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Thread: Life on the NZ coast

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    Default Life on the NZ coast

    Hi Jim.
    I remember a story about Karu Brown, He had a Grundig transciever and one day he was on it, This is Karu Brown calling outer space, did this a few times then a voice came over the reciever, this is the Rangitoto get off this friging wave length. I think Frank Trainer was a sea going councillor for the union. I used to drink with Tommy Curphy in Wellington before the meetings, those were great times. I think your right about Yorky being Bill Thomas, they used to say he could bring a load of transitors into Auckland up his nose.
    To get the photos you want click on Gallery then click on" Life aboard and ashore" you can get them enlarged by clicking on the photo, ther's a write up underneath.
    Must fly
    Cheers Des

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    Thanks Des,your post has made me laugh. I heard this yarn when I was on the Wellington Exporter.Karu was a legend.

    A couple of more names that have come to mind.

    Cuban Steve,Parchute Jock,Les Barber (Wellington union)Bluey Morgan ,Alan Lucas ,Miller Gorilla, Harpic the steward,Lindsey Tisman,John Jeffery,Ronnie Hines,Ken Govier....nuff for today
    Last edited by Allan Jeffery; 13th July 2009 at 01:27 PM.
    your never alone......witha penguin

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    Karu was a character indeed. I remember being warned off ever sharing a cabin with him as he was too lazy to get out of his bunk to go to the toilet....used to pee into a hot water bottle and then stopper it up for a morning shake-out.
    The Yorkie Bil that I mentioned was AB in the Monowai when I was D.B. and he was a real battle scarred tough nut. Back in 1954 some of the stewards started the Monowai Social Club and the inaugral function was a Monowai Ball in Wellington. Don't ask me the venue...all I remember is that entry was gained by way of a very steep set of stairs. The organizers did a great job and invited a number of nurses from the local hospital as dancing partners. The deck crowd and down below gang were put under strict orders to behave as the nurses had been guaranteed their safety and well-being. All went well until Bill decided that he really fancied one of the girls only to discover that "she' was one of the stewards in drag. Don't ask me just how he came to know this fact or we will all be barred from this site forever. The upshot was that four or five other "girls" , who had gone unrecognized until then, leapt out of the crowd and thumped him severely before throwing him down the stairs. Upon his arrival at the ground floor Bill mentioned just how steep they were. Again I must leave the details and exact wording to your imagination. The party broke up at this point and to this day I think that was the one and only Social Club event that ever occurred. I've still got my membership card but I guess the chances of the club ever reconvening are pretty slim and my dancing days are long gone anyway.
    Hey Des, you're right about Frank Trainer. I shipped with him in Hotonui back in "58. Does anyone recall Rigor Mortis, The Mexican Mule, Boofhead Thorpe or Mad Dog Morning ?
    Jim S.

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    Hi Ajay. And Jim
    Help me out here. I wrote in a post for Jim that Les had been on the NZ coast, I'm sure he had posted on this USS forum, or maybe some other one but I can't find it. I had his name wrong when I posted it was an honest mistake, can you remmeber him posting.
    I think I was on the Waipori with Ronnie Hines.
    Another story about big Yorky was that he went into a shop in Auckland, picked up an outboard motor hoisted it on his shoulder, as he walked out the door, {no payment] one of the shop assistants said going fishing on the weekend? Yep said Yorky and dissapeared down Queens St.
    Another thing that was done by blokes off the coast. They got all the big pot plants out of the foyer of the Great Northern and lined them up across Queens St, stopped the traffic for quite awhile if I remember.
    Jim . remember the ring bolts that used to go across the Tasman on the Monowi, And wasn't it the Monowai that Ronnie Jorgason killed that steward and dived over the side and swam for sugar refinary.
    A good book to read "Denizens of the Deep" I think it 's called , written by Gerry Evans, who ended up as President of the NZ seamens union, the book more or less describes the end of the seamens union as we knew it. He later was a walking deligate with Davie harkness on the Auckland wharfs, he went back to sea on the Golden Bay the cement boat, remember her Jim? I see her come into Portland nearly every Sunday, though she is the new ship
    Cheers Des
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    Last edited by Des Taff Jenkins; 15th July 2009 at 08:06 AM. Reason: adding words

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    hi jim, that dance hall in wellington was i think called the rat race very steep stairs coming up near the middle of the dance floor. a room at the back for refreshments. the girls used to smuggle spirits in for us. the captain cook docked one day and we spent ages stopping them from coming up the stairs what a punch up. cheers. alf
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    Hi Des,
    You will find the post from Les in the "Say Hello" forum on page 2 of my first post "Just joined".
    Yeah, the old Monowai carried her fair share of non-paying passengers back and forth. It was pretty easy in those days...a spare set of "blues" and you were just one of the deck crowd for the trip. Wear them ashore at either end and nobody looked at you. Don't recall the Ronnie Jorgason episode that you mention...I was in her from May1954 to Feb. 1955 and it didn't happen then. She was a great old ship and had a set of real characters as daymen...they were all old-timers and it was like a club for them. They all had their little fiddles going ....hams and butter from Kiwi to Oz and BVD nylon shirts on the return trip.The watchkeepers, buckos and deck boys were the only variables. The bosun was Julian Wharetini and he was richer than God and about the same age...mind you I was 17 at the time so anyone over 40 was regarded as ancient.
    Omigod...you stirred the brain cells with the Great Northern..there were a number of hostelries we used to favour with our custom. The Auckland (the Orky-Dork), Ann Powell's New criterion (over the road from the Shipping Office ), the Albert in Queen St and the old Britomart.
    I never knew Gerry Evans but I remember Davie Harkness...as for cement ships I went right off them after I did a trip as commisioning engineer on Golden Dawn from Hong Kong to Nampo (North Korea) ...another story that I may bore you with later.
    All the best,
    Jim

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    G'day Alf,
    You could be right about the "Rat Race". I must admit that by the end of the night in question I was in no condition to recall either the name or the location but I do remember a very nice nurse took me back to her flat and tended to my well-being. Don't be like that, I'm talking about food and black coffee.
    Cheers,
    Jim

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    Hi Jim.
    Taliking about ring bolts. I was on the Kurow, docked into Sydney and went up the "Bunch OF C$%^S "in
    Sussex street,or to give it it's right name the Welcome Inn. do you remember it? Just as we got there a bloke came running out with the boss chasing him, He said his wife had just caught him upstaris with thier five year old daughter, He had called the cops and Bumpber Farrel head of the Dalinghurst vice squad was not far away, well they got him into the back of the police car and the blood started to flow. Now it turned out that some firemen had just given him a ringbolt from Taraunga. Cost them a lot in payments whenever they came over to Sydney in NZ Butter and cheese. Bumber Farrel was one of the hardest cases I've ever met, former League palyer.
    Cheers Des
    Last edited by Des Taff Jenkins; 24th July 2009 at 07:28 AM. Reason: name change

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    g'day jim.your mention of nurses! temember the dock strike in wellington?. three months in WWW
    met a student nurse in the florida milk bar, and she said bring five mates tonight to the general hospital
    she was waiting with her five mates. we then had a great time. ending up in thier digs as they were on shifts they arranged for other nurses every night. lost count of how many we went out with but must have been at least twenty each. great times. cheers. alf
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    Hi Alf.
    You greedy sod, still three months was a long time. Used to be a lot of nurses in the dances around the coast, used the Florida milk bar a few times, mostly waiting for the end on the month pay cheque. Remember the Cuba street poms? Kiwi's who used to copy the home boat blokes trying to get in with the girls.
    Wellington was a little restrictive for room to manouver, had a party down on the beachfront all drunk as skunks but the cops moved us on. I prefered Auckland, the suburbs were easier to get to.
    Cheers Des
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