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Souvenir Menu - MONOWAI Sounds Cruise - March 1934

Date: 1934
Overall: 160 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from J McPhail
Object Name: Menu
Object No: 00001918

User Terms

    This menu was featured on board the Union Steamship Company’s TSS MONOWAI II in March 1934.
    SignificanceShipboard menus were the most common type of souvenir collected by passengers. This particular menu illustrates how luxury cruise liners aimed to entertain and create a memorable experience for their passengers through various social events including musical performances, fancy dress balls and elaborate banquets.
    HistoryAffectionately christened ‘The Grand Old Lady of the Tasman’, TSS MONOWAI II replaced the Trans Pacific liner TAHITI for the Sydney, New Zealand and San Francisco tour in 1930. Shortly after the onset of the Great Depression, MONOWAI was diverted to the Trans-Tasman route between Wellington and Sydney until the faster AWATEA took over the route in 1936.

    After being requisitioned by the Royal New Zealand Navy during World War II as a troop transport, MONOWAI transported thousands of displaced Europeans to various destinations around the world. One of these passengers was Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, whose personal ‘Diary’ became famous symbol of Nazi oppression after the war. In 1949, MONOWAI recommenced the Trans-Tasman service. After servicing the Trans-Tasman route for another eleven years, MONOWAI was finally sold to Far East Metal Industry and Shipping Company in Hong Kong before being demolished.

    This shipboard menu reveals how social events were structured throughout MONOWAI's journey. It not only reveals the influence of French cuisine as the preferred method of fine dining, it also contains details of the programme of music, fancy dress ball, autographs section and a welcome message from the Captain. Newspapers in the day published social news sections, detailing events and well-known passengers on board MONOWAI. In light of these newspaper postings, the menu provides an insight into the tactics designed to create a positive social experience for passengers, with the ultimate goal of encouraging new passengers to travel with ‘The Grand Old Lady of the Tasman’.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Souvenir Menu - MONOWAI Sounds Cruise - March 1934

    Web title: Souvenir menu from TSS MONOWAI II

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