Tom Neale (1902-1977) did what we all now and then dream of doing - go
and live alone on a desert island. For years he planned,
read, talked - until the great day when he was landed on his
little kingdom, undismayed by the fact that he would have
to struggle with the full strength of body and mind to
survive. This is how he starts his story:
"I was fifty when I went to live alone on Suvarov, after
thirty years of roaming the Pacific, and in this story I
will try to describe my feelings, try to put into words
what was, for me, the most remarkable and worthwhile
experience of my whole life.
Here are some comments by book reviewers:
"This endlessly fascinating book is Tom Neale's story of his life alone on Suvarov, a dream-life which he made come true. Apart from the sheer joy and drive of the narrative, it is absolutely required reading for the thousands who fancy doing the same. It is one of those books which is quite capable of leaving a mark on you for life." (THE BOOKMAN)
"A delightful story, Cruscoesque in simplicity." (GUARDIAN)
Read Tom Neale's book online
If you would like to live on a remote tropical island yourself, go to Pigeon Island
Read the story of German Harry
And I recently visited another expatriate, Horst Berger, on his tiny island of Lifuka in Tonga.
If all this is a little too far, come and visit us at Riverbend Cottage
Here is the story of a Swede who lived for 40 years as a recluse on a tiny island in the Torres Strait: The Swedish Robinson Crusoe
And here you can read about my meanderings through the mystical island of Bali:
Born 6.11.1902 in Wellington, New Zealand. The family later moved to Greymouth and then Timaru in New Zealand's South Island.
7.10.1952 - 24.6.1954 Tom's first stay on Suwarrow.
19.6.1956 Tom married Sarah Haua Marsters in Rarotonga.
16.11.1956 Son Arthur Frederick born in Auckland, New Zealand.
16.2.1958 Daughter Stella born on Palmerston, Cook Islands.
23.4.1960 - 27.12.1963 Tom's second stay on Suwarrow.
1.7.1967 Tom's third stay on Suwarrow. Tom works with the pearl divers. He remains on the atoll after they have left.
1969 His daughter Stella visits Tom on Suwarrow.
29.7.1972 Tom's divorce in Rarotonga.
15.12.1976 Stella visits her father for the second time.
March 1977 The yacht "Feisty Lady" informs Rarotonga that Tom is seriously ill. The schooner "Manuvai" evacuates him from the island on 11.3.1977
30.11.1977 Tom dies from stomach cancer and is buried at the RSL Cemetery in Rarotonga.
As at 2001, Tom's son Arthur Frederick Neale lives on Manihiki Atoll where he operates a black pearl farm. He is divorced and has three children: Meleilani aged 24, Thomas aged 17, and Joshua aged 12.
His daughter Stella Neale-Kenyon lives in Auckland and has three children: Sarah-Elyss aged 8, Milton aged 6, and Marlow aged 3.
Tom's ex-wife Sarah Haua now lives on Palmerston Island. She is 76 years old.
|Did you enjoy this webpage?|