Paddy Island

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Coordinates: 24°50′19″S 152°22′04″E / 24.838601°S 152.367884°E / -24.838601; 152.367884 Paddy Island is an island (latitude 24° 50’ S X longitude 152° 22’E) [1] situated on the Burnett River, northeast of the city of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia.

Etymology[edit]

Fragment from Survey Plan W37.55 of the Burnett River and Eight Portions of Land Therein, Applied for Under the "Sugar and Coffee Regulations" County of Cook; 29 September 1868.

On a survey plan of the Burnett River transmitted to the Queensland Surveyor General on Tuesday 29 September 1868,[2] the island was referenced as Coodes Island by the District Surveyor John Charlton Thompson (1827–1878).[3][4]

Indigenous history[edit]

At Gin Gin (formerly Tirroan) Station [5] on Monday 4 June 1849,[2] two young brothers John and Peter Pegg were out shepherding sheep when they were speared to death by local Taribelang clansmen.[5]

Gregory Blaxland Jr, the seventh and youngest son of the pioneer, farmer and explorer Gregory Blaxland (17 June 1778 – 1 January 1853) "organized a punitive party to deal with the savages" [5] which culminated in a bloody skirmish at the site of Gibson and Howes’ sugar plantation at ‘the Cedars’, south of Bundaberg.

"The blacks were shown no mercy, but (they) .. put up a mighty fight against the firearms of the whites, they of course having no better weapons than spears." [5]

Blaxland Jr was "regarded (by the Taribelang clansmen) as their chief enemy as all actions against the blacks was directed by him." [5]

When the opportunity for payback presented itself, Gregory Blaxland Jr was ambushed, abducted and violently clubbed to death at his pastoral station sometime in early August 1850.[5]

A retaliatory party "was organized among all (the) settlers and their employees, and they set out on their mission of revenge." [5]

Guided by a ‘friendly gin’, the "fugitive blacks were tracked down the Burnett River, where they had foregathered at a place now called (Waterview Station) Paddy's Island, not far from the mouth of the river." [5]

After the ensuing chaos, it is estimated that over one thousand Taribelang clanspeople: men, women, and children, were slaughtered whilst trying to cross from the west bank of the Burnett River to Paddy Island.

Today, the custodianship of Paddy’s Island is a point of contention between neighbouring tribes and a number of traditional owners.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Place name details page (Department of Environment and Resource Management)". Derm.qld.gov.au. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Day of Week Calculator". Calculatorcat.com. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  3. ^ "Place name details page (Department of Environment and Resource Management)". Derm.qld.gov.au. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  4. ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h EARLY GIN GIN and THE BLAXLAND TRAGEDY. library.uq.edu.au. (Read by ARTHUR LAURIE, a Vice-President of the Historical Society of Queensland at the meeting of the Society on 27 November 1952)
  6. ^ Mike Derry (2010-07-31). "Island war as clan clashes | Bundaberg News | Local News in Bundaberg | Bundaberg News Mail". News-mail.com.au. Retrieved 2011-06-27.