On Sunday 10th June 2012, our family gathered in Brisbane to celebrate our mother’s birthday (11th June), and to honour the first anniversary of our father’s death (21 April).
We chose CoochieMudlo Island, in Moreton Bay, as the place to hold a remembrance ceremony for Bill Dall.
Though CoochieMudlo was not part of our family history, the little bays and delightful walking trails were reminiscent of Noosa Heads, the scene of old family holidays.
And CoochieMudlo, being in Moreton Bay, was only a short boat ride from Cleveland and the laboratory which was the scene of Bill’s greatest professional achievements.
Sunday 10th June dawned as a bleak and unpromising day, with threatening rain – most unseasonal for sunny Queensland in winter.
There were the usual family discussions, but we agreed that we would continue as planned to Coochie, all well supplied with raingear and fortified against the wind.
High tide was not until early afternoon… and the wind made the currents in the water uncertain.
The rain did hold off…. the wind made waiting for the boat and our trek across the island rather bleak.
At the ferry stop on Coochie we paused for some rather bad coffee, and, duly fortified, headed off to the far side of the island – only a 30 minute walk.
We found a little spit protruding out into the bay, with rocks and mangroves, but with earth and sea and wind in balance – though not much fire was apparent in the environment!
It was a suitable spot for a one year farewell ceremony for William Dall.