Festival news

Naming the Houtman Abrolhos Islands Project

July 6, 2019

Stories Behind the Names

‍Why Houtman Abrolhos? Why Pelsaert Island, Leo’s? Roma? Stick? Liddon? Rat? Half Moon Reef? Kelly’s Patch? etc.

What are the stories behind the names? Do you know?

We would love you to get involved with a name or a place and its story – even better if you have photos to go with it! Are there names you have wondered about? Can you suggest names for islands that don’t currently have one?400 years of history are captured in the names of the archipelago and in the names of the island groups, the individual islands and the many colloquial or local names given to places by those who frequent these waters and shores. All of these names have embedded stories to tell of people and of events and it is our aim to bring many of these to light during this 400th anniversary year.Over the coming days and weeks we are going to post on Facebook link here the progressively more detailed charts that have appeared, and the stories behind the names of today.

How you can get involved:

Send us an email with your place and its story – and pics if you have any.Put something up on our facebook page – “Houtman 400 celebrations”: https://www.facebook.com/Houtman400/?ref=br_rs Respond to posts on social media with your own story – or add more detail if you can.

Send us an email: bcmha@westnet.com.au  

Write us a letter : BCMHA PO Box 2537 Geraldton BATAVIA COAST Western Australia 6531

Here is the first chart:

Jodocus Hondius NOVA TOTIUS TERRARUM ORBIS GEOGRAPHICA AC HYDROGRAPHICA TABULA (1622-29). [Image courtesy of Kerry Stokes Collection]
This is the earliest chart to show the Houtman Abrolhos Islands drawn in early 1620 after Frederick de Houtman wrote back to the Netherlands about his close encounter with the islands on the night of the 29th of July 1619.