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My name is Orvel MacDonald. In January 1964 I boarded the SS Lakemba bound foe Australia. She was loading lumber at Chemainus Vancouver Island. She made stops at Hawai,i Fiji, and American Samoa. I still have a picture of myself as King Neptune during the crossing the line ceremony. Is there anyone out there who was on that specific voyage

Orvel
 

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Hello David,
My name is Doug Allin, I also served as 3rd Mate on board the Lakemba. I was told that the 3rd Mate I relieved was from Canada and was leaving the ship to get married, I believe in Vancouver. As I joined in Vancouver I wondered if that could have been you that I relieved? Geoff Cleveland's wife at the time was called Jan. Does that ring a bell?
Anyway, I am working in the Arctic right now until around November. When I arrive home I'll look at my discharges from the Lakemba and find out the dates I joined and left the ship. If you reply to my message I'll pass the dates on to you.
My email address is [email protected] . Please contact me anytime.
Best regards,
Doug Allin
..... Yes indeedy that was me, although, I was Australian, not Canadian at the time. And that situation has since been rectified ! ... PM Sent . .... David K
 

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Cakau Lekaleka Sat. picture

I enjoyed all your stories about the Lakemba and the pictures were great. We as a family always talked about the Lakemba but I never knew what it looked like. Well I am back from my yearly trip to Fiji, to the family house which is on the Coral Coast and is about 20 miles due north of Cakau Lekaleka (Reef Short). I remember the day she hit the reef and what it meant to dad. He said of all the places the Lakemba could have ended her run she decided to end it right in front of him, as he sat on the front porch looking out to sea. I am thinking he should have never left her the way he did. Dad, Claudius Ram and a friend, Vincent Grant were crew members in the mid 1950’s and decided they wanted to go to England so they simply got off in Seattle (I think they call it “jump ship”) and drove across country wrecked the car in Chillicothe, Ohio met Mum, well, let’s get back to the Lakemba. He has been out to Cakau Lekaleka on a few fishing trips and I wonder what his thought were. Dad and Vincent still talk and at 84 is writing a book. I am waiting to reading the chapter on the Lakemba. What I really wanted to post was a link to a great Satellite picture of Cakau Lekaleka http://www.flashearth.com/
The location is Latitude: 18 36’ 1.3”S, Longitude: 177 47’33.2”E. Just east of the southern tip of the Island of Vatulele.
Keep the stories coming.
 

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1967 Lakemba voyage

Bula from Fiji
I was also aboard the Lakemba on it's last voyage. I was not aboard at the time as myself,Richard Boen and I believe a Swiss guy hitchhiked to Lautoka to await the Lakemba. I still have the Fiji Times clipping. I am retired and live in Fiji. I have met several of the crew of the Lakemba as many live on my small island of Ovalau. I have many good memories of the trip and would love to hear from any of the Boen family or others
regards
Mike Reid
 

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My family were passengers on the Lakemba when I was 6 years old.
My sister and I both have certificates from when we crossed the equator on the 17th of August 1960 heading to Canada.

I do have some photos and will post them when I figure out how.
 

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Lakemba 1950 voyage

I was 10 years old when I went to Aus with my parents on the Lakemba when it made its first passenger carrying trip. I know that because whenever they spoke about it they always said the departure date kept being put off because the ship was being converted for passengers. They also said the ship was very slow but their fellow passengers and the fijian crew were very friendly. They were mostly middle aged with a few younger ones going to Aus. to start a new life.I can remember the ship festooned with streamers when it left the dock in Vancouver and being seasick for the next 3 days. When I finally did emerge the other dozen or so kids thought I must be a stowaway. There was no onboard entertainment in those days except for the weekly movie. the passengers made their own mainly playing charades and quiz games, there was however a big crossing the line ceremony with the full Neptune ritual complete with certificate signed by the Captain.I believe his name was Coates My parents kept that bit of paper for years along with a menu showing the ships photo.We stopped at Honolulu which I cant remember much about. Then Suva which I remember vividly especially when we left as the whole town turned up on the quayside singing traditional Fijian songs, I was told it was because another passenger ship the Aorangi was in port making it the biggest influx of visitors since the war.That kind of reception is only reserved for the best of cruise liners now days, We finally arrived in Sydney after about 5 weeks and all went our separate ways.........I wonder if they realised how fortunate they were Nowdays everyone wants to see the world before they settle down and cruise liners with round the clock entertainment seems the way to do it. The Lakemba type cargo/passenger ship carrying just ordinary people has long vanished from the seas and it seems a more leisurely way of life with it.
Just 7 years later in 1957 I joined the merchant navy for 6 years spending most of it on the pacific run, I often wondered then if that little lumber ship was still plying the Pacific I asked around a lot but no one seemed to have heard of it. Then in about 1975 I was browsing in a library and read that it was wrecked and sunk.in '67 What amazed me was that such a slow and tiny ship could have lasted so long I doubted that it ever made the 60s........Perhaps it was a fitting end for such a little plodder it probably spent its whole life in the ocean it sank in, it was a fitting way to go.Believe me its a sad sight seeing a popular ship being broken up for scrap.
 

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Welcome...

And thank you for posting.

My entertainment on the Lakemba consisted of chasing my Sister and one other girl around with a flying fish I had caught and trying to drop it down their tops.

There was a swing set and a movie once a week.
 

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.... Capt.Cleveland was one of the best Masters, I ever had the pleasure of signing on with. ... The last Voyage, I sailed on the Lakemba , from Victoria, I think it was, to Sydney, Captain Cleveland, and myself stood Watches, 4 hours on and 4 hours off, for the bulk of the Voyage. And, in the off periods , it was preparing the Ship's Gear and Certificates etc. for a major Survey upon arrival in Sydney. The other two Mates, being "Indisposed'. .... Definitely an interesting "trip" ! ...... David K
hi david , I was wondering if maybe you knew my father he worked on the lakimba in the 50s he jumped ship in Vancouver along with his cousin and another chap he was from rotuma his island name was elikimie peter ,his Canadian name became Edward rae , the other chap got caught and my dad and cousin made it , all your help on info while he was on the ship would be great , he played guitar and sang also if that helps any thanx again
 

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Mary,

I just went on the sight and saw the pictures and am blown away.
My Dad, Everett Carter is King Neptune. The picture of the Hawaiian night is me dancing in the front, my sister Sue, the blond is in the background.

Thank you so much for posting those pictures!

Beth (Carter) Fish
I was on the ship in 1966 and helped with the children's activities. I travelled with 3 other girls from Canada. My name was Belinda McAuliffe. Any chance you remember me? Belinda Bent
 

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Hello David,
My name is Doug Allin, I also served as 3rd Mate on board the Lakemba. I was told that the 3rd Mate I relieved was from Canada and was leaving the ship to get married, I believe in Vancouver. As I joined in Vancouver I wondered if that could have been you that I relieved? Geoff Cleveland's wife at the time was called Jan. Does that ring a bell?
Anyway, I am working in the Arctic right now until around November. When I arrive home I'll look at my discharges from the Lakemba and find out the dates I joined and left the ship. If you reply to my message I'll pass the dates on to you.
My email address is [email protected] . Please contact me anytime.
Best regards,
Doug Allin
David, I have the article from the paper that was sent to me because I was a passenger in 1966, the year the Dr. died. I can send it to you if you do not have it. Belinda
 

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I sailed on the Lakemba from Victoria, Vancouver Island to Fiji August 1966. There were about 60 to 70 passengers all bound for Australia, mostly Canadians and a few English and American. I was the only passenger to jump ship in Fiji. The crew were Australian, East Indian and Fijian and the cargo timber. The ships doctor a Dr. Shannon died on board about two days from Honolulu. Looking at old photographs our swimming pool was a canvas sack about 6 foot X 6 foot. I remember being covered in a sticky mess of honey and flour and dunked in it when we crossed the Equator.

I have a newspaper cutting from the New Zealand Herald dated October 6 1967 priced 4c saying the Lakemba had struck a reef known as Cakaulekaleka off Vatulele Island. The cable laying vessel Retriever took all the passengers and most of the crew to Suva.

I would like to hear from anyone that was on the Lakemba when she sailed from Victoria to Sydney August 1966.

I went from Suva to Auckland on MV Tofua. It was a very rough crossing!

Mary Tilda
Mary, I have the Australia news clipping of the sinking as it was sent to me as I was a passenger in 1966. I have pics of the trip glued into a scrap book that I need to get on a cd or flash drive. Then I can also post some photos. Belinda McAuliffe Bent
 

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My name is Belinda Bent, nee Belinda McAuliffe and I was on the 1966 August trip from Vancouver to Sydney. I have all the names of the people on the ship on a menu. Included were DA Duncan and Hodgman, second mate, Beth, Sue, Doris and EJ Carter. Beth has written on this site and I have her name on a photo dancing with me and Hodgman. I helped Jeanette Tetreault with activities with the children. I certainly remember the Dr. Dying as he and his wife were seated at our table the first day, but soon he was too ill for meals. Two nurses who happen to be on board helped him as much as they could. I accidentally bumped into one family in Kununarra who were working at the research stn , cotton farming.
 

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Mary,

I just went on the sight and saw the pictures and am blown away.
My Dad, Everett Carter is King Neptune. The picture of the Hawaiian night is me dancing in the front, my sister Sue, the blond is in the background.

Thank you so much for posting those pictures!

Beth (Carter) Fish
Pictures 1966 Lakemba
Hi Beth,
I was on the trip and have a photo of you, me and Hodgson S/M dancing in a line. I have sent a couple of messages and don't know if they are getting through. How do you see the Lakemba photos in the Gallery? I have quite a few in my scrapbook, glued unfortunately. I was one of the girls who helped with the children's entertainment. Belinda McAuliffe Bent
 

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Article from Lakemba sinking

..... The Reef, that the "Lakemba" died on, was called, CAKAULEKALEKA REEF ( my spelling may be a little off ) located some 45 miles SW of Suva. .... I would personally, love to read the results of the Admiralty Hearing, as to the causes and contributing factors of this "grounding" and subsequent sinking. It was incredibly fortunate, that the "Retriever" was close by, in Suva, and was able to get underway so quickly, and had the equipment and skills to effect the rescue without loss of life. ..... David K
I have two clippings of the Lakemba sinking if you care to have them sent to an email address. I was on the 65 voyage but I was sent the newspaper articles from the 66 voyage.
Belinda Bent
 

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Sailed on the Lakemba from Vancouver to Sydney in 1965 with stops in Hawai, Apia and Suva. I was 10 at the time our party was mom dad and six kids. My grandmother was there to see us off and she thought we were crazy with the ship so low in the water from it's load of lumber. I remember the crew who took us under their wings and put us to work in the kitchen shelling peas etc to pass the time. As I recall there was one swing on the ship to play on. we spent our days aft in the crews quarters where two songs were always playing. The first "lucky Lips" and the second "from a jack to a king". Major events on our trip were the stranded freighter we passed sitting high on a reef, the anchor chain breaking as they dragged it entering Samoa and the crew catching a massive tuna and a baracuda (chainsaw with fins). I all an amazing 6 week trip to places that were yet to see the hands to tourism and all inclusive resorts.
I was on the 65 trip- a few memories too- for one thing the Dr died before we reached Hawaii. Other odd memories too!
 
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