1807 - 82

Giuseppe Garibaldi finds retreat at Three Hummock island

In Gough Whitlam's recent My Italian Notebook, he quotes from the autobiography of Guiseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary who established the modern Italian state. While in exile, Garibaldi traveled by boat between South America and Asia. On December 1852, he landed on Three Hummock island, north-western tip of Tasmania. Memory of this period lingered throughout his life and led to his purchase of his eventual retreat on the island of Caprera, off the coast of Sardinia.

"I returned in thought to that pleasant bay..."

We found a small farm lately deserted by an Englishman and his wife, on the death of his partner. This information we obtained from a board erected on the settler's grave, which set forth in brief the history of the little colony. 'The husband and wife', said the inscription, 'unable to bear the loneliness of the desert island, left it, and returned to Van Dieman.'

The most important part of the settlement was a little one-storied dwelling-house, rough, but comfortable, carefully built, and furnished with tables, beds, and chairs -- not luxurious, indeed, but all bearing the impress of that comfort which seems so natural to the English. We also found a garden -- a most useful, discovery, as it enabled us to take on board an abundant supply of fresh potatoes and other vegetables.

How often has that lonely island in Bass Strait deliciously excited by imagination, when, sick of this civilised society so well supplied with priests and police-agents, I returned in thought to that pleasant bay, where my first landing startled a fine covey of partridges, and where, amid lofty trees of a century's growth, murmured the clearest, the most poetical of brooks, where we quenched our thirst with delight, and found an abundant supply of water for the voyage.

Giuseppe Garibalide, quoted in Gough Whitlam My Italian Notebook , pp. 18-19