"The past does not lie down and decay like a dead animal. It waits for you to find it again and again." "The Gilda Stories" ~Jewelle Gomez

The arms for the city of Hobart were granted in May 1953. On the shield the red lion comes from Tasmania's flag badge, and also the crest of the State Arms.

The estoile recalls the arms of Captain James Cook, first European to reach the eastern coast of Australia, although Abel Tasman, a Dutchman, was the first to land in Tasmania.

The supporters are the same as those in the National Arms, although here they have changed sides, and are each looking over their shoulder. The chaplets of apples round their necks refer to the state's nickname 'the Apple Isle', as so many are grown in the Hobart district.

The ship on the crest is the Flying Childers, built in Hobart by John Watson in 1847. It was used as a whaling ship, then in coastal trading, and finally trading overseas until its loss in 1870. It represents the importance of shipping to Hobart's growth.

The waratah in the compartment is the species found in Tasmania, and is smaller than those on the mainland. The motto is derived from a line in Virgil's Georgics (second book, line 533). Where he describes a prosperous rural community: "Sic fortis Etruria crevit" (Thus mighty Etruria grew).

Heather Blakey
a descendent of Captain George Watson, who arrived in Hobart, from England, with his family, aboard The Resource in 1830. The Watson brothers had a significant impact on the development of the shipping industry in Tasmania.


It can feel as though material like this has just appeared, but the truth is that voices from the past insist upon being heard and other people have helped pass on their messages.

My thanks to the tireless Bill Kitson, from the former Lands Department in Queensland, who was responsible for sending me packing on a fabulous journey. He told me about Will Lawson who wrote the fascinating Blue Gum Clippers and this book served to fuel my interest. Special thanks to the librarian in the Queensland University Library who believed I was a relative and let me photocopy The Mountain Tops of Lemuria by George Chale Watson. And, more recently, thanks to Julian Alberricci, a descendant of John Watson, for making contact and injecting me with fresh enthusiam.


The Watson's

An Australian Story

James Hillman said that 'memory is a form of fiction...so we are very much a creation of the stories we tell ourselves' while Freud said that, 'it's how you remember, not what actually happened which is the issue. Our memory creates the trauma.'

This virtual journal, scrapbook, provides a vehicle for me to create a form of fiction and tell the stories I want to tell about my ancestors. It is my opportunity to reinvent myself, beginning long before my birth. For you see, I grew up with few stories to cling to, with little information to identify who I was.

I was oblivious to my rich maternal ancestory until 1988 when the Queensland Government were searching for a photo of my great grandfather. George Chale Watson was a prominent Queensland surveyor who worked with the group who marked the N.S.W. and Qld. border. He was a prolific writer and his journals offer fascinating threads linking me back to Van Dieman's Land and Beverly, England.

Holocaust survivors, indigeneous people torn from their families know all too well the pain that comes when you do not know your heritage, when you have no laws set down by forefathers to guide you in your life. A windfall, a chance of fate perhaps, but since my great grandfather was such a lyrical writer I am now able to pour through his writing and retrace the past, walk the old pathways and seek my origins. It is like finding a treasure trove.

If I can restore the past and rescusitate my ancestors and permit them to breathe life they will fill me with pride, a sense of place and just possibly provide fresh directions.

When I have pieced the china back together again, I will be able to display the beautiful patterns and images that depict their lives .

From England to Van Dieman's Land

From Beverly Yorkshire
Shipbuilding Family
Legendary Tasmania Shipping Family

Captain George Watson - The Sea Captain

Captain George Watson - Harpoonist

John Watson - The Shipbuilder


George Chale Watson

Hobart, Launceston to Echuca, Victoria
Staking a claim in Queensland
Roads and Railways

Surveyor Lands Department Queensland
Teacher, Journalist
Seven Years in the Never Never
Co-operative Farming Lake Weyba

Sophie E. Watson (wife of George Chale Watson)


Mountain Tops of Lemuria

An Introduction
Kanakas - A Remnant of Lemuria
Tanna - Port Resolution

Blood Stained Shores of Erromanga
Harvest of Reprisals and Revenge
Engaging in Trade - Returning Islanders
All the cannibal appointments for a feast...

We found the natives very friendly and peaceable...
the Aoba chief gave the signal for attack

to return to our wounded sailors

...custodian of the islands

Heather Blakey

Heather Blakey is a direct descendent of Captain George Watson who arrived in Hobart, from England, with his family, aboard The Resource in 1830.
Billabong Dreaming is a place where she has gathered material about her family and homeland of Australia.

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