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Memories

I joined Patonga in June 1971 with a guy called Jim Koczubic as first trip engineer cadets, we were constantly reminded that we were the lowest form of barely human life, being Scots in a ship full of English officers seemed to make things worse. The second engineer took a particular dislike to me and I was put on daywork to "assist" the second, Jim was put on the 8-12 and escaped most of the seconds wrath. One day after lunch I reported back to the second for the afternoons round of insults, rage etc and was handed the customs manifest for the Pakistani engine room crew and an ink pad! "Go and get the crew to sign this" he said. On the manifest was a list of names Azir Khan, Mohammed etc and a list of bicycles and sewing machines each man was taking back to Pakistan about 30 names in all, I did not know any of the crew by name, some were asleep and the daywork crew scattered about the machinery spaces. I walked down to the crew quarters where I was fortunate to meet the 8-12 Tindal with very little english, I tried to explain that I needed the signatures of all of the crew. He just giggled opened the ink pad inked his thumb and left a thumb print in the appropriate place I read out the next name and he thumb printed the next space deliberatly smudging the print and then the next, I thought I would get into the act but he refused to let me ink my thumb and carried on filling in the complete form. I thanked him profusly probably promised him a Coke and went back to the seconds office and showed him the completed form, first thing he did was to check my thumbs for ink and grudging accepted the form. No thanks for doing a job he did not want to do it only seemed to raise his ire further and his attitude towards me.
IanB

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