Doulos Phos 2010 - located on the resort
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A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she remains with us to this very day!
With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author
Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960
A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she remains with us to this very day!
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 and I hope that the well over 675 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers ships I have written on will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts and continue a great deal of information and pleasure!
SS Medina (1914-1948) was sold and
MS Franca C (1952-1977) - MV Doulos (1977-2010)
Doulos Phos (2010
- ) A land-locked Hotel at
“A Ship Like no Other”
By Reuben Goossens
Paul Christmann (Goworowski) sails to
Paul Christmann holds the photograph of the SS Roma
Photograph by & © 2008 - Sven Benseler MV Doulos
This page contains an interesting insight of
the SS Roma’s voyage to
A section containing the family listing on the official “International Refugee Organisation” manifest
© Australian National Archives – used with permission - www.naa.gov.au
On this page, you will read Paul’s fascinating story of his voyage on the SS Roma as seen through his eyes and memory. I am very grateful to him contributing to this feature for it gives us another insight to this remarkable voyage of which so little has been known!
Memories from a boy who loved SS Roma bow!
Obviously the War had a bearing on all our lives and due to circumstances I had been living in a Catholic Children’s Home in Riegel (Kaiserstuhl) for several years without any contact with my mother.
One surprise after another
Then late in 1949 my mother arrived at the
Home with a half brother and a stepfather who was an ex-prisoner of War from
The paperwork took a long time to be completed
but eventually we were put on a train and moved on to another transit camp,
this time in Wildflecken. It seemed to me that Wildflecken was used to assemble migrants from all over
Finally we board the SS Roma & I discover my accommodations
After what seemed an eternity, we were
transported by train to a small
Cabins were allocated for mothers with infants and young children, of which there seemed many. My mother and my young brother were accommodated in a cabin. Because my mother was not very well my stepfather was also allowed share her cabin, as normally husbands were separated from their wives and children and slept and ate forward in a separate part of the ship. I was bedded down in the forward Hold with the rest of the men in what were rather crammed quarters. The bunks were erected four tiers high and about a meter apart, with the end of the bunk budding on the next bed bunk. I was allocated a top bunk on the right side of the ship next to a porthole. There was no need for a locker, for I had no possessions. Everything that the family owned was contained in a single medium sized suitcase which was in the cabin with my mother. The Hold had no air-conditioning and became quite stuffy in the ensuing weeks.
At 5 pm on October, 30, 1950, the Roma
silently slipped her moorings and slowly glided along the channel pass the
mudflats. I was hanging onto the rails on the upper deck watching
Exploring the Ship and the Bow
Next morning I was up early and the first in the Mess room for breakfast. By the time I had finished eating, the rest of the passengers were streaming in and I was glad to be free to explore the ship. All decks were of interest to me and I quickly discovered that access around the bridge area was denied and I was warned not to climb into the lifeboats. After lunch I went up to the bow stepping over the anchor chain to stand on a little footplate right up front. It was a fantastic thrill, salt laden winds blowing into my face and when I looked over the top, no easy task with my short legs, I could see the bow cutting into the sea dividing the water and sending a white topped wave either side. I felt as if I was in charge of the ship and propelling it into the mighty oceans of the world. This was pretty much my daily routine at this early time. The fact that the bow deck was off limits to passengers did not deter me, although I was often guided away and repeatedly warned that I must not go to the bow, eventually the ships officers just gave up. During the course of the day the decks came alive with passengers catching some fresh air and exchanging shortfalls in their allocated accommodation and the excellence or otherwise of the Italian based cuisine.
Meeting up with the Family and other experiences
I saw nothing of my family on this day and
that remained to be so, until we went through the
After the excitement of the first few days’ things pretty much settled into normal routine. After dinner on the second day I was a witness to my first experience of sea sickness. Several people started dashing out of the mess room heading for the deck. I wondered what the sudden attraction was that caused so many to rush out. I didn’t want to miss anything so I followed them out only to discover many people leaning over the rails being sick. After the sight of that I pretty much kept to myself, what ever it was that made those people sick I didn’t want to catch it.
The mess room was pretty much deserted at meal
times all the while we sailed towards
From this point on passengers were getting about on deck, just lazing about, sun baking, talking, promenading and bringing some of the children up. The crew set-up a table tennis table and hung up some fishnets around the perimeter. One of the crew explained how the game was scored and taught a couple of us boys how to play it. Within a few days several boys of about the same age came out of the woodwork and we put the table tennis set to continuous use. None of the adults seemed interested to play or they might have just been happy that it kept us occupied. The weather continued to be very warm and sunny. We were often accompanied by Dolphins and flying fish, some people seemed to be on permanent Dolphin watch, every so often on various days the cry would go out and we would all rush to one side to see them. I often saw them just inches from the bow. Swimming along side, but I wouldn’t let on about it. They didn’t seem to have any trouble keeping up with the speed of our ship.
When we reached
Our next stop was
Soon we headed to sea again. The weather remained hot and sunny and the nights too warm to remain below. Many passengers bedded down on deck to escape their stuffy cabins. I had spend my nights on the top deck every night among the life boats since we passed Gibraltar and did so off and on all the way to Australia.
Engine problems & my visit to the Bridge
One day when I was leaning on the lower deck
railing playing my mouthorgan, a man with greasy hands came to stand beside me
smoking a cigarette. He spoke to me telling me that he was an Egyptian and the
chief engineer of the ship and that we would have to put in at
Like I was told by the engineer, we duly put
into port in
During all our ports of call,
When we left
Not long after we left
Soon preparations began to be made to celebrate the crossing of the equator, the crew members and a fair lot of the passengers got involved in the planning. I didn’t understand it and when it was explained to me, I couldn’t understand why there was a need to make such a fuss about it. When the day arrived, a show was put on with King Neptune ruling supreme, a lot of water got sloshed about and all the crazies had a great time. The decorations were very nice and we were rewarded with special treats, but I felt no different on the bottom part of the world than I had done on the top.
Bad weather, Fremantle & more bad weather
Four days out from Fremantle we got a taste of
what it was like when the sea becomes really angry. Only fools and I ventured
out on deck. The right side of the deck was virtually under water with the
waves crashing over it and the next deck up was also roped of on the right side
and off limits. The spray even reached the top deck where the life boats were. The waves were coming at an angle from the
rear and towered over the ship which rolled from side to side and at the same
time dipped sharply forward into the sea. When she was down in a trough you
looked at a huge wall of water that seemed much higher than the ship. Than she
would rise up on a crest like a roller coaster but you couldn’t
see past the first wave, there was only a lot of dark water and a sky full of
spray. This was the time when I went off my food and got my first taste of sea sickness. But nothing stayed on the tables in the mess
rooms anyway. When I felt that I might be able to eat something, I would
venture to the bakery for a bread roll. I don’t
know how the rest of the passengers managed, sleep was impossible and going
back to the hold was out too. So I spend my time catnapping amongst the life boats next to the smoke stack on the windless side
until we reached Fremantle. There we docked for a couple of days. Then we
sailed across the
We arrive in our new homeland
On a very hot December 18, 1950 we finally
Photograph: I was still thirteen here, it taken at Greta Camp in 1950. I presume shortly after Christmas judging by that toy pistol strapped to my waist. Photograph Provided by Paul Christmann.
This was of course the beginning of a new
story which was written in 949 different ways and of which we know nothing at the
time. But as the years have passed many of all those souls have made various
contributions to help this country into the 21st century. Some contributions were large, ans
some small, but none were without merit, and their descendants will continue to
be an influence in
Paul Christmann and his dear lady visit the Bridge on the Doulos, rekindling memories of his visit there back in 1950
Photograph by & © Copyright 2008 - Stephen Moore
Go to - Chapter Four - Doulos at Sea
– Page One - Aug 19 & 21 -
Chapter Four - Doulos at Sea – Page One - Aug 19 & 21 -
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