Past re­vealed

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Jessica Nico

His­tory of Wood­man Point’s quar­an­tine sta­tion told in new book.

THE Wood­man Point Quar­an­tine Sta­tion has had a long but some­what un­known his­tory since its con­struc­tion in the 1880s.

While many lo­cals would know of the sta­tion’s ex­is­tence, these days as a recre­ational camp, few would be aware of its use as a place where the sick, dis­eased and dy­ing were iso­lated from the rest of the population.

Au­thor Ian Dar­roch has delved into this his­tory in his new book West­ern Sen­tinel, which was launched at the Quar­an­tine Sta­tion ear­lier this month.

Dar­roch said he first be­came in­ter­ested in the area’s his­tory through his old school friend and for­mer Friends of Wood­man Point pres­i­dent Earle Seu­bert.

“Be­cause of Earle’s pas­sion for the his­tory of the old Quar­an­tine Sta­tion, we de­cided to col­lab­o­rate in the record­ing of its past. Earle would do the heavy lift­ing of re­search­ing this com­pre­hen­sive topic and I would shape his ef­forts into what would hope­fully be an in­ter­est­ing book,” he said.

“Earle was ab­so­lutely metic­u­lous in his en­deav­ours.

“The premise of the book is to record a com­pre­hen­sive his­tory of the Wood­man Point Quar­an­tine Sta­tion not pre­vi­ously at­tempted; start­ing with the quar­an­tine re­quire­ments for the early set­tlers of the Swan River Colony and record­ing all ma­jor events, some light-hearted, many tragic, which fol­lowed un­til it was even­tu­ally closed in 1978.”

Mr Dar­roch said some of the things he learnt while writ­ing the book sur­prised him, in­clud­ing how many well-known peo­ple had spent time iso­lated in the build­ing.

“Per­haps the most sur­pris­ing as­pect in this re­search for me was the wide range of ‘celebri­ties’ who had served time in quar­an­tine, in­clud­ing the United States’ Con­sul to WA, the founder of the world­wide Sal­va­tion Army move­ment Wil­liam Booth, World War II fifth-colum­nist Nancy Krak­ouer and the en­tire MCC English tour­ing cricket team of the 1920-21 sea­son,” he said.

Copies of West­ern Sen­tinel can be pur­chased by con­tact­ing the Friends of Wood­man Point on­line.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487563

Ian Dar­roch has writ­ten a book de­tail­ing the his­tory of the Wood­man Point Quar­an­tine Sta­tion.

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