Rowe Island

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An island in the Indian Ocean. Rowe Island is not its real name, it is referred to thus by Michael C. Moorcock. The nearest port is probably Jakarta.

A great wedge of volcanic rock, roughly 12 miles long and 5 miles wide it is 1500 miles from anywhere. Mining is its only industry, although it is thickly wooded in places. The main employer on Rowe Island is the Weiland Rock Phosphate Mining Company in which M. C. Moorcock had a 'small interest'.

The population is mainly made up of Malay and Chinese laborers and their families. It was while here, taking a rest cure in the Royal Harbour Hotel - the finest hotel on the island, run by Minheer Olmeijer, that Moorcock met Oswald Bastable and heard the tale of the Warlord of the Air.

It is described thus in The Steel Tsar: "Rowe Island was discovered in 1615 by the British explorer Richard Rowe. In 1887 it was found to contain formations of almost pure calcium and in 1888 the island was annexed by Great Britain. That year the first settlers arrived and by 1897 they had obtained a concession from the mother country to work the phosphate deposits. From being uninhabited before 1888, it had by the first third of this century achieved a population of more than two thousand, mainly Malay and Chinese miners who had come there to work for the Welland Rock Phosphate Company which was the island's sole industrial concern. Rowe Island lies - or lay - in the Indian Ocean, 224 miles South, 8° East of Java Head and 259 miles North, 79° East of the Keeling Islands. It is 815 miles from the ruins of Singapore and 1,630 miles from what is left of Fremantle, Western Australia. Its European population used to number a hundred or so: the Official Representative and his staff; the manager and administrative staff of the Weiland Rock Phosphate Mining Company; various private residents there for their health (Rowe Island was a very healthy place); a young lieutenant commanding the small garrison of Ghoorkas; some restaurant-, shop- and hotel-keepers; various missionaries and the airpark and dock officials. When I arrived most of these, of course, had already gone and neither airships nor steamers came to collect the island's only export. The settlement had a mosque, a Buddhist temple, a Catholic church, a Methodist chapel and a mission hospital run by the Church of England. The hospital was staffed by a group of young Pakistani nursing nuns under the direction of a layman, Dr Hira, a Sinhalese. The hospital's missionary and his wife had departed for Australia soon after the Destruction of Singapore."

New Birmingham - Port and only town on the island

St. Charles Hospital - Mission hospital on Rowe Island staffed by Nursing nuns under the direction of Dr Hira.

In The Entropy Tango the phosphate has been mined out and the population has left. Olmeijer remains running the hotel as the island has become an R&R location for the Guild of Temporal Adventurers.

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