THUMBS UP Ceme­tery walk suc­cess

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LETTERS -

The Dou­glas Shire His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s first twi­light walk in Port Dou­glas Ceme­tery on Sun­day was a huge suc­cess with about 100 peo­ple at­tend­ing.

They came from Port Dou­glas, Moss­man, Ju­lat­ten and some vis­i­tors came too, in­clud­ing a cou­ple from Canada. Dogs and kids also en­joyed them­selves.

The walk be­gan at the grave of the first per­son in­terred, Ge­orge Fresh­ney who died on 21st June 1878.

He was a cedar log­ger on the Dain­tree River, and his brother Ed­win sur­vived a croc­o­dile at­tack while tak­ing a dip af­ter work.

Stephen Old­ham from Crim­mins Funerals en­ter­tain­ingly led the crowd through the ceme­tery, high­light­ing the life sto­ries of some of our pi­o­neers.

As a sur­prise, Shaun Cram popped up on Wil­liam Thomson’s grave and told the story of Bill be­ing al­legedly mur­dered by his wife Ellen in 1886 at their prop­erty on the Moss­man River.

She was hanged in Bris­bane’s Boggo Road Jail along with her friend John Har­ri­son in 1887.

A video re­cre­ation of her trial can be seen at the Port Dou­glas Court House Mu­seum.

Fa­ther Barry Pat­ter­son in his cler­i­cal robes por­trayed Rev Ed­ward Taffs who built St David’s church in Moss­man al­most sin­gle­hand­edly against great fi­nan­cial odds.

Rev Taffs was in charge there for al­most 50 years and died in 1950 aged 90, but did not see his church com­pleted.

An­nette Anich, sec­re­tary of the so­ci­ety, spoke of the murder of Sydney Al­ger­non Barnard near the Fox­ton Bridge in 1885. The Anich fam­ily now owns the prop­erty, Booroon­darra.

As the crowd drifted through the ceme­tery in the sun­set, they came upon Claire Tier­ney at Diana Bow­den’s grave.

Claire was dressed as Diana, wear­ing a shell neck­lace, a bright sarong and had a flower be­hind her ear. She held up a Nautilus shell to tell the story of the es­tab­lish­ment of the tea­room which be­came Nautilus res­tau­rant.

Af­ter the one hour walk high­light­ing about 20 grave sites, all our pi­o­neers were toasted with cham­pagne and nib­bles in the ro­tunda.

The so­ci­ety is de­lighted to be able once again to share our her­itage with the community.


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