Elaine Forrestal

The Ever-present Black Jack Anderson

Covers created by students after Black Jack Anderson treasure hunt workshop.

It’s almost as if he wants to tell us something.

Ever since 1835 Black Jack Anderson seems to have been hovering somewhere around the south coast of Western Australia, biding his time, waiting until the coast is clear, then popping up and demanding to tell his story. First in a newspaper article as early as 1846. Then in a series of articles in a magazine, the first in 1957. Later in my book, Black Jack Anderson, first published in 2008 by Penguin Books Australia. As part of the launch of the book by the then Premier of WA, Alan Carpenter, there was a display of artefacts collected from Middle Island during an archaeological dig carried out by the WA Maritime Museum.  The next year there was an extensive display in the Library at Great Southern Grammar. There have also been two documentaries made for TV, and a radio program aired on the ABC, Esperance.

Meanwhile Black Jack has been haunting Dolly Pettit’s house, which was Kooka’s Restaurant for many years and is now part of the Albany Historical Precinct. And this week our only pirate has raised his head again. Obviously there is more information about him on the internet these days, but this week I am delighted to hear from Robert Vanover, Supervising Producer of Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown. 

Welcome aboard, Robert! If nothing else we are in for an interesting voyage to the Southern Ocean.