James Cassius
James Cassius “J.C.” Williamson

J.C. (James Cassius) Williamson (1845-1913)

On Saturday 2 February 1907 J. C. Williamson sailed from Sydney for Wellington, New Zealand aboard the Maheno. It was to be Williamson’s first planned visit to that city and others for 25 years. According to newspaper reports, his trip was timed to coincide with the (tour) of the Royal Comic Opera Company and “…later on to meet the Waldron-Humphries Company on their peregrinations.” He planned to return to Melbourne “…in time to superintend the production of “Parsifal” there at Easter time.”

Williamson, who was to be “ciceroned” around New Zealand by Harold Ashton, would join the cast of The Royal Comic Opera Company in Auckland during the course of his holiday. The Company, besides their performances, were resting prior to returning to Sydney where they would begin rehearsals for their next “attractions” .

Mr. J. C. Williamson has left for New Zealand, a country he has not directly visited for nearly twenty-five years, with the object of noting the development of the principal cities in relation to theatrical enterprise. As the Royal Comic Opera Company is nearing the end of the Wellington season, the actor-manager will meet them at Auckland, and he will endeavour to see the Waldron-Humphries’ Company in ” Cigarette,” a piece which was recently staged for the first time in Christchurch. His return will be to Melbourne, so as to witness the Biuster production of “Parsifal”.

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866-1939) Saturday 9 February 1907 Page 3

On the evening of 12th of February Williamson had arrived in Dunedin. On the following day a reception was held where he met with a gathering of leading citizens and theatre lovers in the board room of His Majesty’s Theatre. The event was presided over by the Hon. T. Fergus who, “in proposing the toast of the guest made a hearty acknowledgement of the merits and enterprise of Mr. Williamson as a manager, his premier position as such in Australasia, and the wholesomeness and excellence of his productions, which were always worth going to see. ”

He boarded the Rotomahana in Lyttelton and returned to Wellington, arriving on the 21st February. He then transferred to the Wimmera which departed Wellington for Auckland via the East Coast ports of Napier and Gisborne. He arrived back in Auckland on… on the same day

The Rotomahana arrived at Wellington from Lyttelton on Thursday 21 February 1907. The SS Wimmera arrived from Dunedin and Lyttelton the same day and departed the same day for Napier, Gisborne, Auckland and Sydney. She arrived in Napier from Wellington at 9am 22 February 1907. She sailed the same day for Gisborne where she arrived early on 23 February. She sailed from Auckland for Sydney at 6.30pm on 25 February.

A Mr & Mrs J. Williamson arrived Sydney from Auckland on 28 June 1907 per Miowera.

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