David McMillan's photographs capture wartime and early postwar merchant navy scenes and experiences, mainly aboard the Canadian merchant ship SS Stanley Park. Completed in mid-1943, the Stanley Park was one of around 400 merchant ships built as part of Canada's war effort; postwar, it served with a number of foreign owners until its 1969 scrapping in Italy.
David McMillan (right) and a galley boy pose during a December 1944 "crossing the line" ceremony aboard the SS Stanley Park.
Both have been smeared with paint as part of the proceedings. Such treatment of those who had never before crossed the equator is traditionally part of the ceremony carried out in the presence of "King Neptune" and his court, made up of "shellbacks", those who have already crossed the line.
George Metcalf Archival Collection