Profiling Grandmas and Grandpas

That would be Grandpa’s place on the island… I think it was to the side of the prison. Grandpa used to come up from the prison and we’d go down the road to meet him…Aunty Grace used to take us to Wynnum every Saturday and get ice-cream. Nell Pearce was born in 1916 and was only a young girl when she spent her holidays on … Continue reading Profiling Grandmas and Grandpas

Cemetery secrets and community conversations

Thanks so much to all the St Helena Island Community members who have responded so enthusiastically to the new eBook “St Helena Island Warders’ Children’s Cemetery.” Feedback via Facebook and the blog is a wonderful thing, as it boosts our spirits and fans the flames of writing and research. Loads of exciting new avenues have opened up as a result and we’re busy following up … Continue reading Cemetery secrets and community conversations

St Helena Island free eBook

Our first eBook is finally available! This year has seen a lot of “firsts” – setting up the ‘St Helena Community’ blog, finding new stories, including original sketches of nature on the island and finally discovering new historical research focussed on the St Helena Island prison. I’m excited to constantly explore new means of recording and sharing information, and this week it’s no exception. On … Continue reading St Helena Island free eBook

Has anyone seen John Howard?

John Howard is not to be found anywhere. In our current climate of removing and reshuffling Liberal politicians, you may be mistaken for thinking that I am referring to the ex-Prime Minister of Australia, who you may fear from this headline has gone missing along with supporters of Malcom Turnbull.   Fear not, as my John Howard is not one in the same – he’s … Continue reading Has anyone seen John Howard?

RED ALERT: Scarlet Fever cases DOUBLE

Scarlet fever cases DOUBLE reaching more than 15,000 – here are the signs every parent needs to know. Common signs of scarlet fever include a widespread, fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch and is itchy.  There are now calls for parents to check their kids for a telltale rash. In the 13 weeks leading up to April 1st there were 15,549 suspected cases of the … Continue reading RED ALERT: Scarlet Fever cases DOUBLE

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

Bamboo and butter – sketching the Superintendent’s Garden

The garden of the superintendent is one of the finest in Queensland. It is not large, but the collection of useful and ordamental trees is rich and varied; and the place is kept in splendid order. The cocoanut and English oak, and scores of trees of less extreme qualities flourish there. Mr. M’Donald and his good lady have a keen sense for plants of every kind that have … Continue reading Bamboo and butter – sketching the Superintendent’s Garden

St Helena’s Hungry Jacks

Last week, I mentioned the return of McDonald’s to the island, a significant and exciting time and we certainly got a response from you all! In an effort to not show bias towards any particular fast food chain, today’s story is about Hungry Jacks on St Helena Island. Hungry Jack was on the island in 1868. And he caused issues. The stories captured by this … Continue reading St Helena’s Hungry Jacks

McDonalds are on St Helena Island.

McDonalds are on St Helena Island. But wait! Before you vent your frustrations at the insidious creep of fast food into all parts of our landscape, sit back. I’m not talking about The Golden Arches. You see, last month one of the earliest residents, Alice McDonald nee Malcolm, returned to St Helena Island. Although she died there in 1881, it took until 2018 for her … Continue reading McDonalds are on St Helena Island.

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