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Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour
The ruins of a convict prison building at Sarah Island
Sarah Island was established in the remote reaches of Macquarie Harbour in 1821. It was proposed by Lt Governor Sorell as a "place of banishment and security for the worst description of convicts". Sarah Island developed the reputation as one of the severest of the penal settlements established during the history of the island. Convicts laboured under the harshest conditions in the nearby rainforests, felling Huon pines for boat building.
For many men the burdens of Sarah Island were intolerable. During the early stages of the settlement, some convicts deliberately committed murder in order to be sent to the gallows and escape once and for all from the tortured lives they led at Sarah Island. The use of strict discipline and constant hard labour made it a place to be feared. The worse convicts were often chained to rocks on the considerably smaller nearby Grommet Island that was washed in sea spray in bad weather. These convicts had to endure the horrid cold outdoors without shelter and warm clothing.
The islands and outlying stations housed up to 385 male convicts. However, a few women convicts were also kept on Sarah Island to work as domestic servants for the officers and their wives. A system for classifying and organising the prisoners was developed and refined. Convicts were segregated into gangs of around 12 to 20 men, with each gang was under the charge of one or two constables.
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"Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering." 1 Peter 5:8-9 NET
Living a Sanctified Life
In the book of Romans the apostle Paul explains how every Christian can have victory over sin. Yet we misunderstand his message, and most Christians today believe they can only fully overcome the sin in their lives at the Resurrection when they are made perfect. I have prepared a study showing what St Paul really meant and how we can have full victory over sin in this life. Download a copy of this study and read it today.
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