John Burke Queensland Proprietary Limited

 Founded by John Burke who came to Australia from County Cork, Ireland as a 19 year-old seaman in 1861, this company’s “home ground” was the Queensland coast and over the one hundred and four years of its life, it operated over forty ships. At the start of the Second World War there were six ships in its fleet:



Gross Tons

In Service

Canonbar 1910 708 1927-1946
Poonbar 1913 909 1928-1947
Wandana 1913 974 1931-1948
Tinana 1901 791 1932-1946
Bidelia 1927 1385 1935-1955
Alagna 1928 729 1939-1955

Wandana was formally requisitioned by the Australian Government in 1941 for service to the Thursday Island (by then a military) area, and Canonbar went under the command of the United States Small Ships Section from 1943 to 1945.