On today’s date in 1893, the steamship Miowera arrived in British Columbia after travelling from Australia as the first steamer of the Canadian-Australasian Line to reach Canada.
The Canadian-Australian Steamship Company (also known as the C-A Line and later called the Canadian Australasian Line Limited) ran between Sydney, Australia, and two British Columbia ports, including one in Victoria, 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.
It would make another voyage from Sydney to Victoria between July 18 and Aug. 8; however, it eventually 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, but more trouble loomed.
In May 1895, it broke a piston nearly 2,000 kilometres from the coast of British Columbia and required additional repairs.