The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 4 August, 1909.
QUICK RUN TO SOUTH AFRICA.
The Waratah sailed from Sydney on June 26,from Melbourne on July 1, and from Adelaideon July 7, for London, via South African ports.She made a quick passage across the IndianOcean, and reached Durban on Sunday weeklast - a day in advance of schedule time. Thevoyage was resumed on the following day forCapetown, 809 miles distant, and as she steams at an average speed of between 13 and 14 knots she should have covered the distancein 2½ days. She is therefore nearly a week overdue on a comparatively short trip.
The passengers who joined the Waratah at Sydney for Capetown and London were: Mrs. J. E. Mullon, Mr. J. M. S. Hunter,Mr. S. G. Sawyer, Mr. E. A. Murphy,Mr. J. C. Ritchie, Mr. Henderson.Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Oslear, Mr. A. Wright,Mr. Govett, Mrs. A. Wright, Miss Lascelles, Mr. Wm. Hocking, Lieutenant Colonel Browne, Mr. Wm. Cumming, Miss Lees and maid, Mr. and Mrs. C. Swain,Mrs. Crawford, Mr. and Mrs. H. Flood,Mrs. and Miss Moore, Mrs. Harwood, Mrs and Miss Hay, Mr. F. Norris, Mr. Saunders, Mr. G. Morris,Mr. Ebsworth, Mrs. Harvey,Mr. Richardson, Miss Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and 2 childrenMr. Harvey, Mr. and Mrs. Bowden,Mr. S. Pearce, Mr. L. Schauman, Mrs. Allen and 2 children, Miss D. Schauman, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Cousens and infant,Mr. R. Keys,Mrs. C. Murphy,Mr. D. R. Boyce, Mr. Barklemore.
THE WARATAH'S COMMANDER.
Commander Ilbery, of the Waratah, is thecommodore, of the Blue Anchor fleet, and is one of the most popular and trusted master mariners engaged in the Australian trade. His personal friends number hundreds in all the ports of the Commonwealth, and he enjoys the complete confidence of his owners. Captain H. C. Kent, writing in reference to Commander Ilbery, says:-"The Waratah is commanded byone who has (with one exception) made moretrips to Australia from the old country thanany commander. He certainly possesses therecord of having been half a century in oneemploy, and commanded 13 of their steam-ships, one after the other, in addition toone sailing ship in the China trade. The firstwas the Dalcomyn, of 2600 tons, and the lastis the Waratah. He is a splendid specimenof the 'ancient mariner' class, and thoroughlyenjoys a yarn about the old sailing ship days,but can tell no tales of shipwreck or disaster,as his has been a career (with one slightexception) of smooth sailing throughout. Hepoints with pride to the long list of steam-ships he has commanded, and claims to be theoldest sea captain afloat.
"After he had been eight years in the shipMikado the Lund line built a ship called theSerapis, and Captain Ilbery sailed her untilthe steamer Dalcomyn was launched. Then hetook charge of her in the Sydney trade. Thiswas the beginning of the Blue Anchor line,and Captain Ilbery took each following steameras she came off the stocks: The Yeoman,Hubbock, Riverina, Culgoa, Woolloomooloo,Warrigal, Warrnambool, Narrung, Common-wealth, Geelong, and Waratah. When one considers that this popular skipper has commanded each one of these vessels between the years 1880 and 1909, and that he has been at sea since the year 1857, and never had anaccident worthy of the name, we must allow that his career as a seaman is unique.
"Fifty-two years at sea and 36 years incommand without disaster is a record to beproud of, and one cannot speak or write ofCaptain Ilbery without feeling that he hasevery right to be looked upon as a marinerwho has done well in upholding the dignityof the British flag, and left his mark on theannals of notable British mariners.
"The position in which the Waratah waslast known to be is one fraught with manydangers, particularly one of collision with asunken wreck, in which case all a mariner'sskill would not save the good ship from disaster. One could point to long lists of shipsthat have disappeared, no one knows where.Then, on the other hand, we must rememberthat a very small fracture in the engine roomwill throw even a Leviathan helpless uponthe waves. Many ships have been found againafter being lost, and all hope most sincerelythat the Waratah will be one of them."
VALUABLE SHIP AND CARGO.
The Waratah, only recently built at acost of £135,000 to the order of W. Lund andSons for the Australian trade, is by far thefinest of the Blue Anchor fleet, and was greatlyadmired when she arrived here on her maidenvoyage. She is a vessel of 9339 tons, and hermachinery consists of two sets of quadrupleexpansion engines. The Waratah was built atthe yards of Barclay, Curle, and Co., Ltd., atGlasgow, the principal dimensions of the greatliner being:- Length, 465 feet; beam, 59 foot2 inches: and depth, 35 feet 1 inch.
In her lower holds she carried 1500 tons ofdeadweight, consisting of 1000 tons of lead concentrates, 300 tons of lead, and 200 tons oftimber, all consigned to London. Other largelines of cargo shipped here included 700 blswool, 600 tons oats, 100 tons flour, 129 bls furskins, 48 pkgs leather, 500 tons tallow, 1520 csmeats, 30 tons furniture, 150 bls cuttings, 40bls gluepieces, 30 bls rags, 34 bls sheepskins,1050 bxs butter, 3000 crts rabbits, 1000 carcases mutton, and a large quantity of sundries.
The disquieting news that the Blue Anchorliner Waratah is seriously overdue on hertrip from Durban to Capetown formed theleading topic of discussion to-day. Severaltheories were advanced as to the cause ofher non-arrival, the most favoured being thatshe has suffered some disablement of hermachinery. No information was received byJohn Sanderson and Co., the Melbourne agentsfor the Waratah, regarding the vessel, andto-day they despatched a cable to their representatives at Capetown asking for news ofthe vessel. The route from Durban to Cape-town is said to be a safe one, and that astrong current, of which the Waratah wouldreap the advantage, runs down the coast fromDurban. A suggestion that the Waratah hasmet with disaster is not seriously entertainedin shipping circles, and it is confidently expected that she will turn up safe in the end.
Among the passengers from Melbourne forLondon by the Waratah were Mrs. and MissStarke, mother and sister of a well-knownbarrister; Mrs. Wilson, wife of the managerof the Royal Bank; Miss Lascelles, daughterof Mr. Lascelles, of Dennys, Lascelles, andCo., Mr. Neil Black, a well-known westerndistrict pastoralist; and Mr. John Ebsworth,a well-known Melbourne solicitor.