The West

Ceremony to mark Koombana loss
Ceremony to mark Koombana loss

Next month will mark 100 years since the SS Koombana steamed out of Port Hedland harbour and onto the pages of history.

The 3668-tonne steamship went down with an estimated 138 passengers and 20 crew aboard on March 20, 1912.

Only two lifeboats and a cabin door were recovered from the vessel which was making its way from Port Hedland to Broome.

There was believed to be no survivors.

Port Hedland Historical Society vice president Julie Hunt said a weekend of activities was planned to commemorate what she described as one of the most significant events in Australian history.

“This was one of the worst, if not the wost, non-war time losses of Australian life ever seen,” she said.

“It is a big occasion.”

Ms Hunt said at least 13 descendants of those lost on the Koombana were planning to make the trip to Hedland for the centenary anniversary weekend of March 17-18.

Among the activities planned will be a Captain’s Table dinner, offering a three-course meal and the chance to hear from two of the Koombana’s chief researchers Annie Boyd and Kerry Thom.

“This will be a formal event with all members of the community invited to attend,” Ms Hunt said.

“We will have a scratch band playing on the night and will be toasting the lost souls of the Koombana.”

The weekend will also include the ceremonial laying of floral tributes at the Koombana lookout and an exhibition of artefacts at Dalgety House Cottage.

For more information call Julie Hunt on 9173 2739.

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