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MACDHUI Racing Club Picnic Races card

Date: 3 December 1938
Overall: 160 x 95 mm, 7.42 g
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Robin Corringham
Object Name: Race card
Object No: 00009491

User Terms

    Sumptuous dinners and deckside games, particularly horse races, were often highlights of a long sea voyage and many passengers cherished mementos of these events. This ship menu and race card are souvenirs from the Burns Philp Liner MV MACDHUI, which operated between Sydney, Papua and New Guinea.
    SignificanceThis ship menu and race card from MV MACDHUI provide an insight into the fine dining and entertainment activities onboard the Burns Philp inter-island liner during the 1930s. Incorporated in 1883, Burns Philp operated a fleet of merchant ships between Australia and the South Pacific.
    HistoryMr and Mrs Cook and their daughter Robin sailed from Finschhafen, New Guinea to Sydney, Australia on MV MACDHUI in 1938. They had been living at Cliffside on the Bulolo goldfields, where Mr Cook was employed as a contract engineer. They returned home to Sydney in December 1938 to arrange schooling for Robin, who was eight or nine years old at the time.

    MV MACDHUI was built by Barclay Curle & Co in Glasgow in 1930. It embarked on its maiden voyage in March 1931, sailing to Fiji via Jamaica and the Panama Canal. In May MACDHUI commenced service for the Burns Philp Line from Sydney to Papua and New Guinea. It had accommodation for 167 first class passengers.

    MACDHUI was commandeered by the Royal Australian Navy during World War II, evacuating civilians from Manila and Rabaul to Port Moresby. MACDHUI was also used to transport troops and supplies for the defence of New Guinea.

    On 17 June 1942 MACDHUI was attacked by Japanese bombers at Port Moresby, as members of the 39th Battalion unloaded aviation fuel from the vessel's hold. Four crew members were killed. Japanese aircraft returned the following day, dropping approximately 68 bombs on MACDHUI. The vessel burst into flames and the crew were ordered to abandon ship. Six crew were killed and seven wounded in the attack. MACDHUI sank in Fairfax Harbour near the village of Hanubada.

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