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Angelo Milesi travel diary

Date: 1958
Overall: 208 × 133 × 150 mm, 265 g
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Brian Sear
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Diary
Object No: 00054353

User Terms

    This collection of memorabilia relates to the voyages of Angelo Milesi, his wife Christina and their son Alan from Australia to Britain on ARCADIA and STRATHNAVER in 1958, and Alan's wife Edith Milesi on OTRANTO in 1955.
    SignificanceShip menus, port information booklets, baggage tags and deck plans have always been cherished mementos of a long sea voyage. This collection of souvenirs documents the voyages of the Milesi family to and from Britain, and their experiences of travelling abroad in Europe, in the 1950s. The shipboard diary kept by Angelo Milesi is particularly significant, offering an insight into the activities and conditions onboard 20th century passenger vessels.
    HistoryThis collection of memorabilia relates to the voyages of Angelo Milesi, his wife Christina and their son Alan from Australia to Britain on the P&O liner ARCADIA, and from Britain to Australia on the P&O liner STRATHNAVER, in 1958. The collection also includes souvenirs from Alan's wife Edith Milesi's voyage on the Orient liner OTRANTO in 1955.

    In February 1958 the Milesi family departed Melbourne for Britain on ARCADIA. ARCADIA was built by John Brown & Co at Clydebank, Scotland in 1954. It had accommodation for 675 first and 735 tourist class passengers and departed Tilbury on its maiden voyage to Australia on 22 February 1954. ARCADIA underwent an extensive refit in 1959, with air conditioning extended through the ship, and cabins and public rooms upgraded and refurbished. At the end of 1959 it departed Sydney on its first voyage across the Pacific to San Francisco. Following its conversion to accommodate 1,372 passengers in one class, ARCADIA made a series of cruises to Alaska and Mexico, before being based in Sydney for cruises to the South Pacific and Asia. It was broken up in Taiwan in 1979.

    The Milesi family spent six months on a grand tour of Europe, visiting England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France and Belgium. Angelo Milesi was one of 13 children from an Italian migrant family living in the Hepburn/Daylesford area in Victoria. Angelo's father migrated from Bergamo in northern Italy to work on the Victorian goldfields in the 1850s. Angelo and his wife Christina had one son, Alan, born in 1922. Alan was an architectural draughtsman and served in the Survey Company in the Australian Imperial Force from 1940-1945.

    The Milesi family returned to Australia on STRATHNAVER in August 1958. STRATHNAVER was built for P&O by Vickers-Armstrong and departed on its maiden voyage from Tilbury to Australia in 1931. It was requisitioned as a troopship during World War II and returned to passenger service in 1950. STRATHNAVER was refitted to carry 1,252 passengers in tourist class. It was broken up in Hong Kong in 1962.

    Alan and Edith Milesi married in 1960. In 1955 Edith had travelled to Britain on OTRANTO, where she could only afford to buy small souvenirs such as the butter knife and napkin ring. OTRANTO was built by Vickers-Armstrong for the Orient Line and departed Tilbury in 1926 on its maiden voyage to Australia. It carried 572 first and 1,114 third class passengers. It was converted into a landing ship during World War II. OTRANTO was released by the British Government in 1948 and refitted to accommodate 1,416 tourist class passengers. It returned to service in 1949 carrying assisted British migrants to Australia. OTRANTO was sold to shipbreakers in 1957.

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