S.S. Werribee photo, in Huddart, Parker + Co life-bouy frame, c. 1910
‘S.S. Werribee”, photograph of a painting, mounted in painted wood lifebouy frame, titled ‘S.S. WERRIBEE / MELBOURNE’, along with the red ensign and the company flag for Huddart, Parker & Co, with canvas & rope attachments.
Condition: frame re-touched, photo with some marks displays well.
The ‘SS Werribee’ was built in Blyth, Northumberland, 1909 for Huddart, Parker & Co, Australia. This company was formed in Geelong in the Goldrush years, with Huddart making a fortune importing much needed coal from NSW to the Victorian Goldfields, and Parker was a Geelong-based merchant in the Goldfield trade, made famous by his trade token, the ‘Parker Penny’.
The company had a large fleet of ships trading between the ports of the Australian colonies, later including New Zealand. Many were given ‘local’ Geelong region names – like the Moorabool, Barwon, Corangamite, Wendouree, and Colac.
The SS Werribee was sold in 1931 to a Chinese company, re-named the Hwa Shan out of Shanghai. In 1941, the Japanese confiscated it when they invaded China, and used it as a supply ship. In 1943, it collided with an unidentified ship near North Korea, drifted damaged onto a reef and was terminally grounded.