PHOTOGRAPHY by donhammondimage

The Northern Steamship Company




       The Northern Steamship Company was born of a vision in 1881, to
   bring together a loose group of small steamers under the umbrella of
  one dedicated company. It was envisaged that the Company would serve
   the small ports and isolated settlements that dotted the northern
  coastline. For the small budding townships the steamers were a lifeline
  as they represented the main means of travel, for passenger and cargo.

   With the arrival of a steamer in port and all the hustle and bustle  
   of activity it created, it was as though a carnival had come to town.
  Hard won goods and produce would be loaded for shipping to Auckland.
  There would be goods, and more importantly, the mails arriving - a
  precious link to the outside world which appeared to be so far away.

    Late 1880's the little coastal steamers "Fingal" and the "Staffa" were
  the mainstay of the fleet serving the small river port. With the news
  that the Company was building a new vessel for the run there was great
  excitement. The "Apanui" was going to be a monster of 240 tons ! The
  steamer went into service in 1906 and became a familiar sight along the
  river and the port of Awanui for over 25 years. She was finally
  withdrawn from service in May 1931.