Soudie Parnian (en)

Reports from the crew members

Soudie Parnian

(Wife of the iranian Captain Parviz Farrokh-Tala)

Name: Soudie Parnian
Task:  Wife of the iranian Captain Parviz Farrokh-Tala, who was on service on the Michelangelo in the year 1976-77
Liner: Michelangelo
Event: year 1976-77, during the time serviced in Bandar Abbas, Iran

“My husband at that time, Captain Parviz Farrokh-Tala, was captain of Michelangelo from the time she entered Iranian waters until before the revolution.  I lived on Mich for almost one year with my daughters.  I had First Class Suite No.3 which was few doors down from Miramare Suite.  Miramare was used for Royal families, foreign dignitaries and VIPs.  The ship was primarily used as a recreational facility, officers club and served as a hotel for  Iranian navy personnel and their families.  In addition to myself there was another officer’s family living on the ship as well as few petiofficers families.  The ballrooms were used for frequent parties thrown by the navy.  The movie theatre was operating five days a week and the restaurants were also operating serving lunch and dinner to the visitors and the personnel stationed at Bandar Abbas.

Crew of the ship had their own restaurants.  A crew of Italian engineers were in charge of maintenance of the ship during the time I stayed there.  They also had their own quarters and restaurant.  I happened to be a frequent visitors as guest of the Chief Engineer at the restaurant.  Swimming pools were also busy for most of the year considering the hot climate of Bandar Abbas.  Officers facilities (restaurant, bars, ballrooms, swimming pools, lounges, etc)  were mostly located on the first class decks and the other decks were used by petiofficers and sailors.

During my stay I noticed that the ship had adequate crew, about 10 to 12 officers and as many as 900 petiofficers and sailors, and it was well maintained.  We had many visitors, not just from the Navy, but also government high ranking officers and ministers, Parliament members, foreign dignitaries, member of royal family.  We also host the Shah and then Prime Minister Hovayda with their entrouge.  I don’t exactly remember the date but it happened to be the day that Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.  On that day, I went to the Captain’s cabin looking for something and I saw Mr. Hovayda sitting at my husband desk and speaking on the phone.  He had just heard the news about invasion of Afghanistan.  I happened to be the next person to know about that invasion even before Shah did.

Another memorable visitor was a whale, I believe it was a huge killer wale, judging from the long fin on its back.  It appeared mysteriously one day and stayed by the ship for a few months.  It became quite a popular attraction.  My daughters named her Arthusha (combination name of my two daughters, Artemis and Arshia).  It was a huge whale, bigger than a normal killer whale.  I used to water ski and get close to it and its size really amazed me.)  One day, it was gone mysteriously the same way it came).
I loved that ship, it was a floating piece of art by itself, not to mention the artwork that was still there,,  and I loved getting lost in her many many hallways, going up and down not just the stairway but the vertical ladders used by personnel only.  I usually ended up in the huge engine room, it was my favorite place because it was really big, many floors, most machines were noisily on and working and especially that monster turbine shaft in the middle always awed me.
I wish my memories were more specific and had more pictures.  But it was a long time ago.  It really broke my heart when I heard about the ending.  How could they destroy a piece of art.  I know for fact that how expensive it was to maintain and keep the ship in operating condition but I still think they should have been kept it, at least as a museum”.

With my best regards