News from 1909: Bovic's first trip to Australia


Mark Baber

Staff member
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,
Trove - Digitised newspapers and more

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.