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Collection of 61 documents relating to the takeover of Huddart Parker Limited

Date: 1961 - 1973
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from McIlwraith McEacharn Limited
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1213

User Terms

    These 61 documents from the McIlwraith McEacharn Limited relate to the takeover of Huddart Parker Limited by Bitumen & Oil Refiners (Australia) Limited and McIlwraith McEacharn Limited. The series consists of three booklets; two brochures; two cards and one circular relating to Huddart Parker Limited; one invoice regarding the purchase of PATTAWILYA; six newspaper clippings relating to the takeover and MV WESTRALIA and MV WANGANELLA; one timetable regarding the MV WANGANELLA; one transcript and nine documents regarding the takeover; six memorandums relating to the acquisition of vessels from Huddart Parker Limited, and MV WANGANELLA; two folders relating to Huddart Parker and MV WANGANELLA; and 26 letters and one envelope relating to the takeover, transfer of vessels and the tug ELTON GRIFFIN. The documents span the period 1961 - 1973.

    SignificanceThis collection is significant in recording a comprehensive history of an Australian shipping company from the 1870s to the 1990s.
    HistoryThe shipping firm of McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co was founded in London in February 1875 by Andrew McIlwraith and Malcolm Donald McEacharn. McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co entered the Australian trade in 1887 bringing cargo and immigrants from Britain to Queensland. They also entered the coal trade. They entered into the fierce competition for passenger trade in the first decades of the twentieth century when competition for passengers required companies to provide more than converted cargo vessels. In 1909 their ship KAROOLA won a reputation for its salubrious accommodation and its size, and was the first Australian ship to exceed 7,000 tons. The company maintained the advantage in 1912 by commissioning KATOOMBA, which was larger and more luxurious than all its generation of passenger ships.

    With the growth of rail and road transport, Australian shipping declined during the twentieth century. McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co was a survivor and bought the fleets of James Paterson and Huddard Parker in 1961. In 1957 McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co together with Adelaide Steamship Company and Melbourne Steamship Company, set up Bulkships Pty Ltd to work the heavy ore trade and bought four ships. In 1964 it merged shipping interests with those of the Adelaide Steamship Company to form Associated Steamships. They had a combined fleet of 12 conventional cargo vessels, which they replaced with three container ships.

    McIlwraith McEacharn continued in the shipping trade until the 1990s when their ships were sold to a US company.

    Huddart Parker was formed in Geelong in the 1850s and grew on the trade produced by the Victorian gold rush to become a major Australian shipping company by the 1890s. The discovery of gold in Western Australia in the 1890s sparked a boom and several companies competed for service in the trade. They rapidly expanded in the 20th century and became publicly listed in 1911 with the name Huddart Parker Ltd. Five ships were requisitioned during the First World War, with the loss of one. During the inter-war period Huddart Parker expanded into servicing Tasmania with a New Zealand company. Its three passenger ships, ZEALANDIA, WESTRALIA and WANGANELLA were once again requisitioned for the Second World War with ZEALANDIA sinking during the Japanese raid on Darwin in February 1942. Huddart Parker was taken over by Bitumen and Oil Refineries Australia Ltd in 1961.

    Additional Titles

    (not entered): McIlwraith McEacharn Limited correspondence and paperwork relating to Huddart Parker Limited.

    Web title: Collection of 61 documents relating to the takeover of Huddart Parker Limited

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