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Photographs of Burns Philp Sydney branch managers

Date: c 1910
Sight: 705 x 535 mm
Overall: 705 x 535 mm, 4.2 kg
Mount: 170 x 130 mm
Display Dimensions: 702 x 536 x 21 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print, paper, wood, glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00031339
Related Place:Sydney,

User Terms

    A framed picture featuring a centre head shot of James Burns with images of the Sydney branch managers of Burns Philip surrounding him.

    The individual portraits are set in oval windows surrounding the central portrait of James Burns, which is slightly larger than the others and has a decorative cutout mount. The Sydney branch managers featured are:.S. Alexander, sales department; P.G. Black, branch manager; W. McMaster, shipping department; R.J. Nosworthy, secretary; T.J. Thompson, cashier; T.H. Cooper, island department and A. Forsyth, A.U.S.N.Co. Department.
    SignificanceBurns Philp's had a significant maritime past and holds an important place in Australian maritime history.
    HistoryBurns Philp represents an important and unique chapter in Australian shipping history. Originating in a tradingcompany in Townsville in the 1870s, Burns Philp developed its own shipping line and trading empire throughout northern Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. By the 1920s it was a household name. It operated a fleet of large mainline ships in conjunction with a fleet of smaller inter-island ships. Its main-line ships ran regularly as far afield as Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

    Burns Philp passenger liners were well-appointed and well known, with their black and white chequered funnels and the Burns Philp thistle on the house flag. Many BP captains were legendary colourful figures, and the company's name conjured up the romance of the South Seas.

    During World War II both ships and personnel were taken into war service, and the company' s specialised knowledge of the Pacific was put to use by Allied commanders. The company' s flagship, its then new liner BULOLO, in particular had a distinguished war record, when it was requisitioned into the British Royal Navy and served in actions in both hemispheres. One Burns Philp liner, the NEPTUNA,was destroyed in the Japanese raid on Darwin in 1942, with the loss of 45 lives.

    The Company resumed operations and commissioned new ships after World War II, but sold its last ship in 1971.
    In the 1980s the company made vast operating changes which resulted in an organisation bearing little relation to the past shipping and trading company, and brought it to near-bankruptcy at the present time resulting in the auction sale of its formerly treasured historic collection. However, many former Bums Philp maritime employees and passengers are still around and retain a strong attachment to the Company.

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