P and O Other Companies
P and O - Orient Lines
Orient Line Ships.

Orient Line
The Orient Line had their own office at 356 Collins Street, Melbourne and a great selling point was the builders model of, I think but am not certain, Oronsay displayed in their window.

With the take-over of the Orient Line it was decided that we would, in due course, move to the Orient Line building, situated on the opposite side of the road at 356 Collins Street, 'we' being the P and O staff. It was a rather anxious time because employees were chosen either to transfer to P and O, and hence to the new office, or stay with Macdonald, Hamilton and Co at 311. All the passenger department personnel were transferred to 356 with one notable exception...Ernie Olssen retired as Deputy Passenger Manager because, although most of the senior posts went, I think, to P and O staff, that of Passenger Manager went to the Orient Line with their existing Manager keeping his position. Peter Kimber, much to our annoyance, lost out instead being in effect demoted to Assistant Passenger Manager.

When I moved to 356 it was to find myself in a new section called 'The Agency Section, which dealt wholly with Travel Agents throughout the State of Victoria by telephone and correspondence as well as Travel Agents physically coming into the section. One result was that the section, composed of four of us, two P and O and two ex Orient Staff, were given instructions to sign our own tickets which, we thought was a step up in the world. Unfortunately this section was situated in the basement, in what had recently been the Catholic Bookshop, which had a low ceiling, and was still in a state of refurbishment when we went into it and the lighting gave us quite a lot of trouble because of the glare. We all had large white blotting paper desk pads, the Directors and Managers used green. After much lobbying and with a visit from the new 'chief' we were exceptionally given permission to also use green blotting paper in order to stop the glare!

We also had a problem with many of the Orient Line staff who were openly hostile to us as having taken over their company. We, as individuals, had, of course, no say in the matter at all so it was a rather silly attitude to take. It did start to ease after some months with one or two exceptions.

Orontes
From a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication
Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.
Still around, just, at this time was a real 'old-timer' in "Orontes" built in 1929 by Vickers-Armstrong of Barrow. She had a gross tonnage of 20,186 and was 664 feet in length with a beam of 74 feet and a draught of 32 feet 2 inches. She had a service speed of 18 knots and carried 1,370 one class passengers.
Postcard of Orontes

Postcard of "Orontes" bought in Melbourne,
April 2003.

Orontes at sea 1954Orontes Decks 1954

Orontes April 1954

These photographs, above, were taken aboard "Orontes" by my school pal John Dickinson when he and his Mother were migrating to join his Father in April 1954.

The photograph of Orontes, bottom, was taken by a shipboard friend of John's.

I lost touch with John in 1974 but we were re-united in March 2003, in Melbourne during my visit there, after 29 years.

These photographs are used with his permission and my thanks.

cabin Class Orion
This photograph, and the information opposite is taken from the 1961 Adlard Coles publication Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.(Adlard Coles Ltd., Southampton)

"Orion" was a lovely ship, being built in 1935 also by Vickers- Armstrong in Barrow. She had a gross tonnage of 23,696 was 665 feet in length with a beam of 82 feet, a draught of 30 feet 2 inches and a service speed of 19 knots. She was built originally as a two class 'Cabin ( First) and Tourist Class' vessel. In 1961 she still had a dual configuration where she could be used as two class or single class to carry 706 cabin and 700 Tourist 'B' class passengers, or 1691 as all Tourist 'B' Class. In the 1930s 'Shipping Wonders of the World' publication, she was shown in green photogravure photographs.

The Orcades

From a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication
Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.

"Orcades" was built in 1947 by Vickers-Armstrong , Barrow She had her maiden voyage on 14th December 1948. She was 709 feet in length, a beam of 90 feet, a draught of 30 feet 5 inches, a gross tonnage of 28,396 and a service speed of 22 knots.
She carried 631 First and 734 Tourist Class passengers. She also had stabilizers and full air-conditioning from her refit in 1959.
She was scrapped in Taiwan in 1973.

Oronsay
From a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication
Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.

"Oronsay" was similar to Orcades, built 1951 by Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow, she was 709 feet in length, a beam of 90 feet, a gross tonnage of 27,632, draught of 30 feet 5 inches and a service speed of 22 knots.
Passenger capacity was 612 First, 804 Tourist. She has stabilizers and full air-conditioning which was completed in her 1959 refit.
She was scrapped in Taiwan in October 1975.

Orsova
From a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication
Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.

"Orsova", the vessel I returned to Australia aboard in February 1967. Built by Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow, in 1954, she was 723 feet in length with a beam of 90 feet and draught of 30 feet 3 inches. She had a service speed of 22 knots. She carried 694 First and 809 Tourist Class passengers, reduced to 773 when operating in the Pacific. She was scrapped in Taiwan in 1974.

Orient Lines  Flagship First Oriana
From a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication
Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.

"Oriana" formerly the Orient Lines Flagship built 1960 by Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow she was 804 feet in length with a beam of 97 feet. She had a gross tonnage of 41,923 and a service speed of 27.5 knots, complete air-conditioning and stabilizers. She carried about 688 First and 1,496 Tourist Class passengers.

There were, in effect, three services using Sydney as the base for trans-Pacific voyages as follows: !. Australia/Canada/USA/Australia. The ports of call on this service from Sydney were Auckland, Suva, Honolulu, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, back to Honolulu and return to Sydney. 2. Canada/USA/Asia/UK . The ports were Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Yokohama, Kobe, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore and back to England via the normal homeward ports - Colombo, Aden, Port Said, etc. 3. Canada/USA/Panama/France/England. The ports were Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Panama, Le Havre, London and vice versa. On some sailings calls were made at Trinidad, Las Palmas, Madeira and when going westwards, Lisbon as well.
P and O - Other Companies
P and O other Companies - Orient Line page 2
P and O other Companies - Orient Line page 3
P and O other Companies - Orient Line page 4
See P and O " Orsova" page
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