Matthew Flinders simply called this island Number Five. It was John Oxley who gave it the name of Peel's Island, naming it after the Secretary of State for the Home Department in England, Sir Robert Peel. This son of a wealthy cotton manufacturer entered parliament as a Tory in 1809. His anti-Catholic attitude earned him the nick name of Orange Peel when he was Secretary for Ireland. As Home Secretary, he reorganized the London police and they came to be called 'bobbies' from that time on. As leader of his conservative party he became Prime Minsiter of Great Britain. He died in 1850 after being thrown from his horse. The Aboriginal name for this Moreton Bay island is variously given as Turkoorooa or
Chererooba. Over the years it has served as a quarantine station, a leprosarium and a home for alcoholics.
Prior to becoming the name of a township on the old Oakey-Cooyar railway line, Peranga was the name of an outstation on the great Rosalie Plains holding.
T.M.Burke Pty Ltd opened up the coastal strip between Coolum and Noosa when it was granted land in exchange for the building of roads. T.M. Burke himself started the Noosa Beach Estate project in 1928, but it floundered until revived by his son, Marcus (after whom Marcus Beach is named) as Sunshine Beach. Peregian Beach was opened up from 1958. It took its name from Mount Peregian nearby. In the Kabi Kabi language it meant emu, and there is nearby Emu Swamp, so the place probably got its name from the presence of a large number of emu in the area. Another theory is that it is derived from perridhan/jan, mangrove seeds. Later the same firm opened up the strip from Peregian to Coolum.
The name of this district near Nambour
comes from the Yugumbir people and refers to a species of pigeon.
Of the Petrie family, Tom is perhaps the best known today, for his reminiscences were written down by his daughter, Constance Campbell Petrie. The fourth son of Andrew and Mary, he was only a baby when they sailed for Australia in the
Stirling Castle in 1831. He was an eight-year-old boy when they arrived in Brisbane Town after some years spent in Sydney. He mixed with the convicts, not always with his parents' approval, but from boyhood he also mixed freely with the Aboriginal tribes-people around Brisbane, learning their language and respecting their customs. He came, in turn, to be respected and trusted by the Aboriginal people.
The Rev. J. D. Lang of Sydney was convinced that what Australia needed was hard-working, Protestant, free settlers, so he went to Britain to recruit suitable migrants, and among those who came out in 1831 were Andrew and Mary Petrie with their young family. He was engaged principally to help in the building of the Australian College in Sydney, another of Lang's schemes for the improvement of Australian society.
Although he went blind at the age of 50 he continued to keep control of the business until just a couple of years before his death at the age of 74. His granddaughter
desribed him as kind, although strict. He never smoked. In later life, he frequently suffered pain in his leg, the result of a youthful horse-riding accident back in Scotland, but he did not complain about it. Could get angry, but his anger was short-lived. He helped many with food and work when they were caught in hard times. Their home became one of the social centres for Brisbane. Out-of-town squatters and visitors, like Ludwig Leichhardt, found accommodation there.