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Date: 17 February 1929
Overall: 106 x 169 mm, 0.012 kg
Medium: Ink, card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Menu
Object No: 00017924

User Terms

    This dinner menu, which was on board the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company’s passenger liner SS ORMISTON on 17 February 1929, appears in the form of a postcard with illustrations of the vessel and native Australian plants on the cover. The back cover depicts a map of eastern Australia and the vessel’s trade routes between Cairns and Melbourne.
    SignificanceShipboard menus were the most common type of souvenir collected by passengers. This particular menu was collected by a passenger on board ORMISTON and is unlike other menus in that it comes in the form of a postcard. This is indicative of its nature as a memento of the 1929 voyage, which sailed between Cairns and Melbourne, stopping at Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney.
    HistoryThe Australasian United Steam Navigation Company Ltd (AUSN) was formed in 1887 and remained one of Australia’s most prominent coastal shipping companies until its collapse in 1961. Built in 1922 for the Khedivial Mail Steamship Company, it was not until 1926 that the AUSN purchased the vessel and renamed it ORMISTON.

    After arriving in Sydney in poor condition, repairs were completed before ORMISTON could commence the Australian coastal passenger trade between Cairns and Melbourne. After servicing this route until 1935, ORMISTON was chartered as a cargo transport from Newcastle to Fremantle. During the next couple of years, ORMISTON also served the Sydney to Tasmania passenger route.

    Although the vessel continued to service the east coast route until 1942, ORMISTON suffered substantial damage when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine off Coffs Harbour. Whilst receiving repairs to the hull on the portside of the ship, ORMISTON was taken over by the Royal Australian Navy and requisitioned as a troop transport. After fulfilling this function for the remainder of the war, ORMISTON recommenced the passenger coastal service between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. In 1955, ORMISTON was withdrawn from service, being the last passenger vessel to be operated by AUSN.

    There are a large number of shipboard menus in the museum’s collection and a vast majority of these menus appeared in passenger liners. This shipboard menu is from one of Australia’s largest coastal shipping companies and is from a prosperous period in AUSN’s history, when it had just begun the coastal service between Cairns and Melbourne.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Menu from SS ORMISTON

    Primary title: MENU FROM THE SS "ORMISTON"

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