Who is Patricia Cam?

Last week we celebrated (or commiserated depending on your point of view) Australia Day on January 26th.

I telephoned my daughter in the Northern Territory a few days beforehand and she responded with “ Can’t talk Mo. Off to a memorial service for the Patricia Cam”.

Who?

Thank goodness she later sent more information as I had been fearing the onset of Dementia having no inkling whatsoever of this Patricia person.

Turns out HMAS Patricia Cam was a merchant boat sunk off Nhulunbuy (which some of us grew up knowing as Gove) on the northern coast of the Northern Territory. It was bombed by a three seater twin floatplane from the Japanese Navel Arms 734th Kokatai on January 22nd, 1943.

Courtesy of Pastmasters Website noted below

In addition to the crew HMAS Patricia Cam carried a Methodist Reverend and five aboriginals, one being one of the native pilots who regularly assisted because of their knowledge of the unchartered reefs and shoals.

It’s an interesting story which you can read more about here :

https://www.pastmasters.net/hmas-patricia-cam.html

More importantly it’s another little piece of our history that only the inhabitants of that part of our country are aware of and nearly 80 years later it is history that has not been forgotten by the locals.

The memorial was constructed in 2017 and my daughter assures me that the service to this day remains well attended by descendants of those lost as well as military representatives.

NOTE :

East Arnham Land was on last years To Do List and we all know how that bombed. Recently released Australian movie High Ground was filmed in this beautiful but harsh landscape so this has been diarised for next week. Come a little closer – I have gossip: the word on the streets of Nhulunbuy is that actor Simon Baker will be fronting at the local footy ground where they’ll present the film. In today’s paper Baker has announced his divorce after 29 years of marriage and is said to be worth $50 million. I would suggest the Beauty Salon in Nhulunbuy is doing a roaring trade.



5 thoughts on “Who is Patricia Cam?

  1. Wow movie looks good, it’s on locally soon, I’ll have to try and get there.

    I havnt been to Nhulunbuy but it holds a special place in my heart thanks to family – thanks for sharing some history

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      1. Fx you get there before her time finishes.

        Yes enjoying establishing proper routine again, although shearing will throw that out the window again this week! 🐑

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  2. I just spent the last hour reading all the history and then looking up more to fill in some gaps in my knowledge… I hope the movie is available for release in the US – it looks very interesting! I had to laugh about your comment at the end – I bet the dress shops will be busy too!

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    1. Muri, Nhulunbuy is rural and remote. No dress shops. Food gets carried in by barge twice a week and if the weather is rough, as in cyclonic, there is no barge. Last Easter there were no hot cross buns until a fortnight after Good Friday by which time they were stale. My city daughter with her heels and pearls has had to learn to make her own fun – and she loves it:).
      Isn’t it wonderful how much we learn about the world from our blogger friends !

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