Sunday, 16 October 2016

Fifty Years Ago

The Empress of Canada crossed the Atlantic in mid-October 1966, sailing from Liverpool, stopping at Grenock, rounding north of Ireland, passing the Bell Isle lighthouse in the late evening and stopping at Quebec City for immigration clearance. The ship continued to Montreal overnight. I was an immigrant passenger.
The Empress of Canada was the last passenger liner built for Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. According to this description "her cabins were large compared to the modern cruise ships of today, and featured fine timber walls." As an immigrant I was in a shared interior cabin and spent much of the voyage in my upper bunk trying to avoid being seasick. I've rarely felt so lacking control knowing that whichever way the ship went land was days sailing away. Ever since, no matter how rough the flight, I've always appreciated that the agony couldn't last more than a few hours.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kipp said...

Youth helps perhaps John. My father crossed the Atlantic as a child of nine with his mother (his father had already gone ahead to Canada eight months earlier). He loved the passage. Said there was just one really rough day. He was lucky enough to be in a second class cabin and had the run of the boat. My grandfather went early to earn enough money to let them travel that way! Like you, my grandmother never left the cabin from the time that she entered it at Southampton until she arrived in Canada.

Elizabeth (Blake) Kipp