Veteran Marine Engineer Oral History - Don McRoberts

Collection Highlights | Updated 4 years ago

A group of mean wearing white, gathered in a huddle
Marine Engineer volunteers at the Maritime Museum
Image copyright of WA Museum

Donald McRoberts and was born in East Fremantle in January 1928. He attended East Fremantle Plympton School and the Fremantle Boy’s High School from 1939 to 1941 before going taking up a pre-apprenticeship course in fitting and turning at the Fremantle Technical for 12 months in 1942.

He was one of the last of the apprentices to be classified as a Fitter and Turner before that position branched into specialisations of ‘Fitter Machinists’ or ‘Fitter Welders’. He started a five-year apprenticeship with Co-Operative Bulk Handling.

McRoberts then embarked on a maritime career with ‘Blue Funnel Line’. When he arrived at Liverpool, United Kingdom the Examiner of Engineers required McRoberts to work in a shipyard as a fitter for twelve which he completed in a Glasgow shipyard. He then embarked on a career as a marine engineer.

Since his retirement, he and his colleagues from the Royal Institute of Marine Engineers (now the Institute for Marine Engineering, Science and Technology) have been active volunteers working with the Maritime History Department and Department of Materials Conservation.

Maritime history oral histories