Time travel through TI cemetery

To wander through the Thursday Island cemetery is to take a 135-year time travel journey through the complex and fascinating history of the region. With a population which from 1890 comprised Europeans, Chinese, Torres Strait Islanders and Aborigines, South Sea Islanders, Malays, Filipinos, Japanese, Singhalese, Indians and a few Thais, Arabs and Africans, visits toContinue reading “Time travel through TI cemetery”

Flu threat reappeared on TI

The 1919 Spanish flu epidemic which had hit Queensland hard was all but over, when an outbreak raced through the Thursday Island population early in 2020.   Although some Islanders had been vaccinated the previous year, the original inhabitants still bore the brunt of the disease. Despite this, death tolls announcements focused on the numberContinue reading “Flu threat reappeared on TI”

Premier’s grave overlooks Queensland

The grave of the seventh premier of the state of Queensland lies at the highest aspect of the Thursday Island cemetery. It looks back across the waters to the rest of the state John Douglas oversaw from 1877-1879. Aged 76 when he died in 1904, the former statesman had been Government Resident and magistrate atContinue reading “Premier’s grave overlooks Queensland”

Mercy for murder on Mulgrave

1878 – James Price was reported as “barbarously murdered’’ by natives when he was killed by a group of  blackbirded pearl divers in the Torres Strait. Price, 37, along with  “two Malays and one Chinaman”, also crew of the  pearl-shelling boat Flying Scud,  lost their lives at Mulgrave Island, also known as Badu. The remainderContinue reading “Mercy for murder on Mulgrave”

Tetanus took young missionary

Teacher-missionary Mary Earl must have been a remarkable young woman. She spent three years, from 1924-1927, in the remote Mitchell River mission in the Cape York peninsula, days travel away from the comfort she had probably grown up with. She taught 70 children from various Aboriginal groups during her three years at the mission station,Continue reading “Tetanus took young missionary”