A brief history



Photo gallery

Did you know?

The Quiz

Activities for schools

St Helena today


Book sale

St Helena souvenirs

Photo gallery

St Helena Island Prison… a tropical paradise?

Palm trees

Down through the years, there were those who saw St Helena Island, as a prison, to be a wonderful place – and this photograph would add support to their argument:

St Helena is admitted by all prison authorities who visit it to be an ideal location for a prison. Here with its beautiful surroundings, and an environment which must have an uplifting character… Here under the blue sky, the unfortunate offender can be brought back to a path of rectitude and honesty under the most favourable conditions.

– Home Secretary Appel, 1911

The prisoners at St Helena live in a perfect paradise. In fact they often want to get back there.

– Parliamentarian, 1905

It looks to me as if St Helena is the only happy place in Queensland where there are no strikes and no complaints. I envy the men down there. It makes me feel inclined to commit some depredation so that I can get down there and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere on the island.

– Parliamentarian, 1916

The criminals of the State may congratulate themselves upon the happy location of their gaol… One might imagine, as the bright golden sunshine rested upon this lovely spot, that it was almost a remnant of Old Eden.

– The Australian Christian World, 1908

Not all would agree with such sentiments.

Previous photograph Next photograph