Diary of a Voyage


E. Mary Johnston


[In 1936, at age 13, EMJ accompanied her parents on a six-month journey round the world: by ship to California, by train across the USA, by ship from Montreal to U.K.; the return was via the Suez Canal and Indian Ocean to Fremantle. This is her record of the voyage. The comments in green have been added, mostly by EMC herself, to complete the story. 12/2004]

Wednesday 1 April      Sailed from Sydney for Auckland at 11 a.m. with Mr and Mrs Willy and Miss Smedley on S.S. Monterey. Had a large number to see us off. Had to leave my dinner after first mouthful and was sick. I was very glad to get into bed. Mum was also sick.

2 April      Missed my breakfast and went to sleep in cabin. Was glad to get some lunch. Sea was very calm. Had fire and boat drill in afternoon. Went for swim after boat drill. Had to put our clocks on 40 min. each night.

3 April      The sea was just like glass. Went for swim before lunch. In afternoon we sighted the Three Kings and later the mainland of New Zealand.

4 April      Arrived in Auckland about 8 a.m. Met Mr Murray, 2 Miss Pinkers, Mrs Smedley & Mr., Mr & Mrs Pinker, Mr & Mrs Arnold Heath, Mr & Mrs Broady. Saw over Mr Murray's café, the Art Gallery and several shops.

Sunday 5 April      Had a reading after dinner at night.

6 April      Missed breakfast. Was glad to get lunch. Wrote letters in afternoon.

Tuesday 7 April      (1st Tuesday) Arrived in Suva at 8 a.m. and left again at 5 p.m.

[N.B. Crossed International Dateline]

(2nd Tuesday) At sea.

8 April      Arrived Pago Pago; were kept waiting for doctor and got ashore in launches about 10.30 a.m. and the boat left at 1.30 p.m. Threw chocolates for darkies who swam round the boat for hours.

9 April      At sea. Was sick in bed all day. [N.B. Suffered from sunstroke.]

10 April      At sea. Crossed the equator at 11.45 a.m.

11 April      At sea. Received our certificates of Neptune.

12 April      At sea.

13 April      Arrived Honolulu 8 a.m. Went for drive to Pali and Punch Bowl, a crater. Went in bus to acquarium. Saw Waikiki Beach which has a coral reef. Left at 5 p.m.

14 April      At sea.

15 April      At sea.

16 April      At sea. Saw some flying fish which were just like birds.

17 April      At sea.

18 April      Arrived Los Angeles at 11 a.m. Were delayed because of strike. Were driven to Los Angeles by Mrs Grame. Went to lunch with Griffiths and to tea with Wilsons. Had reading meeting in afternoon at 3.35. Left at 8.30 p.m. by train for San Francisco.

Sunday 19 April      Arrived at Oakland at about 8.30 a.m. Spent the day with Powells. Saw Willys off at night.

20 April      Mrs Rosefield looked after mum and me while dad went to Mr Rosefield's factory. In the afternoon we went over to San Francisco and Mrs Rye drove us round. We saw the "Golden Gate Bridge", an Art Gallery and the Seal Rocks. Left at 8.40 p.m. in the train.

21 April      In the train. We saw a lot of snow on the mountains.

22 April      In the train. Crossed the Great Salt Lake.

23 April      Arrived Chicago about 8.30 a.m. met by Mr Coulter Taylor. Went to "La Salle". Went to Marshall Fields in the morning and for a drive with Dr McAbery in the afternoon, and Mr Coulter Taylor's for supper. Mr Willy left by train after the meeting.

24 April      Went to Marshall Fields again in the morning and to the Industrial Museum with the Shaumbergs in the afternoon. Went to acquarium also and Shaumbergs' for supper. Left by train at night.

25 April      Arrived at Niagara at 11 a.m. and took a taxi round to the falls. Went to General Brock Hotel for lunch. Saw the falls again and also "The Burning Spring" in the afternoon. Went back to the hotel for dinner and saw the falls flood-lit at night. Left by train at 9.15 p.m.

Sunday 26 April      Arrived New York at 9.30 a.m. by "Daylight Saving". We were met by Mr Pfingst, Mr Robert Midgely and Mr Will Taylor. Had breakfast in a Cafeteria and went straight to the meeting, then home with Pfingsts where we stayed.

27 April      Went in to New York with Hilde. Dad did business.

28 April      Went and saw Mrs Ernest Pfingst and took the baby back with us and Mrs Pfingst called for it later. Mrs Midgely brought little Robert in to see us. All the others were at the funeral. Little Dickie came and stayed with us in the afternoon for a little while, too.

29 April      Went into New York and looked over a Peanut Butter factory. Had lunch in town and got back late in the afternoon. Went to the reading at night and left by train about 11.30 p.m.

30 April      Arrived in Montreal about 8.30 and went and had breakfast with the Pollocks where we stayed the night.

1 May      Had some "Canada Dry". Sailed by the Duchess of Atholl at 11.30 a.m. [There were huge blocks of ice floating down the St. Lawrence River. The ship blew its fog horn every minute.]

2 May      At sea. Got out into the ocean late in the afternoon.

3 May      At sea.

Had readings in the morning and afternoon on 1st & 2nd of Revelation.

4 May      At sea. [There was a big swell all the time in the Atlantic Ocean. I spent a lot of time walking round the deck with Mr. McKillop and Mr. Robertson, who were also travelling with us on the ship, to save getting sea-sick.]

5 May      At sea.

6 May      At sea.

7 May      At sea.

8 May      Arrived Greenock (met by Mr McKillop's brother) and then went by train to Glasgow where we arrived about 10.30 p.m. [Stayed at big hotel with all the important brethren who were gathering for the "conference". Mr & Mrs Grugeon played "host" to the visitors in the hotel. At a "conference", the meetings during the day were attended only by the brothers. The ladies came along only for the address in the evening—thus they had time for sightseeing during the day.]

9 May       Went for a long train-ride out to country and back, and to Mr Stevens for tea.

Sunday 10 May.      Went to Garnet Hall, Buchleuch St. Mr Allbut preached. Went out to supper. In the afternoon we had a reading in the hall which was used for the conference. At this reading we met Houses. I sat beside Olive in reading.

11 May      Did some shopping. Janet Roberts arrived. Went to Mr Henderson's for tea.

12 May      Did some little bits of shopping and at night went to the address by J.T. at 6.30. Saw Houses.

13 May      Went with Houses and Spences to see Loch Lomond. It was very pretty—had our lunch in picnic style.

14 May      Went with Houses, Spences, Mrs Allbut & Betty to see bluebells in a park but alas they weren't out. Had lunch in a field.

15 May      Left Glasgow by bus and went to Edinburgh. Had lunch at Old Waverley Hotel. Met Dr & Mrs Morford, Mr & Mrs Kinkead. Went to wedding meeting in afternoon.(Mr Hurworth travelled with us to Edinburgh.)

16 May      Went to Edinburgh Castle in the afternoon and to an address by J.T. at about 5 o'clock.Mr Freeman took us to the Forth Bridge in morning.

Sunday 17 May      Went to Buchleuch St. meeting in morning and to reading with J.T. in afternoon and went to Mr Dixon's place for tea. Mr Dave Robertson preached in the evening. Went with Mr Freeman for short drive into country after Gospel.

18 May      Went up Sir Walter Scott's Monument (such stairs). Left by bus for Glasgow. Picked up some things at the "Grand Hotel" and then went to Mr Bradford's place. Went out to prayer meeting. Had supper after meeting. Was bilious during night.

19 May      Had to stay in bed all morning—got up later—dad & mum had gone to Thorpe's. Dad called back for me & went to Thorpe's for tea. Mr Thorpe then took us to the boat, calling to say good-bye to Stevens on the way. Were on the water all night.

20 May      Arrived in Ireland at about 7.30. Were met by Cecil & Tom Peattie, who took us to their place. In afternoon, George took us for a drive down to Bangor & Donaghadee.

21 May      At Peatties'.

22 May      Dad & I went for a walk to a pretty park in the morning.

23 May      Tom & Cecil took us for a long drive to Port Rush and Giants' Causeway in afternoon.

Sunday 24 May      Went to Mt Pottanger meeting in the morning and to a different meeting in afternoon—we went to a young Mr & Mrs Lyon's place for tea (Mrs Lyon is J.T.'s niece) & dad preached in the evening.

25 May      Mrs Peattie took mum & me to see David's grave, and then into town. We saw a kind of council chambers place.

26 May      At Peatties'. [Cousin Minnie Peattie took us down to the wharf one day to show us a woman with a big basket ("kreel") calling: "Buy my caller herrin' fresh drawn frae the Forth". She bought some. They were like big sardines, and she cooked them for our tea. I couldn't say I liked them much. The kitchen was the most antiquated affair. She just had a gas ring to cook on, & a tap &a basin for washing up. He was a tailor & when he had cut out a garment, she tacked it all together. He did the stitching on a treadle machine & she sewed all the buttonholes by hand. When we were there, he was making beautiful green overcoats from extremely thick material, for chauffeurs. He said they were to keep the men warm while they sat in the car in the cold, while their masters were in the theatre for hours. The residence was tall and narrow (in a group of shops) with narrow stairs. I slept in the attic room with a big window overhead. As there was no curtain and it being summer, the sun went down so late it didn't get dark 'til about 11 p.m.—hard to get to sleep. The tea cosy in the shape of a cottage which is now in "Stephen's room" was given to me by the wife of one of the married Peattie sons. EMC Dec 2004].

27 May      George took us for another drive in the afternoon.

28 May      Cecil took us to Donaghadee reading with Mr Reyland. In the morning, I went with Cecil for a ride in a jaunting car.

29 May      Left at night (9 o'clock) by boat for Liverpool.

30 May      Arrived Liverpool early in the morning, had breakfast on board. Walked up into town—took tram ride round Liverpool till about ten when we took a taxi, picked up our luggage at the wharf and went on to Andersons'.

Sunday 31 May      Went to Grenville meeting. There was a fellowship tea in the evening. Mr Beaumont of S. Africa preached.

1 June      Went to Chester—looked around the old city and in the afternoon went to reading with Mr E. J. Hemmings—tea was provided, and Mr Hemmings gave an address. Went back to Andersons for the night.

2 June      Dad went out in the morning. In the evening we went over to Thorstensons' for tea, and Mr Spence came round afterwards. Stayed the night again with Andersons. On the way home that night, Mr Thorstenson drove us through the Mersey Tunnel.

3 June      Dad bought Morris Major in morning. It cost Ten Pounds! Went over (thru the Mersey Tunnel) & Peggy Spence met us—piloted us to their place for tea. We drove on that night to Hughes' place at Chester, where we stayed.

4 June      Had a look round Chester.

5 June      Went after dinner to Waterfoot, special meetings with Mr Trevett. Tea at the hall and we went out to supper.

6 June      Left before midday for Freemans'. Mr Freeman met us at Cheltenham and piloted us to his place. Went out to meeting at Cirencester—address by Mr Ebenezer Roberts.

Sunday 7 June      Went to Cheltenham meeting—Miss Frouds' for tea. A brother from Cirencester preached.

8 June      The others went into Gloucester, but I took the boys for a walk. Also went for a walk in the afternoon. The others went to a prayer meeting at night but I stayed at home.

9 June      Left Freemans' and made for Andover. Called on the way at Chippenham but the Mathews were at a wedding meeting. Then went on to Roys'. Mr Coates was also at wedding. Went to see him after he got home but he was too tired. Stayed the night with Roys. [Mr. Roy and his daughter ran a big retail shop. We stayed upstairs.]

10 June      Went in the morning to see Mr Coates. Left before lunch and went to Southampton. Saw the Queen Mary being berthed. After that we went and had tea with Tuffins and on to reading meeting after. After meeting drove on towards Portsmouth and stayed at "bed and breakfast" place.

11 June      Drove on to Portsmouth. Went to Mr Spiller's place but he was away—got our letters. Did some shopping and had lunch. After lunch, we went & saw the Victory & then went back to Ludgershall (had tea by roadside).

12 June      Wrote letter home in morning. Dad went for walk with C.A.C. Went over Greys' poultry farm in afternoon and were there for tea.

13 June      Went to Stonehenge in the morning, then on & had lunch in Winchester. Saw Salisbury Cathedral. Had tea with Duffys and after tea, went to Winchester. Saw King Arthur's Round Table and Winchester Cathedral. Had supper with Sucklings. Ludgershall for the night.

Sunday 14 June      Went to Andover Meeting. Reading with C.A.C., tea at hall. Mr Malpas preached. Dad preached at Infirmary. Had supper with C.A.C., Mr & Mrs Farant, Miss Cole.

15 June      Went on to Bournemouth. Had dinner with Mr & Mrs Malpas and then went on to Yeovil, had supper with Pauls and went to prayer meeting. Went on & stayed that night at Cross Keys Inn.

16 June      Went on to Bristol—had dinner with Parkes, stayed night—mum & dad went to reading meeting, but I went to bed.

17 June      Left Bristol, called to see Mr Champney, then went on to Chippenham to see Mathews, on to Freemans' for night.

18 June      Went to Oxford, saw Colleges. Went back to Freemans' for the night.

19 June      Went on to Stratford on Avon—saw Anne Hathaway's cottage. Stopped on the road and wrote letters. Arrived at Roberts' for tea. Played croquet after tea. Others went to meeting. [The Eustace Roberts family had a very large mansion in Worcester with its own croquet lawn.]

20 June      Had meeting with Mr Hurworth, who came to tea—also Freemans.

Sunday 21 June      Went to Worcester meeting in morning &afternoon, dad preached at Worcester. Janet & I went with Mr Roberts who was preaching.

22 June      Went to pottery works in morning. Dad & mum went to Wolverhampton after dinner. I stayed behind.

23 June      Went to Janet's prize giving in the afternoon.

24 June      Janet, Stella & I went to baths. I didn't go in as my nose was bleeding. Went to reading at night.

25 June      Dad & mum came back for me—had dinner and played croquet. Left for Wolverhampton. Bought strawberries on the way. Arrived at Sargeants' about 4 p.m. Went to reading at night. Stayed with Sargeants.

26 June      Sargeants put us on the road for Barnet, where we arrived before tea (wrote letters).

27 June      Dad went to shops. We took Brenda Joyce in the pram and I took her into the park. In the afternoon we went to Mr Arthur Lyon's place where there were about 100 for tea. We then all went to an address by Mr Eliott (S. Africa). Back to Joyces' for the night. (We saw Harrow School on way to Mr Lyon's.)

Sunday 28 June      Went to Barnet meeeting. Mrs Kingston & Miss Greaves came to supper. Dad preached at the other Barnet hall.

29 June      Went in to London to Australia House. Saw an old Roman bath. Went back to Joyces for the night.

30 June      Went & saw Miss Crow about the flat, & then drove on through Colchester (where we saw a very ancient castle) and stayed the night in a "bed &breakfast" place.

1 July      Drove on through Ipswich to Lowestoft. Had lunch, went & saw Hardings. MacMinns came in the afternoon &we went for a walk. Went to the reading and stayed the night with Hardings.

2 July      Spent the morning with MacMinns on Gt. Yarmouth beach. Had lunch in a café. Our car broke down in the afternoon. Got it fixed and went to reading. After the reading, we drove on to Norwich. Stayed the night at a private hotel.

3 July      Went & saw Norwich Cathedral. Had morning tea with Mrs Dunham. Dad saw Mr Dunham after. Drove on & saw a Mr Mouzer & Mr Casey. Had lunch on roadside. Went on & saw Mr Turner. I stayed night there, dad & mum stayed with a sister just up the road.

4 July      Went on & got to Mayos' (Coventry). The girls took me to see Peeping Tom, the market &Kenilworth Castle. The others went out too.

Sunday 5 July      Went to Coventry meeting. Dad preached.

6 July      Went & saw girls' massage rooms. Drove back to Croydon, got into our flat.

7 July      Dad went to town but mum & I stayed at home.

8 July      We went to the British Museum. Cecil Peattie came & stayed the night. Dad went to reading meeting, and Cecil went to get his luggage.

9 July      We went with Cecil to St. Paul's Cathedral. Went to Mr E. J. Hemmings' for tea, & then on to reading.

10 July      Dad went out—Cecil left—& mum & I stayed at home.

11 July      Went over in the afternoon to P. Kingston's & went to address by Mr Lucas. Miss Kingston & I went out to Mrs Crow's for supper (Mr Lucas was there).

Sunday 12 July      Went to Bexley Heath meeting, & went to Skinners' for tea. Dad preached.

13 July      Left Kingstons' & went to Grugeons' for dinner. We then went on to town & went to Selfridges. We all went to Coombe St. prayer meeting. We also saw the British Industries Fair.

14 July      Shopped at Selfridges. We went after tea & saw Croydon Aerodrome.

15 July      Went to the Tower of London & Westminster Abbey. Pinkers came & saw us that night. All the others went to the meeting—I stayed at home.

16 July      Went in the morning to see the presentation of colours by the King. There was an attempt on the King's life. Spent the afternoon in Selfridges.

17 July      Dad went to town. Pinkers came to supper.

18 July      In the afternoon we went to Redhill for an address by Mr W. House. Went & saw Mrs McMaster after the meeting.

Sunday 19 July      Went to Coombe St. meeting and went to Mrs Thomas's for tea. Mr Oliver preached.

20 July      Left in the morning after breakfast, and drove to Spillers' at Portsmouth for dinner. Mr Spiller took us to see the Victory and also to see a beautiful picture of Trafalgar, 42 ft. long and 12 ft. high. We then went & saw Miss Wills, & then went to the prayer meeting. Mr Bell came to supper. Stayed the night with Spillers.

21 July      Mr Ball came after breakfast & we took his photo. Also a photo of a drawing of J.N.D. while Mr Spiller held it. Went on & saw Mrs A. Morford & Mr & Mrs Philip Besley & James (18 mths) & then on to see Mrs Eb. Philips. Had dinner there. Drove on & had tea with Mr & Mrs Broadbridge. Saw Mr Morris and Mr & Miss Grimstick on way to Croydon after tea.

22 July      In the afternoon, dad & I went to see a fire display at the London Fire Brigade. We were not home in time to go to a reading with Mr House, so we went after the tea to his address. Olive was there.

23 July      Olive came round in the morning at 10 o'clock and stayed for lunch. Beryl called for her at two o'clock.

Dad &I went to Pensons' for tea—mum had a headache so didn't go. Dad & I went to the reading with Mr W. House.

24 July      Mum was in bed with a headache. I stayed in with her.

25 July      Mum was still in bed with a headache. I stayed in again.

Sunday 26 July      Mum still in bed. Only dad went out in the morning and afternoon. Dad went to Rubies' for tea, he preached & I went to the Gospel.

27 July      Dad & I went into town & saw the Mansion House, & the Guildhall. We then met Mr Willy & had lunch with him, Mr Stanley & Mr Ted Hardwick. We then went to the Record Office & saw Doomsday Book & then went to Westminster Abbey, but there was a wedding and a service on, so we went home, got mum and went to Nunnerleys' for tea, & then to the prayer meeting.

28 July      In the afternoon, Miss Lyon came to see us, and when she left, Mrs Allen, & then Dr Purdom (snr).

29 July      Went about 10.30 a.m. to Mr McBride's & had morning tea. Then went on to Mrs McMasters' for tea & I went to Silcocks'. We went to the reading and then home in the bus.

30 July      Dad went to town—Mum & I shopped at Croydon in the morning & went to Miss Crow's for afternoon tea. Dad & mum went to the reading.

31 July      Dad went to town, mum & I stayed at home & did washing. It was teeming rain. Went for a walk round the shops after tea.

1 August       Stayed at home. Dad & I went & did some shopping in the afternoon. We all went for a walk up by Duppas Hill Park after tea.

Sunday 2 August      Went to Coombe St. meeting, and went to Dr Suart's for tea. Fanny Jones was there. Dad preached & we went to Olivers' for supper.

3 August      Went round to Kerses' in the morning & played cricket which has made dad & me very stiff. Went in the afternoon to special meetings with Mr Newlands. We did not stay to the address by Mr Newlands. Did some packing, dad went to the prayer meeting.

4 August      Stayed in in the morning—had to wait for Carter Patterson to take our luggage to the wharf. Had lunch at home and then went in to the "seven price store" & "Peter Robinson's" while dad went & did business. Then went home again.

5 August      Dad went round to Mrs Purdom's and Mr Penson's before 10 a.m. Carter Patterson called for payment. We then went in to town to the National Art Gallery. Dad went on & did business. Mum & I went & had lunch in a café & then went & saw the King's stables &then on & met dad (St. James's Park) & saw the changing of the guards & Westminster Abbey.

6 August      Went to Shimwells' in the afternoon—met Mr Hurworth on the way at Kings Cross Station. Had some tea with them at 4 o'clock and then went and had tea at the hall at 6.45 and a farewell meeting after that. Stayed the night with Mr Biggs.

7 August      Went to St. Pancras and got the boat train. Quite a few at the train to see us off. The boat didn't leave till about 2 o'clock from Tilbury Docks. Just as evening was coming on, we saw the white cliffs of Dover.

8 August      Got into the Bay of Biscay in the afternoon.

Sunday 9 August      At sea.

10 August      At sea.

11 August      Arrived Tangier 8 a.m. Went ashore in a tender. Walked round the town. Boat left about 11 a.m. Arrived Gibraltar about 2 p.m. Went ashore in a tender and went for a ride in a horse-drawn vehicle.

12 August      At sea.

13 August      Arrived Marseille about 4 o'clock. Dad & Mr Hurworth went ashore.

14 August      We all went ashore in the morning & Willys came on board while we weren't there & so they went ashore again and came back in the afternoon. We went for a long tram-ride after dinner after having much difficulty in finding what tram. We had a drink of lemon squash on the pavement. Boat left midnight.

15 August      At sea.

Sunday 16 August      Arrived Malta 9 p.m. Mr & Mrs Artis came on board. Did not stay long.

17 August      At sea. The Mediterranean.

18 August      At sea. The Mediterranean.

19 August      Arrived Port Said 10 a.m. Went ashore. Went into Simon Artz. Left 1 o'clock. Were in the Suez Canal then.

20 August      Red Sea.

21 August      Arrived Pt. Sudan 9.45 p.m. Went ashore. The dark people looked like Golliwogs and had wooden scratching pins in their hair. Left midnight.

22 August      At sea. The Red Sea.

Sunday 23 August      Arrived Aden 7.30 p.m. Dad & Mr Hurworth went ashore. Dad bought our kimonos. Left midnight.

24 August      At sea.

25 August      At sea. Saw the navigation bridge. Saw a whale spouting.

26 August      At sea.

27 August      At sea.

28 August      Arrived Bombay early in the morning—walked to the other side of the island. Looked round "Army & Navy Stores"—saw many other interesting things. Boat left about 1 o'clock.

29 August      At sea.

Sunday 30 August      Arrived Colombo about 8 p.m. Mr Copeman came aboard to see us. Went ashore in tender. Went out to see Mr & Mrs Philips. Walked round by the shops afterwards. I went for ride in rickshaw. Boat left after midnight.

31 August      At sea. The Indian Ocean.

1 September      At sea. The Indian Ocean. Crossed equator at 10 a.m.

2 September      At sea. The Indian Ocean.Father Neptune came aboard.

3 September      At sea. The Indian Ocean.

4 September      At sea. The Indian Ocean. [Mr Hurworth, to keep me amused during the long days at sea, made up word puzzles.]

5 September      At sea. The Indian Ocean.

Sunday 6 September      At sea. The Indian Ocean.

[We left the boat at Fremantle and some of our relations took us by train to Gnowangerup where the Richardsons lived on their farm. The girls were going home from Perth for their school holidays. It was a bumpy little train and made me feel travel sick!

Uncle Sax and Auntie Frances (my father's sister) lived on this farm, called "Gidgie". It was a very flat area of land. The boys taught me how to ride a bike and how to look for underground water with a metal wire which bent down where there was water underneath. They drove us around the area and then back to Perth to visit others. We stayed one week and then took another ship homeward, calling at Melbourne on the way and seeing Uncle David and family.

On the way up the coast the ship caught fire! The cargo of coconut-fibre in the hold started to burn by internal combustion. We were all called from our cabins and told to bring our life belts with us. On deck the life boats were down and we did fire drill. They were casting the cargo overboard and it floated along (bales of it) burning in the water. The ship pulled in to Twofold Bay near Eden. We had to sit up on deck all day, but eventually they decided it was safe to go on again up to Sydney. We were very glad to be safely home.

EMC 2004]