Kanaka MemorialPrint Page
The Kanaka Memorial was erected in memory all South Sea Islanders bought to Queensland as labour to work in cotton and cane fields. The memorial is erected at the site of fifty-five otherwise unmarked graves of Islanders. The memorial depicts a life size Islander standing with a cane knife in one hand and with the other hand holding the arm of a dead companion lying at his feet. The backdrop resembles sugar cane.
Islanders were used as conscript labour in Queensland`s sugar cane industry from 1863 to 1906. Over forty ships brought the Islanders to Queensland, many of whom were kidnapped or `blackbirded`, having little understanding of the three year labour contracts they had signed. Twelve thousand "kanakas" as they were called, were brought into the area around Hervey Bay, initially by one Captain Coath.
The Captain`s methods caused the death of many Islanders during the voyage to Australia. A government agent, Meiklejohn, was sent to check that the recruiting was fair. During this trip, the Captain put the agent in chains where he stayed for the remainder of the voyage. As a result, Meiklejohn temporarily lost his sanity but when he recovered his testimony led to Coath`s imprisonment.
|Address:||Corser Street, Polson Cemetery, Point Vernon, 4655|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -25.252811|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Approx. Event Start Date:||1863|
|Approx. Event End Date:||1906|
|Monument Designer:||Leo Favell|
|Approx. Monument Dedication Date:||1972|
To the memory of all South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland as conscript labourers to work in cotton and sugar cane fields
1863 - 1906
May their toil not be forgotten
Erected by Hervey Bay O.P.A.L.