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Newsletter - Kangaroo, Hellenic Prince, 5 Jan 1951 Document Reg. No: HT 1232

Newsletter titled 'Kangaroo' and dated 5 Jan 1951. It was distributed aboard the Hellenic Prince during its 38 day journey from Naples Italy to Melbourne from 3 December 1950 to 11 January 1951. The newsletter includes an address from the ship's master P.C.King expressing his indignation at the behaviour of the passengers and making accusations of mutiny. He refers to a Committee of passengers, evidently formed as a delegation to the Ship Master and to a passenger being held in the ship's prison for assaulting the Escort Officer. The newsletter also includes an illustration parodying the cruelty of the captain which must have been produced by a passenger.

This newsletter was used by Savo and Carla Krohnje who immigrated to Melbourne on this ship from Slovenia. They have few fond memories of the journey, describing the shipboard conditions as appalling and overcrowded (1200 passengers accommodated in 200 bunk rooms). Passengers were required to work during the voyage, undertaking cleaning, cooking, mess room duties, and working in the boiler and machine rooms, with payment received in Woodbine cigarettes. Drinking water ran out before the end of the voyage, although stubbies of drinking water could be purchased from passengers working in the machinery room for US$1.00, and a freezer breakdown saw food perish. Passengers were refused permission to disembark at all the ports and when fresh food was finally brought on board at Fremantle, it went to the crew, not the passengers. Sea sickness was also rife as the ship was rarely level due to a malfunction with the pumps.

These conditions resulted in increasing passenger discontent which culminated in a hunger strike and the ship's master accused passengers of mutiny. A letter of complaint was drafted and signed by all passengers and sent to the International Refugee Organisation. On arrival at Bonegilla, they received news that the ship had been inspected and action was taken against the master and the company.
2 page (3 sided) newsletter from the Hellenic Prince, 5th January 1951. Text is typed and the captain's message has been translated into English, German and another language.
Acquisition Information:
Donation, 2001
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 207 mm (Width), 295 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: immigration, immigrant voyages, migrant hostels, migrant camps, migrant reception centres, 1938, 1938 tg priok, personal diaries
Themes this item is part of: Transport Collection
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Travel - Shipboard Life
Tertiary Classification: print media
Inscriptions: On front: PASSENGER NEWSLETTER / KANGAROO / 5th January 1951
Place & Date Issued: ., 5 Jan 1951
User: Mrs Carla Krohnje, 5 Jan 1951
User: Mr Savo Krohnje, 5 Jan 1951


Alex Podporin Posted on 02 Apr 2013 3:06 PM
Dear Archivist.
I would like to forward you a few facts of the SS Hellenic prince to set your records straight. Could you please send me an @mail address so that I will be able to send more information in order to set the records straight. Yours truly Alex Podporin
Discovery Centre Posted on 02 Apr 2013 3:13 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Alex,
You can email us at the Discovery Centre on we will forward your information to the relevant collection area of the museum.
Didimo Tonelli Posted on 16 Oct 2014 3:03 PM
What a wonderful article. I was 7 years only during that trip. I thought that my memories and recollections of that trip was a nightmare.I was just in the process of writing my memoirs and wondering if such a trip could have happened. I know of another elderly couple who refuse to even talk about that trip

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