Keith Donald

Joined Aug 1957

Left May 1961

I am the eldest of three brothers. We all joined the Pursers Dept. of U-C. The other two, Graham and Angus, had both left by 197?.

About two years of my time were in the Rhodesia Castle, one class round Africa. I recall we lost a man overboard between St. Helena and Ascension. Never found him in spite of an air search assist from Ascension.

I made a memorable trip to Cairo and the Pyramids in the company of passengers whilst the ship was transiting Suez Canal. I’ve never been back since.

Whilst in one of the Mail Ships I was responsible for losing £500, it was stolen at the end of voyage payoff. This was conducted in the Tourist Class lounge with an open desk and no security!  Mr Bernard Cayzer was particularly kind to me in assuring me it was not my fault. From then on the payoff took place within the bureau and therefore behind security bars.

Lastly, and I suppose most importantly, I met my wife a passenger in the Edinburgh Castle. We have now been married for 54 years!  I thought these shipboard romances were supposed to last about six months.

One other thing, just remembered, I was in the Rhodesia Castle when we did a short cruise, perhaps the first of such events, we went to Lisbon, Marseilles and Casablanca, not the usual ports of call. The reason for this was to prevent the ship being idle whilst the schedule was changed. We then went East about as opposed West about Africa.

Keith Donald, former 2nd Purser died last Friday 25th June 2018. Keith had been receiving treatment for prostate cancer over a number of years.

Keith joined Union-Castle following National Service in the Royal Navy . After leaving the sea he worked for many years with Manufacturers Life

Younger brothers Graham and Angus also served on the U-C Pursers staff.

A service of thanksgiving for Keith was held at St. Mary and St. James Church Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset at 1.30pm on Wednesday, 20th June.

Obituary - 2018

Service Record



Rhodesia Castle

Asst Purser



Pretoria Castle

Asst Purser



Durban Castle

Asst Purser



Pendennis Castle

2nd Purser




25 June 2018

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