The Original and Staying FREE!


 The Percy Island Saga continues..... From TCP issue # 9

 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….if 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.

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… Andy's 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, Queensland Australia.