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In 1811 during his tour of Van Diemen’s Land he visited the reserve.He noted the “fine extensive rich plains” and decided they would provide a convenient solution to his Norfolk Island problem.Remembering the Deportations of the Norfolk Islanders to a Lost World in the South The name ‘Norfolk’ is a prominent feature of the Tasmanian landscape.Norfolk Bay in the south east and Mt Norfolk on the west coast were named by Matthew Flinders in 1798 when he circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land in his Norfolk Island-built sloop “Norfolk”.These reasons have been given to explain the apparent failure of the islanders to make a success of life on the Norfolk Plains.The islanders were encouraged to grow wheat, which they did and initially received good prices, but the practice of continual cultivation without resting the land that was undertaken on Norfolk Island and in Britain lead by the early 1820s to declining soil fertility.
But perhaps the most melancholy name recalls the last wave of Norfolk Islanders expelled from the island in 1813 and re-settled just south of Launceston in a district called the Norfolk Plains.
Relations between Norfolk Plains and Sydney were often strained and tense.
These settlers had remained on Norfolk Island the longest, evading earlier inducements to deportation, and resented leaving their island home.
Macquarie had no such affinities, and he placed Lieutenant Tankerville Crane of his own 73 Regiment in charge of the island with orders to let the buildings and public works run down and to entice the islanders to leave.
The last of the Islanders were not willing emigrants.Governor King in New South Wales, previously the founding Lieutenant Governor of Norfolk Island in 1788, had sent Paterson to begin the colonization, and within a short time his party had penetrated deep into Palawa land.