News

Doreen sets the record straight about an island named Sue

Doreen Bellamy with some first-fleet records. Photo: Contributed
Doreen Bellamy with some first-fleet records. Photo: Contributed

EIGHTY-FIVE-year-old Doreen Bellamy wants to set the record straight about how Susan Island on the Clarence River got its name.

"I'm 85 now and it's about time I corrected a few things," she said.

Mrs Bellamy said she had read a number of conflicting accounts about how Susan Island was named.

"Some books I've read say Susan Island was named after John Small's wife, but that can't be right because his wife was Elizabeth Patfield," she said.

Mrs Bellamy's late husband Milton Charles Bellamy was a descendant of Grafton pioneer John Small - one of the first to venture up the Clarence River following early European settlement.

John was the son of convicts John Small Snr and Mary Parker, who both arrived at Botany Bay with the first fleet.

Records of the first fleet show John Small was aboard the Charlotte, while Mary Parker was sent on the Lady Penrhyn convict vessel.

After arriving in Australia, the couple married and John Small was later allotted 30 acres at what is now Ryde.

"Australia's early colonial history was quite ugly in many ways, but it was also a blessing in disguise being sent here as a convict, especially for all the later generations." Mrs Bellamy said.

Small and Parker had five children, with third-born John venturing to the Clarence Valley in search of timber.

Mrs Bellamy said John Small and Henry Gillet sailed to what is now Grafton in 1837 after hearing Richard Craig's account of the cedar trees that lined the banks of the Clarence River.

"After finding the cedar trees they sailed back to Sydney where John took out a timber licence and left Henry to build a bigger and stronger boat," she said.

The new larger boat was named the Susan.

"The ketch was moored between the island and what is now South Grafton, so that's how I think Susan Island got its name," Mrs Bellamy said.

"Susan wasn't a person, she was a ketch."

John Small's Cedar secret soon became public knowledge and by 1857, just 20 years later, Grafton was declared a city after thriving on the timber trade boom.

Topics:  susan island



"Eco-cretins" sabotage shark nets, risk swimmers' lives

A blacktip shark caught in a shark net at the end of last year.

Since 2015, there have been 22 shark attacks in New South Wales.

Best hotel in the world found in Cabarita

FIRST CLASS: Cabarita Beach's Halcyon House has taken out the top gong for best hotel in the world.

Halcyon House named best hotel.

Driver gets jail after pursuit ends in flames on the M1

YOU'RE FIRED: A car burns on Pacific Motorway at Wooyung after police deployed road spikes to end a pursuit that began at South Grafton.

Jail time for teen who led police on car chase.

Local Partners

50 Shades actress on why she hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ocean views of Coolangatta

1405/3 McLean Street, Coolangatta

Check out this week's feature property.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Expansion plan pays off

Mark Stapleton, Sharon Styman and Peter Ross from Investrent Property Management are going from strength to strength after opening an office in Murwillumbah.

Murwillumbah move a winner for property management team

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!