top of page
Search

Cathy Hooper - Cruisemaster Hostess and other Great P&O Princess Girls


Cathy Hooper and I in Glacier Bay Alaska 1975 - Pacific Princess


I had the great pleasure of sailing with Cathy Hooper way back at the start of P&O Princess back in 1975. We first met during the first Alaskan cruising season on Pacific Princess (The Love Boat).


Cathy initially worked for P&O in her home city of San Francisco. When P&O took over Princess cruises in 1974, Cathy moved over to Princess in Los Angeles to create the "Princess Cruisemaster Club “ loyalty cruising scheme.


These loyalty programmes are so commonplace nowadays but back in 1970s, they were an innovation for the fairly new cruise industry. Cathy was the first Cruisemaster Hostess and she sailed with us on a number of Alaskan Cruises. Once onboard she arranged a number of special events for our frequent cruisers and also liaised with the various travel agent groups that travelled on the ships.


Cathy became very much a part of our ship's company and partied with the best of us.

I remember going ashore with her on a number of occasions, especially in San Francisco where she was so at home.


After leaving Princess Cruises, Cathy went on to work for Royal Viking Line and eventually became the Manager of the port agents Williams Dimond & Co. office in San Francisco until her retirement.










It was with great sadness that l heard that Cathy had passed away this week as a result of a heart attack during a hospital procedure,

Catharine Hooper died in the Kaiser Hospital, San Rafael on the 3rd November. She was 75 years of age.


RIP Cathy.





GIRLS AT SEA

Over my years at sea, I sailed with some really great girls. Back in the 1970’s employment for girls at sea was limited. I of course worked mostly with the woman assistant pursers that were employed in the purser’s bureau. On Oriana, there were also nurses, entertainment hostesses, children's hostesses, a limited number of stewardesses and of course the wonderful ladies that ran the telephone exchange, who were a font of knowledge about shipboard operations for a wet behind the ears Junior assistant purser.



One of the more senior women that I worked with on Oriana was the senior WAP, Gill Angrave.


Gill and I only sailed together for around six months, after which time she left the sea.


In the 1970’s Women employed at sea had to leave at the age of forty. Conditions of employment for them were not equal to men and they had no pension rights.






Some of the other girls I had the pleasure to sail with on Oriana.

Maggie- Hostess, Eve - WAP, Gill = SWAP, Nursing Sister, Janice - WAP, Annette - WAP

David - JAP - Suzanne - Hostess


Back in the 1970's, shipboard entertainment was limited. The ships' officers and crew were expected to take part in some of the evening entertainments. It was not compulsory, but the more extrovert ones amongst us loved to get into gear and hit the stage or dance floor as you can see here.


Working at sea can be a strange experience, sometimes you end up working with the same people over and over repeatedly and others, you sail with once and never set eyes on again.


I sailed with a number of woman assistant pursers on different ships and occasions. Both on P&O and again on Princess.


Linda Tattershall and l first sailed together on Oriana. It was Linda that christened me with my nickname “Sooty” Soon after she joined the ship someone shouted across the bureau “Stotty” a name l had had since school days. Linda misheard and thought they shouted “Sooty” and so the name stuck for a number of years.


Linda and I were to sail again on Island Princess. After we left the sea I lost contact with Linda until fairly recently when we met up again after forty years.



Annette Moore and I go back a long way and sailed together a lot of times during our time at sea. Annette is a great dancer and we often trotted around the dance floor together. During her time at sea she met Philip the love of her life who she later married. We recently met and were going to reproduce this picture but in the heat of the moment completely forgot to capture the moment. Hopefully, we will get the chance in the future.


Here I am with Annette and her future husband Phil.


One of the women I most admired at sea was Judy Smyth. I was lucky to sail with Judy Smyth early in my life at sea. At the time she was SWAP on Oriana, l remember how efficient she was. Judy’s hobby was also travelling and I remember her telling me that she had travelled overland on the Trans – Siberia railway on her recent shore leave. Remember this in the days of the USSR before the fall of the iron curtain, which presented many challenges at the time.


Judy’s plight highlighted that opportunities for P&O’s women were severely restricted. But, by 1976, the Company was bound by equal opportunities legislation and the new Sex discrimination Act of 1975, introduced in International Women’s Year.


In a significant outcome, for both employee and employer, Judy became the first female ‘Bureau Manager’ in 1977. A triumph she topped by becoming P&O’s first Woman Purser in 1990.



GIRLS AT SEA


We have Judy and other pioneering women to thank for leading the way to P&O appointing their first female Captain. back in 2010.


Sarah Brenton became the first female Captain in P&O’s 174-year history.



READ MORE FROM SALTY SEADOG





Recent Posts

See All

8件のコメント


2kabarton
2kabarton
2021年12月09日

I was very sorry to learn that Catherine Hooper passed away. She was such a lovely person.


Catherine and I met in January, 1980, when we were seated together aboard a Western Airlines flight from San Francisco to Acapulco. I happened to glimpse the corner of a P&O ticket peeking out of her purse and asked if like me, she was flying south to join CANBERRA. Indeed she was. By the time the DC10 landed we were friends and Catherine invited me to join her and a crewmember colleague for dinner at the Acapulco Princess, prior to tendering out to the ship. Once onboard Catherine guided me to the Purser's Desk and in moments I had been upgraded from my…


いいね!
2kabarton
2kabarton
2022年1月28日
返信先

I'd be happy to share my photos if you'll advise me how to do so.

Cheers - Kenneth

いいね!

miltonchapman13
miltonchapman13
2021年11月28日

I began playing in the Pacific Lounge Trio on the P.P. in 1977 out of San Pedro, first to Alaska, Mexico, then The South Pacific. I played on The Pacific Princess for eleven years off and on. Jim Everett and Gus (shu-up_) were cruise directors and Leslie Jons and Beryl Davis were performers as was Dick Gold and many others. Milt Chapman

いいね!
Salty Seadog
Salty Seadog
2021年11月28日
返信先

I sailed with Gus ar one time, i think he was entertainment officer at the time. I remember Leslie Jons and Beryl Davies very well, they were regulars on Princess at the time.

いいね!

Jamie, The Purser
Jamie, The Purser
2021年11月28日

Excellent presentation of WAPs and SWAP’ life with P&O and Princess Cruises. Brings back happy memories of my own experiences at sea with Shaw Savill 1967-73 . Nowadays, there are few surviving WAP, but I have kept in touch with one for 53 years, from

Southern Cross, she is a scouser, and still lives near Liverpool. Another one was WAP on Northern Star in 1972, we are still good friends today, we both live in Auckland.

Unlike you David, regretfully I do not have photos of all my WAP, in fact some I don’t recall their names, even though I do have photos of some. Another one I met on my first voyage on Southern Cross in 1967, she lives…

いいね!

John Martin
John Martin
2021年11月28日

Another 'nearly a first' for women in P&O. Sara Miller became the second deck cadet to qualify as 3rd.Officer when I was serving in P&O's Bulkshipping Division on their gas ships. 1978. Presumably the same career path that Captain Sarah Brenton followed.


いいね!

John Martin
John Martin
2021年11月28日

On a 'Fam' trip to Princess Cruises in 1982, the SWAP on 'Island Princess' was Susan Jones. Seen here on tender going ashore at Cabo San Lucas. I met her again on 'Pacific Princess' in 1983. I was delighted to learn later that she made it to full Purser. I believe she mainly remained in the Princess ships.


いいね!
    
     Please subscribe to  Salty Seadog

Thanks for joining us

bottom of page