Telescope from the barque Africaine donated to Kangaroo Island

HISTORICAL TELESCOPE: KI pioneer descendant Maxeen Mason hands over the telescope from the Africaine to museum committee chairperson Lesley Walker.
HISTORICAL TELESCOPE: KI pioneer descendant Maxeen Mason hands over the telescope from the Africaine to museum committee chairperson Lesley Walker.

Hope Cottage Museum recently had a visit from Maxeen Mason, the great-great-grandaughter of Jeremiah Calnan.

Maxeen brought with her the telescope that Jeremiah Calnan brought out on the barque Africaine. 

The family decided to donate it to the museum before it became an unknown relic. 

Jeremiah Calnan came to Kangaroo Island on the barque Africaine in November 1836.

Two of Jeremiah’s sons, Charles and Michael went to Bendigo in the 1850s, returning with enough gold to build the three almost identical cottages, Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Hope Cottage is now the National Trust Museum.

Maxeen was slightly late in arriving at the museum after spending two hours at the hospital as a result of a bump to the head from a very a friendly dog on the ferry ride over.

The dog was young kelpie belonging to an Island local and was on a lead at the time. 

The dog’s owner says Maxeen bent down towards him and began patting him from the other side of the table. He became excited and  jumped up at her stiking her in the nose with his head.

The nose bridge of her glasses had made a cut across her nose and the dog’s owner stayed with Maxeen making sure she was okay and there were no ill feelings.​

Maxeen took it in her stride, much as her ancestors must have coped back in the early days.

According to the KI Pioneers Association, the three-mast barque "Africaine" (316 tons) departed London on June 28, 1836, arrived Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, on November 4, 1836, with 100 passengers and crew under the command of captain John Finlay Duff. 

Jeremiah Calnan was born 1797 in County Cork, Ireland and died Feb 1837 in Encounter Bay.

He married Mary Ann Bow on September 24, 1820 in St Matthew, Bethnal Green, London. She was born 1804 in Ireland and died Aprril 12, 1883 in Yorketown, SA.

Jeremiah Calnan was buried in February 1837 near the Bluff, Kingscote. 

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