Graham Hunter

We have received the sad news of the passing of Graham Hunter on 31 August.  He will have been known to many both afloat and ashore as a key member of the Operations team with OCAL, OCL and P&OCL in Sydney.

Former OCAL director David Baker has kindly given us a few words:

 "I knew Graham in my Birt and Company days when at one stage we sat at adjacent desks.  We were very good friends and spent many hours of leisure time together in the 1950s an and 1960s.

After the introduction of containers we went in divergent directions when Graham worked for OCL ship management company Container Fleets under the aegis of P&O Australia.  Subsequently the circle closed and Graham was transferred to OCAL/P&O Containers where he had various operational responsibilities reporting to Nic Lampe, the Operations Manager

I know many of Graham’s friends and colleagues will be saddened by Graham’s passing. Certainly I am.  

Toni advised that in accordance with Graham’s wishes, a private cremation was held and there will not be a memorial service.

Graham was 85 years old.

A good friend gone too soon."

[Image: s.s Botany Bay, kindly provided by Captain Joe Welch]

First news of Graham's passing actually came from the P&O - Princess Cruises Pensioners group and we thank Derek Warmington for giving his kind approval to reproduce their tribute here: 

"News has been received from Australia that Graham Hunter died on the 31st August at the age of 85.

Graham spent the whole of his career in the shipping industry from when he left school in Australia in 1953.  Initially he was with Birt & Company in their executive shipping department and then in 1967 he was transferred to P&O Lines of Australia Pty as a Freight Traffic Assistant before heading up a new Agency section for the new OCL Container Shipping Service that commenced in 1969.

In 1970 he spent 4 months in London as Acting Fleet Personnel Manager of OCL.

After a period as Traffic Manager for the Beaufort Shipping Agency in Sydney, in 1981 he was transferred again to OCL (Australia) Pty Ltd as Assistant National Operations Manager to assist consolidation of all facets of OCL’s (later P&OCL’s) agency operations in Australia. He later became the Manager and remained in this role until he took early retirement in 1995.

The funeral has already taken place.

Derek Warmington"

Captain Joe Welch remembers Graham Hunter well and he provided the following...  "Sad news indeed.  As Master on the container ships on the Aussie trade I got to know Graham quite well.  As the Operations Manager in Sydney directly concerned with the OCL ships he frequently visited the wharfs and boarded the vessels.  He was a ‘people’ person and a good Manager in every way. Always cheerful and really understood the sea and the seafaring life.  As such he was extremely good and helpful in dealing with the many problems that occurred from time to time in the movement of the ships in and out of Sydney.  A great Australian bloke - will be much missed.  RIP Graham".  

Joe also recalled that Graham was on the committee of the Port Club in Sydney.   If a ship was in Sydney on a Friday afternoon there used to be a meet up at their HQ with a meal and ‘Pass the Port’ afterwards (in Joe's words - "Great fun!!")  

Bob James (ex-2OL and Fleet Personnel Manager) recalls "Oh yes the Port Club for a 12 course lunch 11 beers and a pie...  Graham was a gentleman and nothing was too much trouble for him.  I was stranded at Sydney airport because of a complete breakdown of air traffic control, Graham came out to the mad house of the airport and we drove off to a restaurant where we sat and put the world to rights for the next six hours.  I eventually continued on to Wellington to be met by another P&O old hand Bernie Miller but that is another story.  RIP Graham my friend".

Our deepest sympathies go to Graham's family and friends.