When our Southern Moreton Bay Islands – Macleay, Karragarra, Russell and Lamb – were first subdivided for residential living, many of the people who came to live here were to some extent ‘pioneering’ – and consequently doing it kinda tough in terms of infrastructure and services. Up to four decades later, some people on the nearby mainland (who’ve probably never actually been out here) still think of the islands as some kind of underprivileged third-world place to live. Recent negative comments by one such uninformed mainlander precipitated an online response elsewhere from one islander, writing not just about Macleay Island where she lives, but encompassing features of all four islands:
“Speak to islanders who know from experience of living here. I’ve been here for twenty-five years and adore the island and its residents. Everyone that I’ve experienced is friendly, caring and helpful. In our community we all wave to each other and call each other on first name basis. We have educated, caring, hardworking, honest, house-proud residents here. There is so much to do. We have blue care, a men’s shed, over 70s social group, bloomers social group, karate, gym, fitness club, walking groups, dancing, golf, lawn bowls, karaoke, boat club, canoe racing, dragon boat racing, kayak hire, swimming, a belly dancing group, table tennis, art group, craft group, gardening groups. We also have licensed clubs and a pub (all with great entertainment), coffee shops, restaurant, pizza delivery services, Chinese restaurant, fish ’n’ chip eatery, Japanese cuisine, two bakeries, three supermarkets, bank branches, chemists, gift shop, hairdressers, massage therapists, doctors, dentist, vet, wildlife carers, denture specialists, pathology, podiatry, physiotherapy, acupuncture, naturopaths, domestic violence support, meditation, yoga, tai chi, bridge, bingo, darts, ukulele group, choir, library, markets, Lions club, SES, resident police, paramedics complete with 24-hour ambulance boat and emergency chopper access, taxi services, child care, preschool, primary schools, church groups, drama groups, amazing artists and talented musicians, conservation groups, youth groups, community services, an op shop, real estate agents, post offices, hardware, tool hire service, organic farm, garden nursery, weekend market, and much more. A trip to the mainland takes as little as twenty minutes, so we are far from isolated. Our elderly have community transport to take them to mainland medical appointments, and we have co-ordinated bus services at the mainland marina. Our island services are improving all the time.”
The above is only part of her rather extensive response, and I’ve taken the liberty of editing it slightly to post here, but I think it presents a fairly comprehensive list of what our islands now have to offer.