Announcement 1

Given the heartening way in which my paper, “Life-world of exclusion: Racial hermeneutics of the Quarters for Asiatics, North Head Quarantine Station” was received at the very recent quarantine project conference held in the former First Class Precinct at North Head Quarantine Station, this blog will now expand its scope to cover all quarantine stations, in the West as well as in the East. Conference delegates from Japanese universities commented to me personally that my paper had opened the door for comparative quarantine studies linking Australia to its Asian neighbours. 

As of today – the fifth anniversary of my near-death experience which on one level had to do with the North Head Quarantine Station – I am changing the tagline of my blog from Interpretations of North Head Quarantine Station to Interpretations of North Head and other quarantine stations, in Australia and overseas. This is going to be a long-term project which hopefully will result in a book. 

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Stanley Herbert Young in quarantine

Stanley Herbert Young, born in Glen Innes in 1905 in a Chinese family, was in quarantine at North Head when he returned from China some time in 1911, when he was a six-year-old boy: he had just spent two years in Guangdong province. Young did not elaborate more on his experience in quarantine in his two-page autobiographical description of himself, written in 1989, which is accessible at University of New England Professor Janis Wilton’s Golden Threads website at http://hosting.collectionsaustralia.net/goldenthreads/stories/k&ks.html. Nor was it mentioned which steam ship he travelled on. In any case, it would be unlikely that Young was an unaccompanied minor upon his return to Australia.  

Examination of contemporary newspaper articles points to the possibility that the Young (Kwan) family travelled on SS Eastern, which was quarantined at North Head on 12 October 1911 due to a case of smallpox on board.