The John L. Sullivan Picture Gallery.
I have some pictures found by Nick Sullivan (John's son) whilst sorting out John's personal belongings. Several of the pictures below are discoloured because they are taken from old slides.
I cannot tell you very much about the photos except number three is of John with Captain Demitrios Challioris, Number eleven is John and Christine Venn singing in the ballroom and number 12 was taken at my Mum & Dad's place, along with me and my ex girlfriend Kerri Johnson, who was also a Stewardess on the Ellinis and Australis.
John died after suffering a heart attack on the 28/06/2002-whilst doing what he really enjoyed, playing golf at his local club. John was 71 years old. Many of you will have your own memories of John, and may have known him on these ships: S. S. Australis\Norway\Seaward\Sunward\Skyward and others.....
His friendship was to be valued and he was a much respected Cruise Director\Entertainment Officer.
I knew John during the time he was part of the Entertainment Staff when I worked on the Australis from 1973 until `77. He was a good friend of my brother Ray, who also worked on Chandris ships. John became a family friend visiting and staying with my parents, and maintained contact even after I finished working for Chandris.
It was John who suggested that I apply for the job on the ship a second time, as he knew it was going to be available again.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to view a larger image.
Many thanks to Norma, Nick and Rachel Sullivan for allowing me to use the photos and info. on this page.
John L. Sullivan's lifetime achievements.
Military Service: December 1949 - December 1953.
Following a years conscription, John signed up for a further
3 years as a Signals Intructor,
Royal Artillery, before
transferring to become a vocalist with the Military Band of
14/20th Kings Hussars and finally with the Band of the
Royal Tank Regiment
1953 - 1954.
John then appeared as understudy to juvenile lead in 'A Wedding in
with Anton Walbrook and Evelyn Laye at the London
1954 - 1956.
Featured as the Vocalist with Joe Daniels Dixieland Band and Ronnie
1956 - 1957.
John was then entertaining the US Forces based in France, Holland, Germany,
Crete, Libya, Turkey and French Morocco.
1957 - 1970
Entertaining in Cabaret, Theatres, Concerts etc., throughout
the UK and Europe
including appearances at the London Palladium
and radio/TV recordings.
1970 - 1972.
John spent these years undertaking contractual commitments in
Australia, New Zealand,
Japan and The Phillipines entertaining
at major night clubs and appearing on all
and radio networks.
1972 - 1975.
Aboard the SS 'Australis' John completed 21 World Voyages each
50 days at sea with an average 2000 passengers.
He also undertook many
South Pacific cruises from Sydney.
1975 - 1982.
Served aboard SS 'Norway'(largest ship in the world}, and the MS 'Southward' 'Starward'
and 'Skyward'. John undertook
established Caribbean itineraries.
August 1982 to October 1983.
John had a brief spell with two positioning cruises aboard
the SS 'Armenia' (Russian ship) on charter to C.T.C.
November 1983 - April 1984.
Spent this period aboard M/S World Renaissance (chartered to
Costa Cruise Lines, Genoa, Italy)
the itinerary followed:-
Plymouth - Las Palmas - Freetown - Sierra Leone - St Helena -
Cape Town -
Durban - Port Elizabeth - Mauritius - and then
reversing back along the same ports to Plymouth.
April 1984 - July `84
Cruise Director/Entertainer/Senior Company Representative
On Board. C.T.C. Lines,
aboard M/S Leonid Brezhnev on charter to C.T.C and cruising to
Scandinavia, The Mediterranean,
Black Sea Ports. Caribbean and
South America which included Venezuela. Columbia,
Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil.
July 1984 - November `84.
Cruise Director/Entertainer - Epirotiki Lines, Akti Maouli,
Piraeus, Greece aboard
M/S Jupiter for season cruising Greek
Islands, Israel and Turkey.
February 1985 - April `86
Cruise Director/Entertainer - Involved in a season of 32 seven
day cruises with mainly
Cruise intinery was as follows: Piraeus-Santorini-Heraklion (Crete) - Rhodes-Kusadasi-
Personal tribute from Chris Preston, Master-at-Arms for Chandris Lines.
This new addition to John's tribute page comes from a former colleague and good friend of his. The story is told in Chris's own words.
I first met John L. Sullivan back in 1972 when I joined Chandris as a Master at Arms working with Jimmy Galloway.
John was someone that you could sit and talk to and he would listen..
He introduced me to "King Edward" cigars and we would see who could buy the most boxes every time we got to America.
He taught me all the tricks about the "White Elephant" sale and how to make some pocket money from this.
I will never forget spending a birthday dinner with him in Cape Town in a restaurant on the headland, with the sea crashing against the windows, when he gave me a silver ring. I have always kept this and it reminds me of the memory.
When I met Gail my wife, she was a passenger on the Australis, and I introduced her to John just before we arrived in Southampton for a short period in dock.
Gail and I went to Morocco for a short break, and when the ship was ready I got her a job as a stewardess for my last trip.
While working on the ship she became very friendly with both John L. and Christine.
At the end of this trip I got off the ship for good, and we went to live in a bed sit in London.
The day after we got off, Gail received a call from Chandris offering her a job as an Information Officer, we talked it over and she decided to take up the position.
It was a very tearful farewell when I took her to the railway station to go to Southampton.
She arrived on the ship, settled into her cabin and then went to check out her job. That night she met John L Sullivan in one of the rooms and he sat her down and they had a long talk.
Next day I was in my bedsit in London, there was a knock on the door and Gail is standing there!!
John L. Sullivan had talked her into coming back to me, I thank him from the bottom of my heart.
John L. Sullivan has sent us a Christmas card every year since then.
After the birth of our first son "Chris Jnr" in 1978, John L. Sullivan came to visit us at the pub we were managing, at the time "The Duke Of Wellington" at Stanwick in Northampton.
He gave us his latest long play record at that time.
I have spoken to him a number of times since coming to Australia in 1982.
Now only a few people know this, but on August the 23rd 2002 it was to be my wife Gail's 50th birthday and I tried to contact John L. Sullivan. I wanted to ask him, that if I sent him a return ticket to fly out here for a couple of weeks, would he MC Gail's party as a surprise.
I had a problem getting in touch with John L, and so contacted Ken Ironside to help me find John's new phone number. I told Ken what I was trying to do and he passed on a mobile number which he had.
I tried this number for about 2 days without getting through to John L.... but did leave a number of messages.
I rang Ken back to see if he could get another number.
Ken rang back the next day with the sad news that John L. Sullivan had passed away.
I spoke to John's son, who told me that during the time that I tried to contact John L on his mobile, that he had borrowed his Dad's phone to go on a trip. If John had the phone when I was trying to contact him I would have been able to speak to him.
I still wonder if I had asked John L Sullivan to come here that day, that he might not have gone on to the golf course.....
God bless you John L Sullivan and thanks for the life you created for me.
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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