News from 1933 Retirement of Dr Smylie

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Mark Baber

MAB Note: The reference to the age limit of 63 is somewhat curious. Every
other mention to White Star's mandatory retirement age that I recall seeing
sets it at 60, even after the Cunard-White Star merger, when it continued to
apply to former White Star officers rather than Cunard's higher (62?) age
limit. The 63 appears to be correct; it's consistent with the ages shown
for Smylie in the Ellis Island records of some of his New York arrivals in
the early 1920's.

The New York Times, 31 October 1933

Dr. Smylie, Senior on White Star Line Staff, Reaches Age Limit

Dr. John Dryden Smylie, senior surgeon of the White Star Line, has retired
on reaching the age limit of 63 years and will reside in his native city,
Dublin, it was reported yesterday. He was twenty years in the New York
Mediterranean service, mostly on the Canopic and about seventeen years on
the transatlantic runs between this port and Liverpool. Dr. Smylie was
entitled to go to the Majestic through seniority, but preferred the
Liverpool service.

Four years ago, when he was surgeon on the Baltic, Dr. Smylie risked his
life going to a freighter that was hove-to in a storm with one of her crew
seriously ill with pneumonia. He treated the man and gave instructions to
the master of the ship how to continue the treatment until the vessel made
Halifax. The lifeboat had great difficulty in getting back to the Baltic and
the doctor injured his right leg in jumping into the heaving craft.

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