The Sugar Industry on the Capricorn Coast
Life After Farnborough
 
     
 
 
With the closure of the Yeppoon mill and the end of indentured labour the Islanders who stayed were faced with the problem of sustaining themselves. Many settled in the bush, building traditional homes and planting food gardens as in the photo, they also planted customary Pine trees and mangoes, some of these trees can still be seen as isolated clumps in the scrub.
   
 

The area of the Sandhills and Balnagowan Station, an area described as “exceedingly fertile with soils of a rich deep loam and splendidly watered from lagoons and running streams”, had seen the presence of Islanders since the mid 1870’s where they had worked for local landholders in produce gardens and growing peanuts and cotton. Some land holders began leasing five acre blocks of land to Islanders and on these leases they grew sweet potatoes, pawpaws, maize, cassava, peanuts, taro, potatoes cabbage and other vegetables, much of the produce being sold to others for sale again at Rockhampton and Mount Chalmers, the Sandhills became Joskeleigh when the block was registered in the name of a German, Joske, and his wife Leigh.

   
 
The Islanders began to buy their plots and carry on the fruit and vegetable gardens for themselves, others found seasonal work in the pastoral, timber and cane industries both locally and elsewhere. Similar developments were occurring from northern New South Wales to far north Queensland, providing a network of extended families that enabled Islanders to travel in search of seasonal work and were instrumental in the preservation of their cultural identity. The descendents of these island people continued to live in the area and became a distinctive part of the community at Yeppoon, Emu Park, Keppel Sands and Joskeleigh as well as in the settlement on Moores Creek North Rockhampton that for many years was known as "Kanaka Town."
     
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A bush homestead, these were built using traditional materials and were the first homes for many Islanders after the mill closed
 
 
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An Islander family ready for church, after moving onto their own land at Joskeleigh conditions steadily improved
 
Image provenance unknown
 
A later homstead at Joskeleigh
 
 
 
 
     
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