Torres Strait Signals Office

Thursday Island Post Office

Radar/signal station
North and Cape York

Douglas Street, Thursday Island 4875

The first postmaster Edmonds Leechmere Brown took up his appointment in 1878 in the Court House, until the new post office was built on the current site in 1887. The current building was constructed in 1934, and has only slightly altered since then.

In 1887, the post office was linked with Cape York and Cooktown through an underwater submarine cable laid by the vessel Recorder.

During World War Two, the Torres Strait Signals, Thursday Island used the Post Office as their mail room and switchboard. A vital part of the signallers equipment, was the switchboard, on Thursday Island the Switchboard Universal Call 10 Line was installed which was introduced as field exchanges for forward troops. When a person wanted to make a call, he/she pushed the buzzer, causing the circuit to complete through a relay unit to the switchboard on which his indicator light was activated. Whilst this equipment was fairly sophisticated, it did not cope well with adverse conditions. After the war’s conclusion the post office resumed its civilian role.


Vanessa Seekee Torres Strait Heritage