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CAPTAIN TOM ALIBI i
I A Sketch of His Career
r>r**»»" Tom Allen, the skipper of the SJ3- üoorabana, about whose fate so much misgiving is felt, is undoubtedly one of the most popular of the sea- faring men OD our coast. Be is ic his 53rd year, and a bachelor. His i mme- j díate relatives are his moth»-, who is j 83, and Ur. Sea Born Allen, of George j
Wills and Oo_ his .sole surviving bro- ther, both of whom reside at the Semaphore, Sooth Australia. Captain Allen's father, a Cork Irishman, was a shipmaster and owner in the SO'S, 60's. and 76*s, and ~ frequently visited Al- bany and Fremantle. '? Mis ¡son Mar- mion was born in Marm ion's Hotel, .Fremantle, bi 1857; hence the name. The late Hon. W. E. Marmion and his sister were the child's god-parents. " Captain Allen was a sailor from his childhood, sailing with his parents round thc Australian coast, and suhse quectiy to Kev,- Caledonia. In 1ST3 he
sailed from Port Darwin in the barque |
-Contest, commanded by bis father, for Rockingham, to load jarrah. They ar- rived after calling at Cossack; but in a. north-westerly gale the Contest was blown, from her anchors at Rocking ham and .wrecked. - A£ his father theo
gave up the sea, Captain Allen shipped in one of the Glasgow "Citys." and went to foreign lands, returning to Austra- lia in the Northern Monarch.
He then joined the Orient line as Quartermaster of the Cuzco, and was aboard of her* when she broke down ?- and sailed ' from 1000 miles south of the Leeuwin to Fort- land, in Victoria, he being one of the men wno were lowered over the quarter in a heavy sea to secure the propeller. He next became bo'sun of the Pacific liner Sonta, and after passing bis examinations came to Aus- tralia as mate of the Meetadenr.
She old Verulam was his first com- mand, and after commanding various other «*jflt«»c shins he passed for extra master. He then took charge of vari- ous tugs and coasting steamers, and was stevedore in Ports Pirie and Ger- mein. Tried alluvial gold digging at Teetulpa, South Australia, and äftsr commanding various vessels in the early. 90*s he took charge of the Te kapo, owned by the Union Company bf New Zealand, but chartered to the; Adelaide Steamship Company for the West Australian trade.
Subsequently he took command of the Marloo in the same trade, and in 1897 -had a verdict of manslaughter returned against him by a Fremantle Jury because & man feit down the hold of- the Marloo. The Attorney-General ignored the verdict. In 1897 he resign- ed from the Marloo, and Joined the
Port Adelaide pilot service; in which i he remained io years, and left because, the law' being altered, the pilots be- came civil servants at a salary, with undefined; responsibility. During the 10 years he was pilot he bandied hun- dreds of vessels of all descriptions sat- isfactorily, the Boyal yacht Opbtr behuj onie of them. The present sailor King of England complimented . bim upon his skin, and gave him a scarf pin bearing the White Ros« of York as.a souvenir.
j Rejoining' the"' Adelaide Steamship j Company he was sent to England for
j the Junee and Echunga, and after a j voyage to. Valparaiso in the Echunga
, ho commanded many of the company's
j steamers on thc coast, the Grantala,
? Bultarra and Winfield being the last ; prior to joining the Koombana, a few I months ago. It is a coincidence that ; when the Waratah was in Sydney for
i thc last time thc Koombana was in deck having 13 plates replaced which -, I had been broken on the Nor*-West :
coast. During Captain Allen's career I as master and pilot he had had no mis-
hap prior to -the present.
A warm-hearted, conscientious, painstaking man, devoted to his duty, always ready to do' a kind action and to champion the under-dog, chivalrous to women and devoted to children.
Tom Allen will he always remembered with the kindliest feelings by the many friends who knew him. Tyranny and cruelty he abhorred, and on his arrival last time in Fremantle he gave information of the scandalous and cruel sentence of flogging passed on the blacks, in Derby, and the sentence
Captain Allen's parents in the 50's sailed the Eastern seas from Madras to Manila, from Sydney to Singapore. The notorious "Bully" Hayes, Cadell (who opened the Murray to naviga- tion), and Professor Alfred Russell Wallace were weil known to them in the East. . Mrs. Allen describes Hayes as a burly, jovial mas whom no one would. suspect of piracy or barratry. Professor Wallace taught ""Mrs. Allen Malay, which be said waa the French of the East
During the Crimean War coffee was scarce and dear, and Captain Alien chartered his schooner to a wealthy Chinaman and sailed into various then out-of-the-way places in eeareh of trade. One of Captain Tom Allen's brothers is buried in Singapore, an- other (Marmion) in Melbourne, a third and a sinter in Adelaide, and new ft is only too probable that
"The sea, the blue, lone sea"
cove» Tom Allen awaiting the time wheo "the aea shall give up its dead."'
Ca nt* i" Aneara only surviving bro- ther, iir. Sea Ben Allen, «as born on .board the Sehah Jehan off Cape. Northumberland during an awful gale. As Ca ptain Allen could not leave the deck Mrs. Allen was left to the care ot Nature and the steward, with satisfac- tory results. Ttae elements welcomed the little stranger with a gorgeous dis- play of Saint Elmo's fire on the mast- heads and yards, and 50'years later, on bis brother's birthday, off the same plane <Cape Northumberland), Captain Allen, then commanding the Grantala, was treated by . Nature to a ulm Har electric Rumination, the corposants outlining the steamer's masts and fun-
nel. . .