Thereby hangs yet another Pigeon Island tale:


It was extremely interesting to read your blog - it would appear that I am one of the Pearce family that Lucy Irvine wrote about in her book and there were many inaccuracies - especially about leaving the message hung in a bag on the cargo shed door. What a load of rubbish.

My husband left me on the island, sent his boys back to his mum in England and set sail around the world on an old clipper. Needless to say he only got to Australia before it sank - but there lies another tale. I stayed on Pigeon Island for another six months alone until Ross came back and took over the business. I couldn't get away sooner as my hubby, bless him, had cleaned me out and I was too conscientious to up and leave the Hepworth's business. To earn some money I opened up another store on the island opposite in Ngandeli. Direct competition to the Hepworths which didn't go down well at all. Still, it meant I could finally escape that hell in paradise in July 1981.

What a dysfunctional and slightly deranged family the Hepworth's were (are)! After living on Pigeon Island for three years and almost two more in the village opposite, I can tell you Lucy Irvine barely touched the surface in her research into their history. A lot of errors were printed in her book - but it made for good reading - as did your blog.

I was sorry to read of Diana's death but thought the way it happened seemed the way it would have been for her. I enjoyed maybe 10% of my time there - it made me a stronger, different kind of person when I returned to the UK and has made the remainder of my life one of thankfulness for what I now have and despair for the younger generation who have no idea of how the other half lives.

I intend writing my book when I retire soon of the life I spent out there. I began writing it whilst I was there but have never finished it. (Quite a few bad memories buried deep.) Lots of cajoling from friends means I may just take up the pen again and complete it. Here's an excerpt from what I've written so far.

(The advert Tom placed in the mid 1980's about selling the island is amusing - he told us when asking for investment in the mid 70's that an airstrip would soon be completed making communication with the outside world much easier. It still hasn't been built!)

Again, nice to read your blog. You were sensible not going to the island.....

Carole Gibbs