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Murray Howie
13th January 2011, 04:23 AM
Good Day,

For those whom it may interest, I had the unenviable appointment of being the last Master of the last Ben Line cargo vessel, Benvalla.

By that stage Ben Line were not running the vessel, she was managed by Columbia Shipmanagement of Cyprus, my employers. Owner of CSM is German.

Joined her in Singapore 14-02-93, she at that stage being chartered to OOCL on the Singapore - Surabaya feeder trade. Just three weeks later Benvalla was sub chartered to American President Line, taking up the feeder trade, Singapore - Chittagong, bit of a nightmare.

On April 29th Archie Waters was out in Singapore when she was sold to Jaya JK Shipping. CSM continued to operate the vessel until Jaya were able to employ a crew, some five weeks later.

Of a surprise, when the new owners came aboard, was the fact that one of them, Singapore Chinese, had been in the same group as myself, taking 1st Mate Foreign Going some years previously, in Auckland.

By the time of Benvalla's sale, the crew comprised of a Kiwi Master, Kiwi Chief and a mob from the 'Republic'.

Kindest regards,
Murray

George Gunn
7th May 2011, 06:46 PM
My Very Good Mate sailed on the above in the early 1960s,would that have been the same boat ? we sailed together after he left her on the RFA Wave Prince and came accross her in Malta she was indeed a lovely ship with special sleek look a proper ship !!!

Regards
George

j.sabourn
8th May 2011, 12:28 AM
Murray, did you know John Ritchie, I was his mate on a DSV in the late 70"s early 80"s. He was always referring to Ben Line. I think after leaving Ben Line he did some time as a Singapore pilot. He died in the 80"s. Regards J.Sabourn

william grant guyan
11th July 2011, 06:41 PM
HI J Sabourn are you the John Sabourn that I sailed with on the Seaforth Commander when we were over in Norway in the 80s and laid her up in Dundee I was cook Regards Bill Guyan

j.sabourn
16th July 2011, 04:00 AM
Hi Bill Guyan, trying to put a face to name, as been that many ships since then. Must have been me, if I remember we were the only British ship working in the Norwegian sector, I think it was a political thing as the Norskes used to work the British sector ad lib. I wasnt in Dundee when she was laid up, believe Murdo Mcleod was Mate ( that many Murdo Mcleods in N, sea ) He was I believe unfortuanetly drowned in Dundee Harbour I heard. Very sad, as was such a genuine and hard working bloke. No doubt I will remember you when I try and cast my mind back. Anyhow good to hear from you. As soon as send this will probably remember you more clearly. Cheers John Sabourn

j.sabourn
17th July 2011, 09:14 AM
Ref. Bill Guyan. Joined Seaforth Commander Bergen 25.7.85. Five discharges Finally leaving Great Yarmouth 20.2.86. Working out of Bergen only lasted until about 28.8.85 according to record I have. Still cant put a face to the name. Cheers John Sabourn

Glenn Baker
17th July 2011, 09:49 AM
Hello Murray, did you have a Brother who came from Nelson NZ quite a number of years ago. all the best glenn