Stories contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.
King Momo Comes Aboard
Both the S.S. Argentina and the S.S. Brazil returned to New York in late February
and early March, completing the annual Rio Carnival program, which calls traditionally for the presence of two of the ships of the Good Neighbor Fleet in port while the people of Rio de Janeiro and its environs celebrate the
four days preceding the Lenten season.
This year an unusual ceremony took place as King Momo, the city's official ruler during Carnival, boarded the Brazil as she
approached her pier. In costume, attended by members of his court, who in the spirit of gayety typical of Carnival, he welcomed Captain Sadler and his passengers.
The city of Montevideo, Uruguay, also staged a demonstration for the benefit of the Carnival tourists, in typically gracious
fashion. When the ships arrived at that port the passengers were taken in buses to Punta del Este, the nation's most famous watering place, and were guests of the government at a party, while being shown about and made to feel
at home. So thrilled were the Brazil's passengers by this show of hospitality that all aboard signed an illuminated document addressed to the Uruguayan president, expressing their appreciation.
New Ships on Canvas
The most recent addition to Mooremack's gallery is a painting of the
proposed new passenger-cargo ships, described in some detail in the December issue of the "News."
This is the work of Charles Lundgren, one of America's better known young artists, whose specialty is maritime themes and who has
painted more than 1,000 craft, mostly sailing ships.
Mr. Lundgren studied at the New York School of Fine Art and Design, also in Paris, Germany and Italy. He shares a unique
studio-gallery with a fellow-artist, in North Hempstead, Long Island. The building, formerly occupied by the First Presbyterian Church, is 100 years old this year and is the center of a very active artistic movement.
In this building some thirty professional artists, known as the Church Mice, gather to display their paintings and talk shop.
They encourage teachers and students to visit, too, to observe professionals at work and learn those things that only artists can teach the young.
[We don't think this painting was used very much because the design of the ships was changed before they were launched in 1958.]
The McCormacks Sail
Emmet J. McCormack sailed in early February with Mrs.
McCormack aboard the Matsun liner Lurline for a vacation in Hawaii. Prior to sailing, the San Francisco Call-Bulletin interviewed Mr. McCormack,
quoting him as follows:
"He expressed the opinion that trade between the Pacific Coast and Latin America is on the upswing, occasioned partly by increased
population along the U.S. western slope and partly by improving business conditions to the southward.
"Mr. McCormack said that as an indication of his company's optimism, its subsidiary Pacific Republics Line, which operates from
here to the East Coast of South America, has a vastly expanded cargo lift now as compared with pre-war.
"Before Pearl Harbor, he said, Moore-McCormack operated four or five freighters in the service. Now it has five C-3 type vessels,
each 50 per cent greater in carrying capacity than the pre-war ships and faster to boot."
Honesty at Sea
It has taken some time to convince the world of the quality of
the American sailor, but most people now realize that the men who take American flag ships to sea are the equal of the best and better than most men in their trade. Two recent incidents aboard the S.S. Brazil help
strengthen this feeling.
Ming Lai, first class bedroom steward, found a $100 bill one day recently aboard ship. He turned it over to Maurice Scharman,
chief purser, who waited a claimant. No one laid claim. It was decided to wait a trip, in case the claimant came late. No one appeared. The money automatically should belong to the finder.
But Ming Lai didn't want the money. If the owner did not claim it, then it should be used for the welfare of others who deserved
help. He, therefore, in a letter to Mr. Scharman asked that the $100 be given to the Industrial Home for the Blind, in Brooklyn, and Ming Lai obtained all he wanted in the satisfaction of reading a heartfelt letter of thanks
written by Peter J. Salmon, executive director of the home.
The other incident, which also occurred aboard the S.S. Brazil, involved Henry Frankenberg, a fire-watchman, who found
aboard ship a wallet containing $2,000 in cash and several documents of value to the owner. He turned it in to the purser and quite soon afterward the distraught owner claimed it. Mr. Frankenberg's honesty did not go
One of the many intriguing features of the annual Carnival at Rio de Janeiro
which ushers in the Lenten season is a competition for honors among the Cariocas (as the people of Rio are known) and all others who feel they have a song in their systems.
For months prior to the opening of Carnival on the Sunday prior to Ash Wednesday, the fruits of the nation's best song-writing talents are poured
into melodies and lyrics that go out to the Brasilian public by radio and dance band and every other possible means. Valuable prizes are awarded the composers of the most popular songs and frequently the contest opens the door
to fame. Weeks later, these songs start to filter up to the North American public, in many instances reaching the Hit Parade.
The songs destined for top popularity in Brasil throughout the year first come to life during Carnival time because it is then that the people of
Rio and others who travel many miles into Rio for the four days of Carnival hilarity are in the mood to sing and dance, to welcome new lilts and sentiments.
This year a competitive melody in the thick of the competition represents the joint efforts of three North Americans—Philip Braxton, Bob Freeley
and George Schmidt, respectively cruise director, orchestra leader and pianist of the Moore-McCormack liner S.S. Brazil. This is one of two ships of the Mooremack fleet which were in Rio the duration of the Carnival,
tying up at the foot of the Rio Branco, Rio's Main Street. She sailed from New York January 25. Her sister ship, the S.S. Argentina, was also in Rio for Carnival.
The Braxton-Freeley-Schmidt product, written in samba tempo, has been played aboard the Brazil during the ship's recent voyages and its
reception by passengers encouraged the writers to hope for success. The composers were thinking of a cross section of young womanhood when they wrote their "Que Bola" which translates "What a Character!"
The Shipmaster at Christmas
What does a shipmaster do about Christmas? Well, for one thing, he keeps his ship going, if she happens to be at sea. The "New
York Herald Tribune" looked into the Christmas record of a Mooremack master in a recent story, and found that this particular fellow – it was Captain Harry N. Sadler of the Brazil – took for granted his absence from home at Christmastime,
that indeed, in the forty-five years since he started his sea career he had spent only ten Christmases at home. And, the newspaper discovered, the captain liked the idea.
"Captain Harry N. Sadler, master of the Moore-McCormack Lines' Brazil, estimated before sailing recently from New York that
he had spent no more than ten Christmas holidays at home over the last forty-five years.
"The Brazil, which yesterday was reported three days out of Rio de Janeiro on her southbound voyage, has been Capt.
Sadler's home over Christmas every year since he first took command before the war, except on the few occasions when the liner was in New York over the holiday period. Capt. Sadler was master of the vessel throughout her
war-time service as a transport and later as a war-bride ship.
"Capt. Sadler said before his Dec. 14 sailing from New York that he has come to enjoy Christmas at sea; in fact, he prefers to
take his vacation during the summer when he can enjoy his Virginia home. Christmas trees on shipboard, presents for the children on the passenger list and the company of travelers from many parts of the world offer a
stimulating experience that helps to make the holiday at sea a happy one, he said.
"Capt. Sadler first went to sea as a boy of fifteen. Shipping with his uncle, who was a shipmaster, he liked the experience so
well that he determined to make the sea a career. Formerly a master for Munson Line, his record on the bridge of ships serving on the route to the east coast of South America is the longest in the American merchant marine."
Thumbing back, the editors realize that this is, in a way, a Sadler Edition. The Brazil's master became a photographer's target
when his ship visited Rio in February with a carnival-bound group, then again in March, when the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce group posed on deck, southbound. Photogenic, the captain.