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The SS Himalaya was on the homeward half of a Tilbury, Aussie, Pacific four “monther” trip coming up to Christmas 1960.
The Staff Captain in his wisdom decided as part of the 1st Class Christmas Service to be held on the dance space would include a Bible reading from each of the departments.
The 2nd Engineer approached my 2nd Ref Engineer with the task of a reading from St John’s. His first response was to go to the Supy 1st Ref Engineer “ME” saying “I can’t stand up in front of all those passengers and read out loud”. I tried to pacify him with the usual Allsopps treatment and tell him it wasn’t that bad and when I was a Prefect at school I use to do it quite often and we left it at that.
Sometime later the 2nd Engineer knocked on the door and stated “I hear you use to do Bible readings at school so I’ve put your name down and here’s the rehearsal programme for Christmas Morning”.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the most awful job I could give the 2nd Ref Engr as punishment, we didn’t have any sewage pumps that he could strip down and I also thought about putting him on the 8 – 12 from the 12 – 4. The 3rd Ref Engr would have loved that, however, I relented and fined the 2nd Ref Engr a case of beers.
On Christmas Morning I stood up in front of the 1st Class passengers and did my Festive Duty and at the back of the dance space there was an unusual gathering of engineers with silly smirks on their faces.