Category Archives: Rangitiki

Rangitane first voyage – partial listing

I have just added a partial listing for the maiden voyage of the Rangitane which took place on 26th January 1950. One notable passenger on the list was The Countess of Orford (who I believe may have been visiting her daughter, or travelling with her daughter, Lady Anne Berry, although this is just a guess).

I have also found The Countess Orford on the Rangitiki in May 1949 on the voyage from Auckland, New Zealand to Southampton, UK, where her occupation is listed as “Peeress”!

The Rangitane called at Pitcairn Island on this maiden voyage but not many of the Pitcairners visited the ship. According to the book Pitcairn Island as a Port of Call, by Herbert Ford, Pitcairn postmaster Roy Clark wrote:

Yesterday a large passenger ship called here, but because it was Sabbath, not many went off to the ship, for on this day [the Sabbath] we do no trading. I think a good few of the passengers were disappointed. On these Sabbath-calling ships we do missionary work by giving away our [religious] papers.

Rangitiki – night time call at Pitcairn, September 1960


Ken Sunshine recently contacted me through this Blog asking if I knew where to find the passenger list for the Rangitiki, from London to Wellington, in September 1960. I managed to track it down on (a free website), and in the meantime, Ken also found a different listing on (you will need to be a paid up member to see this listing). Neither of these sites take their information from the printed passenger lists (as this Blog does), but from the official New Zealand Shipping Company listings.


According to Pitcairn Island as a Port of Call by Herbert Ford, the Rangitiki called at Pitcairn on 26th September on that particular voyage, so I asked Ken for his memories of the event:

pitcairn-029“We did indeed call at Pitcairn. 57 years on it is still a vivid memory.

We dropped anchor about 2 a.m. Out of the darkness canoes appeared, tied up alongside, occupants with their wares clambered up the sides of Rangitiki and set up on the deck. All I remember were bunches of small bananas and carved wood items. We bought two turtles inscribed “Pitcairn Island” and “From Pitcairn Island, made by Sam Young”.

pitcairn-030At 4 a.m. the ‘market’ closed, the visitors returned whence they had come and to the strains of Aloha-Oe disappeared into the blackness.

Most of the passengers slept through the whole event and missed a wonderful experience.”

I did not realise that ships called at Pitcairn in the middle of the night, I assumed they would just pass by. But as shipping has always been an important lifeline for Pitcairn, and in the days before email, with mail being so important, day or night would not matter to the islanders.

The photograph at the top of this post was taken by Tony Probst. It shows Pitcairn Island just before sunrise. Venus can be seen just above the moon. Clicking on the photograph will take you to Tony’s “Smugmug” site where you can see some fabulous photographs of Pitcairn Island. The other photographs show Ken’s Pitcairn turtles, purchased in 1960.

Partial Rangitiki listing for 1949

Another partial listing has been found in an eBay auction item. The vendor reproduced the First Class passengers only, but it was clear enough to be re-typed and listed here.

Please let me know if you find anything interesting, or perhaps a family connection, in these lists. And don’t forget that this Blog has been set up with the aim of raising money for Cancer Research – please give generously. Thank you.

Luxurious Rangitiki

To promote the luxurious Rangitiki, these two images were printed in the August 1938 passenger list for the voyage of the Remuera which has just been added on this website (click here).

First we see the Adams Drawing Room for first class passengers, complete with open fireplace, easy chairs, potted palms and piano. Goodness only knows what it was like in rough weather – have a look at Aileen Mckay’s description of the gales that the Rangitane suffered in 1961 (click here).


The second image features the first class Louis XVI dining saloon. What a civilised way to travel.


Rangitane & Rangitiki passenger lists added

Two new passenger lists have just been added as new pages on this site.

(1) Rangitane, from Wellington on 20th February, 1954

(2) Rangitiki, from London on 16th March, 1962

More to come, please check back again, and please help by supporting my fund raising for Cancer Research. Any donation will help, from £2 upwards. Donations can be made anonymously if you wish. Just click on the NZSC flag on the right.

Entertainment on the Rangitiki in 1960

There is a new “Entertainment” page which can be accessed via the “Ephemera” link at the top of the page. Thanks to Bruce G. Fuller, a historian and author from Te Kuiti, New Zealand, we can now have a brief picture of the kind of entertainment offered to passengers on board a 1960 New Zealand Shipping Company cruise liner. Bruce was a passenger on the voyage, and he kindly sent me copies of his passenger list and other items of interest.

The Concert programme for Sunday 8th May, 1960, includes a wide variety of performances ranging from a silhouette show and a magician, to jugglers, singers, dancers and an accordionist. These performances were given by talented (hopefully) passengers whose names can also be found on the listing – click here.

On the evening of Monday, 9th May, passengers were treated to a showing of the film Alias Jesse James, which had been released just a year earlier. I hope you enjoy the brief extract below, courtesy of YouTube.