by BENNY ALCORN and CAROLYN SLADE
Genealogy Sunshine Coast
In early settlement days the islands in the Maroochy River became home for both men and goats. The Indigenous people set up only temporary encampments on Channel and Goat islands because the islands flooded in wet seasons.
In the 1880s Charles and Maggie Brown, who rafted logs from Yandina to Eudlo Creek and Cotton Tree, set up camp on a small island near Chambers Island. Named Lion Island by the local residents, a raging torrent in the early decades of the 20th century washed it away.
William Godfrey then found Channel Island the ideal place to set up camp when he was netting fish in the river.
But where do goats come into the picture? William Parsons took advantage of the fresh water in the middle of Channel Island to pasture the herd of goats he kept to make cheese and provide fresh meat. They were safe from foxes and dingoes. When he left the banks of the river for Eudlo Flats, he took the goats with him.
But these were not the last goats to make the island home. In 1916, Sandy MacNab’s goats were making a nuisance of themselves at Yandina. Two enterprising men punted them downstream and left them on the island. The goats’ stay was short; at the first high flood they were swept over the Maroochy River bar and out to sea.
Information from People of Maroochy. For more on Genealogy Sunshine Coast visit facebook.com/gscnambour.