P and O Other Companies


P and O Other Companies

Click on these flags to take you
to their respective pages

P and O Other Companies - BISN
British India
Steam Navigation Co.

P and O Other Companies - NZ Shipping Co
New Zealand Shipping Company


The other group companies that MH and Co Pty Ltd., represented, and which were part of the P and O Group of Companies at this time, were British India Steam Navigation Co. (BISN); Eastern and Australian Steamship Co. Ltd., (E and A); Australasian United Steam Navigation Co. (AUSN); New Zealand Shipping Company.

Union Steamship Company, though part of the group, had a sperate office in Melbourne but bookings were still taken in either place for each other.

Outside the Group the company were agents for Cie. des Messageries Maritimes and, I believe, Royal Interocean Lines (RIL)

Union Steamship Co. Houseflag
Union Steamship Company

T.S.S. Taroona

The Taroona was built in 1935 to be operated jointly by the Union Steam Ship Company and the Huddart Parker. During a refit in 1946 she lost one of her funnels. She ran between Melbourne and Launceston and Melbourne and Devonport or Burnie alternately until 1959 when she was sold to Greek interests and became the Greek cruise liner Hellas. She was scrapped in Turkey in 1990.

The "Taroona Sailing"
The "Taroona" sailing from Melbourne, photographed by John B. Dickinson, who was her Berthing Officer, these four photographs used with his permission and my thanks.
Taroona's Bridge and Wharf view
Above: "Taroona's" Bridge and, below,
sailing from Melbourne.
Gray Dawes and Company
This company was set up by Archibald Gray, a nephew of William Mackinnon, founder of the "British India Steam Navigation Company", and a P and O Officer, Edwyn Sandys Dawes (later to become Sir Edwyn Sandys Dawes). It was Mackinnon's own suggestion that these two should set up as shipping agents in London. The official history of BI Centenary 1856 : 1956 (by George Blake - Collins, London 1956 p226) quotes Mackinnon as having written to Dawes in October 1865 - "it has occurred to me that perhaps an arrangement might be made whereby you and my nephew Archd. Gray (who is also most unwilling to return to India) should endevour to work up a quiet business in Ship Agency and Chartering and Insurance. We could give large insurances on steamers and ships, which would help as a start, and many of our coal charters might be thrown in your way", the company became Gray, Dawes and Company. There was a Gray Dawes department within Macdonald, Hamilton and Co., (See Macdonald, Hamilton and Co page 2 - with comments by Peter Lucas and Bruce McBain, and the MH and Co.Staff List)
Australasian United Steam Navigation Co.

This company was set up, in the late 1880s, as a result of an amalgamation between the Australasian Steam Navigation Company and British India and Queensland Agency. The controlling interest belonging to British India Steam Navigation Co., as the B.I.S.N. History 1856 : 1956 (George Blake, Published by Collins in 1956 page 115) puts it: "In the late 80's, however, through a highly complicated set of negotiations, the most formidable of these interests agreed to an amalgamation; and thus the Australasian United Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. was born. British India threw into this pool some sizable ships of its main fleet and thus retained a considerable say in the management of the new concern".

The postcards below are from my own collection with the exception of those marked "John Oxley Library" which is part of the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane. These are used by courtesy of the library and with my thanks. These photographs formed part of the ilustrations I used in compiling my thesis for my Masters Degree in Maritime History at Exeter University in 2006.

Aramac Postcard

S S Bingera

S S Indarra
S S Kyarra
S S Ormiston
AUSN Workshops
Other photographs will be added, along with accompanying text in due course.
Eastern and Australian Steamship Company Ltd.
The Houseflag of E and A Line
The houseflag of E and A
taken from a Company menu.

The running of E and A came under Macdonald, Hamilton and Co and the monthly reconciliation of the accounts, as well as those of AUSN (above) was one of the tasks for the Accounts Department Junior. Having never been taught, at school in England, anything about business principles and practice trying to do this left me all at sea, in more senses than one, and I always had to seek the help of the 'goddess' of all the office juniors, Jeanette Starkey. She was the accounting machine operator and thanks to her I managed to scrape through, with additional, if not exasperated, help from Mr Hewitt who, at that time, looked after E and A as well as AUSN.

P and O Other Companies - E and A Line

P and O Other Companies - Orient Line

P and O Other Companies - BISN Co.
P and O Other Companies - New Zealand Shipping Co.
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P and O Line