Interview with the founder of Tankerska Plovidba

Interview with Mr. Ivan Paša, the founder of the Tankerska Plovidba

"Zadarski list" in its edition from May 20th 2010 published an interview with Mr. Ivan Paša, the founder of the Tankerska Plovidba. The interview in its entirety:

- Throughout the history of shipping sailors from the area of Zadar were recognized everywhere in the world, but unfortunately, this area had only a lower-ranking staff, so-called "bassa forza." I kept listening that we lack engineers, officers, captains, commanders, says Ivan Paša, Master of organization and shipping technology, founder of Tankerska Plovidba and the initiator of the Maritime School of Zadar, Zadar's economist of the 20th century in the choice of "Zadarski list".

The reason for our discussion is the 50th anniversary of the maritime tragedy of "Petar Zoranić" and 55 years since the founding of Zadar’s strongest company – Tankerska Plovidba. As a part of this anniversary, the 84-year-old Paša will officially open a public debate "Valuation of maritime collection" organized by the Association of Tourist Guides Donat.

- In the maritime and historical collection there is a memorial room with exposed objects, photographs, articles related to the tragedy of the tanker "Peter Zoranić", which took place on December 13th 1960. With this debate we commemorate that terrible maritime tragedy. Our wish is that with the help of competent institutions we bring the maritime-historical collection, including the memorial room, closer to the citizens of Zadar, business partners, local and foreign tourists, by placing it in the appropriate area of the old town. I have a great respect for the lecturers, such as my successor at the helm of the Tankerska Plovidba, captain Ivo Mustać, and Zdenko Brusić who was part of the team of Maritime History Collection from the very beginning, which was led by the late Vjekoslav Maštrović. Dear professor and expert, Maksim Klarin will speak about the Zadar's astronomical tables, Svetko Perkovic, the director of the Maritime School will speak about the history of education in shipping thanks to which we have the best maritime personnel. Since its foundation the Maritime school has schooled more than 6,000 skilled sailors, and its quality of work is confirmed by the international certificates, says Paša.

- Sailors from the area of Zadar were recognized everywhere in the world throughout the history of shipping, but unfortunately, this area had only a lower-ranked staff, so-called "bassa forza." I kept listening to the world that we lack engineers, officers, captains, commanders ... Zadar didn’t have them, and other Croatian cities did because they had maritime schools, and that fact constantly haunted me. We were always underestimated by the Austrian Lloyd. Zadar’s seamen were constantly underrated, which was unacceptable because its shipping history began since Duke Branimir (IX century), when Croatia become a completely independent state and created its navy, says Paša.

In February 1850. Scuola nautica was founded in Zadar, with lecturers captain Mateo Mersa from Perast, and Enrico Germans, an officer of the Navy of Austria. Unfortunately, this school was already closed in 1860.

- In mid-fifties of the 20th century people did not have confidence in our perseverance, and that we will successfully establish Tankerska Plovidba and the Maritime school. A crucial move was bringing Professor Ivo Hackman to Zadar. His role in the education of maritime personnel can be seen through many professional journals, especially through his book “The history of maritime navigation”. Professionally, prof. Hackman deals with the history of maritime navigation from ancient to contemporary developments.

- The opening of the Maritime school without the burden of maximization of profit focused our business in the long run, putting the emphasis on the creation of high-quality personnel and on maintaining the maritime transport security. Our goal was, and it was later accepted by my successors, a constant need to learn and adapt to the increasing and demanding safety rules and the requirements of the market. In Tankerska Plovidba we have a credo: Focus on knowledge and continuous learning, said Paša, who also added that this business success wouldn’t be accomplished without the people with whom he worked, and the quality which they provided. Without their adaptability in solving the major problems , the Maritime School and Faculty wouldn’t exist, nor would Tankerkomerc and Turisthotel.

Grew up in the maritime and merchant family

My grandfather Roko was a building contractor and had a boat with capacity of 300 gross registered tons. His son Šime was a captain of the coastal shipping and a captain on his sailing ship. My father Marko, the owner of piranese bracera, was a sailor-skipper during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and in 1915 passed the exam for the captain of the coastal shipping. Besides him, even my two uncles were sailing on Austrian Lloyd. We were raised in a traditional maritime family.

As children, we learned all about the sea, ships and sailing, we knew by heart all the lighthouses and shelters in case of bad weather. Unfortunately, I grew up without my mother Marija, who died when I was only 18 months. However, there was nine of us, five brothers and four sisters, and we had each other's support.


Author: Nenad Marčina / Zadarski List