The ship was initially known as the Huascaran by the Hamburg America Line. She was intended to serve on their Mexico-Panama Canal-South American Service with her sister ship was Osorno and made a single voyage to the west coast of South America before being requisitioned by the Kreigsmarine. The ship was launched on December 15th 1938 as a 10,480 gross ton freighter with a speed of 17 knots. She was ready for service on April 27th 1939
During the war she served as a submarine depot at Trandheim in Norway. and then taken over by the Canadian War Assets Corporation managed by Park Steamship Company
|Muendels on the Beaverbrae in 1952 I think|
After being captured by the Allies at the end of the war and came into to the possession of the War Assets Corporation. In November 1945 she was handed over to Great Britain as part of the War Reparations. Later in June 1947 she was allocated to Canada as part of this country's war reparations. After arriving in Montreal she was purchased by Canadian Pacific on September 2 1947 and renamed the Beaverbrae II. CP had a previous ship known as the Beaverbrae that had been sunk in March of 1941 by German Focke Wulf Condor bombers.
The Beaverbrae II was refitted in Sorel Quebec into a cargo liner of 9,034 gross tons with space for 773 passengers, 74 in cabins and 699 in dorms.
The Commissioner of Immigration Arthur Jolliffe placed the Beaverbrae at the disposal of the Canadian Government and the Canadian Christian Council for the Resettlement of Refugees (CCCRR). The ship sailed about every 28 days with 773 passengers. In its service to the CCCRR, the Beaverbrae completed 52 voyages carrying a total of 33,259 passengers from Bremen, Germany, Rotterdam, Holland and Antwerp, Belgium to Halifax, St John or Quebec City, Canada..
Her final trip carrying people to Canada left Bremen on July 28th 1954.
Both my parents and my aunt Nata Runge came over on the Beaverbrae. My grandmother Maria von Fersen, her two young sons and my cousin Charlie did not come on the Beaverbrae, but on the Arosa Kulm. The first job both my parents had in Canada was on the Beaverbrae as translators, so they were hard working immigrants before they even got off of the ship at Quebec City. They were both expected to do work on the ship to "pay" for their passage, this meant cleaning and cooking.
My father sailed on her in 1951 leaving Bremerhaven on August 22nd and arriving in Quebec City on September 3rd. He spent the trip playing cards for money and winning. My father would have made a good professional poker player if he had any real desire to play for money.
My mother sailed in August 1952 from Bremerhaven arriving in Quebec City on August 19th. Her trip was a non-stop party for her. As a 23 year old woman travelling on her own she spent most of the trip cavorting with the crew.
In Quebec City my mother boarded a special immigrant train that took her, and many others to Winnipeg from where they traveled onto their final destinations by train. My mother was headed to Penticton to work as a nanny and housemaid for the family of Dr Wickett. Her first home in Canada was 689 Winnipeg Street in Penticton