We thought that our members might like to know something about this organization which was formed by one of our Directors, Mr. R. W. Jones; particularly, since it is involved with ships and the introduction of ships to high school students.
Formed in 1965 and chartered as non-profit organization under the laws of Ontario, Ship's School Association operates under a board of 5 Directors drawn from business and academic fields. In addition, an Advisory Board of eleven, almost entirely drawn from the teaching profession, act as "eyes and ears" and also play an active part in the summer operations overseas.
For two years the organization sent school parties on the ships operated by the B-I Company in England. While this proved to be a good experience, and saw Canadian students travel to such places as the Soviet Union, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean from the U. K., it left much to be desired from an administration point of view. The ships were operated on the English boarding school system which, while novel, can be trying in a 40-berth dormitory in the Mediterranean below the waterline with the temperature at 105° F. Too, these vessels carried passengers in separate accommodation which meant many out-of-bounds areas and double standards. The germ of the idea was born that Ship's School Association should undertake its own charter, determine its own ports of call, and establish its own shipboard standards. The B-I Company declined to offer any further space to Ship's School when its intentions became known.
Many may have felt that without ship facility for students, 1968 would have been a "pass" year for Ship's School Association; however, a program was established for four groups of students and teachers using four centres, namely, London, Paris, Innsbruck and Exeter,in the form of a pipeline with resident administrators drawn from the Advisory Board, in each centre. Utilizing excellent University Residence facilities, school groups will have a seminar, and excursions to areas of interest at each centre. So, this summer, four groups of Ship's School members, starting July 4th and passing through the "pipeline" one week apart, will total over 600. The trip will be 29-days in length and the students will cross the Channel by steamer.
In the meantime, negotiations have been going on for the charter of a vessel for 1969. Two excellent possibilities present themselves. These are two consecutive cruises on a block-booking basis of all the tourist accommodation on the flag-ship of the Adriatica Line, AUSONIA. Since a shipboard program of lectures on ports to be visited, etc., and a relaxed school atmosphere should prevail it would require all of the tourist accommodation on the AUSONIA so as not to conflict with other passengers. The other vessel is the newly-acquired (presently being converted) ADRIA of the Eporitiki Lines, which would be chartered. Both vessels cruise out of Venice. The AUSONIA will call at Brindisi - Beirut - Istanbul - Piraeus (Athens) - Bari - Dubrovnik. This is a regular service for the vessel. The ADRIA would undertake the following calls from Venice: Corfu - Katakolon - Heraklion/Crete - Rhodes - Patmos - Istanbul - Delos - Piraeus (Athens) - Itea - Dubrovnik. Both ships are fully air-conditioned and students will travel in cabin accommodation with dining room service. There are swimming pools on both vessels and while the AUSONIA boasts a movie theatre, the film shows on the ADRIA will be shown under the stars. The cruises will be in conjunction with two weeks ashore in Europe, London, Paris, etc., and the total time overseas will be from 30 to 34 days.
Mr. Jones will be in Venice the early part of May and will visit the AUSONIA and the ADRIA. He hopes to sail on the ADRIA from Venice to Athens and will be taking photographs of these vessels, which will be presented at one of our meetings in the fall.
The aims and objects of the Association as defined by one of the Advisory Board seem to aptly sum up what it means to a high school student to see finally some of the world which previously had just been names on the map.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.