Sunday, 21 July 2013

Thursday Island

A portent of something special today.
 It is Boat Day.
 Reminiscent of Niue when we lived there in the early 1970's
 Cargo being offloaded onto the wharf here whereas it was loaded onto lighters on Niue.
The road lane marking machine comes off first. 
There is very little tarseal to mark.
$250m has been budgeted for upgrading the Development and Telegraph Rd to Bamaga including building a bridge across the Jardine River.
 Spectators - folk waiting for the ferry.

Early morning dew-kissed flowers.
 My fellow passengers board the  9m boat - described as offering a smooth and comfortable trip.
There was only one berth available for the trip so Dick wasn't able to accompany me.
 Captain Cook was here on Possession island in August 1770. The plaque commemorates the site where he raised the union flag claiming the East Coast of Australia for the crown.

I have always wanted to visit Thursday Island.

My Father was born there in 1916.

His father worked as a  radio telegraph officer for the Post and Telegraph during WW1. He was an early aficionado of radio communication. My only memory of him is of him sitting at his ham radio in his radio shack in Havelock with his morse key.
I can imagine he would have been an early adopter of computer technology had he been alive now.

My Grandmother must have been a brave woman to come to this isolated island and having her first baby here.

Thursday Island is the administrative centre  for Torres Strait and North Queensland.

It is tiny. 3.5 sq km.

Pearling was a big industry in the mid 1800's until 1941.
Now people are making small fortunes diving for crays in these turquoise waters.
Fishing is also important.
The main industry seems to be administration.
 These defence installations were built in the 1880's.

 The Anglican Church was built in 1891 has lovely stained glass windows.
Thursday Island is the centre for the Anglican Diocese of Carpentaria which includes the Torres Islands and North Queensland.
My grandparents will have worshipped in this place.

A fundraising campaign is in full swing to restore this parish hall.

 Farewell to Thursday Island...

...and off to Horn Island, 10 minute ferry ride away.
Air travellers for Thursday island land at Horn island Airport and cross by ferry to Thursday Island.
We walk to the Military museum which houses a large collection of returned soldiers' photographs, posters and pearling historiana.
Here are a couple of wartime advertising posters.

 On our way home we see a crocodile basking among the mangroves.
 There is plenty of spray as we race home over the choppy seas.

This has been a perfect day for me.
I am happy I have made the journey.
I am grateful that Dick persisted in getting me to Seisia.

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