Port of Pearls by Hugh Edwards

A story celebrating a 100+ years of story and adventure filled existence. Its story is inseparable from the fortunes of pearling, and indeed the graves of more than 900 divers and crew hands in the towns Japanese cemetery testify to the awful perils that go hand in hand with the lure of riches from the sea. Cyclones, sharks, and other natural hazards have shared their victims with the “bends”, the dreaded decompression sickness which accounted for an appalling death rate among early divers. Hugh Edwards, well know Western Australian writer and diver, brings to the story of Broome a special understanding that makes for compelling reading. But there is much more to this book than pearls and diving.

Broome’s past is a rich tangle of cosmopolitan unique in Australia, racial exploitation and smoldering tensions, greed and theft, experiment and disaster, discovery and loss – all entangled with a larger than life characters and incidents funny, dramatic, mysterious and tragic.

I purchased this book whilst I lived in Broome in the early 90’s and it gave such a historical insight into the history of this amazing place. Great read and highly recommend.

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