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KIM, a Streeter & Male built lugger.

Streeter & Male

George Streeter and Arthur Male were pastoralists and pearl shell and fishing business men operating out of Broome, Western Australia under the title Streeter & Male.

George Streeter was an agent for his father, EW Streeter, a London based jeweler and gem merchant. George Streeter returned to London in 1898 leaving Arthur Male to manage the company’s interests. Streeter and Male Ltd owned cattle properties including Dampier Downs and Roebuck Plains near Broome.

Streeter and Male’s pearling vessels had been on the west coast since 1884. Along with McDaniel and Son and Robinson and Norman they were one of the largest pearling businesses in the north west, and one of the longest in operation too, continuing for century. A report in March 12, 1946 notes their involvement in the resumption of pearling following World War II.

The pearling industry has re-opened. The first lugger sailed from Roebuck Bay last evening, marked by cheering and wild enjoyment among the Malays and the deep appreciation of the people of Broome. With a full crew of Malays and under the supervision of Mr. Alfred Morgan the lugger B3, belonging to the fleet of Messrs. Streeter & Male, sailed gracefully down the stream. In the hearts of many who saw the boat begin her voyage were feelings of wonder and joy, wonder at what she would bring home and joy at the revival of the trade which means so much to Broome. Messrs. Streeter & Male have made every effort to re-open the industry, and hope to have other luggers ready for the shellbeds in the near future. Difficulty is being experienced in obtaining crews, the hold-up being in the release of suitable men from the defence forces.”

Streeter and Male also managed vessel construction, hiring shipwrights and labour to build luggers. Rod Dickson (“They Kept this State Afloat” 1998 p.260) notes that the firm Streeter and Male Ltd “established a boat repair and refitting yard on the banks of Dampier Creek. The firm built a number of pearling luggers at their yard. Most of the shipwright staff were Asiatics brought to Broome under contract, as were the pearling crews”

Streeter’s jetty was built across the tidal mudflats of Dampier Creek in the late 1880s next to Streeter and Male’s company’s camp and shell shed. This jetty was used by the pearling industry from the 1920s when there were around 400 pearling luggers in Broome until the 1980s, although shortened and realigned in 1966. Repairs were carried out until 1989, when Streeter and Male Pty Ltd was purchased by Paspaley Pearls Pty ltd.

Arthur Male represented the Kimberley district in the Legislative Assembly from 1905-1917, and was honorary consul to Japan from 1928. He died in 1946, with his son AS Sam Male taking over his business concerns.