Historical information

This is a photograph of crew members that formed the football team of the S.S. Hororata. The vessel was ordered by the New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd of London, completed in 1914. In august of that year she was requisitioned ( as A20) for transport of the Australian expeditionary force in WW1. In WW2 she was known as the SS Waroonga and torpedoed in 1943. (Internet ref 2018) This vessel was a regular visitor to Melbourne and crews visited and contributed donations to the MTS.


This photograph provides an early record of the many crew based football (soccer) teams that would enjoy matches when ashore with other crews. The Mission to seamen organised and promoted many such matches and encouraged the friendly competition during outings. In addition this particular group photograph is of interest as it indicates the many talents and interests of the crew through the items and animals the individuals are posed with.

Physical description

Sepia toned photograph of the S.S. "Hororata" Football Team dated April 1923. The photograph has been mounted onto a brown cardboard frame with the text 'S.S. "Hororata's" Football Team/April 1923' on the top and the bottom. The photograph itself is of 24 men in three rows, 9 on the top row, 8 in the middle row and 7 on the bottom row. The man in the bottom row furthest left is kneeling behind a bird cage with a cockatoo in it. The man second from the left is holding a guitar. The man third from the left is holding a cat. The man fourth from the left is lying down peeking through the buoy with the text "S.S. Hororata's/Plymouth". The man second from the right is holding a lute and the man furthest right on the bottom row is also kneeling behind a bird cage with a cockatoo. In the middle row, the man second from the left is holding a banjo. The man third from the right is holding a flute. The man second from the right is holding an accordion. All other men in the middle and top rows have their arms crossed. The men are situated on the ships deck. Behind them is a ladder and what appears to be a door opening and on the left side of the photograph are some ropes and a pulley system.

Inscriptions & markings

On lower edge of mount handwritten in black ink: S.S. "Hororata" Football Team April 1923