ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER ON ST HELENA ISLAND

In prison 1st January 1921- 158 prisoners.Received through the year 117. Discharged through the year 186 In prison 31st December 1921 – 89 prisoners. Prisons Department Report – Year ended 31st December 1921 In 1921, The Home secretary, Mr McCormack controlled prisons. Major discussions had been ongoing for years regarding the best way to administer and manage prisoners in Queensland. The final decisions, outlined in … Continue reading ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER ON ST HELENA ISLAND

History is like a box of jigsaw pieces

I think history is like a large jigsaw puzzle – the 5,000 small piece kind. In the box, the puzzle is a jumble of indistinct colours and shapes and there is no clarity. Yet, when you begin to join some pieces together, a picture starts to emerge, and the more pieces that you are able to join together, the clearer the picture is. When researching … Continue reading History is like a box of jigsaw pieces

Landscapes shaped by lime

The turquoise waters and white rock faces of Walkerville are reminiscent of the Aegean Sea surrounding the Greek Isles. But standing in the southerly most point of Victoria, Australia, we’re 15 000 kms and a hemisphere away from the warm lazy waters of the ancient land of Greece. In Walkerville, the story of the landscape is written in limestone and the remnants of that story … Continue reading Landscapes shaped by lime

All in the family – siblings on St Helena

100 years ago, Frederick McMunn became the 13th St Helena Penal Establishment prison warder to die whilst employed on the island. Though he lived on St Helena Island at the time of his death on the 21st October 1920, he died in hospital in Brisbane. (1) Frederick was a prisoner warder, a miner, a bachelor and a unionist. He was also brother and brother-in-law to … Continue reading All in the family – siblings on St Helena

100 years ago – the large, long life of Bob Murrie

Bob Murrie Senior is a man of numbers. He was a husband to 3 wives and father to 5 children. He lived in 2 countries, starting life as a Cooper in Scotland before finding his way to Australia. In his long career in the Qld Penal Service he worked in 7 different prisons and Penal Establishments over 34 years. (1) Retiring in 1921 at around … Continue reading 100 years ago – the large, long life of Bob Murrie

‘We could go anywhere here, we were only youngsters.’ Bob and Fred Murrie.

“We could go anywhere, we were only youngsters. We couldn’t go in the stockade, but if there was a warder with you, you could go in. My father’s job…at 9 o’clock at night, he used to go in to the prison and make sure everything was locked up and under control, and I’d go in with him sometimes… we’d go in the front Number 1 … Continue reading ‘We could go anywhere here, we were only youngsters.’ Bob and Fred Murrie.

Maltman, Soldier, Warder, Newsagent. The many lives of George Buist.

George Buist, the last know returned soldier arriving at St Helena Island in September 1920 as a warder, was only on the island for 9 months. Not much happened, excepting a miscount of a prisoner at evening muster in C Wing. But his war service deserves a special mention as not too many men met and married their wife and had a child all while … Continue reading Maltman, Soldier, Warder, Newsagent. The many lives of George Buist.

100 years ago – 1920 to 2020

It’s 2020!  The beginning of a new decade always brings a sense of excitement and possibility. Psychologically we’re entering a new chapter that seems to be an open book in front of us, waiting to be written in. Numerically 2020 has a nice ring to it through the repetition of numbers. I thought I’d start this year reviving an old, annual tradition from the time … Continue reading 100 years ago – 1920 to 2020