Ships Nostalgia banner
61 - 80 of 100 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
SS Lakemba newspaper cuttings

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
Hello Belinda, (Wave)
My name is David Howard. I was 4th Engineer Officer on the Cable Ship Retriever at the time Lakemba ran onto the reef. I used to have a Fiji Times clipping of its front page showing the Lakemba hard aground on the reef and the story of our rescue mission, but I can't find it.
Do you still have the clippings you mention?
I'd very much appreciate it if you could send me copies.

Thanks,
Dave.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Hello Belinda, (Wave)
My name is David Howard. I was 4th Engineer Officer on the Cable Ship Retriever at the time Lakemba ran onto the reef. I used to have a Fiji Times clipping of its front page showing the Lakemba hard aground on the reef and the story of our rescue mission, but I can't find it.
Do you still have the clippings you mention?
I'd very much appreciate it if you could send me copies.

Thanks,
Dave.
Hi David,

Yes, I do have the clippings and will forward them to you. I just have an IPad, so will have to see what I can do. I see where I made a mistake and said in one note that I was on the Lakemba in 1965, but it was 1966 for sure. I will see what I can do for you.

Belinda Bent
 

· Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Fiji Times clipping of the stranding

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
Hello Mike, and Bula!
I was 4th engineer on the CS Retriever when she went to the rescue of the Lakemba and also kept the clipping from the Fiji Times, but I seem to have lost it as it is nowhere to be found - most annoying.
So, I was wondering if you could do a high-resolution scan of it and send to me?
I'm particularly interested in the aerial picture of Lakemba aground on the reef. (Read)

I took some colour pictures of the rescue and will post them to the gallery soon, maybe some forum members will recognise themselves sitting in Retriever's lifeboats.

Vinaka vaka levu,
David Howard.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Hi All,
I have uploaded 6 pics of Lakemba on reef and rescue lifeboats.
Pics taken by me looking from Cable Ship CS Retriever October 6th 1967.
6 More pics to upload later.

Search for Lakemba in the gallery.

Cheers,
Dave.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi all,
my name is Sarda, and I was a Fijian/Indian crew member on the Lakemba when the ship hit the reef back in 1967. I would like to correspond and find other passengers and crew members that would have been aboard at the same time. Bula Vinaka
 

· Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Fiji Times article of sinking...

Hi all,
my name is Sarda, and I was a Fijian/Indian crew member on the Lakemba when the ship hit the reef back in 1967. I would like to correspond and find other passengers and crew members that would have been aboard at the same time. Bula Vinaka
Bula, Sarda!
I was 4th engineer on the Retriever when we went to your rescue. I used to have a copy of the Fiji Times article (front page I think) of the rescue but cannot find it now. Do you have a copy you could scan and send to me, or better still an original you could send?
If you are still living in Fiji maybe you could contact the Fiji Times to see if they have a copy in their archives? I tried contacting them via e-mail but never got a reply.
Vinaka Vakalevu,
Dave.
:)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
... I served as Third Mate on the Lakemba. She actually carried 98 passengers and 64 Crew. Sailing from Sydney to the west coast it was seldom that here were more than about 20 passengers, BUT returning a full Complement. A Doctor was carried during the two years I sailed aboard ( Capt.Geoff Cleveland).... Owned by Pacific Shipowners, which was a subsidiary of WRC Carpenters ( "Would Rob Christ" ). After I left in Vancouver, the then 'Mate, John Ward was promoted Master,when Cleveland left, and shortly thereafter ran aground on a Reef ( Mbbenga Reef ? ) just off Suva, sliding off a shortly thereafter into Deep water... non Salvageable. I know I've very fond memories of the time served on the Lakemba, and the "Great Island Nights" held every Voyage for the Passengers Entertainment, usually the second night out from Honolulu, and well before Suva.' Learned to really love the Curries from the Crews Mess, when I could duck the more formal, Noon Meal in the Saloon! ...... David K ..... (S/S Lakemba, ex HMCS "Spurn Point" )
My grandparents were on 53S (Dec 66-Feb 67) and 54N (Mar 67-Apr 67) ... I'm digitizing their slides, and trying to transcribe names. Would you happen to know who the 3rd officer on 53S would have been? It looks like "Juance" or "France". They have wonderful slides of the Lakemba, passengers and crew ... I'll try to post.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Ladies and gentlemen, may I congratulate you all in providing one of the most fascinating sea stories on this site, made all the more interesting by your own personal recollections of the ship, her crew, her passengers, and the voyages you sailed on.
Norman V, Mary, Marilyn, and ex-crew; I am sure it would be of great (personal and historic) interest to all if you could submit any further photographs and/or movie footage to add to the SS Lakemba`s history.
Many thanks for sharing your experiences.
Added a few photos, but found this gem in my grandmother's journal. She copied the following down:

These verses appeared unsigned on bulletin board. The general opinion is that the Purser wrote them.

The departure may be later when you travel on a freighter
The only thing to do is just relax.
You’ll realize you’ve picked a winner when you needn’t dress for dinner
And remember, for your fun you pay no tax.
Accommodation’s p’r’aps inferior to the big ship called “Iberia”
But here there is no need to cut a dash.
Though the swimming pool’s no deeper, your drinks, you’ll find, are cheaper
And you eat for twice as long for much less cash.
Tho the decks are not as spacious, and the cockroaches tenacious
You’ll find them just the same where ere you go.
You may spray or kill or slay them, but no ship can ever stay them,
Not even on the mighty P & O.
Though the lounge is full of chatter there are always folks who matter
Among passengers there always is a pest.
Should the idle gossip bore you try to make the pest ignore you,
And go out upon the lumber for a rest.
We don’t get there in a hurry, but, what the heck, don’t worry,
You’re trawling on a freighter, just remember.
Tho the big ships may be quicker the service is no slicker
Than what you get aboard the old “Lakemba”.
She may be old & rusty, but damn it all, she’s trusty,
And She’ll take you where you want & never fail.
You really mustn’t hate her, after all she’s just a freighter,
And tho she leaks you’ve never had to bail.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Ladies and gentlemen, may I congratulate you all in providing one of the most fascinating sea stories on this site, made all the more interesting by your own personal recollections of the ship, her crew, her passengers, and the voyages you sailed on.
Norman V, Mary, Marilyn, and ex-crew; I am sure it would be of great (personal and historic) interest to all if you could submit any further photographs and/or movie footage to add to the SS Lakemba`s history.
Many thanks for sharing your experiences.
Below is a letter from my grandfather, George B. Finch, on the voyage Dec. 1966-Feb. 1967, "Life on board Lakemba":

Today’s lesson has to do with “Life on the S.S. Lakemba”. I might mention in passing that the name “Lakemba” is the name of one of the lesser islands in the Fiji Group.

The deck house under the bridge contains the passenger lounge and five cabins of which ours is one, being the owner’s Suite, and the largest on the ship. It is about 18’ x 14’ including a bath room that contains the only tub on the ship. There is one bunk and two davenports that make down into beds --- happily seven feet long. Aft on this same “A” deck there are seven more cabins that open on the deck. We call these the “suburbs”, because those in them must brave the elements to get to the lounge. “A” deck is about two thirds covered and one third open. On “B” deck below is the dining room that seats 50 people and a line of cabin down each side of the vessel. These are quite nice and all have toilet and showers. On “C” deck there is a bar where courage is sold for $A.15 per jolt from 5 to 7 and from 9 to 11. There are also some cabins in C that do not have private facilities and being at the water line, are, with all, quite grim.

At 7.30 ever AM comes Alec, the Fijian East Indian Lounge steward with the get up chimes. At 8 AM he chimes breakfast and all 48 passengers who were not too late in the bar, rush in for chow. Grape fruit or juice, eggs to order and bacon from Australia cut from some obscure portion of a hog. It looks like a cross between jowl and Canadian back bacon. Sometimes wheat cakes and sausage, but the latter, like English sausages are a delusion and a snare, being mostly cereal. Also too there is a fish item, herring or bloater. Also toast, hot scones, butter from “Enzed” and jam.

After breakfast Gran and I generally do half an hour of fast walking. A lap about A deck is 94 of my paces. Deck games are also played at this time. Deck quoits is much tougher than it sounds as the tip and tilt of the ship, direction and speed of the wind, and the wetness of the decks are all variables that make pitching tough. During this time, the East Indian Cabin Stewards shake up the beds and police the cabins.

“Mug-up” coffee, tea and wafers at 10 AM. The ‘Strylians call the wafers “biscuits” for some reason. Next, reading, Scrabble, cards and checkers. 1 PM lunch. Fine soup, green salad, Steak or chops with also cold buffet or a lunch dish like Pasties or a Chinese dish. Always good cheese. Dessert very apt to be a pudding and jello choice.

After lunch, we take a nap of an hour. Then, stroll on deck and more reading etc. Oh yes, after lunch we go to the bulletin board and see who won the ship’s tote, (total day’s run in miles*) and what our position on the chart is. We also get a one page summary of world news out of Australia. At this time, it is also posted what the clocks are going to do the next 24 hours. The ship’s day runs from noon to noon.

3:30 PM, mugg-up again. At 5 the free style drinking starts. Some of the busy-bodies feel that the young folks drink too much. They refer to the four students that are going to Australia to go to school and to the four girls who are going there for jobs and adventure. In any event, we have not been bothered with noise nor unseemly conduct. The young people seem pretty nice to me. About six, we change for dinner. This involves getting into a shirt tie and jacket for most of us.
Dinner at 7, is much like the noon meal except that we always have a fish course and generally a “joint”. Fruit is also issued which we take to our cabins ---- oranges one night, next bananas, then beautiful B.C. apples. Evenings are devoted to movies, quizzes, games and bingo. The captain loves to play a Fijian game called “Last Card” which he says is a variation of the Australian gyme of “Cryzy Eyeights”.

At 10 PM, mug-up again --- this time with wonderful sandwiches. To bed about 11 PM. being tired out with hard labor.

Being of low silhouette and laden with 6,000,000 board feet of timber, the ship rides beautifully. Being steam driven it is very quiet and free from vibration.

The Fijian deck crew are a happy lot. New Year’s Eve they invaded the lounge and sang Fijian War songs with the help of a uke, a guitar and bongo drums. They had plenty of volume --- helped out, I fear with liberal applications of beer.

And such is life on the Lakemba as we wear down our southing at 10 knots per hour --- flank speed 11 knots. It is getting warmer air conditioning turned on today. Many pleasant people our age aboard. 6 from U.S.A., 6 from Australia, balance from Canada. Elapsed time, Victoria to Honolulu, 10 days. We stop for bunkers, water and stores. Then – Suva 12 days where we break cargo then 7 days into Sidney. And so goes life on the bounding Main ---- that has not bounded so much to date except for Cape Flattery and vicinity.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
... I served as Third Mate on the Lakemba. She actually carried 98 passengers and 64 Crew. Sailing from Sydney to the west coast it was seldom that here were more than about 20 passengers, BUT returning a full Complement. A Doctor was carried during the two years I sailed aboard ( Capt.Geoff Cleveland).... Owned by Pacific Shipowners, which was a subsidiary of WRC Carpenters ( "Would Rob Christ" ). After I left in Vancouver, the then 'Mate, John Ward was promoted Master,when Cleveland left, and shortly thereafter ran aground on a Reef ( Mbbenga Reef ? ) just off Suva, sliding off a shortly thereafter into Deep water... non Salvageable. I know I've very fond memories of the time served on the Lakemba, and the "Great Island Nights" held every Voyage for the Passengers Entertainment, usually the second night out from Honolulu, and well before Suva.' Learned to really love the Curries from the Crews Mess, when I could duck the more formal, Noon Meal in the Saloon! ...... David K ..... (S/S Lakemba, ex HMCS "Spurn Point" )
Hi David my name is Thomas Roudon I sailed on s.s. Lakemba as ships writer or more like assist. purser from 1961 to 1967. I later became deck officer on various foreign going vessel and became master on couple of cargo/passenger ships trading to Rarotonga, Niue, Nukua'lofa Samoa and Tokolau from Auckland New Zealand I have been living in Auckland for the past 18 years. All the best regards Thomas.
.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Amazing stories from everyone. I was a child when my father went to work in New Zealand on a job contract in 1954. We shipped out of Vancouver on the Lukemba. I still have amazing memories of that voyage. My father and the mysterious King Neptune fun crossing the equator, stopping in Hawaii (I remember going to a market there; being on the beach with a coconut and a monkey having pictures taken, having pineapples tossed to us from the dock - yummy!), my little brother (at 6 years old) climbing along a lumber pile on the deck having to be rescued by the crew. We then went to Suva where we disembarked (we stayed in a thatched hotel(?) by the beach; so pretty there) and flew to New Zealand a few days later. One thing I must mention - the crew was amazing! I remember us kids being entertained by a crew member (I remember he was missing a finger which is pretty cool when you're 7 years old) when the grownups were having fun a few decks above - he played songs for us (I think he had a ukelele) and sang, teased us, grabbed those pineapples for us in Honolulu, ate dinner with us. We only lived in New Zealand for about 3 years and came back to Vancouver on the S.S. Oronsay which was a completely different experience. Gotta love the Lakemba and the good memories it still holds for me today.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
1953 voyage on the Lakemba

It is truly wonderful to hear everyone's stories.

I sailed on the Lakemba departing from Sydney in June 1953. First we stopped at Auckland, then Suva, Honolulu, San Francisco, and finally reached Vancouver in July 1953.

My mother was taking myself and my two sisters back home to Canada to visit her mother. Mum would have had her work cut out with three daughters aged, 10, 5 (me) and 2. For a 5 year old it was the adventure of a lifetime and something that made a deep and lasting impression.

We crossed the Equator after leaving Suva. They had a big party around the canvas pool and we were all dressed up. There was a beauty contest and my 2 year old sister was voted Miss Lakemba.

Other memories I have are that in Suva a one legged man selling brightly coloured coral came on board. It was rumoured that he had lost his leg in a shark attack. There were young children swimming in the Suva Harbour and diving for pennies.

After eight months in Canada we returned to Sydney in January 1954 on the Oronsay. The same ships, but the opposite direction to you, susansushnyk. What a coincidence.!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Thanks for the Photos.

My grandparents were on 53S (Dec 66-Feb 67) and 54N (Mar 67-Apr 67) ... I'm digitizing their slides, and trying to transcribe names. Would you happen to know who the 3rd officer on 53S would have been? It looks like "Juance" or "France". They have wonderful slides of the Lakemba, passengers and crew ... I'll try to post.
Visit this thread every couple of years, so very pleased to see your fantastic photos CharityM. They really bring it all back. I was on a 1965 voyage but remember the timber piled high and the swimming pool! Thanks ever so much for posting.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Not sure if this helps or not

My grandparents were on 53S (Dec 66-Feb 67) and 54N (Mar 67-Apr 67) ... I'm digitizing their slides, and trying to transcribe names. Would you happen to know who the 3rd officer on 53S would have been? It looks like "Juance" or "France". They have wonderful slides of the Lakemba, passengers and crew ... I'll try to post.
.... My replacement, as 3rd Mate, was Doug Allin,although,regrettably, I never got to met him in person...I signed on in Sydney (Australia) 17Dec.64, and signed off,Vancouver (Canada) 08Mar.66. At which time I left to Marry a Canadian woman, and subsequently, became a Canadian Immigrant. ..... David K
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Swains Island

Lat 11 41's Long 170 14'w distance 276 , distance to go 131 speed 11.50 temp 83deg Swains Island South Pacific . Onboard the passenger freighter ss Lakemba from Vancouver to Sydney Feb 1965.
We were always kept up to date as to the islands that we were going by as the second officer Mr. Ward he was not only an experienced Pacific mariner but also a gifted writer . Most of the stories that he posted on the notice board were pinched but I managed to copy one down before it was sou veneered.
" To the users of my washing line. Shades of Lord Nelson,After being denied the use of my washing line for quite sometime I finally achieved success today.To the ladies who added two pairs of you know what and the fond mothers who added their contribution in the form of those intimate garments usually folded like a triangular bandage fastened with safety pins,worn like an upside down toga and one to which we were all familiar with(and no doubt glad of its comfort) in the early stages of our tenure on this vale of tears,my thanks for making a dispiriting tale gray effort on my part , seem more colorful on the one hand,if a trifle embarrassing on the other .Heaven knows what the crew think. Yours Aye! John Ward "
 

· Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Hi! That was a good one! I do not remember the notices; in fact I don't remember washing clothes at all. My trip in the summer of 66 was likely quite different than yours. We lost the doctor by the time we reached Hawaii. We couldn't get off the the Lakemba until the helicopter had taken off the body. It was dark so we didn't see much- no time left. We four girls travelling together were not keen on the doctor's replacement. More excitement followed once we left Fiji for Sydney..... I'll not include in this post.
 
61 - 80 of 100 Posts
Top