Queenscliffe Maritime Museum president Les Dusting-Irving hoisting the Quarantine flag outside the closed Maritime Museum

Borough economy in quarantine

Times are tough in the borough. Shops have been forced to close, visitors have stopped coming, residents are in lockdown and the streets are deserted with people venturing out only for the essentials or to exercise.

Coronavirus is taking a toll on newspapers as advertising grinds to a halt. News is scarce with events and venues closed. Rural newspapers which have been at the heart of their communities, some for well over a century, are falling victim to the crippling effects of coronavirus. Under current conditions many newspapers are no longer viable.

Of course this has affected the Queenscliffe Herald’s capacity to provide the borough community with a free, monthly newspaper.I acknowledge the many locals, businesses, tourism operators, museums, the bakery, cafes and restaurants, pubs and eateries for their valued support over the past twenty years that helped make the Queenscliffe Herald a paper of merit. I thank the regular contributors to the paper for their input and consistently interesting articles.

Regional newspapers offer a regional, democratic voice and without it regional communities will lose the power to have any relevance.

I quote Grant Turner (The Independent) who has a strong interest in politics and fairness in society and believes in honest independent media. “At this time, please be smart, be caring and stay safe – and remember, we live in a society not an economy.”

The Queenscliffe Herald has every intention of continuing to produce a monthly paper when news and economic conditions warrant its publication. We can also be viewed online at www.queenscliffeherald.com.au

Carmel Murphy – Editor


The quarantine flag – a visible warning to stay clear

Also called the ‘Yellow Jack’ the quarantine flag is the international signal flag LIMA. The flag is flown from a ship that is either arriving in port with known serious health problems or placed under quarantine by local port authorities.

Once authorities have determined that the ship’s health problems have been resolved and removed the quarantine order, the ship may fly the free pratique flag, the international signal flag QUEBEC which is solid yellow.

The concept of quarantine is ancient and mentioned in the Old Testament. The term is derived from the practice of the city-state of Venice during the Middle Ages of requiring ships arriving from locations known to being experiencing diseases such as the plague to anchor or moor off the port for 40 days (quaranta giorni) so that any disease on board might run its course.

The practice of quarantine has varied over the centuries, but the concept of protecting public health by restricting the movement of individuals who are suspected of possibly harbouring serious disease has remained constant.