Tuesday, October 31, 2023


View  from  Castle  Hill ,Townsville .


Discovered    atop   a bookcase  during  the  current  Little Darwin   massive  cull of  books and ephemera was  a long forgotten   dusty  brass and   wood sculpture  of  a  bird  on  a  perch  , bearing  the  sticker of  Dolbi Cashier  1980.  

A  quick Google  revealed  that  Dolbi  Cashier was the trade / brand name of  Gallery House  Inc.,  Illinois, USA ,  founded in l978 by Ed Shulman,  who created  a  range  of  indivdual pieces  of brass art sculpture and   home furnishings. These  were sold in a  showroom  in the Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, and  posh  department   stores   and   interior  design   centres . 

It is said the  Sultan of Brunei visited the Merchandise Mart and bought furnishings  worth  $1.6 million  for his palace.  

The brass  sculptures , which included  a  variety of birds , a dolphin and an elephant's head ,  made in  Korea  and   Italy,  bore     stickers, which often  lifted  and  were  lost .  Our neglected bird, sticker intact,  is thought to have been bought at  a garage  sale on  Magnetic  Island, before  the  Sultan of  Brunei  could  get  his  hands on  it.  

Monday, October 30, 2023



The enigmatic espression  on  Mona Lisa's face has been  interpreted in many ways . After   a hectic   day  in  which  nearly  all the   books  and  most of the bookshelves were  removed   from the  cluttered   Little Darwin den   by  a  dynamic  team from  the   Magnetic Island   Men's Shed , she  could be seen as    uttering   Gorblimey !, Holy moly ! ,even  Strewth ! in disbelief .

Our Mona cost a fortune at a garage sale. Why did we not   buy the unique  shell  mermaid  for  the  Shipping  Reporter ?

Like the deckchairs on the Titanic, the  filing cabinets  were  also   rearranged  so that the    den is now cavernous  , could  be  turned into  a  B and  B .

The  clearance , naturally  , was painful,  not only due to the   sight of  seeing all those beloved  books  go but  because droves of    blood -sucking    March Flies  which   attacked  , causing much  slapping .  This  decrepit  writer , on blood thinners , attracted   frequent  sucking , blood   flowed  .  Cans  of  repellant were   flown  in .  

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Friday, October 27, 2023


 Making a  point  with a hand gesture   is  a  former   Northern  Territory  ALP  Leader  of  the Opposition , Jon Isaacs,  a  champion   city  of  Sydney  debater,   whose   lawyer  father  was  closely involved  with  author Xavier Herbert  who  won the   1938   Sesqui -Centenary Award  for  literature with  his  novel, Capricornia, about  the   NT.  He  also wrote the  epic  Poor  Fellow  My  Country, another  award  winner . 

The  photograph  , taken in the l980s, surfaced  recently during  the sorting out of Little Darwin's files.The  person on  the  left  is veteran journalist  and author   Duncan  Graham , awarded  a  Walkley  and a  Human Rights  Award , who  has  reported  extensively  on  Indonesia . 

Also unearthed during the massive   cull   was  a  file  relating to veteran newspaper   photographer , Ray Sharpe , which included  his encounter with an inquisitive  monkey that clambered over him  and his camera  on  a  yacht in  Darwin Harbour .

Ray  famously said you have not lived until you experience  a monkey  sticking  its  fingers up your nostrils.

His  file contains  a   shot of  him in Darwin Hospital-  injured    during  a   flight in  a  wardrobe  during  Cyclone Tracy- which saw him evacuated to Sydney  for  medical  treatment . 


 Crying out to be   made  into  a major documentary  is  the  involvement   of  dedicated  women who over the years   have   fought    to   save   the  wildlife  of   North  Queensland  and  its  wetlands .

Of  particular  note   is  the   current   situation on Magnetic Island , off  Townsville,  where   a Curlew named  Motley  , because she  had been   knocked  about  before  being   rescued  by  a  wildlife  carer ,  has  mothered  scores   of   orphan  birds  over   years. 

Right  now  Motley , who  had  been so  traumatised   she  at  first  took refuge in a   wardrobe   for   many  months,  is   mothering   two  orphan   baby   birds.   

The  dedicated  women involved in  wildlife caring on the island  have many  great  stories  to  tell ; one  deals with  snakes .

One  was  involved  with acclaimed naturalist , conservationist and  environmental activist  the late   Margaret Thorsborne  AO  counting  and campaigning to  protect  the  Torres Strait  Pigeons  on  the Brook Islands, ,near  Hinchinbrook   Island . 

To this end , experiments were  carried out by ornithologists  on  pigeon nesting  in  an aviary  on   Magnetic  Island ,resulting  in  new  information .

A  devoted  carer  oft turns up at political meetings with  a  young animal or bird   requiring   feeding   in  a   cage  or  pouch .

A Townsville   woman  connected with  Special Collections at James Cook  University  was  also  involved  in the   Hinchinbrook campaign.  

LIttle  Darwin has   seen two archival   containers    full of   documents  , letters, newspaper cuttings  . photos and  books  relating    to  the fight to  protect   wildlife .  The  late   poet  Judith  Wright , concerned  about saving the Great Barrier  Reef ,   was  involved  with  some of  the  wildlife  carers .

A presentation copy   of a Margaret Thorsborne  book  strongly  praises   the   contribution  by  a   Magnetic Island   carer  .


Two   renowned former    Magnetic Island   residents -  Kiwi     writer , author, Jean Devanny (1894-l962) , and  art historian  ,  collector  and  opera  fan,  Margaret Vine - have  been  the  subject  of   discussion   in  recent  days ,  partly  due   to   Little  Darwin's  culling  of  its   book and    ephemera   collection .

Both  remarkable  women  have  been  covered    in  this  blog in the past .   In the  case of  Devanny ,  we drew on  her   extensive material  in  the   Special Collections   section  at  the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, James Cook University, Townsville .

The Magnetic Island  Museum is currently compiling information about Devanny for some  people   now  residing  in  an  island  house in  which  she   had   lived ,  writing , making observations. 

She was one of the founding members of  the  Australian Writers League  in the l930s ,  a Communist and   strong womens  emancipist , her  l926 novel The Butcher Shop  caused an uproar as  it presented  the sexual   exploitation of women  in  marriage. 

Bed of Books 

We  were  fortunate to  have  personal contact with  Margaret  Vine  , who first lobbed  on the island   with so many boxes of  books that  a number   formed the  base  of  her   bed   for  a   time . 

In a typical  Christian act, we  helped  make her bed more comfortable by supplying  some old  telephone  directories  to  put  in  gaps between boxes.

She had  worked at the   National   Art  Gallery, Canberra,  carrying  out  extensive  research into  Australian art .  Architecture and    fashion   were  other  interests.

She was involved in  research  for the large 1977 tome  Documents on Australian International  Affairs  1901-1918  by  Professor Gordon Greenwood and Charles Grimshaw of  Queensland University.   

We helped Margaret sort out  part of  her  book and  pottery collection . Some of  her art  books  eventually  went  to   Special Collections at  JCU. 

Margaret  gave us   several  boxes of  her  American  and  Australian   art magazines , even  some of the books she had been awarded as a   bright  school  pupil  in  Queensland  , perused   during   the current   cull. 

She  had been told by her  father when she was young  that  she would not  be sent to  university , like her brother , because she was a girl and would   probably  just  get  married and  have a family.   Despite this, she   carved out  a  creative   career  and  was  highly  regarded  in  many  circles . 

On the  Island,  she  helped   community  groups  , was a  strong wildlife carer , some  critters   given  names  from  opera and  literature .    This writer  clambered  up on her roof and cleared out from the gutters   accumulated  droppings   from  wallabies   that   easily   hopped   there  from   nearby    large   granite  boulders. 

Both extraordinary women were the subject of special displays in the Magnetic  Museum .

Thursday, October 26, 2023


Townsville . Vallis .

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Henry  Wadsworth Longfellow    famously shot an arrow into the air  and  he  knew  not  where  it  fell  .   Our Shipping Reporter , in  a  poetic   and grumpy frame of  mind ,  fired an arrow into  the  air over the Townsville waterfront  in the shape of the  cargo vessel  named  Amber Archer   and it  landed    near  African  Wren    and  many other  vessels of interest - unnoticed  by  the local  media   landlubbers. 

The Shipping Reporter   said  the  arrival of  the container  ship    Lautoka  Chief  , registered in Hong Kong,  which  was  assisted to berth by two tugs   provided many   interesting  photo opportunities.  Apart from the neglect of  Townsville's maritime  activity -the Ghost Fleet-  the local media  apparently has not  noticed  the  hundreds of interesting  yachts  in the area-  otherwise they  would  regularly  produce  gripping  salty  tales   from  the waterfront. 

Monday, October 23, 2023


 During  the   night  Little Darwin's   nesting  Curlews  sitting on two  eggs  were  seemingly  being  threatened . Their  screeching  caused   the switching on of outside lights, running out with torches  to see what   what was  causing the   uproar.  Both birds , away  from the eggs,  were loudly  screeching,   their wings  extended  in   defensive pose.

No  owl , no cat, no snake  was   seen.  In  the   morning ,  surprise, it  was discovered  that   there were  two   newly  hatched chicks. 

Unfortunately, another  nesting   pair  of  Curlew  at the back of the property  are   looking after what  is obviously  an  infertile egg , and   drastic  action will have to be taken  to  remove  it  from  under  a   bird .

While checking on the  new   Curlews,  three   tiny baby  Plovers were   seen  running  after  a  noisy  parent across  the  road .  



Sunday, October 22, 2023

Saturday, October 21, 2023


 An ideal book   to  read on a  wet  weekend   is  Rain God  The Highs and  Lows  of Clement  Wragge , meteorologist with  a mission. Launched in Townsville recently , it was written by former  Townsville  Bulletin  reporter   Ian Jame  Frazer  who  produced  numerous  interesting   features   for  the  paper . 

During  his  extensive  research  he  came across  mention of  Wragge ( 1852-1922), who had  spent time in Townsville ,  and followed him up over the  years , resulting  in this  superb biography  of  an extraordinary character , once described as  Australia's most famous man ( also prominent in New Zealand ),  who pioneered   weather  forecasting  and the naming  of  cyclones  and storms after  people . 

A complex , exuberant  person  who wore a turban and   quoted the Creator,  Wragge was  into spiritualism , knew  author Sir   Arthur   Conan  Doyle , creator  of   Sherlock  Holmes , and  Lady  Doyle .

After reading this  excellent book, published by Silverbird  Publishing ,  the writer of  this  post   watched   a  television   documentary  about    the   famous  magician  Harry  Houdini  who   came  to   Australia   during  his   travels  and  performed  death  defying   acts   of   escape . 

It covered the fact that   Houdini  had waged  a campaign  against  spiritualists  , including  Lady  Doyle , claiming  they   were   fraudsters .  During the First World  War  many people  tried to contact their  loved ones who had been killed , Houdini  claimed  people who were paid money  to  contact the dead  were   criminals . 




Townsville   and    smoke  across  Cleveland  Bay .

Shipping Reporter .

Friday, October 20, 2023

Thursday, October 19, 2023


 During the culling of  the cluttered  Little Darwin   den   because of  our   intention  to  move ,  an  astounding array of   forgotten unusual  items , much of  it ephemera , is surfacing .  

 Veteran   sorter  of   his own amazing   files, Pete Steedman , in Melbourne , asked  if  this  writer   is  going  mad  trying to recall where he bought   everything .

The   answer   to  this question  is   the Little Darwin sorter   is  obviously increasingly troppo  and  sweaty . Out of a  box  of   mixed  paper  he  found a  l998  email   sent  to  the  Alexander Turnbull Library in New Zealand   informing  them  we  were  holding  a  flying boat diary for them,listed in one of our catalogues.

The sorter  went on to   say  more  New Zealand  items  of  interest could be contained in two other catalogues - just   compiled - containing   things bought during a grand tour of the country , with  his  wife, after attending a  60th  wedding anniversary  in  Kiwiland.

That tour took in bookshops,op and secondhand shops , garage sales, antique shops, speakeasies, dumps,etc.

 The library  was  informed another two cases  full of books and ephemera could have been bought , but each time  Little Darwin  bent down to rummage through a box  of potential  treasures,guarded by man-eating silverfish, his wife put in the slipper , muttered about excess baggage on  the return flight to  Australia.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023



Early support  for a  proposed  Mermaid Festival on Magnetic Island  has come  from  Vivienne   Moran  who  has  a   vast  knowledge of Australia's   marine archeology  and   history  and  runs  the  island's  Louver  Gallery  which exhibits  the works  of  many  artists .

A former curator / manager of  the  Townsville Maritime Museum,she  was deeply involved  in  West  Australian   marine  archaeology  research, contributed to the National Historic Shipwrecks  Program.

 At   the Fremantle Marine  Museum she  knew   the  late  Dr  Colin Jack- Hinton  who  went  to  Darwin  as  the first director of  the  Museum and  Art  Gallery  of  the  Northern  Territory ,

There he established  a  collection of  canoes , boats   and    objects of marine  technology  from  South East Asia , the Western  Pacific  and locally  that   evolved  in  the   areas .  

 A Darwin artist  recently   suggested   Magnetic Island   should  hold a  regular , wide ranging  festival , including an art section,  inspired  by  the  mystery  mermaid, made from fibreglass, which suddenly appeared on rocks  , without explanation , and  has  been subsequently vandalised, her  arms  and  head  torn off .

The artist suggested the  remains  of the  mutilated  mermaid corpse  should be  brought  ashore  and   be  fully  restored , perhaps even  joined  by  other mermaids. 

A  Mermaid Festival   could  become as popular as   Copenhagen's  famous Little Mermaid  and  start a profitable  island   mermaid  doll  cottage knitting   industry, several having already been made .  Further  undoubted  support  for the Mermaid Festival will  be run   in  this  blog

Our Shipping Reporter , who has   given the mermaid  much coverage,  says he   is working on  an exclusive   story   about  the   poor  mermaid ,which he modestly  declares  should  win  him  another   Pulitizer  Prize .  


As part of the massive  task of  sorting out  the extensive  files  of  Pete Steedman , some of  the many  taped  lively debates  in which he was involved in his long career as an activist , publisher,  ALP  politician ,media commentator , within Australia and  London  , starting  as  the editor  of  dissenting  Melbourne   university  publications  in  the  l960s ,  have recently   been   digitised.

One of  particular  current  relevance , viewed by this blog, shows him strongly opposing  Paul Keating's  plan  to  sell   Qantas  at  an  ALP  National Conference   on   Privatisation.

In his  pull no punches  delivery, Pete  rightly stated  one person who would  benefit  from the   government  sell  off  of  Qantas would be   the  airline's  CEO.

Another  relevant  , powerful  video  covers  a  1980s clash  with Tasmanian   Liberal  lawyer Michael  Hodgman , Shadow Minister for Immigration and  Ethnic Affairs , on the subject of  racism and Fascism  in  Australia , which  was  remarkable  , partly  because   of   Steedman's  attire.

 He had long been known  in Melbourne as  the  Black Knight  because he   usually  got  about  in a black leather jacket  , jeans,  no tie , a beard ,  long  unruly locks ,  cowboy boots, with  sunnies. In  the  corridors of   parliament   house  this  scruffy  looking  apparition    verbally   stirred   up  Hodgman  on  occasions .

However, in the debate , for some strange reason, Steedman  was actually wearing  a three- piece suit , a tie !,  was clean shaven   and  he  had just had a short back and sides.  Hodgman  seemed  taken  aback   by  Pete's  new  kempt  image- like that  of  a  member  of   the  junior  chamber  of  commerce .  

Also recenly unearthed in  his files were  forgotten  further details  relating to the time when  Steedman  ,  expecting a  violent   visit  from some heavies , jumped out  brandishing a  knife  when   American  singer Bob  Dylan  knocked on his  door  in  Melbourne   at   night. Steedman's  wide ranging  files  and  books  are   going  into the  Victorian   state  library .


   Townsville   port   activity   by  Shipping  Reporter  .

Naval  vessels  included one  American ..
Manchac  Sun, chemical carrier, Cayman Islands .

 Panama  registered  car carrier , Iguazu Highway 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023



The thirst for knowledge and  water  is evident in the  university city of  Townsville , where  this unusual  piece of  public  art  in the  CBD  attracted the  attention of  our  arty  photographer, Sara .


 A recent   gem  viewed  by  Little Darwin in  the Special Collections   section at   James Cook University Library ,Townsville ,  is the   above  l884  diary kept by  James  W. Cutten, member of a  pioneering family   who started tea and   coffee   plantations   in  North  Queensland .

The colourful story of the  Cuttens  is covered in the  l982 well illustrated  booklet The Lost Plantation A History of the Australian Tea Industry by R.J. Taylor , published  by G.K.Bolton , Cairns.

Monday, October 16, 2023


 Aided  by  Raiders  of  the  Lost  Ark

Due to a major decision to  move , Little Darwin, with the  help  of slaving   family members, is   sorting  out - even culling !-  its   files , books ( one volume a forgotten copy of  Anatomy of  the Titanic ) , nibbled   ephemera ,  photo albums ,  boxes of   documents ,  old bottles dug up in the Northern Territory - amassed    over  more  than  50  years .

At  times ,   the  Little  Darwin normally  cluttered  den , overlooked by the bemused  Mona  Lisa  painting , has  taken  on the appearance of  an  extension  to  Sydney's  Tempe Tip  during  the  sorting  of the  mountain of   oddities ,  lost  treasures  , a  lidded chalice  and  silverfish  fodder.    

A  tiny amount  , including   heavy  bound in  copies of   old   Melbourne and  Sydney  newspapers, were   reluctantly  put  out   in a  garage sale  and it was surprising  to  see   the  interest  they  created .   One  woman , from Canberra, enthusiastically  suggested   several  could be made into a glass- topped  coffee  table, an  example  of  creative  lateral  thinking .   

Fair dinkum, another woman who came to  the garage sale announced she is  a member of an  organisation   which   gathers   items  about  the  Titanic  sinking  of  April 15,  l912, did  we  have  anything  related , especially  in  the  old  newspapers  ?  

More  details of  the  Titanic  clearance   voyage   will  be  posted  . 


Townsville  area .

Sunday, October 15, 2023


  Sprouting  Golden  Cane  performs for  Brad  the  Gardener  and  his soft shoe shuffling   crew  on  Magnetic  Island  . Sara photo.

Saturday, October 14, 2023


 Brilliant  cartoonist  Emile Mercier ( 1901 - l981) illustrated  this  popular early   dance    song  offer  which  undoubtedly  produced  a  generation of  knock-kneed   girls  with  wonky ankles , long  before  modern misses   began to   injure  themselves   in  rugby  league  and  Aussie Rules.

Born on Noumea  of  French parents,  Emile came to Sydney at the age  of  21, joined the  Julian Ashton   Art School   and  showed great talent as a  black  and  white  artist. 

He went on to  produce many humorous   cartoons  depicting the  Aussie way  of  life  for  Australian publications, some of which were in  advertising  campaigns , like  the one shown above, in a theatre program for the   musical play   Rose  Marie , a romance of the Canadian Rockies, at Her Majesty's Theatre ,Sydney.

The Australian Dictionary of  Biography  says  fellow  cartoonists maintained his works  were due to his "natural Gallic naughtiness ". He regularly contributed  to  the   International Salon of  Cartoons  which exhibited  in  the Montreal  International Pavilion of  Humour, Canada. 

Late in life he suffered from Parkinson's disease . One of  many famous drawings was  for Shrdlu Gravy , oft  spread  in  his   cartoons , including one on a  wall  which  ordered Post  No  Shrdlu .

Friday, October 13, 2023


High up a gumtree , a  shy  Koala spotted   in  Mandalay Avenue, Nelly Bay , Magnetic Island. Since then  another  Koala   has  been    sighted  nearby   with  a  sign  warning  motorists  to  slow  down . 

Meanwhile, the Queen of  the Jungle  has been visited  by  a   carpet snake and a  green tree  snake in recent weeks , which probably explains why  Kookaburras  are  out  in  numbers. 

Sunday, October 8, 2023


 A  small   Buddhi  statue    which   sat  for years under  trees   on  Magnetic  Island  has  disappeared.  Sensing  another   offbeat   story,  Little Darwin   went   on   a pilgrimage ,  looking  for  Buddha   on   an overgrown  block   once  known  as  the Pope's Land , because  it  had been bequested  to the Catholic  Church .

This  land, at  Nelly Bay,  recently changed hands , and the new owners   gave notice  that  it is going to be made into a nature reserve. Letters were sent out  to  owners of  adjoining properties asking  them to remove  cars, boats , gates   and   extended   boundary   fences  .

One  item removed  was   Buddha , whose owner   said   he  had  placed    the  holy man over his  dog's grave . "The dog was  Catholic-," the sad canine   owner explained ,  added -" so  I buried him in  the  Pope'e  Land. "   A  sound suspiciously  like  a  hearty  chuckle was   detected   after  this  statement  .  

Buddha is now locked away in  a  shed  . Not far from the  grave site  is a large mango tree  . Apparently  Buddha was  not  keen  on  Queensland  mangoes  , preferring the  Bodhi  for  enlightenment  and  sit  ins .


 Recently returned   from   overseas  , a    Darwin  artist  who  visited museums , galleries  and  other venues of   interest , strongly  suggests that  Magnetic Island   should  turn   the battered   mermaid  at  the  harbour  entrance  into  a   major  tourist  attraction ,  with  an  associated    festival  of   arts, 

In  the  process , the  mistreated  mermaid could become Australia's answer to  Copenhagen 's  famous   Little  Mermaid  bronze statue inspired by Hans Christian  Andersen's  fairy  tale , which has been subjected to attacks by vandals  over   the  years. 

The   Darwin  artist , acquainted with the  North Queensland  art  scene, has herself   contributed   to  the   production of   creative   works in Townsville and  on  Magnetic  Island .

She believes the  now  mutilated mermaid should be  removed  and   restored as a   community project  , become  the centre of  a  proposed  annual  festival .

Her suggestion has   been  enthusiastically  supported  by  the Shipping Reporter  who   has long    covered  the plight of  the  mermaid  , a   fibreglass  figure which appeared  ,without explanation ,  on  rocks at   the entrance  to  the  island , with very  little   mainland  media  coverage.

 Subsequently  her   head   and   arms   were    torn  off , she suffered other  outrages ,including having   a Scott Morrison   cut-out  head placed on  top of her   battered torso . Yuk! 

The  Shipping Reporter   revealed that a group of islanders  , shocked at her treatment, had  named  her  Isla.

Because of  his  many posts about the mermaid, a creative  islander presented  him  with  two  knitted   mermaid dolls   she  made  .

The  Darwin  artist  said  making   mermaids   could  become  a  big  island cottage  industry  as  a  result   of a  mermaid  festival .

UPCOMING :  Follow up to  mermaid festival  proposal and  Shipping Reporter  mermaid scoop .

Friday, October 6, 2023


 Another  recent  unusual  find by the  Shipping Reporter is  a  slim  ,66 page , sun- bleached  volume- Scuttled and  Abandoned  Ships in Australian Waters - by Ronald Parsons and Geoff Plunkett, South Australia  , 1995, which gives the  impression  that  it  is  another Bermuda Triangle .

State by state and the  Northern Territory  , it  lists the   many vessels   that  came to  grief   over  the  years .

Our  waterfront  roundsman said  it was  sad  to see that the  l905  Dutch built  steamship Grace Darling,  named  after  the  famous young girl  who  saved  shipwrecked  mariners in 1838 ,  could not be saved herself  and was sunk and  abandoned in  Port Adelaide  some time  after  l931. 

Darwin Harbour  ,it said , was littered with wartime wrecks and   vessels lost in Cyclone Tracy  and  artificial  reefs were formed  for recreational  purposes from barges   and several Vietnamese refugee  boats . It seems there were  so  many  confiscated  wooden   Chinese fishing   boats  scuttled  that  Darwin authorities  gave  them  Aussie  bird  names  such  as  Brolga, Cockatoo, Eagle , Galah, Heron, Jabiru  and  Kookaburra rather than the    Chinese  ones .

With all this talk about spending billions on AUKUS  nuclear  submarines ,it is surprising to  learn  that   something like seven  submarines  built in the Royal Navy Dockyards  in  the early 20th  century  were scuttled in  Victorian waters .  

Looking through the  alphabetical  index   it   revealed   that  many vessels were named after   woman , animals , birds  .The tug named after the controversial Victorian premier  Henry Bolte was scuttled  in l988 after some  parts  had  been  taken  out  .

The Inca , registered in San Francisco, was dismasted during a wild storm in the Tasman Sea and towed into Sydney  in December  1920, sold  for hulking, burnt  off Sydney Heads in December l926 as  part of  the  film  For the Term of  his  Natural  Life .

 There is mention of the  Bee , owned by Robert Hayles , which ran  aground  at  Picnic  Bay ,Magnetic Island on March 16,1901. There  was  another  small   iron  steamship of  the same name  purchased  by  a  Port  Douglas  resident  in 1882.   

NOTE : The Magnetic  Island  Museum is currently working on  a Christmas calendar  which  will   feature some local   shipwrecks .  

Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Townsville . Abra pix.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Containing "beautiful chromolithographic illustrations " of  Australia, including Hawkesbury River, St. James Church (Sydney), Port Jackson, Mount Arapiles, Gladstone, Townsville, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne from St. Kilda Road, Sandridge, Port Phillip Heads, Perth, Ballarat, Broulee, Daylesford, Port Lincoln, the Burke & Wills Monument (Melbourne), Tom Thumb Lagoon, and Hobart ,this circa 1886  photo album  is  in the latest  list from   Douglas Stewart Fine Books, Melbourne , for  $1200. 

On  the  front of the  the gilt-tooled black morocco leather  album  is a  depiction of  the Melbourne Law  Courts . The title leaf has a view of the Yarra with portraits of Lord and Lady Loch , the Victorian governor and wife ; it is imprinted  with  the initials  J.G.M 

Another item of interest is a 1972  Sidney Nolan  Central  Australia landscape , exhibited  in his  first solo  exhibition in Tokyo in 1973, listed   for  $15,000 .



Magnetic Island .

Monday, October 2, 2023

Sunday, October 1, 2023



Cloud  over  Magnetic  Island  ,  Shipping  Reporter .