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James Clark and the Celebes Trading Co. : making an Australian maritime venture in the Netherlands East Indies
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Stephen MullinsStephen Mullins
This is the fifth in a series of research papers and articles examining the activities of Australian pearl-shellers in late 19th and early 20th Century Molucca, now known as Maluku. The project's centre of gravity has been the relocation from Torres Strait in 1905 of seven schooner-based pearl-shelling fleets, consisting of some 115 vessels, for the Aru Islands: a consortium led by Australia's most prominent pearl-sheller, James Clark, had purchased a concession from the Netherlands East Indies government for the exclusive right to work the Aru grounds. Registered in Batavia as the Celebes Trading Co. (CTC), three more fleets had joined Clark's consortium by 1906, one owned by his brother, AJ. (John) Clark, and the other two by Said bin Abdullah Baadilla of Banda, to make about 135 vessels in all. CTC established its offices and facilities at Dobo, Aru's port, and its fleets worked the waters of the archipelago and the adjacent northern Arafura until 1916, when the original consortium broke up. CTC continued to trade however, under new ownership and on a much smaller scale until the Pacific War, which finally brought an end to the Australian presence in the region.
Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)
Number of Pages31
PublisherAustralian Association for Maritime History