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.’

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

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?

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

The first escape from the first family

History – it’s all in the detail. When reading the stories of St Helena, I look for the small, personal or unusual details that seem out of place in the broader account. These anomalies are the windows that allow me to glimpse the untold stories of the lesser known people. Today’s example includes an escape in 1866 that was announced by two tablecloths and a … Continue reading The first escape from the first family

Superintendent, Inspector, pioneer and rescuer of shipwrecked survivors

I’ve been to Caloundra with my kids, losing ourselves for hours on the endless sandy beaches, being swallowed up by the waves as we glide and crash ourselves to shore in our best version of boogey-boarding or quietly observing the still rock pools. But I didn’t head to the pandanus tree monument in Queen of Colonies Parade at Moffatt Beach. I should have because I … Continue reading Superintendent, Inspector, pioneer and rescuer of shipwrecked survivors

Wanted: Water Police Warders

Employment opportunities 1864: Brisbane Water Police – Variety of positions Two boats’ crews, each numbering five men, including the coxswains. Report to Mr John McDonald, Inspector of the Water Police, Port of Moreton Bay Requisite personal skills:  Flexibility to work at any hour of the day or night. Be prepared to reside aboard the Prison Hulk ‘Proserpine’ at the mouth of the Brisbane River. Ability … Continue reading Wanted: Water Police Warders

An Abundance of Oysters and a Load of Lime

I remember the boat in Moreton Bay in the late 1990’s, still chomping away at the coral reserves on St Helena Island, near Green Island. These were boats from QCL – Queensland Cement Limited, originally known as The Queensland Cement and Lime Company. They were doing what had been done there since the 1860’s, gathering coral and shells to make lime for cement. Operating in … Continue reading An Abundance of Oysters and a Load of Lime

When death changes history

Two deaths permanently changed our understanding of the many chapters of St Helena’s history. The arrival of Elizabeth Crompton’s death certificate and the obituary of her son Thomas did not fit into any known history of St Helena Island. Elizabeth’s death certificate revealed she had died and was buried on St Helena Island in 1865, as mentioned last week in ‘3 graves that can’t be found.’ … Continue reading When death changes history

5 graves that can’t be found

It’s lucky that there are two researchers in our team, because when one brain forgets, the other one takes over. After reading yesterday’s post, 3 graves that can’t be found, Lauren reminded me of a story that she knew of via another writer of Brisbane’s history. Historian Liam Baker has written a story of his ancestors “The Downfall Creek tragedy: a Brisbane murder lost to … Continue reading 5 graves that can’t be found