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Thursday December 14, 2017

Maritime history book focuses on people By Jamie Adams

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A new book by former seafarer Emmanuel Makarios promises great insights into those who have chosen a career at sea. All At Sea, published by Transpress NZ, features the tales of 16 New Zealand seafarers, including several Wellingtonians. Emmanuel has a strong interest in the maritime industry, having worked for the Harbour Board and later its museum on Queen’s Wharf. He was inspired to write the book after realising most New Zealand non-fiction of a nautical theme focused on ships rather than the people who sailed on them. “I started interviewing people who were directly involved in the industry from the top to bottom. I wanted to know from them what was involved in going to sea in their day,” he says. “It’s got representation of women as well, including the first woman taken on board as a cadet.” One of the book’s subjects is former master mariner John Brown whose career on the seas began in 1954 and spanned five decades. “I started off as a dock hand

then joined the Union Steamship Company. They had over 66 ships when I went to sea and they were the biggest employer outside the Government in those days.” While his master certificate enabled him to captain a ship, his career was initially focused on piloting foreign vessels that approached Wellington Harbour. “The Harbour Board wanted people familiar with the conditions that ships were entering.” It was a demanding job that required John to head out to the middle of the Cook Strait, sometimes in the dead of night, to board an incoming ship. He had to climb a rope over the hull and then navigate the boat. “It’s a very underrated profession,” John says. His most memorable experience in his 17 years of that particular job was taking the deputy harbourmaster out to the Wahine after it had grounded on Barrett Reef in the 1968 disaster. “I just happened to be at the port when I got the call over the new radios we’d been given. The crew were shellshocked when we arrived.” Despite having retired, John still occasionally volunteers

Author Emmanuel Makarios and former harbour pilot John Brown hold copies of Emmanuel’s new book All At Sea. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

with helping adjust the compasses of visiting cruise ships. Emmanual believes the book, currently available only at Paper Plus, could make a good Christ-

mas present.  Copies are also available from the publisher: email

Uni’s Karori campus to become retirement village Victoria University of Wellington has sold its former Karori campus. The university became the beneficial owner of the assets and liabilities of the College of Education on the campus by merger in 2004. The campus was declared surplus to requirements in August 2016. The successful tenderer for

the main campus is Ryman Healthcare, which plans to convert the land and buildings on the former Karori campus into a retirement village with independent and serviced apartments and a care centre. Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says no offers were received for the campus buildings from public sector

organisations. Ryman Group Development Manager Andrew Mitchell says Ryman is delighted to have secured the site for the retired people of Wellington. “It is an iconic site in the city’s largest suburb and we’re pleased it will continue to be a significant community asset for the city.”

Earlier this year, two early childhood centres on the Karori campus site were transferred to the Ministry of Education. More recently, the Wellington City Council concluded its purchase of a parcel of land on the former campus to provide additional car parking adjacent to the Karori swimming pool.

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Cook Strait News 14-12-17  

Cook Strait News 14-12-17

Cook Strait News 14-12-17  

Cook Strait News 14-12-17