On 1 October 1924, Basil Goulevitch and Jan Shemlovski arrived in Townsville on the ship SS Tango Maru. They had both travelled ahead of their families to raise money to bring their families to Australia.

Jan Goulevitch arrived in Townsville, in the hold of the ship S.S. Tango Maru arriving on 1 April 1925. Jan was 6 years old and his sister Katherine was 3 years old when the ship left Yokohama, Japan. They travelled with their mother Josephine who was 26 years old at the time and their friends the Shemlovski family. They lived in 2 holds on the ship during the voyage with the other refugees and migrants.

On arrival in Townsville they stayed overnight at Bordujenko's house which was opposite the railway station about 3 houses away from the Newmarket Hotel. They caught a train to Ayr the next day. The family lived in Ayr for many years.

Jan Goulevitch told me that when his family first saw the sunburnt wharfies in Townsville they thought that Australia must have been full of black people.

The Passenger List for the Tango Maru shows the following passengers arriving in Townsville, Queensland on 1 April 1925.

HONG KONG (Port of Embarkation)
Mr. Loong Woong 56, Merchant Canton Chinese
Mrs. M. Scott 32, Wife Manilla British
Mr. Sangoro Nakayama 53, Blacksmith Wakayamakek Japanese
Mr. Atowjiro? Sugimoto 36, Cook Wakayamakek Japanese
Mrs. Josephine Goulevitch 26, Wife Shanghai Polish
Master, Yan, Goulevitch 4, Son Shanghai Polish
Miss Katerina Goulevitch 2, Girl Shanghai Polish
Mr. Leo W. Shemlovsky 36, farm labourer Shanghai Polish
Master Yosef Shemlovsky 2, Son Shanghai Polish
Mrs. Anna Shemlovsky 26, Wife Shanghai Polish
Master Albin Shemlovsky 2, Son Shanghai Polish
Mr. E.V. Jerelieff 24, Metal dealer Shanghai Russian
Mr. Leo P. Bashenin 28, Merchant Shanghai Russian
Mr. ?.?. Lyoff 36, Painter Shanghai Russian

NOTE: The entry for the Goulevitches had Russian typed as the Country of Origin but it had been crossed out and the word Polish written on.

The 1989 Townsville phone directory shows a number of Shemlowski's living in and around Ayr, including two with the initials Y. and A., which could be Yosef and Albina Shemlowski perhaps.

The master of the ship S.S. Tango Maru was Mr. V. Arakida. The ship was on a voyage from Yokohama to Townsville.


Built 1905 in Nagasaki
Gross Tonnage 6893.04 tons
Net Tonnage 4238.48 tons
Official Number 9330
Port of Registry Tokyo, Japan
Steam Ship Line Yokohama, Australia 1923
Australian Line 1924

The Tango Maru was part of the Nipon Yusen Kaisha passenger liners in the 1930's. The Tango Maru was eventually sunk by American aircraft in the China Sea on the 11 March 1942.


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