Archives, section 11 ...


For Archives, 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, section 10, click here and section 12, click here.

New photographs from Allan Davidson ... 


Allan Davidson (seen left with wife, Judi in the 1960s), former Jnr. Chief Officer and a noted photographer, sent us this new photograph from his collection.  He tells us, ‘Attached is a heavily restored recent acquisition of Ocean Monarch sailing from New York with Queen of Bermuda still at Pier 95!’

‘It was an old Ektachrome slide which needed a lot of work, and was not too sharp, but the end result is not too bad. I own the picture, so there is no problem with you posting it on the website.’


Allan has also sent the photograph (right) which will bring back happy memories to crew members who ever sat on the terrace of the ‘21 Club’ on Front Street in Hamilton.

Photographs: Allan Davidson

Listen, once again, to public address announcements from Ocean  Monarch  ...

A recently-found tape recording of three public address announcements on Ocean Monarch during the 1965 - 66 commission can be heard, once again, by clicking on the links below.

The recordings were made by David Townson, Assistant Purser, using his portable Philips Stellaphone reel-to-reel tape recorder. The announcements were made by Al(va) James, Assistant Purser, from the PA console in the Purser’s office.

Alva notes “Dave and I  taped these regular announcements during the final commission of the ship.  The technology of the time was well advanced but we did not have the benefit of a direct feed to the public address.  Consequently, you can still hear the wind on deck and the occasional comment by the recording engineer!

Passenger boat drill and demonstrations were held shortly after the ship had left the pier in New York.  Passengers were  expected to don their lifejackets and go to their assembly stations.  This recording lasts 34 seconds and to listen ... 

Ocean Monarch gave the noon position each day at sea.  This recording captures one such announcement made while en route from New York to Bermuda.  It lasts for 1 minute 13 seconds.  To listen ...

This recording of the announcement made en route from Bermuda to New York lasts for 1 minute and 16 seconds and includes a reference to ’sea smoke’.   To listen ...

Photographs: Collection of Alva James

Recordings: copyright  of  David Townson



David Townson


Alva James (left) at the front desk of Ocean Monarch. [Ed: We never did find the missing apostrophe.]

The PA console in the Purser’s back office (right), from which announcements giving the ship’s daily position were made.  Passenger boat drill announcements were made from the bridge.

Click here
Click here
Click here

To hear these recordings, you will need a media player program on your computer, such as Windows Media Player and have your speakers turned-on.

Rare finds by John Matthews  ...

For Archives, section 1, click here, section 2, click here, section 3, click here, section 4, click here, section 5, click here, for section 6, click here, section 7, click here, section 8, click here, section 9, click here and section 10, click here.

John Matthews (above), contacted the website with these photographs of a Masonic ring.  He says, “I stumbled on your website while I was doing a bit of research online, as I have just bought an old Masonic ring. 

Inside it is engraved: 

“Presented to WJJ by friends of Monarch of Bermuda 36”.

It is possible that the recipient was WGG, as the engraving is very ‘flowing’.  The ring is made of white gold with a diamond set into the Masonic symbol.  It is unusual, for “WJJ” must have been a Freemason and,  generally,  we do not advertise the fact.. That was even more the case in those days. They must have liked him, as the ring would have been expensive and to get the engraving on the inside of the rind would have been costly as well.

I have contacted a Masonic lodge in Bermuda to check if there was a Lodge named Monarch of Bermuda and the number 36 could have been a lodge number, not a date. 

It is difficult to show the engraving which extends all around the inside of the ring. You can make out ‘Presented to WJJ’ though”.

John is an officer in the Minnis Bay Freemasons’ lodge in Birchington, Kent.

Photographs and images: From collection of John Matthews

John also has another find.  He tells us, “By complete coincidence, I was looking through old family photos and came across a postcard from QTEV Queen of Bermuda.  It seems that my father-in-law was on board when he was demobbed and travelled home to England in the ship.  Over the years, it has seen the attention of his children but is still readable. ”