Harper, George N.

[Passenger list, "KOOMBANA" 37, compiled 12 April 1912, Adelaide Steamship Company. provided to the author by the late Malcolm Barker]

List of passengers known to have been bound for Broome.

From Fremantle


Harper, G.N. Of Harper Brothers, Pearlers. Father once kept Ozone

Hotel, Perth.


[Passenger list, "KOOMBANA" 37, compiled 02 April 1912, Adelaide Steamship Company. Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University, 0186/N46/634]

Fremantle-Broome Harper G Return half United Service. Son

of late Mr.Harper Ozone Hotel Perth

[Barker, Malcolm, 2001, The Truth Is So Precious, Success Print, Perth, Western Australia, page53]


For Broome

Mr Abraham Davis, Manager for Mark Rubin Broome

Mr G. Simpson, the Resident Engineer of the Harbours and Rivers Department at Broome

Mr G. Harper, of the Harper Brothers (Pearlers)

Mrs Syd. Piggott, (and her two daughters) wife of an ex-Mayor of Broome who was currently Secretary of the very powerful Pearlers Association,


["Story of the Koombana", The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 31 March 1912, page 12]



Now that it appears more than probable that the Koombana no longer exists, the personality of the passengers who most likely have shared her untimely fate will be of interest. Amongst them are several well-known people, and it is quite possible that some of them may have left the ship at an intermediate port.


Mr. G. Harper is a son of the late Mr. Harper, was some years ago was the licensee of the Ozone Hotel, Perth.


["Koombana's Passenger List", Broome Chronicle (WA), Saturday 30 March 1912]


For Broome.

Mrs. S. Pigott

Misses Scamp (2)

Mr. A. Davies (M. Rubin)

Mr. J. Davis (Siebe Gorman)

Mr. H. Briden

Mr. G. Harper

Capt. Stewart

One Malay and one aboriginal prisoner.


["The Passengers", Geraldton Guardian (WA), Thursday 04 April 1912, page 3]


Two at least of the Koombana's passengers, Messrs. William Lewis and George Harper, were well known in Geraldton. The former's wife (nee Mrs. Wright) is one of the oldest residents of the town, and with her grown-up family, is much respected. Much sympathy is felt for them and Mr. Lewis's eight-year-old daughter in their trouble. Mr George Harper, of Harper Bros., pearlers, Broome, was up till about 12 months ago, secretary of the Geraldton Rowing Club, and spent his Christmas holidays in Geraldton. The irony of fate is strikingly exemplified in his case. He delayed his departure for Broome two months in order to travel by the Koombana on her ill-fated trip, and almost missed her at Geraldton, through looking up several friends.

["Interview with Captain Mills", Broome Chronicle (WA), Saturday 06 April 1912, page 2]


During Tuesday Mr. Hugo Harper, who went with the search party from Broome, on the lugger [?Mina], arrived at Port Hedland and at once wired his brother (Gilbert) that he had found nothing, and if Captain Dalziel or Captain White did not bring in any news the search, so far as they were concerned, would be fruitless.

On Wednesday Mr. Gilbert Harper received the following from his brother:--"Fear worst: found some wreckage myself but did not place much importance in it. Gorgon in Hedland with cabin door. Minderoo has bottom of lifeboat, cabin fixings, and smoke room Morocco settee. Personally now fear disaster. Returning to-night by Minderoo.

AB notes:

George's brother Hugo was active in the search, with Captain Bennie aboard the lugger Mina.

["In Memoriam", The West Australian, Thursday 20 March 1913, page 1]


HARPER.-In loving memory of George Harper, who lost his life in the wreck of the Koombana, March, 1912. To memory ever dear.

-.Inserted by his loving friend, M. Snell.

["In Memoriam", The West Australian, Friday 21 March 1913, page 1]


HARPER.-In loving memory of George Harper, son of Marie Harper, of Broome, and the late Harvey Harper, and brother of Hugo, Norman, and Gilbert, who was lost in the Koombana, March 20. 1912.

-Inserted by his loving mother and brothers.