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Geelong, Voyages to Australia 1913

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Date: 1913 [unknown]
Location: Australiamap
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This space is linked to a landing category Geelong, Arrived 6 Jun 1913



The P&O Liner SS Geelong made two voyages to Australia in 1913. Landing at other ports enroute including Adelaide at the end of May and Melbourne on the 2nd of June, before finally arriving on the 6th of June in Sydney. She was under the command of Mr. R Bidwell.

It returned to London carrying amongst other things a large amount of New South Wales grown rabbits frozen in cargo. The second voyage from London to Australia that year arrived at Sydney on the 21st of October with Mr Bidwell still in command.



LISBON, April 2.

The steamer Geelong, bound from London to South African and Australian ports, has put in here with her rudder in a damaged condition.

[The Geelong, with a general cargo, left London on March 2,]

From The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) of Thursday 3 April 1913, Page 5. THE S.S. GEELONG. at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/79839449?




(By Grace Watson.)

"At the invitation of Mrs Emily Walker, lady superintendent of women's emigra-tion in the United Kingdom, I visited the Victoria Hostel, Newington Causeway (London), on Wednesday, March 26. for the purpose of seeing the domestic workers who will arrive in Adelaide by the Gee-long.

I reached the hotel at half-past 5, in time to supervise the packing by Miss Walker and Miss Beamish (the matron, who has been to Canada with a party of girls) of the "matron's mystery box.- The box, of whose contents the girls are ig-norant until they are some days out at sea) contains various materials and articles which can be purchased by the girls at a nominal price, and sometimes the goods are disposed of before Capetown is reached. Muslins for blouses and aprons, prints for working dresses, dressing gowns and sun bonnets are among the "mysteries." Pat terns and a sewmg machine form part, of the surprise, and thus every girl not only has pleasant occupation for many leisure hours on the boat, but can land in South Australia with an outfit suitable to the climate and convince her new mistress that she can make her own wearing apparel as well as wash and cook. Every girl on the Geelong can do washing, as every hand went up when I asked the question-a question induced by the fact that laundry is usually sent out by Londoners.

Then came an inspection of the cubicles and dormitory on the top floor, Miss Flo-rence Bennett (Miss Walker's clerk) act-ing as guide. Everything was neat and clean and tidy, and as the girls had only reached the hostel that morning from all parts of England and Scotland a little dis-order might have been looked for and ex-cused. Tea (at which, grace was, said by Miss Beamish) came next and consisted of cold ham and tomatoes, pickles, cake, scones, jam, bread and butter, and tea. The tables were prettily decorated with prim-roses and daffodils. The midday dinner was steak and kidney pie, two vegetables, and milk pudding. Breakfast on the fol lowing morning would be bacon and eggs, bread and butter, and tea. After tea I answered questions from the girls, regard-ing different matters. They were rather keen to know why another medical exam-ination, which had been carried out by Dr. Elizabeth Bolton that afternoon, was necessary. Every girl sends in a medical certificate from her own doctor, who, in order to prevent hardship, is advised of the Commonwealth and State immigration re-gulations. An explanation of the reasons that underlie the regulations gave satisfac-tion. Questions were suspended while I accompanied one of the girls, with her two sisters and a young brother, to a photo-grapher's. They had been separated for eight years, as, the girl was employed in the provinces. The family hope to proceed to South Australia at a later date. Had I not been present that afternoon, the rule that no girl can leave the hostel until her departure for the steamer must have been adhered to. Such a rule sounds harsh, to an Australian, but it is a wise precaution in the interests of the girls. A similar rule is enforced by the women's emigration de-partments of other States. On our return in twenty minutes, the photograph being taken by electric light, an informal meet-ing was held. It was opened with a hymn, the girls selecting "God be with you till we meet again." Miss Walker gave a short prayer. The Port of London chap-lain, Rev. G Griffiths, who spent some years in South Australia, was unavoidably absent. Miss Walker was called upon to discharge this duty quite unexpectedly, and she did it with dignity.

At her suggestion I gave a brief outline of the conditions under which they would work in South Australia. I mentioned the interest the government immigration officer Mr. E. J. Field, took in them, and the motherly reception the superin-tendent of domestic workers, Mrs. Moore was ready to give them in that beautiful home I had inspected the day before I left Adelaide. The Victorian League was willing to send them English newspapers and maga-zines, and the Girl Immigrants' Welfare Society was there to advise them, while their new mistresses - the women of South Australia - would be considerate, patient, and forbearing until they grew accustomed to the new conditions, provided they showed their willingness to adapt them-selves to their altered surroundings as I felt sure they would. Under these circum-stances, although they might be strange and lonely at first, they should not allow themselves "to feel homesick for more than two minutes at a time."

The next hymn was "What a friend we have in Jesus" Miss Bennett acted as an accompanist in each, instance. Miss Walker then not only explained the rules they would be expected to keep on board ship, but the reason of their enforcement -a tactful act that was much appreciated. Another prayer and then "Goodnight'" (at half-past 8), each girl leaving letters and postcards for the post as she went upstairs. And what a pile there was - some had found time to write six postcards! Various matters detained us until 10 clock-watch-ing two assistants cut sandwiches for the girls to take on the tender in the morning filled up part of the evening for me and Miss Walker. Miss Bennett and I left the hostel at 10 o'clock for our respective destinations, which would take us an hour, to reach.

Some light literature and games are dis-tributed for general use. Deck chairs are paid for by the girls (cost 2/6 each). Scribbling paper, pencils, and some pages from a loose leaf diary are also furnished. The girls are asked to send Miss Walker at least two pages of the diary, with accounts of their doings on board. The sheets are filed on receipt in London, and in this way there is a record of each trip from the girls themselves in Miss Walker's possession. Miss Walker has asked the Y.W.C.A. at C'ape Town to meet the girls, and see that the party are well looked after during the short stay in port. In this and nume rous other ways she protects the girls she has elected, and their recognition of her thoughtful care is shown by the grateful let-ters she receives from them after arrival in South Australia. The lady superintendent of the hostel. Miss J. G. Gorse, state that it was built by Lord Radstock in 1906 for the purpose of providing a home for girls of all nations. It is well known on the Continent by foreign branches of the Y.W.C.A., consuls, pastors, and others. The residents consist of typists, foreign corre-spondence clerks, governesses, nurses, and maids. As the hostel does not advertise. Miss Walker is to be congratulated upon securing such eminently suitable accommodation for the girls during their short stay in London.

Miss Walker has recommended to the Agent-General, Hon. A. A. Kirkpatrick, that an address from the Premier, Hon. A. H. Peake, should be given to the next, party of girls. If the Premier can spare time, his visit should be highly esteemed by the future citizens of Australia.

From The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) of Tuesday 13 May 1913, Page 14. THE GEELONG GIRLS. at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/5404732?



Another batch of State-assisted immi-grants arrived by the Geelong yesterday. Passengers for Adelaide numbered 162, 131 of whom were nominated. There are 214 passengers for Melbourne and 352 for Sydney. The new arrivals were met by immigration officials.

From The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) of Friday 30 May 1913, Page 14. GENERAL NEWS. at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/5409762?


.....In promoting Captain R, Bidwell to command of the P. and O. branch liner Geelong, his em-ployers have showed their practical appreciation of the splendid seamanship which he displayed in safely bringing his former charge-the Narrung - through the sensational storms which she en-countered off the Spanish coast last Christmas, and which threatened her with destruction. The Narrung has since been sold to foreign owners. Yesterday morning the Geelong arrived here from London, via Adelaide, berthing up the river, in the Victoria Dock, to land passengers and cargo. An injury which the vesseI sustained to her rudder soon after leaving London necessitated her putting into Lisbon for repairs, and this so delayed her that she arrived here much later than she other-wise would.

From The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) of Tuesday 3 June 1913, Page 10. SHIPPING NOTES. at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/10787823?


The Geelong.—

Ocean Steamers' Wharf was lined with people from an early hour on Saturday morning, waiting for the arrival of the P. & O. branch liner Geelong, from London, with a number of immi-grants for South Australia. The vessel was timed to berth at 10 a.m., but it was not until about 1 p.m. that she was safely moored. There were 700 persons on board, 138 of whom were for Adelaide and the rest for the eastern States, Fairly good weather was experienced throughout the trip, with the exception of rough conditions when rounding the Cape. Games, concerts, and balls were organized, to relieve the tedium of the long passage, and on the whole, the pas-sengers had a pleasant time. The Geelong had 1,800 tons of general cargo to discharge at Port Adelaide.

From The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) of Monday 13 October 1913, Page 6 , No title. at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/59109625?

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