her likes again.

Welcome to the site.

I served my apprenticeship ashore and watched her being built.


regards
 

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Yes I remember the Centaur well. Brought her in and out of Fremantle heaps of times on the tugs. Recall in the early days we used to berth her and then shift her over the other side of the harbour and then back to load passengers.
When the passenger ship trade died away she had the passenger berth to herself.
My wife did a trip to Singapore and back on her in 1966 before we were married. Her close friend married an engineer on board then, Arthur Frodsham (spellling?) and he was later chief in State Ships.
For a large part of my 30 years on the tugs in Freo Centaur was part of the scene. She sailed unheralded and looking sad for the last time in a winter gale and driving rain. Apart from her paying off pennant, the tug Wato in attendance and the mooring gang there was no fanfare at all. Sad.........
I must try and dig out some pictures some day.
 

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CENTAUR still remembered in Perth. If you drive north along the beautiful West Coast Highway north of Perth towards Hillarys, you will see in the Marmion/Sorrento area, placed on the side of the road overlooking the Indian Ocean, an (obviously small) concrete bow of a ship, with the name CENTAUR proudly marked - pity there's no stern with the Port of Registry marked.

Regards Roger Harrison
(a product of Wirral & still full of Nostalgia for the Liverpool-registered ships of the late 50s & 60s ----- Byrom Street college for tickets/Capt.Fletch with the one eye/and the clubs in Liverpool at the time. Now living north of Hillarys in W.A.)
 

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Yes I believe that bow of the Centaur is a memorial to the original ship that was sunk. Next time I pass that was I will stop and check.
 

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I believe that during the Falklands war, the ship which serviced the island of St Helena, was taken up by MOD for war service, and the Centaur was co-opted to take her place. I think the run was Avonmouth to St Helena on a six week service.
apparently the islanders were hugely impressed with their new ship, but at the end of the Falklands conflict, the status quo was resumed, much to their chagrin.
I saw the Centaur launched from John Browns,and some months later doing her speed trials in ther Clyde estuary, and she was indeed a beautiful ship.
Pat
 

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1 had been ashore about three years, working as a Commissioning Engineer with the Air Conditioning Company, Hall- Thermotank P/L, and did a trouble shooting voyage in the early 1960's on The M.V. "Centaur ', to Singapore, she was the Trade Show Vessel for that voyage. She was certainly a great Ship. Terence Williams.( Ex Shaw Savill Elect Engr ).
 

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I was 2nd Mate on Centaur in 1979. At least, I think it was 1979 - memory's getting a bit dodgy. I took over from Cushy Athurelia at about the same time that Malcolm Lees took over as Master. Centaur was a beautiful ship and the highlight of my career at sea. I was made redundant in 1981. Any more old shipmates kicking around out there?
 

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roger spurr still needing information, specifically how were cars loaded? I presume they went on the deck that held the livestock on the ourward, to Singapore journey, but were they lifted by dock cranes or on board derricks?
 

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Loading and unloading vehicles

Hi Roger,

From memory and from my photographs of Centaur I think we used dockside cranes when available but since they usually were not, the ship's derricks were used. I remember loading a Suzuki Jeep in Fremantle in 1979 which belonged to a chap and his daughter who had driven across Oz. They came with us to Singapore before attempting to drive overland from there to the UK. Sooner them than me in an 850cc SJ!

Cheers,
George
 

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mv centaur

dear George, You might be just the person to tell me all I need to know. I and my wife travelled from England in a 1936 Morris 8 in 1972-3, and from Singapore to Freemantle on the Centaur, prob sailing 6th March 1973. We had two days cruising and then ran into the tail end of a typhoon which rather spoiled our enjoyment of the excellent food. Our diary runs out in Malaysia and I need some facts to complete the book I am writing. If you are willing, can you tell me: how cars were loaded, the usual track of the ship (we saw a smoking island that might have been Krakatoa)and the process at the end. I seem to remember being tugged in (perhaps Weela)and held on board until immigration cleared us. Have you any meat to put on these bones? anything will be greatly appreciated regards Roger
 

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Where did Arthur (cushy) end up?
I saw Cushy Athurelia (his brother always spelled his name with an 'r', Arthurelia) again when we sailed together on one of the big container ships out of Southampton. Might have been Cardigan Bay because I did several trips on her. Cushy was married and had his wife with him but he was still the same old Cushy and a really good shipmate.
 

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Ah, Roger, you are bringing back some memories! Cars were slung on board with a special sling under the wheels. There was a pair of steel bars about a foot apart which went under the front wheels and another pair under the rear. then ropes went from either end of the bars to a shackle above which was hooked on to the wire from the crane or the pair of wires from two of the ship's derricks. I think on Centaur, cars were usually carried on deck because the holds were full of livestock when Northbound and the permanent livestock pens the rest of the time. We carried 4000 sheep and 200 cattle in the 'tween decks, and usually a dozen polo ponies on deck for the Sultan of Johore.

I can tell you the precise route because I was the navigator. South from Singapore keeping to the Sumatra side of the channel, inside the mass of little islands. Then through the Bangka Staright between Bangka and Sumatra, south in the Java Sea and then through the Sunda Straight between Sumatra and Java. Heading South, you pass Krakatoa quite close on the starboard side, which often puffs a bit of smoke. From there, it is SSE about 1700 nautical miles to Fremantle, where we picked up the harbour pilot and made the tugs fast before going alonside the wharf. We did the complete round trip, Fremantle, Singapore, Penang, Singapore, Fremantle every three weeks! I hope that helps a bit, but please give me a shout if you need any other info and I'll see what's left in the old memory banks.
 

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I saw Cushy Athurelia (his brother always spelled his name with an 'r', Arthurelia) again when we sailed together on one of the big container ships out of Southampton. Might have been Cardigan Bay because I did several trips on her. Cushy was married and had his wife with him but he was still the same old Cushy and a really good shipmate.
Arthur was a character. Unfortunately, I never sailed with him but recognised him to be a good shipmate.
 

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Can't recall the ship. Possibly a Super 'P' in the early 70s which I visited out here. The very fact that I remember him and not having sailed with him speaks volumes.
 

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G'day George,

My memory of the guys on Centaur is really fading as I forgot your name. I was R/O on Centaur Feb to Nov 1979. Do you remember Josh Garner? He was also a 2/o on Centaur that year and later master of the HK sail training ship Ji Fung.

I have some photos of horses on deck, stbd side fwd. Will get them scanned and upload sometime. Also the mail drop at Christmas Island.

Rgds,
Richard.
 
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