The quarantine station stood atop The Bluff on Peel’s south-east corner from the early 1870s until 1910. Then from 1910 until 1916 its empty buildings housed the Home for Inebriates. In 1916 its wooden buildings were demolished. Today, the area is now thickly wooded, with the only remnants of the station being the so called ‘jail’ and the former well.
A former lazaret patient recalls that there was no roof or partition remaining in the ‘jail’ during his stay on the island (1940s). These must have been put in later as a holiday house for a patient (or by a boatie). The iron door was there, however. (It was later taken by QPWS rangers to St Helena Island in about 1990). Also there were no trees around the ‘jail’, only grass, yellow flowers, and daisies. The shape of the previous quarantine gardens could still be seen from the position of the flowers.
The well is bottle shaped with a narrow opening at the top. It seems to be lined with bricks and may have been constructed by prison labour.
In 2019 it appears to have been dry, but in 1991, Ray Cowie, the then ranger for the Redland Shire Council attempted to pump it out with a portable petrol driven pump – without succeeding to dry it out. Its water content may depend on the current level of the island’s water table.
In July 1991, I measured the distance between the remaining cement slabs (still to be found under all the leaves and undergrowth) and the ‘jail’ at the old quarantine site. (See plan). By comparison with the sketch plan of 1893, the cellblock proved to be the former oven rooms (#12 on the sketch above), which were attached to the bakehouse (#13). The term ‘jail’ may have originated when prisoners from nearby St Helena Island were housed there for their overnight detention whilst they worked on the completion of the Quarantine Station’s stone jetty. The building may also have served as a ‘jail’ for isolating obstreperous inmates from the Inebriate home when it operated on the former Quarantine site from 1910 until 1916.
A major concern of any Government is to protect the health of its citizens. Of most concern, perhaps, is an outbreak of infectious disease amongst its general populace. When the colony of Moreton Bay ceased to be used for penal purposes in 1839 and was subsequently thrown open for free settlement, foreign immigrants flooded in. With them came their families, their possessions, their skills, their hopes…and their diseases. Many of these, such as cholera, typhus, smallpox, scarlet fever, consumption, measles, and whooping cough were highly infectious, and an outbreak of any could decimate whole communities. The decision to place a ship in quarantine was not an easy one to make. It was an exercise in expense and inconvenience to the ship’s owners, the ship’s passengers, and to the community in general. However, such costs were justifiable when weighed against those which could occur should a serious infection be introduced into the community. When a vessel made port, a ship’s medical officer had first to furnish a medical report to the Health Officer of that port. If everything was in order, pratique would be granted and the vessel would be allowed to berth. If, on the other hand, a case of serious infection was present, the Health Officer could order the vessel and her passengers and crew into quarantine until the danger was over. 2
Such was the case with the iron clipper ship Gauntletof 677 tons which left England from Gravesend on 18 September 1875 with 272 passengers. During the voyage of three months enteric (typhoid) fever had broken out on board. The first case of fever had broken out about forty days out of London, a boy being the first noticeable case. There were twelve deaths up to 21 December. The Gauntletarrived at Cape Moreton on 20 December, and remained there a day (Ed.to take the pilot aboard). It arrived at the Bar at the mouth of the Brisbane River on 21 December and remained there two days while the ship’s medical officer reported to the Port’s Health Officer. Because of the contagious nature of enteric fever aboard, the ship, was placed under quarantine and on 23 December it was towed to Peel Island by the Government tug Kate.
Buildings on Peel Island were provided for single women capable of accommodating one hundred, but which contained ‘no beds or other convenience’. There was a hospital for females and another for males. There was also ‘a small shed for the quarters of the Surgeon-Superintendent’. Male immigrants and families were compelled by the shortage of shelter to live in tents. However, within a few days of the arrival of the Gauntlet the first instalment of beds arrived.
An enquiry was set up to investigate complaints from those quarantined at Peel Island: many concerned the issuing of rations. It was, however, not the quantity or quality of the rations, but the lateness of the issuing on some days. There were also complaints regarding accommodation on Peel Island. Immigrants were placed under canvas, which proved to be inadequate to protect them from the sun or from rain.
Fresh provisions, including live sheep to provide fresh meat, were sent to Peel Island on 21 December and on the following two days. The Gauntletremained in quarantine for forty days. There were some complaints about the distribution of food on Christmas Day, though there was a view that some complaints were not justified. There were some men who were too lazy to do any necessary work regarding the tents. Two hospitals were established on Peel Island, one for males and the other for females. There were up to ten patients in each.
On 4 February 1976 the Brisbane Courier published a letter to the Editor from the ship’s Medical Officer, Dr J.A. Hearne, in which he challenged some aspects of the enquiry into the condition of the Gauntletimmigrants during the voyage and while in quarantine on Peel Island. In particular he challenged Brisbane’s Health Officer, Dr O’Doherty’s view that he (Dr Hearne) was incapable of preserving order amongst his people. Dr Hearne claimed that order and discipline on the Gauntletwere as well preserved as on any immigrant ship to Queensland. He also objected to the arrival of two officers of the law, an implication that Dr Hearne needed their presence to maintain order, and to ‘save us from annihilating one another’. Dr Hearne enclosed two letters he had received from agents for whom he had worked previously, verifying that he had ‘performed his responsible duties to our satisfaction’, including occasions when he had ‘repeatedly over 1000 immigrants under my charge’.
The passengers were taken to Brisbane on 7 February 1876.
The enquiry continued spasmodically until mid-March.
A brief extract from material supplied by Brian Hedges who writes that ‘most of this information has been gleaned from Pennie Manderson and Colleen Bosel, The Voyages to Queensland of the Gauntlet, Maryborough, c.1997, and from the newspaper editions of the Brisbane Courier.’
2 Ludlow, Peter ‘Exiles of Peel Island – Quarantine’
There was a time in the world when it was usual to segregate people with leprosy in remote places, especially islands. In Queensland, Moreton Bay’s Peel Island housed our leprosy patients from 1907 to 1959. Fortunately, the cure was discovered in 1943, and such segregation was soon to pass into our history.
It was interesting, then, to read this small article that appeared in the London Evening Standard of Tuesday 9 July 2019:
PAYOUTS FOR LEPROSY FAMILIES
Prime minister Shinzo Abe today said the government would compensate the families of former leprosy patients over its segregation policy that caused long-lasting prejudice. He announced it will not challenge a court decision awarding 2.7 million (Pounds Sterling) in damages to 541 families for financial and psychological suffering.
Compensation for the families of leprosy patients? I am not aware that such families in Queensland had received any such payout resulting from our segregation policy here. Perhaps there is a case.
The other interesting point of the above article is “Why now?” It’s been over 75 years since the cure was discovered and 60 years since segregation was discontinued.
Ben Hills writing in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1995 provided a clue:
“The white-painted arched span, like a miniature version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is barely 100 metres long – but it took more than half a century to get it built. This highly symbolic bridge links Japan’s mainland with a tiny, mountainous island called Nagashima which juts out of the warm, grey waters of the Seto Inland Sea, surrounded by a cobweb of oyster-beds. Since 1930, when the first settlers came to Nagashima, the only way to reach the island was by ferry or by swimming across the fast-flowing straits in which many people drowned. And that was the way most Japanese wanted it to stay, because Nagashima is one of the country’s most shameful secrets – an island of the damned, where people were exiled, never to return.
“The outcasts were not criminals or psychopaths who posed a danger to society, though that’s how they still are treated by the law. Their only crime is that they suffer from Hansen’s disease, leprosy, a disfiguring but not fatal and relatively non-contagious infection, for which a cure has been known for 50 years.
“After decades of opposition, the bridge was finally finished in 1988 …”
If the bridge was to be the first symbolic span towards integrating Japan’s leprosy patients, then surely the Government’s current compensation to be paid to their families will be the final span across the breach that has divided the country for so long.
The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) is a fraternal organisation started in the United Kingdom in 1822 and is known as the Buffs to members. The RAOB organisation aids members, their families, dependents of former members and other charitable organisations. The Order’s motto is “No Man Is at all times wise” (Latin: Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit) and it has the maxim of “Justice, Truth and Philanthropy”. The Order has a Rule Book, Manual of Instruction and Ceremony Lectures issued and revised by the Grand Lodge of England. The ‘lodge’ description for branch organisation and headquarters was adopted in imitation of Freemasonry. (Source: Wikipedia)
Peel’s Buffalo Lodge – Bayview 99 – was consecrated on the third of April 1950, by Bro. E.Franklin, ROH, W.G.P. who was also a founder of the lodge. The man behind the formation of the lodge was Bro. Frank Bennett. He was the live wire, spurred on with enthusiasm to get the lodge started, and to give the male inmates of the institution another avenue of enjoyment to break the monotony of life on the island.Bayview Lodge 99 used to hold their meetings in the old billiard room at the settlement, after the billiard table had been removed to another location in the new recreation hall. On large occasions the recreation hall had to be used and this was often filled to capacity.
A night at lodge was something to be enjoyed and remembered. Membership at the lodge peaked at about 15-20 per meeting on a fortnightly basis. Visitations from city lodges and also from Stradbroke Lodge from Dunwich, was always a highlight. Not only were patients members, but a large proportion of the staff were active Buffs, especially during the latter days of the institution’s existence, and these staff brothers were the ones who actually kept the lodge going as patients were systematically transferred to the mainland, pending the closure of the institution. Lodge meetings were well conducted, and played an important part in the social life of the island.
Bayview 99 was indeed a unique lodge, formed under never to be repeated circumstances. It may go down in history as the only lodge ever to operate or be constituted within the precincts of a Lazaret. May the memory and the achievements of Bayview Lodge, No. 99, remain an integral and vital part of the history of the Buffalo Order in Queensland. Bayview 99… a unique lodge in a unique situation!.
01.04.2019 – Moreton Bay Mysteries – 6 – Just who was the Lover of Hilda Finger?
In my previous blog of 23.04.2019 (Moreton Bay Mysteries – 5 – Inebriate Inmate’s lost paintings.) I made reference to Ivy Rowell’s beloved beach and rock pool. In 1911 Ivy, a five-year-old toddler, was playing on the beach with her brother and sisters when a young woman was rowed ashore from a steamer that had hove to off the island. The woman, a leprosy patient by the name of Hilda Finger, had been brought down as deck cargo on the steamer from up north and was to be admitted to the Lazaret (Leprosarium) on the other end of the island. On the steamer she had been housed in a wooden box affair, which was also rowed ashore in a dinghy and dumped on the beach where Ivy was playing. It was then burned, the memory of which was to remain in Ivy’s mind’s eye for the rest of her life
When Hilda had been offloaded onto the beach at Peel Island in 1911 she would have been met by the Superintendent of the Lazaret, which institution was located diagonally across on the other side of the island. A horse and dray would have taken them on this final leg of her last journey. Would it have paused at the top of the Bluff to watch the fire on the beach below? Would it burn in Hilda’s memory as it did in that of the young Ivy Rowell? What could Hilda’s thoughts have been as the dray headed off into the bush for the dreaded Lazaret?
Hilda Finger died on November 22nd, 1916 and was buried in Peel Island’s cemetery on the same day. Her Death Certificate states the cause as due to: 1 Cardiac Failure (of one hour duration), 2 Leprosy (years). Family lore as reported by Hilda’s next younger sister, Mina, attributes the death to be due to an incorrect drug being injected by a doctor in Mackay. The doctor was reported to be so upset that he ceased practising. There was no mention of Leprosy or Peel Island, or of Hilda’s removal there. Was Mina reporting facts or was it just her way of dealing with curious questions?
The other report of Hilda’s death is given by Ivy Rowell, the (by then) ten-year-old eye-witness who tells that Hilda and a male patient were lovers at Peel, but when he died, she was so stricken that, in Ivy’s words she “let out a squawk” and died too. Does such death by mortification occur in real life? Certainly it is common for an individual to lose the will to live after losing a loved partner, but does it occur within an hour as in Hilda’s case? Opera lovers, especially Wagnerians, would say “yes”. Take “Tristan and Isolde” for example. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet also died in such a manner, admittedly with the help of a little poison, which leads one to wonder if the rumour of death by an incorrect injection may have taken place on Peel itself.
Whatever its cause, by love lost or clinical misadventure, the death of Hilda Finger was a tragic affair of the heart.
In 1989 while Ray Cowie was Redland Shire Council Ranger and living on The Bluff at Peel Island, he was contacted by an elderly lady by the name of Ivy Rowell. She had some information for him about her involvement with Peel Island. I think she had reached that age where she was reviewing her life before she died (much as I am now!)
Ray contacted me and I drove him out to visit Ivy at her home. Ivy was a wealth of information. It turned out that she was the daughter of George Jackson, the Chief Attendant (Superintendent) of the Inebriate Home at Peel between 1910 and 1916. One of his patients, William Simmons, presented George with five oil paintings that he had completed while in his care. Ivy still had these paintings in her possession (see attached). As you can see from the photo, the unframed painting was very dark. Ivy told us that this was from all the smoke from mangrove leaves, which they burnt in their house to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
Ivy provided us with the information I was to later use in my “Of Drunkards and Rock Pools” chapter in my Moreton Bay People book and for an important part of the Hilda Finger chapter. Ray invited her back to Peel to revisit the site of her former home which she was very pleased to accept.
Ivy died a short time later and her son, John, scattered her ashes in Platypus Bay – a spot she had always loved since playing there as a 4 year old child. I think Ray may have had a part in this ceremony.
As a token of his respect for Ray’s help to him and to his mother, John Rowell had the five Simmons’ paintings cleaned of their soot, framed, and inscribed with a dedication. I am not sure of the inscription, but I think it mentioned Ray. Anyway, Ray always maintained that John presented them to him personally and not to any organisation. This has just been reconfirmed by his widow, Nola.
After Ray and Nola left Peel, they rented a house at Lamb Island, and throughout our many visits to them there, my wife, Phyllis, and I saw the paintings hanging on the wall. After Nola and Ray split up, I never revisited the Lamb house again, and do not know the circumstances under which Ray left. If he did leave the paintings on the wall and the house was later sold with them still on the wall, the new owner would have inherited them. Because they were not a fixture on the wall, I don’t know if they legally became theirs.
So the current ownership of the paintings is uncertain, but in my opinion, if the paintings are ever recovered, I would hope that they be presented to QPWS (as joint custodians of Peel), and to nobody else.
Recently a special Peel committee has been focusing on possible future access to the island. Its report is due out by the end of the year. It may be an appropriate time, now, to look at the history of former points of access.
The stone jetty in 1885 (photo Royal Queensland Historical Society)
During the 1870s the foundations of the stone jetty were formed on the south-east corner of the island on the beach below the Bluff at the most convenient landing place by members of the ships quarantined there. The jetty was completed by prison and Aboriginal labour in 1893 and became the main access point for the island. Later, from 1907 the jetty was used as the main access point for the island’s Lazaret.
The stone jetty c.1950 (photo Terry Gwynne Jones – State Library of Queensland)
However, vessels could not berth there at low tide, and the distance from the lazaret was also a disadvantage. So it was decided to build a jetty less remote from the lazaret and also one that could be used in all weathers and tides.
In 1948 the short version (causeway only) of the proposed western jetty was completed which enabled a much quicker access to the lazaret, but which was still not accessible at low tide. The longer (wooden) section, which straddled the sandbanks, was not completed until August 1956. From then on, this became the main access for the island. Although the lazaret was to close in 1959, the jetty was again useful when the then Church of England Grammar School (“Churchie”) took out its first lease on part of the former lazaret buildings in December 1968 for the purpose of sending their students to the island for three-day camps.
It is doubtful whether the old stone jetty on the South-East of the island would have been used, or repaired, after the opening of the western jetty in 1956.
Western Jetty, Peel Island, February 1990 (photo Peter Ludlow)
Sadly the Western Jetty had become unsafe after 40 years of inattention to its maintenance. It was demolished in late 1990s. This left Peel Island without proper access; a situation that has persisted until this day.
A third access point to Peel Island was via the patients’ jetty, which straddled the mud flats from the Lazaret Gutter right up to the embankment below the Lazaret itself. It was constructed by the patients with materials supplied by the Health Department, and was for the exclusive use of the patients and their boats.
Peel Island patients’ jetty c.1955 (photo Dr Morgan Gabriel)
As you can see from Dr Gabriel’s photo, the patients’ jetty could only be used at or near high tide. If such a jetty were contemplated today for public use, it would have to be a much more substantial affair and it would have to extend right out to the Lazaret Gutter if it were to be useable at all tides. Northerly winds would make it difficult for boats to berth, and the size of the vessel would be very limited.
The advantage in siting a jetty here would be that the visitors arriving from such a jetty would land directly at the Lazaret itself, and thus save a 40 minute walk (each way) from Horseshoe Bay, as they have to do today. Even with a much shorter jetty, the visitor’s ‘two hours before and after high tide’ time limit would be considerably extended. Maybe a landing barge, such as previously used to land tourists at Horseshoe Bay, could be employed to land at the Lazaret beach with no jetty at all being required.
Landing barge at Horseshoe Bay (Photo Friends of Peel Island Association Inc.)
This week when I presented my Peel Island talk to the Redlands-Bayside Probus Club, my casual mention of Doctor Darling sparked great interest from the audience. By a sheer coincidence their August guest-speakers had been Chris Adams and Helen Goltz, authors of the books “Grave Tales” and whose topic was “Is Jack the Ripper Buried in Toowong Cemetery?”
Peel Island was not just a refuge for the Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) patients. It was also used, on one occasion at least, as a refuge from the law.
About 1950, an ageing attendant (wardsman) was employed for a year at the Lazaret. He was well educated, well spoken, and of a most agreeable disposition. He even seemed to have a grasp of medical matters and would often intersperse his conversation with complicated medical terms.
Rosemary Opala (nee Fielding) was a nurse at the lazaret at the time and remembers him as a very pleasant and cooperative employee. “It came as quite a shock to find out after he had left the island, that he was a con man!” remembers Rosemary.
He had started out in life in England as Andrew Gibson, but as a teenager he quickly learned that people were very gullible, especially unattached young women, and from cashing dud cheques, he quickly progressed to marrying wealthy women, then running off with their inheritance.
Australia proved a happy hunting ground for Andrew, but of course his strategy involved keeping one step ahead of the law and changing his name to suit the circumstances. Some of his aliases included Archibald Brown, Harry Cecil Darling, Lord Lockley, and Walter Porriott, or Gibson.
It was as Doctor Darling, Gynaecologist, that he plunged into his guise as a medico, but when one of his patients died on the operating table, his scheme was uncovered and he was sent to prison for ten years.
Andrew was 80 when he laid low at Peel Island but he was still a strikingly good looking man.
Mrs O’Leary, of Cleveland, has these comments to add: “My husband, Jack, was the nephew of Bess O’Leary, the last wife of Walt’s seven bigamous marriages. At one stage we suspected that Walt was trying to poison Bess, but fortunately he died before he was able to succeed! Now they are both buried in the Toowong Cemetery in the Catholic section near Birdwood Terrace. The grave is marked ‘Bess O’Leary and husband’. Walt remains anonymous in death as he was in life!”
The story of Walter/Andrew/Harry/etc/etc is a journalist’s delight and two articles have appeared about his strange life: George Blaikie’s “Our Strange Past” (Sunday Mail of May 25, 1986) and an article in “The Bulletin” in which the writer even suggested that Walter might have been Jack-The-Ripper because the murders stopped at the same time Walt left England. But that might be stretching things too far….
Or is it?
If this has piqued your interest I can offer this further reading:
Since 1926 the rusting remains of the dredge Platypus has been a well-know landmark for boaties frequenting the waters surrounding Peel Island. But not for much longer…
Peel Island’s Stone Jetty and the Platypus today
The Platypus was sunk on Thursday, 21st October 1926 and with time and tide, about to claim its final vestiges, it seems appropriate to revisit some of its history both as a dredge and as a breakwater.
On Wednesday 13th October 1926, the Brisbane Courier reported:
The End of the Platypus.
‘The love of a seaman for his ship is one of the most worthy human emotions, and many an old salt on the Queensland coast will give a sigh for the old dredger Platypus, whose demolition is now taking place at the dry dock, South Brisbane, after 40 years’ service on the Queensland coast. The oldest unit in the dredge plant of the Harbours and Rivers Department will soon be stripped of all useful gear. After that indignity is over her future Is uncertain. The Platypus, which was built about 1884, at Renfrew, is a self-contained bucket dredge. Unlike ordinary dredges, she did not require to use a barge, as she carried out the two operations of dredging and conveying the material. She differs from her successor, which will be ready for service on the Queensland coast in a few months’ timer, as her well is in the bow instead of in the stern as is the case with the new Platypus. The (old) Platypus on arrival in Queensland began her long work on the Queensland coast by opening up the port of Cairns. During the years which followed she was a frequent caller in Queensland ports. She co-operated in the early developmental work in Townsville, relieved the Wolunga in the job of making a channel at Normanton. Port Douglas, Thursday Island, Cooktown, and Brisbane where she took away the sharp bends at Kangaroo Point, and the Gardens Reach also had the use of her services. Life on board the Platypus must have run with an even tend, as only one accident of importune occurred during her long career. Crossing Moreton Bay one night 38 years ago she collided with the Tinana, sustaining very little damage from the encounter. The Platypus had many masters in her day. Among the most prominent were Captains Stewart, J. Crawford, W. J.Evans, Lawson, W. Williams. Three years ago Captain Madams handed her over to the department for the last time. Among her engineers were Messrs. S. Kavanagh, R. Gillett, G. Shipley, and Morgan Jones.’
Peel Island’s stone jetty and the Platypus in the mid 1950s.
For the next 90 years, the Platypus served faithfully as a breakwater for Peel’s stone jetty where vessels were able to unload visitors and stores for the island’s lazaret (leprosarium). One of the leprosy patients recalls:
‘For the men patients, fishing was a major pastime. Some had boats thatthey moored just below the men’s compound. Several patients constructed a jetty there, using Ti-Tree posts cut from the surrounding bush. Favourite fishing spots included the coral reef just off the lazaret, and the reefs around the hulk of the dredge Platypus at the stone jetty. At times the patients would moor their boats alongside the Platypus and sleep the night on her decks ready for an early start to the next day’s fishing. Schnapper were in abundance then, as well as Parrot fish, the largest of which was some 10 lb. There was also reputed to be a 500 lb. Grouper living in the vicinity of the ‘Platypus’, a rumour that was to persist for the next half century. Red and Yellow Sweetlip, Cod, Sole, Taylor, and Flathead were also caught in abundance.
‘Sharks, too, were very common around Peel. Not only were they present in great numbers, but their size was also enormous – Junta King, onetime launch master of the Karboora once saw two 20 foot White Pointers intertwined in their mating ritual on the surface of the water between Peel Island and Dunwich.’
Another patient, an ex-seaman, had been one of the original crew that sailed the dredge Platypus to Queensland from Scotland. After many years of service, the Platypus was sunk just off the eastern jetty as a breakwater in 1926. When the seaman contracted Hansen’s Disease (leprosy), he was sent to the lazaret as a patient, and it was ironic that both he and the Platypus were to spend their last days on Peel Island literally ‘rotting away’
(Extracts from ‘Peel Island, Paradise or Prison’ by Peter Ludlow)
Stories from Peel Island – 6 (Quarantine – T.J.Ives)
Horseshoe Bay’s Mystery Grave
There was one grave on Peel Island, which caused quite a deal of comment. This was situated at Horseshoe Bay just above the high water mark. Inscribed simply with the initials T.J. and bearing the date 1802, the markings on the wooden cross seemed to indicate that the grave could only have been that of a crewmember of one of Matthew Flinders’ exploring trips of that year. However, Tom Welsby was later to hear from one of the elderly residents at Amity Point that the real date had been 1892 and that one of the Amity locals had changed the date by chiselling out part of the 9, thus making it a 0. In actual fact, the grave was that of T.J.Ives, a comedian and actor from Islington in London. He had travelled in the Oroya from London to Sydney, and thence in the Buninyong for Brisbane to fulfil an engagement there. Before reaching his destination, however, he and the 120 other passengers on the Buninyong were quarantined at Peel after a smallpox suspect had been reported from the Oraya.Ives developed the disease and died aged 32 after being in Queensland only a fortnight. He was buried at Peel in the grave that was later to be the subject of a local’s sense of humour. Perhaps he would have appreciated the joke that fooled everyone for so long.
Source: Tom Welsby, Brisbane Courier 1923.
Ives’ Grave at Horseshoe Bay (Harold ‘Sandy’ Cowell)
In the early 1990s, on one of my visits at Peel to stay with Ray Cowie, the Redland Shire Council’s Ranger there. I was surprised when he produced a large metal hoop that he had found hanging on a tree branch just behind the sand dunes to the eastern end of Horseshoe Bay. I immediately recognised it as the ship’s fitting that had been attached to the grave of T.J.Ives, whom I had written about in 1988 for my book “Peel Island, Paradise or Prison”.We surmised that a bushfire had destroyed the wooden cross, causing the metal hoop to fall to the ground, where it would have lain for many years until a boatie picked it up and hung it off a nearby tree. Ray showed me where he had found the metal hoop, and we searched around on the ground beneath the tree on which it had been hung, hoping to find some evidence of the grave, (e.g. a coral border or a Lilly as shown in the picture) but to no avail. The grave site still remains a mystery.