Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated May 2008


The Board Members of the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation are very sorry to report that Richard Michalak, our Historian, Australian Board Representative, and Newsletter Editor has resigned for personal reasons and due to the pressure of work. He will be sorely missed by Shutists everywhere.

I (Dan Telfair) will be acting as interim Newsletter Editor until a suitable replacement can be found. Art Cornell, Foundation Vice president and Chief of Staff, has the responsibility of selecting a replacement Newsletter Editor. Anyone who might be interested in applying for the position should contact Art through the Newsletter.


Those who have read Nevil's biography may remember that he was critical of his own writing because of over-reliance on coincidences. In my report on OZ2001, I wrote about extremely unlikely coincidences encountered during that convention, and Zia Telfair presented a talk on the subject of coincidences at the recent conference in Alice Springs. It seems that whenever Nevil is involved, directly or indirectly, coincidences abound.

The latest unlikely coincidence has to do with the little town of Roma in the Queensland Outback. As part of my duties in taking over as interim Newsletter Editor, I asked Richard to send me any recent Newsletter correspondence. Of the dozen or so letters received, one was from C. Dalton in Minnesota. Mr. Dalton reported that a correspondent of his in Australia was an avid Shutist and suggested he might like to have information on the Foundation. A letter from his correspondent, B. Fulton, was attached. In perusing the letter, I noticed that Mr. Fulton resides in Roma, a tiny town in the Queensland Outback. Zia and I, who have been enjoying a three-month sabbatical in the equally tiny Queensland Outback town of Longreach, are driving to Brisbane next week pursuant to our return to the US. We had already made arrangements to stop overnight in Roma! Needless to say, we have now been in contact with Mr. Fulton, and will be joining him for dinner next Wednesday.


So as not to suffer withdrawal during our sabbatical, I sent a complete set of Nevil's books ahead to await our arrival in Longreach. Now that we are about to return to the US, arrangements have been made to donate these books to the Longreach Library. Thus, the library will now have a complete collection of Nevil Shute books - one book for every 100 of Longreach's 2,500 inhabitants.


Mike Blamey, UK, writes:

Dear Richard,

Received the latest newsletter and congratulations. Sorry to read of your stepping being editor, but you have made a great contribution and I am sure the Foundation is set on a great future.

I was 'moved' by reading of the start of the NSN exhibit at the York Air Museum: and John Anderson's description of meeting some old bomber crews there.

I attach a piece I wrote following a communication/discussion with the former Lord Chief Justice of the UK - Lord Lane, who was himself a bomber pilot in WW2. In fact Gill (who you met)'s Uncle Jack, joined up in September 1940-one of 48- the entire first year Class at Manchester University studying aeronautics: when the war was over there were only 3 left and Jack was one. (He stayed in and flew V bombers as the 'old' timer (supposedly with the codes so that the youngsters in the front would not start WW3 off their own bat!) Jack told me that my piece really caught the mood and thinking of wartime crews: The ultimate disgrace was to be removed from flying for LMF.

Mike Blamey

Note: Anyone interested in reading Mr. Blamey's article may write to him care of the Newsletter.

Steve van Dulken of the UK writes:

1950 Norway Family Voyage to Australia

Further to the recent posting in the newsletter about the database on British embarkation records, these are now complete for 1890-1960. They therefore include the 1950 voyage by sea of the Shute family to Australia. The site is .

The name of the ship, the date it sailed, and details such as address, occupation and reason for the voyage are only available from scanned copies of the manifests. Also anyone accompanying them. The free details do show that in 1950 the Norway party consisted of Nevil, his wife Frances, and daughters Shirley Anne and Heather Felicity.

The database also shows that Shirley and Heather sailed from Liverpool to Montreal in 1940, aged 5 and 8 respectively. This was after Nevil had sailed from Southampton to Halifax in 1939, a possibly connected journey to look for a foster home?

These records should not be treated as always correct: when my family sailed to Montreal in 1955 the ages of my brother and I were accidentally swapped, and I have noted other errors (occupation, nationality) for my family.

Best wishes,

Steve van Dulken

That is about it for this Newsletter. The remainder of the letters to the editor this month were mainly personal letters to Richard, requests for changes in addresses and/or continuations of previous correspondence that are not appropriate presented alone.

Please send all Newsletter correspondence to until further notice.

Regards from the Great Land Down Under,

Dan Telfair, Founder

The Nevil Shute Norway Foundation


Write in if you want your name listed and would like to get together with other Shutists in your vicinity.


Jim Wells lives in Lindfield, Sydney
Richard Michalak lives in Paddington, Sydney
Ruth Pearson lives in Adelaide
Neil Wynes Morse lives in Canberra


Julian Stargardt


Bruce A Clarke lives in Bangkok


Jim & Kristi Woodward live in Broken Arrow (east of Tulsa), Oklahoma, USA.
Priscilla Pruitt lives near Bellingham, Washington State
Bill McCandless lives in Joliet near Chicago.
Joy Hogg, Harrietta Michigan (northern lower Michigan, near Traverse City and Cadillac)
David B. Horvath, dhorvath in the domain, near Philadelphia Pennsylvania, USA.
Al Benkelman Warrenton, Virginia