by Bob Norson
I have found that it is the rare cruiser
that cares much for the goings on in Hollywood or the latest
theory on the demise of Dianna, but mention Percy Island and
everyone has an opinion or interest of some kind. Besides the
physical beauty of the place, the richness in the characters
that have left their marks there perhaps keeps the interest going.
Whatever it is there is no denying the impact our feature in
# 6 has had on the coast. The requests for back copies of that
issue have nearly depleted the supply. We are down to a dozen
or so and when they are gone we will only be able to provide
copies off our A3 printer (expensive!) or order a whole new print
run (more expensive!). Having said all that, it would be very
helpful to have read that account prior to this small piece.
Ask around if you haven't. I know there are a bunch of hoarders
out there with TCP shoved into dry corners of the boat
you ask really nice maybe
The information in this article is based
on an interview with Cathryn Radclyffe, Andrew Martins cousin,
carer in his last years and apparently, executor and beneficiary
from his last Will and Testament.
Cathryn was very young when Andy visited
her family home in England and has little recollection of those
days. As she grew older Andy had made the move to Australia.
She was impressed by his family reputation that she recalls from
her teenage years, He was romantically mysterious.
He had won a medal in the Olympics for the Pentathlon in the
forties and later had become the black sheep of the family,
a title that passed to her, she remembers with some pride. When
her mother died in 1982 she wrote to Andy at this wonderful,
mysterious Percy Island. They exchanged letters about the
new testament of the Bible, a subject that Andy encouraged. It
was 1987 before Cathryn finally made it to Percy Island. She
stayed the 90 days her visa allowed. Her first experience at
west Bay was a common and enchanting one as she disembarked from
the supply boat to join a German couple on the beach for a fish
meal near the A frame while she waited for Andy to show. Cathryn
visited again in 1994 and soon after married a local yachty and
acquired Australian citizenship. From 1998 and onward Cathryn's
contacts with Andy were often to assist Andy in his comings and
Goings as he travelled extensively to try to teach his interpretations
of the bible. Andy was of the belief that the cities would fall
and that people needed to learn to become self sufficient in
food production to survive. During these times, however, Andy
was dependent on those around him even to arrange coach travel
and make phone calls according to Cathryn. He was getting
his God and his Devil confused at times.
At the time of the sale of the island in
2001, Cathryn reports that Andy told her that he had sold the
island for hundreds of thousands of dollars to a business
man who reminds me of myself when I was young. Later that
year Andy made his way to the island again. Cathryn was surprised,
she said, when she got a call from England not long after. Apparently
Andy was transported off the island and flown there, where a
friend had called Cathryn to inquire of finances to support him
in the B&B where he was staying. This is the time that Cathryn
says she began her inquires at Andy's behalf and discovered that
Andy had not received vast sums of money but only $10 for the
Percy Island lease. Andy returned from
England in a real state said Cathryn, a miracle
they allowed him on the plane. Andy was taken to hospital
where Cathryn reports that after just a few days of medication
his memory returned and his general health improved. By January
2003 Cathryn had quit her job and became a carer for Andy. Andy
died May 3rd 2003.
THE LEGAL MESS
Cathryn Radclyff alleges that Andy was duped into making the
sale of the island with false promises. Andy was supposed to
have told her that he was promised hundreds of thousands
of dollars that she claims he did not get. There was also
a Land Rover that was to be given to Andy that didn't happen.
Cathryn said that Andy had never received the car and when asked
about it Mick cotter had told her that the car had to be returned
because the windows leaked. Cathryn went on to describe a document
that Andy said he had received as assurance from M. Cotter that
the island would be looked after to Andy's satisfaction. That
being an undated contract to sell the island back to Andy for
the same $10. Cathryn said that During Andy's last trip to the
island he found the island in decay and wanted to buy
the island back but was refused. Cathryn reported that Andy had
many conversations with her where he expressed his regret over
having made the deal with M. Cotter and is supposed to have told
her that he had been misinformed concerning the Hicklings and
wished to make amends with them by rewarding them for their years
of work on the island.
I have received via fax, documents supplied
by Cathryn Radclyff that do seem interesting. One is a TRANSFER
document, filled out with the legal description of Middle Percy
Island and listing M. Cotter as the Transferor and Andrew Martin
as the Transferee for a consideration of $10. The
document has the initials MJC written as the transferor's signature.
There are no other signatures on the document, including witnesses.
A faxed copy of a document from the Supreme
Court of Queensland and bearing its stamp, grants probate of
Andy's will and recognises Cathryn as executor of the estate.
And now the important part
will. The faxed copy I have received, bearing the stamp of the
court, acknowledges Cathryn Radclyff as Executor and Trustee.
Item three of the Will reads; I devise and bequeath the lease
of Middle Percy Island
To my cousin Cathryn Alice Radclyff
absolutely on success of the civil proceedings against Michael
Cotter including all monies owed by Michael Cotter to myself
for all the damages caused by his actions and loss of income
.. Other items in the will deal with the monies expected
to be derived from the civil proceedings against Michael
Cotter. The will has been witnessed by persons that I have
spoken to and have confirmed the document as authentic.
Item #10 reads; I wish my body to be cremated
and buried at my home, the HOMESTEAD at MIDDLE PERCY ISLAND,