McKibbin, William J.

[Passenger list, "KOOMBANA" 37, compiled 04 June 1912, Adelaide Steamship Company. Broome Historical Society]

List of passengers known to have been bound for Derby.

From Fremantle




McSwain D. Shearer ) Shearers -

McKibbon W.J. Brother of erstwhile cricketer. ) partners in farm,

) Bridgetown, W.A.


Smith, Patrick Shearer. Had a farm at Bridgetown left in

charge of Jas Drummond. Edward Smith,

brother, Wyngin, N.S.W.

Mr. Brown, Secretary, Shearers' Union also saw

this person leave by the boat in company with

McSwain and McKibbin. The three were proceeding

to Levarynga Station, Derby.


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

Fremantle-Derby McKibbin W.J. Wool sorter.


Tom McKibbin

Thomas Robert McKibbin (10 December 1870, Bathurst, New South Wales - 15 December 1939, Bathurst, New South Wales) was an Australian cricketer who played in 5 Tests from 1895 to 1898.

[Barker, Malcolm, 2001, The Truth Is So Precious, Success Print, Perth, Western Australia, page 51]


Several shearers went aboard for passage to Derby and the start of the shearing season on stations in the Kimberley. Mr Brown, Secretary of the Shearers’ Union, farewelled Patrick Smith in company with Donald McSwain and William McKibbin. They were going to shear for Levarynga (now Liveringa) Station out of Derby. The three had farms at Bridgetown and like many others money earnt from shearing helped to develop their properties.


["The Passengers", The West Australian, Wednesday 03 April 1912, page 7]



Mr. D. McSwain.

Mr. W. J. McKibbin.


[Research file "s.s. Koombana", 1973-. Department of Maritime Archeology, Western Australian Museum, 189/73/4]

Jack Soreson - The Shearers' Bard of W.A. (1907-1949)

The Gun of Glindavor[?] and other Ballads - Perth 1932

Soreson dedicated "The Lost Shearing Team" to the shearers who sailed from Port Hedland

on the Koombana in 1912. He tells of the team setting off from Port Hedland for Derby

from where they would set off overland for Liveringa Station.

["The Perth Passengers", The Murchison Times and Day Dawn Gazette (Cue, WA), Thursday 04 April 1912, page 3]


Mr. McSwaine[sic] who is amongst the passengers is a younger brother of Mr McSwaine, of Day Dawn. The McKibbin, in the list, is not the well known cricketer, but a friend of McSwaine's who was accompanying him.


["Action by Australian Workers's Union", The West Australian, Thursday 30 May 1912, page 8]


Among those who lost their lives on the Koombana were a number of men--about 20 in all, so far as can be officially ascertained--who were proceeding to the shearing sheds in the North-West. These men were members of the Australian Workers' Union, and their mates on the Upper Liveringa Station have subscribed and forwarded to the head office of the Union in Perth the sum of £50 15s. 6d. to be distributed among the widows and orphans of their late comrades. The secretary of the union (Mr. T. L. Brown) has obtained authority from the headquarters of the Union in the Eastern States to forward subscription lists throughout the shearing sheds in this State in order to augment the amount already donated.