People and Places
30/07/2021
Williamstown-built Dromana was first
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

​​​​​​​Show off your stuff and shine online

For results driven advertising put your products here

Book your Winter Deep Clean Now!

Having a cleaner environment will help keep your family healthier, happier and more comfortable at home. Contact us today to know more 1300 910 971

​​Plant the seed and reap the rewards

Results-driven online and in print advertising available now

​Every month we have special features

Designed to amplify your business

Create connections online in print and on social media

Your event can be listed on our What’s On pages
 

s.s. Dromana was built at Williamstown in 1919; length 100.9m, 3350 gross tons. Photo: Allan C Green, 1878-1954; State Library of Victoria

While cruising on Port Phillip on Saturday, August 9, 1919, the newly completed steamship Dromana wrapped up her running and speed trials. A group of politicians and guests were aboard to celebrate the first Australian-built steamship to be commissioned into the Commonwealth Government Line of Steamers. On the following Monday, The Age newspaper reported: “Except for a portion of the steel and some oregon timber for decking purposes, the vessel is entirely of Australian manufacture and material”, and also that “particular approval was expressed at the men’s accommodation, which is situated aft, instead of in the bow”.

During World War I, Australian Prime Minister WM Hughes had seen the need for the nation to own its own ships. While in the UK in 1916, he purchased 15 tramp steamers to transport Australian products to overseas markets. These ships, with the 23 ships of German and Austrian ownership captured in Australian ports at the outbreak of World War I, formed the beginning of the government-owned fleet. After the end of the war, 26 ships were built for the Line at Australian shipyards, which brought the fleet to more than 60. Between 1921 and 1922, five passenger liners were also built in the UK for the Australia/UK service of the Line. When Mr Hughes lost the election of 1923, the new government decided to dispose of the fleet. Ships were sold over the following years and the final sale was made to the White Star Line in 1928.

The s.s. Dromana was a typical steel, coal-burning tramp steamer of her time, with a single screw driven by a triple expansion steam engine. Compared to the huge ships of today, she was quite small, having a length of only 101m. In 1926 she was sold to the Melbourne shipping company Howard Smith, which sold her in 1935 to a Shanghai company, which renamed her Yih Hsing. Bought in 1935 by the Dutch-owned Java Trading Co, she was renamed Beatrice. When captured by the Japanese in 1941 she was renamed Biwa Maru, and she sank on November 1, 1942, after a collision in the Karimata Strait west of Kalimantan.

MAURIE HUTCHINSON

President, Peninsula Ship Society

 

9787 5780

mauriehutch@gmail.com

The Peninsula Ship Society meets at Hastings Yacht Club on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am. Visitors are always welcome.

Online  in print  on social media

Banner ads now available on our site

​Thinking of online advertising?

Try a multi media package. Smart advertisers choose Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Step up and shine online

Put your brand or super special offer here

 

Advertise with us and book your online advertising spot

Promote your business or offer here - Food Wine Produce

Banner Ads now available

Perfect to promote your business to our online readers

Related Posts

Join our VIP club

Automatically go in the draw for a monthly members only prize!

Receive occasional emails to update you on events and special member offers, plus every month a link to Mornington Peninsula Magazine e-version days before it is released.

Opt out at any time. We promise, no spam!

Advertise with us

Target the affluent and discerning consumer who prefers local products and services.  Showcase your brand in Mornington Peninsula Magazine, online and on social media with one booking.

List your event

No matter what type of event you want to promote we have an option to suit your event size and budget.