ARNIE: Pearls and Luggers in the Torres Strait (Paperback Book)
Arnie Duffield, the “last man standing” from the halcyon days of the sailing luggers in Torres Strait has published his memoirs at 95. The master mariner and pioneer of the pearl culture industry arrived at Thursday Island in 1936, staying on for over 70 years.
It is an authentic story from an adventurous life during tumultuous times, about pearls from the sea, the boats, dangers of deep-sea diving, war on Australia’s doorstep, threats to the environment, the diverse people of the region. A yarn spinner, Arnie Duffield has filled it also with tales about crocodiles or sharks, drunks, bad weather at sea, a near-drowning and a few close shaves on bush air-strips. His book has a parallel story of change achieved by the Torres Strait Islander community, from ‘colonial’ times during his childhood to the moment of the Mabo decision on native title in 1992. His co-writer for the project is a younger cousin, Lee Duffield, a journalist.
Date Published: 6 January 2021