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Sammy Bell (Boama)

Boama, also known as Sammy Bell, worked for the Redcliffe pioneer Harriet Bell.

Mrs Bell a landowner, encouraged local aboriginals to camp and hunt on her land at the mouth of Bells Creek.

Boama lived at Woody Point, gathering and selling oysters and crabs from the seashore, to locals and visitors. He also entertained visitors who came to the Peninsula via the Steamer, at the Woody Point Jetty by singing for pennies.

A photo of Sam Bell (Boama) from the George Mewes book "All In One Camera Mans Lifetime"

Caption: "King Sam otherwise Sammy Bell, When King Fred died Sam took the title of King, he died in 1913. There is a memorial stone in the Redcliffe Cemetery"

Sam Bell passed away on Sunday morning February 2nd 1913 and is buried in the Redcliffe Cemetery.


Brisbane Courier Tuesday 4th February 1913:

"Death of a well known Aboriginal:

Mr F Bell writes : Sir: A very old identity passed away in his camp at Woody Point on Sunday morning last. He went by the name "Sam Bell the blackfellow". He had lived on Woody Point for about 30 years and during that time occupied himself by getting oysters and crabs for the residents and visitors. On the arrival and departure of the Steamer 'Emerald' Sam would always be seen amusing the visitors with his known songs and "dancing" for the pennies and small change which were thrown him from the steamer. In 1873 in his younger days he accompanied an exploring party consisting of Messrs. Williams, Pillow, Knight, Birkbeck and Poingdestre in the wild North Queensland. Afterwards he became a black trooper and tracker at the time when the late Mr G.P.M. Murray was in charge. The poor fellow had been ailing for the last six months. During his long career in Woody Point we was very well liked both by residents and visitors".


The Woody Point Progress Association created a monument on his grave at the Redcliffe Cemetery, in the form of a tree with cut branches. It reads " A tribute from Woody Point friends to the memory of Sammy Bell (Boama) Who died on February 2nd 1913. The Last Of His Tribe"

Redcliffe Cemetery Location: Memorial ID: 140867997

  • Brisbane Telegraph July 12th 1949 Memorial to Sammy:

First Nations Toora Kerry Kerry/Humpybong/Redcliffe history and place names click on the following LINK


Sammy Bell (Boama) is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:

A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.

For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post:

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