This park was the site of one of the island’s two main oyster camps. While the first oystermen and lime burners set up camp anywhere, by the late 1880s they were encouraged to camp in various reserves that were set up around the bay. Some reserves, such as that at Currigee on Stradbroke Island, grew into mini townships, but most were modest affairs that have long since disappeared.
Pat’s Park should perhaps be more correctly known as Pott’s Park as it was the camp of oysterman J Potts in the 1890s. Today it is the site of dawn services on Anzac Day. It is also a popular picnicking and swimming place as it has the only netted swimming enclosure on the island.
For some time in the 1800s the island was called Tim Shea’s Island after a convict who lived on the island for more than a decade. The current name was given by surveyor James Warner who named the island after Alexander Macleay who was the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales from 1825 to 1837. The island has a rich history of the Aboriginal/indigenous peoples presence with middens and stone fish traps still found on the island.
For a time, the island was widely known as Tim Shea’s Island. Timothy Shea was Irish convict transported in 1826, arrived Moreton Bay July 1827, escaped from Dunwich and lived on Thompson’s Point near a water hole for 12-14 years. In 1851 he was imprisoned again. An 1865 map shows subdivision on Macleay Island allowing for roads, wharves and reserves for aboriginal sites, including Corroboree Point. Well known as an important aboriginal site right from beginning, Corroboree Point was camp of oysterman Thomas Lucas.
In 1865 the first lease-holder was Robert Perkins Campbell, son of Tinker Campbell. He took up leases under coffee and sugar regulations. Tinker Campbell set up a salt-works on Pininpinin Point, on southern tip of the island c1866 – now Cliff Terrace. He made no money, and possibly it was a front for a rum distillery. The Campbell family owned the whole island at this stage, and used South Sea Island (Kanaka) labour to build his enterprises. https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/info/20125/our_suburbs_and_islands/167/macleay_island