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Today's quote:

Friday, March 19, 2021

A life well lived!

For more video clips of Haggerstone Island, click here


Word reached me that Roy Turner, owner of Haggerstone Island and long-time resident of Papua New Guinea, passed away two of three months ago. The Big C: prostate cancer! The end of another tropical dream!

Roy and his wife Anna created an exquisite retreat on 42-hectare Haggerstone Island which is ten kilometres southeast of Cape Grenville in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park of Far North Queensland and costs you around $800 per person per night in the low season, or a minimum of $6800 a night if you want to rent the whole island. Regulars included the late Bob Hawke and wife Blanche d'Alpuget, as well as Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch. As Roy Turner wrote on their website:

Roy and Anna Turner

"We came to Haggerstone in April 1985. A 70 ton barge unloaded poles, timber, fruit trees, chickens and an old tractor. The island was jungle covered, uninhabited and hundreds of miles from what we knew as civilization. We were not to know we would spend nearly six years alone on the island.

We were virtual strangers and we came from backgrounds that were worlds apart. Anna was English, well traveled and held a Bachelor of Human Sciences degree. She was a capable potter and had a very patient and practical attitude to survival. By coincidence, Anna had walked the beach of Haggerstone Island some eight years before the barge arrival. She had joined her father, John Heyer, to locate the Pandora wreck, the boat sent to intercept the mutineers of the Bounty, and Haggerstone was an exploratory stop.

Roy's childhood and youth were spent on a sheep and cattle property in Gippsland, Victoria. At age 17, all he could really do well was shear a sheep and play a guitar. He was a keen hunter and the love of hunting and music was too strong to hold him on the property. He spent seven years in New Guinea, crocodile shooting and playing music. He then based himself in Cairns, North Queensland and continued doing what he loved most - hunting, fishing and playing music. However, he had developed an interest in building houses and so he began. His inspiration in design and building was rustic-native and led to the desire to create a Robinson Crusoe style abode in the wild.

Many years later, here we are on Haggerstone near the Great Barrier Reef. It is now a home in the wilderness and by our standards truly palatial. We tend to forget that we lived in a tent for a year and carried water by bucket for two."

I didn't know Roy personally but I knew of him. We were about the same age and spent about the same length of time in Papua New Guinea. Neither of us got New Guinea out of our system, and Roy continued to live his dream on Haggerstone Island until the end. Rest in Peace, Roy!

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