News from 1909: Bovic's first trip to Australia

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
MAB Note: As far as I can tell, the fact that Bovic, one of White Star's
North Atlantic cattle carriers, spent about four years on the Australia
service is not mentioned in any of the standard works (Bonsor, Haws, Oldham,
Anderson, de Kerbrech, etc.) about the line or its ships. And yet, from the
summer of 1909 through summer of 1913 that's where she served, making at
least eight trips to Australia (with maybe three North Atlantic
crossings---one in the Northern Hemisphere winter of 1911-12 and two the
next winter---squeezed in). It may take a while, but I'm going to try to
pull together the essentials of these eight trips and publish them in some
format. Keep your eyes on the mailing list or message board of your choice.

The Argus, Melbourne, 26 August 1909
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,

An unexpected appearance was made at Port Phillip Heads yesterday morning
by the Bovic, a cargo carrying steamer of the "White Star" line. It was
generally understood that her first Australian port of call would be
Adelaide, but she came direct to Melbourne from Liverpool. The Bovic, which
was berthed in the Victoria Dock at about noon, is on her initial visit to
the Commonwealth, having previously been exclusively employed in the North
Atlantic trade. While closely resembling the Cufic and Tropic of the same
line, she is considerably smaller but nevertheless boasts a gross burthen of
6,583 tons. The Bovic, which has about 5,000 tons of general merchandise for
Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland ports, possesses a fine turn of speed, which
she demonstrated by accomplishing the voyage from Liverpool in 45 days 6
hours, the distance covered being about 12,500 miles. This is a remarkably
long non-stop trip and one rarely performed by a steamer. Her journey is
described as a succession of days without incident with fine weather almost
throughout, although there were strong winds in the Southern Ocean.


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