Memories, section 9 …                                        

For Memories, section 1, click here, section 2, click here, section 3, click here, section 4, click here, section 5, click here, section 6, click here, section 7, click here, section 8, click here, section 10, click here and section 11, click here.

Remember signing the articles ... ?

Russ Urry, former navigating officer on Ocean Monarch in the 1960s sent us these images of the ship’s Agreement and List of the Crew (known as The Articles) for the 1963/1964 commission.

They were signed in Belfast on 30 October 1963. The front cover and first two pages include deck and engine room signings  -  Russ is line 5 of page 1, for example.  The commission ‘signed-off” in Belfast on 16 October 1964.

Ocean Monarch in St George’s, Bermuda. c1964.

Photograph: Alva James

Russ (right) at the Grand Reunion in 2011.

Photograph: Simon  Mitchell

Images of articles are from Russ Urry’s collection

Russ obtained these images from the Memorial University of Newfoundland archives.  We are grateful to David Bradley of the University for permission to include them on this website.

The source of the images is:

Great Britain. Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen
Agreements and Account of Crew and Official Logbooks for British Empire Vessels, 1863-1938, 1951-1976.
Held by the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Tony Mason recalls an eventful 1958 ...

Tony Mason (left) served on Queen of Bermuda during the eventful year of 1958.  Captain Banyard died suddenly while playing golf on the island, fire destroyed the original Bermudiana Hotel in Hamilton and Queen Soraya travelled as a passenger, following her split with the Shah of Persia.

Tony served as a bellboy and then as a commis waiter (right) to the Staff Captain.  He trained at the National Sea Training College at Gravesend in 1957  (below—with Tony circled).

Tony left the sea after his year with Furness Bermuda Line and joined the Royal Marines.  He tells us I decided that my career in the Merchant Navy was over so, in 1959, I enlisted in the Royal Marines for a nine year engagement.  I served in the Signals Branch and saw service in Aden, Singapore and Borneo before finishing my service as a Sergeant Instructor at the Royal Marines base at Lympstone in Devon.

Upon discharge from the Marines, I joined Decca Survey Ltd. in the UK, working on offshore navigation projects throughout the world before moving to Canada in 1977. Then, as a partner in a small company, we represented some of the leading manufacturers in the marine navigation and communications field at a time when satellites started to play such an important role in navigation, especially GPS.  I retired in 2008 and live in Ottawa, Canada.

The burned out  shell of the original Bermudiana Hotel in Hamilton.

Captain Banyard escorting Queen Soraya aboard Queen of Bermuda.   Sadly, he died the day after this photograph was taken.

Photograph: Ship’s photographer—name unknown

All photographs are from he collection of Tony Mason, unless otherwise stated.

Granddaughter of  Bill Greary searches for his grave …..

Patsy McLaughlin contacted the website to see if we could help her find the grave of her grandfather in Bermuda.  All she had were photographs of the funeral and nothing else to record the event.  Patsy says, “I hope you do not mind me contacting you but I am hoping you can help or at least point me in the right direction. I am trying to find information about my grandfather who served on Queen of Bermuda from, I think, the late 1940s to around the mid - 1950s.”

“His name was William Geary but I think he was called Bill. I have absolutely no idea what he worked at on the ship. He had been on home leave and returned to the ship when he took ill and died.  I am sure it was November but I don't know if it was 1954 or 1955. He is actually buried in Bermuda and I would like to find out where.  I am going on a cruise to Bermuda in 3 weeks’ time and hope to find his grave and maybe find out about him. If you could please give me the name of some organisations where I can get some information about him, I would really appreciate it.”

Patsy continues,  “I met my grandfather maybe twice as I was only young and he was always away on the ship. I just remember this big handsome figure of a man, very well dressed.  Since I was a young girl, I always promised myself I would try to make the trip to Bermuda so, at least ,one member of his family would see where he was buried. I am not getting any younger as I will be 65 a few days before the trip, so feel it is now or never.  Incidentally, living in Greenock at the time, it was interesting to find out that Queen of Bermuda was scrapped across the water from where we lived.”

Patsy sent us the photographs of the funeral and we asked Allen Soares (right) if he could identify the location.  Allen replied, “The church is St. Theresa’s Cathedral on Cedar Avenue.  I do not know the pallbearers, but the graveyard is Cavalry Cemetery on Roberts Avenue and the priest is Monsignor Terryolt. I know where that grave is and would be happy to show Patsy when she is in Bermuda, if she would like me to do so.”

Patsy agreed and Allen escorted her to Cavalry Cemetery where, at long last, she saw the grave of her grandfather.  Of the occasion, she told us, “I achieved what I set out to do with Allen's help. He picked me up at the dock and took me to the church and then the cemetery.  On Friday, I took the ferry to Hamilton and went to the Registry Office and found grandfather's exact date and details of death.” 

Patsy concluded, “I can't thank both of you enough for all the trouble you took to help a complete stranger.  Thanks a million, you don't know how happy you have made me.”

For Memories, section 1, click here, section 2, click here, section 3, click here, section 4, click here, section 5, click here, section 6, click here, section 7, click here, section 8, click here, section 10, click here and section 11, click here.