Golden Oldies’ visit to North Head Quarantine Station
19 February 2020
What a day!!
So much to take in and store, but unfortunately my brain does not work that intelligently anymore! You think this Corona virus is bad, back in the early days of settlement, it was a thousand times worse. The viruses were so scary. Even the doctors were dying.
We did a lot of walking around the complex which operated as a quarantine station from 14/8/1832 to 29/2/1984. We saw places where the sick were kept in make-shift hospitals; long gowns and face masks were worn. The guide that took us around, gave us plenty of information; she must have a good memory, amazing for two hours’ talk.
Here is just a little I can fit in. As Australia’s longest continuously operating quarantine station, this site has undergone significant change over time. The Station’s heritage buildings reflect a rich history, highlighting historical themes of gender, race and class. Thousands of carved sandstone engravings record the diverse cultural and social backgrounds as well as varying experiences of the quarantined passengers. Regardless of the type of experience they had, the spirit forged by the people at the former Quarantine Station, helped to shape our nation.
It was not built to last forever. Because the site is rugged now and the landscape is changing, maintaining this Station is a very expensive exercise.
After arrival at the Station, we had morning tea followed by the tour and lunch. Then we were ready to hit the road again, exhausted, but it was a very interesting outing. We played a CD on the bus to liven us up.
Thank you all for coming. See you all again on our next trip.
Regards, Lorraine Impala.