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Article: Ship of the month 2

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    Ship of the month 2

    3 Comments by Doc Vernon Published on 23rd October 2018 08:09 PM
    Ship of the Haj: Indonesia’s
    GunungDjati


    In the summer of 1984, I set off on a trip around the world, a two-month long trip actually built around three cruises: Australia to the South Pacific on the Oriana; South east Asia & Indonesia from Singapore on the little Princess Mahsuri; and then onward to England, from Southampton to the Mediterranean on the Sea Princess. The varied cultures were fascinating, the sights wonderful and interesting and sometimes very interesting ships were everywhere, in almost every port. One port was especially intriguing. On the day before we arrived in Djakarta, I reminded the German captain of the Princess Mahsuri (she was the Berlin,owned by the Germans in fact but on charter to the short lived,Singapore-based Blue Funnel Cruises) that a former German liner from the 1930s was probably in port. Quickly, he was interested and sent a message to the port agents. Yes, we would very much like to see her. The port agents responded and promised to follow-up. But the subsequent news was disappointing. After almost two years in port,that old ex-German had up and left. She was towed away to the scrappers at Kaohsiung on Taiwan.

    The 51-year-old Tanjung Pandanhad reached its end. Little changed on the ship from her pre-war days, with two prominent funnels, and when she was the Pretoria
    ,owned by the German-
    East Africa Line. Built in 1936, she carried some 286 passengers in two classes on the Hamburg-Southampton-Walvis Bay-Cape Town-Durban run. The 16,600-ton ship also had a twin sister, the Windhuk.




    Requisitioned by the German navy in September 1939, the Pretoria served as a moored accommodation ship for military personnel and later as a hospital ship. When the Nazi regime collapsed and the war in Europe ended in May 1945, however, the Pretoria was claimed as a prize of war by the invading British forces. Promptly renamed Empire Doon,she was soon sailing as a peacetime troopship, operated by the Ministry of Transport, but managed by the commercial Orient Line. Found to be a mechanically troublesome ship, she needed a major overhaul in 1949 and then resumed Government trooping but as the
    Empire
    Orwell. The change of name was said to have been prompted by her Orient Line managers, who preferred names beginning with “O”. For nearly a decade, she carried British troops and their families to colonial outposts such as Singapore and Hong Kong, and also carried forces for the Korean war.



    The Government finally sold the ship in 1958 and she passed into private hands, to Liverpool’s Blue Funnel Line, a leading ship owner who had the ship extensively refitted at a Glasgow shipyard. Renamed Gunung Djati, honoring one of the nine great prophets of ***** in Java, she was now the world’s largest pilgrim ship, ferrying Indonesians on the “Hajroute,” to and from Mecca. Her quarters were now adapted for some 2,100 passengers, 106 in first class accommodation that included two suites and then 2,000 in lower-deck pilgrim quarters, and the amenities on the 577-ft long ship now included a “musholla” ormosque and open-air theatre. Blue Funnel chartered the ship to the Indonesian Government for three years, until 1962, but then there was a burst of decreed maritime nationalism – Indonesian pilgrims had to be carried in Indonesian bottoms!



    Ownership changes followed – joining the Djakarta-based Pelni Line in 1962 and then, two years later, the Affran Raya Lines and still later to Djakarta Lloyd and finally the Arafat Lines. In 1973, the 37-year-old ship sailed off to a Hong Kong shipyard to be given a“heart transplant” – changing from her original turbines to more efficient diesels.
    But time was running out. By 1977, the Indonesian Government decided that transporting pilgrims by sea was coming to an end. A year later, Garuda Airlines was given the exclusive contract. The Gunung Djatiwas out of work – but not quite finished. After lay-up at Tanjung Priok, the old ship but one with new engines had a reprieve. Renamed Tanjung Pandan
    ,she joined the Indonesian Navy, was repainted entirely in gray and began carrying troops between Java, Irain and Timor
    Shewas operating until as late as 1986. But unfortunately, on that summer day a year later, she had gone and been sold to Chinese scrap merchants. In the end, the old ex-German liner fetched $1 ½ million in scrap value.




    Last edited by Brian Probetts (Site Admin); 23rd October 2018 at 11:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Ship of the month 2

    I saw her many times in Tanjong Priok and in Surabaya waiting for the pilgrim season to Jeddah.in 1960.
    She was Blue Funnels, only ever 2 funnel ship. our Officers were frequent visitors to it, it had British Officers from Blu Flu
    She had two Blue Funnels when we were with her in 1960 but not on those photos , strange.
    Gunung Djati was also the name of a Volcano in eastern Java .Brian
    Last edited by Captain Kong; 23rd October 2018 at 08:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Ship of the month 2

    Thanks Vernon for posting that, thought when I sent it to you it may have been too big for the site.
    Obviously you have ways and means of fixing such problems.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
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    Default Re: Ship of the month 2

    At times it Hurts! LOL
    kidding!
    Yes I have my ways around Corners John!
    Cheers
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