This Orient Line SS Orcades shipboard dinner menu for Thursday, 9th January 1958 was collected as a souvenir by Mr Edgar Rouse, the Chief Managing Director of Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd, in 1958 while on a journey to the United States of America.

The menu features Queen Mary II, of the House of Stuart, 1689 - 1694, and was one of six menu cards profiling the queens of England who 'succeeded to the throne in their own right'. The other queens featured were Elizabeth I, Mary I, Anne, Victoria and H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. The illustration on the cover was drawn by Miss Dorrit Dekk.

Newly appointed as the Chief Managing Director after the previous incumbent, his father Mr John 'JJ' Rouse, had died in 1938, Mr Edgar Rouse was visiting the USA to consult with Eastman Kodak executives at the head office in Rochester, New York. When he returned to Australia, Mr Rouse gave this menu and a number of postcards and souvenirs to Mr Harry Clarke, the young son of Kodak Australasia employees who lived onsite at the Kodak factory in Abbotsford, Melbourne. While away on his trip, Mr Rouse had also sent a number of postcards to Harry Clarke and his parents.

Harry Clarke lived on the Kodak factory site in Abbotsford with his parents at the 'Yarra Grange' house from 1938, when he was twelve years old, until 1952, when he was twenty six years old. His mother was the chef in the Kodak directors' dining room and his father worked in silver recovery and then later was a gardener at Kodak. He felt very important to have the chief of Kodak interested in his well-being. Harry remembers that Mr Rouse 'took a shine to me as a small child and on one occasion invited me and his son, John Rouse to be guests with the directors of Kodak in their dining room, which of course brought great pride and joy to my mother. He wrote me cards and sent me cards of boats that he'd travelled on to America, and whilst he was in America he sent me very detailed postcards with long, handwritten notes... He was always very, very kind and gentle with, not only me but my mother and father, who he had great respect for.'

Harry says that 'When I lived at Kodak it was a huge, very huge place, and I seemed to live a very privileged life for a small child, I had the virtual run of the factory excepting some sections, particularly during the war years.... The staff at Kodak were like a large family. ...Living at Kodak at that time was very much like living in an enlarged family, everybody seemed to be very friendly and supportive, the dining room I think provided meals free of charge, there was a lot of benevolence in that period of time.'

Physical Description

Four page colour illustrated menu. The front features an illustration of Queen Mary II, of the House of Stuart. The back has information about the design of the postcard and about Queen Mary II herself. The inside right page was printed in black text with menu information. The inside left page is blank.

More Information