No corrections yet
ROM SMALL STAKT. HOW CONCERN GREW.
Wrapped up in the progress of the sugar "industry in Queensland and Aus- tralian industry, generally has been to a great extent the advancement of the Adelaide Steamship Company which, in- tering thc Queensland trade about 1892. received a contract from the Colonial Sugar Refining Company for the car- riage of raw sugar to southern ports and has maintained that trade up to the present time.
The company was first formed in 1875, at a time ' when . Australia - had- a population of under two millions.'There was little ? connection between the col-
onies, as they were then known, and in I the'words of the prospectus then is- sued, "As the Australian colonies are developing rapidly and South Australia seems likely on account of her resources and central position to occupy a leading place among them, it is reasonable to suppose that this company (though* be- ginning in a small way) may eventu- ally become one of the principal steam- ship companies in Australia."
It may now be fairly claimed that the company has played a very important part in the rise and progress of the great. Australian shipping industry and contributed in no small degree to the -remarkable advance and achievement which-distinguish the history of indus- trial enterprise. Experiencing thc vicis- situdes of fortune' inseparable from trade and commerce and the life of the people, expanding from time to time in order to meet thc fast growing needs of thé-States and Commonwealth,..the Adelaide Steamship Company has suc- cessfully linked up the east and > the west, and the north and the south with a transport service in keeping with, the times and essential to the national, wel- fare. - , . ? ? ; .- ? '
The company was. registered on Octo- ber 9, 1875, and Captain Alexander Mc- Coy went to England to supervise the building of two steamers. The tender of Messrs. D. and W. - Henderson, of the Clyde, was accepted, and the South Australian ? took tip her running on De- cember 21, 1876,. ard shortly afterward; her ' sister ship, - The Victorian,-').'. also took up the run from Adelaide to. Mel-
bourne. :. ' .;.
In 1881 the company had. opr-ositior which -resulted in a fierce-war of. rates The. purchase bf- the 'opposing vessel owned by Messrs. Nipper ; and' See ended thc competition.. Subsequently thi¡ vessel was lengthened and spent man] useful years on the run between Frc mantle'and Wyndham
The.year 1882 narked à forward ste] m the affairs of the Adelaide Compan; when the Spencers ? Gulf Steamshi] Company's fleet of six vessels were'ab sorbed. It was also agreed to take ove Mr. Whinham's two vessels. At thi same time a passenger, vessel of. 1801 tons was; contracted ' for with Britisl shipbuilders. Thus wimbi .* 12 month: the company's fleet had increased to" 1 vessels with a gross ' tonnage of 8677 In One' vessel now the company has ex cecded that tonnage; the Manunda be ¡cg 90CÖ tons. - ' . ' -'
HIGH SEAS ROMANCE.
There was romance'attached to ow of Mr. Whinham s steamer's, the Ferrer She was built in -the Clyde in 1871 tc carry passengers across the ' Firth o: Forth before the construction bf. UM famous bridge.. Originally she wa: chartered-, for a pleasure, cruise. A boa and lifebuoys bearing, her name wer picked up. in the Strait of Gibraltar ant it was supposed that the vessel had beet lost in a. Mediterranean cruise. Ii reality, however, an adventurer had rut away with her. ' He altered her nan« to India and crossed the" Atlantic t< BraziL- where a valuable cargo of coi fee was placed aboard and taken ti Capetown and sold.' The vessel. wa next seen at Albany, West. Australia where, ¿he had. called-for -bunkers.-Sb proceeded thence to Melbourne; - In th meantime, the: suspicions of-the owner having been aroused, the vessel wa advertised for in the English papers a "Lost, stolen or strayed.", -. A ; Victor ian. police trooper; . who had 'noticed tb ádvertisemerit. and. the newlyn arrivei vludiathought it .worth wmle' to attain to, make connection. Going aboard h found ¡thát a--former name hadv beet filed off the ship's bell, and he, becam convinced that he, was von . the rigl track.. The result was that the adver turons* captain of the. Ferret and-, hi super-cargo were arrested, tried ant sentenced to long terms of imprison roent. The ship was sold by. the - Viet admiralty to Mr. Whinham. , -f ? .
. EXTENDING OPERATIONS
In 1887 the Adelaide - Company . ha extended its service to Sydney,' and s entry was made mto the. Newcastle cos .trade. Twoyears later: the growing' in portance. of the. rich - silver- lead min« at Broken Hill necessitated an addi tional coal carrier.
. The growth of the gold-mining indus try of West Australia: necessitate greater tonnage and two more vessel were purchased in Britain.
By 1895 the. company was represente by 51 branches and agencies, froi Port Douglas in Queensland to Darwi in-the Northern Territory, and by 189 the company's affairs on the Easter seaboard bad assumed such proportion
that control from Adelaide became in creasingly difficult and it was decme expedient to remove the seat of th general manager to Sydney and late to Melbourne.
The company was reconstructed ' s 1900 when the capital was raised t ¿750,000. In the following year whei inter-State customs duties were aboHsn ed a new era for the shipping and als other industries was ushered in. Tb conman y's coal carrying trade had ai sumed very considerable proportion! and to avoid risk of serious delay ai -interest was secured in the Maitlani coalfields near Newcastle.
The ill-fated Yongala, which was los on the Queensland coast during
cyclone in 1911. was purchased with th Grantala for the passenger trade i 1904. The loss of the Yongala demon strafed the urgent need of wireles storm warning stations, with which th Federal Government afterwards equip ped both the cyclonic coasts of Korti Queensland and West Australia. Mor recently the authorities erected a simi lar station at Willis Island, the value o which has been demonstrated . on sev eral occasion« within recent years.
[ The history of the company's ship darkie the war wheo the Edaawja wa
requisitioned: by the. ". British Govern- ment, and converted into an oil tanker, makes another- interesting chapter in the' history bf. this concern's progress. The Echunga was torpedoed in the Eng- lish Channel.
In 1912 three- large passenger, steam- ers of 8000 tons each were secured from William Beardmore and Co. on the Clyde. These, the Warilda, Wandilla and Willochra. ' were requisitioned by the British and Federal Governments for troop and hospital ships at the out- break of war, and all three operated for the- greater period of the. war in ; the
The story of the loss of the Warilda on August .3, 1918. .will never be for- gotten. She was returning from France to England with more than 700 wound- ed and sick troops.aboard, showing all the distinguishing, maries of a hospital ship, when .an enemy submarin«',, appar- ently unaware of the approach of a ship, suddenly rose to the surface - on her bow- The weather was thick at the time. Captain Sim, her commander, made an effort to ram the underwater craft and narrowly missed her'. The Warilda was torpedoed aft of the.en gine room and the. explosion caused im- mense damage, throwing" the" vessel ? out of control. S*te continued to steam: in a circle for some time after, rendering the., work of rescuing the wounded very difficult v - .
Captain .Sim and his crew made vali- ant efforts . to save alls those who had not been killed by the first ^ explosion She sank two-hours after being hit. The distinction of .Ó.F.E -was. conferred on Captain Sim by the" King for r this, and other services. ' : ?.: :.- ;/
Although record« were : destroyed ¿ it .is known that"the:Warilda-nad"carried more than 70,000 troops and patients during the war. -There were ."123 Mrves lost when she was sunk.
The Wahdill? carried 9907. Austra- lian' troops and 26.425 wounded "soldiers during the war: The Willochra which. at: the . beginning bf hostilities, ' .-^was under charter tb; the Union " Steamship Cby of New Zealand, also 'saw, war ser- vice and the 'Grantala was emploved as a hospital-si Jp to' German New Guinea.
The Cairas branch of the company established in 1905 has been, housed in its'present building since 191Ö. and'dû" Hjg the "whole - of that time Mr. ' E: J Lyon.' ; the 'présent ."manager, has' been
tn'-charjre.' '-- .' "' * ''' '"" . ' .""'.' '.'