I joined Port Line and served on Port Pirie, Port Sydney, and Port
Melbourne. I left the merchant service after a few years and did various
jobs before settling down into marriage and fatherhood.
Memories P.W.S.T.S. Endeavour 67'
Solid porridge, mashed potatoes, bread and jam. Our staple diet.
The officers. Chiefy, Smudge, Chippy, Simpson.
The lovely Rosa.
Billiards, Table Tennis, Darts.
Starboard, leeward fore and aft, bulkheads, gangways.
Semaphore, flags, Lifeboat Drill, rowing a huge old wooden lifeboat that
must of weighed 2 tons.
Saturdays. Polishing the linoleum floors. (Wax on, wax off), polishing the
brass, cleaning the wash rooms, sweeping and of course getting drunk at
The Cricketers Arms.
Serge dress uniforms that itched like hell.
New boys who had a habit of getting black eyes from falling down the
Getting a P.O. stripe.
Getting the new boys shipshape.
Getting caught smoking (with Kenny Booth I think).
Loosing a P.O. stripe.
Most of us lads enjoyed the environment but it seems like we were all
looking forward to doing our our time and getting on with our lives.
I stayed at sea for a few years but my only skills were on the "holystone"
or "windy hammer". There was no future in this so left the Merchant Navy
and took a job ashore. Times were changing and pretty soon the docks were
filled in, container shipping arrived and shipping companies who wanted
cheaper labour/higher profits started looking to other parts of the world
for ships crews.
I enjoyed my time at sea and saw some of the world, which was my whole
reason to be a seaman.
The P.W.S.T.S. done a good job of shaping us up for a life on the ocean