First steamer of Canadian-Australasian Line reaches B.C.

On today’s date in 1893, the steamship Miowera arrived in Victoria, B.C. from Sydney, Australia; it was the first steamer of the Canadian-Australasian Line to reach Canada.

The Canadian-Australian Steamship Company (the C-A Line, later called the Canadian Australasian Line Limited) ran between Sydney, Australia and the two British Columbia ports from 1893-1953.

The Miowera left Sydney on May 18, 1893 and stopped in Brisbane two days later before setting out for British Columbia. It would make the voyage in 21 days, earning a warm welcome from locals, including the media, which covered many stories of the ship’s initial voyage.

This cover was mailed aboard the Miowera in 1905.

This cover was mailed aboard the Miowera in 1905.

It would make another voyage from Sydney to Victoria between July 18 and Aug. 8; however, on its third voyage, it struck a reef in Honolulu harbour and was sent back to England for repairs.

After more than a year on land, the Miowera returned to the sea; however, in May 1895, it broke a piston nearly 2,000 kilometres from the coast of British Columbia and would require more repairs. In total, the ship would operate until 1910.
For more information on the sailing tables of the Pacific Ocean, visit the Postal History Society of Canada website (http://www.postalhistorycanada.net/php/Library/Research/ShipTables/int_pacific.php).

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