BEAVERBRAE / ex HUASCARAN / AURELIA / ROMANZA 1938 The BEAVERBRAE was built as the HUASCARAN for the Hamburg America Line by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg in 1938. She was built as a 10,480 gross ton ship with a length of 487.5ft x beam 60.3ft, one funnel, one mast single screw and a speed of 17 knots. There was accommodation for 32 passengers. Launched on 15th Dec. 1938, she sailed on her maiden voyage from Hamburg to the West coast of South America and on her return was taken over by the German Navy and converted to a submarine depot ship. She spent most of her time in Norway where she was captured undamaged by the Allies in 1945. Taken over by the War Assets Corporation, she arrived in Liverpool in April 1947 for a refit. In June she sailed for Montreal as part of Canada's war reparations and was allocated to North American Transports Inc. for use as a cargo liner. At that time she was Canada's largest merchant ship. Purchased by Canadian Pacific on 2nd September 1947, she was renamed BEAVERBRAE to honour the previous Beaverbrae that sacrificed herself defending a convoy in the Atlantic in 1941 and rebuilt to 9,034 gross tons, one funnel, two masts and with cabin accommodation for 74 passengers and dormitory accommodation for a further 699. On 8th February she sailed on her first voyage from St John NB with cargo for London (subsequent cargo voyages to Antwerp) and then to Bremen for passengers; and made 51 sailings from Bremen to Canada with displaced persons. She was the only "Beaver" ship to carry cargo eastbound and passengers westbound (the others were cargo ships) and was also the only one under Canadian registration and with a Canadian crew. Canadian Pacific worked with the International Refugee Organisation and with the Canadian Christian Council for the Relief of Refugees and the refugees were forwarded from collection points on the German frontiers to the despatching centre in Bremen. Here they were examined by Canadian government officials for health and security. Documentation and embarkation arrangements were handled by the Canadian Pacific office in Bremen. The BEAVERBRAE made an average of one sailing each month and usually carried between 500 and 700 emigrants, of whom approximately one in five were children. They were destined for friends or relatives in Canada and few could speak English. Before the ship reached port, the purser would issue each emigrant with an identification tag, indicating their destination. When advice was received in Montreal that the ship had left Bremen, arrangements were made for two special trains with colonist and baggage cars to be assembled at the port of entry. The first train would usually be routed to Montreal and Toronto, and the second to Winnipeg and points west, almost every car destined to a different part of the country. A special three-car unit was attached to each train to feed the refugees. One car was fitted as a kitchen, the second as a dining car by day and a sleeper for the crew at night, the third being used as a recreation and dining car for the passengers. The BEAVERBRAE made her last emigrant voyage when she left Bremen on 28th July 1954, having carried over 38,000 refugees to Canada. Sold to Compagnia Genovese d'Armamento, Genoa on 1st November 1954, she was rebuilt at Monfalcone to 10,022 tons and with accommodation for 1,124 tourist class passengers. Renamed AURELIA, she sailed from Trieste on 13th May 1955, via Suez to Australia and made later voyages from Genoa. Re-engined in 1958-59 and rebuilt to 10,480 tons, she started her first Bremen - Suez - Australia voyage on 12th June 1959. In June 1960 she made a Bremen - New York voyage for Council on Student Travel. She made a total of 34 round voyages between English Channel ports and New York between May 1962 and August 1969. In 1970 she was sold to Chandris Lines and was renamed ROMANZA in 1970, she was registered at Piraeus, refitted and used for cruising. Registered at Panama in 1977 and transferred to Armadora Romanza SA, Panama in 1979. The ship was sold to Ambassador Leisure, renamed ROMANTICA in 1991 and cruised in the Eastern Mediterranean until 1997 when she caught fire returning to Cyprus from Egypt. Fortunately there were no casualties and after the ship was abandoned she was towed in Limassol. The burnt out hulk was scrapped the following year.