Pialba All Blacks History Uncovered

Article excerpt

The Pacific Islander labour trade had operated to supply labour for the Queensland sugar growers from 1863 until 1906-08 when most labourers were deported under the White Australia policies of the new Commonwealth Parliament.

So the names of Gala, Tanna and Ambrym can be found on a map of the Solomon Islands or the newly created country of Vanuatu.

During the Blackbirding times Vanuatu was named the New Hebrides. The Islanders sensibly had adopted the name of their home island when forced by Queensland authorities to have a surname.

Pacific Islanders who had lived in Australia for over 20 years, owned land or were married to a natural-born British subject were exempted from deportation. Jack Gala had married an Annie Maude Morris, a Fraser Island Aboriginal woman, so he was exempted. Jack's sons in the Pialba All Blacks team were all born in Queensland. Herbie Tanna was born in Queensland in 1911. He was the son of Moses Tanna and Mary Gala.

Alf Dow was to become a stalwart of the Congregation Church in Pialba according to Robin Wells' book In the Tracks of a Rainbow. He was born in 1906 and was the son of Robert Dow and Susie. There is no recorded surname for his mother in the records contained in the Queensland Pioneers Index. …