Sunday, September 26, 2010

1964 - Castel Felice on route to Australia.



Arriving on board at Southampton.
  


A photo of me with some other bewildered kids struggling with the lady's Italian accent.
I'm the one second on the left of the lady reading.



I remember that not long out of Southampton  we experienced a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay. our cabin was located on deck C, forrad and to port, the small porthole spent  most of the time underwater. We were seasick along with most of the passengers and crew. The best thing to for seasickness is to be on deck, so we did, I remember being in a saloon at night watching the storm.


My Mum and Dad sitting closest on the right. there was two sittings, one separate for the children




A lapel badge

Our voyage took us though the Suez Canal, the Ship stopping at Port Said, Aden, Fremantle, Melbourne, finally arriving in Sydney. We disembarked at Station Pier in Melbourne and traveled the last leg to Launceston, Tasmania, by  plane, an Ansett ANA Fokker Friendship


The Castel Felice has quite a history. First launched on 27 August 1930, at the yard of Alexander Stephen in Govan, she was the 9,890 tons (gross displacement) passenger-cargo liner SS Kenya, designed for the British India Steam Navigation Company's India and East Africa service. She then became HMS Hydra, a troop carrier for Royal Navy in World War II, then converted to an armed infantry landing ship, HMS Keren, she saw service in various roles, including the invasion of Sicily and Italy. In 1949, Kenya underwent a complete conversion for the liner services and entered Sitmar service as the Castel Felice in 1952.


POSTCARD : S / S CASTEL FELICE, SITMAR LINE GENOA

At 12,400 tons she carried 596 cabin passengers and 944 emigrants. Castel Felice made her first voyage to Australia in 1952 but made only a few cruises from Sydney. She made a number of liner voyages from Europe to the Americas before being sold for breaking up in Taiwan in 1970.

25 comments:

  1. david heaney torontoDecember 25, 2011

    we left southampton in 1962 on the castel felice bound for freemantle, I was 10 years old, our family returned 2 years later on the aurelia. both ships were tiny compared to those of today. I will never forget the great adventure and my childhood years in australia

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    1. Hello David, Sorry I didn't reply sooner. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It must have had a big impact on me as my art teacher would ask me to draw paint etc anything but a ship. :-)
      Best regards,
      Paul

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  2. Really enjoyed looking at your pictures of the Castel Felice.We emigrated to Australia on the same ship in September 1964;I was 8 years old.Perhaps we sailed on the ship at the same time? I distinctly remember the improvised "school" lessons we had to have everyday which you show in your photo.We disembarked at Adelaide.To me it was one long adventure and probably why I enjoy cruising so much now!
    In 1968 we returned to the UK also on the Castel Felice.

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  3. Hello Robert, We arrived in Australia in January 1965, so it would have been late November / Early December 1964 we left Southampton. I would think you were on the voyage before us. Glad you liked the photos, there is also some old 8mm film I must find and see if it is OK to transfer to a digital medium. Yes, that was on of those classes and I remember watching some films too. My dad had a job to go to in Launceston Tasmania which had a pleasant temperate climate and wasn't as hot as the "mainland". I'm employed by the Royal Australian Navy, so I still have a connection to ships and the sea. :-)
    Best regards,

    Paul

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  4. AnonymousJune 22, 2013

    Hello Paul and Robert, I arrived in Australia in 1964, I guess it must have been September. I was 5 and only remember the boats with leather goods through the Suez canal and we have photos of us kids in a dress up competition. I also remember being sick on the ship. I'm looking into getting citizenship at long last and that's when I came across this while looking to find the date we docked.
    Cheers
    Julia

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  5. AnonymousJune 28, 2013

    Hi Paul, we emigrated from Swansea, Wales on the Castel Felice also, arriving in Melbourne in April or May 1964 - so you just beat us! I turned 5 on 24 May 1964. We moved 3 years later to New Zealand where we have lived ever since. Great to read your story and view your pictures! Kind regards, Phil Kerslake
    E Phil@lifepaths.co.nz

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    1. AnonymousJuly 03, 2014

      Hi my name is chris and we left neath in wales in 1964 and travelled on the castel felice. In 2 days it will be fifty years ago and we left when I was 11

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    2. Hi Chris we also left on 5th July 1964 from Southampton and arrived in Australia mid August ... so i am assuming from your post that it was 5th August that the Castel Felice docked ... i have been wanting to find out the exact date so that we also could celebrate our 50th year in Australia .. i was only 7 when we arrived ... i remember stopping in Fremantle for a quick meal with family and then on to Sydney ... where did you disembark so i can work out the approx date for Sydney ??? hope you can remember !! thanks

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  6. Fifty years ago today we got off this ship in Brisbane 1/8/1963. The rest as they say is History

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    1. michael welchJanuary 24, 2014

      hi, I think we were on the same voyage,we disembarked in Sydney 29 july 63,having boarded Southampton 24th june.

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  7. Hello - It was great to see your photos of the Castle Felice- my family boarded her in 1964 in Southampton(I think around August) I will never forget seeing her for the first time I was 9yrs old and we had never seen anything like it before- to me she looked magnificent - yes the Bay of Biscay was rough, we stopped in Genova, Rome, Naples, Messina, Port Said, Aden, Freemantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney then we got off in Auckland. I went to the school on board & loved the pool, especially when it was a bit rough. elaine Hemingway - nee connell

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    1. Hello Elaine, I think you must have been on the trip before ours, many more stops.

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  8. Facebook Page for the passengers of the Castel Felice https://www.facebook.com/castel.feliceship?fref=ts

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  9. Hi Paul, I think my family were on the ship with you. We left Southampton in December 1964 and arrived in Sydney on 16th January 1965. I was too young to remember (was only two) but my older siblings remember it. So this weekend we are having a family celebration....50 years in Australia, and it is at my house. I have decided to replicate a menu from the Castel Felice. Can you shed some light on what we may have eaten??? My parents say the food was not great! Our surname was McGregor...my eldest brother Ian was nine, my sister Ailsa was five, brother Mark was 3 and I was 2.

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  10. I remember leaving Southampton on 5 July 1964 and arriving in Port Adelaide about the 6 August.

    It was a real adventure for an 8 year old. We passed through the Suez Canal and I remember being locked in our cabin because our parents were worried that we might be kidnapped.

    Those poor Italian stewards had a real fight with me because I would not eat the spinach and they threatened not to give me cassata ice-cream, which was okay, because I didn't like fruit peel.

    And Mum visited the galley and showed the cooks that salt in the porridge made it more palatable. It became a big hit after that.

    The Great Australian Bight was the worse part of the trip - very rough and few people going to breakfast.

    Does anyone remember Dick who played the piano accordion and tried to teach us Click Got the Shears, Waltzing Matilda and Bound For Botany Bay?

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  11. I remember leaving Southampton on 5 July 1964 and arriving in Port Adelaide about the 6 August.

    It was a real adventure for an 8 year old. We passed through the Suez Canal and I remember being locked in our cabin because our parents were worried that we might be kidnapped.

    Those poor Italian stewards had a real fight with me because I would not eat the spinach and they threatened not to give me cassata ice-cream, which was okay, because I didn't like fruit peel.

    And Mum visited the galley and showed the cooks that salt in the porridge made it more palatable. It became a big hit after that.

    The Great Australian Bight was the worse part of the trip - very rough and few people going to breakfast.

    Does anyone remember Dick who played the piano accordion and tried to teach us Click Got the Shears, Waltzin Matilda and Bound For Botany Bay?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I came out on the Castel Felici arriving in Adelaide in August 1966 as a 13 year old with my parents and two siblings.
    It was an adventure I will never forget. It makes me quite emotional to see your pictures. I remember so much of the journey.
    It seems like a lifetime ago, and is a quite perturbing reminder of the passing of time.
    The crew were respectful and gracious. The food was excellent.
    I remember us going through a cyclone in the India ocean. I wasn't sick but many of the crew and passengers were. The ship rolled so much that the contents of the swimming pool emptied.
    In calmer weather I remember standing at the prow (at the very front stem) of the ship and holding out my arms with the wind in my face.
    Ever since the trip, I have told numerous people that simply nothing compares to sea travel. The era of planes has deprived people of an incomparable travel experience.
    Both my parents have died, so all I have now is memories; this journey is one of the most important.
    Thanks.

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  13. Do you remember what date the Casel Felice left Southhampton in 1966 August some time

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    1. ken wakelinAugust 24, 2016

      25/aug I arrived in Sydney sept 66 emigrated on my own aged 22. have had a woderfull 50 years in oz now retired on the central coast nsw.

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  14. Facebook page for Castel Felice and memories of ten pounds poms:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/930780660316526/search/?query=1964

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  15. A great page for us who came over on the Castel Felice. As you can see I joined the page some time ago. Best wishes, Paul.

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  16. Hi Paul. My wife and I sailed to Oz in December 1964 on the Castel Felice and arrived in Melbourne in January 1965. Docked in Aden on Christmas day. Is that the voyage you were on? Bill Biggar

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  17. Hello Bill, Yes we were on the same voyage, you both appear on the passenger list I have. I remember Aden well. Thanks for saying hello.

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    1. Bill BiggarOctober 04, 2017

      I'll bet you also remember crossing The Great Australian Bight! I wonder how many hundreds of pieces of crockery were smashed while the waves were hitting us sideways!!! My wife developed appendicitis during the last few weeks of the voyage and the ship's doctor was frightened to death in case he had to operate. Do you have a link to the passenger list?

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  18. Remembered crossing the bite very well and the storm in the bay of Biscay that laid some people low with sea sickness. Put you surname and year 1965 into the link below and you will find your records. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/PassengerSearch.aspx

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