Situated at the mouth of the Brisbane River, Bishop Island was formed in 1912 as spoil from the dredge “Hercules” during the cutting of a new shipping channel. The island took its name from A.G.Bishop, Master of the “Hercules” for this operation. Bishop Island as such no longer exists, having been incorporated into the new Port of Brisbane terminal at Fisherman Island.
Ian Kennedy in his paper Captain A.F.G.Bishop 1857-1950 presented to the Wynnum Manly Historical Society in 2002:
“A total of 4,500,000 tons of material was dredged and the spoil from ‘Hercules’ was directed to a low mud bank on the southern side of the river mouth. This formed an island about two metres above the high water mark, about 17 hectares in area. At the time, the dredge master and his crew did not give much thought to their ‘Island’ appearing on an admiralty chart, and none to its eventual future as a pleasure resort…At first the ‘Island’ was referred to as ‘Hercules Bank’ and later as ‘Wreck Island’ but, in due course, was gazetted ‘Bishop Island’.” (4)
Charles Bateson/Jack Loney:
The ‘Hercules’ was a steel dredge of 895 tons. Built at Walker-on-Tyne, 1900. Lbd 230.5 x 39.3 x II ft. Dredged the Bar Cutting at the entrance to the Brisbane river and used the silt to form Bishop Island in Moreton bay where many vessel were scuttled. She herself lies scuttled between Dunwicch and Myora in Moreton Bay.
In 1954, Bonty Dickson purchased the wreck of the 250 foot ex Brisbane River dredge “Hercules”, and it was towed down and put on the One Mile. He grew oysters on trays inside the hull (after first catching them on the bedsteads), and found they would grow much quicker inside the wreck. However to fatten them up, he still had to put them out in the sun. (1)
(1) Ludlow, Peter. Moreton Bay People-The Complete Collection. privately published, Stones Corner, 2000
(2) Ludlow, Peter. Moreton Bay Letters. privately published, Stones Corner, 2003
(3) Ludlow, Peter. Moreton Bay Reflections. privately published, Stones Corner, 2007
(4) Ludlow, Peter. The Port of Brisbane, Its People and Its Personalities, published by the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, 2013