Sunday, 31 July 2016

Apr July 2016 speaker

Lynne Hooper presentations at 
BIHS meetings of 14 April and 13 July 2016 

In April and July Lynne Hooper, our current President, spoke about the lives of the men who were involved in the discovery of the Brisbane River.

John Oxley, Surveyor-General of NSW and explorer was an interesting character and Lynne traced his life from when he joined the British Navy through to his early death at the age of 45 at his property “Kirkham” in New South Wales.

John Oxley was on an expedition to find the suspected large river in the Moreton Bay region and on Saturday, 29 November 1823, Oxley and his small party in the colonial cutter Mermaid anchored in the “Pumicestone River”, 150 yards from the shore, where Flinders had anchored 22 years before.  

Within the group of natives running along the beach towards the vessel was Thomas Pamphlett, one of three men whose boat had been wrecked on Moreton Island some 8 months previously and who thought they were south of Sydney.   John Finnegan was rescued the next day while Oxley was told that the third member, Richard Parsons, was walking towards present day Noosa trying to find his way back to Sydney.  He was found the next year.

On hearing that the men had walked inland beside a large river, Finnegan joined the crew in the small whale boat and sailed south showing Oxley the way into the Brisbane River.
Current BIHS President Lynne Hooper
Photo: Ian Hooper

Lynne’s presentation in July was about the three Castaways – who they were – their crimes – their punishments and what happened to them after they arrived as convicts in Sydney.  

Lynne drew on Chris Pearce’s book “Through the eyes of Thomas Pamphlett”, and convict documentation to elaborate on their lives in this very interesting time in Australia’s history.

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