Rotterdam Lloyd MS Sibajak 1928 to 1959

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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Author, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer and Maritime Lecturer


Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime & cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or travel or cruise agencies, etc! Although having been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, I am now retired but having completed features on well over 1,350 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships, I trust these will continue to provide you the classic ship enthusiast the information you are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure!


Royal Rotterdam Lloyd

MS Sibajak

Page Four


The images on this page come from a voyage that commenced from HollandiaPapua Nieuw Guinea

Today that is Jayapura in Indonesia, but is located on the eastern part of the island of New Guinea

We see the Sibajak berthed at Hollandia in April 1955 and is due to sail for Rotterdam

Photograph from the author’s private collection


The Rotterdam Lloyd flag flies proudly just below Dutch flag


MS Sibajak - Chef H. B. Hulspas

Photographs, a Floor Show Programme & a Farewell Menu dated April 12, 1955


Here we see Chef H. B. Hulspas in his full Rotterdam Lloyd uniform

Photograph provided by & Helen Hulspas

On September 22, 2014 I received a most welcome email from the Netherlands in Dutch from Helen Hulspas, which I translated on, which I find very useful, for my Dutch is certainly not up to scratch! Below are the Dutch and the translated messages.

Helen Hulspas wrote;

“Geachte heer Reuben,

In mijn allereerste poging om meer te weten te komen over de M.S. Sibajak, alwaar mijn vader in de jaren rond 1955 chef kok was, kwam ik uw site tegen. Ik heb in mijn bezit twee mooie menukaarten en bedacht mij dat u daar wellicht

blij mee zou kunnen zijn. Bijgaand vandaar de ingescande exemplaren. Succes met uw site.”

Thus, I went online to translate Helen’s message on from Dutch into English and it read as follows;

“Dear Mr Reuben,

In my very first attempt to get to know more about the M.S. Sibajak, where my father in the years around 1955 was a chef, I came to your site. I have in my possession two beautiful menus and remembered me that you may be happy with them. Please find enclosed the scanned copies. Success with your site.”

However, the two menus mentioned were not attached to the said email, and I obviously mentioned this in my reply. I received all the images that were part of her dear late Father’s collection as can now be seen on this page that arrived in the next three emails.


Photographs of Chef H. B. Hulspas

Chef Hulspas Story:

Chef Hulspas’ initials H. B. stood for Hermanus Bernardus and Herman was born in the Village of Naaldwijk in South Holland on September 2, 1933. The village lies about 10 km southwest of The Hague and it is famed as being the greenhouse of the Netherlands for its flowers and tulips are famed worldwide!

A village scene from the “Village of Naaldwijk” in South Holland--

H. B. Hulspas was trained in the art as a Pastry Chef and as a Chef of fine dining and in due course he was employed to work on large passenger liners including the MS Sibajak of the Rotterdam Lloyd in the mid 1950’s.

Before we see Chef Hulspas at work, this is where his creations will end up, on the ships beautifully set dining tables!

Photo from the author’s private collection



Above & below: The 25-year-old Chef Hulspas is seen in his element in the ships galley and the tools of his trade, the ovens

And there is nothing better than those daily baked fresh loves of bread and those delicious bread buns as

I remember so well, but I departed on the Sibajak from Rotterdam on May 17, 1958 and sailed to Wellington New Zealand!

Photographs provided by & Helen Hulspas



The Floor Show Programme


The front page

Provided by Helen Hulspas


The interior, sadly during scanning the very centre was slightly lost, I have placed the two scans together

Provided by Helen Hulspas


The back page

Provided by Helen Hulspas


This is the passenger band during this voyage, called “Scheepsband de Emigranten

Sent to me by a Dutch supporter a long ago & photographer unknown - Please see photo notes at bottom of page


The Farewell Menu April 12, 1955


What a superb front page to the “Afscheidsdiner” or the “Farewell Diner”

Provided by Helen Hulspas


The menu page

Provided by Helen Hulspas


The back page is simple, but somehow relevant

as the “MS Sibajak” was just what the voyage was all about!

Provided by Helen Hulspas


In Conclusion


Photograph provided by & Helen Hulspas

Although I do not have any further information covering the life and times of Chef H. B. Hulspas, but he passed away at the age of 70 in another village nearby named Leidschendam (close to Leiden) on March 26, 2004.

I hereby wish to thank Mr. Hulspas’ daughter, Helen for contacting me for due to this her beloved Father’s memory that was so directly related to that wonderful Dutch Passenger Liners, MS Sibajak as well as his life may well have been sadly lost!

Although time is slipping by, but should there be anyone who may remember him, you are most welcome to contact me; please see the bottom of the page!

A wonderful postcard of the MS Sibajak in the 1950s

Postcard is from the author’s private collection


MS Sibajak Index:

Page One:…………………….MS Sibajak had long career from 1927 to 1959 - This is her complete story!

Page Two:…………………….Brochures, Deck Plans, Photographs Menus and Memorabilia.

Page Two-b:…………………The Ships Interiors, Deck by Deck.

Page Three:………………….The Author’s voyage on the Sibajak from Rotterdam on May 17, 1958 - See Page 3b.

Page Three-b:………………The Family Salden-Van Mulken sail to Australia on May 17, 1958.

Page Four:…………………….Ships Chef H B Hulspas story, a floor show programme and a farewell menu dated 1955.

Page Five:…………………….Family van der Net and their voyage to Australia in 1956.

Page Six:……………………...Family van der Biezen sailed on her second last voyage in 1959.

Page Seven: The Nieborak Family’s voyage to Australia in 1959.

Page Eight: Mr & Mrs Petzold sail from Rotterdam to Cape Town on October 25, 1949.


Also visit the Three other Dutch Liners on the New Zealand - Australian Service


MS Johan van Oldenbarnevelt - MS Oranje & MS Willem Ruys


Please Note: Email service to ssMaritime, is sadly no longer available,

This is due to the author’s old age and illness as well as being disabled, etc.



“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”



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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned.


This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displayed on each page, that is, when a page is updated!

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