Jackie Duckworth (nee - MCKINLAY) joined the ship on 22nd April 1976, along with 2 friends, Mary Sargent & Patsy Halligan. She was shown to their cabin where they met the girls they were to share with, Josie, Gill, Paulette and Antionette.
All the girls were new arrivals, apart from Antionette. They were quickly put on duty, Mary & Jackie as stewardesses, and Patsy as a Cashier. Their first duty was a cocktail party in the Main Lounge. Having never even worked behind the bar of a pub, it was a huge new
experience for them all. Even more so, on the next day, when the ship set sail and they knew it would be another 2 months before they set foot on home soil again.
It was 3 days before Jackies 25th birthday, and she had hardly left the country before. Jackie recalls how very quickly they became a little family, after all, they were all in the same boat – no pun intended! The change of shift duties and loss of hours as she crossed various
date-lines was hard going. Jackie and her friends linked up with the boys of cabin 757. They took them ashore at the various ports and looked after them all. She remembered it as a very insular world, like a floating village, and on a much bigger scale than the one she originated from.
It was fantastic when they arrived in ports, where there was mail to read... news of home and family and friends was precious. So much so, Jackie still has all the letters she received (So do I... Ken!), plus the ones she sent to her Mother. There was only
one phone call, which Jackie made, this was a transfer charge to her Mum, from Australia. This of course was way before the time of mobile phones, texts and Skype.
Jackie still cruises a lot these days, and she loves to chat to the salon girls about conditions then, which were rather different from now! Of course, as they left home, England experienced a heatwave such as has never been known since! All in all, Jackie says it was a good
experience, seeing a bit of the world and getting paid (a pittance!) for it. It was the most effective diet she has ever been on, Jackie found the food inedible (she hopes the passengers had better) and lived on chocolate and crisps, and came home the skinniest
she had ever been. They met some lovely people and through Ken's website have recently been back in touch with Josie, who she hopes to meet up with quite soon. Is there anyone else out there interested?
Click any of the thumbnails below to view a larger image.
The photos above are courtesy of Jackie Duckworth (nee - MCKINLAY)
Welcome all visitors to the S.S. Australis Website, which has now been online since 1998!
I will continue to update the site if I receive a new story, or if you have interesting photos taken on the ship during your voyage
on either the southbound, northbound, or on one of the South Pacific cruises. We used to do those trips several times a year
from Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland (New Zealand).
I am deeply moved by the interest and wonderful contributions from the numerous passengers and crew over many years.
You can send an e-mail to me on the link below:
A HUGE THANK YOU
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