Sack, Louise Caroline (or Louise Edith Caroline)

[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 to Broome or Derby.


Sack, Mrs. D.C. Wife of Publican at Derby.

Crotty, Master Thomas Grandson of Mrs. Sack


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


Running through the passenger list Captain Allen saw that Mrs D.C. Sack who had come down with the Koombana from Derby on the last trip was going back home after less than 5 days in Perth. This was not an uncommon length of stay because it enabled the passenger to complete business or perhaps attend a family occasion or function. Mrs Sack who was the wife of the publican at Derby, and was accompanied by her 6 year old grandson Thomas Crotty, and Florence Price who was working for her as a domestic.


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




Mrs. Sack.


["The Koombana", The West Australian, Saturday 30 March 1912, page 11]



Particulars of the complete passenger list are being gradually collected and corrections made in the original list printed in the Press.


Of the passengers, Mrs. Sack, for Broome, is supposed to have taken a young lady named Miss Price with her.


["Fate of the Koombana", The Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA), Saturday 06 April 1912, page 2]


Mrs. Sack was mother of Mr. Percy Sack, late of Yankee Town, and had a grand-daughter with her.


<<>> "Mrs Louise Sack"

Battye Library Photo Collection 66527P

["Social Notes", The West Australian, Thursday 5 January 1911, page 8]



The town of Derby was en fete on Monday, December 12, the occasion being the celebration of the marriage between Miss Evelyn Gilfred Sack, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D. C., Sack, of Derby Hotel, and Mr. Reginald McGovern, eldest son of Mrs. McGovern, of Derby. The ceremony was performed by Mr. Knight (clerk of courts) at the Court House, and was witnessed by a lage number of well-wishers and friends. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked very well in a lovely frock of ivory crepe de chine over glace, daintily trimmed with silk applique, with a wide swathed belt and a long satin train. She also wore the customary wreath of orange blossom and tulle veil, and carried a lovely shower bouquet. She was attended by two sweet little train-bearers, her niece and nephew, Evelyn and Tom Crotty. The little maid wore a dainty frock of cream silk and lace, and a quaint lace bonnet, finished with pale blue rosettes. She also carried a basket of flowers. The little page wore a pretty costume of cream serge, and a large felt hat, caught back at the left side with a buckle. The bridegroom's present to the bride was a lovely pendant and chain, and bride to groom a gold locket and watch chain. The bride groom also gave the wee attendants silver cups. Mr. A. C. Piper, of Medo station, carried out the duties of best man. After the ceremony a reception was held at the Derby Hotel, when the usual toasts were honoured. The guests were received by Mrs. McGovern, mother of the bridegroom, who wore a handsome gown of black silk voile, trimmed with silk lace, and a stylish black hat. The happy couple left on the s.s. Koombana for Perth, where the honeymoon is being spent. The bride's going away frock was of amethyst blue silk, daintily trimmed with cream lace. Following is the list of presents:-Mother of bride, silver tray and toilet set, house linen; father of bride, suite of furniture; mother of bridegroom, set of military brushes, clothes brush, afternoon tea set and spoons: Mr. and Mrs. McDermott, silver tea tray; Dr. Adams, jardiniere; Mr. and Mrs. Fisher Beard, velvet pile table cover; Mr. and Mrs. McGlaw, silver cake stand; Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, afternoon tea spoons, in case; Mr. and Mrs. Spong, silver butter dish; Mr. and Mrs. J. Blythe, silver sugar scuttle; Mr. and Mrs. McGregor, dressing case; Mr. and Mrs. Chalmers, silver spoons and tongs, in case: Mr. and Mrs. A. Blythe, pearl spoons and serviette rnngs Mr. and Mrs. Ronan, cheque; Mr. and Mrs. Meyers, biscuit barrel and wine decanter; Mr. and Mrs. Wells, pair serviette rings; Mr. and Mrs. C. Blythe, cheque; Mr. and Mrs. Wynter, cheque; Miss Walker, silver jam spoon and butter knife; Mr. Piper, massive silver hot-water jag; Mr. Pollard, silver cruet; Mr. Corbett, silver tea pot; Mr. English, massive silver cheese dish; Mr. Rose, cheque; Mr. Cox, cheque; Mr. Myring, cheque; Mr. Humphris, dressing case: Mr. Cowan, clock. Mr. Rogers. toilet set; Mr. Davey, cheque; Mr. Jackson, cheque; Mr. Brockman, dinner knives; Mr. Milne, silver sugar scuttle; Mr. Schmidt, cheque; Mr. Roberts, cheque; Mr. Forbes, cheque; Mr. Delaney, silver biscuit barrel; Mr. Campbell, cheque; Mr. Brodie, cheque; Mr. Coleman, cheque; Mr. R. Russ, dining room lamp; Mr. Adcock cake basket; "Bachelors," silver pickle cruet: Mr. Saul, silver-mounted flower vases; Mr. Buttle, silver butter dish; Mr. Fletcher, cheque; Mr. Dale. cheque: Mr. Hunter, cheque; Mr. Walker, cheque; Mr. McAloney, handsome jardiniere on pedestal; Mr. Aberly, pair blue silk cushion covers; Mr. Egan, cheque; Wood, Son, and Co., oak case of carvers; Mr. Kenbrick, pair silver serviette rings; Mr. Guigan, cheque; Mrs. Andrew, butter knives, in case.

AB notes:

several among the guests at this wedding would lose their lives a year later

["Social Notes", The West Australian, Tuesday 24 January 1911, page 6]


Mr. and Mrs. Reginald McGovern, of Derby, are returning to the Nor'-West per the s.s. Koombana on Thursday next, atter an exceedingly pleasant honeymoon trip to Perth. On Friday last they were the guests of Mr. H. Briggs, President of the Legislative Council; and Mr. A. Male, M.L.A., Honorary Minister. After being shown over Parliament buildings and grounds, they were entertained at afternoon tea and occupied seats in the Speaker's gallery of the Assembly.


[Moore, Doug, Papers, Extracts from his account of his life in the Kimberley, 1904-1914., Battye Library, ACC 3829A (listing MN 1237)]

"...some very fine Kimberley people were drowned. Ally and George Piper, old Mrs. Sack, a very well known person, mother of all the Sacks in the country at the time..."

"The country at the time of writing was noted for 'Sacks, blacks and Duracks'. What a difference now - Sacks left, blacks a decaying race and damned few Duracks left."

[Coate, Yvonne & Kevin, 2000, More Lonely Graves of Western Australia, Hesperion Press, , page 142]

some indication that there were Sacks at Noonkanbah station in 1909. see Gibbs, Thomas on that page

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



For Derby.

Mrs. Sack and grandchild


["The Sons of Martha - A Column For The Workers", The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 21 April 1912, page 24]


Mr. L. T. Brown, secretary of the WA. Branch of the Australian Workers' Union, is gradually learning the names of the shearers who were on board the ill-fated Koombana. In addition to the names we have already published, he has since received definite information that Andy Shiels, --- Spence, Bill Lewis, R. Scougall, and --- Clark (all shearers) were amongst the passengers who left Geraldton on the Koombana. Bill Lewis had two friends with him, but it is not known definitely who they were.

From. the same source Mr. Brown has learnt that Syd. Sack, son of the publican at Derby, also joined the boat at Geraldton. This fact has not been previously notified, though the name of Mrs. Sack (Syd. Sack's mother) was published amongst the list of missing.


[Personal communication, Bethwyn Brandis, granddaughter of Koombana passenger Fred Clinch, 25 May 2005]

A family contact included:


Beryl Hall (nee Sack)

[address withheld]

Grandmother Louise Sack & her grandson Thomas Geoffrey Crotty. Identity in the North."

[Personal communication, Beryl Hall, granddaughter of Koombana passenger Louise Sack, 06 June 2005]

Telephone conversation with Beryl Hall, Monday, 06 June, 2005, 10:40am

see file \Koombana\Correspondence\Telephone\Conversation_BerylHall_20050605.txt

Beryl Hall is a grand-daughter of Louise Sack. Specifically, she is the daughter of William Edward Sack, son of Daniel Charles Sack and Louise Caroline Sack nee Honig. The Sack family came to Australia on the ship "Thames" in 1866, and lived in Norwood, SA. They later moved to WA, firstly to Fremantle and later to Derby, but Beryl could not say when they moved to the West. In Derby, Daniel and Louise managed the Port Hotel. A tough job at some times, with rough custom and Chinese cooks and their gambling. The hotel eventually burned down.


Beryl says that Louise is mentioned in one or other of Mary Durack's books, probably in "Kings in Grass Castles".

A little while after the death of Louise, Daniel Sack sold the Port Hotel and moved to Fremantle, where he also kept a hotel or hotels.

Why was Mrs Sack on Koombana? Louise had travelled to Perth with Thomas to visit her daughter Evelyn McGovern and her granddaughters Ruby and Pearl. When Louise needed to return to Derby there was no saloon cabin available, but another prospective passenger offered to give up his place. With one bunk only, there was still no space for Thomas, but Louise had accepted the offer and said to the captain "We'll make do".


I called back to ask how Thomas was related to Louise. Almost certainly he was son of Eva Crotty nee Sack, who married two or three times. Tom Crotty senior was one, and another husband was killed by the blacks.

It seems that Daniel and Louise had about nine children. They include (not in order) Percy, William, Evelyn, Eva, Ethel, Maud, Frank and Charlie.

Beryl mentioned that Thomas may not have travelled down to Fremantle with his grandmother; she may have just offered to bring him back.

[Beryl Hall, granddaughter of Koombana passenger Louise Sack, letter to Bethwyn Brandis, 31 March 2002]

[Hand-written letter from Beryl Hall, Donnybrook, to Bethwyn Brandis, Mukinbudin, 31 March 2002]



I read with interest your letter

to the paper concerning the S.S. Koombana,

& I have some information to pass on to you.

My grandmother and her grandson were

on board the "Koombana" when it sank.

Grandmother's name was "Louise Edith

Caroline Sack" & her grandson name

was "Thomas Crotty". Her maiden name

was "Honig" Later known as "Honey".

She wasnt booked on the boat

she had been down to Fremantle, to

visit her daughter who had just given

birth to twin girls, She was unable to

get a berth, when a kind gentleman

offered her his as he wasnt in a hurry

to get up North, He was Lucky, Grand ma


Grandmother was going back to "Derby"

as she & her Husband & some of her large

family run the Hotel there

She was also mentioned in Dame

Mary Duracks book "Sons in the Saddle"

she said "Mrs Sack, was Mother of all

the Sack's in the country at the time

and all the Shearers, who were coming

to the West Kimberly."

Hoping this feew lines will help

you, Are you writing a book?

Please excuse writing as I am nearly 80

Yours Sincerely

Beryl Hall (nee Sack)

[Ethel Hodgson, granddaughter of Koombana passenger Louise Sack, letter to Bethwyn Brandis, 21 March 2002]


My great-grandmother, Louise Sack, was on board when it went down. I cannot tell you much as like so many of us do, I listened to Mum's stories but never wrote anything down and she is now deceased. I do remember her saying that Louise (Mum's grandma) wanted to take her on the trip but her mother (my Gran) wouldn't let her go. Mum would have been 10 going on 11 when the Koombana sank.


[Ethel Hodgson, granddaughter of Koombana passenger Louise Sack, letter to Bethwyn Brandis, 08 August 2002]


My cousin, also an Ethel, shares the same grandmother as I do. Also the same great grandmother, Louise Sack, who perished on the "Koombana".

Address is:

Ethel Hodgson

[address withheld]

[Personal communication, Kim Daymond, descendant of Koombana passenger Louise Sack, 19 June 2006]

Kim Daymond

[address and phone numbers withheld]

Kim is the great-great-granddaughter of Mrs Sack and great-granddaughter of Mrs Sack's daughter Ethel.

Her indirect family recollections were interesting:

- Kim recalls that Mrs Sack and her partner were the first publicans at Wyndham also, and that the hotel they owned or managed was was still trading in the 1960s.

- Kim's mother had mentioned to her that her family had reflected not only on the loss of Mrs Sack, but also on the loss of her jewellery.

[Personal communication, Ethel Hodgson, descendant of Koombana passenger Louise Sack, 29 July 2006]

Conversations with Ethel Hodgson, WA Maritime Museum Friday 28 July 2006 and by telephone Saturday 29 July 2006

I have agreed to call in a couple of weeks to arrange another meeting.

Perhaps it was Mrs Sack's brother who had opened the first hotel in Wyndham.

There was mention of Eunice Leet, a sister in Cairns.

Ethel's phone number: 08 9311 4372

20130712: checked whitepages; looks like the correct number is [phone number withheld]