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Major-General Ter Poorten on board TSS ORANJE II

Major-General Ter Poorten on board TSS ORANJE II

Date: 28 June 1941
Overall: 152 x 205 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00021309
Place Manufactured:Cockatoo Island Dockyard

User Terms

    This image depicts the Dutch representative, Major-General Hein ter Poorten making a speech on board TSS ORANJE II. On 28 June 1941, after a refitting at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Prime Minister Menzies hoisted a Red Cross flag on the Dutch liner ORANJE. The ceremony marked the handing over of the vessel from the Dutch Netherlands Indies Government to the Australian and New Zealand Governments to be used as a hospital ship.
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    HistoryOn 28 June 1941, after a refitting at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, a ceremony was conducted to mark the official handing over of TSS ORANJE II from the Dutch Netherlands Indies Government to the Australian and New Zealand Governments, to be used as a hospital ship.

    Australia's prime minister, Robert Gordon Menzies, made a speech, commending the actions of the Dutch Government saying, 'The ship will be a daily reminder of the neighbourliness existing between the Dutch Indies and Australia' ('The Sydney Morning Herald', 30 June 1941, p. 10). The 'Morning Bulletin' also reported that Menzies described the generous actions of the Dutch Government as 'a piece of practical and unselfish help.' Major-General Hein ter Poorten was the Dutch representative and described the vessel as 'the most beautiful and most modern Netherlands mail steamer'.

    The Royal Netherlands Indies Army placed a unit of its army medical service on board ORANJE. The medical staff was also composed of Australian and New Zealand doctors and nurses.

    Samuel (Sam) John Hood (1872-1953) was born at Glenelg, Adelaide in 1872. His father, John Hood, was a photographer who worked for Duryea's Adelaide Photographic Company. In 1883 John moved with his family to Sydney, and in 1884 Sam followed his lead and began work for another photographer, William Tuttle in Tuttle's Studio, George Street, Sydney.

    In 1899, Sam Hood established his own portrait business at The Adelaide Photographic Co, 256 Pitt St, Sydney. Due to two fires in the studio in the early years he worked from his Balmain home, where he constructed a darkroom and photographed the shipping trade and waterfront workers, which provided a steady income for his growing family. Hood would approach a ship on the assigned tug boat and photograph it as it lay off Sydney Heads. Once the ship reached the dock, Hood would board the vessel and approach the captain to allow him to sell the photographs of the ship to the crew. The captain authorised for the photographs to be paid for by the shipping company and then deducted a fee from the crew's wages.

    In addition to the photographs, Hood worked with ship artists to produce views of vessels under sail. In turn, Hood’s photographs of vessels with their sails furled were used by artists to paint ship portraits. Hood would approach the captain of a ship with a painting in oil or watercolour and ask to borrow the rigging plan on the promise of a similar work.

    Hood is known to have worked with maritime artists Walter Barratt, Reginald Arthur Borstel, George Frederick Gregory, and John Allcot, who was reputedly hired from the MILTIADES after Hood spotted him peddling his wares on board.

    The State Library of NSW holds a significant collection of Hood photographs. The ANMM collection comprises some 9,000 photographs of maritime subjects. It documents the end of the sailing ship era and the growing dominance of steam vessels. This technological advancement had implications for Hood’s business, as steamship crews were less inclined to request photographs of their vessels.

    During the 1910s, Hood had acquired cheap premises at the Dore Studio in the Queen Victoria Markets and continued to produce studio portraits, in addition to ship photography. In 1918, however, Hood transferred to Dalny Studio at 124 Pitt Street, Sydney. Originally owned by Thomas Cleary, Dalny Studio had a contract to supply photographs to the newspapers, Melbourne Argus and the Australasian. This soon also included the Daily Guardian, Daily Telegraph Pictorial, The Labour Daily, Daily News, Sun, and The Sydney Morning Herald. During the 1920s, Hood's work moved from the social and sport pages of newspapers into mainstream reportage.

    During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Hood’s employees included his children Ted and Gladys, as well as several photographers who went onto successful careers as press photographers for various newspapers. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Hood, aged 70, was recruited by the Ministry of News and Information to document the armed services. This period also witnessed the decline of formal studio portraits, which led the Hood studio to pursue more commercial commissions.

    Sam Hood continued working at his studio up until his death in June 1953. He had used the same modified Folmer & Schwing Graflex camera for over forty years.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Major-General Ter Poorten on board TSS ORANJE II

    Assigned title: Possibly Dutch general Ter Poorteu and possibly commander in chief of royal dutch medical corp at event relating to refitting at Cockatoo dock of hospital ship TSS ORANJE II

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