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In Memory of Les Diffey

Born … 5th July 1951

Died … 4th April 1999

 

Through this single letter written by Les Diffey to the Blackburn Council I was able to get an address.


Lancashire | Archive | 1997 | October | 3

"Two chiefs is a nonsense". From the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, first published Friday 3rd Oct 1997.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with every word of your excellent Opinion (LET, September 30) on the £100,000 pay-off for the Blackburn Council chief.

I have been in Blackburn 20 years and have never understood how Blackburn Council is run. And I never did agree with this unitary status claptrap - it's a licence for printing money.

The current situation of having two chief executives is just absolute nonsense.

You are quite right: it wouldn't happen in the private sector. Why the heck should it happen in the public sector? I am absolutely livid.

When it comes to the next round of council elections I shall certainly have my say. It's money down the drain. We pay enough in the council tax and the other things.

LES DIFFEY, Old Gates Drive, Blackburn.


Searching BT Online for DIFFEY in BLACKBURN I found a "P. Diffey" lives at that same address so I rang the number. It belongs to Pat Diffey, Les' widow of 7 years. He was diagnosed with Cancer of the Pancreas some 10 years ago and fought a hard and painful battle into remission. 7 years ago the cancer returned and Les succumbed quickly to massive secondaries. Pat told me that they had a brilliant time together in those 3 years of remission and he constantly talked about people form his sea days and often wondered where those people were now. She remembers the person he most talked about was "Mac" ... Super Mac I presume (aka Alister McIntosh).

 

She also told me that he would've been absolutely over the moon to know that so many people thought about him and wondered where he was. She promised to compile some details about his life and death and scan some photos from his past and present to add to the Seadogs-Reunited site.

 

 

Our deepest belated sympathy goes to Pat and all Les' family and friends.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Dave Twinning

Born … ?

Died … Oct 2006

 

Dave Betts writes;

It is very sad to relate that an old and very respected Chief Engineer Dave Twining died in October 2006.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Bob Carlisle

Born … 1945

Died … 6th Oct 1983

 

Mick Page writes;

Bob Carlisle was 2nd Electrician on Oriana in the early seventies. He died on October 6th 1983 in an accident which I don't really want to go into. He was born in 1945 and died on Vancouver Island where he was then living with his Aussie wife Cheryl.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Peter 'Tassie' Stuart

Born … 26th Nov 1933

Died … 4th Mar 2007

 

It's with the deepest regret that I have to inform you of the passing of Peter Stuart. Even though I didn't sail with Peter he'd kindly emailed me with photos and information for the site and today to learn of his death has been quite a shock to me. Thanks to Mick Page for letting us know. 

 

Mick writes;

Peter Stuart (Tassie) died on Saturday night or Sunday morning in his sleep, he was a frig man whom I know sent info to your website. I knew him on the Oronsay. He had emigrated to Vancouver Island and had lived there for the past 30 odd years. He was 73 and died on his Mother's birthday. She used to be a regular visitor from OZ.

 

Mick has kindly sent the following obituary from the Victoria Times;

 

STUART, W. Peter. Born November 26, 1933. On March 4, 2007 Peter joined his loving mother Grace Josephine and sister Joan Winifred in his sleep. The day significantly, his mother's birthday. Peter was known by many as Santa Claus. He was Canada's first to be authorized by the Santa Claus Foundation of Greenland. These 36 years of Santa Claus were preceded by his many years at Sea as an Engineer Officer. He had the privilege of visiting 76 different countries. Although born in Tasmania, Australia, Peter was actively involved and a loved resident of Victoria for 34 years. He leaves behind his beloved daughter Jacalyne and very close friends Sandy and Ngaire and too many more to name. His passionate and powerful presence will be missed by all. A Memorial Service will be held at First Memorial Funeral Chapel, 1155 Fort Street at 2 pm Friday March 16, 2007. In lieu of flowers donations will be accepted for "Race of Grace" an association for providing free healing treatments to assist people regain health and harmony.

 

The following is a beautiful eulogy from Mick Page;

Peter's Memorial service went very well. His daughter, who flew from Oz, did a fine job. There was a large crowd present including the local TV station, representatives of a political party that Tas was a member of and more than a few of his lady friends. There were a few tears. His Santa's Suit was on display and he'd written his own eulogy which I don't think came as a surprise to anybody, it probably would have been a surprise if he hadn't. He was officially recognized in Greenland as Canada's first official Santa Clause and had documents to prove it. He'd been to Denmark many times for the annual Santa Clause PU and had fun with some of the female pixies that were present. I'm hoping to get a copy of his eulogy and will send it on if I do, it's a good read. Peter, wherever he is now, is in good company, he'd sailed with Dave Twinning and Paddy Clare, knew John Latham and Bob Carlisle. He would've been pleased with the Memorial service as he was remembered well and he was the center of it all. As Peter lived on Vancouver Island we didn't get to see him too often, but when we did Peter would always remind us of the time, that he says, I saved his life. He was over for dinner with a girlfriend of that time and the meal was a Bouillabaisse. Peter started to choke on a piece of fish. He went an indescribable colour but fortunately my arms were just long enough to get around his considerable girth at that time and gave him, what was close enough to, the Heimlich Manoeuvre to move the piece of fish. We then sat down and finished dinner. 

 

The attached picture was taken in 2002 and was in The Times Colonist, Vancouver Island's Newspaper.

 

This is Tassie's Eulogy written by himself, sent to me by his Daughter Jacalyne.

 

EULOGY of William Peter Stuart

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, "I am not here"!

 

I do and always have believed in God, but not in the way that some of the religions of today propagate him.

 

Today you are here to bid farewell to me. You are and have been my friends for various periods of time. You have tolerated my procrastination. You have shared my joys and successes. You have listened to my opinions with patience and tolerance, mostly, and then gone out and ignored that wealth of wisdom that I imparted. You have now the ability and freedom, with my blessing, to go and make your mistakes with impunity from comment by me. You are here today because we are friends. That has been one of my greatest achievements --- your friendship.

 

I do not want you sitting or standing around with sad expressions. It is after all a happy occasion for you. You are here at my party, and you do not have me here fussing about everything and nothing, as was my practise in the past.

 

Please participate and enjoy.

 

You may remember I told you many times in the past, why I came here --- "There were so many people in the world, who had not had the pleasure of meeting me that I felt I must travel, meet some of them and make them happy". We have managed to achieve this together, thank you.

 

You gave me kindness and memories which helped to make me a better person, for this I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Go now and enjoy this, --- the first day of the rest of your life.

 

My Epitaph"

 

"Approach with care, Greatness may still escape".



Our thoughts are with all Peter's family and friends.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Peter David Lumb

Born … 1st Feb 1937

Died … 15th Apr 2007

 

David was a fine and well respected Captain with P&O. The details of his career are not known to me yet but they will be added to his own section when I get the information.

 

The following information was sent by David's wife Maggie on the 16th April; 

I am sorry to tell you that David died last night in hospital. He wanted donations in his memory to the RNLI. It was a happy release for him as the cancer had spread to his liver & he was very yellow & not much could be done. His decline was rapid which was a blessing.

 

A picture of David and a dedication has been added to the RNLI 'In Memoriam' website.

 

David's life will be remembered at the Baptist Chapel, High Street, Bluntisham at 2.30pm, Friday 27th April. No flowers or mourning dress, but donations to the RNLI welcome.

 

click to enlarge

Above is a photo of the flowers from the remembrance service on the 27th. The ship is the Arcadia. Attending the service was Gibby, Malcolm Rushan, Phil Jackson, Rory & Jean Smith, Dr. Allan Hough, Cyndy & Mike Sandum and Maggie received emails from Ian Walters & Zak Coombs saying they would be in quiet remembrance at 2-30 as was Ian Mark. In Maggie's words David was sent off in style.

 

click to enlarge

Above is a tribute put together by David's children Simon & Hazel consisting of a poster sized photo on a table covered with the P&O flag & the red duster behind. There's a Canberra lifebuoy, miniature!!, David's cap, a model of the Flying Scotsman and a montage of photos of life over the last 30 odd years.

 

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Maggie, Simon & Hazel at this time.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Colin Hindmarsh

Born … ? ? 1935

Died … ? ? 1994

 

The following tribute is from Colin's friend, Andy Martin, who's a Computer Systems and Network Manager for Queen Mary College, University of London; 

I personally knew Colin for around 7 years and experienced many unforgettable evenings being entertained by him. Many people (of all ages) would return week after week as no two evenings were ever quite the same. His repertoire was huge and he played a wide variety of types of music including Rock & Roll, Country and lots of other lively pub favourites (many with actions that everybody joined in with). He would jump effortlessly from song to song, deciding what to play next as he went along, and so you (and the bass player and drummer!) never knew what was coming next. This spontaneous entertainment was always fresh and fun and Colin always gave the impression that he was thoroughly enjoying himself. He would often split the audience into two halves giving points to each 'team' for the best singing and actions and even the most people smiling! Every evening would end with "You'll Never Walk Alone" and in my mind this song will forever be a tribute to Colin, a friend I will never forget and who, for many years, provided some of the most enjoyable moments of my life. Saturday nights are just not the same any more.....
 

This tribute is from Captain Ian Gibb, Canberra; 

They don't produce many like Colin. He was quite unique. We have all been enriched by his infectious humour, friendship and pure Joie de Vivre (Joy of Living). We will long remember him NO always remember him. 

 

The following tribute is from 'The Stage' magazine (January 1995);

The Aussie entertainer died last year after a short illness in London. 'Alive with Colin Hindmarsh' so said the calling card. And alive you came when he was on stage, or else. No long faces or he was likely to tell you to get down to the pub down the street or squirt you with his water pistol. Born in Weston, a small coal mining town near Newcastle, New South Wales, Colin landed on these shores in 1960 after a successful start to his career in Australia. It was not long before he became a big hit on the English pub scene. He revelled in audience participation. He sang and played music from the twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties with great accomplishment, even throwing in bits of the classics for good measure. His audience knew all the music he played and they raised the roof singing and dancing to his bidding. The testimony to his great popularity was his 27 years at the Rising Sun in Sudbury Hill (Pub Entertainer of the year 1978) alternating with his 28 years with the cruise company P&O. So popular was he with the passengers on the Canberra that many booked especially for the cruises he worked on. 


Colin.


Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of John F Wacher

Born … 14th October 1924

Died … 5th September 2003

 

The following is the article posted in 'The Times' in London at the time of John's passing. 

 

Commodore John Wacher

Master mariner who combined careers in the Navy and mercantile marine, serving in frigates and commanding P&O liners

 

DURING a seagoing career that spanned more than 40 years, John Wacher achieved the remarkable distinction of attaining the rank of commodore both with the P&O fleet and in the active list of the Royal Naval Reserve. After four years at St Paul’s School, he joined the Thames Nautical Training College, HMS Worcester, in 1940 aged 15. He was a sensitive boy and found the brutal and bullying culture of the Worcester rather trying until he became it's light-heavyweight boxing champion. 

 

He went to sea as a P&O cadet in 1942 and was on board the liner turned troopship Strathallan when it was torpedoed near the North African coast during the night of December 21, 1942, by the U-boat U562. Strathallan had 5,122 souls on board and was the fourth largest British ship to be torpedoed in the war. Thanks to efficient lifesaving only 16 people perished, many being rescued by the destroyer Panther. Wacher recalled being in a lifeboat with 88 nurses, but having no opportunity to do more than count them. 

 

He served as a midshipman RNR in minesweepers during the war, continuing his reservist training and seagoing opportunities in tandem with his postwar career with P&O. Among his postwar RNR appointments was service as a lieutenant commander in the frigate Roebuck in the Dartmouth Training Squadron, and in the destroyer Fife, a long period with the navy’s hydrographic department, various courses, a year on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet and authorship of a Royal Navy/Merchant Navy study for the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Terence Lewin. He was awarded the Reserve Decoration and his services to the RNR were also recognised by appointment as CBE in 1984. He obtained his Foreign Going Master’s Certificate in 1951 and commanded his first ship, the motor cargo ship Soudan in 1960, followed by the Somali, both on service to the Far East, and the Pinjarra on the Indian coast. In 1963, at the early age of 38, he was appointed captain of his first passenger ship, Iberia — a different order of responsibility — and the start of a long association with the Orient Line and P&O’s famous “white fleet” of cruise and passenger ships. P&O had owned a large share of the Orient Line since 1918, these companies combining in May 1960 to form P&O Orient Lines. Wacher subsequently captained Chusan, Arcadia, Oronsay and for seven years the original 41,000-ton Oriana, making voyages to all parts of the globe. He also commanded the 45,000-ton Canberra — of Falklands conflict fame — for three years, and finally the Sea Princess and Uganda. 

 

During these years the growth of air travel reduced the need for passenger liners and P&O had to make fleet reductions and conversions to accommodate the expanding cruise market. That Wacher continued to exercise command of these important ships was a tribute to his professionalism and personal qualities. With his excellent education and inquiring mind, Wacher was able to make substantial contributions to the company while ashore. He provided professional advice to the ergonomic bridge designs for the refitted Canberra and a design for one-man bridge operation for a fast cargo liner development study. He was a major contributor to an economic matrix computer model for bulk carrier shipping operations. As a market research manager he produced studies on future passenger ship requirements and analysis of competitors’ ship designs. A prolific lecturer, he spoke at Royal Navy staff courses and the Greenwich National Maritime Museum, he addressed a Dutch shipping company on redesign and, as a member of Foyles Lecture Agency after retirement in 1986, he spoke to various cruise liner audiences. Besides learned expositions on subjects such as Captains Cook and Bligh, his apotheosis was probably a lecture on Napoleon, in French, on a French cruise ship. Although he finally left the sea as a profession in 1984, he remained extraordinarily active in maritime affairs. 

 

He helped to organise the Lloyd’s List World Fleets international conference in London in 1986 and was technical officer to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. He was a trustee of the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society for 15 years and a nautical assessor to the Court of Appeal for seven. He was a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and was elected a Younger Brother of Trinity House, the Lighthouse Authority and Maritime Research Association, in 1979. Wacher was noted and admired for his wide learning and prodigious memory for poetry and prose, both ancient and modern. A contemporary record that Wacher “had the most complicated eyebrows, and to receive a quizzical stare from under their bushy forests, coupled with his fruity growl, was an exciting experience — whether it be to a friend or a recalcitrant crew member on Captain’s Defaulters”. 

 

He is survived by the son and daughter of his first marriage and by his third wife Antoinette and their son. Commodore John Wacher, CBE, RD, master mariner, was born on October 14, 1924. He died on September 5, 2003, aged 78.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Miskin Rahman Sammy

Born … 5th Jun 1962

Died … 1st May 1999

 

Stuart Drew writes;

I have to confirm that Miskin Rahman Samy (nicknamed Sinbad by his shipmates) passed away on 1st May 1999 after fighting cancer for a couple of years. Miskin was born on 5th June 1962. Many of us attended his funeral on the outskirts of London but I cannot remember exactly where.

 

He came to see me when I was living in Lancashire in 1998 after he thought he was on the road to recovery. He had been installing air conditioning units in equipment 'sheds' attached to mobile phone masts all around the UK. He even thought his illness may have been contracted from doing this work.

 

Miskin was very friendly, likeable individual that would do anything for you. He was on the Oriana from about 1982 to 1986 and made many friends. I was with him in the Oriana's sewage farm when he lost part of his finger whilst working on a air compressor alongside in China. He was rushed to hospital and later treated the whole episode as a huge adventure rather than the quite horrible accident that it was. He was in the bar that night joking that he wanted two fingers of red eye and one them was on E Deck!

 

A much missed comrade.

 

Mark Barnett has this to add;

I sadly lost touch with Mick after our time on the Sun Princess. I'd like to add that Mick was the nicest most hard working guy you could ever meet. He was funny and charming and at the time I knew him he was devoted to a gorgeous lady down in Aus. It was an honour and a pleasure to have known him. You can get the flavour of the guy in the Old MacDonald's photos that I submitted when we were together on the Sun Princess. He was a star.

 

He and Raymondo were both cruelly taken away from us too young and I was lucky enough to sail with both of them.

 

 

What a tragic loss at only 37 years of age. Thank you Stuart for passing the sad news on. And thanks to Barney for adding his tribute.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Eddie Kilroy

Born … ?

Died … 2006

 

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of David Marks

Born … ?

Died … May 2007

 

David was a true gentleman. He was like a father to me as a first time Junior Engineer on Nevasa, and the news of his passing has saddened me deeply. 

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Danny Lloyd

Born … ?

Died … 1998

 

Don Cole remembers;

Danny was one of the Boilermakers that used to keep the old steam ships running sweet and was quite a character.

 

Don was told of Danny's death many years ago by Terry Bartholomew who would be able to confirm his passing.

 

Alan Richards (aka Yorkie) has confirmed Danny's sad passing and adds the following obituary;

Danny Lloyd passed away in 1998. He lost his life to cancer and left behind his wife Joyce and his son. Danny was one of the old school, who would work hard (if he had to) and played hard (on occasions) but always was a gentleman, and a mentor to dozens of young engineers. He was always ready to help anyone, if he could, either "down below" or "up top". The best time to catch Danny for a chat, in his role as "agony uncle" was at lunchtime in his cabin, where he enjoyed an illicit lunch or "sneaky". He was once caught out by Bill McCandless who exploded "Sneakies! how long has this been going on"? Danny's reply was "For about 20 years, Second". You can all guess at Bill's response (For F's sake Danny).

 

He was always a charitable sort of bloke, when on leave he took his involvement in Freemasonry seriously and sociably, I think he was in a lodge at Grays.

 

Once met, never forgotten, rest well brother.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Les Clements

Born … 24th May 1924

Died … 9th July 2007

 

Les' funeral was on the 19th July 2007, the following tribute was given by former shipmate, Doug Tizzard:

 

My dear friend Les,

My mind is full of special memories of Les. All the times we spent together, so many it's hard to limit them to this short message. 


We first met and worked together as bartenders on board the P&O liner Sea Princess based in Sydney in 1980. We immediately became pals. Les lived life to the full. A great sports enthusiast always dashing ashore in foreign ports for a brisk walk or a game of golf, football, cricket or whatever activity it was to be that day. He enjoyed spending time with his friends always making us laugh with his many anecdotes and jokes often holding court in the crew bar keeping us all in stitches. There were always laughs when Les was around, he was the funniest person I ever knew. We all benefited from his casual manner and his bright outlook on life, a real character generous of spirit and kind of heart. He liked his classical music and a scotch or two.


Goodbye and God bless dear Les and thank you for being such a great friend. I'll never know why you had to suffer so much but you bore your illness with such dignity, never complaining, you are an inspiration to us all.

With love, your friend Doug

 

click to enalrge

 

A fund-raising site supporting The Stroke Association has been set up in the memory of Les. Contributions can be made by visiting this link:

http://www.justgiving.com/lesclements

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Bob Vowles

Born … ?

Died … 4th Oct 2007

 

Bob worked on Canberra & Sea Princess from Bell Boy to Barman.

 

The above photo was taken at the recent Canberra Reunion in Southampton in August 2007.

 

Dave Traynor recalls;

On Tuesday 16th October, fifteen Seadogs said "Bon Voyage" to our fellow Seadog. Bob's coffin was carried into church draped in a Red Ensign and with his South Atlantic and Merchant Navy medals, a guard of honour of Bob's fellow Postmen and Women lined the route into the church. Following the coffin was Bob's partner Louise together with his old Seadog friend Anthony (Polly) Pollendine and family and close friends. The standard of Frinton Memorial Club where Bob was a stalwart member followed. Anthony had flown home from Sapphire Princess that morning to attend the service and he read a moving and amusing Eulogy. At the Crematorium Chris Holt, another Seadog, read the poem  "Ode to a Seaman" which Louise had found folded inside of Bob's wallet. It was a sad occasion especially as most of us had met at the recent Canberra Reunion in Southampton.


The attached photo was taken at Frinton on Sea Golf Club following the services.

L-R 

Standing: 

Dave Traynor, Anthony Pollendine, Tina Watkins, Jimmy Gisborn, Brian Hume, Mick Franklin, Chris Holt, Tim Dawson, Ray Prichard, Alan Bacon, Michael Denmead, Micky Munson, Trevor Prichard.

Seated:

Alan Legge & Barry Bennett.


Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Bill Hemsley

Born … ?

Died … ?

 

I have no information as to how or when Bill passed away at this stage.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Ron Dunford

Born … 17 Sep 1925

Died … Feb 2008

 

Ron was 1st Electrical Officer and relieving Chief Lecky between Oriana & Canberra, he sadly passed away in February 2008 aged 82. Ron lived in Bognor Regis and was hoping to go to the P&O Pensioners' Reunion Luncheon in May 08. 

 

Don Cole has kindly sent in this about Ron;

Sorry to hear of Ron Dunford's demise. I think Ron was the most easy going of all the 1st Elects I ever worked for, bar none. He was a life long Orient Line/P&O servant and was at sea with my father in the 1950's. They both did a few trips together on the Strathnather I think it was, Ron was a junior elect and my dad a boiler room 4th, many years later Ron came on board Canberra at the end of the Falkland's trip and when my father came down to pick me up he and Ron meet up again after 30 years, I can still remember Ron was stunned with disbelief.

Cheers 

Don Cole.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Bernard Hill

Born … 24 July 1927

Died … 24 October 2006

 

B.V. HILL Pr.Eng. F I MarEST. FSAIMENA : OBITUARY : 

Bernard Valentine Hill was born on 24 July 1927, in Bromley, Kent. He lost his own father, Robin, shortly before his 19th birthday and remained close to his mother Emily until her death in 1982. He was educated at Bickley Hall, Kent and later at Denstone College, in Shropshire. He maintained an involvement with the school throughout his life and in 1982 facilitated the sea passage of a group of Sixth Formers on an expedition to Inaccessible Island.


Bernard joined the Institute of Marine Engineers in 1945 as a student, totalling 61 years of continued membership at the time of his death. He became a founder member of SAIMENA in 1975 and was an active member of the Cape Town Branch for many years.


His sea-going career commenced in 1948 after a four-year apprenticeship with R & H Green and Silley Weir, when he joined P & O as an Junior Engineer in passenger ships. Having been promoted to 4th and 3rd Engineer Officer during the years 1948-53, he obtained his 1st Class (Steam) Certificate of Competency in 1953 and was appointed 2nd Engineer Officer aboard S.S. CHUSAN. During these years he sailed with ships such as the S.S. CHITRAL, S.S. CHUSAN and S.S. HIMALAYA. He was promoted to Chief Engineer in 1958 and served at sea in this capacity until 1964 when he came ashore, being seconded to Head Office, in London, to carry out cargo ship design. In 1966 he proceeded to Japan in charge of the building team of three fast cargo ships, STRATHARDLE, STRATHBRORA and STRATHCONON. On returning to the UK in 1967, he was appointed Assistant and later Deputy Superintendent Engineer responsible to the Superintendent Engineer for the maintenance of the P & O fleet.


In March 1973 Bernard emigrated to South Africa and joined Safmarine as Manager Marine Engineering and in May of 1974 was appointed Executive Manager. He registered with the SA Council for Professional Engineers in 1976. Bernard was responsible for the technical aspects of the design of the ore carrier SISHEN, the cellular container ship S.A. VAAL and the four "Big Whites." He retired from Safmarine in 1987.


During his time with Safmarine, Bernard was always passionate about the development and training of engineers to attain higher marine qualifications and would often go on board the vessels calling in Cape Town to personally encourage the younger engineers to complete their education and certificates of competency.


Bernard served in the Royal Naval Reserve from 1956 to 1972, undergoing periods of up to two weeks of sea training and courses at various times. He was appointed as Captain (Engineering) in 1972, the highest level of command in the Engineering Division that is only held by one person at a time.


Bernard was left very alone after the loss of his wife, Brenda, in early January of this year due to liver cancer. They would have been married 50 years in March. His health had been deteriorating all year, with monthly blood transfusions to assist his anaemia becoming less effective and his lung capacity weakening. Like many Marine Engineers he was exposed to asbestos in engine and boiler rooms as a young man. Being bedridden at home since July was a hard adjustment for someone so independent. He died on 24 October shortly after being admitted to hospital. His funeral was held at Somerset College Chapel on the grounds of his eldest granddaughter Emma-Çlaire’s old school. According to his wishes the service was conducted by a Chaplain from the Mission to Seafarers and his ashes will be scattered at sea.


He is survived by his daughters Rebecca and Naomi, who live in Citrusdal and Johannesburg respectively, and his four grandchildren, Emma-Claire and Alexander, and Rachel and Emily.


The above information has been kindly supplied by Naomi Hill.

 

Click here to see more of Bernard.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of James McIntosh

Born … ??

Died … 1977/78

 

James was a Deck Officer with P&O on Orsova around 1973/74 and reportedly died in a car crash.

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Capt Michael Cavaghan

click to enlarge

Born … ??

Died … 15th April 2008

 

MICHAEL’S SHIP HAS SAILED
 
It is with a heavy heart and unutterable sense of desolation that I must inform you that my beloved husband Michael weighed anchor and departed for celestial seas on the 15th April 2008 at the Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Queensland, Australia.
 
He picked up a virus in October on his last tour of duty on DISCOVERY and returned home very ill in January to find that his prostate cancer had metastasised into the bones and lungs, and he never recovered. The only positive side to Mike’s long illness was that there was time for his beloved daughter Joanna and his brother Robin to come out from England to spend a few precious weeks with him. His wonderful son Richard has been a tower of strength in these last weeks, as have my sisters and very close friends. 
 
All of you know how caring Michael was, not just of people, but also of the planet. So, I ask that if you were thinking of sending flowers, please rather plant a tree in his name (a Michael Tree) – in your garden, in a park, wherever, and then please send me a photo. Soon perhaps there will be a wonderful forest of trees all over the world doing their bit to help the earth he loved; a beautiful, living reminder of our friend, lover, father, shipmate and husband.
 
Instead of a funeral, some of our family and friends will gather at Michael’s favourite spot on Forty Mile Beach, north of Noosa, to celebrate a life well lived - we will let you know when. In the meantime my friends please raise a glass (or two) to my Beloved as he heads off into the great unchartered seas – those magical horizons have called our much loved seafarer onto his next great adventure. 
 
Please wish him Bon Voyage!
Much love
Wendy
 

Wendy Cavaghan writes;

The Gathering for Mike was, surprisingly, a very warm and happy occasion. I decided to have it on the 24th of April because it was my birthday, but as it happened Kit Rynd, Captain of Queen Mary II, was in town as were some of the DISCOVERY Antarctic Team, so we had a number of Michael’s shipmates there as well as many other seafaring friends. Fifty five friends and relatives consumed a vast buffet lunch with copious quantities of champagne, wine and beer (fitting for a sailor). I had 80 helium balloons tied around the deck and after Kit read the lovely John Masefield poem "Sea Fever" we all toasted Mike and let the balloons sail off and into the heavens. It was quite a moment as they headed straight out sea! I have attached a pdf file of the first four of Mike's "Shipping Today and Yesterday" articles because these were about P&O and you and your fellow P&O retirees may enjoy them.

 

 

Gillian Angrave writes;

Mike was latterly Captain of the mv Discovery (Formally Island Princess), until he had to leave in January (I think it was) as he was very ill by then. I sailed with Mike on Canberra . Such a charming and courteous man and I’m sure he made an excellent Captain. 

 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Professor Roland Levinsky

Born … 16th Oct 1943

Died … 1st Jan 2007

 

Roland Jacob Levinsky, immunologist: 

Born Bloemfontein, South Africa 16 October 1943; 

Senior House Officer, Great Ormond Street Hospital 1973-74, 

Research Fellow in Immunology 1974-77, 

Honorary Consultant in Immunology 1978-99; 

Senior Lecturer in Immunology, then Reader in Paediatric Immunology, Institute of Child Health 1978-85, Hugh Greenwood Professor of Immunology 1985-99, Dean and Director of Research 1990-99; 

Vice-Provost for Biomedicine and Head of Graduate School, University College London 1999-2002; 

Vice-Chancellor, Plymouth University 2002-07; 

Married 1971 Beth Brigden (one son, two daughters); 

Died Wembury, Devon 1 January 2007. 
 

Gillian Angrave writes;

Roland was Baby Doc on Canberra when I was on board in 1968/9. I don’t think he stayed very long with the company but he was such a kind and caring Doctor. I read about his sad death in The Times last December. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth and an eminent immunologist. He was electrocuted near his home at Wembury, Devon, when his ear brushed against an 11,000 volt power cable that was left live for several hours after it had been reported as having fallen during the storms at that time. He was walking his dog with his wife, which must have been absolutely dreadful for her; it was an accident that could have been avoided had the power been turned off. 

RIP, Roland. 

Such a waste of a very talented man.
 

One newspaper wrote;

Roland Levinsky was an enthusiastic sailor, perhaps inspired by a spell as ship’s surgeon on the SS Oriana in the early 1970s. He was a Master Mariner, who commanded his own yacht, and took it to various locations including one transatlantic voyage undertaken in 1996, while awaiting the outcome of the institute’s RAE submission. Roland was also a skilled potter, delighting friends with gifts fired in his own kiln.
 

 
What a shocking and tragic end to such a great man. (no pun intended).
 

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Stanley Selwood

 

 

No Photo yet.

 

 

Born … ?

Died … 25th May 2008

 

Sadly another fine seadogs has crossed the line! 

 

This letter was kindly passed to me by Zak Coombs from Stanley's granddaughter Melissa who joined her Grandad at the Uganda Hospital Ship Reunion onboard the mv Aurora moored in Southampton on the 20th April 2008.

  

I am writing to let you know that sadly my grandad Mr Stanley Selwood passed away in hospital on 25th May 2008. He slipped away in his sleep quite peacefully after becoming very poorly. I know he would have wanted me to let you know as he was so proud to be a part of the Falklands reunion at Southampton, we all had a wonderful time thanks to all your hard work in organising the weekend. 

Thank you. 
 
Mum and I were so pleased that he was well enough to attend, as he had been looking forward to it for so long. Please could you pass on this sad news to anyone who may have known him." 
 
Kind Regards 
Melissa Lenihan 
  

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Geoff Pettit

click to enlarge

Born … ?

Died … 17th January 2008

 

Geoff was a photographer with the Marine Photo Service. He was an ex-army intelligence officer. Geoff’s first posting with MPS was in 1954 as ship's photographer on the Kungsholm on a four month world cruise. Geoff spent many happy years with MPS, but as all MPS photographers do at some stage he made the decision to leave the sea and in 1968 founded Colchester Colour Processors (CCP) a Colchester based professional photographic laboratory, Geoff and therefore CCP kept a very strong link with MPS.

 

click to enlarge 

   

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Jock LeFevre

Born … ?

Died … ?


Captain Jock LeFevre was the captain of Canberra and other ships, he went to live in Canada we believe.

   

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Douglas Barr

Born … ?

Died … Jul 08

 

P&O writes;

It is with regret that we have to advise that Dougie passed away earlier this week, following a long illness.
 
Dougie has had a long career with Princess Cruises, commencing his employment in 1982. He sailed on the original Pacific, Royal and Island Princess and more recently on Dawn Princess.
 
Dougie's funeral will be held on Friday 18 July.
 
We would be grateful if you will pass this message to any Officer who may have known Dougie. Should any one wish to send a message of condolence, please forward to the undersigned who in turn will pass to Dougie's widow.
 
Kind regards
Jan Caiels
Assistant Fleet Personnel Manager

 

The above picture is the only one I have of Dougie and was cut from the Sun Princess Wardroom group in Graemes Memories. Our sincere condolences got to Dougie's widow.

    

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Jim Buy

Born … ?

Died … Jan 1997

 

Daughter Fiona (WAP) writes;

Dad died in Jan 1997 just before I went to sea which was really sad, all those tales he could have told me and I would have actually listened and been interested in now that I could relate better to them! 


The photo above was cut from this group photo of Oriana Pursers from 1975. 

    

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Eileen O'Keane

Born … ?

Died … 1980 or 81

 

Eileen was Baby Doc on Arcadia in 1976.

 

Lyn Thompson recalls;

Sadly Eileen died New Years Eve in a car crash near her home in Scotland - I think it was either 1980 or 1981 - an absolute waste of a life - she had just returned from Australia after a stint in the Royal Flying Doctor Corps.
 

Tragic loss.

     

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Joey Higgins

Born … ?

Died … ?

 

Joey was a crew member on Oriana when I was on her. He worked on the night gang getting the place ship shape ready for the next day's entertainment. Unsung heroes these guys. 

 

click to enlarge

with Joey here is Simon Lockyer, 'Night Leading Seaman', who adds this tribute;

I've tried to find out how and when Joey died but nobody amongst my ex Oriana friends knows, bless him anyway he was a nice lad.

    

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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In Memory of Ian Tomkins

Born … 28th July 1936

Died … 7th or 8th April 1998

 

Captain Ian Tomkins was Captain of the Canberra in the 80's. The above picture was cut from the group photo in Alan Mackenzie's Canberra section taken in 1989.

 

I first learned of Ian's death from Noël Butler and it was confirmed by Captain Philip Jackson who wrote;

Ian died on April 7/8 1998; sadly, I had only learned that he was seriously ill the day before and didn’t manage to see him before he sailed. Ian and I sailed together on several ships and we got on very well together both professionally and privately. We shared the classic fifteen minutes of fame when there was a bomb scare on “Oriana” in mid-Atlantic during my first voyage in command in 1978. In quieter times, we enjoyed a game of backgammon with a Fosters to hand! 

 

Our deepest sympathy goes to Ian's wife Pam and all Ian's family and friends.

     

Rest in Peace fellow Seadog

 

 

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