What I’m about

Here I am, with a summery look.

I’m a fairly recently retired Christian church pastor, and writing is one of the many things I enjoy.  But having 65+ years of rich life and work experiences, enjoying good health, still doing some casual and voluntary work in various areas, being free to travel and belonging to a large, much-loved, and widely scattered family tree, and doing lots of jobs around the house with my nearest and dearest Helen – all this means that blogging can’t always get first priority.  Life is often like that.  If you subscribe, WordPress will email you whenever I post.

I’m putting on the record some of the things I’ve done, learnt and observed in a lifetime of involvement and service with people in general and especially with the Christian community.   I want to share these things with whoever is interested.

My marriage and family and my work have given my wife and me much joy and satisfaction – it’d be great to record some of the memories in word and image. But dare I do that, really?

I’ve always been a person of many interests – God’s fantastic world, photography, family history, music, politics and Australiana, gardening and small projects at home, walking and swimming, people and how they tick, Christian history and history in general, work and thought, the sea, ships and ship modelling, and medical matters and especially infant surgery and pyloric stenosis, matters that have affected me deeply if very privately until now (click on this link to my blogs on this if you’re interested – or just curious).  I’m sure I could extend this list.

Again, if you’re interested, my Flickr photo pages bring many of these interests to more life – just use the Search box to select a theme. I’m also on Facebook, a great tool for keeping in touch with family, friends and my networks a little better than without it. So if you’re a Facebook subscriber too, you’re welcome to make friends with me there.

There is plenty to do, just in the world of blogging – but so little time to do it all.  For several years I’ve enjoyed the blogs of other people, some of them strangers-become-friends.   Now I’m doing my own blogging.



  1. Dear Fred. I am Rienk van der Woude now living back in Tasmania since 2010 after decades abroad and interstate, mainly in and around Adelaide. My father was a minister in Kingston (Tas) way back in the fifties and sixties. Your name sounds awfully familiar to me. Was your dad also a minister in the Reformed church ? My mother (Tina) was a member of the Reformed Church in Campbeltown SA. I am also very interested in ships and should be very happy to share some of my experiences with you. Have travelled on the “Oranje”, “Achille Lauro” (“Willem Ruys”), “Australis”, “Sea Princess” (ex “Kungsholm”), “Niew Amsterdam”, “Rotterdam”, “Infinity” and “Rhapsody of the Seas”. When we travelled back to The Netherlands from Indonesia in 1950, that was on an American troop ship which, I think, was called “General McArthur”.
    Glad to be back in beautiful Tasmania even though the winter cold here in the Midlands (Longford) is a bit hard to take after all those decades in a warmer climate. I still have a brother and two sisters living in Adelaide , a brother in Mount Glorious (near Brisbane) and another brother in Toowoomba. I was the first to leave Tasmania all those years ago and I am quite sure that I shall remain the only one to have returned to Tasmania.
    Do please drop me a line if you should feel so inclined.
    Kind regards


    • Thank you so much, Rienk, for posting this response. It is many years now since we met at your mother’s funeral in Adelaide, and yes, our family’s and our own paths have crossed on a few occasions, but usually this was like “ships passing in the night”. Still, this is one of the wonderful things about the web: it really does make it possible to reach out and keep in touch over time and distance with many people with whom otherwise we’d never be able to stay connected at all. I’ll email you about the family and interest issues you mention. I’m often sorry that I haven’t posted more of “Fred’s Pages” in recent time, but other commitments have taken priority. “One day…” I hope and expect!

  2. Fred, my parents came out on the Zuiderkruis.
    I was looking for some drawing or plans so that i can build a model

    • Peter, it’s always good to “meet” someone also passionate enough about their family history, ships, and model building to put them all together, as you have found I have done.
      If my reply is too detailed, just glean what you find helpful…
      Models can be built from a kit or from technical / architectural drawings.
      You are in luck because both methods are available regarding the migrant ship Zuiderkruis.
      In one of my posts I mentioned that Wim van der Meer, a Dutch model enthusiast, has been re-publishing many of the Dutch “Veritas” cardboard ship and aircraft model kits which really got me going in the late 1950s. He has also worked with a Polish contact to publish very fine, detailed models of several notable Dutch liners and other ships, incl. the Zuiderkruis, also in cardboard, and with an optional “detail-set” (of acetate sheets) to further enhance the model. I included a photo of Wim v d Meer’s Zuiderkruis model in my post – go to https://fredv45.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/ships-are-special-to-me-3/ You’ll find more details via http://dutchcardboardmodels.com/en/-passengerships-scaldis/3-ss-victoryschip-zuiderkruis-or-waterman-or-groote-beer.html and a Google search will give you other channels for information and orders.
      Many years ago I trawled through many Dutch shipbuilding magazines and found a beautiful set of detailed drawings of the Zuiderkruis, which I photocopied and still have. The beauty of such a drawing is that it allows you to see the decks’ layout and other ship internals and work out the hull curves. In other words, you get to know the ship inside and out and can build an accurate model from scratch. But this is not for beginners!
      The bad news is that my wife and I are currently between houses and have our household effects in storage. So I wouldn’t be able to help you much with the 2nd option until later in 2016.
      If you are interested and would perhaps find it helpful, I do have on my hard disk technical drawings of the Victory ship design from which the Zuiderkruis was developed, thus giving you the hull forms in a fair amount of detail. I have also found and saved copies of the cabin plan / main decks layout (as supplied to passengers at the time), in other words, much of what was built onto the Victory ship hull. Also lots of photos downloaded over the years.
      Of course you may well already have all or much of what I have found online.
      Let me know what might be of special interest to you.
      Best wishes!

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