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Jardine, Matheson & Co.,/Indo-China S.N. Co., London (Big Five tab)

Pearl River Ferries 1884-1941 (H.K. Local tab)

Shanghai Steam Nav. Co. Yangtze and Ningpo Ferries (Yangtse tab)

Blue Funnel Line/Ocean S.S. Co. Ltd/East Indian Ocean S.S. Co. Ltd and other Singapore-based feeder lines (Singapore tab)

In June we have added to our 'Foreign' and also 'Singapore' pages an extensive study in pdf form of Norwegian shipping companies which were active from 1896 in building ships designed to carry Chinese emigrants/workers as deck passengers between South China and Southeast Asia. The study is in two parts, the first being a 19 page textual history and analysis and the second a detailed and well-illustrated fleet list of all the known the Norwegian passenger ships in this trade. Examples of three generations of these ships are illustrated below. First is DRUFAR built in 1905 by Fevigs Jeniskibsbyg, Fevig for Wiel & Amundsen of Fredrikshald. Second is HAI LEE built in 1924 by the same yard for Bruusgaard, Kiøsterud & Co., Drammen. Third is the very last passenger-carrying 'China Coaster' HOI KUNG, built in 1964 by Moss Verft & Dokk, Moss for H.M. Wrangell & Co. A/S, Haugesund. (Illustrations sourced from Inger Lise Delphin/, H. Larsson-Feddes/ and the third photographed by Stephen in 1973)













n May 2024 we have added near the bottom of the 'H.K. New Wave' and 'Singapore' pages a short history and detailed illustrated fleet list (including chartered Norwegian passenger-cargo ships) by Howard of Jebshun Shipping Company (Ltd) which became prominent in the South China-Straits passenger and cargo trade. From 1959 the company also moved into the booming regional charter market and in the period 1967-70 acquired seven modern freighters. By 1969 most of the fleet was engaged on time charter to the People’s Republic of China, but the company applied for bankruptcy in December 1971. Show below in a photograph by N. Brown at Hobart in 1964 is Jebshun's smartly painted cargo ship SHUN TAI. 

At the end of April we published a short history and initial period fleetlist of H.M.H. Nemazee, of Persian origins, which established a subsidiary in Hong Kong in 1855 and undertook its first known steamship purchase in 1918. By the end of the 1920s this concern had acquired the largest fleet deployed by a non-British/European shipowner between Suez and Japan, and this stage of the firm's development is covered in our pdf file accessed towards the bottom of the 'Foreign' page.  Acquisitions ceased between 1928 and 1940 but again many purchases were made in the periods 1940-41 and 1946-51 and these will be the subject of a future post.  Shown below flying Nemazee’s houseflag is RUPARA as depicted in a Chinese school painting held by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.






















In mid-April we published CNCo’s HUNAN, later Portuguese NACALA of 1966 by Howard Dick & Luis Miguel Correia which examines the full career under two flags of this one-of-a-kind cargo liner built for the Hong Kong-Australia-Japan service of China Navigation Co.  HUNAN was the last ship built by Taikoo Dockyard for this Swire group company, and featured a beautiful if soon to be outdated design as shown in the official photograph below taken in St George’s Channel. This report may be found as the last item on the 'China Nav. Co.' page. 























At the end of March 2024 we added, under the 'H.K. New Wave' tab, a study by Howard of the small fleet of George (Chi Chung) Zee (Xu Zhi Zhōng) of Hong Kong which existed from 1955 until 1967.  In 1958 he became one of many Hong Kong shipowners to take advantage of the opportunity to charter ships to Indonesia including his two small but well-known passenger ships. One of these vessels was KOWLOON STAR, photo below at Singapore from the collection of Chris Howell and previously published on Shipspotting. The cargo ship is THETA STAR, probably in the Chao Phra River, Bangkok, depicted in a B&W photograph distributed by Tom Rayner and found in Bill Schell' s collection, here in a bit speculative colourised view.


































In mid-March we added a list, in our usual format, of Pre-WWII Chinese owned/chartered shipping from Hong Hong to Kwang Chow Wan, Haiphong and Saigon which is accessible via the 'Chinese' tab. This list complements the Shun Cheong S.N. Co. Ltd and Wo Fat Sing lists also via the “Chinese” tab and the Marty & d'Abbadie list via the “Foreign” tab. Many of these ships had a registered alphabetical name and a  different commerical Cantonese name. Shown below in a late-career photo from the internet is the chartered Hong Kong-built Norwegian PROSPER which was advertised 1937-40 as 大利華 (TAI LEE HWAH).







In February and March 2024 we added substantial illustrated fleetlists of the prewar and postwar Moller & Co./Mollers' Ltd ships (subsequently including those of Grosvenor Shipping Co. Ltd and Chris Moller's Red Anchor Line), prepared by Howard and complementing his comprehensive (readable and entertaining) introduction of the prewar Moller family enterprise in Shanghai and the Mollers Towages Ltd and Hong Kong Towage & Salvage Co. Ltd studies. The pdf files of these reports can be accessed from the 'Foreign' tab. The first photograph below is of JOAN MOLLER, taken at Hong Kong on 23 May 1939 by Don Gammon, in the collection of Chris Howell, and colorized by Stephen. The photograph beneath taken by Dedge on 1 January 1980 and published on shows Mollers' MUNCASTER CASTLE of 1977 which with her Red Anchor Line sister MERRY VIKING operated for the Hongkong International Container Line before being sold in 1981, the last two Moller ships. 





































In January we published for the first time a fleet list of the Hong Kong based Yick Fung Shipping & Enterprises Co. Ltd which was run by PRC-related interests from 1960 until 1996.  This study can be accessed from our 'PRC' tab along with an updated study of the kindred Ocean Tramping Co.  The text introductions to both studies draw on information that has become available on PRC websites.  The lists are detailed and well illustrated for the earlier ships, but owing to the large ship numbers, for the more recent ships we list only the name and period of ownership, with a few illustrations.  We will seek to improve these reports as time allows. One of Yick Fung's ships, shown in their company colours, was the 1950-built CELEBES SEA, depicted below at Yokohama in a photo by Stephen taken on 15 November 1973. Taking advantage of access to official fleet histories, we have also updated our studies of other PRC-related companies including the Shanghai, Dalian and Changjiang (Yangtse) Maritime Bureaus with details of various of the ships.














Toward the end of December 2023 we published a carefully researched and illustrated history and fleet list of Williamson & Company Ltd., established in Hong Kong by New Zealander Stewart Williamson for worldwide tramping as well as for Chinese coastal trading. The list is accessible via the 'Foreign' tab. Shown below is the smartly painted INCHARRAN, photographed by Alan Travers berthed at Sydney in June 1963 to load wheat for the Persian Gulf. 

During 2023 we established a new 'Philippines' page accessed via the tab below. Our already published Philippines fleet lists were enhanced by the addition of Spanish Philippines Interisland and Near Seas Steamers 1850-1898, and of the venerable fleets of Ynchausti y Cia/Ynchausti S.S. Co./Elizalde S.S. Co./Manila S.S. Co. Inc.Compañia General de Tabacos de Filipinas (La Tabacalera) and M.J. Ossorio. To balance this we have added  lists of Philippine post-World War II interisland passenger ships in three categories: Philippine FS-type Vessels which formed the backbone of the interisland fleet in the years after WWII, Non-FS, Non-RoRo Ships Acquired 1945-70 and Non-FS, Non-RoRo Ships Acquired 1971-2000. Shown below in a painting from a launch brochure is AGUSTINA II, built in 1968 by Rickmers Werft, Bremerhaven for the historic shipowner Hijos de F. Escaño to a new design resembling the FS type as it evolved in the Philippines,

Kowloon Star_Howell edit_edited_edited.j
George Zee ship
Agustina II
Escano line
ship Hunan
navire Nacala
ship Rupara
Williamson & Co
Yick Fung
Moller ship
Kwang Chow Wan
JOAN MOLLER_Hong Kong 23May1939_D.E.Gamm
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