Wednesday, 1 June 2016


LONDON, Nov. 6.
The new steamer Waratah, of Lund's
Blue Anchor line, has sailed on her maiden
trip to Australia This steamer has been
specially fitted for a large passenger traffic.
On this trip she carries 740 third class
passengers, including 110 assisted settlers
for New South Wales This is the largest
number of third class passengers that has
ever sailed in one vessel for Australia.

On Thursday, the 5th November, 1908, the "Waratah" left London on her maiden voyage. She carried 67 cabin passengers, 689 emigrants, and a crew of 154.

Even though the press exaggerated the emigrant figure by 51, the Lunds certainly made a name for themselves by cramming 756 passengers onto Waratah for her maiden voyage. By the second outbound voyage (despite an increasing number of emigrants to Australia in 1909) the numbers had dropped significantly to a respectable:

193 steerage passengers, 22 cabin passengers and a crew of 119.

There would have been a very loud and public outcry if Waratah had gone down with 910 souls (maiden voyage). The Inquiry would then have been forced to examine this number, outrageously in excess of the number permitted by the Merchant Shipping Act for a vessel this size (about 300). As it turned out, the Court glossed over the figure of 689 without so much as a backward glance! Perhaps they felt the Lunds had suffered enough.

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