News from 1903: Prettiest costume at the ball


Mark Baber

Staff member
MAB Musing: I wonder if the second officer had anything to do with judging the costumes at the ball.

The Advertiser, Adelaide, 24 June 1903
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,

The twin-screw steamer Suevic, 12,500 tons gross, made a run of 74 hours
from Albany, and reached the Semaphore anchorage shortly after 6 o'clock on
Tuesday morning, several hours before she was expected. The great liner left
Liverpool on Thursday, May 14, having on board 8,000 tons of cargo for
Australian ports and 429 passengers, of whom 269 were destined for Cape
Town. This is the largest number ever conveyed to South Africa by a White
Star liner and indicates the extent of the immigration that is taking place
there. Cape Town was reached at 7.48 a.m. on June 4, fine weather having
been experienced to within 300 miles of Table Bay. Having taken on board 32
sacks of mails and 50 passengers, the vessel sailed the same evening for
Albany, which was reached at 4.3 p.m. on June 19. There 250 tons of cargo
was discharged alongside the wharf, and after embarking 45 passengers and
mails she left on June 20 for Adelaide. During the voyage the usual games,
concerts, dances, sports, and fancy dress ball and supper took place. At the
ball many pretty and original costumes were worn and the following prizes
were won:-First, Mrs. Matthews (as Britannia); second, Miss Olga Bliden (a
gypsy girl); third, Mrs. Allen (a cowboy). Miss Sylva [sic] Hawley Wilson, of
Sydney, as Suevic, took first prize for the prettiest costume. The
children's concert and afternoon tea was an enjoyable feature of the voyage.
Captain Jones, who is making his first trip to Australia in charge of a
White Star liner, has with him the following officers:-Chief, R. L. Thomson;
first, T. L. Winslow; second, C. H. Lightoller; third, C. A. Rowlinson;
fourth, R. J. Deane; surgeon, Dr. Fleming; purser, J. Rooney; chief
engineer, G. Jones; second, A. E. Pearson; third, W. Farquharson; extra
third, J. Thompson. The Suevic has 500 tons of cargo to land here, and will
resume her voyage eastward this evening.

Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

You know Mark that the officers were not allowed to mingle with the passengers. It was probably J. Rooney who did the judging. By the way, I see not only Lightoller but William Farquharson was on the ship down in the machinery spaces. Nine years later only one of them would survive.

Mark Baber

Staff member
You know Mark that the officers were not allowed to mingle with the passengers.

Doesn't seem that that mattered much to Lightoller, does it, Sam?



Interesting is the word and many thanks Mark for sharing your latest find.

Talking of Lightoller, I had the same surprise last week. Most of the Southampton papers of that period of 1912 are more or less redundant with the exception of the Southampton Echo.

This is towards the end of 1912 where most of the townspeople are trying to get over the shock of April.

The season to be jolly and Madeline Bowyer wife to the Mayor of Southampton (Henry Bowyer) is giving a special Christmas do at the old Tudor House Museum. Who should be mingling among the guess list none other than Mr and Mrs. Lightoller. They certainly got around.