On Friday 16 December 1904, the African-American singing group the Fisk Jubilee Singers departed Hobart for New Zealand aboard the SS Wimmera. They arrived at their destination, Dunedin, on Wednesday 21 December. The group which had just performed in various locations in Tasmania were to conduct a tour of NZ lasting four months and over dozens of towns and venues.

The eight members of the group on this tour and which travelled by Saloon on the Wimmera were:


  • Belle Gibbons,
  • Beatrice Mercer,
  • Cleva McClain, and
  • Alice Baptiste; and


  • H.C. Newton,
  • Clarence Tisdale,
  • R.H. Collins, and
  • Professor C.A. White ( musical director and accompanist).

The group returned to Australia aboard the Waikere, departing Wellington for Sydney on 15 April 1905.