Tuesday, 25 March 2014


'Insurances Withheld'

By telegraph - Press Association

(Received February 17, 12.25 am)

Melbourne, February 16, 1910.

'A meeting of the Waratah search committee today decided to send a cable to the Premier of Natal, expressing indignation at the delay in the Wakefield's departure to look for the missing vessel, and urging him to expedite it in every possible manner.'

'The life insurance companies do not intend to pay on the lives of the Waratah's passengers until the court grants probate, and even then they will require an indemnity.  They do not regard the fact that the English Court is granting probate of Captain Ilbery's will as binding on them.'

'Probate is a legal document. Receipt of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a will.'

'An indemnity is a sum paid by A to B by way of compensation for a particular loss suffered by B.'

Beyond the anguish and despair suffered by families (particularly wives and children) of those lost with the Waratah, by February the following year almost seven months later, insurance payments were being withheld in lieu of on-going searches for the missing vessel.

It must have been terrifying for some widows and children waiting in financial limbo for the finalisation of the loss of the Waratah. There was a lot at stake establishing what had become of the Waratah.

a grieving widow and children, 1909

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