The S/S CALANDA, a ship with a very turbulent history, was built in 1913 at the William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd. shipyard in Sunderland, and delivered in September of that year as the HELMSLOCH to the Strath Steamship Co. Ltd., which was based in Cardiff. The management of the ship was in the hands of a shipping house also based in Cardiff, E. L. Downing & Sutherland, which was renamed E. C. Downing of Cardiff in 1917. A steamer of 115.81 m l.o.a, with a beam of 15.30 m and a summer draught of 7.62 m, she had a capacity of 7’400 DWT; her gross registered tonnage (GRT) was 4’163. With a triple expansion engine of 1’850 hp she could make 11 knots. Fitted with 10 derricks for cargo handling. Official No.: 132888. Call Sign: JDLM.
In August 1929 the owners sold the HELMSLOCH to Livanos Brothers, a firm which put her management in the hands of J. G. Livanos of Chios. The ship was renamed MICHAEL L. and operated under the Greek flag. Her port of registry was Chios. Code letter JHGL. In 1930 the ownership changed again. The new owners were J. G. Livanos of Chios, who operated her under the same name.
The ship ran aground after a collision in January 1934 and was at first abandoned. In September of the same year however the insurers sold the wreck to the Italian General Shipping Co., which sold her on a month later to G. W. Grace & Co. of London. After overhaul, this company ran the ship as the ROEHAMPTON. Code letter GYFL.
She was sold on in 1938 to G. W. Grace in Riga, who registered her as the LETTONIA under the Latvian flag. Management was assumed by J. Zalcmanis, K. Jansons & J. Freyman, representatives, in Riga. At this stage her call sign was YLGF. Official No.: 216.
In 1939 the ship was however sold on to the Compañia de Transportes Maritimos Ltda. of Panama (Agents: A. Lusi Ltd., London) and renamed the ANITA. Her call sign became HPOD.
In the same year the Schweizerische Reederei A.G., Basel (Swiss Shipping Company, Ltd.) bought together with the Syndikat des Verbandes Schweizerischer Gaswerke, Zürich, the ship for £124,000 for the purposes of Swiss national supply. They also took on her management. Since there was then no Swiss register, the ship was registered in Panama as the CALANDA. Call sign was still HPOD.
After the invasion of Greece by German and Italian troops, the Swiss Government set up its own registry for ocean-going ships by emergency decree on April 9th 1941, to ensure that the country continued to be supplied with goods from overseas; and the owners put the ship under the neutral flag of Switzerland. The Swiss flag was raised officially in place of the Panamanian colours at 12 noon on Saturday April 19th 1941 in the harbour of Savona. Her new home port and port of registry was Basle. This made the CALANDA the first ship to enter the Swiss register. Official No.: 1. Her master was Pieter Kommer Kwak, a Dutchman. Her Swiss call sign was HBDA.
After the war the ship was sold to the Danish company Dampskibsselskab Hetland A/S for £55,000, and renamed STORAA. Her Management was taken over by T. Basse of Copenhagen. The call sign became OXEJ.
In August 1949 John Manners & Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong became the owners. They named her the SAN ROBERTO, and registered her again under the Panamanian flag. Call sign: HORF.
In 1950 the steamer was sold under this name to Wallem & Co. Ltd. of Panama, but managed by John Manners & Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong. On May 15th 1951 after a collision with an unidentified underwater object the ship began to leak and put aground to prevent her from sinking; it proved possible however to tow her off next day, and to seal the leak.
In 1952 she was once again sold, this time to the San Roberto Steamship Co., S.A., of Panama, who put the management in the hands of John Manners & Co. Ltd., of Hong Kong.
At the end of 1952 after springing a leak the ship went into Keelung (Formosa), where temporary repairs were made, so that she could make her run to Yawata in Japan to discharge her cargo of iron ore. She entered Hong Kong on January 4th 1953. Her final scrapping began on January 17th 1953.