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Courtesy of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies (MF-032). Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland. St. John's, Newfoundland.



Joseph Beete Juke

Joseph Beete Jukes (10 October 1811 – 29 July 1869), was a renowned geologist, author of several geological manuals and served as a naturalist on the expeditions of HMS Fly (under the command of Francis Price Blackwood). Between 1839 and 1840, Jukes geologically surveyed Newfoundland. A book he wrote, Excursions In and About Newfoundland During the Years 1839 and 1840, bore the fruit of what he had discovered and learned while he surveyed. He returned to England at the end of 1840, and in 1842 sailed as a naturalist on board HMS Fly to participate in the surveying and charting expeditions of the corvette, under the leadership of Francis Price Blackwood, a naval officer. Over the next three years, Fly visited and charted many locations, circumnavigated Australia twice and visited the island of Java in 1845, as well as conducting an extensive maritime survey based from the south-eastern coast of New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands to the southern edges of the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout these voyages and surveys, Jukes fulfilled his duty of chronicler, and succeeded in composing a well-written account of his and his comrades' journeys, which was entitled Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Fly. This account, in addition, recorded his (natural) historical and ethnological observations made while surveying. Among the more notable things detailed in this volume is the chapter on the Great Barrier Reef; the writings contained therein described as an early classic of Australian geology. The evidence gathered by Jukes on the Great Barrier Reef in some part afforded support for Darwin's theories of coral reefs.