Former colleagues from Island's steamship era to reunite in May

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  • <B>An old tourism poster</B> featuring the <I>Queen of Bermuda </I>steamship<B></B>

    An old tourism poster featuring the Queen of Bermuda steamship

  • <B>Bygone era: </B>The great, three-funneled Furness-Withy liner <I>Queen of Bermuda </I>pulling into Hamilton Harbour in a shot taken from the grounds of the old Bermudiana Hotel. Crew members who worked on the steamship, and the <I>Ocean Monarch</I>, are to reunite for a celebration in the UK in May. Amongst those who hope to attend is Fred Burney, now 93, who worked as a bellboy on the <I>Ocean Monarch </I>in 1933 the year it made its maiden voyage to Bermuda. The former crew members meet once every two years.<I></I>

    Bygone era: The great, three-funneled Furness-Withy liner Queen of Bermuda pulling into Hamilton Harbour in a shot taken from the grounds of the old Bermudiana Hotel. Crew members who worked on the steamship, and the Ocean Monarch, are to reunite for a celebration in the UK in May. Amongst those who hope to attend is Fred Burney, now 93, who worked as a bellboy on the Ocean Monarch in 1933 the year it made its maiden voyage to Bermuda. The former crew members meet once every two years.


Crew members who sailed with the Furness Bermuda Line are meeting again to celebrate their time aboard the iconic steamships.

Veterans of the Queen of Bermuda, Ocean Monarch and Monarch of Bermuda will gather this May at the Merchant Seaman's War Memorial Society in Surrey, UK and they want former shipmates to get in touch.

Organiser Peter Manley, who started as a bellboy on the Ocean Monarch in 1962, said: “We're getting to the end of an era. We were joined last year by Fred Burney, a lad who'd worked as a bellboy on the Monarch of Bermuda in 1933. Fred will be 93 and he's still hoping to make it again this year.”

Out of the group's first reunion in 2009 came a Furness Bermuda Line website, a repository for memories and history surrounding the ships.

The site now includes a link where visitors can hear the Queen of Bermuda's triple-chime steam whistle.

“It was a very distinctive sound. When the ship set sail on Wednesday afternoons from Front Street in Hamilton, you could hear that whistle all over the Island.”

The ship made its maiden voyage to Bermuda in 1933. Mr Manley joined it after his term on the Monarch.

“I was working there as a waiter when it returned to Scotland to be broken up in 1966,” he said.

Bermudian Allen Soares, who worked as a bellboy and then a waiter on the Queen of Bermuda from 1961 to 1965, said the reunions will continue as a biennual event.

“It was something that had finished 43 years ago, but at our first reunion I recognised the old faces right away.”

l For information, contact Mr Soares at 337 3923, or go to www.furnessbermudaline.com.

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Published Jan 27, 2011 at 8:25 am (Updated Jan 27, 2011 at 8:24 am)

Former colleagues from Island's steamship era to reunite in May

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