Saturday, 1 August 2015

Waratah - Mr. Grigg and Mr. Milburn.

The Argus (Melbourne) Friday 6 August, 1909
BENDlGO Thursday - The passengerson the Waratah included Messrs. HaroldGrigg and William Milburn, who till recently resided at Long Gully. They are both young men, and left for South Africa. Milburn played with the California football team early in the present season, and Grigg acted as one of the trainers.
Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) Tuesday 26 April, 1910
The Bendigo paper, "the Bendigonian" - in its issue of the 5th instant, published the following paragraph :-
"Mr. Harold Grigg, of Long Gully, who was a passenger on the ill-fated ship Waratah as far as Durban, has returned home and received congratulations of his friends.
In conversation regarding the vessel, Mr. Grigg stated that fortunately for him and other passengers who left the the boat at Durban, they reached that port a day ahead of time and thereby escaped a big storm off the coast.
The Waratah, he said, lurched very badly, and in an unusual way, and would breast the waves in a wriggling, zigzag manner, giving the passengers some misgivings concerning her. When it was reported at Durban that the boat was missing a young fellow whom he had travelled with exclaimed that he had predicted it.
All the passengers had their places numbered on the lifeboats, but he supposed that was only a regulation of the company. Mr. Grigg declined to give his opinion concerning the vessel, as he wanted to study the feelings of the relatives of those on board."

This report highlights the relief experienced by those passengers who were fortunate to disembark at Durban. It also illustrates the hysteria surrounding the loss of the Waratah with comments that the writer was relieved to have missed a storm before reaching Durban. Descriptions of the Waratah at sea took on dimensions making one wonder how on earth the ship floated at all. At least the writer had the decency to reserve further damning opinion in favour of the suffering endured by relatives and friends of those lost with the flagship. 

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