A meeting of the Auckland Section of the New Zealand Company of Master Mariners was held on 20 October 1937. The members present were : Captains H H Sargeant, G E Fox, A Davies, A N Jenkyns, A J Inman, W A Grey, A S Dalgliesh, F Warren, D Probert, M Holm, H Falconer, and W J Keane. Apologies were received from Captains B Burk, J W R Richmond, D McCrone and M Pierotti.
Captain Fox who presided in the absence of Captain C G Plunkett, said the Auckland Section had been more or less dormant for a long time. In extending a welcome to Captain Keene, who had been transferred from Wellington and taken over the secretarial duties of the Auckland section, he assured him that the support of all Auckland members would be behind his efforts to make the section the comparatively strong one it should be.
Captain Keane said his experience in Wellington had convinced him that in order to give effect to the excellent aims and objects of the Company it must be made as near 100 per cent representative of all those who held a master’s certificates as possible.
To the strong nucleus of responsible master mariners in shore employment must be added the full strength of the younger men holding masters certificates at sea. The seafaring profession suffered more from lack of organisation than any other. There were many problems which could well engage the immediate and serious consideration of the Company.
Captain Keane said he was not alone in holding the opinion that if it were not for the existence of Cook Strait, New Zealand would not have a mercantile marine at all. While in the past it had been the popular opinion that shipowners had only to cast the net into the sea to get it full of banknotes, it was becoming increasingly evident that the coastal sea carriage of goods was becoming slowly but surely eliminated by the unfair competition of land transport. From a defence point of view the existence of a strong coastal mercantile marine with personnel having a complete knowledge of the coastline was essential to a sea girt country like New Zealand.
The following committee were elected for the ensuing year : Chairman, Captain G E Fox, committee, Captains H H Sargeant, F Warren, M Holm, A W Jenkyns, A Davies; hon secretary Captain W J Keane.