The Sorry Story of Little Peat (Eerie) Island

The Dharug and Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society invites you to The Sorry Story of Little Peat (Eerie) Island afternoon with our Special Guest Speaker Adrian Mitchell.

The Dharug and Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society is pleased to welcome author Adrian Mitchell on Saturday, 29th September, who set out to write more than an institutional history of Peat Island orginally named Rabbit Island but renamed in 1926 in recognition of a local pioneer and boatbuilder George Peat who had built early roads and established the first ferry service in 1844 operating between Mooney Mooney and Kangaroo Point on the Hawkesbury River.

Adrian started with the river and it’s natural environment and it’s importance to the Darkinjung people, the original custodians who were scattered brutally and effectively, not one of the NSW Government’s finest accomplishment.

Please join us as we listen to Adrian speak about his recently published book Peat Island Dreaming and Desecration. In his talk, Adrian will discuss a history that outlines the prevailing attitudes to the treatment of mental illness throughout the 20th century, with the impact of the budgetary priorities of Government and how the island became a bureaucratic nightmare and a political football.

For just over 100 years, an institution for the mentally ill has stood on little Peat Island on the lower Hawkesbury River. It was decommissioned in 2010; quite empty now, it remains a locked facility just as it had always been. And eerie. The island is still in the news as we await the Central Coast Council’s plan for the land.

Adrian will commence his talk at the Wesleyan Chapel, 6445 Wisemans Ferry Road, Gunderman at 1.30pm after a scrumptious lunch at midday.

If the walls of the abandoned “lunatic asylum” on Peat Island could speak they would tell of the horrors experienced by patients, including children, on a site plagued by death and despair.

Cost: Members $ 15/ Non- Members $20.

All welcome. Bookings essential: [email protected] or 0404 272 969 (leave a message) by Wednesday, 26th September.

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