Lamb Island’s Pioneer Hall turns 100 this year - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Faith Rae (centre), who grew up on Lamb Island, at the Pioneer’s Hall. Photo: Supplied.


International Women’s Day seemed like the perfect date to hold our first activity – a high tea – to celebrate our Lamb Island Pioneer Hall turning 100 years old!

The Pioneer Hall was built in 1924 as a family home by Cecil Hine, who donated it to the Lamb Island Community for its use. We were very fortunate to have the pleasure of our special guest at the high tea, Mrs Faith Rae (nee Hine), who is Cecil Hine’s daughter, and grew up in the home until she left to work on the mainland at the age of 17.

Faith, at the wonderful age of 95-and-a-half, recalled her years and adventures on Lamb Island, and how the home went from two rooms to four to accommodate their growing family. Faith was very happy to see that her bedroom has become the Lamb Island Library, as she has always had a love of books and recalled sitting up in a tree at the front of her home, reading a book, hiding from the world.

Of the stories Faith shared with a smile was one about her younger years of primary school, which she attended on Russell Island. At that time there was a ‘school boat’, that would pick up children from Karragarra, Macleay and Lamb Islands, and deliver them to Russell each morning, returning them in the afternoon. Faith said they would dare not miss the boat as they would be in the bad books, so they kept to a personal timetable and enjoyed the boat ride.

When the boat driver retired there were a few months where there was no school boat to take the children to Russell, so they had to make other arrangements. For Faith, her brother and sister and other Lamb Island children, this meant an earlier morning and adventure. They would all walk to the jetty, where they would get into a canoe and row to Karragarra Island. After securing their canoes the children would walk across the island to the opposite side and south towards the Russell Island jetty. When they arrived, a small boat would meet them and take them to Russell Island where they would walk to the school. Talk about a day’s exercise before starting their day!

Tennis was a huge part of island life, with four tennis courts on Lamb Island and a friendly competition most weekends at one or another of the courts. The whole family was invited, with shared goodies; children gathering to play and explore, while the adults had time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. That was not to say the rivalry was not fierce!

At the time Faith was a child, there were still a few kangaroos and possums on Lamb Island. Currently there are no kangaroos, however, there has been a possum spotted a year or so ago, and many bandicoots still around.

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