Extraordinary photos of Coastal Life – Pearling Luggers and more

My friend Peter Hyndman (architect, boat builder, photographer, artist – someone has to get all the short straws) has been putting an amazing set of boat and boating life photos up on flickr.

He grew up on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait in the ’50s when the Pearling Industry was still in existence.

Torres Strait is a long way from anywhere but itself. It is on the Northern tip of Australia between us and New Guinea.

His Dad was posted with the Bureau of Meteorology, but also was a keen amateur photographer (similar to Peter) and a top cricket player (I have seen Peter run away from those hard, heavy and fast moving balls).

But these sets of photos … if you love boats … you will love these snapshots of an amazing period in Australian history.

Peter has been slowly scanning them and getting them up on the net.

Peter’s Torres Strait, Pearling, Thursday Island, Lugger Pictures

The rare thing about these pics is the strong feeling of Peter’s father watching all of this and being as amazed as we are now. Not detached “documentary” style photos at all … perhaps they the best type of photo for getting the feeling of why and how people were doing these things.

The pictures cover daily life among the working boats, the diving gear and working conditions, how people relaxed.

And the BOATS … the BOATS!!!

Looks like everyone’s idea of “Tropical Paradise”.

It documents some of the life on the Missions and also the cooking of a turtle.

Thankyou Peter for making this effort.

Where could we find anything else like this?

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2 thoughts on “Extraordinary photos of Coastal Life – Pearling Luggers and more

  1. Hi I saw that in the website above are a lot of old photos from the 1950’s would you have more on the pearling luggers. I’m trying to find a photo of my late father in law Mr Lui Nomoa I’m not quite sure which lugger he worked on. Maybe you might know someone I could contact in regards to this.


    • Hi Chantelle,

      I don’t know if my friend Peter can help – he was only a little boy when he lived in the area. The photos were taken his late father but he remembers the boats. Maybe he will know something.

      I will send him an email asking him to contact you.

      Some of the museums are interested in his photos to add to their collections. Ask him which museums are collecting the pearling info – then you can contact them as well. They will have more probably.

      They are wonderful photos aren’t they!

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