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Bowen is a large town located on the north coast of Queensland in the Whitsunday region. Several Aboriginal groups identify strongly with the region: Birri, Jangga, Juru, Gia, and Ngaro peoples.

Bowen has a rich and vibrant history which started when it was established as North Queensland’s biggest trading and logistics hub in the mid 1800’s before Townsville gained better port infrastructure and grew at a quicker rate in the 1880’s. Throughout this period, Bowen established itself as a major center for its agriculture, pastoral industry, sugar exports, and later coal exports from the famous Bowen Jetty. In those early formative years of Bowen’s history, Bowen had a number of entrepreneurs and pioneers that were passionate about the town and the opportunities that existed for the region. Various committees and groups of like minded business people were active in Bowen’s early days, including previous forms of the Bowen Chamber of Commerce dating back to the 1920’s.

History of the Australian Kensington Pride Mango

In the later half of the 19th century, Bowen, North Queensland was the centre of a thriving horse-trading business between North Queensland and India. The crew of the ships coming in from India brought many items back with them, including mangoes.

The Bowen Harbourmaster and customs officer at the time, Mr. GE Sandrock, collected a quantity of mango seeds from the sailors and planted them on his property “Woodlands” just outside Bowen. As this initial stock came into fruit, seeds from the better quality and better producing trees were separately collected and Mr. Sandrock gave these to a friend of his, Mr. McDonald, who planted them on his his at Adelaide Point near Bowen.

Local farmer, Mr Harry Lott, selected a good stringless type of fruit from McDonald's harvest and used the seeds to start a small orchard on his property "Kensington" in the late 1880s.

Mr. Lott found that his mango variety sold well at the local markets due to its smooth stringless flesh and attempted to monopolise the variety. Other local growers unfortunately got hold of the seeds by fair and foul means and within a few years this style of mango was widely distributed through the Bowen and Burdekin regions.

The name “Kensington” has remained although this variety is also called “Bowen Special”. It is easily identifiable by its large, bright orange colour, often with a red blush and its deep orange flesh that is free of fibrous strands.