Recipe for an excellent exhibition launch

Ingredients: 100 history lovers, many talented Qld State Archives staff, St Helena Community members, Qld Parks and Wildlife Rangers. Equipment required: The latest digital technology including a 3 Dimensional model of the St Helena Prison Stockade, Virtual Reality Headset, gaming controls, Digital Touch Table and TV screens. Time: Friday 22nd March 2019  Method: Prepare equipment well ahead of time, i.e. approximately 18 months. Turn up the … Continue reading Recipe for an excellent exhibition launch

St Helena Island Prison – Birdcage of the Bay

“Liberty is sweet. If you open the cage door, the bird is sure to fly out.” So said Frederick Hamilton, St Helena Penal Establishment prisoner and would-be escapee. He certainly flew… well, paddled at least, first in a bathtub and then a makeshift raft on his way to Fisherman Islands and ultimate freedom. With 200 yards to go, he nearly made it. The St Helena … Continue reading St Helena Island Prison – Birdcage of the Bay

The good oil – St Helena olives

I remember being on St Helena Island in the late 1990’s, when an olive expert gave advice to severely prune the trees in the olive grove. These had been growing without any expert tree care for around 80 years and were huge, rambling, messy things that still bore fruit and thrived no matter what. Ranger Paul brought out the chainsaw and did as was advised… … Continue reading The good oil – St Helena olives

Endings and beginnings – Part 2 ‘Exciting 2019’

You know it’s the beginning of a new year when there’s school age children everywhere you go, and the Australian Open tennis is playing and it’s Australia Day. For The St Helena Community, the new 2019 year hasn’t seen us reclining on a banana lounge. In fact, we’re hard at work building and creating projects that were only a thought bubble a year ago, and … Continue reading Endings and beginnings – Part 2 ‘Exciting 2019’

Endings and beginnings – Part 1 ‘Amazing 2018.’

    There’s been a bit of a break since my last post. 2018 has ended and 2019 has begun in between that time, so I’ll devote this post to ‘endings and beginnings.’ Let’s celebrate the great things we have done last year and give you a little taste of the amazing things ahead for the St Helena Community in 2019. Last year marked the … Continue reading Endings and beginnings – Part 1 ‘Amazing 2018.’

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.