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Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author
Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!
The Paul Oliver Story
Please Note: All photographs on this page are by & are © Paul Oliver
Ex Oriana crewmember, Paul Oliver has spent years
on the Oriana, and he has kindly provided us with his story. Earlier, Paul sent
us an excellent series of photographs of Oriana berthed at
Pyrmont awaiting her departure for
Oriana at anchor during a South Pacific Cruise
I joined the SS Oriana, as a Seaman, on 8th
November 1976 at
My first job was in the ‘Boat and Hatch Gang’ where we would maintain all the lifeboats, keeping them clean and tidy, painting, and keeping them in good order whilst at sea. We also had to check on the rations that were stowed in the lifeboat lockers. When the ship was in harbour, we would prepare the deck cranes and open hatches for the dockworkers. Our first task when the ship sailed was to check the lifeboats for stowaways. On future voyages, I worked as a Bridge Seaman, Fire Gang crewman, and finally the Night Gang.
We had great times in the ‘Pig’ (Pig and Whistle crew bar) with Band nights, Disco nights and Sods Operas (the crew put on a show). Even though passengers were barred from crews’ accommodation, it did not stop them from coming along to the ‘Pig’. Some of the crew organized clubs on these nights and got a variety of crewmembers to join in. Basically, they sat together in groups with different themes and enjoyed the entertainment in the ‘Pig’. There was the ‘Al Bacardi Club’ (entrance to this club was the consumption of a pint of Bacardi rum), the ‘Junk yard’ and ‘Club Gorilla’ plus a few others that I can’t remember. I was a member of ‘Club Gorilla’. Invitation cards were made so that we could invite any female passengers we met.
Paul Oliver sitting directly behind the “Club Gorilla” sign
The crew had a few strange characters amongst
crew, and ‘Roman John’ was one of them. When he wasn’t
working, he would get dressed up in a Roman toga, sandals, and laurels on his
head and carried a large silver goblet. John liked to think that he lived in
the Byzantine period of the
We called at several ports of call en route to
Above and Below: 1977, Oriana departs
Above: the ships crew enjoy the departure from on the fo’c’sle.
I did the Mediterranean Cruising after 3 days
leave returned for one month on 17 Sept. 1977. I flew out to
I managed to get a Deckhand job with Sydney Harbour Ferries in June 1980 and two years later, I sat for my Masters certificate. I have been working as a Ferry Master ever since.
Sydney Farewell’s ss Oriana
This image is from the author’s private collection
I was working on the harbour on
28th May 1986 when Oriana departed
SS Oriana- Main Index:
Part One The building of a liner:
Page 1: The building of SS Oriana
Part Two The Ships History, Photo Pages & Stories:
Page 1: History and Images of the Oriana
Page 2: Oriana Postcards issued in 1960
Page 3:Oriana Photo Album - Page 1
Page 4:Oriana Photo Album - Page 2
6: The Paul Oliver Collection
Page 6: The Paul Oliver Collection
Page6b: Paul Oliver Story
Page 7: Dalian - See the sad photographs of SS Oriana damaged during a storm
Page7b: Oriana at Zhangiagang shipyard in China - Taken 29 July & 9 September 2005
This is recommended reading!
Is available for £23.50 plus p&p from “Ships in Focus”
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Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
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Photographs on ssmaritime and its associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection; be they taken by him, from his private collection such as postcards, images purchased or photographs copied from brochures from his collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors.
However, there are some photographs that have been provided to me by supporters of ssmaritime but without details regarding the photographer or /owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite owners of these images to be so kind as to make them-selves known to me per email at firstname.lastname@example.org, in order that due credit may be given to them.
This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!
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