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Lunch menu on board SS CHANGTE with handwritten text.

Date: 9 September 1959
Height: 178mm, width: 111mm.
Medium: Paper, ink.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Elaine Beeham
Object Name: Menu
Object No: ANMS0841[010]

User Terms

    Lunch menu for SS CHANGTE comprised of a white card with a blue Australian & Oriental Line emblem. Features handwritten text in pencil reading " Each morning I am bathed / in deck washings and / drenched to the skin, whilst / lying in bed..."
    SignificanceThis menu was collected by Captain Eric Beeham who was master of SS CHANGTE during the 1950s. Shipboard menus such as these were often printed to be souvenirs and were collected as mementos of their travels by crew and passengers. Many shipping companies produced their own series of collectable menus with themes such as exotic destinations or historic events.
    HistoryThe extensive career of merchant mariner Captain Eric Beeham spans the period from 1936 to 1961, during which there was a great deal of change in the Australian commercial and industrial shipping industries. Beeham first went to sea as a cadet with P&O working on RMS MALOJA and RMS STRATHNAVER in 1936. During World War II Beeham worked on troopships and minesweepers and commanded the patrol boat HMAS NEROUS amongst others. After the war he worked for a number of different shipping companies including Australian & Oriental Line, later becoming a pilot for the Maritime Services Board in NSW.

    SS CHANGTE, along with her sister ship TAIPING joined the Australian & Oriental Line in 1925 to replace the clipper-bowed steamers CHANGSHA and TAIYUAN. SS CHANGTE proved to be a popular passenger liner, travelling between the ports of Eastern Australia and the Far East. The ship was requisitioned for war service as a supply ship in 1939, and returned to the company in 1949. SS CHANGTE and TAIPING continued as passenger liners until 1961 when they were taken to shipbreakers in Hong Kong.

    The Australian & Oriental Line was managed by GS Yuill & Co just prior to World War I. In 1961 the company ceased to trade and the remainder of the fleet was taken over by China Navigation Company.

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