Fire on the Australis.
The newspaper clipping below was sent to me by ex-passemger Peter Van de Ven who was on the northbound journey in October 1970 when a fire broke out between New Zealand and Fiji. Peter was only ten years old at the time but still remembers the fire after all these years. His Mum sent the newspaper article through to him in Holland, she had also written the following comments on the fire:
In the 12 hours on deck we only had cheese, biscuits and bully beef plus pineapple juice. The first time we sat down for a proper meal was 40 hours later and the whole meal was meat and vegetable soup. We were all very sunburnt, hot and hungry. The toilet situation was rather desperate as well with only 3 toilets opened up the whole day-one person at a time!. All the water was too hot to wash our faces or hands with. Everyday we were taken by bus to a different hotel for the most luscious meals ever invented. None of our belongings were damaged at all so we were a lot luckier than many others who had lost everything.
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The Fiji Times Newspaper report.
More Fiji Times Newspaper clippings.
Many thanks to ex-passenger Peter Van De Ven for his contribution to the site
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