oug joined the Australis at Southampton in October 1969 as a Gym Instructor and Pool
Attendant. He had just left the police force and was pretty fit and qualified
to do the job. Bill Borg, in St Helens Place, had omitted to tell Doug about
the massage part of the job. When I asked on the ship who the Masseur was, I was told
"You are aren't you?". That southbound trip the ship also did a Christmas Cruise from Sydney, which went
across to Auckland, New Zealand, and then on to the South Pacific island of New Caledonia, next stop was SavuSavu followed by the capital city Suva in the Fijian Islands and then back to
Sydney. Christmas Day in New Zealand and New Years Eve in Suva. Most of the English
crew were in the swimming pool of the Isla Lai Hotel as 12 o/c struck.
During that voyage Doug met Sheila Sindall, one of two hairdressers on board,
he eventually married her in 1972, and they are still together today. They have two sons, and live in South West London.S
heila left the ship in Southampton and Doug stayed on for another round trip. That
trip the ship had a number of "Round the Worlders" so the ship made some special
stops. It was also the infamous northbound "Female" trip. After a two day stop in Suva, the Australis went to San Pedro, Los Angeles for an overnight stop. Then onto Acapulco, Nassau in the Bahamas and up
to New York. The Australis had not been back to "The Big Apple" since it was sold to Chandris in 1964, the Australis received a "Fire Boat" welcome as she came up the river.D
oug left the Australis at the end of that voyage and, after a couple of
months, joined the Ellinis as a Master at Arms. Sheila went with him, as a Cashier this time. They did three trips on the Ellinis. Doug believes the next trip the Australis made after he had left was the "Fire
" trip, and he has heard
a story about the Gym Attendant who had to fight his way out of his little cabin, next to the sauna baths at the indoor pool on "C" deck, where Doug spent his two trips. It was said the new Gym Attendant had to battle his way up the narrow stairs, next to the lift, to safety.
The photos above are courtesy of Doug Till.
Regretfully I am "running down" the S. S. Australis website due to increasing family and health issues.
I may occasionally update the site if I receive a great story/photos from ex-crew only
, if it is a new contact.
I know there are still stories to share from ex-crew all over the world, who haven't yet been in touch.
I am deeply moved by the interest and wonderful contributions from numerous passengers and crew over many years.
A HUGE THANK YOU.
You can send messages to me on this e-mail address: