The Mysteries of Saint Helena Island......
The Captain is calling, " All on board, Stop smiling prisoner 321, this is not a fun ride, get to work."
The captain is assisting the passengers on board the Cat "O" nine tails, this is the boat that takes you out to the Island of Saint Helena. Originally a Leper colony and used for Quarantine, then changed to a prison for men only when Boggo Road Prison became over crowded. Peel Island became the place for Lepers. The last leper left Peel Island in 1982 and was transferred to Princess Alexandra Hospital.
|Prisoner 78 and 321 in front |
|Jetty and Guards swimming enclosure|
Prisoners were only allowed 1 visitor every 8 weeks for a time period of 20 minutes. Back in those days there was no motors on the boats to get out to the Island fast, so it was a long trip for a visit. A guard was present at all times. The visiting room, if you could call it that, had the visitors on one side and the prisoners on the other so that they could not touch or pass secret messages. The guard would walk between them at all times during the visit. There was no such thing as a free ride out to visit their family member either.
|The cell behind the Bakery|
Cell Block B held 12 prisoners per cell. Their soft bed was a hammock, two high above each other with a bucket for the toilet and no privacy. The walls were all stone and in winter not very warm. Prisoners did all the work there, from baking, farming, harvesting, butcher, boot maker, blacksmithing, carpentry, and clothing. The items that were made on the Island were not just made for those living on the Island they were for the mainland too. When the wardens wife held a garden party on the island, one prisoner would be made to ride a bicycle behind the shed that would make the water flow in the fountains around the gardens.
When the prisoners arrived on the Island their pack consisted of a tin cup, plate, knife, fork, spoon and a comb. Which seems funny as the prisoners where shaved every couple of weeks. After 3 months if the prisoners where behaved they would earn luxuries like tea, sugar, soap and tobacco. These they could trade with other prisoners if they wanted something else. Bathing was done in the ocean in all weather conditions.
Meals consisted of the same dietary foods.
- 🍴Hominy - which was made from dried corn/maize kernels.
- 🍵Mutton/vegetables soup
- 🍲Mutton/ vegetable stew
|Prisoner burial ground.|
|Whipping another prisoner.|
|Lunch is served|
|The Children's Cemetery|