EASTERN SERVICE 1
MY EASTERN SERVICE AREA OF OPERATION
I joined "Rajula" in November 1966 on the Singapore - Madras service. Our run was Singapore - Port Swettenham - Penang - Nagapattinam - Madras where we turned round. We carried 1,897 passengers, mainly on deck and were usually fully loaded in the cargo holds with onions from Madras for the Chinese and Malaysian dishes. It is rumoured that some of them ended up flavouring the Anchor and Tiger beer. It was a floating world on its own.
P & O "CATHAY"
Jill followed out on the P & O "Cathay" in early 1967 and we were allocated a flat at Holland Hill in Singapore.
HOLLAND HILL, SINGAPORE
These were the four company flats reserved for sea staff in the Islay Kerr compound. Our flat was at the lower left hand side with our Triumph TR4A sports car parked outside. Rich in those days - Eastern Service pay - no children then - no Income Tax then either! We made the most of it.
We later visited the site on our way back from Australia in 1988 after I had been working for BHP Petroleum. The whole area was completely unrecognisable. The flats had been bulldozed and the site contained a huge, high rise, concrete housing block. All the well manicured lawns and gardens had been decimated.
I remained on "Rajula" until June 1968 when I was appointed to the "Chinkoa", a cargo ship with twelve passenger berths on the Japan to Arabian Gulf service. Jill was able to sail with me for the majority of the time. I left there to go on home leave in May 1969.
"CHINKOA" PROCEEDING THROUGH THE INLAND SEA, JAPAN
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