Cable stations

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  • Published 20140129
  • ISBN: 9781922182241
  • Extent: 300 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook
Here in the womb of the world – here on the tie-ribs of earth
Words, and the words of men, flicker and flutter and beat
Warning, sorrow and gain, salutation and mirth
Rudyard Kipling, 1902 


‘WANTED, BOYS FIFTEEN years of age to learn submarine telegraphy and serve overseas.’ This type of advertisement attracted young men to serve in the Pacific Cable Board’s (PCB) network of stations across the Pacific. Among them my great-grandfather, David Cuthbert, and my grandfather, Robert Cuthbert, who worked as cable operators, with David becoming a manager. The peregrinations of this cable family took them from Tobermory, Scotland, to Ballenskelligs in Ireland. From the snow in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Bamfield, Canada, then later to the warmer climes of Southport in Queensland, Norfolk Island, Fiji and strangest of all, Fanning Island, nearly 2,000 kilometres from Honolulu.

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About the author

Lynne McDonald

Lynne McDonald studied Pacific history to Masters level at the University of Auckland, where one of her lecturers encouraged to use her family ties...

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