New Zealand-born Edgar Fraser Stead (1881-1949) was a passenger aboard the Wimmera in 1907 on her voyage from Sydney to Wellington where he arrived on Thursday 17 October. He was returning home to Christchurch after a period of travel to India, Europe, Great Britain and America.
Coincidentally, or not, it was the same trip of the Wimmera, aboard which were two racehorses owned by Stead’s father, George G. Stead. It was also the same passage across the Tasman Sea, which the Wimmera‘s master, Captain Wylie, described as the worst he had ever experienced. Although the horses, Armlet and Count Witte, were uninjured, the wild seas encountered by the ship during the voyage caused the loss of over 500 cases of fruit overboard and the deaths of 15 merino rams.
Edgar’s father, mother and only sister had also only just returned to New Zealand in the previous week aboard the Arawa, which had arrived from the U.K. All had returned in time for the wedding of his sister, Noel, which was held on 23 October.
Within six months of Edgar Stead’s return he was involved in the purchase and removal of a large blue whale from the beach at Okarito on the West Coast which had washed ashore in February 1908.