Sitmar Line - MS Fairsea 1949 to 1969
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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author
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 any travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, although is now retired but having completed around 690 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information the are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure! Reuben Goossens.
The Sitmar Ships
Strachan family heads for
By Mr. Ian Strachan -
A fine view of SS
Fairsea in Fremantle (
Authors private collection
In 1957 the
Australian Government, through its Department of Immigration, started a
campaign known as “Bring out a Briton” or BOAB. The campaign was
primarily aimed at the Australian communities and involved the sponsoring of
Britons to bolster the Australian/British population and in effect helping to
maintain British character within
Late in 1957
favourable enquiries were made with the Immigration Department and the wheels
of bureaucracy were put in motion. On the 13th of November they visited
a medical practitioner to have their smallpox vaccination. The next step was
taken on the 19th November at the Australian Department of
Immigration in Australia House located in
Please Note: All Photographs below were taken and documents were provided by Mr Ian Strachan. Please do NOT copy any of these as they are PRIVATE Property, be it for private use or any media source without prior written permission - See photo notes at the very bottom of this page!
The families Identity Document … Barbara’s details were on the reverse side
One week after
their vaccinations it was all falling into place.? John Burton of College Gate in
Outer cover of ticket
Ticket of Passage
As can be seen on the ticket they were allocated Cabins 116 E & F and 118 D. My father, John, slept in 118 and my mother and sister slept in cabin 116. Ticket number 185463 was issued to them as tourist class passengers.
The confirmation of
the ticket left them little more than 2 weeks to get all their affairs in order
and precious little time to catch up with family and friends that were spread
out all over the
John Strachan with daughter in arms and wife, Olive, prepare to Board Fairsea
A postcard of the SS Fairsea they kept as a memento
One of the suitcases used as their voyage
Moments on the deck of the Sitmar Lines SS Fairsea
Two days into their journey they were relaxing on the ship having put behind them the rush of getting all their affairs in place to make this migration. They now looked forward to the start of a new life in a country that they knew very little of except for written articles and perhaps the odd bit of footage seen on the television.
south-southwest from Southampton the Fairsea passed down the western coast of
mainland Europe reaching
As the end of the first week approached the
Fairsea had made its way past Gibraltar and along the shores of North Africa to
The photos above show Egyptian Traders approaching the side of the Fairsea to encourage passengers to purchase fruit...
vegetables, bottled drinks, cheeses, hats, shoes, cushions and a variety of other goods.
Oil Wells near
A further week had
passed after their arrival in
The excitement must
have been building on the ship as Christmas was fast approaching and one
present was given to all on board the Fairsea. On the 25th December
1957 the vessel crossed the Equatorial Line. A special ceremony was conducted
to celebrate the occasion as they sailed on the Indian Ocean south-southwest of
The ‘Crossing the Equator’ ceremony in progress
A certificate was given to commemorate the crossing
There were parts of
the voyage when the seas became quite rough and a large number of passengers
became sea sick. My father had gained his sea legs many years before and so he
was not fazed by the constant rolling and lurching of the Fairsea as it made
My sister and father share a moment on the ships deck
My sister and mother overlooking the pool area on Fairsea
Chalk boards for entertainment on the deck.
the crossing of the Equator on the high seas it would take another ten days
before they had something else to rejoice about… sighting
The ships documents
indicate that the Fairsea was registered in
Above is the first page of the passenger list showing details of the Fairsea
The Strachan family
were identified on the Passenger List of the Sitmar as nos. 616, 617 and 618
with the intended destination of
The above extract of the passenger list shows the Strachan family
There would not be much
of a reprieve in Fremantle as once again they would set sail heading for
Sharing a meal in the dining room of the Fairsea on 7th January 1958
Once south of
sponsorship for the Strachan family to come to
Written by Ian Strachan -
The Fairsea (1) - INDEX:
Fairsea (1)????? Built as a C3 class freighter History Page.
Fairsea?????????? Photo Page.
Fairsea?????????? Menus page sent in by John Scholten.
Fairsea ????????? Deck Plan.
Fairsea ????????? The
Strachan family head to
Fairsea?????????? Rob Barker & Family also
Or Return to: The Sitmar Ships - INDEX - For all the Other Sitmar Ships!
Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
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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. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on www.ssmaritime.com only), in order that due credit may be given.
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