All for one, one for all!

I can’t remember the names of the 3 Musketeers, but I’ve got D’Artagnan in my head with the catch cry “all for one, one for all!” This is not a blog post connecting Alexandre Dumas’ novels to St Helena Island, though the Count of Monte Christo could apply! It’s more the recognition of the amazing team of three that have been powering the ‘St Helena … Continue reading All for one, one for all!

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

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

When is a tree a herb? Behold the Bella Sombre.

Oozing out of the ground like a volcanic eruption is a fabulous, bizarre and unique tree. Except it’s not a tree, it’s really more a herb due to its herbaceous ancestors. It can grow up to 18 meters tall and have a huge umbrella shaped canopy, but its branches are spongy and easily broken. Welcome to the Bella Sombra tree Phytolacca dioica. If you’re looking … Continue reading When is a tree a herb? Behold the Bella Sombre.

Sounds of St Helena Island

Whilst on the island a few weeks ago, a pair of sea eagles came to greet us one afternoon.  Paula Peeters, busy sketching the bamboo stand, heard them calling and looked up into one of the hoop pines to see both sitting perched facing each other.  As a devoted bird lover, Paula automatically recorded them calling. Have a listen to her video: Perched high in … Continue reading Sounds of St Helena Island

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

What do a Carceral Archipelago, Bella Sombre tree, Moreton Bay convict and St Helena Island have in common?

There are times in our life when the stars align and everything happens just the way it should. This happened last week on St Helena Island, when historians, writers, artists, rangers, educators, authors and researchers got together to capture some of St Helena’s magic.  The loveliest aspect was that as a community we were so diverse, yet so driven by the same passion for the … Continue reading What do a Carceral Archipelago, Bella Sombre tree, Moreton Bay convict and St Helena Island have in common?

What do you need to know about St Helena Island?

The count down is on until we grace the volcanic red soils of St Helena Island! Next week, we’re bringing a posse of people there to gather new and exciting images and information, that will provide the fodder for months’ worth of blogs. Lauren and I are ready to take lots of photos to go with the stories we have planned. My cousin Paula Peeters, … Continue reading What do you need to know about St Helena Island?

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.