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Hi To All That Sailed On The Ss Southern Cross. I Joined The X On Voy 33 Signing On As 2nd Refridge 1-3-63 Until 20-5-63. Great Memories Having Met The Girl I Would Later Marry.certainly A Plus Eating In The Engineers Saloon. All The Left Overs Would Come Down On The Dumb Waiter. Trevor Davis
 

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HI TO ALL THAT SAILED ON THE AMALRIC SIGNED ON AT NAPIER AS THE 2nd REFRIG ON THE 4-8-61 SIGNING OFF IN WELLINGTON ON THE 9-10-62 DAVE FINESTON WAS 1ST FRIG, IAN FRASER 1ST ELEC, GOD WAS C/E. WALLY THE 2ND ENG.
PETE MITCHELL THE 3RD ,I THINK MACCA WAS 4TH AND WAS IT STEVE EDGE AS THE 5TH BUT NOT ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN . CHEERS TREVOR DAVIS
 

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I remember I had my interview for Shaw Swiv aboard the Cross in Southampton in 1966. The interviewer was Bill Lewis, one of the two assistant electrical supers at the time. The other was Bob Richardson.The Super super was Jock Hastie who struck fear into the heart of many a 'Leckie. Nevertheless all three were great guys,who it was my pleasure to know.
One story(probably apochryphal), has stuck with me over the years,concerning a new junior engineer joining the Cross. The Engineers accommodation on the ship was not air conditioned, but the cabins were supplied with a sort of scoop arrangement that was pushed out of the porthole to deflect any breeze available into the cabin while the ship was under way. Some sort of flange was affixed to the inboard end to prevent the item disappearing into the tide.
The young Engineer inquired as to the use of this piece of equipment, and was told, by one of the colleagues, that this was to go out of the port once the ship was at sea.
Later during the voyage the young man chanced upon the colleague and informed him that he was unable to get the item out of the port, but had instead thrown it over the side.
I hope this stays with you as it has with me for the past forty odd years.
 

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A very interesting thread including the reference to one of Shaw Savill Characters...namely John Dover.
My memory of John was his joining TSS Gothic in October 1962 Victory Dock. Allan McDiarmid Ch Eng. Donald McDonald 2nd Eng. John McFarlane 3rd Eng
I believe John had previously served on Northern Star (sea trials + 1st Voyage?) as Chief Electrician.
Regards to all who are able to recapture those far off days...50+ years ago
Brian (Joe) Brown 4th Eng on the above October 1962 trip of the good ship Gothic...
 

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Hi Barry,
Yes The Dreaded Scoops, I Only Used Mine Once,ended Up With A Bunk Full Of Cig Butts. Me A Non Smoker
The trick was to angle it forward and down. That way you got a steady breeze (but avoided whatever was chucked overboard) and didn't get caught out if you ran into a shower/squall. Only ever sailed on two ships with air-con and found the scoops a God-send on the others.

On one ship without air-con I had a cabin with 'sash windows' that slid up and down like those that used to be common in railway carriages. No such things as scoops on there and it could be stifling in the West Indies in both Summer and Winter. The Radio Room was worse - it was inboard, with just a skylight and no portholes at all.
 

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I was an A/Steward on that trip of 1970 and had a great time. We were on strike in Suva as our overtime had been taken away without any reason. Captain Wheatley eventually gave in to our "demands" in time to catch the evening tide.
 

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Wakefield-on-Sea

Hi there ~ which ship are you referring to when in Suva with Captain Wheatley. I sailed with him on Southern Cross and Arawa.

Cheers Jamie
 

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A very interesting thread including the reference to one of Shaw Savill Characters...namely John Dover.
My memory of John was his joining TSS Gothic in October 1962 Victory Dock. Allan McDiarmid Ch Eng. Donald McDonald 2nd Eng. John McFarlane 3rd Eng
I believe John had previously served on Northern Star (sea trials + 1st Voyage?) as Chief Electrician.
Regards to all who are able to recapture those far off days...50+ years ago
Brian (Joe) Brown 4th Eng on the above October 1962 trip of the good ship Gothic...
With reference to John Dover I never sailed with him but met him in Auckland when he came over to the Alaric to borrow a spare armature for the dough mixer on the Gothic. I opened my door and found this figure in a spectral white boiler suit standing there he introduced himself a ''John Dover Commodore Chief Electrician" He was very well spoken and had a great manner, I said I did not know we had Commodore Chiefs in the Company and he explained by saying that if the Captain of the Gothic could call himself Commodore then it was good enough for him. I asked him to follow me and we could go and get the spare part from the store, he puffed himself up and said "laddie I have no intention of picking up the armature - that's what I brought HIM for" pulling a junior leccy into the cabin, we set off and everything else went off fine.

I did hear that later on had advanced his legend in SSA by impersonating a Herald reporter and with an engineer festooned in cameras bluffing his way onto the Canberra on her maiden voyage into Auckland where he was given a tour of the ship and had cocktails with the Commodore P&O afterwards sending a thank you telegram to P&O Head 0ffices in London. From what I was told he came within a hairs breadth of being fired but somehow survived. I cant vouch for the truth of this but maybe another reader can shed some light on the subject?
 

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Does anyone remember a 3rd Fridge on the S/C by the name of Ted Rivens AKA Shadrack he was Australian and ex Canopic and would have sailed on her in the early 1960's
 

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Hello, does anyone remember Ted Polk who I understand was at some stage a Chief Engineer on the Southern Cross.
My reason for asking is that he is/was my Godfather but I haven't seen or heard from him in 45yrs.
I have heard 3rd/4th hand that he has been in very poor health and may in fact have passed on.
Hope someone can remember him.
Thanks and best wishes.
 

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I was a passenger on the Southern Cross in Dec 1969 with my parents and brother. We were sailing from New Zealand to Southampton. I was only 4 at the time but can still renenber lots. I would love to get my hands on a copy of the passenger list. Anyone know where I might find it?
 

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Hi Libby

I worked in Pursers Office on Southern Cross in 1969 ~ and we arrived Southampton on 11Dec 1969 ~ so assume you boarded the ship late October in NZ. Unfortunately we do not have passenger manifests of these sailings now. I am not sure if they can be retrieved from another source ~ perhaps someone else will be able to provide that information. There is a very good YouTube video available on a voyage on Southern Cross to NZ taken I think early 1967 by another passenger living in Australia ~ it may rekindle some memories for you.
Cheers Jamie, the Purser
 

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Hi Jamie. I managed to get a copy of the passenger list. My dad was over the moon. Although it was a long time ago and I was very young I still get little flashbacks to when we were on the ship. I remember being on deck going through the Panama Canal. And one of the kitchen staff bringing me the fat from the bacon every morning to our cabin. That's all I would eat. Many happy memories. My mum and dad were bringing us to the UK to meet our grandparents. Sadly my mum passed away 4 years ago and never got to see the list. But my dad has been reminiscing since I gave it to him. He remembers some of the passengers they got friendly with. Thank you so much for telling me about the you tube video. I will show it to my dad. I'm sure it will bring back a lot of memories for him.

Elizabeth
 

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Hello Elizabeth ~ thanks for your reply ~ and so pleased you managed to obtain a passenger manifest ~ if you dont mind me asking ~ how did you manage to get one?
Southern Cross remains my favourite ship of all time ~ and I have model and numerous photos in my 'office' .
If you have a look at my photos ~ there are a few shots of my time as purser on the Cross ~ and some of her as Azure Seas after she was sold out of Shaw Savill. hope they bring back happy memories for you, Cheers Jamie
 

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Hi Jamie. I managed to get the list from familysearch.org. it was actually a photo of the list and I just printed it off. I clicked on Miami and it came up on there. Brilliant.

Elizabeth
 

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Hi Annric ~ have been making investigations for you from the Engineers Super regarding your God Father ~ the following reply from Wally Watson, UK branch of the Shaw Savill Society,
Hope you find this of great interest,
Cheers Jamie (Shaw Savill Society, NZ)
Hi Jamie,
I have checked the records kept by the late John Heighway and can confirm that an Edward Palk served aboard Afric, Arabic, Doric, Aramaic, Southern Cross and Cretic in a relieving capacity as Second Engineer between 5th December 1957 and 20th July 1958. He joined Southern Cross as Junior Second Engineer on 14th August 1958 and came up through the ranks to Senior Second Engineer until leaving the ship in February 1961. He did a short relieving stint aboard Waiwera in March of that year but must have left the Company shortly afterwards. I have checked the records until 1963 but he does not appear again. If still alive he has to be nearer eighty than seventy I'd say. Hope this helps.
 

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I signed on the Southern Cross several days prior to departure on Friday 13th November 1970 (not a good omen).

The voyage was out to Oz via the Panama Canal, then 3 cruises out of Sydney and return to the UK in March 1971.

Being young and naive, I discounted tales that you didn't so much 'sign on' as 'weigh in' on the 'Suffering Cross'.

However the cracks began to appear on sailing day when most of the 'Belfast contingent' of the deck department were in various states of intoxication, thus causing extra work for the rest of us.

Things went from bad to worse during the Atlantic crossing, I was so relieved to plant my feet on terra firma upon arrival at Trinidad.

I stuck the trip out, though not sure how. During the trip there where 3 deaths, a crew member 'disapeared' one night, a passenger died of a heart attack, and there was one other death of which I dont know the cir***stances.

I was attacked myself whilst sleeping, the attacker was unaware of the attack the next day due to being on various 'substances'.

During a visit to Suva (on one of the cruises), the catering staff walked off the ship. The band played on for sometime until the Ozzie passengers were no longer waving, the band eventually packed up and went home, as did the stevadores, I never did find out out why they walked off.

During 30 years service at sea I never witnessed anything like the level of violence and drunkeness on that ship, I still have the odd nightmare of this experience.

Having survived the 'ship from hell', I signed up for a correspondence course for 2nd Mates ticket.

Captain Wheatley was the Master on this voyage, a really nice man. What he did to deserve the Cross I really dont know, I hope things were better in his latter career.

When I saw pictures of the ship being scrapped, I had a glass of wine - quite an occasion as I am teetotal!

I'm sure someone somewhere must have a happier experience of the Suffering Cross, but it wasn't me!
I am interested in this ship for personal reasons and anyone who sailed on her between November 1970 and March 1971 when she returned to Southampton. I have seen a couple of posts from people who were on her at that time and would be very grateful if someone could email me at [email protected]. I see some of the posts are fairly old but hopefully someone still reads them here. many thanks Tricia.
 
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