The small island of Waiben was annexed by Queensland on 19th July,1877 and renamed Thursday Island. It and the other islands of the Torres Strait had absorbed Asian migrants for centuries. By Federation, Thursday Island had the greatest variety of coloureds in all of Australasia. 

 Japanese Women

Japanese Men

By Federation, the Japanese had gained complete control of ship building and repairing and had a strong position in owning luggers, the number of divers and in the business and professional sectors of Thursday Island life. They exceeded Europeans in number. There was also a large uncounted transient population on the luggers and on the many other islands in the Straits.

An extensive infra-structure serviced this population: Japanese stores, boarding houses, bath houses, interpreters, refreshment rooms, laundries and even a sauce factory. So prevalent was Japanese culture on the island that some Chinese wore the formal Japanese white tunic instead of the tradition Chinese one for portraits.




Mathew Garr

Name: Garr, Mathew.

Also known as: Gar, Matthew.

Rank: Private

Service Number: 428

Place of Birth: Thursday Island (Qld.)

Cultural heritage: Filipino

Next of Kin: Fanny Garr - Wife ; Bathurst Island Mission, N.T.

Biographical notes: Son of Carlos and Mary. William Gar (Garr), 1024 and Glamor Garr (Gar), 4417, Palencio Gar (Garr) – Brothers. Palencio enlisted Darwin, 20 September 1915, discharged from the army 16 May 1916 and Maria - Sister.

Occupation: Labourer

Date of Enlistment: 06 October 1915.

Age at Enlistment: 26

Place of Enlistment: At Sea.

Unit: 41st Battalion, B Company

Service: Australian Imperial Force

Date of Death: 29 September 1917.

Memorials: Darwin Cenotaph.

Memorials: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Belgium)

Service History: Matthew Gar left Darwin with the Fourth Contingent, October 1915. He embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A64 'Demosthenes' on the 18 May 1916; disembarked England, 20 July 1916. Found guilty, at sea, 22 June 1916, of breaking away from quarters: forfeited 28 days pay and fined 3/- expenses. Proceeded overseas to France, 30 September 1916; taken on strength, 47th Bn, 17 October 1916. Admitted to 38th Casualty Clearing Station, 16 November 1916 (pyrexia); transferred to 10th General Hospital, Rouen, 19 November 1916; to 2nd Convalescent Depot, 23 November 1916; discharged to Base Details, 25 November 1916; joined 4th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 27 November 1916. Admitted to 24th General Hospital, 14 December 1916 (mumps); transferred to 26th General Hospital, 19 December 1916 (tonsilitis); to 18th General Hospital, Camiers, 24 December 1916 (suspected mumps); to 6th Convalescent Depot, 13 January 1917; to England, 17 February 1917, and admitted to Norfolk War Hospital, Norwich, 20 February 1917; to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Southall, 5 March 1917; discharged on furlough, 6 March 1917, to report to Wareham Command Depot, 21 March 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 29 April 1917; rejoined 47th Bn, 4 May 1917. Killed in action, Belgium, 29 September 1917.

Genealogical Society NT Pioneer Register: 2089

Related link: Australian War Memorial : Photograph
Battle scarred : the 47th Battalion in the first World War by Craig Deayton. Newport, N.S.W. : Big Sky Publishing, 2011.
Commonwealth War Graves - Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial - Matthew Garr
Embarkation Roll - HMAT A64 'Demosthenes'
Farewell Smoke Social Programme, Fourth Contingent, October 1915.
Nominal Roll
Roll of Honour
Service Record
Unit War Diary

Carlos GAR

Birth 1850 in Dinagot, Cebu, Philippines Death 16 Feb 1931 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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Carlos Gar

Birthdate: 1850 Birthplace: Cebu City, Central Visayas, Philippines Death: Died February 16, 1931 in Darwin, NT, Australia Immediate Family:

Son of Oulyincis Ga and Estild Ga
Husband of Mary Ann Gar
Father of Mary Espanies Gar; Mary Elizabeth Gar; Guillermo Glamor Gar; Rebecca Gar; Simplicia Elsie Gar and 2 others

Managed by: Terence Maxwell JenkinLast Updated:February 19, 2015

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Carlos Gar's Timeline



Birth of Carlos

Cebu City, Central Visayas, Philippines



Age 34

Birth of Mary Elizabeth Gar

Thursday Island, QLD, Australia


March 26, 1888

Age 38

Birth of Mary Espanies Gar

Thursday Island, QLD, Australia


September 22, 1893

Age 43

Birth of Guillermo Glamor Gar

Thursday Island, QLD, Australia


May 6, 1895

Age 45

Birth of Rebecca Gar

NSW, Australia


April 21, 1897

Age 47

Birth of Nuselma (Zelma) Quick

Thursday Island, QLD, Australia


September 28, 1900

Age 50

Birth of Simplicia Elsie Gar

Thursday Island, QLD, Australia


October 15, 1902

Age 52

Birth of Thresa Gar

Thursday Island, QLD, Australia


February 16, 1931

Age 81

Death of Carlos

Darwin, NT, Australia


Marriage of Carlos to Mary Ann Gar

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