Welcome to my Moreton Bay world

Updated every Saturday. The latest updates are listed in the column on the left.

Thought for the Week

Every moment is a fresh beginning.

T.S Eliot

Moreton Bay Mariners

‘Moreton Bay has always had its share of ‘personalities’ among those who have chosen to spend their lives in its domain. Its waters demand respect based on seamanship of the highest order, common sense, courage in adversity, an intimate knowledge of its channels and shallows, compassion for others, and a love of freedom that only an outdoor life can offer; and if the odd eccentricity should surface, then all the better! There is a spirit of camaraderie amongst the boatmen that helps define a special quality of‘Moreton Bay people’. It derives from an intimate knowledge of its everchanging waterways, and a realisation of Man’s dependence on the whims of Nature, and of the unwritten requirement to help others out in times of need. The bay can be a dangerous place to the unwary.’

Peter Ludlow

20 thoughts on “Welcome to my Moreton Bay world

  1. Hello Peter (Please direct to Peter Ludlow as appropriate)

    My name is Laurie Petersen. I grew up in Wynnum and I have spent a lifetime on the Bay but that is not specifically why I write

    My Mother-in-Law Joyce Munnich is currently writing a novel (story based around facts) surrounding the Myora/Minjeriba area. This will be her third novel. She is a very active 90 year old..

    I feel you could provide some help. She has already read all she can find of your publications.

    I continue to advise Joyce on her work. She is a stickler for accuracy and I don’t have all the answers.

    Can you help?

    It would be great to meet with you. Her home at Wynnum North or a place suitable to you




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  3. Hello Peter,

    I’m looking for any information on Peel Island relating to the time my grandfather worked there as a store man. I would estimate that he was there around the “1930’s’ but I know very little of his life there. His name was John Carling. I have been told that a housing development in Raby Bay has a lot of streets named after workers from Peel Island and there is a Carling Court there

    I appreciate any help you may be able to provide.

    Jennifer Banks


    1. Hello Jennifer,
      sorry for the tardy reply. I have searched my notes and here is everything I have found:

      J.E.Carling’s name appears as either witnessing or certifying burials at Peel Island between 19 April 1932 and 29 March 1939.

      * When I first arrived at Peel in 1936, the present Ranger’s house was occupied
      by Superintendent Goldsworthy, Deputy Superintendent Jack Carling, and the
      housekeeper, Mrs Snow. It was out of bounds to myself and the other patients. This
      visit was the first time I had been allowed to enter the house. Nurse Dwyer then
      occupied the (later) Superintendent’s house.
      [Extract from Moreton Bay People – The Complete Collection (Peter Ludlow)]

      His first task was to report to the elderly Nurse Dwyer at the single roomed
      surgery. There was no hospital then, and Nurse Dwyer, assisted by one of the male
      patients, handled all medical emergencies. In 1936 Nurse Dwyer lived in what was
      later to be known as the Superintendent’s quarters, and the Superintendent
      Goldsworthy and his deputy, Carling, in what was later to be the nurses’ quarters.
      [Extract from Peel Island – Paradise or Prison (Peter Ludlow)]

      The year of 1938 also saw the retirement of Superintendent Goldsworthy
      and the appointment of Sr A.E.0’Brien to a newly created position of Matron-In-
      Charge. Alex remembers Matron O’Brien as a ‘stand-over merchant’ and her habit
      of carrying a revolver could only have added to this image. By her efforts she
      managed to obtain the appointment of two more nurses for the hospital, but on the
      negative side Matron O’Brien made things difficult (in Alex’ words) for the ageing
      Nurse Dwyer, who resigned. The same treatment also probably befell the Deputy-
      Superintendent, Carling, who left soon after.
      [Extract from Peel Island – Paradise or Prison (Peter Ludlow)]

      1925 John Carling Assist. superintendent (from 15.6.25)


  4. Thank you Peter. I have been able to establish through my grandmothers diary that he arrived in Australia a few years after returning from the Great War and found the job on Peel Island at least 12 months before my grandmother brought their 3 children over on the long crossing by boat. They established themselves in Lota, with my grandfather only returning every few weeks on recreational leave. She writes how hard life was on the island and how she missed him. She was alone in a new world.


  5. Hi Peter

    My great grandfather (Frederick Christian Ferdinand Gabbert) came out on the Charles Dickens in 1877 and I understand the ship was quarantined at Peel Island. I was wondering if your book Exiles of Peel Island: Quarantine is available to download in electronic format.


    1. Hi Christine,
      Exiles of Peel Island: Quarantine is not available in electronic format as such, but it has been incorporated fully into the PDF file ‘Peel Island History – A Personal Quest’ which is available to download elsewhere from my webpage for $9.99.


  6. Good morning Peter,

    Hope you are well!

    My name is Florencia and I am putting together an event for the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland. I was hoping you would be able to help gather some information on the below categories:

    Great Queensland engineering feats
    Great RPEQs
    Great Queensland engineering companies
    Great Queensland engineering feats (pre-1929)

    Ideally, we are looking for historians who would be able to supply content and other information on the above.

    We would like to coordinate a meeting with you to discuss our idea.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Many thanks,



  7. Dear Peter,
    This looks like a great site. Already people are asking for help and you are able to give it. Hope all goes well in the future. Keep safe. Sincerely Ruth Gabriel


  8. Hi again Peter
    Kind regards and best wishes from Burleigh QLD – will send this to my ex-wife in Germany – we were fans of Moreton and my last camping visit was 2 yrs ago with her. I would connect my website from Burleigh QLD and LINK with yours – in case you cannot agree, pls let me know:-)
    Am mostly blogging on German Online plus My Third Life at the Gold Coast QLD Australia and posting my comments via Website and Blog. My Mob No is 0491153291
    Have contacted you before and you have answered me before.
    Enjoy your weekend – a bit windy here.
    Peter H Bloecker



      1. Thank you very much! Love Moreton Island and the Bay very much! Is the Scarborough Ferry avtice again? Last time I had to go from BNE Harbour! Best wishes yours Peter


  9. Google tells us: Passenger ferry services depart from Holt Street Wharf in Pinkenba, Brisbane and arrive at the Tangalooma Jetty on Moreton Island. Travelling time is just 75 minutes each way, with 4 boat services operating daily in each direction (Brisbane to Tangalooma). Cheers, Peter


  10. Hi Peter,
    I’m part of a team creating geo-located podcasts about the history and people of the Redlands Coast region. One episode we are working on is about the Peel Island lazaret – would you be open to be interviewed by a producer, I have a feeling you might be one of the leading authorities on the history of the institution. My mobile is 0481907740 – It would be great to talk, if you had time this week

    Kind regards,
    Damien Cassidy


    1. Hi Damien, I am quite open to be interviewed about The Peel Island Lazaret. However I am having trouble talking at present due to an upper respiratory tract infection (not Covid). I’ll contact you as soon as I get my voice back, hopefully early next week.


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