Thursday 13 June 2019
Photos by Donna
Twelve walkers joined Bev for a lovely day walking around Broulee Island in search of the historic grave of Elizabeth Malebar. The walk commenced at Broulee Surf Club and made its way around the island. After a morning tea stop, we made our way up the short climb onto the island proper. Parts of the island are very overgrown however the excellent navigational skills of Bev ensured that the grave was promptly located.
Elizabeth Malebar was the wife of Abraham Malebar who moved produce on punts down the Moruya River to ships anchored in Broulee harbor. The grave consists of a sandstone headstone and a sandstone footstone. It is surrounded by a chain link fence which was erected by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1972. The grave has regional significance as it is one of only a few known graves of its age in the South Coast region. It is the only marked grave on the island. The inscription reads ‘Sacred to the memory, Elizabeth Malebar, died 27 June 1842, aged 45 years. Wife of Abraham Malebar.’
Due to being the only harbor used between Wollongong and Eden, Broulee Island was quite the hub. About a year prior to Elizabeth’s death, the Erin Go Bragh Inn (meaning Ireland Forever) was built on the island. In the 1850’s, after the gold rush period, the number of residents in Broulee reduced significantly so the inn was disassembled and rebuilt in Moruya. It was purchased by Abraham Emmott in 1859 and named Merlyn House. It was used as a residence for over 100 years but was unfortunately demolished in 1978 to make way for new buildings.
After circumnavigating the top of the island we had a lovely lunch on north Broulee beach and returned to the Surf Club. The history of Broulee Island is an interesting and historical one and it was a pleasure to be able to spend some quality time there which everyone enjoyed.