The SS Wimmera conveyed members of the All Maori Football Team between Sydney and Auckland on two occasions. 

The All Maori Rugby Football Team. 1908.
The All Maori Rugby Football Team. 1908.
Postcard. Author’s Collection.


The first was when the 1908 team returned to Auckland from Sydney after their inaugural tour to Australia. They departed Sydney on 22 July and arrived Auckland at 12.55pm Sunday 26 July. It was on this voyage that they vessel also conveyed fellow passengers Annie Besant, Bert Gilbert and Harry Shine as well as members of the J.C. Williamson Pantomime Company.


Riki Papakura of the Maori Rugby League Team
Riki Papakura

The following year the Wimmera conveyed the All Maori Rugby League Team from Auckland to Sydney for their second tour. On this occasion the team was accompanied by well-known Maori guides Maggie and Bella Papakura who were both supporters and sisters of the team’s full-back, Riki Papakura. They departed Auckland on 12 July 1909 and arrived in Sydney on Friday 16 July.

Also on board the Wimmera on that same voyage were the magician Chung Ling Soo and his entourage as well as a number of entertainers from Rickard’s Vaudeville Company.

© Ralph L. Sanderson 2004-2021

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