Friday 16th Nov, 2018

THE GRILL: Charles Masters

Photo: David Sexton
Photo: David Sexton

Where did you grow up?
Some would argue this remains a work in progress. I spent my first 19 years in New Zealand before embarking on a failed plan with three school mates to buy and ride motor bikes from Sydney to the Pilbara seeking our fortune. Driving a dump truck paid $35k per annum whereas a house in Mosman cost $30k in the 1970s.

What was your first job?
Providoring at Union Steam Ship Co.

How did you get into shipping?
Having abandoned university I had three options: banking and finance; insurance; and lastly shipping. The other industries involved an element of nepotism which ran against my independence. The container trade had just started and the maiden voyage of the 1250 TEU container vessel Columbus New Zealand sparked my interest.

What makes shipping a special industry to work in?
When I started there was the prospect of seagoing employment, travel and not being locked into any specific industry. The advent of computers has had the effect of centralising many earlier functions which embraced cargo care, terminal and vessel planning all of which hardly exist at the local level today. Indeed the industry today is reduced to a mostly commercial activity.

What is your role with SAL and what does it entail?
Following 25 years with Hamburg Süd followed by 18 with Compagnie Maritime Marfret, SAL is a way of giving back. The role provides a focal point for local government departments, stakeholders and agencies to interact through set meetings and or events designed to be informative and engaging.

We understand you enjoy cycling. What do you enjoy about it?
Cycling has appeased a need for a convertible. It is not only cycling which pushes my buttons. There is also regular tennis and golf sessions and the odd game of snooker to take up my time. I’m good for any ball sports plus bush walks.

What is your favourite movie?
Currently it is “Finding Your Feet”. A British comedy which is in part sad but also hilarious.

What was the last book you read?
A book by Peter Fitzsimons “Fromelles & Pozieres” detailing the battles in WW1. It was all the more relevant because of a family connection, my great-uncle was killed there at the age of 21. He was the son of a Swedish immigrant and was caught up in the euphoria of adventure and signed up as an 18 year old with the New Zealand Canterbury’s 2nd Rifle Regiment and is now buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery in Ypres Belgium.

What is your favourite time of the year?
Any time of year where the daytime temperatures remains in the range of 19 to 30 degrees.

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