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Menu from MV MANUNDA

Date: 6 February 1956
Overall: 204 x 125 mm, 1 mm, 0.005 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Godschall Johnson
Object Name: Menu
Object No: 00027319

User Terms

    This menu, which was on board the Adelaide Steamship Company’s MV MANUNDA on 6 February 1956, features the Captain’s name, J.W. Sampson, date and location of the dinner 'At Sydney', along with the dinner list comprising a range of cuisines.
    SignificanceShipboard menus were the most common type of souvenir collected by passengers and crew. This particular menu was collected by a crew member on MANUNDA, while it served the Fremantle route. This menu provides an insight into the dinner services hosted for passengers travelling on MANUNDA during its final months serving the east coast route.
    HistoryMANUNDA was built in 1929 by Wm. Beardmore and Company Ltd, Glasgow, to service the thriving Australian coastal trade. MANUNDA was designed as a passenger liner for service between Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns. After MANUNDA collided with Birkenhead Wharf, Sydney, the vessel operated to Cairns and Fremantle only.

    In 1939, MANUNDA was requisitioned by the Australian Government to assist in the war effort. In May 1940, the vessel was converted into a hospital ship and sailed to Darwin and Port Moresby, followed by the Middle East, transporting wounded soldiers back to Australia. During the Japanese bombing of Darwin, MANUNDA continued to serve as a hospital for injured crew members of other ships anchored in the harbour. Despite its status as a hospital, a bomb exploded near the vessel, killing four people on MANUNDA. Another bomb exploded on C deck, killing a further 12 people and injuring around 150 others. Despite the damage caused by the attack, MANUNDA sailed to Fremantle the next day for repairs. MANUNDA served out the remainder of the war as a hospital for Allied forces stationed in Milne Bay, Papua. Overall, MANUNDA transported over 30,000 casualties to safety.

    After the Japanese surrendered, MANUNDA sailed to Singapore to liberate Australians who had been imprisoned in Changi prison. MANUNDA was then released from government service. After receiving a refit, the vessel resumed the Australian coastal service in 1948. By 1956, however, Adelaide Steamship Company decided to withdraw MANUNDA from service.

    There are a large number of shipboard menus in the museum’s collection and a vast majority of these menus appeared in passenger liners serving international routes. This shipboard menu offers a rare glimpse into life on board a coastal vessel, which was by this point, on one of its last voyages across the east coast of Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Dinner at Sydney, MV MANUNDA, Monday 6 February 1956

    Web title: Menu from MV MANUNDA

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