Wm. Holyman & Sons Pty Limited

 This name of the Company dates from 1924, however its founder, the son of an English Master Mariner, arrived as an apprentice on the barque Elizabeth Radcliffe in Launceston, Tasmania seventy years earlier. Continuing his seafaring for some thirty years, he steadily (and through many adversities) built up his company, his fleet – initially ketches, paddle steamers and cutters - and his seafaring family. By the 1920s “Holymans” were trading to Victoria and South Australia as well as around Tasmania. Despite possessing a responsibly innovative and venturesome character, the Company’s maritime activity inevitably involved numerous ship casualties and crew losses, one claiming the life of one of the founder’s grandsons, the ship’s master. For a time the line went by the name of White Star Line. Remaining a private company, they branched post- Second World War into the airline industry (until 1957) and road transport although shipping remained central.

When the Second World War started Holyman had ten ships:



Gross Tons

In Service

Mongana 1908 ? ?
Tambar 1912 456 ?-1960
Wareatea 1883 512 1904-1945
Laranah 1914 701 1914-1956
Lutana 1922 918 1924-1955
Lanena 1925 1018 1925-1956
Woniora 1913 823 1926-1959
Merilyn 1921 239 1933-1948
Lorinna 1938 1185 1938-1961
Wannon 1919 567 1939-1957

During the war years, Wannon was engaged in re-supply duties in the island areas of Papua New Guinea. Requisitioned were Laranah, Tambar for minesweeping, Mongana as an Examination, then stores vessel, while Lorinna came under control of the United States Small Ships Section.