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Cargo motorship TOURNAI - Owners Wilh. Wilhelmsen. Oslo

Date: 1948
Overall: 740 x 1680 x 460 mm
Medium: Wood, metal, glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Wilhelmsen Agency Pty Ltd
Object Name: Model
Object No: 00000954

User Terms

    Model of the Wilhelmsen Lines cargo ship MV TOURNAI.
    SignificanceThe MV TOURNAI was built at Malmo in 1948 for Wilhelmsen' s as a passenger and passenger/cargo vessel. Its importance to the Museum lies in its service in Australian
    waters during Australia's post World War II trading boom. As a shipyard model its accuracy is reliable .
    HistoryAs seasoned coast watchers might recall, theTOURNAI and her sistership, the former TOURCOING, were built in Sweden in 1947/48 for the Australian trade. At the time the TOURNAI and theTOURCOING, equipped with twin screw propulsion, developed a service speed of 18 knots and a maximum speed of 20 knots .
    Such speed was essential to get Australian wool to European factories in the shortest possible time and with such ships it was possible for Wilhelmsen Lines to live up to it's motto "speed and service". When the TOURNAI was built in 1947/48, it was difficult to obtain a building berth in Europe due to shortages of steel after the war. However, Wilhelmsen had friends at Australia's BHP who helped with the supply of steel plates, so the order could be placed and the vessel was built with Australian steel.
    Another curiosity is the TOURNAI'S bell. The bell is considered to be the ship's symbolic heart and therefore, is always taken off a vessel when she is sold or scrapped. TOURNAI'S bell is well preserved in Australia in a bell tower on Charles Harris' farm at Rylstone. Charles was a senior executive with the Wilhelmsen Agency where he started work at the age of 18 and retired not so long ago after 50 years of service .
    The MV TOURNAI was sold to Greek interests in 1968 and renamed MV PROTON.

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