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Orient Line RMS ORONTES 20,000 Tons

Date: 1929-1960
Overall: 139 mm
Medium: Photographic print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00001748

User Terms

    This sepia-toned postcard features a photographic image of the Orient Liner RMS ORONTES. The vessel is in a harbour with its funnels steaming, shown from port side.

    The Orient Line - along with the Aberdeen and Sitmar Lines - transported thousands of child migrants from the UK to Australia until the child migration schemes ended in the 1960s.
    SignificanceThis postcard relates to a significant period in Australia's migration history, when thousands of children and youths emigrated from the UK through various church and philanthropic schemes as labour for rural Australia - all while bolstering the population with 'good British stock'.
    HistoryFrom the 1860s, more than 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes. They were sent by charitable and religious organisations, with government support, in the belief that their lives would improve, and that they would provide much-needed labour and increase the population.

    Few were orphans; many came from families who were unable to care for them. The lives of these children changed dramatically and fortunes varied. Some succeeded in creating new futures. Others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced disruption and separation from family and homeland. Child migration schemes received criticism from the outset, yet continued until the 1960s.

    Until the early 1960s most child migrants to Australia travelled by sea, sailing on vessels of the Aberdeen, Orient and Sitmar Lines. Names such as STRATHNAVER, ORMONDE, ORONSAY and FAIRSKY still evoke powerful memories for many former child migrants.

    Launched in 1929, RMS ORONTES operated on the UK - Australia service via the Suez Canal for the greater part of its working life, first serving on the Orient's London - Brisbane run in October 1929. During World War II ORONTES was requisitioned by the Royal Navy, taking part in campaigns in North Africa and Sicily and transporting troops to the Pacific. After the war, ORONTES returned to the London - Sydney service and became the longest serving vessel on the UK - Australia run (an extraordinary 33 years). In 1960 ORONTES was replaced by the ORIANA, and two years later was broken up in Spain.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Orient Line RMS ORONTES 20,000 Tons

    Web title: Orient Line RMS ORONTES

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