Real-Life Robinson Crusoe Voted Off The Island

ROBINSON_CRUSOE comic book cover

A man who has lived alone on a private island in Australia by choice for almost 20 years is getting evicted.

After losing his shirt in the stock market, David Glasheen, originally from Sydney, moved to Restoration Island located at the northern tip of Australia, in the 1990s. He signed a 43-year lease at about $20,000 a year in rent. The lease terms, however, apparently required him to develop the land as a tourist attraction, but he never did, so the leaseholder eventually took him to court.

David Glasheen is considered something like the modern day equivalent of Robinson Crusoe, the fictional title character in Daniel Defoe’s famous book about a man who is shipwrecked on a remote island near Trinidad for 28 years. The Tom Hanks movie Cast Away is a modern retelling of the Defoe story.

Glasheen doesn’t want to leave the remote location, but it’s unclear if he will appeal the ruling of the Queensland Supreme Court that he is trespassing as a matter of law. According to the London Telegraph:

Mr Glasheen, who is now in his late 60s, said he revels in the tranquillity and privacy and has called himself as “the luckiest bloke in the world”. He lives off fish and crab and collects bananas, coconuts and native fruit, as well as growing his own vegetables and brewing beer…

Asked whether he had been given a date by which to vacate the island, he said: “I’m probably going to stay there. I’m sick of the courts.”

Glasheen’s only companion is his dog Quassi. He has Internet access powered by a solar panel, and a few years ago unsuccessfully tried to find female companionship through an online dating site.

He originally moved to Restoration Island with a girlfriend and their son but she and the child split after six months because life on the island was too onerous. Glasheen told the New York Times in 2010 that the island is “the pinnacle of privacy,” but admitted that he gets lonely sometimes.

Restoration Island, located at the tip of Australia’s Cape York, is part of the history of the famous mutiny on the Bounty:

Restoration Island is about 1,500 miles north of Brisbane in the Great Barrier Reef and was so named because Captain William Bligh and his followers found vital supplies there after being set adrift by mutineers aboard the HMS Bounty.

The Restoration Island blog posted an entry in 2011 that stated in part:

Dave’s only chance to stop being evicted from his island paradise is to find a buyer who can pay out the majority shareholder of the company that owns the head lease, which would allow Dave to remain on the island as a caretaker.

Would you like to live on your own private island?