Childhood illness and death in the 19th and 21st centuries

This story comes from a personal place. One that reaches back into the past to empathise completely with the pain and heartache felt by parents facing children who are gravely ill. You see my son Rowan has been in hospital this past week, having complex procedures on his heart. The parents on St Helena would have faced their children’s illnesses with the same blend of … Continue reading Childhood illness and death in the 19th and 21st centuries

10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… females on St Helena Island in 1871

Escape stories? We’ve got a few. Colourful characters? An island full! Yet despite Lauren and I being involved in the island for over 20 years, our knowledge of the warder’s families remains sketchy at best. Just about the only accounts were those belonging to families whose children were buried in the cemetery. Thanks to the 1871 Census¹, it appears there were 10 women on the … Continue reading 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… females on St Helena Island in 1871

Happy 151st Anniversary H.M.P.E. St Helena!

The prisoners on board the hulk ‘Proserpine’ thought they were building a Quarantine Station in 1866. Little did they realise that they we constructing the very walls that would be required to keep them safely incarcerated far from the general public of Brisbane. At this time, the Queensland Government was looking for a place to place prisoners from the overcrowded Brisbane Gaol. Placing the new … Continue reading Happy 151st Anniversary H.M.P.E. St Helena!

A bird’s eye view on a golden afternoon

The point of a blog is to write information, painting a visual picture with words, layering the landscape with detail and colour so it is alive in our imaginations. Yet today is different. The only words I’ll use are the few here, and the stunning pictures revealed today are courtesy of a birds eye view of St Helena Island taken by a drone. This video … Continue reading A bird’s eye view on a golden afternoon

Islands of exile, Part 3 – Charles Winn and St Helena

Fine arts , Water Colours ..St Helena sends two remarkable exhibits … One is a drawing in water colour of the island, buildings, &c, seen under conditions of light and shade, which would tax to the utmost artistic powers of a high order. The result is so far successful as to show that the exhibitor possesses great natural ability which it ought to be worth his … Continue reading Islands of exile, Part 3 – Charles Winn and St Helena

Islands of Exile: Part 2 – William Gould and Charles Winn

The most striking similarity of Sarah and St Helena Islands has to be the detailed, beautifully executed water colour paintings of each prison island, undertaken with great finesse by two of their convicted inhabitants! In my last post, I featured a photograph painted by William Buelow Gould of Sarah Island, thought to be painted around 1833. William Buelow Gould was in fact a convict, originally … Continue reading Islands of Exile: Part 2 – William Gould and Charles Winn

Creating an island community

Place: St Helena Island. Time: 1866 Mission: Build a gaol  Who: Made by prisoners, for prisoners Why: Too many criminals, not enough space! Rowing across the waters of Moreton Bay, Queensland, in 1866, prisoners contained aboard the hulk ‘Prosperpine’ were given the task of building themselves a prison on the island of St Helena. Chosen due to the availability of good soil and fresh water, … Continue reading Creating an island community

A photographer in today’s St Helena Island Community

It only took one day after the blog went live for an old friend, Amanda Thepanda to make contact. I’m going to be honest and say I did not realise Amanda had such a gift for photography, which is an embarrassing omission! But her gift is to be ours too, as Amanda has given permission for her photos to be included in this site. I … Continue reading A photographer in today’s St Helena Island Community