Memories, section 10 …                                        

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 9, click here and section 11, click here.

Peter Stephens remembers ...

Peter Stephens, Electrical Engineer, Ocean Monarch from 1959 to 1965, has contacted the website. 

He tells us, ‘After leaving Ocean Monarch, I spent time as a planning engineer, opened a shop, then a pub, followed by teacher training and lecturing in a college. I am now retired and live in North Wales, taking frequent trips, with my wife, to our sailboat in Greece.’

Peter would be pleased to hear from former ‘ship mates’.  Please contact the webmaster for his email address.

Photographs: from the collection of Peter Stephens

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 9, click here, and section 11, click here.

Over a day of reminiscing and sharing happy memories of the often frantic sailing and arrival days, the group enjoyed time round the pool, walks on the beach and dinner at the Sand Bar Restaurant on Anna Maria Island.

Of the reunion, Marai Yaw said, ‘Chris had been looking forward to this visit so thank you for giving him such a special and meaningful time.’

‘Chris and I had a wonderful time seeing you all and we enjoyed our trip immensely.’

To read about Chris and Marai’s life since 1966, click here and scroll down to Mr.‘Fix-it’ is found in Florida.

Bob White enjoying a break on the beach with his wife Brenda (centre) and Anthea Cox.

Below, left to right: Chris and Marai Yaw, Bob and Brenda White, Alva James, Anthea Cox, Des Kirkpatrick, Bill Cox and Sara Avery.

Seated left to right: Chris and Marai Yaw, Alva James.          Standing left to right: Anthea Cox, Bob White, Bill Cox, Des Kirkpatrick and  Brenda White.

Photographs: Collection of Alva James


It has taken all this time, but since that sad day in 1966 when Queen of Bermuda left New York for the last time, Chris and Marai Yaw had often wondered what became of the ’clerks’ from the Purser’s Office on board.

Through the wonders of the internet, Chris was ‘found’ and a meeting arranged in the Yaw’s home state of Florida in February 2013.

Chris and Marai met up with former assistant pursers and their partners, Alva James and Sara Avery, Bob and Brenda White, Bill and Anthea Cox, Des Kirkpatrick and, for part of the time by Skype video call, with former a/p Dave Townson and his partner Gerry Thomas.


Former assistant pursers meet Mr & Mrs ‘Fix-it’ in Florida ...

Peter was best man at the wedding of Ralph and Betty Williams (above) -  he is second from the right.

To see more of the wedding, click here.


Keith Hallett remembers 1955 on Ocean Monarch ...

Keith Hallett  (left) served on Ocean Monarch in the dining-room during the 1954-55 commission.  Keith tells us, “I have explored your Furness Bermuda Line website and found it very interesting.  A fitting format for a truly great company, Furness Bermuda Line, of which I am proud to have been a part.

The recent picture of me was taken on my June 2012 nostalgia cruise from New York to Bermuda on Holland America Line's Veendam.  I had a fabulous time reliving my Ocean Monarch days, the best times I ever had in the merchant navy”.

We asked Keith to tell us more about his time with Furness and what he did after leaving the sea. He said “I was born in Bristol and attended Gravesend National Sea Training School (NSTS).  I served on RMS Andes, Birmingham City, out of Avonmouth and RMS Mauretania, out of Southampton. 

I signed on Ocean Monarch in September 1954 as a waiter, becoming valet to the Second Steward Charlie Parker, Asst Second Steward Henry LaToy and Asst Second Steward Neville Buckley. My friends on Ocean Monarch were Stan Budd, Bert Chapman, Bill Dwyer and Neville. I signed off Ocean Monarch in Newcastle, September 1955.







Keith has compiled and narrated a video of his cine record of the time. Filming with his Paillard Bolex B8, the movie is unusual for the early 1950s.  It includes a flight he and Neville Buckley made over Bermuda (stills from the flight are on the right) and visits to New York and Nassau. 

A highlight is his cine record of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to Bermuda on 23 November 1953, including their open carriage ride along Front Street, Hamilton (stills left) where Ocean Monarch sits proudly in the background at No.1 Shed.

Canadian Pacific’s Empress of Scotland and Cunard’s Mauretania can be seen in New York and Eastern Shipping’s Yarmouth or Evangeline in Nassau. 

To view this movie, click here


Keith also sent in this photograph (right).   “I don’t remember the name of the Assistant Second Steward but I believe he was from New Zealand” .

[If any one can tell us the name, please contact the webmaster – Ed]. 


All photographs, unless otherwise stated, are from the collection of Keith Hallett

Keith (left) in 2012 and (right) in the dining-room of Ocean Monarch during the 1954-55 commission.

I met my wife, Carole, in Salt Kettle, Bermuda.  She was a registered nurse (RN) on holiday from New York City.  We dated when I was in New York and married in January 1956 at The Little Church around the corner of E 29th St. Manhattan. Carole did not want to raise children in New York City, so we moved to West Michigan where her family lived and were married for 33 happy years.  I have two children, Bob and Irene.  Sadly I lost my dearest Carole to a heart condition, cancer and Parkinson's disease in April 1989.


Henry Latoy (left).

Photograph: Malcolm Sargent

Bert Chapman (right) at the Grand Reunion in 2011

Photograph: Simon MItchell



I became the foreman of a furniture factory in Greenville, Michigan, then met the Grand Rapids manager of a life insurance company, Sun Life of Canada, now known as Sun Financial.  He happened to be from Liverpool and convinced me that I could do well as a Life Underwriter, agent for the company. I accepted, took the training courses, and worked for the company for 43 years. I am retired and live near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA”.

Carole and Keith at Niagara Falls in 1957.


Keith and Carole with their children, Bob and Irene, in 1960.