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Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

A great reunion of old Oriana Engineers was held in Canberra on 17 May 2016.

The three 4th Engineers and one first trip Junior Engineer, all from the Oriana Fire trip in August 1970 all met in Canberra after 46 Years. Dave Betts S4E0, Steve Wedd 4EO, Mark Gardiner 4EO & Greg Sinclair JEO. This was the first time any of us had met again with Mark Gardiner and the first time we'd all been together since 1970. It was my first trip on Oriana and Steve Wedd left at the end of that trip.

Dave Betts lives near Southampton UK, Mark Gardiner in Perth WA, Steve Wedd in Canberra and I'm in Sydney, NSW.

We had a wonderful day at Tilleys in Canberra reminiscing and catching up with eachother. We went fairly easy on the beers and really enjoyed the company of old mates.

I have sent reunion photos to Steve Borrill to load up onto the website Forum. One photo is of Dave, Steve & Mark in Dave's cabin in 1970.

It is thanks to the SEADOGS REUNITED Website that we have all made contact, with Mark Gardiner only finding the site a few months ago.

Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

Great to see Mark G again, sailed with Mark on the Arcadia in 1973, he was 3rd Eng and I was a lowly cadet. A great guy.
IanB

Where are you from: South Australia

Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

Yes Ian. Mark was a great guy back then and still is now.

These reunions, made possible by this great website are a wonderful experience. It's amazing to be back with old friends after 46 Years, going over some of the more notable incidents we remembered while sailing on P & O ships in the early 70s.

The four of us got on famously and in some ways it was as if we'd always known each other.

Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

This was such a great occasion and I will treasure it forever. It brought back so many memories of our time together on the "Big O" and the opportunity to see Mark again after so long was wonderful. He was a great asset in the Boiler Room along with Steve and Greg later. The Boiler Room fire was, looking back a far more frightening experience than we realised at the time. Equipment problems when dealing with the fire had quite serious consequences. We were lucky in many ways!

Anyway at the time it just seemed an adventure.

If we ever get the chance to meet up again I shall certainly be up for it. I shall be in Oz until late July mainly in Brisbane so who knows.

The was some reduction in original resolution on the photos as I had to link them from the website and there is a Dropbox limit for this. Later when I have my installation I can get full resolution copies if anybody wishes to have larger prints.

More later.

Dave

Where are you from: Allbrook Eastleigh UK

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

A great day. Yes the memories came flooding back - the incidents, personalities, pour outs, general happenings aboard. Reminded me how lucky I'd been just after arrival in Nassau, Bahamas with the loss of water in #4 boiler and explosion as the tubes failed.

The blast blew engineer Pete Walters (not a light chap) flat on his back as he was coming through the watertight door from the engine room - (he was not injured though). I was near the firetubes at the boiler front opening the emergency feed water, right next to the blast. - and Mark Gardiner was in a lifeboat heading ashore for the sights of Nassau. He saw/heard the steam blast from the funnel and immediately knew what had occurred. He had a nice day ashore!

(New boiler tubes were air freighted to LA and shore staff stretched the repair job past Vancouver and had a trip to Hawaii with us!)

Oh Happy days - so long ago.

Where are you from: Canberra, Australia

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

Great photos guys.
This is what this site of Steve's is all about
SEADOGS REUNITED.

Where are you from: Barrow

Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

Yes, Dave, it seemed more of an an adventure than frightening at the time.

When I was standing on top of one of the B Set evaporators spraying water onto the red-hot Engine/Boiler Room bulkhead less than two metres in front of me, I don't remember feeling scared (just bloody hot). At that stage, the watertight doors were shut and the fire was raging mainly behind No.4 Boiler. The bulkhead was bright red. Brian Perry was on top of one of the other evaporators and he had to put his hose on me to keep me going.

When I think of it now, I dread to think what would have happened if that bulkhead had given way. It seems very frightening now.

Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

Our great reunion is two months ago now. Dave Betts has just returned home to UK after two months in Queensland, Steve Wedd is on a European holiday and Mark Gardiner & I are back to our normal lives.

The reunion of the four of us in Canberra in May brought up many old forgotten memories and thoughts, not the least of which was the realisation (through our now older eyes) of the huge responsibility we young engineers had when serving watches on Oriana. This was particularly so when, as 4th Engineers we were running the Boiler Room.

I'm 67 Years old now and I look back in wonder at how we had the confidence then to take on that big job. I was still only 22 Years old when I got my step up to 4EO and most 4EOs were in their early to mid twenties.

I think we thought we were bullet proof then but I do remember the feeling of the huge responsibility when on watch in the Oriana boiler room. I always worried that I might get caught out if something serious went wrong and I didn't know how to rectify it so I did all I could to learn everything I could. I'd had good teachers in Dave Betts, Mark Gardiner and Roger Villiers before my step up.

I'm sure that responsibility served me well during my employment positions after I left the sea. That time with P & O and particularly on Oriana was the best thing I could have done early in my working life. It is such a pity that the oportunity we all had back in those days to go to sea as an Engineer after an apprenticeship no longer exists for young people now.

Thanks again Steve Borrill for this great website that lets us all keep in touch with old mates, get together, and reminisce on our wonderful times at sea.

Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

I can never read about that particularly eventful ORIANA voyage without feeling a pang of sorrow for the Chief Engineer relieving Mazo, John Howell. Such a pleasant man and all that angst in Southampton and then to top it all Nassau as well.
I have mentioned it before but I still recall the part of that voyage when, to get us back on schedule for Canada/USA cruising we did Sydney/SFO with just 44 or so pax, and we all dined every evening buffet style in the 1st.Class Ballroom.Quite a long voyage too.Those cruises from Vancouver were amazing, West Coast, Mexico, Pamama, and around the Caribbean and back to Vancouver in 4 weeks, with all four Boilers in and at ORIANA'S full thunder all the way!!Captain Cutler in command, always known as ' Adge '.

Where are you from: Essex, UK

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

Yes Mike. John Howell was a true gentleman. He returned to Oriana in 1971 for some Mediterranean cruises.

The three Caribbean cruises you mention were not on that fire trip. They were on the next trip, which was a five monther. Lots of Panama Canal transits.

Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches

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Re: Reunion 1970 Oriana Engineers - Canberra 17 May 2016

I think I was right though Greg that we sailed across the Pacific virtually empty of pax.

Where are you from: Essex, UK

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