Peter Spillett

Peter Gerald Spillett was born in Surbiton near London in 1926 and emigrated to Australia in 1950. 

Peter studied at the London Polytechnic and University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. During the Second World War he served in the RAF as a radio operator, in India and Burma.

He was employed as the Heritage Officer in the Northern Territory Department of Community Development. He was an Alderman of Darwin City Council, Secretary of the R.S.L., President of the Pensioners Association, whose headquarters are named Spillett House. 

He was Chairman of the Trustees of Brown’s Mart. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, where he was Honorary Fellow in History, named the Peter Spillett Library in his honour.

Peter was a founding member of the Historical Society of the Northern Territory, and Honorary Life member. He was President and Honorary Life Member of the National Trust of Australia (Northern Territory). 

He led an expedition to Fort Wellington where the party located and plotted the remains of the settlement. He was on the editorial panel of the Northern Dictionary of Biography.

Peter was also a member of the Order of Australia and Fellow of the Federations of Australian Historical Societies and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

His collection of papers reflect his wide range of interests in the history of the Territory. He died in September 2004 at the age of 78.

The above notes summarise his Obituary written by David Carment and published in the Journal of Northern Territory History no.16, 2005: 127-128.

Guide to manuscripts of Peter Spillett 1820 to 1980

File 1

  • Typed copy of Research and the Layman by Peter Spillett presented to the Historical Society of the NT on 27 Sept 1972 re his research on early settlements of NT

File 2

  • Typed history of Rum Jungle in early days; appears to be from Dudley Kelsey’s material and includes description of the Hotel and various owners
  • Also a map of the Rum Jungle Hotel site ruins

File 3

  • Typed history of Adelaide River, also from Dudley Kesey and including information on Hopewell
  • Brochure on a National Trust Visitor’s Guide to Historic Adelaide River
  • Photocopy of ads in a race program brochure

File 4 of Spillett

  • Detailed notes and correspondence of the Hopewell family, who ran hotels here in the 19th

File 5

  • NT Standard article March 19, 1937 re Mrs Hazel Gaden and family being left destitute owing to her husband being sent to leprosarium...article about Darwin City Council complaining about southern press reports of the pearling industry
  • Standard article on 1937 cyclone
  • Copies of NT Times articles on 1897 cyclone

File 6

  • Various and considerable material relating to VB Solomon, his house in Darwin, a 1976 letter from Peter Spillett asking that it be retained and not destroyed
  • List of buildings of historic or aesthetic value Darwin on information provided by PG Spillett in January 1973
  • Transcript of an ABC broadcast by Ian Grant in 1973 re preservation of historic buildings
  • Various historic notes and articles on Government House, including designs and information by John George Knight, architect including plans of the house
  • 1966 list of preservation of commonwealth owned or controlled buildings in NT
  • Various handwritten research notes from Peter Spillett while researching NT history in Mortlock Library in dates
  • June 1973 statement made to parliamentary standing committee on public works hearing on the proposal for the Palmerston arterial road relating to the preservation of the original cell block and infirmary at the Fannie Bay Gaol by Peter Spillett on behalf of Historical society
  • Peter Spillett’s notes on Fannie Bay Gaol
  • Article in YHA Hosteller of 1981-82 re use of heritage buildings as youth hostels
  • Part of 1937 street plan of Darwin
  • Short history of government house for open day 1979
  • Various plans of gaol
  • Report on old cell block at Alice Springs, Springvale Station, Old Repeater Station, ---Arltunga
  • Former railway station at Katherine Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Hartley Street school buildings, and various others
  • Paper on Historic Beacon at Port Essington being rebuilt
  • Article dated 9 Oct 1972 re Ian Grant of UNESCO visiting to prepare report on conservation and preservation of 19th century buildings in Australia...lists Fannie Bay gaol, Vic Hotel and Chinese shops as amongst the ones ...lists a total of 12...
  • 1970 document on NT Historic Buildings - classifications and present information on several of the buildings including photos and plans where available...quite a valuable document! ...throughout NT; seems to have been done with National Trust input
  • Aug 26 1969 letter from Robyn Boyd to Lyn Serventy vice president of Darwin Theatre Group regarding possible destruction of building (probably Brown’s Mart although the date is listed as 1882) and Boyd claiming it was a great example
  • Paper on Preservation of Commonwealth owned historic buildings and structures by DM --Pate for Australian National Trusts in 1967
  • Report on proposed restoration of old cell block in Alice
  • Various Spillett research notes relating to old NT buildings and photos
  • Copy of Vic Hotel supplement in Aug 14, 1978 when Vic Hotel reopened
  • Copy of program for NT University Planning Authority, Northern Studies Workshop October 1984

File 7

  • Paper by GAQ Letts on Feral Animals in the NT

File 8

  • Paper by Rob Wesley Smith on Para Grass in the NT - Parentage and Propagation

File 9

  • Early History of Agriculture and settlement in the NT by WM Curteis, Director of Ag NT, Darwin 1965

File 10

  • Extract from annual report of June 1920 re: the history of the Mining industry in the NT
  • Paper by CF Adams on the Mining Industry in relation to overall progress of the NT (with Map of part of NT mining fields)

File 11

  • Copies of articles from the Zodiac between 1921 and 1926 on various topics mainly relating to Darwin cable stations and history
  • Includes a couple of articles by HWH Stevens written from Singapore in June 1938 re Darwin naval base
  • Includes photographed copies of a 1921 article with some good photos of Darwin at the time
  • Includes a very interesting article by RGS Buckland reminiscences of an Eastern Extension Exile during his time in Darwin in 1876 to 1880 something...talks of Trooper Ferguson describing him as a fine looking young man with blue eyes and light curly hair. His duties soon commenced and one day a parcel of 30 ounces of gold went missing....Chinese suspected....but he did it and got seven years....also talks of sending Aboriginal skulls back to the British museum.

File 12

  • Early Livestock introductions tot e Top End of the NT by Goff Letts, May 1962

File 13

  • Typed archival and other references of NT material located in South Australia (now mainly in the Mortlock)
  • List of articles and features appearing in the Territorian, listing author, date, and volume...includes Christmas in a Tin Hat, by Ruth Lockwood June 1965 and a trip from Pine Creek to Palmerston by Mrs Stevens, August 1965 and Australia’s first Aboriginal Nun April 1966, Sister Jeanne Marie
  • Thomas Gill bibliography of literature on Northern Australia containing works quoted in compiling a pamphlet on Transcontinental railway and others
  • PRG 247 Series List on the Lewis family...papers held in Adelaide with a history of John Lewis born 12 Feb 1842
  • 1978 note from Australian archives to Cedrick Patterson re. various holdings in Victoria on Darwin, mainly war and post war
  • Notes by H. Bauer to meeting of oral history committee in Darwin in 1980
  • Notes on David John Davies Bevan, judge of NT
  • Bibliography of works on the history of the NT in the Darwin Public Library, probably written in late 1960s by Peter Spillett
  • List from Slim Bauer in 1982 on maps held in the Australian Archives in 1957 and 58; also notes made on maps of the NT held in the SA Lands Dept in Adelaide (1978)
  • Long list of bibliography of works on aborigines in the Darwin Public Library, compiled by Spillett probably, no date but probably early 1970s

File 14

  • Spillett’s typed notes on historical society of the NT expedition to the settlement of Victoria, Port Essington on 24-27 July 1969

File 15

  • Typed copy of diary Edward Napoleon Bonaparte Catchlove stationed in NT from 14 April 1870 to 30 April 1872...He was born 14 of March 1842 and died 20 June 1920..ists is children as well and his police record

File 16

  • Peter Spillett’s paper on the foundation of Palmerston and the Beginning of Local Government, includes typed extracts from the Times and Gazette re the early formation and meeting of the council
  • Brief History of Town Hall by Spillett (says a reading room and Institute was build in 1904 and that by 1910 there were 99 ratepayers, 35 being Chinese, but not allowed to vote
  • Includes some copies o the actual newspapers dealing with the council too including a very clear copy of the Dec 21, 1918 issue reporting the demonstration against Gilruth (has add for Mrs Flynn’s refreshment rooms too)
  • Also newspaper articles on various mayors and personalities

A second file 16

  • Street maps of early Darwin
  • Brief History of Darwin probably prepared by Historical Society who met at Holtze Cottage, Botanical Gardens
  • Copy of a letter from Ken Mason
  • Handwritten notes from Edna Nielson re her family, the Presleys with photocopy of photo of VCM Presley who died in 1934
  • Hand written notes of Peter’s apparently relating to interviews he did...mention of Joe Jenkins, George McKeddie, Burrundie (finished by 1919, only MeeWah)
  • Note from Maude Close to Peter Spillett re. various mayors of Darwin
  • Copy of a testimonial from various townspeople to Robert Toupein, Mayor of Darwin when he was leaving....See below (letter from his widow)
  • Copy of the Northern Territorians Association listing presidents and committee from 1922-27 plus members for 26-27
  • Handwritten lists of Darwin mayors from 1874
  • Copy of land title transfer for section 411 belonging to John Waterhouse in 1871
  • Copy of North Australian Monthly article on the Nulla Nulla Tragedy
  • Christmas card from City Council undated but showing photo of new city council chambers...and skyline of Darwin when tallest building is Travelodge and in city are, the water tank.
  • Various handwritten notes by Peter Spillett on people and research he’s lists some longterm residents talking about tree of knowledge
  • Notes from CRA Exploration on a stone axe
  • Typed list of historical dates extracted from the NT almanac for 1887
  • Poem about a play in Darwin
  • Notes for an interview with Bessie Robinson
  • Page from Feb 1931 article in Bank Notes re Aborigines in NT
  • Lots of names and addresses and little notes from Spillett
  • Copy of menu served at opening of Palmerston to Pine Creek railway with a list of the toasts etc.
  • Note re the Palace Picture show belonging to George Wedd on corner of Cavenagh and Bennett
  • Letter from Mrs Maude Peake written to Peter S in 1961 from 12 Pleasant Ave Glandorr re Darwin at turn of century
  • List of various local government councils from 1874
  • Letter dated 5 Aug 1960 from? to town clerk saying they have found the visitors book of the former town council for period from the commencement of the council to the 9th August 1930...talks of some of the signatures and including various aviators etc...what happened to this?
  • Copy of the Report from the Select Committee on local government and minutes of proceedings of the committee presented by Ron Withnall on 29 October 1962 to Legislative Council of NT

Third File 16

  • Various handwritten notes from Peter Spillett including a list of things which includes 1901 Embroidered cloth, picture of PR Allens Store, telephone directory of 1949, visitors books, 1890 by laws, etc
  • Copy of various items relating to local government
  • Letter from Roger Dean to Mayor in October 1968 regarding letters from Ethel M Laffey, Darwin, 3 Mabel St, Margate Qld who is widow of former mayor Robert Toupein giving illuminated address presented to her husband...list of people who signed it with description by Don McKinnon who was then living at Smith Street West and quite a long description of Toupein

File 17

  • Undated unsourced typed 10 page history of Darwin
  • 1938 street map of CBD of Darwin (two sections)

File 18

  • Typed manuscript of Father Angelo Canfalonieri in Jiwadia in propaganda file archive Rome re various notes and conversations he had with aborigines of Port Essington
  • Peter Spillett article on the Apostle to the North which he entered in a writing competition

File 19

  • Copies of correspondence from Clyde Fenton and Cook over a flying incident
  • Short history of health and health facilities in NT undated, unsourced
  • Another history compiled by J Baddeley, May 1974 Research section Dept Health NT on centenary of hospital services in Darwin

File 20


File 21

  • Report from the Select committee appointed to inquire into the Land Tenure (transitional provisions) bill 1965 and the coastal plains (Development) Bill 1965 presented to Legislative Council by FW Drysdale MLC on 28 Sept 1965

File 22

  • Handwritten notes re the Herbert Brothers, Oscar and Evan and father Judge CE Herbert

File 23

  • Copies of handwritten correspondence from J Langdon Parsons Minister for Education re Captain Carrington’s commission to explore Macarthur River in 1884...In your intercourse with the Aboriginal inhabitants you will endeavour to cultivate friendly of Daly river...
    Copy of Frederick Carrington’s report

File 24

  • Copy of There was Not the Opportunities that there is Now by Jeff Catchlove, a member of the Historical Society of NT of Australia...a history of Darwin Primary School, whose influence has been of paramount importance in the development of educational facilities in the NT since its settlement. Written in 1971.......two copies with note by LG Cutting headmaster..31 foolscap pages and quite a lot of oral history and memories interspersed including memories of Roy Green at turn of century

File 25

  • Typed copy of Goyder’s notebook, including list of staff etc...on Monday 8th went exploring with Burton and Moyse in search of more favorable site for stock etc and found a creek about 1 1/2 mile ENE with note saying fresh water creek and horses and bullocks to be removed to Burton’s Creek tomorrow where there is better feed and abundance of water...sent stock there 9th Feb 1869

File 26


File 27

  • Handwritten list of burials at Palmerston cemetery between 1885 and about 1898

File 28

  • Handwritten account to Mr Wilson (Reg?) from Mr McMillan? re a trip done in 1915 from ? into NT near Cooper Creek and Georgina and Lake Nash and Rankine Police Station...contracted fever, and father died there

File 29

  • Words to Down on the Daly River ) by James Burgoine, handwritten (seems to be similar to file 108)
  • 1885 report on Pursuit of Daly River Murderers by George Montague written Oct 17, 1884

File 30

  • Copy of article in Descent on the Uhr Brothers, by Ruth C the four sons of Captain John Uhr RN and his wife Louisa Agatha, eldest daughter of James Ker

File 31

  • Report of the Conference on Historical Archeology and the National Estate, prepared by Jim Allen on behalf of the project co-ordination committee on historical sites

File 32

  • 1984 letter from Arch Grant re the Methodist Church with copies of Palmerston Town Council meeting minutes for 1882 and 1883 when town hall was being built...also a note on history of town hall from J.Selman, librarian....quite a bit of detail on architecture and internal fittings of the hall, including reading room for library
  • Handwritten notes on various dates associated with local government, has Graham Cheater’s name at top but looks like Spillett’s writing
  • Typed interim report on cyclone damage to Historic Structures in Darwin city prepared for the National Trust of Queensland for and on behalf of the Interim committee of the National Estate, Fisher Lucas Architects, Sydney February 1975...includes Vic Hotel, Lyons House, Hotel Darwin, Chins Building, Holtze Cottage, VL Solomon’s House, Christ Church, Chinese pagoda, Museum and Art Gallery, Browns Mart, Govt House, former court house and police station, gaol, the Commericial Bank of Australia, bank of NSW
  • Good copy of NTTG in 1882 re the laying of the foundation stone of the Palmerston Town Hall
  • Various other notes on town hall as first public building in Chinese carpenters, bricks made by Hang Gong. Lighting a double row of six light chandeliers hanging from roof stained glass fanlights above window
  • Peter Spillett’s 1978 notes for National Trust city walk
  • Report of NT Historic Buildings classifications and present information as at 1st May 1970 with Commonwealth Dept of Works architectural drawings of Browns Mart, VL Solomon’s house, town hall (only photos, no plan)
  • Letter from Bill McLaren to Peter Spillett, building committee, Christ Church cathedral re. -Memorial to victims of cyclone Tracy includes a list of names of 50 who died and also list o 16 missing at sea with next of kin
  • Report from Insurance Council of Australia re preservation of Historic Buildings June 1978 for National Trust
  • Notes for a talk to the Anglican Women’s Union on work of National Trust in NT, 22 April 1976
  • Typed list of historic sties and buildings in greater Darwin area, and northern party of the NT
  • Telegram and correspondence re Public hearing on proposed Palmerston Freeway, 1973
  • Letter in October 1976 from Peter Spillett to manager of Darwin Reconstruction Commission re. register o historic buildings and sites in NT
  • Typed report on the repairs and maintenance of the roof to Govt House, Darwin prepared for DRC by Department of construction NT region by Colin Long, Feb 1976
  • Sketch of residence of Mr VL Solomon 1884, now public library Esplanade

File 34

  • Historical Society of NT paper on relationship between the British and the Tiwi in the Vicinity of Fort Dundas Melville Island by John Morris, read to HS on 26 October 1964
  • Paper on Brief study of Tiwi and Larrakia Feuds by John Morris

File 35

  • Plan of Stockade at Palmerston, Escape Cliffs, reproduced Oct 1966 by Beth McCoppin (two)
  • Sketch of Escape Cliffs by S King Jun, 1865 (copy)
  • Copy of twenty fifth general report of the Emigration Commissioners 1865...Note includes there is greater equality between the sexes in SA than any other of the Australian colonies, males 72,109 and females 68, is a report on NT
  • Extract from Edwin Hodder’s The History of South Australia (1893) with section on NT)
  • Extract from Anthony Forster’s South Australia; Its progress and prosperity (1866) re NT
  • Extract from Doug Lockwood’s Front Door re Escape Cliffs
  • Sketches of Adelaide River and Adjoining country from Finniss sketches, traced from original by D Connolly in Feb 1981 with original held in Archives State Library SATyped copy of Marine Survey of NT by Mrt F Howard, Master RN to Gov of South Australia re trip begin on 13 May 1865
  • Extract from JM Holmes Australia’s Open North 1963
  • Extract from Alfred Searcy’s In Australian Tropics 1909
  • Extracts from other books dealing with Escape Ciffs
  • Article in Viewpoint Dec 1968 re searching for Escape Cliffs (Including two typed copies by Peter Spillett of article Search for Abandoned Territory Settlement)
  • Handwritten notes re meeting of Historical Society escape Cliffs expedition July 16, 1971
  • Typed note re Centenary of arrival of Finniss Party at Escape Cliffs on June 21, 1864
  • Meteorological reports from Escape Cliffs 1865
  • Typed notes re Expedition to Escape Cliffs, Adam Bay, 12-13 October 1968
  • Typed notes from the Illustrated London News of January 14, 1865 re Escape Cliffs and McKinlay etc

File 36

  • Typed Brief History of Darwin, NT from Historical Society

File 37

  • Notes by Peter Spillett on JWO Bennett, survey draughtsman attached to Goyder’s party in 1869 and notes relating to the exhumation of Bennett and Hazard in 30 Nov 1965...they carried out the work on 2 and 3 November
  • Copy of article re above in NT News on Nov 11, 1965
  • Copies of photos of the grave removal

File 38

  • Map of Daly with blocks set out, appears to be Fred’s Pass...undated, unsourced
  • Copy of Goyder’s report on survey of NT including description of Bennett’s death (copy of handwritten letter from Fort Point 7 July 1869)

File 39

  • Typed article on James Henry Maloney and reminiscences of Gilruth rebellion when Jerry was 14 years old and his time in Central Australia
  • Notes on George Williams, of well known railway family in Alice area

File 40

  • Copy of 1886 Govt Report on geology and minerals in NT

File 41

  • Conference paper delivered Alice Springs June 1964 by AL Rose on Early NT Droving
  • Epics...published in Australian Veterinary Journal, Vol 40

File 42

  • Extract from something called Towers and Castles and various articles about Roman Basilica found in London

File 43

  • Extracts from report of Inspector of Police Nicholas Waters dated 30 Jan 1913

Another File 43

  • Another copy of Brief Study of Tiwi and Larrakia feuds by John Morris

File 44

  • Article in Western Austrlian Historical society re Te Story of the Canning Stock Route by Fred Bateson
  • Copy of July 1979 article in Overlander by Mark De Graaf on the Worlds Toughest Stock Route (Canning) with photos of various trips and excavations

File 45

  • Copy of article Possessory Lien--the First European Settlement, King George’s Sound, New Holland (1826-1831) by Robert Stephens...includes appendix with list of ships and dates visited there and destination

File 46

  • Copy of Florence Stevens nee Frith’s essay on A trip from Pine Creek to Palmerston

File 47

  • Extract from Diary of Anne Whately who went to Hobart in 1831
  • WA HISTORICAL society article re the Foundation of British Rule in the West HMCS Amity and HMS Success

File 48

  • Reports Geological and general resulting from the Explorations made by the Government Geologist and staff during 1905...NT of SA 53 pages, including a description at end of Daly River murders and photo of Henry Roberts and an illustrated section on primitive Chinese mining methods

File 49

  • Payne and Fletcher report into land and land industries of the NT of Australia dated 10 Oct 1937...

File 50

  • Marked Trees of Australia and Others which have made their Mark (NT section) by Roy G. May who gave a copy to Peter Spillett in 1975
  • includes a map with various areas pointed out...illustrated with photos of trees and references and lists

File 51

  • An Extensive Survey of Australian Aboriginal Problems published by the Aborigines Friends Association (established 1858, incorporated 1879) prepared after request from the missionary conference in Sydney in April 1937
  • Article in Darwin Sun on 23/6/1981 by Sharon Bowditch on Baby Snatchers...about part aboriginal children being stolen....

File 52

  • Notes from a K. Chapman including maps of Stray Creek,...correspondence from a Phyll Chapman about her mother and father in Darwin, Leichardt’s tree etc and Jindare Station
  • Dictionary of Biography entry on David Lindsay..
  • Letter from Ruby Roney in SA in March 1976 saying she was at Oenpelli from 1910 to late 1915 and says doesn’t remember the Briggs...

File 52

  • Various notes on Permain andBorrodaile
  • Letter from Rev Gocher from Darwin Aug 3, 1904 ordering a tablet and asking for copy of Harriett Daly’s book
  • Another letter dated July 11 1904 referring to the person’s brother...not sure of Gocher is in Adelaide or Darwin...must be Borrodaile...
  • Letter dated Aug 1 1904 from Charles Gore re. Permain and Borrodaile leaving...went to Port Essington and didnt return...talks of Mr Levi, manager of station there saying Jack Davis, native said one of his sons had just returned from a hunting expedition and had stolen a woman for a tribe on a big river and she spoke about her tribe having killed two white men
  • Letter from Barry Bannister to Peter enclosing photo of Edward Sidney Borrodaile 30/3/1845 to June 1874...good photos
  • Article by George Chaloupka on aboriginal rock paintings
  • Packet of other negatives and photos of Borrodaile and various rock paintings
  • Original small coloured map of Mt Permain and Mt Borradaile
  • article re. rock carvings flashback clue to Leichhardt expedition re Spillett etc
  • Typed story by Spillett re. the story behind the naming of the two NT landmarks Mount Permain and Mount Borradaile....
  • Copy of First annual report of Christchurch Darwin (handwritten notes says from Mrs Borradaile)
  • Seems to be a tombstone rubbing of monument relating to death of Borrodaile
  • Copy of the church newsletter of July 1904 includes note saying a Mural tablet has been received from Mr AT Borrodaile of Darlington, England in memory of his brother...includes -words on tablet
  • Peter’s handwritten notes of research on the story
  • Extract from Lewis Fought and Won
  • Typed extract from the paper of the day about the fate of Borradaile and Permain
  • Copy of note from E Durand French council re their fate
  • Letter dated Dec 1873 from a Victorian minister to R Gardiner in NT testifying to Borradaile’s character
  • Copies of various government correspondence and articles relating to Permain and Borradaile’s lives and deaths
  • Extracts from SA Chronicle 1874 relating to the incidents
  • Letter from a Miss Silvia Greenwood of Surrey England requesting information on the men
  • Letters to peter Spillett from the family
  • Then correspondence with Jack Borradaile’s widow re information etc
  • Correspondence from Victorian libraries and archives re the above

File 54

  • Extracts from diary of William Gratwick 1885
  • Article re Tennant Creek, undated, unsourced
  • Spillett correspondence to Marge Fullwood in TC
  • Correspondence from Hilda Tuxworth for Historical Society newsletter
  • Notes on TC compiled by Hilda on 27 Sept 1975
  • Sketch map of Tennant Creek in March 1935
  • Notes compiled by Graeme Bucknall from National Library on AIM welfare club in TC

File 55

  • Brochure of Photography of Paul Foelsche Centenary exhibition in Darwin in 1970 and a typed history of his life

File 56

  • Correspondence relating to the court buildings in Alice Springs in 1931 and 1950s
  • Notes on the history of the Church of the Inland
  • Notes on history of Alice Springs for Centenary (from 11 March 1871)
  • Notes on Harley Street School

File 57 (two files)

  • Articles many Chinese - there are quite a lot of Historical society notes from 1965 where they seem to have had very interesting ‘pioneer’ speakers whom they taped. Some of the transcripts are in the file...might be worth exploring whether they bear relation to the Spillett tapes...check with Tony Beale....
  • Historical Society Asian Immigration into the NT to 1910 by Jeremy Long, president of society read to society in June 1964...includes 23 pages and a list of population figures for most years from 1871
    Jan 31, 1974 Joy Collins article on Lorna Lim
  • Many other NT news articles on various Chinese identities around the 1974 period
  • Extract unsourced re Chinese secret societies

From Ernest Fong (seems to be transcript of a tape):

In pre war days and up until the late 1920s Darwin was self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables grown in local market gardens. The gardens were located in the area now known as the old garbage dump opposite the victualling yards and bounded by Dashwood Cres, along Huston Street and down to the western end of Tuckwell Court and right up to the Gardens cemetery. Other gardens were located at Doctors Gully, McMinn Street on the site of the new Darwin Primary school, the police paddock and gardens were established around the present Parap Shopping Centre and around the Darwin Bowling Club. Darwin was also self supporting in pig meat. Piggeries were located around the old sanitary dump area near gardens oval no 2 and around the western end of Tuckwell court...There was also a piggery at the old cemetery reserve and one at the site of Pauls ice cream factory. Another was located where Fannie Bay Car Sales is now.

Sugar cane was also grown in nearly every house in Darwin in those days. Buffalo carts were the chief mode of transport for carting wood for fuel and supplying the population of Darwin and they were also used for carting sandalwood, which was in fairly large quantities in those days....Chinese also engaged in fishing...mainly salted and dried, exported to Hong Kong and other eastern countries

From another paper by E Fong given on 27 April 1965:

The first Chinese to start in business was Kwong Soo Tak who in the early 1880s built the shops now known as the Stone Houses in Cavenagh Street. This business only lasted a few years before closing down.

The late Chin Toy, father of Chin Gong was the next Chinese to start a business here - a tailor shop with a pair of scissors as his sole equipment - in 1886 which he built up into the flourishing business of Fang Cheong Loong and Co, perhaps the largest tailoring, drapery, fancy goods, import/export business in Darwin until he bombing raids.....names a bunch of other stores

Big mango trees in area of Darwin Bowling club and on opposite side of East Pt Road from Club (Leichardt Tce) were Gee’s gardens which extended from Parap School and internal shopping centre to Gregory Terrace and old civilian Air Strip.

  • Copy of notes on SS Vidar bringing Chinese
  • Papers on Early Southeast Asian History edited by Colin Jack-Hinton Singapore Journal of
  • Southeast Asian History 1964
  • Notes on Cheong You or Jimmy Ah You for street names
  • Notes on William Gong Chin, probably from interview Peter S did with him and includes names of firms which Chin Gong remembers operating in 1900...More extensive notes on his death in May 1982
  • Notes on Pine Creek from Mr Ah Toy
  • Chung Wah Society newsletters in 1979
  • Notes from an interview with Chin Gong at his home on Monday 17/5/1971 with a note to see the tape
  • Notes on NT Chinese settlements with Chinese writings for shops in Palmerston in 1902
  • Letter from SK o dated 1978
  • Statutory Declaration from Chin Gong seeking renewed Australian citizenship for his sister Gook Chin wo was born in Palmerston in Feb 1908 but now had a Malaysian passport in 1976
    various notes and invites from Chung Wah Society
  • Chinese notes January 1977 from Chin Gong and Mrs Lim Lui...Notes say Mrs Lim Lui gardening at foot of Bullocky Point near present bowling club. came originally from Sukkee a village near Canton to Darwin when she was 11 years old. She is now 93. She is a Hang Sung. Her name was Lee Toy Kem and became known as Lim Lee See when she married Mr Lim Lui. They lived at Wandi Gold Mine about 30 miles east of Pine Creek. Mr Lim Lui came from Ham Ha a village near Canton and was a See Yip. Arrived before his wife and was a mining engineer
  • Miscellaneous hand written notes re various Chinese people...including Doug O’Neil
  • List of people in back to Darwin Primary school 14 Aug 1971
  • 1968 copy of Historical Society newsletter
  • Article re Harry Chan’s wedding, found 25 years later
  • Book on basic facts about China in 1976
  • Notes on Chinese history and burials from Harry Chan...early days
  • sketches of Cavenagh street
  • Story on the Chinese discovery of Australia by Professor Wei Chu Hsien re. the statue they found in Darwin

File 58

  • Notes on the Camden Harbor Settlement 1864-65, including articles and types historical research (by KM Crawford?)
  • Copy of journal of an expedition from Government camp Camden Harbour to the Southward of the Glenelg River in North West Australia by RJ Sholl
  • Small book of cuttings from Sydney papers re Mulgoa children and ? to Alice Springs and escape of Joyce Herbert, 14...dated Jan 1948...very interesting items

File 59

  • Typed Life of a part aboriginal girl...Connie Bush
  • Various correspondence from 1940 and later re Connie Bush and some various sisters etc
  • Handwritten notes on Jerry Blitner
  • Letter from Groote Eylandt in 1939 and also notes from a Elizabeth Tayor and others...facts about the childwife problems from Groote Eylandt 1937-39
  • Packet of black and white photos from the 1930s of the CMS mission and people at plastic should be put elsewhere..note relating to Connie Bush in with them
  • Letters from Constance Bush to Sister Taylor May 1940
  • Another letter in 1948 from Connie Bush

No File 60

File 61

  • 1925 pamphlet How to Develop the Northern Territory by the Hon Thomas Waddell MLC

File 62 and 63 empty

File 64

  • unidentified map of people and a list of probates including Kelsey, Stephen McGuinness etc

File 65

  • Map of Jensen Bay area with note saying Paintings are at southern end of bay under fock shelf

File 66

  • NT of SA Northwestern district report made during 1905

File 68

  • Old news clippings (1922) on NT
  • Copy of Report on McArthur river district in 1907

File 69

  • NT report on Geologist exploration in 1905 (same as earlier one)

File 70

  • Journal Central Australia Allan A Davidson 1898-1900

File 71

  • Tanami Goldfield and district report by Lionel CE Gee 1911

File 72

  • Journal of 1907 on Buston and Davenport Ranges printed in 1907

File 73

  • Copies of correspondence relating to plans etc sent to commonwealth in 1911
    Original undated map of Zapopan mine
  • 1916 map of Zapopan mine
  • Undated sketch plan showing relative position of reefs Pickford’ Saunders Crek
  • Copy of NT Times Almanack and Directory 1885

File 75

  • Bulletin No 1 of NT March 1912 Preliminary Scientific Expedition of NT

File 76

  • Bulletin No 2 April 1912 Study of Certain Aboriginal Tribes

File 77

  • Bulletin No 3 May 1912
  • Caledon Bay

File 78

  • Bulletin No 4 Nov 1912
  • Report on Geology of NT

File 79

  • Bulletin No 5 January 1913
  • Report First Overland Tour in Motor Car

File 80

  • Bulletin No 7 July 1913
  • Preliminary Report on Aboriginals of NT

File 81-84

  • More bulletins, loose papers

File 85

  • Katherine Post office Spot on News
  • Hand written notes re Katherine blocks and history
  • Map of proposed reserve near Katherine River Telegraph Station (no date)
  • 2 page typed historical notes on location and settlement of Katherine, NT, b y Peter Spillett

File 86

  • Correspondence and historical notes on John Hester Venn, born WA 1921, serving in NT during world war II; flew against Japanese; killed on 13 May 1942 at Ambon
  • Commemoration memorabilia Anzac Day 1977 and news clippings re Hester Venn

File 87

  • Various items dealing with history of the cannon outside Government House including references to it at Escape Cliffs
  • Letters from people about the history of early ships to NT ie Lady Nelson, Essington, Isabella, Amity Correspondence with WA and London museums re the gun at Govt House

File 88

  • Lighthouses in Australia
  • General article about history and then notes on Cape Don and trip to Cape Don and Escape Cliffs

File 89

  • Notes from Rev Fred Greenwood re his time here in 1901-1904; from Gillstrom, written for Lantern Lecture in 1904
  • Says Gov Jervois said NT was “key to the East” and would be so wealthy nation would see that the “tail wags the dog”
  • Jetty lands you in Chinatown where you can see the celestial perfectly at home with an odour that called forth from a returning mission to China the remark “oh, this smells so homelike”
  • Here meet superior class of Chinese, stout genial merchants prosperous and happy as well as lower coolie class of which there are 2 or 3000 in neighborhood most prominent buildings (all of stone) are town hall, Vic Hotel, Commercial Bank, VV Brown, Anglican church and government offices.
  • ESA bank is iron building on concrete..the piles as is the Masonic Hall and Methodist Church and most of the stores
  • Streets lit by hurricane lamps
  • Society equals GR, BAT, Railway, customs, police and storekeepers
  • Chinese have three Joss Houses one devoted to the use of and in the interests of the fishermen and is placed on beach
  • Alligators, Larrakeyah and Woolnas\
  • Notes about gaol and gardens
  • description of jetty

File 90

  • Typed extracts of Knuckey’s when erecting telegraph poles in 1874-75

File 91

  • Chronological details of Paul Foelsche’s life, including references to different newspaper articles
  • handwritten index to Foelsche photos with dates the photos were taken between 1873 and 1896 (188 photos listed)-archival correspondence relating to the life of Alfred Victor Stretton-
  • copy of Centenary exhibition photos in Darwin 1870 or Paul Foelsche, including a few photos
  • copy of thesis by M.L. Flint, Adelaide College of Advanced Education, October 1973 of The First Northern Territory Police Force 187-1873

File 92 is missing

File 93

  • photocopied sheet of Christ Church Anzac memorial service of April 24, 1938
  • Photocopy of About Turnb 1938-1968, souvenir of Darwin Mobile Force 25th anniversary celebrations in Sydney 22-24 November 1963
  • Photocopy of article from April 1973 edition of Duty First on Link With the Past, The Darwin Mobile Force and the RAR Association by Maj. KW Dennedy, MBE
  • Undated unsourced article entitled the War Effort o the Northern Territory Aborigines by FR Morris, formerly Director of Native Personnel HQ NT Force
  • photocopy of Army Journal article on the Darwin Mobile Force by Major KH Trevan, Royal Australian Corps of Signals

File 94

  • Copy of December 1964 Citation regarding the history of NT Police Force plus facts and figures about both men and women NT police
  • Extracts from report by Inspector of Police, Nicholas Waters, 30 Jan 1913
  • Correspondence regarding information of records of NT police with a listing from the Australian Archives, Darwin which lists some of the records (then in Brisbane) stating that they were due to be returned to Darwin in July or August 1976

File 95

  • Map and list of NT civil and military aerodromes by John Haslett in 1978
  • 1983 letter from Peter Dermoudy suggesting several military associated names for new street in Darwin
  • Report ot plane accident involving Lockheed Super Electra H14 owned by Guinea Airways and crashed on 18/1/1939 in the Territory, killing all on board
  • an account by John Haslett of the Kookaburra Saga

File 96

  • 1976 list of microfilm records held by the Darwin Community College Library, mainly Colonial Office papers of NSW
  • list of microfilm of Northern Standard held by Darwin Community College Library in 1976

File 97

  • Typed extract from NT Times of Dec 9, 1924 on marriage of Olga Foster to William Alfred Pott at Christchurch

File 98

  • Copy of the play Cheap Living, a comedy in five acts, performed at Port Essington in 1840?

File 99

  • various information dealing with life and death of JG Knight, including obituaries, article dealing with his involvement in building Melbourne Parliament House,
  • Typed article called The Pioneer Architect by Elwyn Leighton-Black on Knight’
  • correspondence between descendant of JG Knight, Mayor Ella Stack and Peter Spillett re relatives visiting Darwin as part of Back to Darwin Week
  • Obituary o George William Knight, JG’s brother
  • extract from Peter Donovan’s Land Full of Possibilities

File 100 missing

File 101 has nothing in it

File 102

  • list of manuscript material held by National Library on NT (QUITE OLD)

File 103

  • copy of article by Trevor Percival in Australian Gems and Crafts Magazine on the Palmer River rush

File 104

  • information on Borroloola, including June 23, 1981 article in Darwin Sun, article in the Melbourne Travellor of 1978 by FC Fuller and copies of maps of the town of Borroloola, including lot numbers

File 105

  • various correspondence with Peter Spillett from descendents of various NT pioneers including Richard Knuckey, William Nation, including article from Adelaide Register of 6 July 1874 about Nation’s death
  • Extract from NT Time Jan 16, 1875 re George DeLoutour’s Queensland to Port Darwin
  • copy of transcript of notes of events on an overland trip from Kennedy District Queensland to Port Darwin by William Nation between September and November 1873...has a reference to GB Scott GR saying he went to California together and wonders whether he has improved as an acquaintance, I did not like him then - a very different man from his brother, an old friend of mine EB Scott
  • a hand written copy of part of the diary from October 73 to January 74

File 106

  • Material relating to the Holtze family and agriculture in the NT
  • Booklet The Holtze’s In Early Northern Territory Agriculture (1869-1911)
  • news clipping on Ludmilla Holtze turning 100
  • various typed sheets of information on Ludmilla’s life
  • correspondence from Peter Spillett to the Holtze family
  • handwritten notes from Spillett re the family
  • letters from Darwin Council to Spillett re people requesting historical information

Unidentified, undated handwritten reminiscences (probably by Miss Leslie Holtze on behalf of her mother Ludmilla)of very early Darwin (possibly by a Holtze) including description of Chinese...I saw the first Chinese arrive in Darwin. They landed on a beach near our home (Fort Hill) and their first act was to discard some of the many coats they were wearing and spread them on the bushes. Later Chinatown grew up in one of the town streets and it was quite the thing to go to the shops and inspect their beautiful silk and all manner of Chinese goods and foodstuffs. Soon after their arrival, market gardens sprang up and vegetables and fruit were hawked round like the fish but it was not wise to stop and think what fertiliser they used. Laundry shops sprang up and the dhobie boys used to come round and collect the soiled clothes and return the same beautifully andered and mended...a good Chinese cook worked for one pound a week but a houseboy only received 10 shillings weekly....Chinese tailors made the white suits worn by the men, the womenfolk made their own. Tennis on the BAT courtyard, dances at the Residency and picnics to some of the nearby islands or to the lagoon or Rapid Bay, early morning riding parties and archery were the outstanding amusement. Everyone was happy and good fellowship prevailed.
When my father broke his leg neighbors were most kind...when my brother, a lad of 14, was lost in the bush for six days at Southport 40 miles from Darwin nearly every available male from Darwin joined in the search...found by the natives and brought back home. He had gone out on his pony to bring in some horses and got lost and then at night he had fallen asleep and the pony wandered away....white ants very prevelant..remember a court session at police station suddenly the floor gave way and the policeman and prisoner disappeared below...Tragedy entered into the life of administrator EW Price. His wife and 8 children whom she was taking south for schooling were all drowned in the ill fated Gothenberg. Mr Price wen he received the news shut himself into his bedroom and when he emerged three days later it was as a broken white haired man.
Letter from Leslie Holtze on behalf of Ludmilla, only daughter of Dr Maurice William Holtze and wife Evlampia who arrived at Darwin in 1873...eldest son Nicholas named Ludmilla Creek after his sister. ..Palm Avenue which runs from Fannie Bay to Mindil Beach was originally planted by my grandfather...cut down during world war two and since replanted....Dr Holtze drove a pair of Timor ponies and one of mothers chores was to hold their heads while her father took the drivers seat, then scramble up behind as they dashed off...eary names she recalls Bickfords, Jollys, Killian, Parsons, Lawries, Skelton (proprietor of the first paper)

Ludmilla died 6 April 1971

Another note from Leslie says Nicholas died in the cottage. He ha been in hospital with duodenal ulcers and his wife (Annie Burkett) was so delighted to have him home she cooked a special meal which after rigid dieting he thoroughly enjoyed but ruptured the bowel from which he died.....Ludmilla left Darwin early 1890

  • Letter from Waldemer Holtze from Larrimah June 10, 1953 to his sisters...about his bad eye and a few reminiscences
  • Articles and photos in newspaper, one of AM Simpson, mayor with a group of men including Dr Holtze...they were the Board of Governors of the Adelaide Botanic Garden...include the older AM Simpson too
  • Letter from Mrs Gladys Thomas, a daughter of Ludmilla, who says Nicholas named Ludmilla Creek during time he was lost...some of people she remembers are Langdon Parsons, Alfred Searcy, Giles, Dashwood, Mitchell

several letters from the daughters to Spillett after Ludmilla’s death (five weeks after her 100th birthday) saying whatever she did she excelled at...mother was an excellent photographer, doing all her own developing and printing. Whatever she did she excelled at. She maintained if anything was worth doing it was worth doing well and she really lived up to that. At the age of 80 mother had lessons in pottery and I s she made. She was also very musical and played the piano at almost platform perfection which reminds me Uncle Nick was also must have been musical. He learnt music from a Miss Harlow and after three months tuition was able to play or dances

  • One letter talks of donating something of Ludmilla’s to the museum...a lace stoll, a painting, music, a vase....
  • Photocopied map of Darwin in Dec 17 1869 signed by D Daniel Daly with diagrams of huts and gardens, etc.

File 108

  • Words to Down on the Daly River ) by James Burgoine, handwritten

File 109

  • Extracts from Qantas Aerial? 1920-1954 by EA Crome
  • Extracts from Wings to the World by Sir Hudson Fysch
  • Four page newspaper produced by Qantas Public Affairs department on January6, 1975 regarding Qantas airlift and work in Darwin after Cyclone Tracy
  • Extract from Qantas at War by Hudson Fysch

File 110

  • Extract of Diary notes (by George Jaensch?) on a trip Mounted Constable Tom Rowe, Lines man Pat Gurney Katherine postmaster George Jaensch....Found Daly River graves too

File 111

  • Typed history of the northern Territory Dept of Construction by George Redmond (former Director of Works) dated draft 24/4/1978...

File 112

  • Typed memorandum regarding The Extent of Jurisdiction over the Territorial Sea...signed by Ron Withnall (former Crown Law officer)

File 113

George Redmond sent Peter Spillett relevant south and central Australian sections of Over the Years, an autobiography by HM Rowland...covering letter datd 13 June 1978...includes nice sketch of old police station Heavitree Gap in Alice...includes a reference in 1928 to meeting Mrs Anderson, widow of original owner of Tobermory station now living in Urandangie...told sad story of disaster and tragedy...husband while riding home one day had collapsed and died on track. Their little twin boys had gone out one day on their ponies and never returned...had to sacrifice everything and leave property
...he met Ida Stanley the supervisor of the half caste institution which was housed in an old galvanised iron building at the back of the hotel....he helped A FRIEND of hers get immigration papers to go to Canada to see her sister (her husband had disappeared years earlier)...later he found her back in Alice and reunited with her husband

File 114

  • Three typed copies of Alpha and Omega, An Account of Cyclone Tracy 1974 by Peter Spillett (his personal account o what happened to him and his family)

File 115

  • Aboriginal Customary Laws seminar papers...Tom Pauling, Ian Barker
  • paper on Aboriginal Lands and Sacred Sites ordinance 1977
  • Land Rights News May 1977 copy

File 116

  • Aboriginal Concept of Boundary by JK Doolan

File 117

  • Maps of Tumbling Waters area, Middle Arm, Southport (with town blocks)
  • Handwritten notes of people who died at Southport 1870-1889, 48 Chinese and 8 Europeans
  • Notes of a trip from Darwin to Southport and back by boat on 18/7/1982 with Ken and Dian Dupe, Peter Spillett, Dick and Helen Wilson and Owen and Gwen?
  • Notes of some of things found...two floors found on lots 199 and 200 probably post office...Adcocks Store etc...old section of Cherry St found and landing stage
  • Envelope containing a piece of pottery? or clay with part of a picture on it

File 118

  • Boy Scouts supplement in 1978 news...golden jubilee
  • Copy of boy scouts application for registration of troop First Darwin at Immigrants Home, Darwin, with 2 scouters and eight others dates June 19 1928...can’t read signature

File 119

  • Copy of article in Wireless Weekly of Feb 4 1927 by Rev John Flynn called Bush Wireless, How Radio is penetrating millions of square miles in Central Australia, as bushman’s SOS

File 120

Material dealing with the RSL in Darwin:

  • includes newsletter vol 1 no 1 in April 1985, registration certificate; brief history (says it appears to have existed as early as 15 Feb 1919 when WK Bolton was ;national president...
  • outline of War Memorial 60th anniversary with descriptions of various events in 1920 and 1921 including note in 29/1/1921 when monument arrived from Sydney and they sent it back saying it hadn’t been inscribed properly..and note that they didn’t want to sing Sweet bye and bye but Kiplings recessional
  • handwritten notes (by Spillett) on various events dealing with RSL in Darwin
  • 1982 letter from Sid Flynn re his memories of RSL
  • Letter from Spillett to Flynn re Mrs Lil Cummings
  • Typed list of presidents and secretariesextracts from relevant bits from NT Times from 1919 and accompanying letter from Sidaway

A second File 120 (with note to refer also to 212)

  • Copy of Unveiling Ceremony Sunday April 24, 1921
  • copy of 1922 agreement between Charles Edger George Hill, James Edward Fawcett and Albert Edward Cummings on behalf of RSL with Snell the builders to built RSL club
  • various correspondence relating to Darwin people in war and relating to the Darwin branch of the RSL, including Spencer Kentish who was at the 1921 unveiling of the monument and also the Ross and Keith Smith unveiling
  • copy of Anzac Memorial Service program of April 25, 1939
  • March 19512 report on visit to Darwin sub Branch by TC Eastrick

File 121

  • copy of paper presented by Ella Stack as Mayor o Darwin at International House, University of Sydney for the Australian Institute of International Affairs seminar on Immigrants and Refugees on 19 Aug 1978...paper is mainly about Vietnamese refugees and possible introduction of quarantinable diseases

File 122

  • Extracts from NT Times and Gazette of 1910-1911 relating to transfer of powers over NT to the Commonwealth (fading and print outs of the paper)

No File 123

File 124

  • Papers relating to Self Government on 1 July 1978 including the ‘kit’, chronological table of history of NT, various papers on different aspects of NT; Everingham’s Police speech of May 1980, self government sticker The First Two Years, Bougainvillea Festival sticker; Keep the flag flying Vote CLP flyer, pamphlet on NT flag, Bernie Kilgariff’s newsletter and Hansard speech for self government
  • envelope on Track to Self Government
  • copy of fake dollar bill with Everingham’s picture that says One carton on side...
  • Order of service for Self Government program at St Marys Cathedral
  • Map of Australia with Northern Territory covering whole bit and all other states totally marginalised
  • lots of stickers
  • self government program, various newspaper articles

File 125

  • Papers relating to coat of arms for diocese of Anglican church in darwin

File 126

  • Material dealing with Jeannie Gunn and We of the Never Never etc including maps of the area, correspondence, historical notes, photos and negatives (including an expedition to the Tanami
  • copy of HT Linklater’s book Echoes of the Elsey Saga
  • Peter Forrest report on study into proposals for the reconstruction of the original Elsey Homestead prepared for the Elsey Homestead Reconstruction Committee in Dec 1980
  • copy of JH Palmer’s notes on Droving Trip with Cattle from Queensland to NT during 1880-81
    Maps, Elsey characters etc

File 127

  • NT phone directory copy for August 1949

File 128

  • Correspondence and articles re Mr V Tarkanoff’s donation of playing equipment to the Fannie Bay playground from the Fanny Bay Progress assn. 7/3/1949

File 129

  • Article and note from JS Litchfield re Darwin Photographic and Amateur Cine Society programs for September-December 1949

File 130

  • Typed article and accompanying press report regarding “The Ordeal of the Ariake” by Victor Tarkanoff of Darwin; re a stranded pearling lugger near Daly River

No Files 131 to 140

File 141

  • Copy of 1898 report by Lindsay and Winnecke on Tablelands of NT

File 142

  • Lecture notes on history of early British settlements in NT, probably by Peter Spillett; typed

File 143

  • Biog notes on Boyle Travers Finniss

File 144

  • Original and fragile copy of June 7, 1921 issue of the Northern Standard

No File 145

File 146

  • Correspondence and documents relating to the Christchurch cathedral including proposed repairs during and after the war
  • Typed outline of the Church in the Inland by P McDonald Smith, published in the Church Standard January 6 1939; dealing mainly with Alice Springs and Oodnadatta
  • Photocopied copy of the Parish Magazine, published Monthly Diocese of Carpentaria, Christ Church, Palmerston NT Foundation stone laid July 12 1902 and consecrated Nov 2 1902...This edition has photo of church and is dated July 1 1904; Right Rev Gilbert White, Bishop; Rector Rev HP Gocher; organists Mrs W and Mrs J Barnes and Mrs Gocher....mentions many local names and what they were doing in the church
  • photographed copy of the First Annual Report of the Parish of Christ Church Port Darwin Northern Territory of Australia, Easter 1901 to Easter 1902...lists baptisms, marriages and communicants; covers Brocks Creek, Pine Creek, station etc...on back it says it is from the time capsule under Christ Church foundation stone removed at time of clearing church ruins after cyclone Tracy Dec 1974
  • photocopy of Christ Church Parish Paper for December 1947
  • copy of Early history of Methodist church of Palmerston by Percy Kelsey
  • Typed copy of Army News article of 14/10/1944 Memories of Darwin 50 yars ago ...mainly regarding Christ church and the building thereof
  • Historical details of parish of Christ Church since December 1958 to Dec 1964
  • Archival notes, typed on early history of Anglican Church and related early Darwin issues up to 1900

File 147

  • copies of correspondence from S Palmerston Brown re early history of Darwin

File 148

  • Portfolio of reproductions of the Documents of Surrender presented by national War Finance Committee to ....on Canadas Ninth Victory loan, 1945

File 149

  • Undated article from SA Football Budget on Football in North Australia by Bob Murray

File 150

  • Copy of Trial and Mostly Error by FH Bauer, history of NT Agriculture

File 151

NT News historical article July 14 1979 re cattle duffer James Campbell

File 152

  • Copy of 1893 map of NT overland telegraph line
  • First covers of Alice Springs Telegraph Station reenactment 29 Nov 1980 re OT line
  • Several first day covers dealing with OT LINE
  • Copies of 10 part series of articles produced in Telecom based on the diary of Fred Gosse who lived in NT from 1878 to 1902 and wrote his reminiscences in 1956
  • Chronological history of OT line from Port Augusta to Palmerston and British Australian Telegraph
  • Company submarine cable from Banjeewangi, Java to Palmerston. First Telegraphic message from Australia to London 20 Nov 1871
  • Coloured brochure about the first East-West link of telecommunications (1877)...Perth to Adelaide on 8 Dec 1877

Second file 152

  • Notes dealing with history of OT line, including
  • Historical resume of OT Line
  • Chronological history of OT Line between SA and Darwin
  • Program and outline of anniversary commemoration program on unveiling of OT plaque in Darwin on 30 October 1872
  • Extracts from Adelaide Register of 1870-72 dealing with events in OT line
  • Article in Zodiac re reenactment of OT line in OTC house, Darwin
  • Correspondence and speeches dealing with OT ceremonies
  • Text of a souvenir booklet
  • Copies of original correspondence of 1871 re laying of line and cables
  • Copy of The Story of the Australia-England Telegraph Link The Wonder-Working Wire
  • Typed article Planting the First Pole
  • Letter from Mary Potter to Peter Spillett re her grandfather and the OT line...very interesting
  • OTC annual report for 1972
  • News cuttings dealing with OT line history
  • Invitations
  • March 1972 article in Zodiac about the Darwin centenary celebrations
  • Copy of Sept 1970 newsletter Imperf of Darwin Philatelic Society
  • Letters from Australia Post listing names of some 90 men working on OT line construction
  • Typed paper of commemoration of centenary of first telegraphic message from Australia to London, Monday 20 Nov 1971
  • Brochure on CS Cable Enterprise, cable repair ship
  • Specifications of original cable etc
  • Various handwritten notes by Peter Spillett dealing with the history
  • Copies of relevant NT News articles
  • Northern Territory Affairs newsletter re Overland Telegraph Line Centenary
  • NT News supplement on Aug 1972 about the OT Line (includes extracts of Griffith Todd’s letters to his uncle about Darwin in 1871...interesting
  • Handwritten extracts from SW Herbert’s Diary
  • Letter to Knuckey family from Spillett
  • Drawings of a proposed monument

File 153

  • Material relating to buildings in Pine Creek, appears to be heritage assessments and brief histories of the Playford Club Hotel, Railway siding complex Chinese immigration, bakery, butcher’s shop, museum and library building, original community hall and what seems to be descriptions of photos
    welcome to historic Pine Creek brochure
  • Copy of the Inlander with a feature in 1914 on their latest station, Pine Creek, including photos of Pine Creek, Katherine, the mine (including Crest of the Wave)
  • Historical notes on Pine Creek
  • Jan 1980 newsletter on the Heritage of Pine Creek with a feature from Sarah Feeney (a Frith(

File 154

  • Extracts from NT Times of 1925 when Lyons Cottage being built with notes from someone about various oral interviews done about the history of the house
  • Photographed copy of the Zondiac with artice and photos re Sir Alan Cobham’s flight from England to Australia and back...quite a few photos including Darwin BAT staff of 1919 of superintendent’s house in Banjoewangi (maybe 1906) and several photos of Cobham and Matthew’s landings in Darwin with accompanying stories
  • Minutes of the board meeting of Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company LTD in London on 30 Nov 1937

File 155

  • Historical notes collected by Bruce A J Litchfield of NSW re Frederick H Litchfield and his discovery of gold in NT with a family tree showing that Val Litchfield (Jessie’s husband) was a descendant of Fred Litchfield (I a son of William, a brother of Fred, and his wife Amelia Woolford who were married in August 1864 in Sydney and had first child in May 1865
  • Copy of the NT Times and Govt Gazette of 10/7/1874 re the death of William Nation

File 156

  • Material on Henry Wrigley’s flight to Darwin in 1919...when opened monument on 60th anniversary in Darwin
  • Correspondence between PETER Spillett and John Haslett re aviation matters
  • Spillett invitations to various aviation associated events
  • Undated, unsourced article on the Diamond Jubilee of Aviation in North Australia 1979
  • Supplement on new aviation terminal in 1981
  • Articles and brochure relating to Jan Schonburg’s reenactment of Amy Johnsons flight...1980
  • NT Aviation history notes (chronological ) by John Haslett dated Feb 1980
  • Correspondence from 1920s and 30s relating to Katherine Civil aviation grounds etc
  • Copy of article by HN Wrigley re First Across Australia by Air, 1919
  • List of different units and squadrons and places in NT during world war 11 (prepared by John Haslett)
  • Brief history of Amy Johnson by John Haslett

File 157

  • Note inside saying loaned to LGR 14/1/81

File 158

  • Brief history of Australian Army Medical Women’s Service in NT during 1939-45 war...signed by Deputy Assistant controller AAMNS NT Force 1944-45 and donated by Ellen Kettle
  • Cloth backed Pastoral map of the NT (in good condition)
  • Unnamed photograph of a nursing sister done by Freeman Studios in George St (Sydney)
  • Copy of NT News Nov 26 1965 with article on Matron Edith McQuade White
  • Article on Edith and her brother Jack
  • Two sheets from a photo album with captions but photos removed
  • Letter to Matron White dated 27 Feb 1946 from Lt General Commander in Chief Australian Military Forces on her release from active duty
  • Article in the Australasian March 25, 1944 on Army nurses leaders, including Matron White
  • Copy of booklet Lest We Forget on the Australian Army Nursing Service with forward by General Thomas Blamey in 1944
  • Original copy of the Australasian Nurses Journal March 1945 with an article and photo on Matron McQuade White

File 159

  • Copy of Article The Surveillance of Northern Australia - its history. The Story of Stanners Bush Commando 1942 by Capt Amoury Vane in the Defence Force Journal of Jan/Feb 1979

File 160


File 161

Copy of article Cemeteries of Victoria, Guidelines for management, maintenance and conservation

File 162

  • Copy of An Essay on Field Fortification by JC Playdell, London, 1804
  • Article on the Fixed Fortifications of the 16th to 19th centuries illustrated by Defences of Chatham in the Royal Engineers Journal March 1974
  • Handwritten not re the Traditional landowners of Raffles Bay, Coburg area (includes Alf Brown)
  • Pamphlet on Royal Marines Museum with layout of the all
  • Hand coloured brint of Maj General Howards Regt (The Buffs)
  • Two 61/23 p stamps

File 163

  • Two biographical outlines of Sir Gordon Bremer from London in 1949 and 1850

File 164


File 165

  • Copies of songs etc and articles from NT during war 1943-44 from Gordon Ross, Adelaide River....Seem to be mainly by Bill Andrews (they are glued into a book)

No File 166

File 167

  • Notes relating to a trip to Port Keats in 1979 by Peter Spillett
  • Includes four slides
  • Correspondence relating to the trip which was to locate a fish trap for members of the Historical Society who were investigating early Dutch, Portuguese or Chinese exploration etc
  • Copy of Aboriginal permit to cross the land

File 168

  • Copy of article (possibly in HRA) of Geographical Memoir of Melville Island Port Essington accompanied by map communicated by Major Campbell 57th foot formerly commandant at Melville Island $Read 12t-20th May 1834

No file 169

File 170

  • Finnis River Land Claim submission for exclusion of original north south road reserve from Dept of Community Development
  • Letter from Peter Spillett to RG Heap in Department of Law NT Feb 1980 re. alleged inaccuracies in the historical statement of the Northern Land Council with attachment from Alan Powell arguing historical evidence points to traditional ownership pattern of the region being almost lost
  • January 1980 letter from Peter Spillett to Law Dept stating Historical Society’s intention to make submission on historic sites in land claim area
  • Copy of application to land commissioner on Coburg Peninsula land claim listing list of Aboriginal claimants
  • Copy of Peter Spillett’s submission to Aboriginal Land Commissioner for land claim on Coburg Peninsula and recommending that sites of Victoria, Port Essington and Fort Wellington Raffles Bay be excluded
  • Peter’s notes on the land claim submission, with various quotes and references
  • Copy of submission by Nicolas Peterson and Myrna Tonkinson (for NLC) on Coburg Peninsula and adjacent islands and claim

File 171

  • Copy of article from Australian Information Service on Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission celebrating centenary
  • Photos of time when Rev Albrecht was there as well.

File 172

  • Extract of copy of Voyage of the Forlorn Hope (1894) by JP Stow

File 173

  • Criteria for entry of built environment places from the Australian Heritage Commission Manual 5/12/ 1979
  • Printed copy of Australia ICOMOS guidelines for conservation of plaqces of cultural significance

File 174

  • Article from the Journal of Australian Insitutue of Agriculutural Science March 1974 on the Potential for Horticulture in Tropical Australia by D. McE. Alexander and JV Possingham

File 175

  • NT Administration Animal Industry Branch Extension Article No. 8 on Northern Territory Stock Route and a letter from Mrs R Chooet Smith re. Wentworth D’Arcy Uhr’s contribution to stock routes

File 176

  • Paper called Groote Eylandt interpreted by GC Macknight about history of Groote Eylandt

File 177

  • Two booklets on Living at Nulunbuy, one by Nabalco and one by Department of Interior

File 178

  • Documents and readings in New Guinea History prehistory to 1889; by Jacaranda Press (extracts from)
  • Copies of 1828 maps of New Guinea
  • Copies of two drawings of New Guinea, undated, but seem old
  • Copy of extract from Journal of RGS 1837 on New Guinea
  • Photocopy of archival correspondence from GW Earl in 1828 re New Guinea

File 179

  • Copy of letter from WS Brown of SA to Reg Wilson re land rights at description of his arrival in Darwin 26 Oct 1912 to 1916 when went to Dorisvale...says no aborigines living in Dorisvale in 1916...seldom saw any blacks in bush...said he lived at Dorisvale for 20 years and blacks never most had been killed out by 1912
  • List of suggested names for Houses at Malak Primary school
  • Article on Father Frank Flynn getting doctorate
  • Obituary of Maude Close
  • List of pioneers for Govt House...lots of old names with addresses
  • Notes from a Harry Gore
  • Article in People May 1965 re Vincent Serventy The Canning Wells are Falling in

File 180

Three pencil sketch prints of NT in early days...London produced

File 181

  • Map of Fred’s Pass area dated 1869
  • Map of Noonamah area
  • Map of Manton dam area

No files 182-185

File 186 (two files)

  • Extract from a book on Palmerston (either Searcy or Sowden probably) re Palmerston cemetery
    Book listing deaths in Palmerston from 1870 to 1890...handwritten...includes dates and causes of death plus occupation...Deborah Maria Grieveson died of inflammation of stomach on 30 July 1878, wife of miner
  • Typed burial register of Palmerston cemetery from Jan 8 1885 with Mary Ann Solomon aged 28 listed as the first burial
  • List of people buried in Stuart cemetery in Alice Springs plus correspondence relating to it
  • Letter from Peter Spillett seeking permission to extract deats from Palmerston register
  • Map of the cemetery
  • List of archival files held in Darwin dealing with cemetery and burials
  • List of Tuckwell graves...George grave 72 (1891), Gertrude grave 78, Percy grave 29, Wtg Styles (17/6/1904) and Eleanor Styles grave 250 (162), Edward Tuckwell gravestone
    List of first births (white) in NT...lists four in 1870, 3 in 1871, 5 in 1872 and 1 in 1869?,,regustered 24 Aug 1870
  • Notes and lists relating to people buried in Katherine
  • Notes on inscriptions and on Emungalen

No files 187-200

File 201 empty

File 202

  • Article on Joe Bradshaw

File 203

  • Death register of James Flynn died February 12, 1903

File 204

  • NT Times article on death of Martin in 1883

File 205

  • Extracts from Govt Resident’s Reports of 1903 and 1885

File 206

  • Copies of articles by Ena Freer re time buffalo hunting in NT (written December 1966)

File 207

  • Notes relating to the Honours Awards for DD Smith, including lots of historical notes and government correspondence, some relating to building of Stuart Highway

File 208

  • Material relating to conservation projects in NT by JS Kerr 29 Dec 1980 including Arltunga, Fannie Bay, Coburg (Vic) and Pine Creek

No Files 209-210

Various reports and census dealing with NT in 78-79, 1921, 1881, 1891 and 1871 (most are of all of SA but figures for NT with in that, useful)

File 212

  • Material relating to war memorial 1921-1981
  • Various notes and articles including copies of articles from Times in 1921

File 213 missing

File 214

  • Part of an extract from an article Daly Waters to Pine Creek apparently from “Darwin Holiday” 1948

File 215

  • Autographed program of Darwin City Council 40th anniversary bombing of Darwin 19 Feb 1982...signatures include Robert Oestreicher, Sir Frederick Scherger (Air Chief Marshal), Eric Johnson and ?

File 216

  • Copy of handwritten diary by Mrs M Pfitzner’s father on the various bombing raids on Darwin during world war two including dates and times and deaths reported
  • Article in Australasian Post of April 7, 1982 on Bombing of Darwin by Frank Doak, an American Kittyhawk pilot...also article about Bob Oestreicher, American fighter pilot who shot down first two Japanese aircraft over Australia
  • Various minutes of the bombing of Darwin committee and army and other notes associated with the service
  • Photocopies of photographs re the bombing

File 216

  • Article on Date Growing in Australia from Journal of Australian Institute of Agricultural Science in Sept 1960 by Ursula De Fontenay and VJ De Fontenay

File 217


File 218 missing

File 219

  • Maritime Exploration of the NT some typed chronological notes

No file 220

File 221

  • Invitation to Peter Spillett to be guest speaker at Darwin Community College in 1982on aspects of Malaysia/Sarawak and some notes enclosed by Keith Solomon on the subject

File 222

  • Typed extracts dated from Palmerston July 1870 re tracings of proposed additions to wharf frontages in Palmerston and Southport...various signatures including DD Day and B Douglas and GG MacLachlan
  • Also typed copies of correspondence re Dr Schomburgh and the formation of an experimental garden for tropical plants dated August 1870 including list of plants
  • List of paid men in workforce with names, positions, rate of pay etc
  • List of party at Palmerston on 17 Aug 1870
  • List of Sick people from 1 July to 16 Aug 1870 includes Ned Tuckwell with Catarry
  • Correspondence re a dispute between Dougas and Todd and also inquiries about someone causing trouble with the natives
  • Various pieces of correspondence from Douglas to the Adelaide officials between 1870-74 (PROBABLY THE GOVT RES REPORTS?) section dated ? says he is happy to state he is at least located in the residence which will be completed in about a month, the stone hall in the centre 42’ x 21 will be used as a court house or for public purposes at other times as a drawing and dining room separated by a screen for the use of my family and in entertaining visitors
  • Other correspondence from Government Resident in 75-76 ...including a line in 76 saying “nearly every person in the Territory would go if it were convenient to do so.”
  • Correspondence from 1883

File 223

  • Photos dated August 1981 of trip to Bowen Straits, various relics etc, uncaptioned, accompanied by diary of trip by Darwin HISTORICAL SOCIETY AUG 10, 1981 ON YACHT LA BELEINE TO BOWEN STRAITS WITH LIST OF EOPLE GOING

File 224

  • Typed copy of From SA to Port Darwin with Sheep and Horses in 1870 by AC Ashwin Yelma Stn Darlot, WA

File 225

  • Paper by Rev Tom Fleming on History of Aboriginal Missions...57 foolscap pages

File 226

  • 25 page typed paper by PGE Albrecht on Hermannsburg A Meeting Place of Cultures: Personal Reflections

File 227

  • Copy of NT News supplement of Feb 8, 1982 on 30 years of colorful history of the News 1952-1982 including a facsimile copy of first edition of News featuring Queen Elizabeth

File 228

  • Article on The Outback in Life magazine Feb 5, 1968...including color photos

File 229

  • Douglas Fred’s Pass Reserve...Notes on the original Douglas of homestead of Michael Fleming who was buried there by Mrs Doris Wilson (after whom Dorisvale is named) in 1938 aged 82, one of Ragged 13 came from Illawarra district of Sydney and at Halls Creek gold rush...took up Illawarra on Armstrong River in 1880 near present Katherine Wave Hill road and was in partnership for awhile with Jim Campbell...etc.
  • Also a map of the area

File 230

  • Various articles and notes relating to Nemarluk, including note by Spillett from Margaret Widdup who said he died in gaol before the war and is supposed to be buried between fence of gaol and fence of Ross Smith airfield

File 231

  • Various materials relating to Broome including articles a book of pencil sketches by Bill Bresser with Introduction by Mary Durack
  • Broome Historical Society journal of 1975

File 232

  • Typed copy of 1982 List from Lands department on Place Names of NT

Files 233-35 not there

File 236

  • Notes, articles and correspondence regarding the history and conservation of Tea Tree Roadhouse

File 237 a and b

  • Copies of handwritten correspondence relating to East India Company and dating aback to 1700s and Dalrymple

File 238

  • Notes on 1876 attack on Barrow Creek Telegraph station, appear to be from PMG in Adelaide

No file 239-40

File 241

  • Notes and copy of large old map0 dealing with Dutch exploration of Australia before it was on the maps...handwritten notes from Peter Spillett

File 242


Last updated: 28 November 2017