THE agonizing story of the loss of the fine steamship Wairarapa and the sacrifice of the lives of 140 of the passengers and crew is almost without a parallel in the history of marine disasters on the coast of New Zealand. It is a heart-rending story. The ship was scarcely fifty miles from her journey’s end. She was crowded fore and aft with passengers bound to New Zealand, some of whom were intent upon a pleasure tour of this colony; others were returning from a trip abroad, and were looking for ward with eager impatience to the moment when they would be restored to the arms of their loved ones at home; while others, again, were approaching New Zealand for the first time, intent upon making a home and seeking a fortune in this distant land, or of joining relatives already here. The vessel was crowded with such passengers. There were nearly 200 of them. And in the darkest hours of the night, in the midst of a dense fog, and with an angry sea on either hand, the Wairarapa Crashed at full speed on to the north- western point of the Great Barrier Island. She was on rocks of iron. There was a precipitous cliff immediately ahead, and a boiling sea surging around and breaking over the already doomed vessel, and cruelly swallowing up its victims in scores. Oh, it was awful. And, from all accounts, there were lack of organization, want of discipline, and absence of command that intensified the horrors of tile disaster and hastened the work of death and destruction.