December 17, 2017 - January 13, 2018: Issue 342

Pittwater's 2017

Pittwater’s 2017

The community and its individual members have had yet another memorable year – students have excelled, there have been many sporting triumphs, even without an Olympics competition in sight, Residents Groups rallied even when Under Administration to facilitate a continued conversation about what community aspirations are in regards to everything, while a fabric woven from brilliant threads has turned moments into days that will not be forgotten.

Art and Culture, whether that be an Exhibition of works or Music or great books show this place can get on with being a dynamic wonder without any other than those doing the work and those turning up to experience it bearing witness to such – neither of which needs to claim credit for their work and its Keeping of Culture here – where it comes from, who did it, who loves it, is self evident. 

Last December we ran a little on Linda Buchan’s Step by Step: Finding My Way Back to Me, which still conjures up visions of little girls in pools, so much so that you can smell the baking paddocks in between them and that rectangle of a blue water oasis out in the Australian country towns, or Sally Mayman’s and Dale Kentwell’s Seeing Saltwater Country – both books culminations of years of determination which transposes through the very different works and into those who hold them in their hands.

We once Saved Currawong. In 2017, today, we continue to save our Bush Reserves, not just through hands-on voluntary bush caring but through an active monitoring of any threats to or proposed changes to keeping the green in our greens and under the jurisdiction of those who apply the clearly stated ethos of the many who have given large and small chunk of land for the sole purpose of ‘the community having access to same, without change’ evermore.

In this regard we’ve also seen the rise and rise of the next generation in The Green Team and Avalon Boomerang Bags and the continued work of locally sprung and based Living Ocean and the Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment, as we all live in an aquatic environment too and are determined, as a community and as individuals, to be good Keepers of this place.

In and out of Season our Surf Life Savers have brought together thousands from the knee high to the 'gee, you’re quite tall' range to continue a ‘democracy on the sand’ and perpetuated a whole community spirit that has at its core a purpose of Service and Vigilance and saving lives, literally, that spreads, not unlike the ripples in waves, further afield.

We’ve lost people, too many people, and our prayers and loving thoughts will be with those who will feel an absence during this Christmas and New Years period; praying those who are missing those lost this year or many a year ago will not only know the community has an understanding of what it is to feel bereft but that they will also have that moment when they know there will be an end to endings and only togetherness.

We’ve welcomed new people and new creatures, the darling newborns, fledgling birds, baby whales migrating south or baby possums, bandicoots and water dragons. They Keep out eyes looking steadily forward as much as Keeping us listening for the catch in a breath or a happy sigh, right here, right now.

Throughout 2017 this news service has once again been privileged and honoured to share the wonderful insights and the visions a community made of individuals enriches us all by through granting these glimpses, their threads. Privileged because it is a privilege to get to share another’s story and a responsibility to look after that person o story is thereby inferred which must disdain the cheap coin. Honoured because we remain aware these are clumsy not deft hands even if their purpose is gentle, and there once more a responsibility is inferred and must be Kept.

But enough about us, let’s keep it about you… you and all the Visions you and we have shared and placed on the record, for all, during 2017.
We can't put it all up, there's just too much - but below runs a few reminders of what's been happening around here this year.

Thank you.
Thank you for Keeping this place For, About and By Pittwater.
Thank you very very much.

January 2017

Natasha Bryant And Annie Wilmot Win 2017 Australian Youth Championships

Winners Decided On Final Day Of 2017 Australian Youth Championships

by Australian Sailing - Kate Lathouras
Clearing skies and a shifty 12 to 15 knots concluded the 2017 Australian Youth Championships held at the Adelaide Sailing Club, South Australia. Following four days of intense racing the five youth classes completed all ten races and the top three podium places were awarded.
In addition to crowning the 2017 Australian Youth Champions, a selection of twelve athletes were announced as the newest members of the Australian Sailing Youth Team; these athletes will represent Australia in the 2017 World Sailing Youth Championships. 

Retaining their lead for the duration of the event, Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot (NSW) claimed the win the girl’s 29er division. Excited for another win following their crowning as World Sailing Youth World Champions in the Women’s 29er late last year the pair said,
“We had a rough day on the water today but managed to keep our third position overall and first (in the girls). We just wanted to sail our own race today and use this regatta as training. We’re really happy to have earned the Australian Sailing Youth Team selection and look forward to representing Australia again.”

Jacqueline Andronicus

For January 2017 our Artist of the Month is a lady whose regular contributions have brightened the pages of this weekly online magazine and recording Palm Beach Longboarders events, including The Big Tow and the Palm Beach Longboarders Old Mal And Old Log Rally 2016: The 20th Year.

Local Lifestyle Photographer And Creative Director At Velvette Studio

Nature is a vital element in my being and one which I essentially express through my photography. I love to chase the sunlight and shoot in natural environments. I put people in the scene, to give a sense of presence. Nature is perfect, we are part of it, it’s up to us to honour it and preserve it. 

I do realise I need to raise my voice a whole lot to stand out in the 
competitive, oversaturated world of photography. 
I want to do that through my imagery, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so 
I’m finding my direction and building a body of work
 I can feel really proud of. 

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it, in a word, effective.” 
Irving Penn has long been my favourite photographer, I love his anthropological works, where he travels to far off locations, sets up his mobile studios and captures the people of the culture. Placing them in a neutral environment, imbues a sense of authenticity and rawness to his portraits. I’m drawn to using photography more as a narrative, than to just create beautiful images. 

Summer in Pittwater - Newport Beach 

Newport Beach SLSC hosted their inaugural Castles in the Sand and Barefoot Ball on Saturday January 15th 2017.

The Barefoot Ball sold out within a short time of being listed as one of many fundraising events the club holds throughout the year with 300 people attending a great evening on the sand with tunes supplied by a 9 piece band – The United Notions. 

The Barefoot Ball and Sandcastles competition has been the hard work of Newport Surf Club members Peter Tillett and Annie Finn who began working on the idea in July 2016, taking on the previous very successful Barefoot Balls and Sandcastle displays and competitions that once used to run annually at Palm Beach.

The Newport SLSC event is sharing the funds raised with Cystic Fibrosis NSW:

MP For Mackellar Champions Call For Upgrade Of Narrabeen Track & Field Facility

Hundreds of local athletes have protested against the state of the running track at Narrabeen.

Local Member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski, addressed a public rally of several hundred athletes and parents at the Narrabeen Athletics track on December 17th, 2016 calling for its urgent upgrade. 

Mr. Falinski met with key community and athletics leaders Vicki Busse (President of Manly Little Athletics Centre), Robert McEntyre (President of the Sydney Pacific Athletics Club), Duncan Tweed (CEO of Athletics NSW), Peter Crombie (a Masters world champion athlete), and others, at the Narrabeen athletics track to discuss the necessity of an urgent upgrade to the dilapidated facility.

Bob Langbein

A gentleman many will have seen on Pittwater beaches during annual carnivals and swims, a SLS SNB Coach, Bayview Golf Day Organiser for the Interbranch Team and Collaroy Life Member is Bob Langbein, who keeps a fair amount of all he has done well hidden but is allowing us to create a record - and share a small insight into how, if you look after your body your body will look after you.

This octogenarian is still sharp as a tack, always busy, always doing something for others to support younger members of surf sports locally. He also loves heading to Narrabeen Sports Centre to support grandchildren who run - possibly as fast as he once did.

This week a small celebration of one of our local living legends who in 2017 clocks up 70 years as a member of Collaroy SLSC.

North Narrabeen Hosts Rip Curl GromSearch National Final

Wednesday, 18 January 2017: from Surfing NSW
The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre National Final saw all champions crowned today in stiflingly hot weather at North Narrabeen Beach.

Jay Brown (Cronulla, NSW) put on a highlight reel worthy performance in the 16-and-Under Boys, posting a near perfect 9.33 scoring wave (out of a possible ten points) to gain the upper hand against fellow event standout Noah Stocca (Peregian Beach, Qld) who put up a valiant fight, posting a 12.67 heat total (out of a possible 20 points), but was unable to notch up the 8.84 wave required to take the top spot. As a result, Brown has earned a spot in the International Final, which will take place later in the year.

Joining Brown at the upcoming Rip Curl GromSearch International Final will be Sunshine Coast surfer Sasha Baker (Mudjimba, Qld) who took out an in-form Piper Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) in the 16-and-Under Girls final. Baker used her deadly frontside snaps to muster up a 13.40 heat total and take the final ahead of the fellow Queenslander.

George Pittar (Manly, NSW) bagged a title for the Northern Beaches, taking out the 14-and-Under Boys ahead of local surfer Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) who was the standout surfer all event. Pittar put on a healthy display of stylish turns to get the edge over Thomson who got within a point of taking the title.

Lennox Head duo Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) and Jai Glinderman (Lennox Head, NSW) both bagged titles for the north coast taking out the 14-and-Under Girls and 12-and-Under Boys respectively. Ryan posted a 15.50 heat total to claim the win ahead of Carly Shanahan (Wooli, NSW), while Glinderman got the nod over fellow Lennox Head standout Jack O’Brien (Lennox Head, NSW). As a former Narrabeen resident, Glinderman had the local crowd on their feet when he claimed the top spot on the dais.

Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW) ensured another title remained another trophy stayed on the Northern Beaches, taking out the 12-and-Under Girls. Leigh-Jones dominated the field in the windswept conditions posting a mammoth 15.33 heat total to add another title to her overflowing trophy cabinet.

Draft Plan For Ingleside Land Development Released To Meet 2021 Completion Dates

View of Ingleside's Hills from Warriewood, December 3rd, 2016

Ingleside Draft Plan Released

On Friday afternoon, December 2nd, NSW State Government Planning Minister and Pittwater MP, the Hon. Rob Stokes announced the release of the draft Ingleside plan which is available for comment until February 28th, 2017. 

Community information sessions have been announced to take place from January 31, 2017 until February 28th. The State Planning Department will provide more details about these activities in their next update and at

Of 704.8 hectares slated to comprise this plan, Table 1 from the Ingleside draft land use and infrastructure strategy document shows the land use outcomes identified in the Structure Plan, and states that: 

"...• 40% of the total Precinct area is proposed for development; 
• 30% of the total area is proposed for conservation; and 
• 30% of the area is unlikely to change, and any development will be subject to standard development controls. ..."

The Housing Developments are slated to be, Houses on Larger lots (with 2,000m2 min. lot size - 50 hectares allocated to yield 250 dwellings, Houses (12 to 13 dw per ha - 550m² average, maximum height 8.5m * - 123 hectares allocated to yield 1,530 dwellings and Low Rise Apartments/Townhouses (25 to 27 dw per ha - 300m² average , maximum height 10.5m * - 63 hectares allocated to yield 1,580 dwellings. A further 36 dwellings are slated for theNeighbourhood Centre (maximum height 11m)  for which 1.8 hectares has been allocated. The estimated population for these 3, 396 new homes is 9000 people.

Paul Hughes

The gentleman who won the first Big Swim, back in 1974, has been a member of Surf Life Saving since the 1950's, first at Ocean Beach SLSC, then at Whale Beach. A Life Member of Whale Beach SLSC, Paul has spent his life serving others and saving lives. It is swimming and getting in the water that has been his lifelong passion though, that and being on the beach.

Mr. Hughes won surf swims when he began and won swim challenges as he matured, even completing the challenging Waikiki Roughwater Swim when in his mid 60's, a swim Ollie Signorini of Sydney, completed in a time of 59:48, winning the event in 2016. Ollie also came in quickest in the 2016 Big Swim with a time of 29:30. 

Paul was fortunate to have as a coach legendary Australian coach Harry Gallagher when he was a teenager. Mr Gallagher's contemporaries then were Professor Cotton and Forbes Carlile. Paul won and won and won as a Junior, Senior and even took on coaching Ocean Beach's R and R Team. One of his favourite events remains the Big Swim though.

St Cloud Jersey Stud: Elanora Heights

A shady lagoon and group of cattle, circa 1906, Kerry Photograph, courtesy Tyrrell Photographic Collection, Powerhouse Museum 
In 1906 and then again in 1910 Warriewood was divided to sell in small farm acre lots – the ’10 Acre Dream’ some may call it, a reflection in some ways of the success Isaac Larkin had achieved on Waratah farm, spruiked an aspiration to be self sufficient and providing a healthy affordable lifestyle for your family in a coastal environment. The advertisement, providing us with a circa 1910 picture of Warriewood Beach,  runs below. 

Part of providing a healthy lifestyle was nutrition; great food and drink, with milk being a priority for children prior to what today is known as lactose intolerance. Those who recall milk at recess at school during the 1970's benefited from a scheme that was introduced by some NSW Educators during the 1930's Depression years when children not getting enough sustenance, and the resulting health problems developed. Examples such as Milk Arrowroot biscuits and Arrowroot babies were one reflection of what was going on - high fat milk provided for free, along with other healthful food and activities, was the answer. 

NSW introduced milk for schoolchildren prior to other states in 1941. The Menzies Government  passed the Commonwealth's State Grants (Milk for School Children) Act  in December 1950.  

Pittwater as an area where a dairy could be successful if a struggle at times forms part of earliest records - David Foley, murdered by persons still unknown, but possibly linked to the Farrells, was on his way home to Mona Vale from delivering butter to Sydney town - the Farrells, too, were known for having a dairy, at Newport. The Therry family, who took over the lease of Foley's farm, also attempted to establish a decent herd and livelihood through a dairy but fared no better.

Throughout Pittwater's history, and well into the 1950's and 1960's, dairies, and cows, form part of our records whether they were eating golfers balls at Palm Beach or of concern due to the way they looked at Avalon during the 1930's; there was a dairy in every suburb of Pittwater from Palm Beach to Currawong Beach and Narrabeen and milk deliverers. 

One local connection that built up producing better cows and better milk comes through a gentleman also associated with investing in children's health (and milk as a health builder) through he and his wife helping establish Stewart House at Curl Curl. 

Sir Frederick Stewart was born in Newcastle on August 14th, 1884 and educated in public schools in Newcastle. A self-made man he captilised on the NSW State Government's failure to provide transport during 1918 when he wanted to link a development of Chullora up to the main railway line with a tram service - the Metropolitan Omnibus Company resulted, of which Mr. Stewart was sole proprietor, and began bringing thousands of pounds annually.

Australia Day Awards 2017: Recognising Outstanding And Long-Term Service

The Australia Day Awards 2017 acknowledged the contributions of Northern Beaches people in the fields of sport, medicine, innovation, tourism, surf life saving and caring for veterans an their dependents  – in fact there wasn’t one are of life not touched by this year’s awards.

Although this is a long list of people who have done a lot for many for a long time, it is the inspiration they provide to others that stays with us.
This Issue we run a Profile of the Week reprise of a lady who is empowering women and girls and has been doing so for the whole of her career –Christine Hopton OAM.

Here we focus on John McInerney, the current Chair of the Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches, and a Member of Avalon beach RSL sub-Branch who is part of the Vietnam Veterans Day (Northern) each year.  

John has been involved in the Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches since conception. Firstly, conducting the feasibility study and then as the Project Manager through its start-up phases.

Reverse Council Amalgamations Call Renewed After Retirement Announcements By Manly And North Shore MPs

The retirement from politics of former NSW Premier Mike Baird and the announcement this week of Health Minister Jillian Skinner’s retirement have renewed calls for local councils to be reinstated along their original boundaries, opponents citing these two seats, which will now go to by-elections, are in areas where the amalgamations have proved to be very unpopular. Those who want their councils back state a loss of these seats of Manly and North Shore by the incumbent government will reduce their majority and would be an indication of what the next state election may bring. 

Pittwater residents have been vocal in their opposition to Pittwater being amalgamated throughout the process that led to mergers being announced and many have continued after these began.

At a rally called by Save Our Councils Coalition on Sunday 22 January 2017, representatives from NSW communities affected by forced council amalgamations, including Pittwater residents, sent a clear message to the new Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, that they wanted these reversed.

The NSW Minister for Local Government, The Hon Paul Toole MP, in a statement released on Friday said: "Any future policy changes on local government reform will be a matter for Cabinet".

Following Nationals leader John Barilaro declaring his party wants to prevent the amalgamations involving 10 regional councils on Friday January 20th,   calls for the same being extended to metropolitan councils – even those already merged    have been swift.

On Monday, the new Premier, Ms Berejiklian, did not rule out further changes to the state government’s policy. Asked at a press conference if she would change mergers in Sydney, Ms Berejiklian said: 
"I'm willing to sit down with my colleagues about that issue, I've not said one way or another what I will do about it.
"There's no doubt that some communities would prefer they didn't go through that process."

In Pittwater there are at least five people who reaffirmed this week they are still passionately for being ruled from Dee Why  –   a larger number is still very vocal about a Pittwater Council being reinstated and for those areas excised from Pittwater to be returned. Residents remain angry legal action alike that pursued by Mosman and Woollahra Councils wasn’t followed through on and anger remains in regard to the way that was despatched in the days prior to the decrees of May 12th, 2016.

If they think we’ll forget any of it, the way it was done, who was responsible, they’re wrong - we won’t!” was one comment to Pittwater Online this week.

A sample of others:

Pittwater was a great Council serving a great community well. It was efficient, responsive and enjoyed great community involvement and pride. Mike Baird’s complete disregard for democracy and the wishes of 89% of the people of Pittwater in what he did was disgraceful and is far from forgotten. Gladys Berejiklian has an opportunity to address this terrible wrong and rectify the Liberal Party’s broken promise of “no forced amalgamations” before it becomes an election issue.

I was dismayed at the loss of Pittwater Council. It was a real hands on council concerned with local issues and was financially viable. Already Northern Beaches Council candidates are organising a new political party to take control. Let's see if you have the courage to give the people what they truly want: the return of Pittwater council.”

I don't support 20th century solutions to 21st century issues. About time the State got with the times and realised that what is needed is smaller adaptive organisations, not bigger bureaucracies, the electronic age provides the platform for council to move into the future, sad to see the State is still engaged in dinosaur thinking, why not get with the times: smaller, flexible, adaptable councils contracting out to service providers.


World Wetlands Day 2017: the 20th Year

World Wetlands Day 2017

This coming Thursday is World Wetlands Day. The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2017 is Wetlands for disaster risk reduction. This theme will be reflected in the Australian Government's February 2017 edition of Wetlands Australia.

Wetlands play an important role in helping to provide communities with resilience to natural hazards such as flooding caused by storms, cyclones, storm surges and tsunamis. Under projected climate change scenarios, extreme climatic events, including floods, droughts and storms are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. 

In many places wetlands have been thought of as wasteland, with more than 64% of the world’s wetlands disappearing since 1900. What we need to remember, year round, is that the mangroves and saltmarshes of Australia provide roosting and feeding sites for over 30 species of shorebirds, many of which fly annually over 10,000 km to Siberia and Alaska along the East Asian Australasian Flyway. 

Our mangroves and coastal wetlands annually sequester carbon at a rate two to four times greater than mature tropical forests and store three to five times more carbon per equivalent area than tropical forests. Most coastal carbon is stored in the soil, not in above-ground plant material as is the case with tropical forests.

At least 2/3 of all the fish consumed worldwide are dependent on coastal wetlands.  It has been estimated that the contribution of mangrove-related species in eastern Australia is around 67% of the entire commercial catch. World Wetlands Day is an annual opportunity to raise public awareness and promote the value of wetlands or get out there and be among them.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.

Ramsar is the oldest of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements. The treaty was negotiated through the 1960s by countries and non - governmental organisations concerned about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitat for migratory waterbirds. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.

In Pittwater we have access to mangroves along the estuary rims of Pittwater itself as well as the largest remaining sand plain wetland in the northern Sydney area in Warriewood Wetlands, 26 hectares of creeks meeting sea and trees filled with birds.

In 2014 David James OAM, who was one of several community members who worked tirelessly to ensure we have a reserve at Warriewood, shared an insight into that process as part of a history focus on Pittwater's Watery Environs in  Eeling In Warriewood's Creeks. This had been preceded by a guided walk through that Living Wetland to showcase what was worth saving.

Australia Wins 2017 Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Test Series In New Zealand

Australia wins 2017 Trans-Tasman Challenge between New Zealand and Australia.Photos by Alana McIsaac (
Newport SLSC's Under 23 2017 Trans-Tasman Representatives: Zoe King, Celestine May, Katy Hulton, Piret May and Michael King

Rescue, Rehabilitate And Release

Rescue, Rehabilitate And Release

Sydney Wildlife's charter is to rescue, rehabilitate and release any injured, sick or orphaned native wildlife.   The rescue part forms only 10% of the process; the rehabilitation part can be long and arduous depending on the injury sustained or the age of the orphan;  the release part should be the best part of the process but it can actually present the most challenges:

1.  In hand-raised orphans, we can't release them until they are 'dehumanised'.

Raising orphaned joeys (such as wallabies, kangaroos, wombats and possums) means that we provide them with nourishment, protection, warmth and love - everything their mothers would offer.  This is Phase 1 of their rehab.  Unfortunately in Phase 1, they become humanised and reliant on us.  This is why Phase 2 is important:  the 'dehumanisation' process.  The hand-raised joeys are taken up to our Sydney Wildlife Pre-Release Facility to become ready for the wild.  They are only in contact with humans once a day and here they learn to deal with all types of weather, parasites and finding food - all in a controlled environment, without predators.  Our wonderful facility manager, Joan Reid, has hand-raised countless joeys and she knows the importance of Phase 2 for the joeys to have a seamless assimilation into the wild. 

Ringtail possum joey - very vulnerable and in need of feeds around the clock. 

Brushtail possum joey.

Our Pre-Release Facility manager, Joan Reid, with a wombat joey.

2.  Releasing baby birds that have 'fallen from the nest'

Humans often 'kidnap' fledgling birds that are learning to fly.  They mistake the process of learning to fly for falling and snatch up the babies with the parent birds watching on in horror as their fledging bubs get whisked off to the nearest vet.  Sydney Wildlife is then called to care for the chicks but we often bring them back to the 'scene of the crime' to reunite the babies with their parents so that their flight lessons can continue.  

Fledging lorikeets being reunited with their parents.

3.  Capture and release of snakes in unwanted locations

We regularly get called to relocate snakes that pop up in backyards, on construction sites, in offices or inside homes.  We have no problem removing them from dangerous situations but it's often tricky to know how far to take them or where a safer place would be.  Each species of snake has a different-sized home range and it's important not to take them out of it.  Releasing snakes at the correct time of day is also essential.  If the snake is nocturnal, it must be released at night. 

Diamond Python removed from a dangerous construction site and relocated to nearby bushland. 

4.  Finding suitable habitat for release

Sometimes our rescuers hand-raise orphaned bats or invest countless hours rehabilitating venomous snakes - but these species and many others are deemed a 'nuisance' or 'undesirable'.  

Bats often have their habitats chopped down to discourage them from roosting.  Finding suitable habitat to release hand-raised pups is becoming impossible.  One also needs to consider adequate food sources when releasing wildlife.

Flying fox habitat decimated in an attempt to discourage them.  Photo by S. Thorpe.

Some venomous snakes, like this eastern brown snake, are treated cruelly and many people feel they should be killed instead of captured and released.   Photo by N. Wedlock.

Sydney Wildlife do not discriminate.  We love all our wildlife.  We treat them all as priceless treasures and we adhere to our charter for all species:  rescue, rehabilitate and release.

Sydney Wildlife:  Phone:  9413 4300

By Lynleigh Greig
Sydney Wildlife 

Roderic Quinns Poems And Prose For Manly, Beacon Hill, Dee Why And Narrabeen

Portrait of Roderic Quinn] [picture] / The Talma Studios, date: 189-?] PIC Box PIC/7160 #PIC/7160/1--Australian Literary Society photograph collection, courtesy National Library of Australia, nla.obj-146668887-1
The PBP’s page has often been utilised to celebrate Australian poets and their adventures, especially since so many seem to have been inspired by the beautiful landscapes and seascapes of Pittwater or enjoyed the ‘cosmopolitan Brighton-like' atmosphere of ‘The Village’, or Manly when Manly was the place to be inspired by wind and saltwater songs.

This finding of all those Bards who have visited here, or there (Manly), and each place in between these two pinsula poles, has shared insights through ‘A Run to Pittwater’, the poetics of Ella McFadyen in Sands of Morning,  the prose of Gertrude Mack when describing Church Point or Alison McDougall when lilting of Elvina Bay, at Palm Beach through Ethel Turner's The Rock Pool and even a wondering over whether The Bulletin’s Archibald walked north from Manly to Narrabeen to take Mark Twain (Samuel Clements) fishing when he was in Sydney. These are just a handful of all found and 'restored' in some way by collecting them here - and proof of our area's beauty in that so many have visited and been inspired by here - many of these being some of Australia's best and most legendary poets.

In 'A Run to Pittwater' by "Viator", a nom de plume for Patrick Edward Quinn, brother of Roderic Quinn, one of the early golden ages of Australian bards is introduced through The Dawn and Dusk club, named for one of Victor J. Daley's works of the same time and formed around 1898 in Sydney, by poet Daley. Foundation members of 'the Duskers' were Daley, Fred J. Broomfield, James Philp, Herbert Low (journalist), William Bede Melville (a reporter for the Sydney newspaper, The Star), Angus Sinclair (writer), Bertram Stevens and Randolph Bedford. The club met at Broomfield's home on the corner of Ice Road and Great Barcom Street, Darlinghurst, near St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney about September, 1898. Daley was elected 'Symposiarch' of the Duskers and the seven 'heptarchs' were Lawson, Stevens, Nelson Illingworth, Frank P. Mahony, George Augustine Taylor, Con Lindsay (journalist), and Philp, who drafted the rules. Artist Norman Lindsay was also a member. 

When investigating whether Twain, Henry Lawson and J. F. Archibald really did have a fun fishing day, small inklings that more than just these poets and purveyors of prose visited our area began to appear among the threads. This inspired a further investigation into how many of these early songsters of all things Australian fell in love with Manly and wandered further north into the green and blues surrounding what was then a ‘village’ to some.

This research has grown, encompassing heady days from times long past when it seems Theodore Argles (nom de plume 'Harold Grey' and 'The Pilgrim' among others) and Victor Daley (Creeve Roe) and Henry Lawson along with William Melville, along with other luminaries associated with them, all stirred 'The Village'. The amount of material found will form some late Summer pages - a season well suited to poets - over the coming weeks. 

We begin with one among their number, although young when they were here - Roderic Quinn, youngest brother of the aforementioned 'Viator' of ' A run to Pittwater', and preface his prose and poems of here with some heresay of a romantic kind, mixed with a few facts, and then a collection of some of Mr. R Quinn's works that need no interpretation - other than to be revelled in, enjoyed:

Manly 's Augustan Age.
(By C.R.C.)
It is an aspect of the eternal fitness of things that surfing, perhaps the most virile and most health-giving of all our sports, should have originated, as far as Australia is concerned, in a seaside village called Manly. So popular has the sport become that it is hard to realise that the right to surf was hardly won, and that it is barely thirty years since at was first admitted. Recent references to the origin of surfing, while substantiality correct, require a certain amount of amendment. 

At a Sydney reunion of pioneer members of the Royal Life Saving Society, it was stated that there is still a law on the Statute Book of New South Wales which forbids bathing in view, of the public and that this law was challenged, in 1904, by ‘Mr. W H Goucher,' with the result that an agitation in favour of bathing followed and the law has never since been enforced, the village Hampden referred to was Mr. W. H. Goacher (not Goucher) who, at the time, was editor of the local paper unless my memory is sadly at fault (and I was one of the crowd of spectators who aided and abetted him). Goacher was prosecuted in 1903 for the breach of a regulation framed under the Police Offences Act. Though fined in the Water Police Court, Mr. Goacher declared that he would continue to bathe in proper costumes and it was then discovered that the Police Regulation was ultra vires. It was to this, and not to any magnanimity en the part of the authorities, that Sydney people owe their right to surf. - At that time, Manly occupied a narrow isthmus and though it was still affectionately referred to as 'The Village.' it had already commenced to sprawl across the heights to the north and south. The first six years of the present century might aptly be termed the Augustan Age of Manly. Even before the ban on surfing had been lifted, men and boys were allowed to bathe on the Ocean Beach before seven in the morning. Like Wolley’s 'little wanton boys' we youngsters would enter the water, clad only in ‘trunks'. The official who used to chase us shorewards after seven was, appropriately enough, the municipal council's inspector of nuisances, and we wanton little boys saw to it that his job was no sinecure. 

Even before the dawn of the century, Manly, had been the home of giants. Cardinal Moran's Palace and the College for the training of Roman Catholic priests towered on the southern heights. On the northern height was the ibid home of W. B. Dalley, built in the form of an English' castle, and still called 'Dalley Castle,' though it' has passed out of the hands of the Dalley family many years since; Its builder, W. B. Dalley, the father of the novelist J. B. Dalley, was a distinguished lawyer and politician who was prominent in the trial of the bushrangers and who was responsible for the sending of a contingent from New South Wales to the Sudan. It was stated at the time that a little boy in Manly had donated the contents of his money box to the patriotic fund raised in connection with the contingent. At all events, following an amount in a published subscription list, were the words 'A Little Boy |from Manly.' Political opponents said that the little boy was none other than W. B. Dalley himself, and the incident provided the Sydney 'Bulletin' with one of those stock mythical figures which were the delight of our fathers and grandfathers. Sir Edmund Barton, afterwards Prime Minister of Australia and a Justice of the High Court, was another well known resident of The Village during the Nineties. 

Forlorn Hopes. 
It was just after ;the Boer war that W. B. Goacher commenced to edit a paper called 'The Manly News.' He was one of those lovable fire-eaters whose lifetime was spent in the fighting of forlorn hopes. He was more an artist than a journalist, and not very successful in painting or writing as, in looking after the interests of others, he neglected his own. Certainly, as the Sydney speaker said, surf clubs throughout Australia should do something to perpetuate his memory. He has yet another .claim to distinction. He was Manly's first Labour candidate. There had been a redistribution of seats in New South Wales, and Manly, formerly part of Wahringah, became part of the constituency then called Middle Harbour. In 1904, just after the redistribution, Goacher: came out as a candidate for Middle Harbour. His campaign was of the whirlwind variety. His meetings were always crowded. His oratory, and gift for repartee provided entertainment for the masses, but he; polled only thirty-three votes. The handicap of a tall hat and a frock coat was too great for a Labour candidate to carry in those days. Next week, in his paper, he returned thanks to 'the thirty-three intelligent electors of Middle Harbour. Poor Goacher's finances were never in a healthy condition and the loss of his deposit ruined him. He disposed of his paper to “Billy” Melville and went to live in Sydney.

Melville was one of the older school of Bulletin writers. He sang the praises of, Manly in season and out of season. It was probably through his personal influence that Victor Daley and Henry Lawson came to live in 'The Village'. I think Roderick Quinn lived there for a little while also. Quinn, if not an actual resident, was a frequent visitor to the others. I remember now we awe-struck youngsters used to gaze at the four poets strolling down the street arm in arm— and taking its width in their stride. One of Daley's, sons was enrolled as a pupil at the Manly Public School. When asked his father's occupation young Daley replied 'writer,' and the headmaster who was a Master of Arts and an honours man in literature cheerfully wrote 'signwriter' in the school admission register. 

It was through Melville, that I came to meet both Lawson and Daley. I knew Daley the better of the two. Lawson could not remain long in any place, and while in Manly he met with a peculiar accident. While strolling along the Fairy Bower cliffs, he fell over the rim and broke a few ribs (in fact he broke his ankle - ed.). The usual people said the usual thing about the accident, but I honestly believe that in his absent-mindedness Lawson walked too near the edge and overbalanced. Daley, though a severe critic, was a kindly one. I once had the temerity to call at his house and show him a short story I had written. The place was almost unfurnished, but Daley received me as though he were conducting me into a palace. Incidentally he tore the story to shreds, which embarrassed me considerably because there was another man present, a grim silent looking man whom I thought must be some distinguished editor. I found out afterwards that he was a bailiff. Daley made me sit down there and then and rewrite the story. The next day, he took me up to Sydney and personally introduced me to the editor of the Bulletin, who also said scathing things about the story — but printed it. 

Various Arts. 
All the arts were represented, in Manly during those years. Hilder had lived there for many years- even at that time, and was painting his delicate water-colours and battling against ill-health and genteel poverty. Charlie Bryant was still a schoolboy but was just beginning to make a name for himself in black and white work. W.H. Whiddon, afterwards Deputy Commissioner for Taxation in New South Wales, used to gather the aspiring vocalists of the village and drill them in light opera. As a choir-master and a producer of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, he did much to raise the standards of musical taste, not only in Manly, but throughout the whole State. Another notable resident was an exponent of an older and even more individual art. This was Larry Foley, the veteran pugilist. Somewhere about 1904, he established a boxing academy at his residence on the cliffs overlooking the Manly Lagoon. He gathered round him quite a school of fighting, neophytes but none of them achieved fame. Old Larry, it was said, had become crotchetty in his old age and very Spartan in his methods of instruction. If he did not think a pupil worth bothering about any further, a knock out blow ended that pupil's course of training and inclined him towards another career. For a season or two Larry's square stocky figure and his mutton chop whiskers were frequently seen on the promenade. It was a sight for the gods to see him and his great friend and fellow-Hibernian, the genial Dan O'Conner, disporting in the breakers. They were two of the few Manly great ones who remained distinguished looking in bathers. Dan O'Connor had ended his political career by that time. He provided the Bulletin with another of that paper's stock phrases. While Postmaster-General of New South Wales he had to decide upon the appointment of a minor official in his department; There were many applicants, several of whom were strongly recommended. The P.M.G. decided the matter in a laconic and- phonetic minute-— 'Appoint Maloney.' And Maloney was appointed. He habitually wore the tall hat and frock coat of the period, and his flowing white beard would have been the envy of any Druids’ lodge. But to see him rising from the waves, in his red and blue striped bathers, with that avalanche of whiskers wet and bedraggled, was to obtain an idea of what Father Neptune must have looked like. Though a politician, he was a patron of the arts. He it was who spoke at Sydney's welcome to a famous French actress, and referred to the guest as 'La Belly Franzase.' SURFING AND CELEBRITIES. (1933, February 18). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

Sydney. Sunday
Early yesterday morning a Manly resident named Sly was walking round the beach on the ocean side when he suddenly came across Mr. Henry Lawson, the well known poet, who was found to be suffering from a broken ankle, and he said that he had fallen over the cliffs, which in that spot were from 80ft. to 90ft. high. It has been ascertained that Mr. Lawson was in a low state of health lately, and was rather inclined to wander around the cliffs. Ever since his arrival from England Lawson has lived at Manly, where, as he himself says, ' the swells of the sea assuage sorrow.' After being found Mr. Lawson was brought to Sydney, .and as it was considered: that the state of his health demanded it, he was placed under the Control of responsible officials. Henry Lawson. (1902, December 8). National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

When, your nerves are on edge, and you hunger for quiet, and the happy diabolical Children are yelling in the street, you are either sorry that the good King Herod died so early, or that you were not bred up as a professional hermit. - It is not the volume, nor even the variety, of the noise that worries you — its incalculable suddenness is what paralyses you. A pressman who has been accustomed to the experience can, so to speak, write with his ear against the machine. But if the machine is drinking —I have seen a machine in that condition, or, rather, I have seen a machinist who said his machine was in that condition it is another matter. . ? Then its inconsequential jerking exasperates you almost to the pitch of madness. This reminds me that upon one occasion, many years ago, I dropped into a little newspaper office in Hunter-street. The newspaper was called 'Society.' Its editor was Harold Grey. It lived thirteen weeks. When I went in Grey was cursing the machinist because the machine wouldn't work. The machinist was a big upstanding fellow who would have killed any outsider who said a word against Grey. But there was a limit even to his forbearance. ' How can I work the machine. without oil?' he growled. . ' ' What's become of the oil?''-said Grey. ' Well,'' said the ' machinist, 'one of your literary staff came in a while ago and demanded a drink. I hadn't a drink to give him. He said it didn't matter; and drank the machine oil!'

In those days I had a cottage at Manly en garcon. It was furnished completely — apparently for honeymoon couples. There was a double breakfast set of innumerable pieces, and a dinner-set of seventy-two : pieces. Grey was staying with me at the time, and we never used the same bit of crockery twice. Grey was a very clean and fastidious man. When some actresses came down to see us once upon a time, we were drinking tea out of butter-boats, and all the other dishes were stacked up ready for washing. 

They called us several hard names, and then — the feminine instinct of order getting the better of them— set to and washed the whole stack of dishes. I was sleeping with a rug around me on the beach about fifty yards away. They roused me up and made me chop wood, for the fire, and they made Grey come out of the honeymoon bedroom and cook ham and eggs and make two omelettes. He was a fine cook—, a cordon bleu in his way.

Right: Portrait of Harold Grey and Victor Daley, circa 1880-1895 Retrieved from , courtesy National Library of Australia

Four girls there were, and they insisted that I should sit at the head of the table. They had previously plundered the cupbonrd, and placed all its little potted luxuries upon the board. It was the first decently set-out meal I had faced since I took the cottage. How their tongues: wagged ! How their teeth, flashed ! . White as the foam on the beach were their teeth. And how they laughed ! And how we laughed ! And how, all of us laughed together ! Never was a merrier party in the world. 

Then when the banquet was over, we put up two bottles — we could spare them, they were empty — on two posts. One was labelled with the name of their employer; the other was labelled with the name of ours. We threw stones at them. Grey and I demolished our employer in five shots; but it took the girls half-an-hour to make flinders of Williamson. And where are now those laughing, careless girls? One is a care- worn married woman with seven children. The others— 
Where is Lesbia? 
Where is Lais? 
Where Brunhilde, with brow austere? 
Where are Cleopatra, Thais, Bertha,' Broadfoot, Guinevere? 
Where is Echo, beheld of no man, Only heard on mead and mere, 
And Lady Flora, the lovely Roman— 
But where are the snows of yester-year? 

They are gone over the horizon. Possibly they are dead. Grey, with all his light wit and wicked sarcasm, has lain 16 years asleep under green grass in the  Waverley Cemetery.
Of course, I shall see him again, and he will be the leader of a company of friends of mine in Elysium, and he will 'say ‘Well, you have been a time ! - , What kept you?' 
And I will make some feeble excuse about business. And then Morgan will come to the front and say ' He never did any business in his life. He doesn't know what business means. Ask him to have some ambrosia— I' remember !' But I remember 'Morgan' quite as well. Morgan, with his face like the face of a summer moon, was one of the most delightful men I ever met. He also was a writer, but in a different way. Many a night we passed together sending wires to the country papers. They had to be in the telegraph office at certain times up till twelve o'clock. After that time we used to eat hot potatoes and saveloys from a cart that stood outside the post office. And after that, if we could meet with one of our detective friends — we would go to, a place that was known as The Thieves' Inn. It kept open all night— a frowsy, squalid place, with crime written on its' front. I have noticed, by the way, that most kinds of crime are associated with dirt. Forgery, in its various branches, is the only exception. But the other sort of criminals, have two deadly enemies--Soap and the Police, And such faces as we saw there ! The face of the swell magsman who would take your last sovereign from you, and then leave you enough to buy yourself a clean shirt and collar ! The brutal anthropoid face of the man who would — if the coast were clear, cut your throat for the sake of, eighteen pence! The hard, harlot-face of the woman who would sell you to the police while you were asleep. The flushed young face of the woman who would die for a drink. We went there one night, and had. something to drink, and asked all of them to drink. They, drank because Sergeant-Detective Ward was with us. And they drank, slily, sullenly, furtively. All except the young woman and the gentleman in the tall hat. They brazened it out finely. There was a big scoop on at the time— a matter of £5000. 

‘Not here,' said Sergeant Ward, ' in a bigger place.'  'Excuse -me,' I remarked. 'You, mademoiselle and madame, will be good enough to take these presents.' ?' It was Christmas Eve.- I had been carrying around Santa Claus cradles and horses until I was tired of them.' They took the presents, and the woman wept, and said that they reminded her of the time when she was an innocent girl-baby in a cradle— seven thousand years ago. But the rest of the crowd looked at me suspiciously in the moonlight, and would have assassinated my shadow if it owned a pocket. 

Edwards stayed with me for a trifle of five months. He was a Welsh gentleman with a red beard and long pedigree, and the kindest simplest heart in the world!! He had no money, no occupation, no anything, but a soft, grey eye and an amiable smile, and a hallucination about a sum of one hundred pounds which he was going to receive from his sister in Wales by the next mail. He was the greatest optimist I ever met. 'Where are you off to this morning; Edwards,' I would say when I saw him brushing his faded clothes and fixing his collar. ' G.P.O., old fellow, G.P.O.— that draft is bound to be there to-day.' Of course it wasn't, and never would be. But Edwards would come back bright-and affable, and in no wise discouraged. 'She must have missed the mail,' he would say. She missed the mail for five month's, and for two years afterwards.

There was a cyclorama of the Spanish Armada about to be produced when  Edwards was staying with me, and I was engaged to write a lecture upon the subject. A lecture to be delivered upon the stage, you know. I was not very well at the time, and I sent him to the Public Library 'to hunt up authorities and make notes'. He returned with about a pound weight of paper covered with smudged writing in lead pencil. I glanced at it. 'Good heavens,' I said, 'what is this?' It was the story of Drake's voyage around the world and his capture of Panama.' 'It's a most interesting yarn,' he observed; ' I' wonder that I never read it before.' What could you do? I went to the Library and made my own notes. A year or so afterwards' I met Edwards, and asked him where he was staying. 'Well,' he replied, 'they call the place Rats' Castle. Come and see me.' I did, nnd' discovered to my unbounded amazement that he had a wife. ' She was a nursery governess in a place where I used to visit,' he explained to me, 'and. I met her in the street last week and she told me she had been discharged because of her deafness. She hadn't any money, and had nowhere to go. Well, what would you do? I couldn't take her around to the Castle because of her good name. And I couldn't leave her standing homeless in the street. So we dropped in upon a Baptist minister, and I married her.' Talk of generosity! 

I may say that Edwards was a bailiff then. Rats' Castle was an old condemned  butcher's shop, and Edwards' employer gave it to him rent free. Such a bailiff, too. He used to fall violently asleep when decent, honest people with whom he had to deal were carrying out their pianos and sewing, machines. ' I might be a bailiff,' he said ' but I am also a gentleman.'' 

Morgan always wore a flower in his coat. Rose or geranium. Always a blossom of bright, color. Keeps 'em from looking at your boots,' he would say. 
He was the merriest man I ever met, and the last I saw of him was when he was in his coffin— cold, while, and curiously strange — with lilies at his feel and lilies at his head. Died happily. Drew some money he had earned over and above his salary —  and dropped unconscious on the same night that he passed out. The shock of sudden payment perhaps! If this fatality could only happen to me! SOME PEOPLE. (1902, December 20).The Worker (Wagga, NSW : 1892 - 1913), p. 5 (THE WORKER'S Xmas Budget). Retrieved from 

Roderic Quinn (Manly to Pittwater Australian Poets Series 2017)

B-Line Proposal For Mona Vale Approved

TfNSW provided planning approval for the B-Line proposal at Mona Vale on February 2nd, 2017. The Determination Report, released this week, is now available for download on the B-Line Mona Vale webpage. It contains Issues Raised and Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) Responses.

Regarding services north of Mona Vale the webpage states, 
'Our planning team is continuing to review services north of Mona Vale as part of the new Northern Beaches Bus Service Plan, which will complement the B-Line. More information about the new plan is expected to become available in March 2017.'

Construction is slated to commence in early 2017 and take approximately 8 months to complete.

Mona Vale map showing B-Line construction works

An overview of the Proposed Activity, per The Determination Report which is the subject of the Mona Vale Commuter Car Park and B-Line Stops REF, is provided in the Executive Summary with full details set out in Chapter 3 of the REF. 

A summary, as outlined in the REF, comprises:
  • conversion of 74 existing parking spaces in the Beeby Reserve car park adjacent to Barrenjoey Road to unrestricted commuter car parking spaces, including replacing / removing signage 
  • new northbound and southbound bus stops on Barrenjoey Road, north of Pittwater Road, including weather protection, seating and real-time information
  • a northbound bus indent at Village Park on Barrenjoey Road 
  • a new signalised pedestrian crossing across Golf Avenue at the intersection with Barrenjoey Road
  • road works on Pittwater Road, Golf Avenue, Park Street and Barrenjoey Road including kerb and pedestrian island adjustments, a new signalised pedestrian crossing across the slip lane from Pittwater Rd heading north onto Barrenjoey Rd, extension of turning lanes, pedestrian fencing, pavement works and line marking 
  • relocation of the northbound bus stop from the corner of Pittwater Road / Waratah Street to Pittwater Road south of Bungan Lane 
  • removal of two local bus stops (northbound and southbound) located on Barrenjoey Road, north of Park Street / Golf Avenue and co-location with the new B-Line stops 
  • removal of approximately 33 trees / shrubs
  • new bicycle parking and improvements to bicycle and pedestrian links.
The key issues raised in submissions were: the loss of four parking spaces on Pittwater Road, the northbound bus indent and removal of trees in Village Park, the relocation of the local bus stop from Pittwater / Waratah to Pittwater / Bungan and the options selection. Mona Vale businesses expressed their business would be impacted and those who had previously used the Waratah bus stop pointed out the extended distance between bus stops which would disadvantage seniors and now include more roads and traffic to negotiate as pedestrians.

One of the Issues raised (2.11) was regarding the changes approved for Mona Vale Village Park, stating that the trees provide many benefits including:
- shade
- a well-defined plan for Village Park
- a wind barrier
- environmental and sustainability benefits.
The berms provide benefits including:
- noise mitigation
- visual barrier
- physical barrier for children playing the park.
The removal of the 21 trees will have environmental and aesthetic impacts, and it will remove the wind barrier. How can new landscaping compensate for the removal of trees replace such well-established, tall trees with large canopies?
Given the value of the project investment overall a realistic amount of money needs to be allocated to replanting mature, tall, established trees and not the usual saplings which take 20 years to provide shade and visual appeal.
Please ensure the design considers the benefits of the trees and berms and provides a replacement. The current plans show no replacement of the berms or trees

The response to this matter was - 

regarding the removal of berms and trees in Village Park, and the proposed mitigation measures.
It is recognised that the mature trees and lower plantings around Village Park frame the open lawn areas, and landscaped berms visually and physically separate Village Park from Barrenjoey Road. The environmental and sustainability impact of tree removal has been considered in a specialist report by Biosis, as identified in Section 6.7 of the REF, and is not considered to be significant.

All cleared vegetation will be offset in accordance with TfNSW’s Vegetation Offset Guide, which requires a number of trees to be planted for every one removed (determined based on their size). Offset trees are required to be planted on or near the impacted site in consultation with Northern Beaches Council. Over time as it becomes established this offset vegetation will provide biodiversity and amenity improvements.

The plans included in the REF are a basic concept design only and do not show detailed design elements such as new plantings and landscaping. However it was identified in Section 6.2 of the REF that where landscaped berms and associated trees along Barrenjoey Road are removed, reestablishment of a continuous low-level visual barrier (of a similar height to the existing berms) between the road and Village Park should be considered in the detailed design.

The detail of landscape plantings would be resolved through the preparation of the Urban Design Plan and Public Domain Plan in consultation with Council. The use of advanced plantings would be considered. 
These features will be resolved during detailed design in accordance with Conditions of Approval 32, 33 and 36

                                                           REF                                                With design change
Number of trees to be removed       33                                                           26
Offset planting required               140                                                       118

Another submission raised the problem of car parking in Mona Vale, stating on one occaision, with nothing available, they parked in the timed Beeby Park car park, which would be an option lost with this transferred to being a commuter car park. 

The TfNSW response was that,  'To compensate Northern Beaches Council for the transfer of Beeby Reserve Car Park to a  commuter car park, Transport for NSW provided funding of $2.5 million to fund future investment in car parking in the Mona Vale area.'

Youth Development & Intermediate Youth Development Programs at RPAYC

Youth Development Program

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Youth Development Program (YDP) was pioneered in 1995 to help develop and enhance young athlete’s sailing skills, as well as providing a pathway for youth sailors between 13-24 years old in Club, National and International events. The club’s commitment to youth sail training has resulted in the creation of some of the world’s best sailors including the likes of America’s Cup winner, James Spithill and 2016 Australian Olympian Jason Waterhouse.

In 2014 the RPAYC continued this commitment to youth sailing by commissioning and launching a new fleet of keelboats, the Elliot 7 one design boats.
The Intermediate Youth Development Program involves both on & off water training and regatta experience. The program focuses on building core team work dynamics and advanced sail trim techniques. Athletes will focus on refining their skillsets in the following areas: 
  • Understand and developing advanced keelboat boat handling skills including the dynamics of both asymmetrical and symmetrical spinnakers
  • Developing a deeper understanding and knowledge base of the Racing Rules of Sailing
  • Implementing changes from dinghy fleet racing tactics to keelboat racing
  • Execution of better teamwork dynamics
  • Brief introduction into match racing
  • Gain regatta experience at the One-Design & Interclub events
The next stage is that of the Youth Development Program which includes not only improving existing sailing skills in both fleet and match racing disciplines, but also includes creating a standard knowledge base for youth sailors in boat maintenance, fitness and nutritional goals, offshore sailing and inclusion in all club activities ranging from Race Management, Volunteer Coaching and crewing on members keelboats and Centreboard racing.
This course focuses more on the advanced aspects of sailing including racing rules, tactics, physical fitness, campaign planning, sail trim and boat maintenance. Upon completion, athletes are encouraged to participate heavily in Club events to acquire valuable experience in keelboat racing, inshore, offshore and Bluewater events.

The Youth Development Program runs over an 11 month period from May through to February and is open to members and non-members with participants selected by RPAYC’s Head Coach, Tom Spithill.

All programs are on board the RPAYC's eight Elliott 7 metre sports boats which carry a crew of 4 or 5.

Sponsors play an integral role in the program by funding the cost of the Elliott’s, their maintenance and racing equipment, while parents and other community volunteers help out with functions and regattas. Additionally, the Youth Development Program has strong support from volunteers, current participants and past graduates in club events.

Graduates from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s YDP have gone on to sail on the World Match Racing Tour, Olympic Games, Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup, Rolex Sydney to Hobart as well as various professional sailing circuits. 
For the 2016/17 season the program has continued to excel on an international level.

One key achievement from the season would be Will Dargaville and his team, Josh Dawson, Sarah Parker and James Farquharson’s victory in 2016World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championships in New Caledonia.

Dargaville continued his good form in 2016, taking out the Men’s World University Match Racing Championships in Perth. Fellow Youth Development team member Sarah Parker followed suit taking out the Women’s University Match Racing Worlds also held in Perth.

Head Coach Tom Spithill credits the success of the season to a strong overall squad.
“The YD (Youth Development) Program has been about sending a variety of teams to each event. Mixing experienced less experienced teams to events to promote learning through experience.” Spithill said. 

A Historic Catalogue And Record Of Pittwater Art I – Of Places, Peoples And The Development Of Australian Art And Artists

'Pittwater & Lion Island', Image No.: a106167 '  From Album - Scenes of Pittwater, N.S.W, Date of Work ca. 1900-1927 by Sydney & Ashfield : Broadhurst Post Card Publishers. William Henry Broadhurst (1855-1927) began publishing postcards from around 1900. Many of the photographs were hand coloured by his daughters before sale. - from and courtesy State Library of NSW Visit: Bayview Wharf 
For a long time a dear held wish has been an opportunity to attend an Art Exhibition which features some of the early Historic Art and Artists of Pittwater and its environs. With luminaries such as William Lister Lister (actually born 'Buttrey'), Fred Williams, Lionel Lindsay, Neville Caley, the ‘more recent’ Arthur Murch, right through to Max Dupain and beyond, and so many others among these ranks, and these works now as far flung as the people and the histories associated with them, it seems this wish may have be satisfied by gathering and sharing here a few of these in Places, or Eras of half to one century or so lots, or in Mediums from sketch through paint to photography, or through some of the more defined Shifts in what was always and then became recognised as Australian Art and Australian Artists. As all of these come together to make one, the richness already given to us is inferred.

Drawings, sketches, paintings in all mediums were once the way, pre-photographs, to make a record of landscapes, sell a place for land sales or tourism (He Brees sketches and paintings of Newport readily springs to mind) record how people looked or worked and even record animals (Govett’s sketch of a ‘native bear’ – the koala). The earliest record of Pittwater in the drawings of  William Bradley - Drawings from his journal `A Voyage to New South Wales  from March 1788 (why are these hills so tall in comparison to the minuscule people in them?: to communicate their grandeur??) would commence these. 

Although these first pictures of a place new to the eyes of those creating them may not be considered 'Australian Art' in the first instances, they were certainly art depicting Australia through many mediums of art, sketching, etching, watercolours and more, and are definitely "Australian Art" to the generations that have inherited these glimmers into what and how they artists saw.

Pittwater Church of England and Bolton's Farm from the Road; illustration from the Pittwater and Hawkesbury Lakes Album. 1880, Courtesy the Mitchell Library - Mills, Pile & Gilchrist, 1880  xxiv, 8 pages, [9] leaves of plates (3 folded) : illustrations ; 19 x 25 cm.

Decades on, when articles on Pittwater were published prior to the rise of technology to publish photography, sketches, some turned into woodcuts and etchings or lithographs for prints and printing, were not only a way to illuminate news or the places spoken of, they were an art form in themselves and were often made by professional Artists in these fields.

A little later on Pittwater attracted many an Artist – to sketch, to paint, to show not only the places and structures here but also to communicate some of the essence of Pittwater – from Narrabeen to Palm Beach every nook, every view, every season has been captured.

Every place has been touched upon – from all the reaches and moods and season of Narrabeen, to Bilgola Beach before there was more than a single holiday weekender there, to Barrenjoey when it was still ‘Barranjoey’ and the Broken Bay Customs House prior to being a place for a Lightship, to some of the earliest published views of Pittwater, which were in fact The Basin, or ‘Blind Cove’. What this points to is Artists and publications wanted to somehow communicate the extraordinary beauty that lives and renews itself here, no matter how many changes the place and places have lived through. 

It may well be impossible to find and list them all, since they range from a few days after convicts being sent to this ‘foreign land’ to the most recent works shown at the most recent Summer Exhibitions. Taken into account, also, is there are so many places in Pittwater being associated with Artists and then Artists colonies from her earliest days until even now - Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Avalon, Scotland Island. The Hermans, Esme Farmer at Mona Vale, Ailsa Allans prints from wood engravings of Palm Beach, and daughter Mitty Brown, to that clique that would come to Narrabeen a generation prior to then.

Photography, whether used as a record or to capture the nature here, has also become a medium that celebrates and records the shifts in our landscape and culture or people. Some of Sydney’s best and most famous early photographers, whether professionals or ‘amateurs’, photographed Pittwater and her surrounds and even when merely capturing a scene, that beauty and some of their own way of doing this, shines through. Further on, and as the ‘Art’ inherent in photography developed, the capturing as much as epitomising of any subject gave us not only scenes from Pittwater but also the deep culture of her people and their place in Australia. These Artists were capable of immersing themselves, of meeting the place. They also recorded Pittwater as Pittwater was – the panoramas of Enemark collection of panoramic photographs taken in or before 1920, some used for selling land once again, some used simply to celebrate Pittwater, allow us to date other occurrences by the structures in their images, the Broadhurst Post Card Publishers  ‘postcards’ of Narrabeen, Samuel Woods Postcards of Bilgola, Avalon and Newport, the year Kerry came out to photograph the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Frank Hurley was a resident and took numerous pictures, and that’s before we get anywhere near all the many wonderful and beautiful photographs taken by and kept in family albums, The Allen Family Albums not least among these  – these are images many of us purchase in BIG scale to adorn our walls for very good reason – they give us and take us to the earlier essence of Pittwater, much like brilliant music does – all, once again, without words.

We start at the very beginning of Pittwater’s Art and its History….that’s a pretty good place to start:

Pittwater – The Estuary - March 1788 

'View in Broken Bay New South Wales. March 1788' by William Bradley - Drawings from his journal `A Voyage to New South Wales',1802+ Image No.: a3461013, courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

'SW. Arm of Broken Bay New South Wales from an Island at the Entrance. Sepr 1789' by William Bradley - Drawings from his journal `A Voyage to New South Wales', 1802+ , Image No.:a3461014, courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

William Bradley (1758–13 March 1833) was a British naval officer and cartographer who was one of the officers who participated in the First Fleet to Australia. During this expedition, Bradley undertook extensive surveys and became one of the first of the settlers to establish relations with the aborigines, with whom he struck up a dialogue and whose customs and nature he studied extensively. He later however fell out with his aboriginal contacts and instead undertook a mission to gather food which ended with an eleven-month stay on Norfolk Island after a shipwreck.

Bradley was attached on the Sirius to the First Fleet destined to colonise Australia. During 1788, Bradley did not involve himself directly in colonial affairs, but instead joined John Hunter in extensive operations along the Sydney Harbour coastline. The two men were often away from the colony for extended periods, conducting surveys of the coastline and the lands around.

A Historic Catalogue And Record Of Pittwater Art I – Of Places, Peoples And The Development Of Australian Art And Artists: The Pittwater Estuary

Narrabeen Sports High School Surfers Excel In Their Surfest 2017 Quest: Donation Of Boards To Vanutau Students A Highlight

The 2017 Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota High School Teams Challenge was held on South Bar Beach, Newcastle on Tuesday and Wednesday this week (February 14th and 15th, 2017).  The contest features both boys and girls divisions and is open to all NSW high schools and is part of 2017 Surfest Newcastle. 

Celebrating its 32nd year in 2017 Surfest Newcastle features the Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Pro (Men’s WSL QS 6000) and the crowdfunded Anditi Women’s Pro (Women’s WSL QS 6000), along with eight supporting events: the nib Pro Junior, the ORICA Surfboard Club Team Challenge, the Sanbah Cadet Cup boys and Dalton Lawyers girls presented by Arcbuild, the Wandiyali ATSI Indigenous Classic, the Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota High School Teams Challenge, the Surfaid Cup and the Lake Mac Festival of Surfing.

Students from Narrabeen Sports High School headed north this year where they excelled again this year, both in the water and on the sand. The team placed 2nd overall in the boys behind winners Illawarra Sports High by the slimmest of margins, 51.8 to 51.7, while the girls were outstanding too, finishing 6 out of 12 strong girls teams.

By far the highlight of the week was how NSHS shone out of the water as well, with a number of contest organisers commenting on how professional the team looked and how tremendous a group of school representatives they were. They can see a positive culture growing.

No better an example of this was when some of the NSHS surfers donated surfboards and fins to the Vanuatu Surfing Association (VSA), an organisation focused on providing opportunities for Vanuatu school students who work hard and in particular female students. 

As one of the teachers accompanying the Narrabeen surfers explained, "the students noticed one of the Vanuatu supporters fixing a board and wanted to do something for them."

"The Narrabeen Sports High School students are hoping to collect more gear for them in the future."

Around The Bends Newport To Avalon Ocean Swim Challenge - March 19, 2017

It is not often that you get to combine and enjoy two great passions: the beauty of the ocean and exercise. The Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club would like to share these combined passions in a magical swimming experience with as many people as possible.

So far it has only been a regular Club swim, accessible only to a few, but on Sunday 19th March 2017 the Avalon Beach SLSC will coordinate one of Sydney’s most beautiful ocean swims for the very first time. Starting from the northern end of Newport Beach, the current will take you around the headland.  Surrounded by your fellow swimmers and plenty of water safety you will continue across the sandy bottom of Bilgola Beach until you reach Bilgola Headland. Usually a great vantage point for whale watching, you will see these amazing headlands from a unique perspective. Above the water the views are great but below you the rock shelves extend to large boulders and caves. This pristine world is home to giant schools of fish and it’s not unusual to spot a turtle or a very friendly cuttlefish.  2.5 kilometres of wonder and excitement; conquer 3 beaches before breakfast in the safety of a group of ocean swimmers.

Volker Klemm, member of the ABSLSC, has swum the course a number of times and said: “I loved the changes in the underwater environment as we swam along. Last time I saw a lovely ray and lots of little fish amongst the bright green beds of seagrasses just before getting into Avalon Beach. The underwater views are absolutely wonderful. I don’t tend to swim it at  full pace as I get caught up enjoying the view.”

Kalinda, who is new to ocean swimming said: “even on an average day you can see the bottom of the ocean most of the way, which is very reassuring. If you really want to enjoy the swim without the competitiveness of a swim race, grab your flippers, wear a wetsuit and join us in the Back of Pack starting group for a more relaxed sort of a swim.”

March 19th has been chosen as the water is expected to be a balmy 23C and the tides on the day will not be very extreme.  We are looking forward to a lovely swim in the best possible weather and conditions. Bring your Go Pro for a truly magical experience.

Cost is $40 – register online at

In true community spirit Avalon Beach SLSC will be supporting the Can Too Foundation for this swim. Just like the Surf Club, Can Too is promoting an active lifestyle and at the same time raises funds for Cancer research. This is important to all of us with Cancer touching most of us in some way, shape or form.

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Championships 2017: Surf Boats Carnival at Long Reef

Over the last few weekends the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Championships have been held at Newport (Opens Water and Juniors Water Events) Narrabeen (Juniors, Masters and Opens Beach Events) Dee Why (First Aid Competition)and Long Reef (Surf Boat Championships). The Masters Waters Events and Life Saving Events run at Dee Why on Saturday 18th finalise this year's Branch Championships and three weekends of spectacular carnivals.

Manly's strong Juniors have placed them first overall prior to the Masters and Life saving Championships taking place, while Newport's Opens, recent Summer of Surf victors, have won and won and won again this year. Mona Vale (261 points - 4th), Newport (225 points - 5th) and Avalon (132 points - 7th) Juniors have all placed in the top 10, securing points as well were the youngsters from Warriewood and Bilgola. 

Queenscliff's very strong Masters Division lead in the Masters with Palm Beach SLSC's and Warriewood are sitting in second and third respectively. Mona Vale, Avalon and Bilgola also have Masters members and these all added to their club's overall point tally .

In Surf Boats Palm Beach SLSC has won the U23 Male, Open Male U23 Female, Open Female, Reserve Male, and placed 2nd in the Boat Relay. Bilgola's Gold women took 1st in the Reserve Female and the U19 Female. Pittwater crews have excelled in the Branch Point Score as well. 

The Bilgola Connection With The Beginnings Of Radio In Australia

Hotel Wentworth, Lang Street, Church Hill, by W J Hall of Hall & Co. image no.: hall_34777, courtesy State Library of NSW

Celebrating World Radio Day: The Bilgola Connection With The Beginnings Of Radio In Australia

13 February 2017
Despite the rise of television, the internet and online streaming, radio continues to be one of the main ways we consume media. Radio offers a platform for a wide variety of voices, is a critical way we communicate in times of emergency, and continues to be a daily source of news, entertainment and current affairs for Australians.  

Throughout its history, radio has been able to successfully adapt to meet the changing needs of listeners and to find new audiences.

To celebrate World Radio Day, we’re taking a quick look at the history of radio in Australia:
1922 – the first Australian radio broadcasting license is issued
1932 – the Australian Broadcasting Commission is established
1939 – Prime Minister Robert Menzies announces that Australia will be entering the Second World War on every radio station in Australia
1954 – the transistor radio is invented, making radios portable and common in cars
1972 – Australia’s first community radio station 5UV is founded
1972 – the first Indigenous produced radio program premieres on 5UV – there are now over 130 Indigenous radio stations across Australia
1974 – the first FM radio license in Australia is issued to 2MBS Sydney
1975 – 2EA Sydney and 3EA Melbourne begin broadcasting in different languages. In 1977 these stations are expanded to become the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) – today SBS broadcasts in over 60 languages
1980 – the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) is created – today CAAMA has over 600,000 listeners across Australia
2012 to now – the ABC and commercial radio providers introduce streaming apps to listen to radio on your mobile phone. Podcasts bring radio content to a whole new generation.

World Radio Day is an observance day held annually on 13 February. World Radio Day is about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it today more than ever. A day to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe. It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference after originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.

In 2014 a theme was introduced of 'Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Radio'. In 2015 the theme was 'Youth and Radio'  with the goal of increasing the participation of young people in radio. The sub-themes of the Day were:
  • Celebrating Radio - showcasing the power of radio as a medium.
  • By youth, for youth - highlighting the contribution of young people as creators of radio content and improving their participation.
  • Safety & Security - building awareness of the risks faced by young international freelancers and fixers, especially in humanitarian and disaster zones.
The theme for World radio day 2016 was 'Radio in times of emergency and disaster'. The sub-themes of the Day were:
1. Freedom of expression and journalists’ safety should be disaster-proof.
2. Radio empowers survivors and vulnerable people, whose right to privacy is to be respected.
3. Radio has social impact and provides access to information. People’s right to information should be protected.
4. Radio saves lives.
5. The immediate accessibility of radio frequencies is essential to saving lives. These frequencies should be protected in times of emergency.

The theme for Radio Day 2017 is 'Radio is You', with the goal of celebrating how audiences interact with Radio. The theme was designed to encourage radio stations to be the best they can, by having audience engagement policies, ethical committees, public editors, self review programmes and by ensuring their community radio networks were strong. A record number of countries, took part in World Radio Day 2017 with more than 500 events worldwide.

The theme "Radio is You” was chosen because radio is everything it is because of its listeners. The theme puts the spotlight on audiences, ensuring their views and diversity are represented on the airwaves. The theme is a chance to look at all of the different ways that radio engages audiences, not only on-air but through “listening to listeners” in the planning and policy of radio.

Our area has long had a few connections with early radio in Australia - items which have run in previous History pages, and a few extras, from those times are:

WIRELESS MUSIC Magna Vox at Moore Park SYDNEY, Thursday.
The members of the New South Wales Military Radio Association are holding their annual dance next month. They are so enthusiastic that they will not get away from wireless for even one night. The dance will be held in the engineers' depot at Moore Park, and the music will come from Strathfield. For the first time in Australia, so the organisers say, a complete Magnavox will be used. It has just arrived from New Zealand. At the residence of Mr. C. Maclurcan, in Strathfield, there is a Pathephone. Mr. Maclurcan is also the owner of an up-to-date wireless station. Music played by the Pathephone — some of it has not been heard in Australia — will be radiated into the air by Mr. Maclurcan's wireless set. The radio men will instal a wireless plant at the engineers' depot, and the music will be received at the depot and amplified by the Magnavox. It will then be hurled into the dance room, and gentlemen will be asked to select their partners. It is likely, too, that there will be a couple of songs. Music for the Magnavox can be heard 3000 yards from where the machine is situated. RADIO DANCE (1922, June 1). The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

This 'Mr C. Maclurcan' is Charles Macluran, the son of Hannah Maclurcan, the lady who once owned Bilgola House, and was a self-made business woman who later owned and ran the Wentworth Hotel in town. 

Jane Arakawa, a lady who put together an article on Charles Maclurcan in 'Who was radio pioneer Charles Maclurcan?' published online in 2015, states "I learnt that Charles Maclurcan erected aerial masts on top of the first Wentworth Hotel located on Church Hill, Lang Street Sydney in 1911 and was communicating with incoming and outgoing ships. By early 1922 he was broadcasting an entertaining and engaging radio program each week with a program guide published in the weekly newspapers of the time. He was issued Licence No.1 in December 1922 and continued his broadcasts and experiments until 1927 when he was required to take over the management of the Wentworth Hotel until its sale in 1950."
Retrieved from 

                                                                              Bilgola House courtesy State library of NSW - picture dated 1935.

WITH WIRELESS AMATEURS —   Boys Who Are Learning Radio Craft 
Australia is not quite a back number in the field of wireless experiment. There are many hundreds of amateurs who are achieving excellent results — usually with apparatus manufactured by themselves—despite the official restrictions placed upon them. With their own receiving plants they frequently receive messages from as far away as America

and Europe. Probably the most successful of these experimenters is Mr. C. Maclurcan, of Strathfield, who recently achieved a record in long-distance sending with the minimum of power when he transmitted a message 400 miles with electric power equal to that used in a pocket torch. It is hoped that in the near future the authorities will grant licenses to transmit to genuine experimenters. The original objection to this was that, the messages from many private stations would interfere with official and shipping messages, but that objection is now a »*hing of the past; The' old spark transmitting set has been replaced by the valve instrument, the timing of which obviates the chance of messages clashing. The ranks of the local wireless experimenters include a number of boys who display remarkable genius and ingenuity in building their own equipment. One juvenile enthusiast receives wireless messages through the medium of an iron roof in place of the orthodox aerial of poles and wires. Another listens to radio messages transmitted thousands of miles away through an equipment of his own manufacture, in the construction of which two wooden match boxes were pressed into service. Jack Davis, a Grammar School boy of 14, made the complete one-valve receiving set shown in the accompanying picture, and with it frequently entertains the family visitors with music being sent out from the Melbourne radio station, or by Mr, Maclurcan at Strathfield. Another young Marconi is Bob Webster, aged 10, of Ariah Park, who in nine months learned wireless operating.

In the circle is Mr. C. Maclurcan, -who experiments at Strathfield. The boy at the top is Jack Davis, with his home-made receiver. The other boy is Bob 'Webster, of Ariah Park, The .lower picture to of Joseph D. ll. Freed, a 22 year-old -American in the Freed-Eiseman Radio Corporation, who is working on plans for a radio receiver to be made at the cost of a few dollars. WITH WIRELESS AMATEURS (1922, July 9). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 1 (Sunday Times Social and Magazine Section). Retrieved from

Community Concerns Over Future Of Mona Vale Hospital Grow Apace With Frenchs Forest Developments: Parkway Emergency

Two videos put together by John Illingsworth and Phil Walker featuring the concerns many residents have already expressed to this news service have been published this week.

“I believe my community needs and wants to keep Mona Vale Hospital as a basic Level 3 public hospital as it is presently functioning and has served the public well for many years. It just needs refurbishing floor by floor as Maternity was successfully done.   Other public hospitals have been successfully refurbished while still in operation - Bankstown, Blacktown, Camden - the list goes on. We have been told 60% of the local population has private Health Insurance but that means 40 % doesn't. Don't those people count? Don't they have needs? “ Newport GP Dr. Suzanne Daly states in one of these films.

One of the main points, that of the distance between Palm Beach and the new Frenchs Forest hospital, especially when the Wakehurst Parkway is flooded and closed, and as this stretch of road is still not included in any planned upgrades for access points around the new hospital, is also discussed.

“The birthing unit is well patronised and safe with the current backup of an operating theatre, obstetrician and anaesthetist. It can't continue at MVDH when that goes. In the rare but potentially life threatening event of obstructed labour the baby has to be got out in 20 minutes. You could not get a woman to Frenchs Forest in that time.

A proper A and E has to have onsite an operating theatre with basic specialist surgical and medical services with pathology, radiology and inpatient monitoring ECG etc. Patients perceive symptoms after hours as potentially life threatening and want full assessment.

… the W.H.O (World Health Organisation) states that a proper A and E needs to be no more than 30 mins by road for all the people in the area it serves. People north of Newport are beyond that from the Frenchs Forest  emergency.”

Both Films run below.


Published on 22 Feb 2017

What The People think about Mona Vale Hospital, as opposed to what The Politicians say they must have. The main film is in production now.

The Minister, The Petition, And The 11,864 Pittwater Petitioners

Published on 26 Feb 2017

I believe my community needs and wants to keep Mona Vale Hospital as a basic Level 3 public hospital as it is presently functioning and has served the public well for many years. It just needs refurbishing floor by floor as Maternity was successfully done. Other public hospitals have been successfully refurbished while still in operation - Bankstown, Blacktown, Camden - the list goes on. W e have been told 60% of the local population has private Health Insurance but that means 40 % doesn't. Don't those people count? Don't they have needs? There are waiting lists for up to 2 years already with 2 public hospitals operating. What will happen when there are no public hospitals? I am not aware of waiting lists for private services.

The birthing unit is well patronized and safe with the current backup .of an operating theatre, obstetrician and anaesthetist. It can't continue at MVDH when that goes. In the rare but potentially life threatening event of obstructed labour the baby has to be got out in 20 minutes. You could not get a woman to Frenchs Forest in that time.

A proper A and E has to have onsite an operating theatre with basic specialist surgical and medical services with pathology, radiology and inpatient monitoring ecg etc. Patients perceive symptoms after hours as potentially life threatening and want full assessment.

A G.P style after hours clinic was tried in the grounds in parallel with A and E but was bypassed by the public and closed for lack of use. Also W.H.O states that a proper A and E needs to be no more than 30 mins by road for all the people in the area it serves. People north of Newport are beyond that from the F.F. emergency.

It needs to be affordable to the disadvantaged. The San is the only private hospital I know of that provides A and E and charges something like $250 a visit plus all other investigations. The community needs the continuation of inpatient paediatric services.Our local member told me we have one of the highest primary enrollments in the state. The children's hospitals are several hours drive away and this places a huge burden on families.

The community needs access to public day surgery services such as endoscopy and cataract extraction. There is already a 2 year waiting list for cataracts there being no public day surgery centres other than MVDH and Manly. When these go what will happen? We need basic inpatient services for the elderly currently being managed at home when a crisis occurs. I know of no new public nursing homes being built what will happen to those who haven't got 300 to 500 thousand dollars for a bond? The hospitals are already overburdened by aged care. How will the one hospital cope in the future?

We need inpatient palliative care services as the hospices are all out of the area, thus placing a huge burden on families particularly aged spouses. We need basic Inpatient hospital services to care for the chronically ill to take the pressure off our rocket science hospitals. They need T.L.C nursing care not technology. Ask anyone whether they got better TLC in RNSH or their local small hospital! 

Suzanne Daly

Grommets Shine As The 2017 Australian Open Of Surfing Kicks Off At Manly

Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW)  - 13.17 in Round 1/Heat1 - photos by Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW


MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Sunday, 26 February 2017): by Surfing NSW
The 2017 Sydney Grommet Challenge came to a close today with four new champions being crowned after a series of exciting finals in tricky three-foot waves at Manly Beach.

Over 100 of Australia’s most promising young male and female under-16 and under-14 junior surfers competed in the event, which served as a precursor to the prestigious World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event that kicks off tomorrow.

Hometown hero George Pittar (Manly, NSW) got the local surfing contingent cheering from the stands, and the sand, as he tore apart the Under-16 Boys division. In what was a storybook finale, Pittar managed to notch up a near-perfect 9.17 scoring wave to gain the upper hand against his fellow rivals and eventually, end up on the top position on the dais.
Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW) found a handful of diamonds in the rough over the course of the Under-16 Girls final. Picklum performed with a healthy mix of flair and style over the course of the affair, posting two respectable scores to form a heat total of 12.50 (out of a possible 20 points). Closest rival Charli Hurst (Port Kembla, NSW) put up a valiant fight, but was unable to find the necessary 7.01 wave score required to steal Picklum’s lead.
Jarvis Earle (Cronulla, NSW) continued his highlight reel worthy performance in the final of the Under-14 Boys, posting two excellent wave scores in excess of 8.00 points. As the heat came to a close, Northern Beaches native Kobi Clements (Narrabeen, NSW) was the only surfer who could topple Earle, chasing down a massive 9.07 wave score, which never came to fruition.
Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW) surfed well beyond her years in the Under-14 Girls division, continually posting decent wave scores in the difficult conditions. Leigh-Jones notched up a 15.43 heat total to leave her fellow finalists chasing a combination of scores to take the lead away.
Former World Championship Tour surfer Dayyan Neve (North Steyne Boardriders, NSW) earned a spot into the upcoming WSL QS, taking out the local trials event. In a format that allowed North Steyne and Queenscliff Boardriders Clubs the opportunity to gain a wildcard into the premiere event, Neve posted a near perfect 9.33 wave score for a chain of huge backside snaps, which essentially knocked the fellow locals from their perch and earned him a coveted wildcard into the QS event.
Competitors from all over NSW, Queensland and Victoria competed in the event.
The 2017 Australian Open of Surfing will run from 25 February – 5 March. The nine-day, one-of-a-kind festival will bring together some of the world’s top athletes in surfing and skateboarding combined with two days of live concerts on the music stage, art/photo installations and interactive sponsor displays.

Under-14 Boys
1 – Jarvis Earle (Cronulla, NSW)
2 – Kobi Clements (Narrabeen, NSW)
3 – Nate Hopkins (Noraville, NSW)
4 – Hughie Vaughan (Bateau Bay, NSW)

Under-14 Girls
1 – Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW)
2 – Zahlia Short (Austinmer, NSW)
3 – Oceanna Rogers (Shell Cove, NSW)
4 – Keira Buckpitt (Culburra, NSW)

Under-16 Boys
1 – George Pittar (Manly, NSW)
2 – Fill Hill (Avoca, NSW)
3 – Archer Curtis (Palm Beach, Qld)
4 – Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW)

Under-16 Girls
1 – Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW)
2 – Charli Hurst (Port Kembla, NSW)
3 – Carly Shanahan (Wooli, NSW)
4 – Elle Clayton-Brown (Corlette, NSW)


Demise Of Democracy

The Mona Vale Rally on November 20, 2016 went ahead despite an announcement that week of 'further community consultations' and the then current Mona Vale Place Plan would be placed on hold until after elected representatives were in place and in charge of an amalgamated Pittwater

Demise Of Democracy

Who is listening to us? Is the age of democracy, activism and advocacy over?

I’ve been reflecting lately on change and on the role of community leadership and what well managed change can look like. Change can be sudden and disruptive or slow and incremental. You can fight it or just go with the flow. Its outcomes can range from transformative to disastrous depending on timing and impact on the individual, community, environment. It is complex and when a change process is underway three things are VERY important. Consultation, Communication, Consistency. 

Good consultation requires open, constructive two-way conversations between stakeholders supported by a complete set of facts. Consultation should involve listening and talking, reflecting and synthesising and informed negotiation through exchange. 

Communication needs to be inclusive, honest, complete, genuine, timely and accessible. 

Consistency is achieved by a well articulated approach, a strategy, treatment of stakeholders and sticking to the plan. 

Effective leaders listen to their communities and are able to then act on their behalf to influence outcomes for them. 

Each day as I commute to work on the other side of the city, I travel past the new hospital site on Warringah Road and past the light rail on ANZAC parade, both ugly, both destructive, both pushed through without listening to the public concerns and both changing by the minute and manifesting larger and more disruptive than ever communicated. I listen to the radio on the journey, in and back, hearing complaints about lock out laws and local council amalgamations, WestConnex, changes to laws around Local Govt. Act, Crown Lands Act, Environmental Protection,  ….  I don't think I have ever heard so much dismay, disbelief, and frustrated helplessness ever. I consider ‘why?’ 

After some thought I view it is because the people and communities of NSW feel they no longer have a voice that is listened to and they are change fatigued. This seems to be because the avenues they usually take their voice to have been taken away or are no longer listening – consultation is shallow, curated, or only paid lip service and ignored in any case, particularly if outcomes do not align with a preconceived plan. All the traditional advocacy methods appear ineffective, protesting, petitions and marches. Social Media is difficult to target and leverage for anything serious. On the peninsular we have been particularly let down by our State Government representatives who have consistently ignored community sentiment over increased density of development, Mona Vale Hospital downgrading and Local Government Amalgamations to name a few. 

The last removed the community voice, which was represented by dedicated and locally connected councillors, replacing it with a single administrator. If you ever attend or watch the council meetings online for which he sets the agenda, chairs the meeting and is the only voter, you will see members of our communities trying to get local concerns heard and being glibly, and oft tersely, cut short by someone who neither lives in nor understands our local communities. This gentleman recently sacked me from a role on the LRC of the newly formed council. One I had not chosen to apply for, but he personally asked me to fill. I took on the role in a positive spirit hoping to represent the community who elected me in some way in the new beast. When I called to ask why I was sacked; I thought it may have been because I had questioned the unclear process through which the Strategic Reference Groups were selected – something a number of community members had raised concerns me about, I was very rudely spoken to then hung up on. Upon further correspondence he claims that I have attended less than half the meetings. This is untrue, I don't always sign in. He also chided me for choosing to attend, and present a speech and award at, a school speech night and for opening a local art exhibition (ironically sponsored by the council)  - both important community events and activities which as a community leader, educator and advocate / supporter of creative industries I see much greater value in than attending a meeting where we are talked at, rather than consulted. 

Our community deserves so much better representation than it is getting right now.  It also deserves to be heard. I’m interested to hear any fresh ideas on how we as a community can do this. 

by Selena Griffith

You can contact Selena via email at: 

A Walk In The Bush

A Walk In The Bush

Written and Illustrated by Gwyn Perkins
Publication date: March
Category: Children’s
Paperback: 32 pages
RRP: $24.99
ISBN: 9781925475531

Scotland Island resident Gwyn Perkins has dedicated this great book for young readers 'For Sabene - from Grandad' - written and illustrated by the author, adult readers may well recognise the places, plants and creatures that feature in this work and would enjoy some of the artists other illustrations created to depict humorous captures of island life in his 28 Days on an Island.  

The Story
Little Iggy doesn’t want to leave the house, but Grandad insists – they always have fun together.
What follows is a wonderful journey in the great Australian outdoors with singing birds, wallaby surprises, secret caterpillar messages and oodles of grandad humour.

Here is a story about the wonders of nature, the funny side of life and spending time with the ones we love.

About the Author
Born in Melbourne in 1942, Gwyn Perkins began his artistic career when he won a newspaper drawing prize of one guinea and a box of paints (mistakenly awarded to Miss Gwyn Perkins). He spent many years as a successful animator in the advertising industry, wining the FACTS Best Animator of the Year Award three times and an International Award for Animation. Twenty years ago Gwyn moved to Scotland island north of Sydney to enjoy a slower pace. He spends his days drawing, sailing and doing odd jobs for his friends and family. Gwyn has two adult sons and lives with his wife and teenage daughter.

An exquisitely illustrated picture book, set in New South Wales’ bushland, will launch Affirm Press’ Kids’ list in March. A Walk in the Bush is the debut book by award-winning animator, Gwyn Perkins.

This charming story will delight children who love the outdoors by transporting them straight from their bedroom and into a bush adventure. Gwyn’s original illustrations are inspired by the majestic Australian wildlife and landscape surrounding his home on Scotland Island, near Sydney.

Locals can purchase the book at all good book stores, Big W and online
Two copies of the book are on their way for readers courtesy of the Publishers. We'll donate these to Mona Vale and Avalon libraries, as we've done with all other books received, so you can pop in and read or borrow them.

Below are a few samples from A Walk in the Bush - surely a book you will want to add to your own home library!

Emile Theodore Argles

Portrait of Harold Grey (left) and Victor Daleycirca 1880-1895 Retrieved from , courtesy National Library of Australia
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” - JOHN 8:7 - Holy Bible

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement.

The gentleman referred to in Victor Daley’s ‘Some People’ as Harold Grey when he and ‘Harold’ were gallivanting at Manly in the cooler months of 1882, was in fact Emile Theodore Argles, one of the first real critics Australia had, who wrote under the nom de plumes 'A Pilgrim',  ‘The Pilgrim’, ‘Harold Grey’ and ‘Pasquin’ and also gave ‘Lectures’ under his own name when he first arrived in Australia, as well as under ‘Talbot Marshall’ later on, as well under as the pen names he became famous for. His was a crusade to look after the voiceless and shine a spotlight on the abused, a crusade he succeeded at in many instances, but not without personal cost.

Credited by many as the man who ‘made’ The Bulletin through a characteristic voice that styled the criticism levied with a good dose of humor of that paper during its formative years, Theodore, ‘Theo’ as he would on occasion sign his name, displayed all the true characteristics of the critic who can be cynical in being a true romantic at heart. He also seemed to love the water, had to be near or be able to see it, wherever he was during his ‘Pilgrimage’.

In holding up a mirror to society in order to address what is clearly wrong, and not spoken of, critics often come in for a lot of ridicule in the least and vilification, at worst. Ways and means to silence them are sought and practiced, and Mr. Argles certainly experienced this. As one of our favourite New York Times writers said just a few months ago, "A truly independent press is not stocked with political acolytes but political adversaries." and " ...members of the press ..., when properly performing, ...are truth seekers rather than ego-strokers.."

Theodore seems to have had a healthy ego himself but this didn't fill his words in ways that detracted from them, in fact that seemed to be part of the jokes he would pull - in this case, on himself. 

His work lay at the centre of two of our earliest libel cases when a writer for the then fledgling The Bulletin. He was also an entrepreneur of sorts in starting his own publications when removed from larger papers and instead of being silenced, seemed only to sing louder during a time when those who sang the right tune profited thereby.

His story is one that’s still relative to today, especially today when so many seem to be hesitating to speak their minds or the notion of a Free Press evaporates through the endless stream of news devoid of threads attached to those who hold purse strings and merely parroting what’s been paid for or what will suit. Mr. Argles seemed of the permanently opposed to this ilk, although he clearly kept an eye on making money, quickly squandered, from wielding a pen. While he was here though he did much to speak out against what was wrong and could be righted, championing the maligned, thumbing his nose at those who would publish platitudes through the Press to suit their own agendas or the prevailing wishes of those in charge. His actions, and the way he did it what he did, could be a first instance of anyone speaking out in our Press years before he joined The Bulletin.

He left the salons of Europe to come to Australia and invested all he had into this place when our nation was coming of age. It is solely through the great work of the National Library of Australia in continuing to add our newspapers of those times to the great font of TROVE that we are able to restore the paths he trod during his short time here and hopefully make one who had become invisible visible again. 

He died too soon from tuberculosis, a disease that was to take his fellow wordsmiths around him before and after his time and is still rated the highest infectious disease killer, taking more than HIV/Aids worldwide every single year. 

Did he spend much time in Pittwater?
He certainly loved the water – always tried to live in sight of it. 
He certainly sought refuge and respite at Manly with Daley, Archibald and certainly championed peoples on the Hawkesbury as well as further afield. 
There was not one eastern state he did not travel through and live in – he also spent a fair amount of time in South Australia. 

It seems likely he did visit here, writing under yet another nom de plume, while travelling through Pittwater on the way to a tourist excursion on the Hawkesbury during that ill-fated one time (!?) the engineer of the Florrie was drunk. The voice/s that recounts this episode is very alike his own and display his humour, even in what may have been trying circumstances.

There are also records of Henry Lawson being given the use of a yacht close to Manly Wharf - and this too seems to confirm certain aspects of these formative and, as some state, writers and artists of the first 'Golden Age of Australian Literature' gallivanting about here and there (at Manly) in between other escapades and providing us with wonderful words strung well together:

Then there were memories of Lawson and his friends in The Village, as they called Manly. Lord Beauchamp lent them his yacht the "Vesta," which was moored close to Manly Wharf. Roderic Quinn, Victor Daley and E. J. Brady were among those who joined Lawson. For many years, I kept a few verses written by Daley, leaving instructions for Lawson what to do after they had gone to the Village for further supplies. The verses were good, although the subject matter was very crude. They didn't mind living like toffs, even though they could see through it all. Harry was no man for family life. He drifted out of it, as he drifted out of other things. Back came memories of Harry's accounts of his tussles with the Bulletin. They would go up and see J. F. Archibald, the editor. He would give them a voucher. Then they would try to collect from "that so-and-so Scotsman, Mac-leod." "It was like trying to get blood out of a stone," Lawson would moan. But they invariably collected just the same. Or the time that Bland Holt, the theatrical manager of the day, commissioned him to localise the "Mystery of the Hansom Cab." Bland said he would not pay until Lawson did the job. 
by Jack Lang
THEY BURIED HARRY LIKE A LORD (1954, September 5). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 40. Retrieved from 

George Augustine Taylor also recounts in his Those Were the Days (1918) a trip to Gosford as 'an adventure' by The Bohemians of Sydney, of which Argles was a core member, although this is reported in his reminisces as set later than the actual articles then run, which are also after that incident of September 1882, the 'voices' of those writing under other names are too familiar and too alike Theo Argles and Victor Daley to not have had their hand (or pen) in them. Many of the reports found and run in a timeline below state they were firm and fast friends, along with Caddy, Melville (the Manly wordsmith who would also delve in poetry) and a host of 'scribes' that dazzle us still.

That Daley and Argles were firm friends when 'still bachelors' appears in one recounting after another; including their exhorting other publications to show more of the same kind of spine that speaks opening, truthfully - Daley may have done this in gentler terms, Argle with a joyous glee still communicated. One such 'story' is of their poking fun at the Sydney Morning Herald, considered a little to dour and sober in their reign of the streets. The legend states that one day during the early 1880's they drove around the Herald office in a hearse calling to those indoors;

"Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!" 

That would have livened things up! 

Daley is also supposedly to have addressed this few stanzas to younger Herald reporters and may have had his then dear departed friend in mind:

'Be safe, be slow, be sure;
Take nothing upon rumor.
And ever more be pure
And wholesome' in your humor.

'Be sparing in your jests,
'Tis safer to be solemn,
For Vested Interests
There is no Funny Column'."
LETTER FROM LESLIE HAYLEN (1948, March 23). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), p. 3. Retrieved from

Another oft repeated story, even decades after both had passed:

By W.H.E.
THE writer in his previous article mentioned the Saturday night beer and saveloy supper as the weekly consummation dear to the heart and stomach of every true-begotten freelance journalist in the dear days of local Bohemia. Relevant is a good story, the truth of which he can vouch for, having fraternised with the principals. The venue of our comedy-tragedy was Sydney. The principals were the late Mr. Archibald (kindly patron and father-confessor of all the literary and journalistic hacks of the day), the late Victor Daley (already mentioned), and the late Howard Gray (a clever paragraphilitst). It was customary for the Illustrious fraternity to mobolise at Power's Hotel Victoria, In George-street, when arrangements were made for the weekly beer and saveloy orgy on the fateful Saturday. Alas ! on one unforgettable occasion It was found that the exchequer (a Joint and several affair) was depleted, nay, non-existant. ...

Emile Theodore Argles (Manly to Pittwater Australian Poets Series 2017)

2017 NSW Surf Life Saving State Masters Championships At Blacksmiths Beach

Palm Beach SLSC's Fiona Rae, Karen Begg, Annabelle Chapman and Di van Ooi - just a few medals!
The 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Masters Championships have been run and won over two days at Blacksmiths Beach this week. Newport’s Stuart Meares took out the 55-59 Surf Race, Nick Carroll (Newport) won the Ironman, while Palm Beach SLSC and Warriewood SLS Clubs, even with only small teams, won in the water and on the sand.

Reports, Results and Pictures courtesy of Surf Life saving New South Wales  HERE

Warriewood SLSC's Rustys - State gold medal Surfboat crew - photo courtesy Phill Deer

2017 NSW Surf Life Saving State Opens Championships At Blacksmiths Beach

Newport winning in the water and on the sand: Open Male Beach Sprint Jake Lynch 1st, Blake Drysdale 2nd, Dean Scarff 3rd (Colloroy SLSC).
A full program of Beach Events and a number of team Water Events headlined a scintillating second day of action at the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships at Blacksmiths Beach in Lake Macquarie on Saturday.

On the back of a dominant day on the sand Newport surged to the overall lead in the club point-score ahead of Manly with Bate Bay clubs Wanda, Cronulla and North Cronulla rounding out the top five.

Over 2,300 of the state’s finest surf life savers have gathered at Blacksmiths Beach in Lake Macquarie for their chance to etch their name into the history books as the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships got underway on Friday. The Championships conclude today, Sunday March 12th.

Catch up with what's been happening so far - reports and photos by Surf Life Saving New South Wales HERE

2017 Pittwater Woman Of The Year

The Hon. Rob Stokes and Deborah Carter - AJG Photo.
The Zonta Club of Northern Beaches International Women's Day Breakfast was attended by 210 people this year, including many previous Pittwater Women of the Year. 

Sophie Stokes (representing local Pittwater member Rob Stokes) announced the selection of Deborah Carter as Pittwater Woman of the Year for 2017. Deborah was elected in 2015 President of the Pittwater RSL Sub Branch, the first female to hold this position. Currently the Honorary Welfare & Membership Officer at the Pittwater RSL Sub-branch, Deborah also holds the position of Vice President of Northern Beaches District Sub Branch.

The guest speaker, Superintendent Doreen Cruickshank APM, gave a fascinating talk about growing up in country NSW and joining the police force. Changes to the roles of women in the force in the 45 years Doreen has served have been spectacular. 


Autumn In Pittwater 2017

Turimetta Beach Sculptures - photos by Bea Pierce

Barrenjoey High Students and Community Break Longest Line of Surfboards World   Record: Raise Big Funds for DSA

Students and the community came together on Thursday to beat the longest line of surfboards, previously 685 in Long Beach, New York in May 2016, by a whopping total of 880 boards. All the correct procedures were followed, all the boxes ticked, and forms filled out ready to be submitted post-event.

The School and students were raising both funds and awareness for the Disability Surfers Association (DSA) through the sale of raffle tickets and other activities on the day, such as a sausage sizzle and baked goods stall, while the band Crystal Cities capped of the day with a few tunes. The final count on how much the world record breaking effort raised isn’t in but it was well over 5 thousand dollars as Issue 305 comes out.

Disability Surfers Association (DSA) is a not-for-profit, total voluntary organisation which sets world’s best practice for Disabled Surfers and puts "Smiles On Dials" at events all around Australia and New Zealand. DSA was established in 1986 by Gary Blaschke after a motorcycle accident which he lost his knee cap and under went extensive rehabilitation.

Gary saw a void that needed to be filled as over the years, many surfers with disabilities have unfortunately, been loners with no one to help them get back into the water.

Many suffer from disabilities that the general public would not consider a disability.

From asthmatics to joint injuries to paraplegic, many members have found friendship, support and have renewed their interest in surfing.

Gary’s vision quickly extended to all classes of disabilities, as it is today. A total voluntary organisation, which sets world’s best practice for Disabled Surfers, DSA also advocates for people who want to get in or on a wave and works with local organisations to spread the joy surfing brings.

From early morning people could see students walking to school with their boards, not that an unusual sight in Pittwater, only some were carrying more than one. Mid morning the call went out that more boards were needed and more boards were brought – Manly Surf School not only do they teach our kids to surf but they brought a trailer of boards down, Simon Ward of Adrenalin – Redback (Warriewood) making two trips to bring 101 boards and Onboard Store (Mona Vale) also bringing more along.

Adrenalin also donated Wetsuits for the raffles - The Hyperdry Sealed Ziperless Steamer and the Adrenalin Skate - The Vert Canadian Maple ultra spec. A very big thank you to the following, who also donated prizes for the raffle:
• 5’10” Firewire brand, Kelly Slater/Webber Banana Model – value $1,100
• Urge Footwear Gift Voucher – value $200
• Rayban Sunglasses from Beckenham Optometrist
• Breathing Space or Avalon Yoga Co-op voucher for 10 classes – value $250
• Beach Without Sand Vouchers – value $25 each
• Covet Jewels, solid personalised sterling silver keyring with an initial of the winner’s choice
• AvSUP Stand Up Paddle Board Lesson for 6 people – value $280

This type of event gives the students a community minded focus while fostering pride in their school. Our aim is to germinate in the minds of students a focus away from themselves and into the greater community in a fun and interesting way that directly relates to the environment we live in.

Ian Bowsher, Principal at Barrenjoey High School stated on Friday that the event had taken 9 months of hard work and planning by a great team.

“This was an absolutely fabulous community effort by the parents, community and students.” Mr. Bowsher said, “All those who worked hard to make this happen are to be congratulated by all their support and effort.”

Photographs by and courtesy of Kylie Ferguson, Sean Mulcahy and Sally Mayman, 2017

Sydney Harbour Bridge Celebrates 85th Birthday: A Few Pittwater Connections

Sydney Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay, Sydney, showing Luna Park - photo by and courtesy of J. J. Harrison.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Celebrates 85th Birthday

That bridge across the harbour turns 85 today, Sunday March 19th. The National Film and sound Archive has launched an OnlineExhibition to celebrate (links below) and a great Intro film. 

Plans to build a bridge were discussed as early as 1815, when convict and noted architect Francis Greenway reputedly proposed to Governor Lachlan Macquarie that a bridge be built from the northern to the southern shore of the harbour. In April 1825, Greenway wrote a letter to an earlier named "The Australian" newspaper stating that such a bridge would "give an idea of strength and magnificence that would reflect credit and glory on the colony and the Mother Country".

Nothing happened then but the idea stayed around. In 1840, naval architect Robert Brindley proposed that a floating bridge be built. Engineer Peter Henderson produced one of the earliest known drawings of a bridge across the harbour around 1857. 

Mr. P. E. Henderson, engineer, has proposed the construction of a bridge from near Dawes' Point, Sydney, to near Milsom's Point on the North Shore. The main span has been calculated at 1250 feet: the side spans about 450 each ; estimated cost £250,000. In the event, of the proposal being accepted, arrangements will be effected for the free passage of the largest ships. A high column of masonry on each side and a terrace-like bridge of iron are the chief features of the proposed structure. New South Wales Intelligence. (1857, September 26). The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW : 1856 - 1861; 1863 - 1889; 1891 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

One our research in TROVE, below, shows a version drawn up in 1873. A suggestion for a truss bridge was made in 1879, and in 1880 a high-level bridge estimated at $850,000 was proposed.

In 1900, the then Lyne government committed to building a new Central railway station and organised a worldwide competition for the design and construction of a harbour bridge. Local engineer Norman Selfe submitted a design for a suspension bridge and won the second prize of £500. 

DESIGNS FOR A PROPOSED NORTH SHORE BRIDGE. (1900, December 8). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 38. Retrieved from

In 1902, when the outcome of the first competition became mired in controversy, Selfe won a second competition outright, with a design for a steel cantilever bridge. This one didn't get built either though.

In 1914 Dr. John Bradfield, after whom the Bradfield Highway is named, was appointed "Chief Engineer of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Metropolitan Railway Construction". His idea for a cantilever bridge without piers, work which earned him the legacy as the "father" of the bridge, did gain more popular and government support but construction was suspended due to money available being poured in World War I.

After the cessation of hostilities, and a renewed demand for a bridge linking the city with the north shore, Dr. Bradfield and officers of the NSW Department of Public Works prepared a general design for a single-arch bridge based on New York City's Hell Gate Bridge. The tender was awarded to the English firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd, of Middlesbrough, known as the contractors who constructed the similar Tyne Bridge of Newcastle Upon Tyne, for an arch bridge at a quoted price of £4,217,721 11s 10d. 

The building of the bridge coincided with the construction of that system of underground railways in Sydney's CBD, known today as the City Circle, and the bridge's design reflected this. The bridge was designed to carry six lanes of road traffic, flanked on each side by two railway tracks and a footpath. Both sets of rail tracks were linked into the underground Wynyard railway station on the south (city) side of the bridge by symmetrical ramps and tunnels.The eastern-side railway tracks were intended for use by a planned rail link to the Northern Beaches; in the interim they were used to carry trams from the North Shore into a terminal within Wynyard station, and when tram services were discontinued in 1958, they were converted into extra traffic lanes. The Bradfield Highway, which is the main roadway section of the bridge and its approaches, is named in honour of Bradfield's contribution to the bridge. [1.]

Stowe's 1922 Proposal - Original publication: National Archives of Australia
A unique three-span bridge was proposed in 1922 by Ernest Stowe with connections at Balls Head, Millers Point, and Balmain with a memorial tower and hub on Goat Island.

The official ceremony to mark the "turning of the first sod" occurred on 28 July 1923, on the spot at Milsons Point on the north shore where two workshops to assist in building the bridge were to be constructed.

An estimated 469 buildings on the north shore, both private homes and commercial operations, were demolished to allow construction to proceed, with little or no compensation being paid. Work on the bridge itself commenced with the construction of approaches and approach spans, and by September 1926 concrete piers to support the approach spans were in place on each side of the harbour.

Arch construction itself began on 26 October 1928. The southern end of the bridge was worked on ahead of the northern end, to detect any errors and to help with alignment. The cranes would "creep" along the arches as they were constructed, eventually meeting up in the middle. In less than two years, on Tuesday, 19 August 1930, the two halves of the arch touched for the first time. Workers riveted both top and bottom sections of the arch together, and the arch became self-supporting, allowing the support cables to be removed. On 20 August 1930 the joining of the arches was celebrated by flying the flags of Australia and the United Kingdom from the jibs of the creeper cranes.

The deck for the roadway and railway were built on top of the crossbeams, with the deck itself being completed by June 1931, and the creeper cranes were dismantled. Rails for trains and trams were laid, and road was surfaced using concrete topped with asphalt.

The last stone of the north-west pylon was set in place on 15 January 1932, and the timber towers used to support the cranes were removed. 

On 19 January 1932, the first test train, a steam locomotive, safely crossed the bridge. Load testing of the bridge took place in February 1932, with the four rail tracks being loaded with as many as 96 steam locomotives positioned end-to-end. The bridge underwent testing for three weeks, after which it was declared safe and ready to be opened. 

Dr. John Bradfield riding the first test train across the bridge on 19 January 1932, courtesy State Records of NSW Flickr collection.

The construction worksheds were demolished after the bridge was completed, and the land that they were on is now occupied by Luna Park.

The bridge was formally opened on Saturday, 19 March 1932. The then Premier, Jack Lang, was meant to cut the ribbon, but some of you may well know that Captain Francis de Groot danced forward on his horse and cut the ribbon! de Groot was a member of the right-wing New Guard of Australia, formed in Sydney, Australia in February 1931 as a paramilitary offshoot from a conservative tradition defending loyalty to King and Empire, sound government, law and order, individual liberty and property rights. In particular, the movement was formed in response to the policies adopted by Jack Lang, the leader of the Labor Party and Premier of New South Wales.

There are Pittwater connections of course; some of those associated with this group were instrumental in that flight of George Augustine Taylor and drew a well-known author to Narrabeen. Among these pilots was Mr. Hallstrom, of Bayview Koala Sanctuary and Taronga Zoo, while an earlier visitor to Pittwater, and the gentleman who ensured the Barrenjoey lights provided safety at sea for those sailing by, Captain Francis Hixson, had his home demolished as part of the construction process!

The Fort, the residence of the late Captain Hixson, at Dawes Point. At the right-hand end will be seen the top of the old military quarters.
DEMOLISHED FOR THE HARBOUR BRIDGE. (1932, May 5).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from 

Formerly the home of the late Captain Francis Hixson, one-time officer in charge of the port, this old building, near the Dawes Point bridge pylons, is being pulled down. DEMOLITION OF HISTORIC BUILDING. (1932, February 4).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from   

On the eve of the Bridge's official opening the lady who owned the former Bilgola House walked on the bridge with Dr. Bradfield, a friend of hers. 
Yet more proof that every community is connected to every other community through threads that weave time's events. Such people, and threads, have enriched and continue to enrich us all, merely by making an acquaintance with these little parts of the whole picture.

Hannah Macluran and Dr. Bradfield on Sydney Harbour bridge prior to opening - courtesy Avalon Beach Historical Society


Website: bcpra

Prior to 1900 residents of Bayview and Church Point were actively involved in matters of preservation and progress.
In 1893 and 1899 the reference was the Progress Associations of Bayview, Pittwater and Narrabeen in seeking ferry timetabling from Sydney and to have a Constable appointed to the area.
When Bayview wharf was officially opened in 1900, it was recorded "The official party was met at Bayview by the President of the local Progress Association P.T. Taylor."
In the Sydney paper of 1907 it was reported that the residents had formed the Bayview-Church Point Progress Association.

Over the years the Association lobbied for essential services whilst maintaining the natural beauty of the area.
The Bayview Baths were constructed beside the wharf in 1916 which Warringah Council maintained until the early 1990s.
In the 1930s electricity and town water were connected and a regular bus service from Manly to Church Point commenced.

In the 1980s residents and the Association prevented `Planners' infilling all the bays and inlets between Mona Vale and Church Point to build a four lane highway.
In 1993 the Progress Association was incorporated and adopted our Constitution. In accord with changing times the name was changed in 2005 to Bayview-Church Point Residents Assoc Inc.
We worked with the other Residents' Associations of Pittwater under the banner of PRAID `Pittwater Residents Against Inappropriate Development' to support Pittwater Council to put in place sound Planning Rules and Guidelines against over-development and destruction of our beautiful area.
In the 1990s the State Govt assessed the environmental protection required for the foreshores, particularly at Church Point and residents are continuing to try to prevent over-development.

Our main aim as an Association is to be a voice for the residents of the area.
During the Pittwater Council local government time, our Committee members were represented on all Council's Reference Groups, particularly regarding the environment. Representation is continuing with the Northern Beaches Council.

The Committee is elected at our Annual General Meeting in March each year.
The financial year is January to December.
Membership subscriptions are advised prior to the AGM and every endeavour is made to keep them as reasonable as possible. 
Membership is $25.00 per year.
We carry Public Risk Insurance for members when involved in Association business.

Bayview Church Point Residents Association AGM

Tuesday March 21st
7.00 p.m. for 7.30
1842 Pittwater Rd, 

Speakers – Hon. Rob Stokes
Dick Persson AM

We invite all adult residents of Bayview and Church Point to become members of the Residents Association.
Whether you are a new member or looking to renew your membership with us, please download the Subscription Form below, complete the details and return to us at either or the postal address on the form.

Members socialise at the AGM and if significant matters are to be dealt with during the year, further meetings are called.

We include Guest Speakers at such meetings and include Question and Answer time.

Regular information Updates are emailed and/or posted to members.

Residents' favourite places are their own homes, the natural environment and wildlife, the views and reasonable access to essential services.

Our core ethos/function is to be ever vigilant in preserving the magnificent area in which we are blessed to live, to look after one another without political or religious bias and to generally support good government and their decisions.

Our thanks to Margaret Makin, Hon. Secretary and Public Officer of Bayview-Church Point Residents Association for putting this page together.

Residents Trying To Save Mona Vale Village Park - The Village Green - B-Line Protest

Protest Rally at Mona Vale Village Park, Saturday March 25th - photo by Mark Horton.
On Wednesday March 22nd and again on Saturday March 25th residents gathered in the Village Park at Mona Vale to demonstrate against the encroachment of the B-Line bus service and new bus bay on what many consider the village green of Mona Vale, along with the removal of trees, at Mona Vale's Village Park.

Mona Vale Village Park Berms - Tuesday afternoon, March 222nd - photo by Mark Horton

As run in Issue 300, B-Line Proposal For Mona Vale Approved - 26 trees are to be lost and it is a requirement that the Offset for these will be 118 trees planted 'on or near the impacted site'. As part of the approval given in February  the documents state that "The use of advanced plantings would be considered. " - In the film below, 'To B-Line Or Not To B-Line? PART 2 Of 3' one consultant meeting with members of the Save Mona Vale community group states mature trees will be replanted.

This small inconsistency could be ascribed to details that are missing, as North Sydney Council, the other end of the B-Line vision, points out in their report of February 16th, 2017 ( Response to B-Line Referral of Environmental Factors page 7), and available on their website; 

The B-line REF notes that a strategic justification for the project has been outlined in the B-Line Program’s Strategic and Final Business Cases, completed May 2015 and February 2016 respectively. Neither of these documents are available for public/Council consideration. As such, Council has not had the opportunity to consider the project in terms of an overarching vision for travel demand management: improved B-line passenger travel times, mode shift (motorist to B-line passenger) and traffic reduction along the project corridor. Contrary to the objectives of the project and community expectations, the REF traffic modelling suggests that the proposed B-line project will actually result in increased bus passenger travel times, no mode shift and increased traffic on Military Road. 

In addition, the relative priority of this project in terms of its potential benefits vs cost (BCR) is not detailed in the REF. In June 2015, TfNSW’s Northern Beaches Bus Rapid Transit Strategic Business Case Assurance Review Report, prepared by an independent engineering and cost expert review panel, stated that it was, “not confident that value for money has been demonstrated for the proposed capital expenditure”. Given that the cost of the project has increased from $222 million to over half a billion since this time, it is suggested that an up to date BCR for the project should be provided and include cost increases associated with the construction of 900 multi-story car parking spaces in northern beaches centres as well as consideration of how induced traffic demand (see 3.1.1) will effect the benefits associated with these proposals.'

Mona Vale Village Park Berms - Saturday afternoon, March 25th

The ABS Census of Population and Housing journey to work data, 2011, states 60% of people still preferred to use their car to travel to work and 3% used buses - clearly many in Manly would utilise the ferry service too. Those travelling to the city centre or North Sydney from our area then were Pittwater: 3, 797, Warringah: 14, 766, Manly: 7, 702, Mosman: 6, 509 and North Sydney: 13,907 into town and 9, 657 to North Sydney itself. 

Strokes That Matter - Bass Strait Paddle April 2017 - Newport SLSC

Strokes That Matter - Bass Strait Paddle April 2017

Immediately following the 2017 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships “Aussies” at Kirra Beach – a group of 12 Newport Surf Club members, friends and supporters will paddle on surf skis across Bass Strait with the objective of raising money and awareness for the prevention of drowning.
Inspired by fellow club member - Brad Gaul’s world first paddleboard crossing  in 2014  – the team planned the trip as a unique opportunity to end a successful season, and to raise community awareness to prevent the annual tragic and unnecessary loss of life through drownings in Australia every year.
As members of Newport Surf Club, and with a hugely successful competitive background the group is passionate about water safety and drowning prevention – and have a unique experience and involvement as surf lifesaving volunteers in preventing drownings, and educating the public on life saving techniques and skills.   
The team of KNG Ironman Max Brooks and multiple Australian Title Gold Medallist fellow club members Tom Atkinson, Mitch Trim, Chad Alston, Luke Jones, Jayke Rees, Cody Marr and Jonah Beard – with North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club Members Luke Moses and Jake Moses and supporters Paul Moses, Sandy Beard and John Farrell will leave from Port Albert Victoria on Wednesday April 5th and travel via the east coast island route of Hogan Island, Deal Island and Flinders Island arriving at Little Musselroe Bay on Tasmania’s isolated North East Coast on April 11– a total distance in excess of 300 kms.
The team will likely encounter huge seas, gale force winds, strong tides and currents and unpredictable and rapidly changing weather conditions – whilst witnessing a spectacular part of Australia’s coastline and some magnificent isolated islands. They have spent considerable time planning the crossing and ensuring it is conducted safely – which will further their knowledge as to the dangers presented by waterways. Knowledge gained from the experience and their education and training as lifesavers, and media profile of a number of the group – is an opportunity which the team believe deserves to be shared with a  wider audience and has the potential to help prevent fatalities.
Through a fund specifically established with the Newport Surf Club called  “Strokes That Matter” – they are looking to raise $30 K to establish and implement a number of programs to specifically target drowning prevention and surf awareness – which they hope will become an enduring program.
100% of all funds raised will go directly to executing programs established within the existing and proven framework of Surf Life Saving Australia;
The fund has the following key goals for 2017 /2018:
  • Implement an educational syllabus / program for delivery in schools throughout NSW
  • Deliver programs via Nutri Grain athletes at NSW schools
  • Utilise media coverage of Bass Strait Crossing and other media opportunities to enable wider access to NSW School Students
  • Conduct surf and water safety awareness clinics at beaches across NSW in conjunction with other surf clubs
  • Conduct surf and water safety awareness clinics at waterways and public meeting places
  • Participate with other specialist organisations in initiatives that directly target drowning prevention
The fund website is

Providing beach patrol and rescue services to Newport Beach for over 100 years, the Newport Surf Club is community focused and a hub of community activity. 

As a custodian of the beach, the club has a proud history of actively teaching nippers through to adults, vital surf skills and provides a vibrant surf sports program that is ranked No 3 in Australia. In addition, its leadership, development and community service programs and activities play a vital part in developing future generations of Australian's.

Securing Mona Vale Hospital’s Long-Term Future

Photo: Mona Vale Hospital Community Health Centre- North/Rear walls of the new structure opened in 2016

Securing Mona Vale Hospital’s Long-Term Future

23 March 2017

Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes today announced the next stage in the transformation of Mona Vale Hospital to ensure it continues to provide high-quality health services into the future. 

More than 20 health care providers have responded to a Registration of Interest (ROI) process for additional health services to be co-located at Mona Vale Hospital. 

These additional services would be provided alongside a range of existing and new health services including 24/7 Urgent Care, medical imaging, pathology, pharmacy, inpatient rehabilitation and assessment, inpatient geriatric evaluation and management, inpatient palliative care and a diversity of community health services. 

“The interest received from experienced health operators has exceeded our expectations,” Rob Stokes said today. 

“I’m particularly excited by the diversity of health services being proposed – especially from local operators. 

“We’re now looking at the potential for a broader range of sub-acute and complementary health services to be provided at Mona Vale Hospital than ever before. This includes everything from General Practice through to medical specialists. 

“This process is a really important part of the ongoing work to modernise Mona Vale Hospital and continue introducing new infrastructure and services,” Rob Stokes said.

Acute services will transfer to the new state-of-the-art Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest when it opens in late 2018. In December 2016 the NSW Government announced the launch of the Registration of Interest process for additional health services at Mona Vale Hospital to complement the recent additions to the campus.

All land will remain in public ownership and the Northern Sydney Local Health District will continue to manage the Mona Vale Hospital campus. 

The ROI responses will now be carefully assessed by a panel of representatives from the Northern Sydney Local Health District and NSW Health Infrastructure. Recommendations to the Minister for Health regarding which operators will be asked for more detailed proposals will be made in coming months. 

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said: “All of us on the beaches will soon benefit from a wider range of health services. It’s great that the government’s vision is fast becoming a reality. 

“Delivering a new world-class hospital at Frenchs Forest and investing in new buildings and services at Mona Vale Hospital will see both hospitals working together to provide the best possible healthcare choices for our growing community. 

“The strong response to the Registration of Interest process is very encouraging and will help secure Mona Vale Hospital’s role into the future,” Mr Hazzard said.

Pittwater Friends Of Soibada 2017 Focus Is On Building A Senior High School

Pittwater Friends Of Soibada 2017 Focus Is On Building A Senior High School: A Catch Up With Tamara Sloper Harding OAM

Pittwater Friends of Soibada is a diverse group of individuals who are committed to forging a lasting friendship between communities on Sydney's Northern Beaches and those in the Central Timor Leste province of Soibada.  Their key objective is to support the local people in their efforts to achieve sustainable development in their region.  All the projects are initiated by the people of Soibada themselves.

Since 2010, when a friendship agreement was officially signed between the local governments of both Pittwater and Soibada, volunteers in health, construction, water and all supporting industries have visited Timor Leste. 

The Pittwater Community’s commitment to assisting Timor Leste began many years earlier in September 1999 during the deployment of INTERFET. It became formalised in 2008 when students at Maria Regina Primary School in Avalon requested to be linked in a friendship arrangement with a school in Timor Leste. Then Consul General, now Ambassador, Abel Guterres, assisted in establishing the partnership with Soibada. Pittwater Council and Pittwater Catholic Parish then requested to be part of the program. It now encompasses the broader community including churches of all denominations, Rotary Clubs, The RSL, The Chamber of Commerce, Surfclubs and Sporting clubs, three nursing homes, the War Veterans Centre, the local Library, numerous schools and preschools, the University of NSW, numerous businesses, Medical Centres and more. In 2015 PFOS was given DGR Status in Australia

The agreement provides a basis for the people of Pittwater to assist those of Soibada to increase their health, well-being and capacity. We provide support for local projects and build skills that will contribute to the long term independence and sustainability of the community. The focus is education, sanitation, health and business development. All projects undertaken are requested and initiated by the community of Soibada. The Suco Chiefs and village leaders meet regularly with the team and are in weekly communication via social media.

This year the focus is on building a Senior High School for students, with plans being finalised in a July 2017 trip by the volunteers led by Chairperson of Pittwater Friends of Soibada, Tamara Sloper Harding OAM.

This week we caught up with Tamara to get an overview of PFoS plans for 2017.

Yourself and a team of volunteers are returning to Soibada in July this year – what are the priorities for 2017?
The focus this year is prioritising Youth as we’re trying to raise funds to build the Senior High School. The needs assessment for this was done by our Youth Team a couple of years ago through talking to the youth in Soibada. On this visit we will be finalising the details and talking to them about their plans and this will involve everyone in the village.

We’ll also be putting in computers and the Internet, conducting sewing workshops in the Training Centre, that is now finished. 

Where have all the computers come from?
Pittwater House – this school has donated 40 laptops so far. These will all go into the computer centre and they’ll have Internet access and will be able to do lessons through these.

Days for Girls has also been a big focus for Pittwater Friends of Soibada in 2016 and still – what’s happening there?
The ENACTUS Group, through UNSW (University of NSW) will be running the Sewing Workshops and teaching the girls in the village how to make their own kits. Peta Wise is the new project manager and main point of contact for Days for Girls* in Soibada. We have worked out a structure and various tasks that may be of interest to anyone that would like to help. We are very keen to not just distribute the kits in Soibada but eventually teach the women how to make them for themselves.

There will be a Facebook Group set up for communication purposes. A huge thank you to Peta for taking this on and all the lovely volunteers who have offered to help us. This is really going to change the lives of the girls in Soibada!

New Free Street Library In Avalon

Street Library at Tutle Land Community Garden. Photo supplied.

New Free Street Library In Avalon

There is a new, free street library in Patrick St, Avalon (between Joseph and William streets) - a street library is a free community resource installed by volunteers to foster both literacy and neighbourhood. 

Gail Broady built this one from an old cabinet reclaimed from Kimbriki, the base of an old chair, perspex from an uncle's shed, and timber from her Dad's garage. 

“We call this one the Tardis because every book is a time machine and there's a world of worlds inside every library. We have stocked it with books for little kids and big people.” Gail said this week. 

Gail would like to build and place another Street Library where residents may not readily have access to books. The Tardis Street Library is number 201 of these great ways to share and access the wonderful world inside books.

Street Libraries are a beautiful home for books, planted in your front yard. They are accessible from the street, and are an invitation to share the joys of reading with your neighbours.

Street Libraries are a window into the mind of a community; books come and go; no-one needs to check them in or out. People can simply reach in and take what interests them; when they are done, they can return them to the Street Library network, or pass them on to friends. You don't need a library card and there will be no fines - just a sharing of stories, through books.

If anyone has a book or two that they think others would enjoy, they can just pop it into any Street Library they happen to be walking past.
They are a symbol of trust and hope – a tiny vestibule of literary happiness.

Nic Lowe is the founder of Street Library. Lowe’s vision stemmed from wanting to build an Australian-based free library movement that encouraged literacy and community. Nic discovered street libraries in Portland, U.S. and then found out it was a global movement led by the great folks at Little Free Libraries. 

Street Library officially began in Sydney, New South Wales in November 2015 and has been rapidly growing and expanding ever since. Street Library is a registered incorporated non for profit charity regulated by the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission and NSW Fair Trading.

Street Library’s motto is “Borrow a Book, Lend a Book.”

Street Library aims to be a self-sufficient revenue source by selling libraries to those who do not want to build them and hosting workshops for those who want to learn how to build them. We also welcome support from other corporate partners who share a passion for Street Library’s mission.

As of March 2017, there are over 200 Street Libraries in Australia. The goal is to increase that number to 500 in the next few years. Residents, schools and other community groups interested in obtaining a Street Library can build their own at one of the workshops, download DIY instructions or purchase a ready-made box built by a local men’s shed from Street Library Australia’s website.

This one being painted by Pim Sarti, a Street Library Artist, will soon be installed at Pearl Beach. Pretty wonderful - and a great way to exercise your creative skills to bring the community together:

You can find out how to build or install your own street library, find other libraries, join or contribute to the growing community of volunteer street librarians at

So... on your morning walk, on your way to the bus or the beach, stop by, browse, borrow, swap or simply take a book... or drop one off. There's no paper work, no cost, you can bring a book back... or not... And encourage your kids to do the same.  If there's nothing that interests you today, check it out again tomorrow or the next day... the offering will change regularly as people swap, share, donate. 
Tardis Street Library, Avalon Beach.

Palmy Longboarders Club Host Annual DSA Surfing Day Event

The annual Palmy Longboarders DSA event occurred on Sunday March 19. Although the conditions were challenging, with a very strong current running along the beach toward the escalator rip alongside the pool, spirits were high and smiles were wide. 

Talented Photographer Jacqueline Andronicus was in the water with her Aquatech underwater housing, and shares these great images.

The Barrenjoey High School SRC (Student Representative Council) came down to lend a hand, after raising a phenomenal amount of money for the DSA with their record breaking surfboard lineup. They were great energy and really helpful to have on board. 

Since 2011 this local boardriding club has been hosting a DSA surfing day event where great fun, great people and great food are all part of the experience. This year, with Barrenjoey High School students helping out as volunteers, the bliss that is getting in the water and getting on a wave was extended into a shared day of fun among peers that proves founder of DSA Gary Blaschke's determination to put 'smiles on dials' works for those going surfing and those helping them to.

New Life Members Honoured At 2017 Surf Life Saving NSW State Championships

Photograph courtesy SLS NSW - The new Life Members were honoured guests at the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships at Blacksmiths Beach. 

Rhonda Lycett (Mona Vale SLSC)
Like many Australians Rhonda Lycett’s introduction to Surf Life Saving was through her children when she became a Nipper parent in 1979 at Mona Vale SLSC. The following year she took on the role of Age Manager, a position she would hold for another seven seasons and also served as Treasurer for the junior club.

Searching for her next challenge she started officiating in 1985 and has been a welcome and familiar face on the beach ever since.
Rhonda obtained her Bronze Medallion in 1995 and her influence on the senior club has been just as profound where she has held positions including Registrar, Chief Instructor and Training Officer. She’s also dabbled in the coaching area and coached R&R and Championship Lifesaver competitors to NSW medals.

At a Branch Level she has served as Team Manager, Team Chaperone, Official, and was awarded Recorder of the Year.
Even now she can often be found on the beach on a Sunday morning, encouraging and mentoring the next generation of Nippers and is always willing to share a laugh, tell a story and reflect on her own experiences.

In 2016 Rhonda’s dedication to the Sydney Northern Beaches Surf Life Saving community was formally recognised when she was elevated to Life Membership.

Victor James Daley: A Manly Bard And Poet

Photo 47a. ‘at Manly the Corso’ from Album "Views of Sydney and its streets, 1868-1881 / compiled by John Lane Mullins". Image No.: a1939111h, courtesy State Library of NSW
It should come as no surprise to those who watch the ocean, and see its lines roll in with the form of waves, that many an Australian poet has long been attracted to, inspired by, and at home amongst the Australian coastal landscape. This way of seeing 'vision' everywhere would also be applicable to green to blue hills to the western horizon, in Pittwater's case, aligned with the constantly changing colours of the estuary when not on the coast.

Those with enough intellect to string a few lines together that evoke and take us to places tangibly intangible are also those who frequently like to be within reach of a metropolitan area where people abound, where books in libraries are accessible, where paper and ink may be procured with which to write those bursts of feelings and thoughts down. Manly was within a steamer trip of Sydney 'town' before the advent of decent roads, and Pittwater a steamer, coach or sailing trip away.

Research has made it apparent Manly and Pittwater, and the long stretches of coastal bliss in between, have long been a haven and inspiration for these wordsmiths of song. It is in the petroglyphs that were made by the original custodians and the songs, of annual returnings, these are Markers for. 
It is in the earliest records of those sent to or escaping to this beautiful land through the songs they brought with them and in the way they sought to communicate with those still in that northern 'green and pleasant land' what they were seeing, and filled to the pores and beyond with, here. For those living here these poets were popular when alive, as opposed to when dead, and through the wider range of newspapers and weeklies and monthlies available then than what is available as a 'newspaper' today, their stories and poems could be read and shared by a resident population that may not have access to books and libraries in rural areas outside the metropolis, or read aloud for those who had not had access to an education. For those to whom articles, poems and songs were read aloud is the inference of the first meaning of 'Bard'. 

The pre-Christian Celtic peoples recorded no written histories; however, Celtic peoples did maintain an intricate oral history committed to memory and transmitted by bards and filid. Bards facilitated the memorisation of such materials by the use of metre, rhyme and other formulaic poetic devices. In medieval Gaelic and British culture, a bard was a professional story teller, verse-maker and music composer, employed by a patron (such as a monarch or noble), to commemorate one or more of the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities.

These writer, poets and 'bards' were, in fact, establishing an Australian voice, perhaps with an Irish brogue, in the case of Mr. Daley, or with French twinges, in the case of Mr. Argles, or any of several other accents, but they were speaking of a place they clearly revelled in and did not leave, despite opportunity to.

Victor James William Patrick Daley (August 5 1858 (?), christened September 5th (he later writes in a birthday book of Fred Bloomfields that his birthdate is September 5th; see in timeline below) – 29 December 1905) was an Australian poet. Born at the Navan, County Armagh, Ireland, and educated at the Christian Brothers at Devonport in England, he arrived in Australia in 1878, and became a freelance journalist and writer in both Melbourne and Sydney. Whilst in Melbourne, he met and became a friend of Marcus Clarke; later, in Sydney, he became acquainted with Henry Kendall. He is notable for becoming the first author in Australia who tried to earn a living from writing alone. In Sydney in 1898, the same year he published Dawn and Dusk, he was among the founders of the bohemian Dawn and Dusk Club, which had many notable members such as writer Henry Lawson. This was a further development of articles titled 'The Bohemians' Victor began penning and having published in 1882.

He died of tuberculosis in 1905, as had his good friend Emile Theodore Argles in 1886 and Kendall in 1882.

Victor used the pseudonym 'Creeve Roe' (Irish =Red Branch - the area next to the Navan where Cu Chulainn trained as a Red Branch Knight), as well as a few other pseudonyms and his own name in various versions when he did place his name next to his written works. 

He was among those called 'Manly Bards' by Henry Lawson in a tribute poem published in 1906, months after his passing away.

Regarding these early generations of what is acknowledged as Australia's early poets there are at least three incidences of a poet's commune of sorts occurring within Manly. Their being enticed to venture into the Pittwater area runs from Manly occurs too. In examining those of 135 (1882) and 115 years ago (1902 to 1905), those that met Kendall, Farrell and Deniehy and inherited and carried forward the torch, are named as that overlap generation of Australian wordsmiths in:

Melville was one of the older school of Bulletin writers. He sang the praises of, Manly in season and out of season. It was probably through his personal influence that Victor Daley and Henry Lawson came to live in 'The Village'. I think Roderick Quinn lived there for a little while also. Quinn, if not an actual resident, was a frequent visitor to the others. I remember now we awe-struck youngsters used to gaze at the four poets strolling down the street arm in arm— and taking its width in their stride. One of Daley's, sons was enrolled as a pupil at the Manly Public School. ....
SURFING AND CELEBRITIES. (1933, February 18). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

This refers to poets living beside the seaside in the years 1902 to 1904. Roderick Quinn, whose brother Patrick lived in Manly, certainly wrote many articles and poems inspired by the area, as seen in some of those collected for Roderic Quinns Poems And Prose For Manly, Beacon Hill, Dee Why And Narrabeen. His brother also wrote about the area and at least one sojourn on the Pittwater estuary itself as 'Viator' in 'A Run to Pittwater'.

There are at least two outstanding incidents prior to this which established Manly, a gateway north to greener Pittwater, as a place frequented by these now legendary poets and wordsmiths. There are links that fan out to Middle Harbour, and there mingled with a rising group of Artists, through Mosman and Mosman Bay, Little Sirius Cove, where Curlew Camp was located, and Balmoral, that extended and changed, or even began in the estimation of some, an Australian School of Art. 

The first of these 'visitations' occurs in mid 1882:

Early ' Bulletin ' Memoirs.
No XI.
The Pilgrim ! More.— This strange genius lived an extraordinary life, and was really Puck incarnate. His scheme in Maitland Gaol, devised to make the place a pandemonium of suspicion, in which he succeeded in involving gaoler and warders and female prisoners and warders' wives in a series of scandals, was a fair example of his delight for mischief. When on the early Bulletin the Pilgrim was let loose to satirise the ignorant 'In Memoriam' verses in the daily press columns, he simply revelled with delight in poetic shafts of ridicule. It was his four-line mimicry of a South Sydney man who had lost his aunt that brought that individual down to the office with a stick in his hand and fire in his eye for satisfaction. There was no end to the turmoil. 

Then the Pilgrim turned his hand at pleasant verse on marriages notified in the daily papers— and we stood on the brink of numerous dangers; and it was beginning to be very risky for any body with funny names to get married at all, when Grey decided to desist, as the salary was not high enough to cover war risks. Various bridegrooms interviewed him, and at least three times he demanded a new set of teeth from the office— as compensation for losses at the 'front.' 

He was the master theatrical critic at the time. Very often, out of sheer devilment, he'd write up a chorus girl's charms, and send a prima donna right off her head. At times he'd employ all his wits to invest a fourth-rate part with the importance rightly attachable to the principal —and then trouble before and behind the curtain would begin. In some of the criticisms, for instance, he'd never describe Holloway, an early barnstormer, as anything else but 'Bill,' and Verdi, the pompous baritone, was only 'Bill Green' when he was writing opera. He developed squabbles on every stage and around them all, and though long since gone to his rest, he doubtless still gives a turn to laugh again over his scarifying or satirical thrusts at Williamson, Garner and Musgrove, Fanny Liddiard, Maggie Moore, Nellie Stewart— and not forgetting the amateur Hamlet, gasfitter Defries, and the amateur Othello, Isaac Reginald Isaacs, of Woollahra, who lent money on more liberal terms than ever known before — but who never would play Shylock on the stage, whatever he might do off it. 

In the office, the Pilgrim was always ahead of his salary, and Traill, who joined Archibald and myself in the proprietary after the Clontarf libel case, felt himself called on to put the break on Grey. Sparks resulted. One day Traill refused Grey an advance— not until he had written something good. The Pilgrim hurried away, and returned with a tip-top literary essay entitled 'The Ogre— A Study.' Traill said it was good— very good indeed, and advanced two guineas. When it was published, Traill received a letter from Grey with the article pinned to it — and the raff words ' Behold your own photo!' And such it was. 

Though of Jewish descent, the Pilgrim somehow relished the joke of circumventing any Hebrew who came in his way. A Pitt-street jeweller named Bronway, pushing trade one day, put a watch in the Pilgrim's pocket with a gold chain attached, and, standing back to admire, told him he looked 'sphlen- did ' — in fact, he ' would cause a shen-shation in de sthreet ven you gonoudt,' which the Pilgrim did, by walking away with the watch on the time payment r system, the terms of which are not yet up. It cost old Bronway about £100 in time to see the Pilgrim — 'and at last he concluded that ' that Pilgrim wash no tarn goot.' 

However, they were destined to meet again. Bronway had a furnished cottage at Manly, which he advertised, and the Pilgrim, Daley (I think), and Caddy decided that they all wanted fresh air — and by the sea side. Caddy, as Bishop Barker's relative, hired the cottage, and never haggled a bit about the rent. Bronway could have it whenever he liked. The Bohemians immediately went into possession, but though the tide flowed in and flowed out for days and weeks at Manly, it was all slack tide as far as the rent was concerned. 

The trio did fine. Broad-minded, they gave everybody 'a turn' at the village, and sent us some beautiful copy. They opened accounts with the Manly shopkeepers to pay on the second Wednesday in the month, but forgot to specify the month. Bronway, tired of waiting for the Bishop's relative to come to town, decided to run down to Manly to interview him. He reached his cottage through a broken sea of dead marines and sardine, salmon, and herring tins, which, having a large nose for general purposes, alarmed him much. He knocked gently, but with authority. He knocked once, he knocked twice, he knocked thrice. The enemy within got word from Caddy, who was the range-finder for such occasions, that Bronway was the obtruder. A council of war immediately held decided that the Pilgrim should act as negotiator, the Demon agreeing — believing that on Bronway seeing him the Hebrew might go right off from shock. Opening the door, the Pilgrim extended a warm welcome to the jeweller. ' Ah .' mein Gott. fife It's you who's got mein cottadge. Out of de plais, out of de plais ! Och, och,' and Bronway turned round to look at the empty picnic tins and dead marines lying thickly slain everywhere. The Pilgrim, however (with more devil), assumed the legal attitude, and finally it was a fortnight before the Bohemians shifted camp. Before leaving, however, they ' honourably ' settled all accounts. They notified the Manly business people to call round for their accounts on ' next Monday ' afternoon, by which time the new tenants were in Bronway's cottage, while with the new tenants they left word to tell the shopkeepers to send on their accounts to Mr. Grey, care of Mr. Bronway, jeweller, Pitt-street, Sydney. 

Parish of Manly 1885 (?) to 1894 (?)
The trio returned to the city from the sea coast in good health and much refreshed. The week after their return, while people were writing from Manly for their money or calling personally on Bronway, the Pilgrim wrote a note ostensibly from the jeweller, asking Traill to call on him to arrange a page advertisement in the Bulletin. 'Don't you talk to me about de Bulletin,' said he on learning who Traill was, ' You're all tam skoundhrels down dair. I shop de lot of yer before I done. You all in it. Get out of my shop. Get out of my shop.' 

No explanations would suffice, and Traill arrived back at the office with the news that 'the Pilgrim was no doubt a scoundrel.' 'He's been up to more games.' However, as an Imp was still wanted at the office (now more than ever), Gray was kept on. Not only on the paper, but always and in every act the Pilgrim played the Imp with perfection. ....

Victor James Daley (Manly to Pittwater Australian Poets Series 2017)

Bungan Boardriders Inc.

A Rainbow at Bungan Beach (above) and Bungan Beach Rocks - photos by and courtesy of Nigel Howe
Much of Australia's competitive success on the world stage of surfing can easily be attributed to the boardrider club phenomenon. Our country's coastline is littered with clubs that host grassroots competitions for surfers across age groups and disciplines one weekend per month. At spots like Long Reef, North Narrabeen, Palm Beach and North Avalon, everyone who loves to surf can be found sharing their knowledge and experience with the next generation of surfers. For many Aussie surfing success stories, Boardriders contests were their first tastes of competition. 

The Boardriding club is not just about learning how to compete though - these are places where everyone in the community can meet, from the young to mature, and share the wave, share the stoke, and look out for each other in the water. 

These grassroots community groups care about their beach, they care about its environment, and mostly they care about the surfing and keeping that accessible to all who love the waves whether it's their first time in the water or their ten thousandth.

This week we share an insight into that wonderful and slightly hidden beach - Bungan, which Tom Carroll names as one of his all-time favourite beaches, and the Bungan Boardriders - our thanks to Luca Elder and Joel Shanahan for help in putting this page together.

When was the Bungan Boardriders formed?
Bungan Boardriders was originally conceptualised by best mates Luca Elder and Joel Shanahan in 2015. At the time we saw huge potential out of such a young group of boys and girls (younger than us - in there teens or younger). Our aim was and is to keep the Grommies stoked with a monthly competition to head towards. Moreover we aimed to create a tighter, positive community around surfing rather than an aggressive line up that is sometimes the bitter sweet reality of our sport. We took our concept and energy to an elder local, Steve Hansen who has had a lot of involvement with sporting clubs in the past. His expertise allowed us to push our original vision above and beyond. We had our debut year in 2016 with around 100 members and our second year kicked off this weekend with more than 100 members across 7 divisions. Our current team consists of Luca Elder and Joel Shanahan who are President and Vice President respectively, Steve Hansen, who looks after logistics, Adam Ginsburg, marketing and communications and Melissa Reeves, our secretary and book keeper. 

Were there any earlier Boardriders groups at Bungan Beach?
We remember growing up and seeing a bunch of the older local boys hosting a monthly comp down at Bungan near the surf club - much like we do now. This was probably in the mid 2000s. It is remembered to be a relaxed monthly comp run by a group of mates which is awesome - most likely an early inspiration for Luca and myself. In our debut season, (2016) we had one of our eldest veterans come to Rego day in an original Bungan Boardriders shirt from over a decade ago. It was cool to see the stoke was still present amongst the elder locals at Bungan and hence with a bit of hustle we've managed to not only get an over 40s division but a over 55s division too. 

Who is this for ?
Boardriders is for the Bungan community. In the last 12 or so months we've seen a huge change in the dynamics in the water. Luca and I see our 10 year olds sharing a yarn with our competitors in their 60s. Everyone knows everyone now and the overall energy in and out of the water is positive. 

What age groups are there in Bungan Boardriders?
In 2017 we have;
Grommies: 10 & under 
Juniors: 14 & under 
Under 18s 
Open girls 
Over 40s
Over 55s

How do people join? 
Registration this year has been primarily done online through our communication platform called Buzzy. We hosted a Rego day in the middle of February for those who wanted to come share the stoke with Luca and I physically and lock their yearly Rego in hard copy. Our Rego fees are $100 for under 18s and $150 for adults (18 and over). This is for 9 events - free food and beverages at each event, insurance, stickers and a T-shirt. 

Do you have regular competitions?
We have 9 competitions in our calendar Feb-November with a one month break in the middle of winter. Primarily they are on the 3rd Saturday of each month. 

Are you part of the Boardriders Clubs that meet and compete on the Northern Beaches?
In 2016 we competed in a surf tag event but it was early days for us and we didn't get much of a result. We're happy where we are at the moment - we're having fun and we believe our standard is significantly high for such a young club. This year we will have more time devoted to creating a competitive club team that can compete at regional level with the intention to excel interstate in the future. The demographic of our club is so young that the future is looking bright. Offering guidance in competitive surfing at a young age is crucial in the modern competitive surfing era. That being said, right now our priority sits with creating and keeping smiles and that's going pretty well. 

How can the community support this great club?
The support we've had over the last 24 months has been enormous. Firstly it's the competitors themselves showing up on a monthly basis, helping with set up, daily processes of BBQ duty, judging and more right through to pack up. Big ups to all the parents who stick it out through the rain hail or shine we are prepared to put the kids through. All the corporate support we've been given has been amazing too. Last year we had over 10k worth of prizes to share and this year it's looking like a fair bit more. 

What we offer is the classic Aussie family beach culture rather than competitive surfing which has been taken on board by local businesses. It's been awesome to see support offered for boys and girls of all the ages - it's what keeps the kids coming back which is good! 

What is Bungan Boardriders favourite place in Pittwater and why?
Bungan! Obviously, it's home! 

Does Bungan Boardriders have a ‘motto’ or phrase it surfs by?
No official motto and as clichéd as it gets, we're in it for the smiles and at the end of the day, having fun is uppermost.

Check us out - share the love: 
Instagram: bunganboardriders 

Sir Adrian Curlewis CBE CVO Awarded Gold Distinguished Service Medal

From the left: Cameron Smart, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Australia Board Member, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor of New South Wales, Ian Curlewis, son of Sir Adrian Curelwis CBE CVO and Peter Kaye AM, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Australia

Founding Coordinator of the Award in Australia

In 1958, Sir Adrian was appointed by HRH Prince Philip as the first National Coordinator of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia with the first award participants commencing in 1959. He was subsequently appointed National Chairman from 1962 to 1973. During this time, Australia was amongst the first countries to introduce the Award outside of the United Kingdom where it was established in 1956.

During this time, he made a most substantial contribution to ensure that the Award had the strong foundations and the resources to sustain strong growth. He was also very supportive and encouraging of our neighbouring countries in the South Pacific to also introduce the Award.

The photo is of HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh with Sir Adrian Curlewis on board the HMY Britannia in 1962 where the first Gold Award was presented to Michael Dillon of Sydney Grammar School.

The remarkable life of Sir Adrian Curlewis

Sir Adrian Curlewis was born in 1901 in Mosman Sydney, born to Herbert Raine Curlewis and Ethel Turner – author of “Seven Little Australians”. His family were always very community minded, including supporting charities and organizing ambulance and first aid courses during World War 1. Adrian had a great love for water sports spending his summers at Palm Beach learning to surf. After the drowning of two people at Palm Beach in 1923, Adrian founded the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) with some other local residents. Adrian was Club Captain from 1923-28 and Club President from 1929-33, going on to become President of the International Council of Lifesaving from 1956-73. In 1928, he married Betty Car who shared his love for the ocean and community; she often helped organise fundraisers for the Palm Beach SLSC.

After attending SHORE he studied law at Sydney University Sir Adrian and became a barrister. Sir Adrian become a highly regarded District Court Judge from 1948 -71. 

Committed to serving the Community

In addition to his great service to the Award, Sir Adrian was also Chairman (1949-71) of the New South Wales National Fitness Council, founder (1956) of the Outward Bound movement in New South Wales, President (1934-41, 1945-75) of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia, and President (1968-84) of the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales. He was also appointed CBE in 1962, CVO in 1974, and was knighted in 1967.

The Sir Adrian Curlewis Scholarship

His name continues to be recognised for his contribution in highlighting the potential in young Australians with the “Sir Adrian Curlewis Scholarship” being dedicated to the late Sir Adrian. The scholarship was designed to build skills in leadership and knowledge in selected young people in roles across Surf Life Saving clubs – at regional, state and national levels.

The scholarship aims to continue Sir Adrian’s good work with the youth of Australia, investing in their personal growth and achievement much like work of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

You can find out more information Sir Adrian Curlewis Scholarship at:


Warriewood Rustys Prove They Are Really A  GOLD Aussie Surf Boat Team

The Rustys : Tanya Deer, Russell Lamb, Alex Coates Lou Barnett and Kathryn Maguire
Coolangatta Gold Gold GOLD for team Warriewood at the 2017 Aussies! 

Congratulations to sand specialist Adam Gee for his Gold in the men's 45-49. 

Adam said after the win, ” This is incredibly special as I have been told this is the first individual gold for Warriewood Club. This makes me very proud to bring this gold medal home to such a wonderful club! 

Warriewood also achieved a gold medal in the men's 170 relay. 

Adam Gee posting, “This was an incredibly hard fought medal as one week ago team mate Ben Hargy was taken to hospital with appendicitis. Fortunately team mate James Leggett-Budden stepped up and raced with only one week notice. Every team member gave 100%. “

Congratulations also to the Russell Lamb and the Rusty's who also won gold in the surf boats. 

“These girls have trained 6 times a week for 3 years so they earned it. They are a pleasure to coach.” Coach and Sweep Russell Lamb said yesterday.
Adam Gee with the Rustys

Pittwater RSL Dedication of New Cenotaph

On Friday March 31st the Pittwater RSL dedicated their new Cenotpah. 

Deborah Carter, President of the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch, welcomed The Hon. Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Education and Member for Pittwater, Kylie Ferguson, representing the Council, The Reverend Jason Ramsay (Newport), Father George Kolodziej (Pittwater - Diocese of Broken Bay) Jason Manning, CEO Pittwater RSL Club, Aldo Sirotic, President, Pittwater RSL Club, Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Members, Pittwater RSL Club Board of Directors and guests. 

Jason Falinski, Member for Mackellar, had sent his apologies, having been detained in Canberra.

Extracts from President Carter’s Address:
We are here today to dedicate our relocated Cenotaph and this is a combined effort between the Pittwater RSL Club Limited and the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch.

This wonderful Cenotaph was put in place three years ago. We always had our official ceremonies at the top Cenotaph but this was rapidly growing too small for those who would gather to honour those who had served. This original place of dedication will be turned into a Garden of Remembrance as this site is still very important to us.

This new Cenotaph will be far more suitable for the growing number of people who attend our Services, such as the ANZAC Day Dawn Service and Remembrance Day Commemorative Services.

Today we gather to dedicate this new Cenotaph formally in the correct manner.

Before we begin the prayers and Dedication Ceremony I would like to share a small insight into the History of the Pittwater RSL.

Records from ANZAC House show that on the 6th of December 1934 an Executive Committee for Pittwater Sub-Branch and authorizing a charter in the name of Pittwater Sub-Branch. The early records of the sub-Branch show that meetings were held in a building situated in Mona Vale Village park. This building was situated in front of the tennis courts and in front of the bandstand, approximately where the Mona Vale Memorial Hall, the community hall, now stands. The building was of weatherboard construction with a kitchen attached and was also part of the old Newport Surf Club which had been relocated to the site in the late 1920’s. These premises were also used as change rooms by the cricketers and football players.

It has been confirmed that members who had returned from the Middle East, in approximately 1942, stayed in the club premises prior to being sent to serve in New Guinea. It also known that meetings were held in the Bayview Golf Club during the 1950’s, including 1951. 

Bayview Gold Club proposed that the Sub-Branch lease a portion of their land with a view to building a clubhouse there. However, this proposal never came to fruition. Records indicate there was a problem with fundraising.

In 1958, following repeated requests for assistance to the then Warringah Shire Council, a site was dedicated and a piece of land on Huxley Street, Lots 25 and 26, was given to the RSL Sub-Branch. The Sub-Branch purchased an old army hut from the Dame Eadith Walker Association and this was our first clubhouse. 

Decorated with army boots filled with geraniums, this early clubhouse played host to a number of social dances and ANZC commemorations. There was a dance floor, a small kitchen, a single poker machine and a billiards table which had been donated by a member. 

In 1960 the land was reclaimed and redeveloped by the council as it was thought to be suitable for recreation – the site that is now where Winnermerrery Bay is. council purchased the land back from the Sub-Branch for £2, 000.00 and this was the beginning of our kitty.

Our then-president, Bill MacKenzie, negotiated the purchase of a block of land on Mona Vale Road. It was a controversial decision being further out of the centre of Mona Vale, but the purchase went ahead with the help of a generous loan from Harbord Diggers Club who loaned us £13, 000.00. The land was purchased for £15, 000.00 and cleared by volunteers. We then began to raise the funds for the building of a clubhouse.

Thanks to a clever deal with Miller's Brewery, further funds were raised through the sale of debentures, fundraising events through the Women’s Auxiliary and including a couple of Sub-Branch Members actually mortgaging their homes, the club was finally built.

Memberships grew quickly and extensions to the club were frequent - by 1968 we had a new auditorium, dining room and gaming area and repaid the loan to Harbord Diggers Club.

Following a meeting on the 16th of August 1972 it was decided that the Sub-Branch hand over the club to Pittwater RSL Limited. The records state the club was transferred on the 23rd of October 1972.

Over the last 40 years we've welcomed people from all corners of our community and our premises have continued to expand along with our membership. We now have extensive sports, dining and recreational facilities, a wide range of sub-clubs, and an exciting calendar full of entertainment and events. In December 2016 we completed a massive refurbishment of the club, resulting in the beautiful and contemporary interiors you see today.
I would now like to call upon the Honourable Rob Stokes to give the Dedication Address.

Hon. Rob Stokes – MP for Pittwater:
Thank you Madam President.
Distinguished Guests, Returned Servicemen and Women, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of myself and Jason Falinski and to be here at the Dedication of this crucial centerpiece of our community. As Deborah has indicated in her history of the Sub-Branch, the wisdom of our forbearers was inherent in ensuring a space and a place that is centrally located in our community in which we can now dedicate a cenotaph. 

Now what is a Cenotpah and why is it important?
The word itself derives from the Greek:  kenos, meaning "empty", and taphos, "tomb". The word literally means ‘empty tomb’. In those two words put together is the power and the symbolism of a Cenotaph. 
It is empty; it is a place of loss – it is a tomb; it is a place of sacrifice.
It is a place of grief.
It is a place of Remembrance.
But also, by putting those two rather sombre words together, there is actually enormous power in the concept of the empty tomb. 

In remembering that Anzac Day each year, in the Christian tradition, falls around the same time as Easter, the importance and symbolism of the empty tomb is also one of loss, also one of sacrifice, but putting those two words together points to the building of and renewal of the community – it points to new life, to new hope, and in doing so is a connection between past communities, between people who have passed, and the generation that is here and that yet to come. 

That is why this is a powerful symbol of the legacy that has been bought for all of us at a very great price by those who have served in the name of Australia over the past decades in past conflicts and those who continue to serve today.

Yes, a Cenotaph is a place of emptiness and of loss. Yes, a Cenotaph is a tomb and a place of remembrance of loss and remembering sacrifice. But as a wholistic concept a cenotaph is a place of hope – it is a place that points to a community with a great future that has been built upon the sacrifice of many brave men, Australians all, who have served us with great dignity and strength of purpose and whom we, as a community, choose to remember, in their sacrifice and the legacy we are so privileged and proud to have today.

I say this with particular recognition to those Returned Servicemen and Women who are among us today. We thank you so much for your sacrifices on our behalf.

It is our duty to remember those sacrifices, to remember the great cost that the freedoms we enjoy today levied upon you. We choose to recognise with the dedication of this Cenotaph, here in the heart of Pittwater, that that empty tomb is a place of sacrifice, a place of loss, a place of Remembrance – but also a place of hope.


The unveiling of the plaque following the Dedication Address followed. 

The Reverend Jason Ramsay and Father George Kolodziej read the prayers for the Commemoration of the Fallen.
President Deborah Carter read the Ode of Remembrance prior to the Last Post and Rouse.

The Reverend Jason Ramsay and Father George Kolodziej read the Final Blessing together:
"To the honour and glory of God the Father, in whom is our humble hope of a joyful resurrection and reunion; in the Name of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; and in memory of those departed this life in His faith and fear; we dedicate and set apart this Memorial.
God grant that all who look upon this Cenotaph may enter the peace of sins forgiven, the joy of faithful service and the power of endless life, to which He may vouchsafe to bring us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Sub-Branch Veterans then marched off the Cenotaph grounds prior to those present being invited to share afternoon tea with the Members.

The Dedication Ceremony was a moving tribute to those present and those who have served, installing a marker of respect and love from a community at what has become a Pittwater landmark, not based solely on the clubhouse size in our landscape but on its dedication plaques and their place in our hearts.

The ANZAC Day Commemoration Service at Pittwater RSL will commence with the 5.45am memorial service. 

Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch traditionally have their March to Mona Vale Cenotaph in the Village Park for the Commemoration Service on the Sunday prior to ANZAC Day. This year that will take place on Sunday April 23rd: Muster at Vineyard Street 12.30 p.m. 1.00 p.m. March to Mona Vale Cenotaph.

The Hon. Rob Stokes, who has recently returned from his annual leave, also took the opportunity to personally present Deborah Carter with her Pittwater Woman of the Year Award, recently awarded in recognition of Deborah's outstanding and long serving support of Veterans in our community.

Below run some images from the Dedication Ceremony.

Birds Baffled By B-Line Sleight Of Hand: Where Did All Our Trees Go?

The B-Line works proceeded at full steam this week, pausing only on Wednesday when two Avalon residents took action to oppose the cutting down of Mona Vale Village Park trees by occupying the space the trees were being removed from.

Police officers were called and attended, including a commander. The decision was that the police would take no action to keep people out of the enclosed area, on the basis that it is Crown Land, but that they entered at their own risk.
Their protest meant the end of the tree loppers works for that day.

By Friday afternoon, 2.30 p.m., 14 trees were left. Also present were six men, three men at either end of the then blocked off easterly path through the park, two of these stationed three ‘traffic controllers’ clearly security guards.

Residents have expressed opposition to what has occurred this week as well as stating they’re not happy that people employed to do a job have been harassed. 

Others have put forward an opposite view, stating,
‘This is a great day for Mona Vale. This is the beginning of a wonderful integrated public transport solution for the people of the northern beaches. Don't be sad for the environment. Think of the thousands of car trips this B-Line service will replace and the reduction of tonnes of CO2 being spewed into the atmosphere every day on Pittwater and Mona Vale Roads.’

Others are more than sad for the environment though, they are dismayed, finding the concept that cutting down masses of trees to reduce cars ‘spewing toxins’ by getting them off roads ignores the basic precept of these largest of plants; trees.

An answered email inquiry on the Mona Vale works brought this response:

‘The B-Line program at Mona Vale includes a slight realignment of Village Park to create a new bus indent, which will allow traffic and buses not stopping at Mona Vale to continue uninterrupted by stopping buses, particularly B-Line services.

To create space for this indent, the existing mounds at Village Park will be shifted slightly to the west, with a 50cm retaining wall on the Barrenjoey Road side minimising impact to the amenity within the park. 21 existing trees within and around the existing mounds will also be removed to allow for the new indent.

Following consultation with local stakeholders and community groups, it was decided that replacement trees will include Norfolk Island Pine and Swamp Mahogany.

Replanted trees will be semi-mature and replanted as soon as possible after the mound has been adjusted.’

In total 26 trees were to be lost and it is a requirement that the Offset for these will be 118 trees planted 'on or near the impacted site', as per the documents available on the Mona Vale page of the B-Line website.

Swamp Mahogany trees, Eucalyptus robusta, average 20-30 m. when fully grown, with a trunk up to 1 metre in diameter – those who plant them are advised to allow 2.5 to 3m around them or between them. Once grown their canopies can create 25 square metres of shade, closely planted trees joining canopies. Trees growing in the open have crowns with long, spreading, irregular and brittle branches, forming a dense canopy, whilst when growing in closely spaced plantations the branches are almost erect so that little crown spread occurs. In humid climates some of the trees form aerial roots on the main bole as far as 6 metres above the ground.

Swamp mahogany in Warriewood wetlands

In 1877, Manly's civic patriarchs consulted Botanic Gardens director Charles Moore on what to beautify their suburb with. He recommended three species not native to Sydney, the Norfolk pine among these. 

Manly was the way a beach should look according to many. In 1902 the Norfolk pine was the officially recommended timber tree for NSW coastal areas. In Forest Flora of New South Wales Joseph Maiden wrote: "Norfolk Island Pine is recommended as the main timber tree for the New South Wales coast for the following reasons: it revels in the sea air; its narrow leaves and conical shape present comparatively little resistance to strong winds; it is ornamental in appearance; and it furnishes a useful, soft wood." [1.]

With no flowers and no nectar for birds, but pine seeds cockatoos will feast on, and the ability to turn the earth for up to 20 metres around it to scorched dust, these trees may suit sandy locations but can denigrate their surrounds in other soils.

That is the most poignant image many are left with at week’s end, after the chainsaws ceased a razor like din, the sight of birds who frequent the park returning, landing then taking off again, possibly wondering where their trees have gone. That sight alone rips at the heart.

Their calls in leaving is replaced by silence that renders you speechless. Into this strange void step some of those voices who don’t always speak up but are still there, watching, hearing: 

‘I read and listen with interest to the disappointment and disapproval by many people of those charged with all aspects of running our Country. Now more than ever we must ensure that anybody who has been involved the past decision making processes does not have a job in the upcoming elections. We must find some new blood. 

For too long we have been complacent and happy to go with the flow and the results thus far have been appalling to say the least. 

Keep doing the same thing and the results will be the same. It's time for our biggest change. But let's have a goal to remove all the old and stale "yes" people at the next elections. Our next task is to find the new people to lead us by listening to and acting for us. The time for change is NOW....’

We received the below video from the Friends of Mona vale Group at 3.40 a.m. April 2nd, and this flyer on Friday.

1. Maiden J.H. (1902). (University of Sydney Library) Forest Flora of New South Wales [WWW Online Database] URL

Government Thugs Arrive In Pittwater: B-Line Lie Exposed

Published on 2 April 2017 by Pittwater Pathways

Forced Amalgamations Hit A "Procedural Fairness" Snag That May Bring Every Imposed Merger Completely Undone

News this week that the Ku-ring-gai Council forced merger with Hornsby Shire should not proceed in its current form, as ‘the appellant was denied procedural fairness in that the delegate had relied in his report on the KPMG documents which were not made available to either the appellant or the delegate’ has been heartening news for forced amalgamation opponents within Pittwater.

In addition, Judge Basten pointed out that "Release of the material was also necessary for public participation in the public inquiry to be meaningful."

This case point echoes that stated by many who have said that the whole of the ‘amalgamation process’ had been predetermined and any ‘public hearings’ were farcical. The full text of the court's judgement can be read here.

Ku-ring-gai Mayor Anderson encapsulated basic democratic values, the ability of an electorate to control its government, when stating on Monday,
"This merger should not proceed because Ku-ring-gai ratepayers will be robbed of the means to decide how and where our rates are spent and of any real say in how our local area is managed.”

Ku-ring-gai were successful in obtaining a copy of their Delegate’s report in April 2016, although they had to do so in proceedings against the state government in the Supreme Court.

Then Ku-ring-gai Mayor Cheryl Szatow said “Garry West’s report does nothing to dispel the cynicism surrounding the whole merger process that is being stage managed by the Baird government.”

“This is a Premier and a government that has wasted millions and millions of dollars over the last four years pushing the merger process, when the outcome was already decided.”

According to Mayor Szatow, some of the ‘most incredulous’ parts of the report included:
" • Despite 83% of submissions and speakers at the public inquiry expressing strong opposition to the merger, consistent with the results of an independent survey conducted in 2015, those views were discounted as ‘no impediment to the amalgamation proposal’. In fact, the attitude of ratepayers and residents is a mandatory legal consideration under Section 263 of the Local Government Act.
• His financial conclusions for why a merger should proceed based on superseded data and without the KPMG report, which has still not been publicly released. The Delegate accepted the state government’s financial claims about mergers without testing the veracity of those claims.
• An allegation that Ku-ring-gai Council had manipulated residents’ submissions to the public inquiry with form letters, which is untrue."

Similar sentiments were stated when Pittwater was required to answer its own case to be ‘Fit for the Future’ and then again when ‘scale and capacity’ became the means test and a prelude to all being judged per a KPMG report that still hasn’t been released. 

Richard Pearson’s report is now available, without having to go to court, and which dealt only with Warringah Council's merger proposal for the amalgamation of Manly, Warringah and Pittwater, here: 

Worldwide forced amalgamations have proved to be a failure. They are a disenfranchising of democracy which robs an electorate of its voice and does so without its consent.  Governments who have imposed them have been thrown out – those that replace them, although promising to reverse them, usually play similar shenanigans to frustrate a return to what was before.

12 Thousand Best Friends Saved By Monika's Doggie Rescue: Ingleside

Doggie Rescue CEO Monika Biernacki - photo by Corrine Daw
Sydney’s largest NO KILL animal welfare organisation Doggie Rescue, have now reached a new milestone and have saved 12,000 dogs from death row, re-homing each of them with loving families.

That is 12,000 healthy, loving creatures who would otherwise have faced certain death and become a statistic.

These dogs have been rescued from pounds around NSW and represent what happens when they are given a second chance at life thanks to founder and CEO Monika Biernacki. 

“The number of dogs facing death row every day in Australia is truly shocking. These beautiful animals all deserve the opportunity to find their forever home and I am so proud that 12,000 of them are now happily part of their new families”, explains Monika. 

Ms. Biernacki, a former scientist, gave up her work twenty years ago to begin Doggie Rescue when she saw a desperate need to prevent the unnecessary euthanasia of dogs that were perfectly healthy yet had been abandoned because their owners didn’t want them anymore.

There are literally thousands of heartbreaking stories behind these animals, but it is the heartwarming result of every new adoption that provides the drive that keeps Monika and her loyal, dedicated volunteers going.  

“Doggie Rescue was created to provide a viable NO KILL alternative in Sydney and to educate the public on their lifelong responsibilities when owning a dog.  Dogs should never be an impulse purchase and people need to become educated about where their new addition has come from. Rescue dogs are very special, most adoptees tell us that in actual fact, the rescue dog has saved them! There is nothing like the love and dedication of a rescued animal.”  Monika adds.

The lucky 12,000th saved life is a beautiful 4 year old Jack Russell cross named Tess (pictured below with her new mum). 

While Tess has now found a forever home, there are so many more dogs at Doggie Rescue looking for homes - of almost every age, size, personality and breed.   If you would like to help Doggie Rescue continue its life saving work please adopt don’t shop!  If you can’t adopt, foster.  If you can’t foster, volunteer, If you can’t volunteer, donate and help us keep saving these innocent lives indefinitely.

Christopher John Raggatt

For decades some of the best music played around here has been made by a gentleman who passion and dedication to his art form has brought pleasure to thousands. For almost five decades Chris Raggatt has been perfecting his music and, although he’d state he’s still learning, he is also a sought after teacher.

Recently he won a spot to represent us all at the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, not an easy place to win.

Chris is also an aficionado on guitars themselves, has modified many of his own, or built them from scratch, and can repair those that have been damaged to such a high skill level you have look very closely to spot where the fracture in the wood grain may have once been.

He also knows about guitars – the history of them, what you can do with each different one, and how an instrument, after decades of being something music has been played through, mellows and produces great sounds.

Chris is pretty mellow himself. Quietly spoken, smiling when not deep inside a section of notes, he plays with exceptional musicians, many of whom have gigged together over decades. The result is exceptional music, and a strong local following every time he plays as a solo, Chris Raggatt or current ensemble on occasion, ‘C J and the Mellows’.

Chris has collated a few CD’s of his originals during the years, the most recent one just now available including a song he has written himself, a favourite we’d love to see more freely available – “Water and Earth”. It’s brilliant. Apparently Chris is just finalising the cover art for this CD.

This week a small insight into a local legend who provides insights into music itself. Chris also runs as our April 2017 Artist of the Month where some of his playlist may be sampled.

The Sydney Northern Beaches Veterans Centre Inaugural Resilience Luncheon

Left to right: Kylie Ferguson, former Deputy Mayor Of Pittwater and current NBC facilitator, Honorary Secretary, Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch and SNB Veteran's Centre, Lynn Murphy, Alen Telling, Pensions Officer at Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch, Tamara Sloper Harding OAM, Vice President Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch, Mrs. Telling, Dannie Sloper, Liz Trelly, Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch, Adrian Harding, Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch. 

The Sydney Northern Beaches Veterans Centre, Dee Why RSL, Inaugural Resilience Luncheon

The first ever Resilience Luncheon was held on Friday April 7th  to raise funds to support the Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches. The event realised its goal of meeting the seventy thousand dollars required to meet current support services needed by ADF Service people and their families. The target was reached through raffles held on the day, a live auction which included a 10 day Kokoda Trek for the 75th anniversary with flights donated by Air New Guinea, a holiday in Hawaii staying on Waikiki beach and a special Government House Christmas ornament donated by Mrs. Linda Hurley, wife of His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), the Governor of New South Wales among the items.

The Veterans Centre was launched out of a need for change; a need for improving quality and accessibility to a complete range of services and to help the Veteran community reconnect with society and their loved ones.

MC Ita Buttrose, AO OBE welcomed attendees His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), the Governor of New South Wales and Mrs. Linda Hurley, Tamara Sloper Harding OAM RAN, and wife of the late Commodore Graham Sloper (Rtd. RAN), Dannie Sloper, Jason Falinski, MP for Mackellar, and other distinguished attendees, as well as acknowledging and paying her Respects to Traditional Owners.

All of our local Returned Service Sub-Branch Presidents, Vice Presidents as well as representatives from associated clubs such as Castle Hill RSL, Directors of RSL’s and CEO's of many local businesses were present. 

MP for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes was unable to attend but ensured a seat for a veteran was funded so he/she could enjoy a wonderful 3-course luncheon with premium beverages and entertainment by world-renowned speed painter, Brad Blaze.

Addresses by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), the Governor of New South Wales, Tamara Sloper Harding OAM RAN, Ben Webb Veterans Centre Manager and former Army Serviceman, and Dee Why RSL CEO Grant Easterby preceded the keynote speaker Major Matina Jewell (retired).

We run their words below – please read and gain an insight on how we may better serve those who have served us.

Tamara Sloper Harding OAM RAN:

Thank you Ita, and good afternoon Your Excellency and Mrs. Hurley, the Honourable Jason Falinski, distinguished guests, veterans, ladies and gentlemen.

Ever since Ben first told me about this fantastic event I have been thinking about what to say. The truth is, it shouldn't be me standing here, it should be Graham Sloper, my Dad. This was his dream — his vision - and I thank you for being part of bringing it to fruition. Serving and supporting others was inherent in Graham's character.

Following a highly distinguished career in the Royal Australian Navy, Graham continued working tirelessly to assist those in need, particularly the Veterans in our local community. He was a people person, a man who cared about everyone — always putting the needs of his troops before his own, he had time for all regardless of rank or position.
He had the ability to draw others in and form a cohesive group to work for the benefit of all.

When I was a junior officer I looked up to Graham and it was his strong moral courage that I found most inspiring. He shaped many of our careers and influenced so many of our lives. The overwhelming message coming through from his former shipmates is that "they would follow him anywhere". He was a leader like no other.

He was described as the last of the colourful characters that made up his generation of Naval officers. He was larger than life.

Graham was an instrumental part of the team that founded the Veteran's Centre Sydney Northern Beaches to ensure former and current defence personnel get the financial and emotional support they are entitled to.

When we think of Veterans in our community we think of those who served in the Second World War, the Korean War, provided National Service or our Vietnam Veterans. But Graham's focus was also on our younger Veterans, people who have recently returned from places like East Timor, the Solomons, Iraq and Afghanistan and the needs of this younger generation of Veterans.

The plight of younger veterans and their families was really brought home to Dad in a personal way when my husband Adrian and I moved back to Sydney with our four young children. We are both veterans — back then we were "younger veterans".

Dad spent most of my childhood at sea so the day to day trials of family life were reasonably foreign to him. His admiration of Mum certainly grew enormously as he realised what it must have been like for her all those years. A couple of nights a week Dad would assist me with the children's bedtime routine, homework, bath dinner and story. He became aware of the huge impact our military service and resulting ptsd had on our children and our daily lives. How many other young veterans and how many families all over the country must be affected like this?

An inspiration to many, his ceaseless efforts to look after all who had served were reflected in the way he considered them to be part of our extended family.

In those last days in the hospital Dad had a list of instructions for me to follow — but one he repeated again and again was - Encourage people to please look after new Vets coming through.

But as he said when awarded the 2015 Pittwater Community Service award, "I'm not in it for the kudos." — he was about the results, about giving something worth receiving, something needed.

He devoted his ceaseless energy to develop ideas to solve problems and create events to bring together people so they could understand each other.
The Avalon Tattoo was one such event. 

This has now evolved into the Northern Beaches Veterans and Community Day, to be held in Avalon on 12 November. A day to bring our veterans and our local communities together, it will involve many schools and community groups and veterans support services and will raise funds for this very veterans centre. So please keep that date in your diaries.

Graham is still with us, his legacy lives on in all of us his spirit remains here within us - as does his thirst for justice, his community spirit and desire to make a difference in the world. What a fantastic team there is here to make Graham's dream for veterans a reality.

We must continue his work for the benefit of others. We are his team - it is this team here at the Veterans Centre — supported by all of you — that continue his work here today will allow his legacy to lives on.
Thank you.

His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), the Governor of New South Wales:

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for inviting Linda and I to participate in what is a very special occasion for the Veterans Centre.
We’ve recognised all our Distinguished guests so I won’t reiterate that but I also acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today.

I think my job is to lay out the challenge of why we are gathering today.
You may be aware that last year Andrew Condon, a former Colonel in the Australian Army, was asked to conduct a survey of the ex-Service Organisations which was called the Ex-Service Organisation Mapping project, to find out what was happening in the Ex-service personnel base in terms of supporting our Veterans.

When Andrew produced his report last year he found that across Australia there are over 3000 organisations’ that include in their List of Objectives support for Veterans and their families. When you look into that 3000 there are over 560 who state their entire reason for being was to support Veterans and their families.

Yet, I would say, for every one of the 41 young men who suicided last year, the constant call from the families and loved ones left behind was that there was no support.
These two stories don’t reconcile.

We have the support, many pathways are blocked, many pathways are difficult, but many pathways were open.

What we’re trying to do, and what Ben and his team are trying to do in this particular centre, is open those pathways for Veterans and their families to make it easier to access the services they need.

We can’t tolerate the situation where 560 organisations say they are there for Veterans, yet Veterans suicide.
It is not a good story.

So what do we need to do? 
A number of things;
1. How do we improve our in extremis support to organisations such as V360 that are there at the moment someone goes off the radar screen and we know they’re in trouble – how do we respond rapidly to that?
2. How do we get better coordination between our Ex-Service organisations – there is a myriad of these here but we are not well coordinated. We need to have a greater ability to centralize support and make pathways clearer and more accessible to our Members, Veterans and their families. Angus Houston is currently working with DSO’s to achieve that.
3. We have to do better in transition as Members leave the Service. Those with Operational Service, those without Operational Service, those in immediate need of help, and those who can move outside quite efficiently without help. But what does that transition process look like, and who should be responsible for it.

In the space that the Veterans Centre here is trying to address; how do we provide the advocacy services for those who are particularly involved in Military compensation requests or for assistance. How is that voice developed, who should be doing it, which is an important aspect, indeed the initiative to now certify advocates, to make sure they are appropriately trained and qualified to do the job is critical. I applaud that.

And more importantly, for the Veterans Centre initiative here, bringing the community closer to the Veteran community, ensuing the community is aware of the roles they can play in helping our Veterans and their families adjust to civilian life and post-Service, and indeed, if they need assistance in any way, how can that be provided.

These things are not a list from which we can pick and choose. This is a complete list, a conclusive list, and we need to address it.
There are many things underway. Public Service jobs are being created by the NSW Government with over 200 of these specifically designated for ex-Servicemen and women.

J P Morgan with the business community in Sydney, is facilitating a major project which mirrors what they have achieved in the United States to find employment for our Veterans, as is Soldier On and other organisations. In the United States J P Morgan, within two years, created 300 thousand positions for United States Veterans, an enormous achievement, and I think we can do, on scale, as relatively well in Australia.

So these things are out there, but we only have to turn to the latest National Mental Health Commission’s report to see that we still have problems in the community. None of what I have read in that Report surprises me, which is unfortunate.
Yes, inroads have been made, progress has been made, but the journey will continue. 

We’re not going to resolve those problems here today but this Veteran’s Centre is a critical part in helping us solve those problems. 
We need your support, both moral, today financial. We need your encouragement, Ben and his team need your encouragement in thinking why we are here – for those who have Served. 

So thank you for coming and thank you for being so supportive of the Veteran’s Centre here on the Northern Beaches.

Approval Of Site Compatibility Certificate For Bayview Development Meets Strong Community Disapproval

John Paterson's photo: 'The proposed development will go from the concrete path shown in picture, taking out hole no. 5 and all trees you see, some 159 trees, will be removed.

Approval Of Site Compatibility Certificate For Bayview Development Meets Strong Community Disapproval

On Monday April 3rd  the following was received:

Bayview Proposal Approved
Dear Editor
Your readers should know that the NSW Planning & Environment has just granted permission (on 27th March ) to a developer to build 95 units 4 storeys high ($180 million) on OPEN SPACE,  environmentally  sensitive lands and  in the middle of  Pittwater’s largest wildlife & coastal corridor at Bayview.
159 remnant trees will go!! 
This information will not be made public.  Why are NSW planning laws not transparent to the public, only developers? 
John Peterson, Bayview 

On March 29th 2017 a NSW Department of Planning and Environment Planning Services Delegate issued a Site Compatibility Certificate (SCC)for a development within Bayview Golf Course. The application and an accompanying report, first received by the Department on May 3rd 2016, under Clause 25(4)(a) of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors of People with a Disability) seeks to establish the construction and occupation of seven (7) separate buildings of predominantly 3-4 storeys in height for the purposes of 95 in-fill self-care dwellings with ancillary services and facilities. 

Basement level car parking accommodating 218 vehicles is part of the proposal. 

This is a revised SCC Application, the first was initially refused by the Department in January 2015 and modifications were made, including reducing the maximum building height from 4-5 storeys to 3-4, a revised approach to flood management, and, as the proposed seniors housing now forms part of the overall Bayview Master Plan, the revised SCC application states it is now designed to increase ecological values over the entire site through increased planting and reduced tree removal. 

The project is the result of an overall strategy for the revitalisation and rehabilitation of the existing Bayview Golf Club facilities to ensure the long term sustainability and ongoing viability of the golf club and its course. 

In September 2013, the Club released an Expression of Interest for a development opportunity at the Site with the following key outcomes identified for the project:
• Achieve a realistic financial return to the Club on a timely basis;
• Retention of an 18-hole golf course;
 Ability to minimise disruption to members;
• Higher quality development in keeping with the area;
• Development which is sympathetic to the surrounding neighbours and community; and
• Ability to activate the project in shortest reasonable time.

In March 2014 the Bayview Golf Club Members voted to sell a 20, 200 sq. m parcel of land to generate $10 million for the club.

A Site Compatibility Certificate is required under the provisions of clause 25 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors of People with a Disability) 2004 and clause 50(2A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. A Site Compatibility Certificate is required to accompany any development application when the land is zoned primarily for urban purposes, or land that adjoins land zoned primarily for urban purposes, but only if the land is being used for the purposes of an existing registered club.

The final layout, scale and bulk, number of in-fill self-care units and onsite facilities for the proposed seniors housing development will still be subject to the resolution of issues including car parking, access, potential ecological impacts, flood risk management and evacuation design responses. 

This will need to be determined through the assessment of the development application under section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The Department of Planning issuing the Site Compatibility Certificate (SCC) to Waterbrook Lifestyle Resorts, allows them to now enter the next stage of the development process, including the lodgement of a Development Application with the Northern Beaches Council.

An amended course master plan will be submitted to council as part of the DA process.

Bayview Golf Club and its members have expressed delight this week at the SCC being granted. Under the agreement with Waterbrook, the developers will fund extensive environmental and remedial works across the course which will mean the course will be upgraded to meet the members' playing expectations and will ‘increase its biodiversity and ecological sustainability’.

Other members of our community are not so thrilled. Residents who reside around the course, and are not members, are dismayed at the issuing of the SCC, stating wildlife will be displaced and the destruction of 159 more trees is an outrage that will accelerate the degradation of the site.

The Bayview Life website has modified its landing page this week, asking people to attend the Rally at Mona Vale Park today, Sunday April 9th at 11 a.m.. 

Organised by the community group, Friends of Mona Vale, the group states the B-Line development is the first step to overdevelop Mona Vale, citing such documents as the Village Park Mona Vale Plan of Management prepared by Pittwater Council in March 2008 (Page 26: ‘Relocation of bus stop to proposed major bus interchange facility on Barrenjoey Road at Village Park. Major capital works project subject to liaison with state Transit Authority (STA), Roads Traffic Authority (RTA) and Pittwater Council’ and Page 37: ‘Barrenjoey Road Frontage – Relocation of bus interchange site – Removal of existing mounds and unsuitable tree planting – landscape works’), the destruction of Beeby Park and the unpopular Mona Vale Place Plan.

In related news, a Delegate of the Sydney Region East at the Department of Planning and Environment as Delegate of the Greater Sydney Commission passed, with conditions, the development of a property at 15 Jubilee Avenue Warriewood on Thursday April 6th, 2017. This planning proposal sought to amend Pittwater Local Environmental Plan 2014, as it applies to the site at 15 Jubilee Avenue, Warriewood to rezone the site from IN2 Light Industrial to B7 Business Park. The proposal states it will provide approximately 112 jobs.

Lifeline Classic Living Ocean Team Raises The Bar To Support Those Who Will Always Answer The Call For Anyone In Crisis

The Lifeline Classic Living Ocean team from L to R: Arch Whiteman - surf team, Jack Barrip- team media & photographer, Sam Partington - surf team, Blaze Roberts - team leader, Hunter Roberts - surf team, Van Whiteman - surf team, Claudia Newman - Living Ocean - group captain.
When David Thomas, the CEO of Lifeline Northern Beaches launched the Lifeline Classic at The Newport on January 17th he stated, "We have more than a problem on our hands," 

"When you look at the statistics, the biggest killer of 25 - 44 year olds is suicide. It’s a crisis and the Peninsula is no different - our community has felt the devastating effects of this far too often.

"The Lifeline Classic is a way of connecting with the community through one of our favourite pastimes with which the Northern Beaches are renowned for - surfing. Hopefully this is a way we can come together and help spread awareness that there ARE help options and opportunities available for those who are in difficulty, are in crisis, and/or feel overwhelmed.

"We know that many just need someone to talk to; by talking about this, and disembowelling the stigma of talking and seeking help, we not only bring acceptance to the problem of communication but at the same time help to raise the urgency of our peers who may be in trouble.

"All funds raised from the Lifeline Classic will be used to provide crisis support services, which in turn help to aid in our quest of a Northern Beaches (and Australia ) free of suicide."

The Lifeline Northern Beaches Classic will be a Tag Team event where teams will comprise 4 surfers. Each team commits to running their own fundraising campaign working towards a fundraising goal of $5,000 per team.

Living Ocean, which is known for engaging with and supporting the ideas of our local young adults, doing talks in schools, getting plastic bottles out of the playgrounds, empowering the next generation with information on how to turn the tide of plastic pollution, on how to organise beach-cleans on the stretches of sand they love, were quick to support local students and surfers who wanted to do something about and for their peers and those in crisis in our community. 

Becoming involved in the Lifeline Classic is an extension of what Living Ocean does in many ways and keeps to a Living Ocean premise.

Within days the LO Team had raised the 5k goal and decided to aim higher - to reach 10k.

The rapid support points to, in many ways, the esteem the kids hold LO in - kids need to be spoken with, not to. Living Ocean does this - that's why we're getting a younger crew who want to 'get aboard' shaping the future and their place in it.

Claudia Newman, a local student and daughter of one of Living Ocean’s founders, Robbi Luscombe Newman, spoke to her dad and found instant support – as always. 

“Talking with the younger members in our community about what they want to focus on has always been a part of what we wanted to do through Living Ocean.” Mr. Newman said this week.

“Even though our primary focus is on looking after the sea, we live in what could best be described as one community, one family, and Living Ocean will always support positive and constructive talk about how we can help those in crisis, which is what younger members of our community have raised with us.”

Supporting this team to be part of the Lifeline Classic was a no-brainer for us.”

Recently the North Avalon Surfriders Association held their monthly Saturday's event where all proceeds of the surf off went to Northern Beaches Lifeline via the Living Ocean Team. Special thanks to Scott and the BBQ team for all your support.

Surf family affair with yummy cakes from the team and and famous Salted Caramel slices by Pronto Catering Palm Beach.  Jack Barripp as team photographer (background) — with Robbi Luscombe-Newman, Carol Newman, Claudia Newman, and Mill Haus.

"The surf was going off and so were the surfers. Lots of positive and constructive talk about our community family. We share the same lifestyle and family values. No one is an island. We are all embraced by the same sea." the LO Lifeline Classic Team stated.

Local legend surf family the Roberts with other local Lifeline support staff. Peter and Fiona Roberts, Liz Whyte and Jo Lynas.

This week we talked to the team - unfortunately brothers Arch and Van Whiteman are away at present, so we'll catch up with them at the Lifeline Classic on Sunday April 30th, at Dee Why Beach.

Why did you want to be part of the Lifeline Classic?
Jack Barripp: I chose to be apart of the lifeline event as I was offered to do it by Living ocean and It was a no brainer as One of my good mates committed suicide a month or 2 ago and this money goes towards awareness and prevention of suicide so i didn't think twice about signing up.

Claudia Newman: Depression, suicide and everything else that goes along with mental health is a very close matter to my heart and something that has been intertwined with my life since I was quite young, with both friends and family. Up until now I haven't known how I could help, so being given the opportunity to raise both funds and awareness for such an incredible organisation and daunting issue was something I wouldn't want to pass up. 

Blaze Roberts: I think everyone in Avalon including myself, have been recently effected in some way by suicide. When I heard there was a fundraiser for Lifeline and I had the chance to contribute, of course I wanted to! I knew if any community could raise such a large amount of money for Lifeline it was Avalon. I feel honoured to be part of such a wonderful team of people doing such great things for the world! 

Hunter Roberts: I wanted to be a part of the Lifeline Classic because my brother recently lost one of his best mates to suicide and I want to do all I can to help raise awareness and money for this great cause. 

Sam Partington: I wanted to be a part of this event because suicide is a problem which is growing out of control and we are all seeing it effect so many people's lives around us. Any chance that I can get to help this cause is a good one so that’s why I'm in.

Av. Green Team Creating Waves Of A Sustainable Green And Clean Future

Av. Green Team Creating Waves Of A Sustainable Future

The Av Green Team hosted their second ever sustainability day on Sunday April 2nd at Narrabeen’s Coastal Environment Centre – a very fitting venue for such a focused on the environment event.

Open to all, the day ran from 10 am until mid afternoon and featured Speakers and Workshops covering soil and composting, permaculture, off-grid living, recycling and more were presented.

As one example, Mark Collis who has had an incredible 30-year career in advertising as a creative director, explained his proudest achievement remains his role as the co-founder of Earth Hour was an inspirational Address giver. 

"What started out as a flicker of an idea in 2007 has blossomed and into the biggest environmental campaign of all time, engaging more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide." 

Peter Rutherford, the Senior Eco Gardner at Kimbriki's Eco House and Garden was another Speaker. Peter has been with Kimbriki for more than 17 years and has extensive knowledge of soils, composting and worm farming.

Other Speakers and Workshops were Michael Mobbs- the ‘Off-Grid guy', Permaculture Northern Beaches, the Living Ocean Whale Research Team, Tim Seaton - Coastal Environment Centre educator and the great group at Avalon Community Garden.

Stalls included Friday Hut Road, Norwex, Careel Bay Honey Co. , Avalon Community Garden, Living Ocean and Avalon Boomerang Bags.

In preparation their sustainability day on April 2nd, Av Green Team invited everyone to share on Instagram a photo and caption explaining why you care about our environment. The winner received a book 'Sustainable Food' by Michael Mobbs and a painting by local artist Lisa Heath.

Balanced Studio legend Nic Laidlaw and artist Madi Luschwitz led a creativity flow activity. Nic explores self-sustaining, movement and health. As a couple they have really inspired a lot of our community (of all ages) and their constant uplifting energy and push for good is contagious. 

“Nic spoke at our last event and it was a really special way to end the day, we are stoked to have them again,” the Av. Green Team explained.

It is rare to see this many inspiring people in one room, let alone for free. Their generous sharing of information and experience is empowering all those who attended and the members of the Av. Green Team.

“We had an absolutely amazing day today! Thank you to everyone involved and Wil Coxon for taking photos.” The team stated.

The Av. Green Team would like to thank the following for their support and participation in their 2nd Ever Sustainability Day
Narrabeen Environment Centre and the Northern Beaches Council, Balanced Studio, Madi Luschwitz Artist, Living Ocean, Avalon Boomerang Bags, Kimbriki Resource Recovery & Eco Education Centre, Prodjuice, Michael Mobbs, Avalon Community Garden, Permaculture Northern Beaches, Sustainable House, Thomas Oliver, Friday Hut Road, and Mark Collis Art.

But that’s not all this next-generation group have done recently.

On Saturday morning, April 8th, local daycare centre, Only About Children teamed up with Av Green Team, Living Ocean and Boomerang Bags to clean Mona Vale Beach. The cleaning began at 8am and held a picnic from 9am. 

“It's a great opportunity to spread the message about plastic pollution and look after our beautiful area!” Av. Green Team explained.

The Av. Green Team did a Newport Beach clean on March 25th - spot called the day before!

Elsie Track, Scotland Island Reclaimed: Community Engages Next Generation On A Great Way Forward For Little Feet!

Elsie Track
By SIOCS - The Island Kindy

In line with its focus on connecting children with nature, SIOCS (known as The Island Kindy) happily accepted a generous offer from SIRA (Scotland Island Residents Association) to undertake the construction of Elsie Track in exchange for part of a grant.

The Kindy staff, families and other lovely volunteers from our community worked for 145 hours over many Saturdays to complete the task. They cut down
overgrown weeds to build a passage, moved rocks and logs, built and laid down wooden steps to make it an easy walk up the hill. The children joined in during the last stage, helping to plant 200 native seedlings along the track and painting their own footprints on the signs that were posted at both ends. 

Next step will be regularly watering the plants so they can follow their growth and keep beautiful memories for life.

The track links the top of the island to Elsie Steps on the Eastern side and although it was virtually impassable, it was on the island's street plan. We'd like to invite everyone to walk the track and check the beautiful work done by our community to protect our environment and improve our island lifestyle.

SIOCS would like to thank all the volunteers who worked hard to make it happen. Special thanks go to Paul Blackband who coordinated the work (and did a lot of it himself!) and to Total Earth Care Pty. Ltd. who generously donated all the building materials and seedlings.

Species planted:
Livistonia australia - Cabbage Tree Palm
Hardenbergia Violacea – False Sarsaparilla
Dianella caerulea – Blue Flax Lilly
Lomandra longifolia – Matrush
Themeda australia – Kangaroo Grass
Syzygium panniculatum – Lilly Pilly
Angophora costata – Sydney Red Gum
Kennedia rubicunda – Coral Pea
Allocasuarina torulosa – Forest Oak
Allocasuarina littoralis – Black She Oak
Acacia decurrens – Sydney Golden Wattle
Dodonaea triquetra – Hop Bush
Doodia aspera – Rasp Fern
Rapanea variabillis – Mutton Wood

by Adriana Labate
SIOCS Eco-projects Coordinator

Preparation Works

These pictures are of the work done to build the track. They show what was there before the bush regeneration and track building features were done, and the results of such efforts.

Children's Signs

Two signs were made to be posted at both ends of the track using the children's footprints. Adriana went to the kindy, outlined the children's feet on paper to make a stencil then they painted their own footprint on the wooden signs. The signs were posted during the planting day.

Planting Day!

These pictures were taken during the planting of seedlings along the track with the children in February.

Warringah Touch Football Association Support Of Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary And The Children's Ward Continues

Warringah Touch Football Association Support Of Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary And The Children's Ward

Brian Friend OAM visited MVDH this week and gave the Children' Ward another $1,000 from Warringah Touch Football Association. Gail Carew, who is Vice President of the MVDH Auxillary, accepted the cheque with Sister Liz Kilpatrick who is from the Children's Ward.

Well over $15,000 has been donated to the Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary for the Children's Ward over the years from the Warringah Touch Football Association to purchase equipment for the comfort and care of patients.

Warringah Touch Football Association has held many functions during the years to support the hospital. In 2004 $6,900 was donated to MVDH Children's Ward, in 2005 $3,855 was raised, in 2006 $1,650 was raised through the WTFA (Inc.) Bowls day for MVDHA and the practice has continued every year.

This was Brian's last job as Secretary of the WTFA (Inc.) as he has retired gracefully after 68 seasons (34 years since 1983). The WTFA have two seasons per year "summer" and "winter" competitions down at Cromer and Dee Why.

Surf Lifesavers Prepare To Lower Flags

Surf Lifesavers Prepare To Lower Flags

Thursday 20 April 2017 - by Surf Life Saving NSW
Volunteer surf lifesavers will lower the flags on NSW beaches this Tuesday 25 April after an action-packed and demanding season, which began back in September.

The 21,000 active patrolling members have collectively given over 560,000 hours of their time to ensure that beachgoers around NSW were protected throughout the season.

Favourable weather over the summer holidays and recently over the Easter long weekend has seen an estimated six million people visit a beach this season!

In the three months of summer (December – February) there were over 3.5 million visitors to the beach averaging out an impressive 1 million a month. Attendance was boosted by the warm weather the state enjoyed throughout this peak period highlighting just how important a role the beach and the ocean environment play in community life.

A key focus this season has been lifesavers intervening in situations before they became potentially dangerous, and as a result over 111,000 preventative actions were undertaken.

These actions include things such as asking swimmers to swim between the flags, and communicating to the public, hazards such as sandbars, submerged rocks and powerful currents.

Sadly there have been 31 coastal drownings since the start of July which is below the ten-year-average but it still a concern.

Surf Life Saving NSW Operations Manager Andy Kent praised all the volunteers for their commitment to surf safety, while also reminding people to stay safe along the coast during the cooler months.

“The dedication and commitment shown by all our volunteer lifesavers has been fantastic, and we thank them very much for their efforts. They have certainly had a busy season and have risen to the challenges along the way,” Mr Kent said.

“Although the official season ends this Anzac Day our members will be winding down but will be ready to respond throughout the winter months to any coastal incidents through our Surf Rescue Emergency Response System. And we know these efforts are appreciated by the public, NSW Police and other emergency services.”

Mr Kent also highlighted the many opportunities for surf life saving members to hone their skills over the break.

“Many of our members will also use the winter to keep their skills sharp by competing in the Inflatable Rescue Boat Series and to further their education by taking part in a range of refresher or advanced rescue or first aid training courses.

“There will also be lifesavers continuing their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle training through our supporters Little Ripper Group ©,” he concluded.
Some beaches across the state will continued to be patrolled by lifeguards throughout winter. For patrol times and further information, please

Lifesavers will patrol this weekend (22-23 April), enjoy a break on Monday and conclude duties on Anzac Day. The 2017/18 Patrol Season will commence on Saturday 23 September 2017.

Key Season Stats:
• 15,141 First Aids Performed
• 3,907 Rescues
• 111,594 Preventative Actions
• 569,571 Volunteer Hours
*Statistics correct as of 19/4/2017

'Don't Be Developed Out Of Pittwater' Rally At Mona Vale's Memorial Hall: Motion to Fight To Restore Pittwater Council Passes 

Pittwater Pathways 

Published on 18 Apr 2017 by Pittwater Pathways
Would you rather have 6 storey developments - or places like this? 
Fight to save Pittwater, oppose the NSW Government’s forced development agenda. 
Interim Chair of the Friends of Mona Vale Committee Mark Edwards acted as adjudicator at the April 9th meeting of residents concerned the B-Line Bus Service is the forerunner of developing Mona Vale in a manner in opposition to the core intrinsic values residents wish to maintain in Pittwater.

As with all these recent rallies the subject of the forced amalgamation of Pittwater was also spoken of and a Motion was put that
‘This Meeting calls for immediate action against the forced amalgamation of Pittwater" which was passed unanimously.

Further to this Motion, plans to launch a crowd funding page have been discussed by former Pittwater Councillor’s Sue Young and Bob Grace along with community members Sue Colvin and Stacey Mitchell.

“This will enable the community to support an opportunity to contribute to obtaining a solicitor and take action to have Pittwater Council restored through the rescission of the forced amalgamation." Mr. Grace stated yesterday, Saturday 22nd of April.

"We may take action for wrongful dismissal and will seek a mandatory injunction to restrain this Northern Beaches Council from acting as if Pittwater is part of their council.” Mr. Grace continued.

“We aim to finalise what we determine should now be done and set up this facility this coming week. We believe we have a good case and can win.” 

Those who wish to contact the Pittwater Council councillor of 20 years service may email him at or telephone 0416 222 103

On April 21st the Save Our Councils Coalition (SOCC) forwarded the following:

'The massive swings against the NSW Liberal Party in the April 2017 by-elections of North Shore and Manly were a direct result of the Liberal Government’s forced council amalgamations agenda, a failure to hold plebiscites, an inability to genuinely listen to the community and a dramatic loss of trust from the people.

“The ongoing battle between the left and right factions of the Liberal Party and the influence of property developers and political lobbyists on party policy, has compounded the problems faced by the Government,” says Save Our Councils (SOCC) spokesman Phil Jenkyn.

“The Court of Appeal in the Ku-ring-gai case recently found that the council was denied procedural fairness by being refused access to relevant documents underpinning financial conclusions in the Government’s public KPMG analysis. This refusal to provide basic material applies to all merger proposals including proposals implemented and is a fundamental legal flaw in the process adopted by the Government,” Mr. Jenkyn said.

Five other councils with similar claims await the decision of the same Court of Appeal. Woollahra is shortly before the High Court with its special leave application.

The Government’s whole process in attacking local communities and their elected local councils is in a shambles both legally and politically. The Government has no mandate from the people. It has refused to allow plebiscites in the process. It is frankly fearful of the people.

“Save Our Councils Coalition calls upon the Liberal/National Government to withdraw its forced council amalgamations and to do so now,” SOCC President Brian Halstead stated.

“If it fails so to act, it is probable that the courts will continue to set aside the merger proposals, community anger will continue to increase in the run up to the Local Government elections in September and further increase in the run up to the State elections in March 2019.

“This is a Government that has seriously lost its way. Now is the time for it to act decisively, withdraw forced amalgamations and work cooperatively with communities on genuine reform,” Mr. Halstead said in closing.

Mosman Readers Request - ' Could You Do A History Page On Clifton Gardens Please - People Would Find This Interesting';

Clifton Gardens Mosman: An Eternal Green And Saltwater Space And Of Many Captains

Panorama of Clifton Gardens, Mosman, New South Wales [picture] / EB Studios - Created/Published between 1917 and 1946 - nla.obj-162267250-1
And enlarged sections of to show detail:
Just two days after the First Fleet anchored in Sydney Cove, Captain Hunter, in a longboat, commenced a survey of the harbour, going first at what was to become known as Mosman (Mossman's) Bay. 

At the landing place known by the name of Koree by the original inhabitants, later Chowder Bay, Lieutenant William Bradley recorded:
"...We observed some women at the place the men came down from, they would not come near us, but peep'd from behind the rocks and trees. when the Boats put off, the Men began dancing and laughing and when we were far enough off to bring the place the Women were in sight, they held their arms extended over their heads, got on their legs and danced until we were some distance, then followed us upon the rocks as far as the boats went along that shore."

The name 'Chowder' for the bay is attributed both to American whalers using the place in the early 1800's and to Captain Edmund Cliffe who brought the name with him from India:

No. 12. Chowder Bay

A few years ago the name of Chowder Bay brought to one's mind a vision of bell-bottomed trousers and ladies who were called "donahs," The "Chowder Dip", could only be seen at its best when these ladies and gentlemen disported themselves there on holidays, and the fact that the day inevitably ended in a free fight added only a spice to the holiday. But these glories have all departed, and under its new name of Clifton Gardens the district is the home of respectability. Various reasons have been assigned for the name ma of the bay, the most popular being that it is derived from that American delicacy called "chowder," but this is not correct. In 1832 an estate on the foreshores was bought by E. H. Cliffe, who had made six voyages between Port Jackson and the East Indies as chief officer of a Vessel. Writing from the estate, he gave his address as "Chouder Bay ". “Chouder " has a breath of the Indies in it and probably it was associated with some place or incident in Mr. Cliffe's East Indian career. Advertising (1925, August 7). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 8 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from 

The salubrious qualities of the valley were recognised by Thomas Graham in 1928. Graham, a Scottish free settler employed by Government Botanist Charles Fraser as an assistant, was granted land where he set up a fishery and orchard:

A vineyard is likely to be established at  Sirius Cove, we understand, on the Cape of Good Hope plan. 
Mr. Graham, who holds land at Chouder Bay, has established a small fishery there, which at present meets his most sanguine expectations. 
We are informed that the harmless Cricket Club, recently got up in Sydney, have been civilly ejected from the Govt.  paddock on t'other side of the turnpike,  by a letter missive from a certain subject "dressed in a little brief authority," requesting the cricketters would not make that field the arena of their amusements, Pitiful - pitiful. No title (1829, October 21). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), p. 2. Retrieved from 

Sydney News.
Mr. Graham's fishery, at Chowder Bay, appears to justify the most sanguine  expectations of the proprietor. A lad may be observed every morning with a basket full of fine fresh fish, hooked at Chowder, which brings in the ready penny. Sydney News. (1830, March 5). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857), p. 3. Retrieved from 

Chowder Bay has been very tastefully fitted up by the proprietor, Mr. Graham, and is well worth a trip to inspect it. Domestic Intelligence. (1831, June 20).The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from 

DIED.—Suddenly at Parramatta, on the 22nd Inst. Mr. Charles Frazer, for many years Superintendent of the Government Garden, Sydney.Family Notices (1831, December 26). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from

DEATH. The friends of Mr. Frazer have transmitted us the following notice of his death :—
On the 22nd instant departed this life Charles Frazer, Esq. Colonial Botanist. This gentleman arrived in these Colonies many years since, a private in His Majesty's 73rd Regiment, and rose rapidly through his scientific acquirements, self-attained, the urbanity of his manners, and his universal and unremitting benevolence not only to the respectable post which he held at the time of his decease, but to a possession of the full esteem and regard of every individual of his extensive connection of friends and acquaintance. 
He advanced the cause of science by numerous discoveries in his profession, and his extensive scientific correspondence has left behind him a lasting monument of his talents and taste in the beautiful gardens, for which, from their extensive utility, the whole Australian Public are indebted, but the Public of Sydney in a particular manner: not to mention the roads and walks of the Domain, the last work of his planning, and which might vie in every respect, with almost any other work of a similar description. Family Notices (1831, December 31). The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 3 (AFTERNOON). Retrieved from

Within weeks of Thomas Graham succeeding to Mr. Frazer's position the property was offered for sale, seemingly to satisfy a creditor. The sale notice grants us an insight into what had been established on the acreage and perhaps why it was:

We understand that Mr. Graham, of Chowder Bay, who was formerly attached for some years to the Government Garden, has been appointed Botanist, in the room of the deceased Charles Frazier, Esq. DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1832, January 9). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from 

CHOUDER BAY. Fifteen Acres of Land, within three quarters of an hour's drive of Sydney ; or four miles by Water Carriage. Choice Garden. House and Cellars. Huts &c. now let to a respectable tenant at £42 per annum. BY MR.. BODENHAM, ON THURSDAY the 16th Instant, at One o'clock precisely, opposite POLACKS London Tavern. MR. BODENHAM respectfully begs leave to notify, that he is instructed to sell without reserve, all that beautifully situated property called, CHOUDER BAY, which for the beauties of Marine scenery, health, and the purpose of sea air and bathing, cannot be surpassed. 
The selection of this particular Estate was made by Mr. GRAHAM, Assistant Botanical Gardener with the late Mr. FRASER, for the purpose of forming an Establishment as an Hotel, for the reception of persons as Invalids, or others desirous of pursuing the pleasures of sporting or fishing, and to prosecute his own particular study in Botanical pursuits ; for which purpose, from four to five Acres have been brought into a high state of cultivation, and an immense variety of the undermentioned choice fruit trees have been carefully selected, pruned, and cultivated ; to say ; the green gage, citron, nectarine, apple, pear, cherry, mulberry, plum, olive, apricot, and peach, with a variety of others ; also a young Nursery has been begun. 
The buildings at present erected, consist of a sitting room and bed room, with under-ground cellars, huts, and detached out-offices. Persons who are acquainted with the delights of a party at "Chouder, " will not require any recommendation to purchase this Property, provided they have a spare Capital. There is also a never failing supply of the purest water. The views of Point Piper, Vaucluse, and other objects of interest, render this abode at all times cheerful and agreeable. The Purchaser to pay his own conveyance. TERMS OF PAYMENT - -£250 may remain upon mortgage for such a period as may be agreed upon. The residue of the purchase money, except a deposit of 10 per Cent upon the whole purchase-money, to be paid in Cash; at 6, and 9 months without interest, upon approved endorsed bills. Capitalists and others would find this an agreeable trip of inspection. Advertising (1832, February 1). The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 3 (AFTERNOON). Retrieved from 

In the Supreme Court.
Sheriff's Office, May 30, 1832.
Jenkins v. Graham.
ON Thursday, the 7th June, (this day), at One o'Clock, in George-street, the Sheriff will cause to be sold, all the right, title, interest, and estate of Defendant, in and to all that piece of parcel of land situated at Chouder Bay, on the North Shore, about 7 miles from Sydney. This property has been divided into seven allotments to suit purchasers ; and a plan it to be seen at the Sheriff's Office; unless this execution be previously satisfied in the Supreme Court. Advertising (1832, June 7). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from 

The Chowder Bay Estate will be brought to the hammer in seven allotments. DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1832, May 28). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from 

The property sold for £326 to Captain Edmund Harrison Cliffe and in this gentleman's exploits, as the owner of the whaler Lady Wellington, and having convicts assigned to him, we touch upon the toughness of life for those who were transported in the first fifty years to the colony surrounding Port Jackson and also the wholesale slaughter of whales that was taking place. He had been coming and going to the port for a while. NB: Spelling of 'Cliffe' as 'Cliff' on some occasions. It would also be good to take into account this gentleman was born in 1797 when looking at what he was doing at his age. It is also good to note that he arrived days prior to this property being sold, with his first wife Jane Cliffe aboard the Lady Wellington in April 1832:

MR. EDMUND CLIFFE, First Officer of the Brig Haldane, leaving the Colony in said Vessel, desires Claims to be immediately presented.Classified Advertising (1820, April 8). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from

MR. EDMUND CLIFF, Chief Officer of the Brig Haldane, leaving the Colony in said Vessel, requests that all Claims may be presented. Classified Advertising (1821, January 20). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from

CAPTAIN ORMAN, of the Ship John Bull, leaving the Colony, requests all Claims to be presented.  Mr. E. H. CLIFFE, First Officer of the Ship John Bull, leaving the Colony, requests all Claims to be presented. Classified Advertising (1822, January 25). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from

CAPTAIN CLIFFE, of the Brig Phoenix, leaving the Colony in said Vessel, Claims to be presented at Mr. A. B. Spark's, No. 11,George-street.Classified Advertising (1824, May 13). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from

Captain Cliffe, described when he passed away as an upstanding Christian gentleman, was also a large and rapid acquirer of lands and land grants - including extensive runs in Molonglo. Coming to Australia bringing goods to sell on speculation and soon afterwards becoming quite well off land-wise, shows how quickly those who were brave enough to put to sea could benefit from making the perilous journeys required.

The early history of Chowder Bay by these sea-faring men also shows a run of captains and relationships between these that overlap in ownership and custodianship as well as some links, through these Masters of Vessels, with Pittwater.

Walter (Wal) Williams

Wal Williams is a legend in Pittwater, a World War II Veteran, Mr. Williams has worked tirelessly for decades when Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch President to look after members and was present, along with fellow WWI Veteran Brian Sargeson at the May 16, 1999 dedication and Official opening of the original Cenotaph at Pittwater RSL.

Taken prisoner at the fall of Singapore, Wal worked on the Burma Railway prior to being sent to Japan to work, and experienced being sunk en-route. He survived Changi, he survived Burma, he survived being in the open ocean prior to being picked up again and sent to Japan for a year of hard work and being the focus of anger when the bombing of Japan began. He survived the firebombing of Tokyo and Yokohama by Allied bombers and finally returned home on October 10th, 1945 - his 23rd birthday.

When we asked him how he kept his spirits up he referred us back to the jokes by a 'voice that would sing out' with something at times when he and those he fought or survived beside were in direst straits - small witticisms he still laughs at in recalling.

Where and when were you were born?
I was born on 10th October 1922. My parents were Frank Gordon Williams and my mother, Letita Maie Williams. 

I was brought up at 45 Cliff Avenue, Northbridge. 

As a young fella I was a good swimmer, it was the thing of the day then. My father was a good swimmer too, before I came along. I joined the Northbridge swimming club when I was a kid; probably before I was ten, but I competed in competitive swimming from ten years of age up until the war. I won numerous championships there, point scores, and I represented at about 12 years of age in the New South Wales State Championships. I swam in the Old Domain Baths which no longer exist. They were tidal baths in those days, in the Domain in the Harbour.

General view of the Baths (Domain Baths, Woolloomooloo, c.1930s, by Sam Hood, courtesy State Library of NSW

What was Northbridge like when you were a child?
Northbridge was like a village in those days. Most people knew all the families that were there. There were vast amounts of bush. My recollection of Northbridge at the Point, which overlooks the Spit now, is that there was only one residence there which was owned by Hallstrom who was the patron of the Taronga Park Zoo. He had a factory in Willoughby which produced the Silent Night refrigerators. Prior to that we didn't have refrigerators, we just had ice chests. He was about the first fella that produced them. He produced electric, gas and kerosene fridges from that factory in Willoughby.

I’ll tell you a funny story about my Billycart at Northbridge. See this photo here, that’s the old suspension bridge at Northbridge in nineteen hundred and twelve (1912). I have a photo here of the old suspension bridge in my album.

We lived right opposite the bridge. This shows the road going over the bridge to Cammeray. I lived on the first street on the right, my father went out there after the First World war and had one of the first homes that was built there. You can see that tram, that later went over the bridge up to Northbridge. 

We used to have to go from the end of that bridge, where we lived, up to the shops. Mother used to give us a list and sister and I used to go up and buy all the stuff. I used to come down Strathallen avenue, which is the main street down towards the bridge in the billycart. I’d be driving and my sister would have her back up against me. We used to come off the bitumen road into Marana road, which was a dirt road in those days. I swung the billycart round, into the dirt, and all of a sudden I started getting wet on my backside. I thought, ‘oh no, don’t tell me Wanda’s wet herself’.

I had a brake on the billycart so I pulled that and said, ‘are you alright?’ – ‘yeah’ – it was the bloody eggs, they’d broken. So I pull up, and of course everybody knew everybody, so I ran into Mrs. So and so’s place and got a basin. There were three or four that weren’t broken but the rest, ‘there you are mum, there’s the eggs, we’ve still got a dozen.’

The trams used to run then and would run down to Northbridge school, that’s where they terminated. So of course as kids we used to scale the trams to get home, it was a great place for a kid then.

Pittwater Athletes Excel At 2017 World Masters Games In New Zealand

Warriewood SLSC's Rustys and Avalon Beach SLSC's Antinques- Silver and Gold at 2017WMG.

Palm Beach SLSC's Golden Girls: Annabelle Chapmane, Di van Ooi, Fi Rae and Karen Begg.

The World Masters Games 2017 have and are taking place in Auckland New Zealand from 21-30 April 2017. This is an international sporting competition for athletes of masters age, comprising up to 30 sports played over 10 days. The multisport festival is for anyone who loves to combine sport with pleasure. 

The World Masters Games is the world’s largest multi-sport event. Held every four years, it is the pinnacle sporting event for masters competitors worldwide. In supporting the Olympic Games ethos of ‘sport for all’,  the goal of the World Masters Games is to encourage participation in sport throughout life. Competition and camaraderie are equally celebrated.

Every four years, the International Masters Games Association, the representative body of masters sport worldwide, grants to one special city the rights to host the next Games. The first ever Games were held in Toronto, Canada in 1985. Since then seven other cities have embraced the global event including Sydney in 2009 and Torino in 2013.

Two of the philosophies of the Masters Games are to promote friendship and understanding, along with competition, between mature sports people regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or sport status. This unique spirit will be very much alive in 2017 when Auckland, New Zealand becomes the latest home to this hugely exciting global sporting event.

The 2017 World Masters Games have had Surf Life Saving Sports among the list of Sports that begins with Archery and goes to Weight Lifting.

Last weekend Avalon Beach SLSC's Antiques and Warriewoods Rustys - sweeps Rick Millar and Russell Lamb, won gold and silver in the Womens 200+

The Antiques crew for these games was Beverly Tilbury (bow). Ameila Butler (2nd bow). Tracey McSullea (2nd stroke) Kate Munro (stroke) Rick Millar Sweep.

We spoke to the team late this week as, anyone who follows this great surf boat team from Avalon Beach SLSC, woudl notice there are a few variations in this gold medal winning team.

"The crew decided earlier that we would like to compete in the masters games in NZ in April 2017, "  

Ludlites Love Utopia

Ludlites Love Utopia


Featured Exhibition in the Head On Photo Festival


Tim Hixson and Sally Mayman two Avalon photographers and members of the Ludlites group are currently exhibiting work at Bondi pavilion. The theme of this years show is Utopia……..  

`LUDLITES LOVE UTOPIA' is a special exhibition experience with 11 award winning photographic artists sharing their interpretation of the theme Utopia using plastic lens or pin hole film cameras.

With over 55 artworks showing in the Bondi Pavilion Gallery, this exhibition demonstrates the special place this collective of lo-fi plastic lens and pinhole camera users hold in the contemporary Australian art world. No other collective in the world maintains such an engaging and highly original approach to creating unusual photographic works using such low-tech cameras.

Why do we use film and plastic cameras?

"High end glass lenses that give an evenness in focus, contrast and colour are now the norm, even in our phones," says Tim Hixson, one of the founding Ludlites, "but we strive for the imperfection that is possible from shooting with a low grade lens and film. You learn to `feel' the effect of the light and trust your instincts then wait for the lab before you know you have a worthy image. The dreamy quality is something that many phone apps and the filters on fnstagram actually attempt to replicate."

Many Ludlites use film and plastic cameras as an antidote to constant digital perfection. "Sometimes the worse my negatives turn out the more excited I am", offers Ludlite Patrick Boland. "It's nice to have a little unpredictability in your life. I encourage this by using expired film, hoping its ageing emulsion will take me somewhere new.

Ludlite Katrina Crook says, "I love creating a situation where I can create images on a completely instinctual level. Whilst needing technical experience and photographic knowledge to make creative decisions I can then throw out the rulebook. The fun when using film and plastic cameras is realising it takes on a life of its own and I adore fully embracing the unpredictability and subsequent emotive results."

Charity Opening - Arrow Foundation

This year the Ludlites are proudly supporting the work of the Arrow Foundation, in keeping with the theme of Utopia - creating a better world. All profits from the opening event on May 7th will be donated to the foundation. The show is also a memorial to Ludlite member Mal Stewart, who we lost last year to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Please find more information on the Arrow Foundation here:

Why Utopia

This year marks the 501st anniversary of Thomas More's classic book `Utopia' considered one of the most important works of European humanism in which More describes the ideal city and state. Around the world celebrations and cultural events have been happening. The Ludlites have joined in to show their creative responses to the theme of Utopia.

Being a fictional work `Utopia' is based on imagination and tends itself to, 'The Ludlite Treatment', where the imperfect and unusual aspects of photography are used to create dreamy and suggestive visions of past, future or interpretive worlds.

The Plastic Camera can also show an intimate view and 'Utopia' can be seen as something very simple and attainable. It could also be viewed as existing right in front of us all along; we just didn't see it quite that way. Or as an abstract notion it can be represented as a contradiction to reality.

Our aim is to create a wonderful community event to share each artist's Utopian vision and raise money and awareness for the Arrow Foundation.

`Ludlites Love Utopia' marks the Ludlites 14th show and is a Featured Exhibition of the 2017 Head On Festival of Photography, one of the biggest photographic festivals in the world that takes place every year in May.

The Ludlites exhibiting in Utopia are:

Bradley Shaw, Katrina Crook, Lucas Brown, Natalie Blom, Patrick Boland, Riaan Cilliers, Sally Mayman, Tim Gibbs, Tim Hixson, Trevor Ydreos, Vanessa Power.

At Bondi Pavilion Gallery : Tuesday 25 April - Sunday 14 May

Open Hours: Everyday 1Oam-Spm

Official Opening Event Sunday 7th May 2pm-4pm. Supporting the Arrow Foundation


Newport's Marty Cole - photos by Owen Milne / Surfing NSW


SUSSEX INLET, SHOALHAVEN (Saturday, 29 April 2017):  By Surfing NSW
Six new NSW champions have been crowned today at the 2017 Ocean and Earth Southern Cross SUP Festival following an array of exciting finals in picturesque conditions.
2012 Australian Champion Beau Nixon (Tweed Heads) added another accomplishment to his portfolio of impressive titles, taking out the Open Men's division. Nixon put on a dominant display of surfing over the duration of the event, never posting a heat total less than 15.00 (out of a possible 20 points). Nixon shone in the blue-ribbon battle claiming the win ahead of fellow event standout Harry Maskell (Wamberal) by a two-point margin.
Thanks to claiming both respective heats in the Open Women’s division, Hannah Finlay-Jones (Merewether) was able to nab herself top spot on the podium in front of world renowned SUP surfer Terrene Black (North Entrance). Findlay-Jones posted two impressive heat totals in the 15-point range to claim the victory and take the position of 2017 NSW Open Women's SUP Champion.

All additional results can be found below.

The surfing component took place on the Friday and Saturday while the racing components will take place on the Saturday and Sunday.
Events in the racing event include an 8 - 10-kilometre elite marathon and an eight-kilometre sprint race.
The prime location for the surfing component of the Ocean and Earth Southern Cross SUP Festival is Sussex Inlet with backup locations of Narrawallee and Mollymook.
The event acts as the NSW State Stand-Up Paddleboard Titles across surfing and racing with the results of the event determining the NSW SUP Team for the 2017 Toyota Australian SUP Titles which will be held in Currumbin later in the year.
The Ocean and Earth Southern Cross SUP Festival is proudly supported by Ocean and Earth, Shoalhaven City Council, Mothernest, Toyota, Ohana Ocean Athletics, HIF, Australian Skin Cancer Clinics and Surfing NSW.

Open Men
1 – Beau Nixon (Tweed Heads)
2 – Harry Maskell (Wamberal)
3 – Marty Cole (Newport)
4 – Joshua Stretton (Anna Bay)

Open Women
1 – Hannah Findlay-Jones (Merewether)
2 – Terrene Black (North Entrance)
3 –Skyla Rayner (Berrara)
4 – Pam Burridge (Mollymook)
5 – Tiahn Smith  (Vincentia)

Over-40 Women
1 – Melissa McManus (Woolamia)
2 – Pam Burridge (Mollymook)
3 – Tammy Montgomery (Elanora Heights)
4 – Vanessa Smith (North Avoca)

Over-40 Men
1 – Glenn Turner (Merewether)
2 – Marty Cole (Newport)
3 – Steven Piper (Narrabeen)
4 – Cliff Buckingham (Manyana)

Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch Opens New Memorabilia And Military Heritage Library

Left to right: Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch Padre, The Reverand Lloyd Bennett, President of Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch, The Hon Bronwyn Bishop, Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch Patron and Vietnam Veterans  (Northern) Patron, Jason Falinski, Federal Member for Mackellar, The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater, State Minister for Education and Vietnam Veterans  (Northern) Patron, NSW State President of the RSL Council, John Haines AM.
The Refurbishment of the Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch Façade, the instalment of a new Memorabilia Displays and establishment of a Veterans Retreat and Military Heritage Library was opened Monday April 3rd, 2017.

MC for the Official opening was Vietnam Veteran and President of the Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch, Mr. Mark Ferguson.

Below runs transcripts of the Addresses given.

Mark Ferguson, President of the Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch

Thank you all for coming to the long awaited refurbishment of the Club’s military faced, military displays and the establishment of the Veterans Retreat and Military Heritage Library.

I’d like to welcome our official guests, State President of the RSL, Mr. John Haines AM, State Minister of Education, Mr. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater, MP for Mackellar, Mr. Jason Falinski, President of the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch and Pittwater Woman of the Year, Mrs. Deborah Carter, President of the Narrabeen RSL Sub-Branch, Mr. Barrie Epps, President of the Collaroy RSL Sub-Branch, Mr. Geoff Luck, President of the Dee Why RSL Sub-Branch, Mr. Alan Wright, Vic-President of the Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch, Lt. Commander Tamara Sloper Harding (RANR) OAM, President of Palm Beach Club Limited, Mr. Bryan Webster, NSW Police Dee Why L.O.C. Area Commander, Mr. Dave Darcy, 77th Squadron R.A.A.F. Assoc. Vice-President, Mr. Ray Seaver and Mr. John Seaton MBE, Chair of the Northern Beaches Veterans Centre, Mr. John McInerney OAM, Sub-Branch Patron and Former Speaker of the House, the Hon. Bronwyn Bishop and the Reverend Llloyd Bennett, Sub-Branch Padre. 

I now call upon the State President of the RSL, Mr. John Haines, for a short address.

State President of the RSL, Mr. John Haines:
Thank you very much, 
Honoured guests and my fellow Sub-Branch Members and guests, thank you very much for the kind invitation to be here today and say a few words.
Memorabilia  - some years ago I was tasked with checking on some of the Memorabilia that we do have in our Sub-Branch clubs. It’s very interesting what Members have collected over the years and have donated to the various RSL Sub-Branches. It reminded me over a number of occasions when I had to deal with that of my Army career and after.

I recall visiting the Thai Railway after my Army career finished and talking to the Curator of a Museum there. He was telling me that he used to go around where those who had suffered severe disease were housed and would find a lot of the equipment. On one occasion he found with his metal detector a pair of glasses. On the glasses rims were the owners name, rank and service number. He leaned them up and thought these would be a very good addition to their Memorabilia cabinet on the Thai Railway. 

He decide he would also make enquiries to the British Legion as to their owner’s whereabouts. This is a part of the Second World war conflict where around 99% of those people sent to this place died.

On contacting the British legion and informing them he had these British glasses, and that he was going to keep them for their Memorabilia Cabinet, the Legion wrote back to him stating the fellow was still alive and he would like his glasses back. He had just retired and needed them. So he packaged the glasses up and sent them off, happy to do so, but in that case, they lost a very valuable item for their display of that aspect of the Thai Railway.

I also recall during the latter part of my Service I used to have to check on some of the guys coming back from Vietnam. They told me first of all that when the Sydney came back on one occasion there was that much equipment coming back that they couldn’t check.

On this occasion they decided to hold the ship off the coast and the Customs Officers would go onto the ship and check. Now the Customs Officers stated they would check every second person; and you possibly know what happens when this method is employed – every second man had nothing and the blokes in between had all the gear. They found they had to try something different and so warned everyone that there would be a thorough check. Subsequently, they reckoned the night before they got off the ship the Sydney rose out of the water as everyone was throwing the gear they bought over the side of the ship.

I pointed out to my boss during my time that it was impossible to track down some of the Diggers gear – they were smarter than policemen, they knew where to hide it, so you can imagine what was brought home. Some of the Cabinets I go around to I’m just mesmerised by how these people got this information, inherent in these items, back for everyone to see, and how important this is to our tradition, how important this is to Australia and our young people, because they do visit these places; they come in to have a look and see at what these great soldiers, and their uniforms, looked like. These displays are very valuable to the communities where they are and very valuable to the Services.

I’d like to thank the President of the Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch and the Sub-Branch for what they have done and are doing here. It’s great that they are holding onto the value of these items and the tradition they embody and very important that they install such displays so other people can come in and be informed of their heritage and what has happened through what is in these displays. Through these the Members and Visitors can appreciate the Service and Sacrifice their fellow Australians have made.

On behalf of the RSL I congratulate you all on this great achievement of allowing others to see what has taken place.
Thank you very much.

Mark Ferguson, President of the Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch:
It will not be possible today to fully acknowledge all the contributors who have made this event possible, however, some special mention of individuals would be appropriate during the course of these proceedings. It would also be remiss to not give an acknowledgement of the unstinting support given to this project by Club Palm Beach during what is also a busy year when the club will celebrate its 60th Anniversary.

This refurbishment is best explained as being at four locations within the club, the first being the Entrance Foyer; as you enter the club you are introduced to a display of Service Badges and Plaques which is intended to set the which is intended to set the club’s desired subdued military ambiance. Some time ago, when this project was in its infancy, Mr. John Seaton, on behalf of the 77 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force Association presented the Sub-Branch with an S.M.L.E. 303 Service Rifle for inclusion in the proposed Memorabilia Cabinet. This iconic rifle, serial number 35233, together with a 15 inch bayonet and scabbard resented by Mr. Bob Week have become somewhat a talisman for Members and are now permanently mounted in the foyer. The date for this opening was chosen in recognition of the 77th as it is the 66th Anniversary of when the Squadron began training on Gloster Meteors prior to being moved to Iwakuni Japan.

The second location is under the club’s Honour Board and is the Naval Working Drawing of the Naval Destroyer HMAS Melbourne showing the 1968 refit. This was presented to the Sub-Branch by Commodore Graham Sloper AM RAN, who sadly passed away late last year.
We are honoured to have Mrs. Dannie Sloper and daughter Tamara Sloper Harding OAM with us here today.

Apart from the obvious interest this will create for Members of the Seaman’s Service, it is of particular interest as this refit was carried out only a few years after what was arguably Australia’s worst peacetime naval disaster, the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) and the destroyer HMAS Voyager (D04) collision off Jervis Bay on the New South Wales coast on the evening of 10 February 1964.

The third location is the Auditorium Display Cabinet. This collection and display of Memorabilia and Militaria will be in turn stored and rotated as content dictates, with exhibits dating back over a hundred years. From random grain samples actually obtained from the hallowed ground of Anzac Cove by Mr. John Simpson and son, who is with us today, to various headwear, ordnance, citations, uniforms and military collectibles, exhibited by Members and their families.

The present centrepiece is that of the uniform, squadron, medals and, citation of Lieutenant William Chevily Woodward. This citation reads as follows:

‘Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
Lieutenant William Chevily Woodward VX14949
Boungainville 16/10/1945
Lieutenant Woodward was bomb disposal officer during the company advance along Buin Road. Moving ahead of the forward trips in full view of the enemy and under constant fire, he located and deloused four mines and twenty-three booby traps. Later, further booby traps were encountered in front of the enemy position, causing heavy casualties. Displaying complete disregard for his own life he cleared the road. Again, when further traps were encountered he deloused a further thirteen. Lieutenant Woodward’s amazing personal bravery and extreme courage saved his unit heavy casualties.’

We are honoured to have Bill’s son and a Director of Club Palm Beach, Mr. Tim Woodward, with us here today.

Mr. Tim Woodward and cousin Jillian Cobby

The fourth and last location of refurbishment is where the new Sub-Branch office, Badge 333, and Military Heritage Library is. This has been designed to facilitate and enhance the contribution of the Sub-Branch to Veterans and their families, students and other interested members of the community through providing for many a safe and relaxed space. This may be used for educational research and special interest projects relating to Australia’s Military history. Our Mission Statement aligns and confirms our supervisory and administrative protocols that will be observed with responsibility and care in respect of all facets of this operation.

By the 30th of June we intend to catalogue some 1000 exclusive tomes, books and gazettes and provide a recreational reading service as well as supervisory accredited access to accredited online sites for the sole purpose of research. Availability and opening times will vary  to meet demand.
Apart from publications obtained through the Department of Defence and Members contributions, we obviously rely heavily upon the public and service sectors. Whilst there have been many such contributions none have underpinned and contributed so much quantitatively as Mrs. Jan Bolt and the ladies of the Avalon Red Cross Shop who we have the privilege of having with us here today.
I now call on Mr. Rob Stokes to open this facility.

Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater, NSW Minister for Education:
Distinguished guests, Returned Servicemen and women, ladies and gentlemen;
It is a great honour to be here with you all this morning at this auspicious occasion where we are celebrating the renovations to the façade and Memorabilia and the establishment of the Veterans Retreat and importantly, the Community Resource Library. 

In relation to remembering Australia’s Service in times of conflict, in this room we have many fitting reminders of incredible reminders of Service both at home and abroad, during conflicts and also in peacekeeping operations.

Mark has already referred to one gentleman, Mr. John Seaton MBE, I make especial mention of John as he is celebrating a special birthday this month. John and the men who stand next to him are living links with Australia’s Service and International Service as Forces in the Korean Peninsula who safeguarded the future of South Korea as just one example of Australia’s contribution, and also a huge contribution at the dawn of the jet age. In john we have an incredible piece of the story of Australia’s links with international events and also with Service and sacrifice that has helped to shape this nation.
But of course with earlier conflicts many of those living links are now no longer with us. It is now increasingly important that we maintain those links through the medium of Memorabilia as well as the written word. Because, as we repeat the words every Anzac Day, Lest We Forget, hat we are really committing to is an act of Remembrance, with our lives, with our thoughts and in the way we conduct ourselves.

We are remembering with those words as Lest is a Latin word literally meaning ‘for fear we forget’ because if we forget the lessons of the past we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.
What we learn from the time and times of the Australian Service men and women who have served our nation in war is that this nation was built on self-sacrifice and honour and an outward example of service. It was not built on self-promotion, materialism or acquisition.
It is those values that we need to incubate and propagate in the younger generation.

John Haines and I had the honour and great opportunity to be at a School’s remembrance Service at the Cenotaph in Hyde Park just last week where the Catholic Independent and public schools all came together in a joint Remembrance Service. This was such a powerful reminder that we have an obligation to ensure that younger people have access to a deep understanding of the stories that helped shape our nation, many of whom are present here in this room.

As Education Minister I am particularly excited about the opportunity that the Library and resource centre provide to local schoolchildren as well as for Researchers more broadly to access the incredible information held here at Club Palm Beach.

I also wanted to acknowledge everyone who has contributed particularly to the store of Memorabilia here as well as to the resources in the Resources Centre, as well as the Members of the Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch who in many ways, we all owe a debt of service to and yet they are still serving us in the way in which they have worked to ensure that this Memorabilia and these Resources are available and accessible to the wider community.
In that respect I’d like to acknowledge Bob Head as well as Mark Ferguson as I know that these gentlemen, particularly Mark, have driven this project and ensured that today has come to fruition.

With those words I’d like to congratulate Mark and Bob and all the Members of the Sub-Branch who have worked so hard to make today a reality – thank you.

Anzac Day In Pittwater 2017: Pittwater RSL And Avalon Beach RSL Commemorative Dawn And 11 A.M. Services - April 25th

Pittwater RSL

On Sunday 23 April, the annual Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch March took place from Vineyard Street, along Pittwater Road, to Village Park, Mona Vale, where a Service was conducted. 

Deborah Carter, President of the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch, welcomed The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, Member for Pittwater and NSW Minister for Education, Jason Falinksi, MP, Member for Mackellar, Kylie Ferguson, Northern Beaches Council, Father George Kolodziej, the Pittwater RSL Club Executive, Sub-Branch Members, and members of the Public.

Deborah Carter said: “On this day, above all days, we recall those who, in the great tragedy of war, gave their lives for Australia and for the freedom of mankind; who still sleep amid the ridges of Gallipoli and the terraced hills of Palestine; in the lovely cemeteries of France or the shimmering haze of the Libyan Desert; amid the mountains and olive groves of Greece and the Middle East; the jungles of Malaya, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, in rugged Korea and the battlefields of Vietnam; in the mountains and barren fields of Afghanistan and Iraq; amid loving friends in our Mother Country and our own land, and in unknown resting places in every continent and every sea.

We remember all those who have since fallen by our side in the wars in which we have been engaged – in the air and on the sea and land, and all our loyal friends among the people of New Guinea and elsewhere. We think of every man, woman and child who, in those crucial years, died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine.
May we and our successors prove worthy of their sacrifice.”

On Tuesday 25 April, the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch conducted the annual Dawn Service at the Club’s Cenotaph.  This was attended by several of the above mentioned dignitaries, and many members of the Public. Mr Joe Crumlin OAM, our Military Historian, delivered a very moving ANZAC address. The Service was followed by breakfast and Two-Up at the Club.
Lest We Forget.
The Sydney Thistle Highland Pipe Band leads the marchers along Pittwater Road, Mona Vale.
Sub-Branch members, Bill Mackay and Tommy Knox meeting members of the public.
The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, Member for Pittwater, NSW Minister for Education,  Deborah Carter, Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch President and  Jason Falinski, MP, Member for Mackellar.
Dawn Service at Pittwater RSL Club 
Mr Joe Crumlin OAM, our Military Historian, delivers his moving ANZAC address.
Sub-Branch member, John Roxburgh with the Catafalque Party

Avalon Beach RSL

5.30 am - Dawn Service 
Today we commemorate the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in Turkey 102 years ago. Over the relatively short, yet rich history of our nation, we have consistently contributed to global military campaigns deterring oppression, defeating those who would challenge our way of life and supporting those values of freedom, justice and democracy. It is a history that leaves us with a magnificent legacy.

On ANZAC day we honour the service, sacrifice and selflessness of a distinct group of Australian's. We honour those men and women who served our nation its times of need - those Australians and New Zealanders who have served us in war, and in peacekeeping operations in places quite often far from home - including the muddy battlefields of Belgium and France, the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, the deserts of North Africa and Iraq and the mountains of Korea and Afghanistan. We also recognise those serving us now in Iraq and the Middle East.

On ANZAC Day we honour that magnificent generation of Australian's. It is an opportunity to contemplate, reflect, understand and reaffirm the values demonstrated over a century ago - our ANZAC values of courage, mateship, selflessness and dedication - still vital to our way of life nowadays. These are of course fundamental Australian values. We should be immensely proud of how this ANZAC spirit lives on in the hearts, minds and actions of Australian's today. It is evidenced through the stamina, courage and good humour of Australian's when the chips are down; our determination to ensure a 'fair go' for all; and our sense of community and selflessness when we see others in need. This is important, because the very best way we can honour our fallen, on ANZAC day and every day, is to ensure that we live by the values they demonstrated in their final moments. May we be worthy of their sacrifice.
The service was conducted by
Lt. Col. Matt Stevens, CSC 
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Assisted by Mark Houlder, President of the RSL Club Limited.
The Catafalque Party was formed from the
201 ARMY CADETS (Lieutenant David Stabback) 
305 SQN. Australian Air Force Cadets (Pilot Officer Adrian Gibney)
Piper: Brett Lee
Bugler: Robbie Adams
Vocalists: Jess Harris, Joy Yates and Marie Ozaltin
Hymn: Eternal Father: Led by Avalon Voices Choir
Flanders Field: read by Miss Sophie Downs, Year 12 Student of Barrenjoey High school 
Wreaths laid by Tamara Sloper Harding, Avalon Beach RSKL Sub-Branch
Mark Houlder, President of the RSL Club Limited
Captain Leif Maxfield RAN
Mark Ferguson, Northern Beaches Council
Barrenjoey High School Students greet the sun rising over Avalon Beach after the Dawn Service - photos by Sally Mayman

Avalon Beach RSL

11 am March and Commemoration Service
The service was conducted by
Lt. Col. Matt Stevens, CSC 
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Commemoration Address: Hon. Jason Falinski, MP for Mackellar
Captain Leif Maxfield RAN, LCDR Alistair Walsh, Inspector Jo Comber,
RAN Clearance Divers Association Members, including CPOCD William (Bill) Fitzgerald, OAM (Rtd) and Commodore Russell Baker AM (Rtd), President of the NSW Branch of the RAN Clearance Diving Association, and Vice President of the national association

Piper: Brett Lee
Bugler: Robbie Adams
Vocalists: Jess Harris, Joy Yates and Marie Ozaltin
Hymns led by Avalon Voices Choir
Music by Barrenjoey High School Band conducted by Joshua Hughes
The Catafalque Party and Honour Guard was formed from 305 Sqn. Australian Air Force Cadets (Pilot Officer Adrian Gibney)
Prayers read by Barrenjoey High School Captains Yusuf Fayers and Caroline Wang
The Ode read by Captain Leif Maxfield RAN

Anzac Day 2017 Commemoration Address - Hon. Jason Falinksi, MP for Mackellar

If you think about it we are a very strange nation. Here we are, gathering as we do each year, for our most important day of national observance, ANZAC Day.  Not to commemorate a great victory, but to commemorate a great defeat.
Yet it is at ANZAC that we celebrate the shaping of a true Australian spirit. 

When Australians departed in 1915 for the theatres of war, Australia as a federation was barely 14 years old. Our allegiances were as much to Britain, and our respective home states, as to this new nation called Australia. We were Brits from New South Wales, from Victoria, from Western Australia.  
We still referred to a trip from London as going home. Yet our young men and women, the bright hopes of an entire generation, volunteered to join our armed forces out of duty to the king, and a simmering spirit of adventure.  

A newly formed Australian Imperial Force that was called for the first time in service to the nation. 
It was in the crucible of this war, in the crucible of this defeat, where man looked into the ravine and when nothing stared back at him, that we started thinking of ourselves as Australians.
We found ourselves; we found character and strength that we didn’t think existed. 
And so, each year as we come together to commemorate the service and sacrifice of these brave young Australians, we do so with the knowledge that it was their heroism and their unimaginable bravery that forged the legacy of a young nation. 

The day we choose to remember today, saw 4,000 troops land at Gallipoli as part of an offensive to secure crucial control of the Dardanelles. 
The plan was for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps to storm the beach and climb to take three landmarks, that will now forever be in our memory: Chanuk Bair, Scrubby Knoll and Gaba Tepe.  From these positions, the main body was to advance across the peninsula.

In the early hours on Sunday the 25th of April 1915 the ANZACs were landed one mile to the north of their intended landing site, a place we will forever remember as ANZAC Cove.  
By 2:00pm it had become clear that the plan had failed, and within 24 hours the invasion had become a siege which would last eight and a half long months. 

History’s ledger would ultimately record the 60,000 Australians who served, the 8,709 Australians killed and 19,441 wounded on the beaches and impossible cliffs of Gallipoli. 
To put this in context during the entire Iraqi conflict, only one Australian soldier died. 
An unimaginable sacrifice for many amongst us today.  
So we strive to remember, to remember, not mere numbers on a page, but what those lives meant.

I was taught at a young age that what we call history is simply the sum experience of individual lives.  
But commemorating events, battles, both glorious victories and tragic defeats – rather than the human tragedy or triumph lived within these - is to diminish their meaning. 

Although one hundred years on from World War One, the stories and the accounts, of bloodshed and sacrifice, can seem distant, we can still find within the ghosts of the past shared emotions, a common spirit. 
For the enduring memory of ANZAC is that these Australians from the past, share with us, names that we would recognise, and homes that we would live in today. 
For each had a family, and felt love equal to the love we feel for our own.  
For each ‘number’, each soldier that number represents, had parents who experienced both worry and fear, and who too often had to mourn the tragic passing of their child before their time. 

Throughout the accounts of the battles, their acts appear superhuman, yet none of these young men or women would have thought themselves exceptional.  Bravery beyond our comprehension that may even have felt to them commonplace. Teachers and clerks, engineers and accountants, some were immigrants, while others were first Australians.  
Those who we commemorate today were not strangers, but friends.  
Friends who through their sacrifice, gave us the great and lasting gift of a common identity.  

Forged in the midst of battle, in voices rich with Australian accents, we built a reputation as tough and dogged fighters, as larrikins and jokers, always prepared to have a laugh, but steely eyed in our determination. 
We built our reputation for mateship; based on shared and individual responsibility.  
Above all, we stood up for the first time and said with a loud voice: we are unique in our identity, and we are here, as Australians. 

So, as we pause today to honour the fallen, and commemorate those who gave service to our nation, we remember the enduring bond that binds all of us here together.  
Courage in the face of adversity, humility in the face of defeat. 
A conviction that our shared values, our way of life, are worth fighting for, with bravery and inconceivable sacrifice.  

Today, built upon this legacy, we are a tolerant nation, confident and comfortable with our identity, with the capacity to meet any challenge we encounter.
We are a cornerstone of the greatest and most successful peaceful regime in human history.  

Since World War Two, along with our allies, we have been part of an empire that has sought to bring security and peace to the world, instead of seeking expansion. Not since the Roman Empire, has there been such peace in our time. 
We still fight, but in a global context of international law.  
We fight for the rights of the weak and the powerless, as much as we fight for the rights of the powerful.  
That’s what we celebrate today.  
We celebrate the fact that there are people in this country, people in this place, who are willing to fight to keep the flame of liberty and humanity alive.  
Australians willing to serve, to put their lives on the line.  
Their generosity is completely irrational, but we do it again and again and again.

The world is littered with the tombstones of fallen Australians who fought for our ideals. 
So for all those who gave their lives in the service of our country, be it at ANZAC, be it during the Second World War, or be it today, we thank you.  
We learn from you, we live for your sacrifice, and we remember. 

Lest we forget. 

Anzac Day 2017 Avalon Beach RSL March and Commemorative Service photo album by Pittwater Online News available for participants to download images for their own Family Albums HERE - some of these run below

John Seaton MBE

John Seaton MBE, Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch member, served in Korea in the Royal Australian Air Force. He set up air strips and routes in the Solomon Islands, establishing an airline, and had the honour of finding the biggest glacier in the world in Antarctica, prior to that, in 1955, subsequently named the Lambert Glacier after the director of national mapping in Canberra. There is also a Seaton Glacier named for the gentleman himself.

Born in Launceston, Tasmania on April 21st 1927, John's wife Barbara, when we asked her why he had done so many amazing things, reasoned he was one of those amazing adventurers born at a time and on the cusp of when finding unknown things, like glaciers, or doing things that needed to be done, like starting airlines for isolated places, could still be achieved by those with the right spirit.

Where and when were you born – where did you  grow up?
I was born in Launceston, Tasmania on the 21st of April 1927. 
My father was one of three brothers. Alec, aged twenty one died very early in the piece – he was the eldest brother. Col and Dad went to the First World War – Colin was in the 12th Battalion and landed on Gallipoli and then went to France and ultimately he lost his leg through battle there.

Col died around sixty-five I suppose. Dad was in the Light Horse, the 1st Light Horse, and he saw action all the way up through Palestine, it was called in those days, and into Syria, through Beersheba – you’ve heard of Beersheba no doubt – the big charge and everything up there. He ended up in Damascus and came home at the end of the war from that area. 

Did your Dad ever talk to you about his war experiences?
Only a little bit, and only the funny things – he liked to talk about the funny things. 

I remember he was with his mate one day, and they were both on horseback. He drank all the water that he had in his canteen before about eight or nine in the morning, but he was able to get half a bag of oranges, and he ate oranges all day. He said he was in such a state that night that it was very laughable.
Or he spoke about his times in Cairo. I remember he was a great photographer, had one of the first of the bellows type Kodak cameras, and he took that with him everywhere he went. 

He had a little business running at one stage, he told me, where he’d take all the pictures out in the field – incidents that you’d see from day to day in the horse lines, or wherever they might be. He’d get them down to Cairo as soon as he could, get them developed and processed, and then he’d make a big sale in the next week or two when they came back. 

He started a carrying business in Launceston when he came home, had four or five trucks at one stage, and he was in transport so I got to know vehicles pretty well, of course and learnt to drive pretty early in my life. Dad was in a position where he was able to send my two sisters and myself, to private schools. 

He continued on in the carrying business, in the transport business until he was about sixty five. He sold the business and he retired to West Launceston, and he was a great gardener, and he gardened on for the rest of his life, and he died at the age of eighty seven I think it was. 

He was a firm character, heavily involved in RSL [Returned and Services League] matters in Launceston, and did quite a lot. He was the secretary of the branch in Launceston, and involved in many other organisations too; Red Cross, was the president of the Launceston Football Club at one stage. 

He almost became a councillor on the Launceston City Council at one stage but missed out by a few votes there. 

What was your mum like?
Mum was one of those grand old ladies, very Victorian, very prim and proper, a very stately, good looking woman.. She was one of two, Esther Boyd, and her brother Jack was in the First World War. He was in France and he got right through, although wounded quite a few times. But he was one of the lucky ones, and he came back.  
Mum married Dad in 1925. She brought us up pretty well I think. I had two sisters and she thought the world of them, and me. I was the middle one. She was involved heavily in the Red Cross in the Second World War, in fact she was almost eight hours a day at that from time to time. Everyone loved Mum.


Narrabeen Lagoon State Park Expansion

Map of new areas 

Narrabeen Lagoon State Park Expansion

May 3, 2017

Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes today announced Narrabeen Lagoon State Park will be expanded by over 140 hectares. 

The State Park was established by the NSW Government in 2014 to help ensure greater environmental protection for the lagoon and its surrounding catchment. 

Negotiations between the newly formed Northern Beaches Council and the NSW Department of Industry – Lands have seen seven Crown reserves added to the State Park. 

“Narrabeen Lagoon is one of the largest coastal lagoons in Sydney and sits within an important ecosystem - supporting a variety of native animals through a network of wildlife protection areas,” Rob Stokes said. 

“This expansion to the State Park preserves the area’s status for public recreation and tourism along with protecting its environmental characteristics.

“Seven additional Crown reserves now come under the management of the Narrabeen Lagoon State Park Trust meaning facilities for public recreation can continue to be supported and the area’s natural habitats protected. 

“The State Park originally covered 247.2 hectares. This expansion adds a further 140.5 hectares, bringing the total to 387.7 hectares”. 

Northern Beaches Council Administrator Dick Persson AM welcomed the expansion of the Park, acknowledging its many public and environmental benefits. 

“Narrabeen Lagoon is one of the jewels in the crown of the Northern Beaches and a popular recreational location, with abundant opportunities for bushwalking, cycling and water sports.

“Including these Crown reserves in the State Park means we will have a single Trust managing one of Sydney’s most popular parks and will ensure this wonderful natural resource is preserved for future generations,” Mr Persson said

Previously and/or related:

April 2014: Narrabeen Lagoon State Park - NSW's Newest Investment In The Future

May 2014: Narrabeen Lagoon and Northern N.S.W.'s Environment Champion Jim Somerville - A Tribute

July 2014: James G Somerville Memorial Service - A Celebration Of A Munificent Life - Charting The Persistent And Long Way Of The Somerville Trek

September 2016: Jim Somerville Bridge And Graham Jones Track Opened At Narrabeen Lagoon

October 2016: Moon Rock Declared An Aboriginal Place

There are numerous Historical pages focussing on Narrabeen's Lagoon in which you can see what has changed and what remains the same - these are listed in Contents and Past Features pages and are a great way to sight what has been retained for future generations through the expansion of the Narrabeen Lagoon State Park - a few examples run below.

VIEWS NEAR NARRABEEN, SYDNEY. (1905, October 11). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 921. Retrieved from 

Shadowed in grand and sombre majesty
By wood-grown hills and dark and twilit dales,
Fed by the streams from out those self same vales,
And sheltered by the self-same woodlands free,
We gaze upon this great enrapturing scene :
Clear, placid, limpid lake of Narrabeen,
Dropped round her shores in scattered harmony,
The homes of worthy citizens: wherein the days
Pass by like winged hours, heavenly,
For Spring reigns ever o'er the palms serene,
That skirt the shores of sunkiss'd Narrabeen.
— 'EDRIE,' Glenorie, N.S.W.
Prize Poem (1929, November 17). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 6 (COLOURED COMIC SECTION). Retrieved from 

New Mental Health Services A Boost For Northern Beaches Residents

MP for Mackellar Jason Falinski with members of Community Care Northern Beaches. 

New Mental Health Services A Boost For Northern Beaches Residents

4 May 2017
Local Member Jason Falinski today announced six new Australian Government-funded mental health and suicide prevention services at the Community Care Northern Beaches in Mona Vale.
Mr Falinski said: “these services will significantly boost support available to those in need across Northern Sydney, an area that includes the Northern Beaches.”
“Mental health is one of the four pillars of our Government’s Long Term National Health Plan and we are committed to developing a better approach to mental health care.”

These new services, commissioned by Northern Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN), are innovative, culturally sensitive and already on the ground to ensure that people get the right help, at the right time.
It is estimated that more than four million Australian adults experience mental ill-health each year, and in Northern Sydney this figure is 12 in every 100 people.
The Australian Government has allocated $14.2 million to the Northern Sydney PHN through to the end of June 2018 to commission mental health services that best support the needs of their local community.
As part of the commissioning process, the PHN has undertaken extensive research and community consultation to understand the specific mental health needs of this region.
The services can be tailored to individual requirements and will fill the gaps in mental health services in the North Sydney area.
Mr Falinski explained that “every service that this Government is supporting has been identified through a competitive tendering process as the best suited to meet our local needs.”

“It’s not about throwing more money at a mental health problem; it’s about making sure that we get the best possible outcome for our residents. The decisions are being made here, on the ground, because that’s how we will get the best results.”
Additional information on the services being rolled out:
The service providers include:
  • Community Care Northern Beaches – offering outreach care coordination and psychosocial support to people who have been hospitalised following a suicide attempt. 
  • Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury and Lifeline Northern Beaches – offering telephone based assessment and referral services for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues such as low mood, anxiety and stress.
  • New Vision Psychology – offering one-on-one and group-based psychological support and care coordination to Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking residents.
  • Relationships Australia, in partnership with the Gaimaragal Group – offering culturally appropriate mental health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Primary and Community Care Services (PCCS) – offering one-to-one psychological support and care coordination to underserviced and at risk groups, including people who identify as LGBTI, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children and young people, and women experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression.
  • Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury – in addition to their phone-based services, Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury will also provide group-based support for underserviced groups, helping these people to manage their anxiety, stress and depression.
The range of services offered through these providers includes early intervention, low-level mental health care, wrap-around support to connect vulnerable groups to the services they need, to aftercare support for those who have tried to take their own lives.
It also includes support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex – who research has shown to be at increased risk of suicide and self-harm – as well as non-English speaking communities.

Surf Lifesaver Treats Rock Fall Victim: First Aid Learnt In Surf Clubs Or Through Open To The Public Courses Saves Lives Elsewhere  

Surf lifesavers, trained in first aid and CPR, out in the community and ready to use their skills and experience to help others, are another light always on in our communities

Surf Lifesaver Treats Rock Fall Victim At Palm Beach

Tuesday 2 May 2017 - from Surf Life Saving NSW
A man in his 70s who was injured on rocks at Palm Beach pool this morning was lucky to have a highly trained surf lifesaver on the scene to administer first aid.

Nick Sampson, a 23-year old patrol captain at Avalon Beach SLSC is an electrician and was working on a construction site nearby when members of the public alerted him that a man had fallen off the path and onto rocks and was bleeding profusely from the head.

Nick and others from the construction site grabbed a first aid kit and along with bystanders, did what they could to stem the blood flow from the man’s head.

When paramedics arrived, Nick assisted them to administer oxygen, apply a neck brace and a defibrillator before the patient was loaded into the Ambulance. He was moved to North Palm Beach to a waiting helicopter for transport to hospital.

“He had a deep cut to the head, there was a lot of blood. Apparently he felt faint and stumbled across the path and fell off the edge onto the rocks,” said Nick.

This morning’s drama at Palm Beach shows just how valuable it is to have surf lifesavers, trained in first aid and CPR, out in the community and ready to use their skills and experience to help others.


Nick is humble by nature and dislikes talking about himself but reiterated that anyone can help others through learning First Aid, reminding everyone that Surf Life Saving does offer courses the public may do even if they're not a member of a Surf Life saving Club. 

Details on upcoming First Aid courses available to the public through SLS NSW run below.

Nick also explained that one of his co-workers on the site also assisted him during their response - 'Dan was also helping' Nick explained when we spoke to him earlier this week.

When we asked why he does so much so often, as you may read in Avalon Beach SLSC President, Richard Cole's Profile below, he explained he has received a lot from the club through training, through a positive mindset being engendered in everything the club does, and being supported to pursue his love of surf sports.

"To me it's about giving back to the community and the club which has given so much to me." Nick said.

2016 Profile on Nick Sampson
When people grumble about Gen Y being self centred, unwilling to take on responsibility and being the "I" generation, I like to point out some of the younger members of our surf club such as Nick Sampson. 

At only 22 years of age he is our Director of Surf Sports, responsible for running all of our competition teams, as well as our Club Championships. He was one of the main organizers of the Branch Carnival this year. He is also a Patrol Captain and jet ski operator. He manages the Club bar, which is virtually a full time job in itself. He also finds time to be a member of the "Pinkies" surf boat team who won state gold last year and recently represented Australia and NSW. Nick also liaises as club representative at Branch for our surf boat division.

You will find him in the gym at 5:00am at least 3 times a week, and training in the boat most other mornings. He is also a talented member of the IRB racing team. He has 63 SLS awards. When he finds time to do his work as an electrician, I don't know, yet he will always be there if there is a job to be done. Nick is an exemplary club member who deservedly won the President's award last year. Nick is a role model to not only the junior Club, but to all of our members. Thank you Nick for all your hard work and dedication.

Richard Cole
President Avalon Beach SLSC

NB: since Richard wrote the above the Pinkies have won the Under 23 Surf Boat World Championships.

Nick Sampson - photo by Richard Cole

Transforming Everyday Australian's Into Lifesavers

By Surf Life Saving NSW
We offer public first aid certification and CPR courses all over NSW that will empower you with vital lifesaving skills. You could help save the life of someone close to you one day. Whether you’re looking for individual training, for a family member, a community group or your entire office, we can provide the right training solution for you. You can book online a course near you or if you would rather speak directly with someone, give us a call through our public training hotline on 1300 766 257.

All training provided is Nationally recognised (RTO ID: 90394) and WorkCover Approved.

*Discounted rates available for active Surf Club members - please contact the Academy Business Officer - Public Courses directly on 02 9471 8099.

News From The Nesting Box May 2017: THEY’RE BACK!

Right on cue the Feathertail Gliders have been sighted on Rocky Point. For the third year in a row the Gliders have appeared in Autumn to check out suitable nesting boxes for the winter.

This time they’ve come slightly earlier - April instead of the May. In past years they have hung around until September or October so it will be interesting to see if the same rough seasonal pattern holds true this year.

That means it’s definitely time to clean out the boxes, get rid of the ants, dislodge those spiders and put some inviting fresh bark scrapings, or scrunched up leaf material, or the soft inner bristles of the banksia flower, to provide a suitable bed for our smaller marsupials for these cold winter months.

Hazel Sullivan’s Box 26 gets our first recorded Autumn visitor 

In fact local polymath, Alan Yuille, tells us that it is likely to be the lower over-night temperature that drives them down from the escarpment at this time despite the plentiful nectar up there throughout winter.

And it’s not just the Feathertail Gliders in search of a warm bed by the coast. Mel Broughton reports her first sighting this year of a Pygmy Possum nest. This nesting box has been a favourite wintering hole over the last 2 years. Part of the attraction may be that the box is attached to a NSW Christmas Bush, which is also the nest material. Obviously the Pygmy Possums are time and motion students.

Mel Broughton’s Nesting Box - Photographer Mel Broughton


Jude James reports that the schedule seems to be purring along and that the new box numbers have already proved their worth. However be warned. Now that boxes are becoming active we may need to reschedule your camera time so that we can keep a camera on an active box.


As Project members will recall, we do have 3 nesting boxes up on the escarpment under the eagle eyes of our Sugar Glider Squad. One of the reasons for putting the boxes up there was to try to confirm that our small marsupials were choosing to live up there over summer and not just in another Bay.

In December Sugar Glider Squad member Ruby Cummings spotted something in one of the boxes and managed to take the photo below. A positive I.D. has proved illusive, but our best guess is a Pygmy Possum. (When I say ‘our best guess’ I mean of course Ecologist and Project Mentor Alf Britton)

December visitor in the Sugar Glider Squad Nesting Box - Photographer Ruby Cummings

The Squad subsequently trained a camera on the box in use. Sadly, this camera was stolen 2 weeks ago. It’s a short sharp lesson to us all that despite our best efforts at camouflage, nowhere is free from small opportunistic crimes, not even on these isolated shores.


On a brighter note the Sugar Glider Squad visited Taronga Zoo’s Nocturnal House last week. Despite the low light Photographer Monique Stidwill recorded the visit.

Top L to R: Ruby Hamish Ethan. Bottom L to R: Mali & Luke

Pandy, the Black Footed Tree Rat from Queensland was up to his old tricks

Ruby, Ethan, Pandy & Luke

His peanut obsession, if anything, has got worse.


Hamish, Pandy & Ethan  Pandy & Ruby


Luke and Hamish got up close and personal with a Feathertailed Glider

The visit was under the auspices of Taronga Zoo Senior Keeper the wonderful Wendy Gleen. Her knowledge and affection for all the mammals in the Nocturnal House felt like world’s best practice as did her rapport with the Squad. Our Sugar Glider Squad activities regularly feature in Wendy’s talks to school groups as she spells out some of the possibilities for those kids who wish to learn more about their natural surroundings.

It made us all feel very proud of our team.

Avalon Beach SLSC And Avalon Surfing Mums Biggest Morning Tea

Avalon Surfing Mums and Leanne Austin

Avalon Beach SLSC And Avalon Surfing Mums Biggest Morning Tea

Avalon Surfing Mums & Avalon Beach SLSC combined Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea fundraiser for the Cancer Council was held last Sunday at the ABSLSC’s Club Lounge raising over $1600 for the cancer council.

The theme “bring a teacup with a story” designed to minimise waste and washing up was a big hit with many attendees bringing treasured teacups from their childhood and sharing their stories with the organisers and each other.  Carmen Meehan, a volunteer at ABSLSC was delighted to see the Surf Club using her mother’s tea cups donated many years ago as a backup for those who forgot to bring their own.

Carmen Meehan

Gabrielle Griffiths teacup story

Local residents, Jen Beck and daughter Ally as well as the Ma Family bought treasured teacups from their own childhood for their daughters to enjoy.  Gabrielle Griffiths teacup was part of a set won in a 1970’s Irish dancing competition which had been posted by its owner to her four friends located all over Australia. 

Jen, Ally Beck & Friend

Ally Beck

The Ma Family

The weather was superb and visitors were treated to a beautifully styled event space courtesy of Copper Beech and the Faux Flower Company and enjoyed treats generously provided by Woolworths Avalon, The Boathouse Group, The Avalon on the Beach and DiLicious Cupcakes as well as an array of home baked goodies from the Avalon Surfing Mums.   

The raffle was a big hit and contributed greatly to the fundraising with wonderful prizes being donated by local Avalon businesses such as Annie Kurtz - The Body Shop at Home, Beach General, Blatchfords Kitchen, Classic Coffee, ecodownunder Avalon Beach, Health Space, Mark Collis Art, Maweda Jewellery, Rust and Surfing World Magazine. 

ABSLSC and Avalon Surfing Mums would like to thank the local community for all of your support and hope to see you again next year.

Donations still welcomed.  If you would like to make a donation to the Cancer Council’s Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea please follow the link:

Photos courtesy Christine Hopton OAM - Report and Photos by Leanne Austin, 2017.

MC38 Winter Series Act 1 On Pittwater
Hosts: The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

Drone capture of the MC38 Winter Series on Pittwater - May 2017 by Bob Fowler

First Day Of Warm Winter Series Act One To Dark Star

6 May 2017
Event: MC38 Winter Series Act 1, 6-7 May, 2017 on Pittwater hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

Two wins apiece in light and fluky winds on Pittwater has the host club’s Dark Star leading Neville Crichton’s Maserati by a point on overall scores after day one of the MC38 Winter Series.
A harsh autumn sun and 24 degree day juxtaposed the series’ name for the opening event of a four-part winter pointscore running from May to September between yacht clubs on Sydney Harbour and Pittwater.
Dark Star’s owner John Bacon and his long-time tactician Cameron Miles know Pittwater as well as is possible, given the topography of the narrow waterway with hills both sides and Scotland Island acting as a sizable wind barrier.  This knowledge plus finding high gear meant Pittwater treated them well.
“It was nice to be back on our home waters though it was fully tricky and you had to be really patient,” Bacon said. “We got really aggressive with changing gears and upped the work rate, and it really paid off. I thought we’d be rusty after missing last regatta but the teamwork came together, we picked the right sails and the boat was going fast. It was one of those days everything lined up.”
Sydney Harbour blow-ins Maserati (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia/Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron) and Ginger (CYCA) have had their successes on Pittwater and Maserati came to this regatta as the most recent class victor, at the MHYC Autumn Regatta three weekends ago when Chris Way drove. 

This time Crichton, who had another engagement, handed the helm to Farr 40 owner/skipper Martin Hill.

Maserati (foreground) & Vino upwind - photo by Bob Fowler
Maserati’s tactician Joe Turner said with some sarcasm, “Lovely Pittwater in winter... actually it wasn’t too bad and a couple of things went our way. Changing helms is ok; us six guys have been together for a year and we are starting to gel. Martin is an excellent helm and slots in perfectly with the team.
“Neville has a lot going on outside sailing but he’s planning a full tilt starting with the August series; he’s excited to come racing again,” Turner assured.
Debriefing on today’s efforts Turner said his crewmates gave him plenty of stick for a couple of their starts. “I have a suntan inside and out after being burnt by the crew for some bad tactical decisions. I’m all emotional,” he joked.
Four points off second is Leslie Green’s Ginger followed by Steve Barlow’s Lightspeed and Chris Hancock’s Vino.
Set up between the eastern side of the island and Newport, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s team of race officials managed four races on a “tough old day” described race officer Steve Merrington. The breeze started out in the NW then went to due north and back to NW, 5-10kts with the odd 12 knot puff.
Racing recommences for the one design fleet at 1000hrs on Sunday May 7.
For the June 17-18 regatta the fleet will welcome new owner Chris Way and Easy Tiger, formerly Menace.

By Lisa Ratcliff

Lifesavers Launch Into IRB Season 2017

Bungan SLSC  Round 1 IRB - have won 2nd in Rookie Mixed Rescue IRB, 3rd in Under 23 Mixed Teams IRB and 3rd in Under 23 Mixed Tube IRB - photo by Richard Black
Avalon Beach SLSC Round 1 IRB - have won 2nd Under 23 Mixed Teams IRB, 2nd Rookie Mixed Mass IRB, 3rd Rookie Mixed Rescue IRB, 4th 35+ Mixed Teams IRB, 5th 45 + Mixed Rescue IRB, 6th 35+ Mixed Mass IRB, 8th 45 + Mixed Mass IRB - Team photo above courtesy Richard Cole

Newport Surf Life Saving Club

Well done to our IRB racing team this weekend making 6 finals including the 35+ tube, U23 tube, U23 teams, Rookie mass rescue, U23 rescue and Rookie rescue. Thank you to all of their supporters who helped with set up and moving boats in and out of the alleys.
Looking forward to the next round in Mollymook on the 20th May.

More local IRB Teams Results:

35+ Mixed Teams IRB Final
4th Avalon Beach SLSC Team A    
Peter Carter, Richard Cole, Zachary  Dale, Jason Dale, Melissa Hall, Alan  Mahn

45 + Mixed Rescue IRB
5th Avalon Beach SLSC Team A    
Richard Cole, Melissa Hall, Alan Mahn

35+ Mixed Mass IRB
6th Avalon Beach SLSC Team A 
Peter Carter, Zachary Dale, Jason Dale, Melissa Hall

45 + Mixed Mass IRB
8th  Avalon Beach SLSC Team A
Richard Cole, Zachary Dale, Melissa Hall, Alan Mahn

Rookie Mixed Mass IRB
2nd Avalon Beach SLSC Team A   
Todd Barber,  Zachary Dale,  Alan Mahn, Alan Moran, Alan (M)        
3rd Newport SLSC Tall and Lanky  
Lauren Budd, Nickolas Singh, Guyren Smith, Liam  Taurins

Rookie Mixed Rescue IRB
2nd Bungan Beach SLSC Inc Bait Boy  
Joshua Bryden, Amber Clark, Aidan Clark       
3rd Avalon Beach SLSC Team A    
Todd Barber, Zachary Dale, Melissa Hall
Also in Grand Final Newport SLSC Tall and Lanky
Lauren Budd, Nickolas Singh, Guyren Smith, Liam  Taurins

Under 23 Mixed Teams IRB
2nd Avalon Beach SLSC Team A    
Peter Ashcroft, Todd Barber, Amelia Barber, Matthew Mayall, Scott Poole, Nicholas Sampson        
3rd Bungan Beach SLSC Inc Flying Bunghole    
Isabella Ball, Joshua Bryden, Amber Clark, Aidan Clark, Matthew  Crago, Callum Montgomerie
5th Newport SLSC Team A    
Naomi Bronier, Melissa Cooper, Tara Doyle, Nathan Doyle, Keelan Smith, Liam Taurins

Under 23 Mixed Tube IRB
3rd Bungan Beach SLSC Inc Mad Huey    
Amber Clark, Aidan Clark, Matthew Crago     
5th Newport SLSC Mail Naleek    
Nickolas Singh, Keelan Smith, Liam Taurins        

Avalon Beach SLSC Roudn 1 IRB 2017 - photo courtesy Richard Cole

NSW Lifesavers Announced In Australian Squad For 2018 Worlds In Adelaide

Photo: Georgia Miller competing at the 2017 NSW Open Championships has been selected in the Australia Life Saving Team squad.

NSW Lifesavers Announced In Australian Squad

Wednesday 3 May 2017 – by Surf Life Saving NSW
A total of 16 NSW athletes including an Olympian and five Nutri-Grain Final Series stars have been selected in the Australian Life Saving Team Squad and will have the chance to compete at the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide.

With 562 days till the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships commence, the selected 47 athletes from around the country will be taking no time off over the winter months to make sure they have the best possible chance to be chosen to race in the green and gold.

Coming off outstanding performances at last year’s Lifesaving World Championships in The Netherlands, nine of the 12 NSW athletes have been chosen in the squad including veteran Tim Schofield (Terrigal), Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Georgia Miller (Newport), Bradley Woodward (Shelly Beach) and Jake Lynch (Newport).

The 2016 Youth Captain Jemma Smith (Umina) as well as Lizzie Welborn (North Bondi), Rachel Wood (Umina) and Ethan Garland (North Cronulla) will be fighting for a spot in the Opens this time around.

NSW Open Champions Newport SLSC have the strongest contingent with five athletes named, including NSW Interstate Captain and ski specialist Hannah Minogue and Australian and NSW Open Flags titleholder Blake Drysdale.

Jake Lynch - Newport

Manly’s Kendrick Louis will be hopeful of representing his country after a stellar season for his new club, thanks to wins in the NSW Open Iron and impressive performances in the Summer of Surf Series.

Rio Olympian Riley Fitzsimmons (Avoca Beach) will be out to cement his position as the best male ski paddler in the country against close rival Mitchell Trim (Newport).

While Ngaire Hadfield (Cronulla) who has form behind her after claiming gold in the Australian U19 Flags will be racing against Queensland’s finest sprinters for the chance to represent her country.

The team will be led by Head Coach Kurt Wilson (Currumbin) with KNG Ironman Champion Shannon Eckstein (BMD Northcliffe), Andrew Bowden (Bronte) and Martin Lynch (Newport) as Assistant Coaches, while Umina’s Garry Mensforth will be Team Manager.

Glenelg Beach will be hosting the surf and beach events while the pool rescue competition will be held at the South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Australian Youth Life Saving Team squad (ocean & beach) will be announced next week with youth pool athletes announced after the Australian Pool Rescue Championships in August.

The 2018 Lifesaving World Championships are being held in Adelaide, South Australia from 17 November to 2 December with the final team of 12 to be announced in early 2018.

Australian Life Saving Team Squad (NSW Athletes):
• Riley Fitzsimmons - Avoca Beach
• Keelan Bridge - Bronte
• Ngaire Hadfield - Cronulla
• Kendrick Louis - Manly
• Blake Drysdale - Newport
• Jake Lynch - Newport
• Georgia Miller - Newport
• Hannah Minogue - Newport
• Mitchell Trim - Newport
• Lizzie Welborn - North Bondi
• Ethan Garland - North Cronulla
• Daniel Collins - Redhead
• Brad Woodward - Shelly Beach
• Tim Schofield - Terrigal
• Jemma Smith - Umina
• Rachel Wood - Umina

Team Management:
Coach – Kurt Wilson (Currumbin)
Assistant Coach – Shannon Eckstein (BMD Northcliffe)
Assistant Coach – Martin Lynch (Newport)
Assistant Coach – Andrew Bowden (Bronte)
Team Manager – Garry Mensforth (Umina)

Inaugural Lifeline Classic An Investment In Waves Of Hope For Everyone's Loved Ones

Lifeline Classic 2017 - photo by Jack Barrip, Living Ocean team
The inaugural Lifeline Classic held last weekend is a clear indication our community wants to turn the tide on losing loved ones to suicide and ensure services are in place to assist those afflicted with depression. Supporting those who can provide what is needed anytime it is needed is one step in the right direction.

As it costs Lifeline $27.96 for every call responded to, every dollar raised at the first ever Lifeline Classic will help save lives.

Lifeline Northern Beaches CEO David Thomas said the organisation was more than happy to raise over $50,000 in the inaugural Lifeline Classic at Dee Why Beach on Sunday. $51,855.19 has been donated so far.

“It was a bit out of the box for Lifeline to do a surfing event, but we got the surf and the weather,” he said.

Mr Thomas said suicide is our national emergency. “When you look at the statistics, the biggest killer of 15 - 44 year olds is suicide. It’s a crisis and the peninsula is no different - our community has felt the devastating effects of this far too often.” 

“So that’s close to 2,000 calls to crisis counsellors we will be able to fund from this event. That’s 2,000 cries for help, potentially 2,000 lives that can be saved with those calls,” he said.

Mr. Thomas said that Lifeline as an organisation has struggled to get to a younger demographic. “A lot of people in my middle-age group know about the 13 11 14 crisis hotline but they don’t know about our counselling services or the other services we offer.

“Huge thanks to all the pros, all the fundraising teams and everyone who supported this event, plus Steve Harrison from Global Surftag and Jo Lynas from Lynas Events who put it all together. Hopefully it will build that trust and confidence, and also that brand identity, with the younger demographic. If they do have a crisis somewhere along the line, they’ll know that Lifeline is there and that there are services available to help them,” he said.

The Living Ocean team (Hunter Roberts, Sam Partington, Van and Arch Whiteman and pro surfer Fraser Dovell) won the fundraising with more than $7,000. They were inspired to get involved by Claudia Newman.

“Depression and mental health issues have been a big part of my life personally, and a few of my friends have passed away, so I’ve been looking for something to do about it for a very long time,” Claudia said.  “With the Lifeline Classic, we got an opportunity to make a difference and include all the youth in it. So I involved my family and Living Ocean, which was co-founded by my parents, Carol and Robbi and their friends, and the response was absolutely incredible.

“We need the youth to understand that there are people to call if you don’t want to talk to your family or friends. If you’re not ready for that kind of communication yet, you can call up Lifeline on 13 11 14 and there will be someone there 24 hours a day who can help you with any problem you are having, just so you know that in no way, shape or form are you alone.”

Living Ocean won the fundraising and will give more than $7,000 to Lifeline 
Photo courtesy Bernadette Johnson McAlinden

Fourteen teams fundraised, with 13 competing on the day.
Although the focus is clearly on winning something else here, the Manly Surf School team (Cooper Chapman, Shane Conwell, Harley Ross, Darcy Crump and Tas Grainger) won the final from Salty Roosters, White Horses and North Steyne.  Sharing fifth place were Living Ocean and Swellnet, while equal seventh were Surfing Mums and Adrenalin Wetsuits. The other fundraising teams, Saltwater Hope, Avalon Beach SLSC, The Rebels, Redback Surfware, Hot Grommet and The Surfing Lawyers, all added to what can be done through Lifeline Northern Beaches.

Pittwater Visions

By Dave Whiteman

Past Artist of the Month and Profilee, as well as a regular Contributor with insights about events that happened around here, Dave Whiteman paid a visit to the area last week, something the gentleman does regularly, and sent through some absolute Visions captured through his camera and great eye.

As you will find, when perusing his other great images on Dave Whiteman Photography, "It's All About the Vision".. 

'I see a scene and it creates an emotion. My aim is to capture that emotion or Vision and present it so others can feel what I feel being there.

I've been taking photographs since I was about six years old, but it's only in the last ten years that I've turned my hobby into a part-time business undertaking photographic assignments including corporate photo shoots, weddings, events, portrait and fashion shoots, magazine commissions and, selling prints on the open market through retail outlets and online.'

Now all we have to do is wait until he states he will gives some classes!
Dave does provide prints through his website if you want one of these wonderful photographs for your own home, or any of the other Visions you will see when you visit - see the Prints tab on his website - link above and at:

Thank you sir - those who cannot get outdoors during the week will be inspired to with these glorious captures!:
Low Tide  - Bayview
Little Reef - Newport
Palm Beach
Palm Beach
Palm Beach
Sunset Over Careel Bay

Artist Of The Month - May 2017  

The Pittwater Artists on the Pittwater Artists Trail for 2017-2018

2017 Pittwater Artists Trail  

The Pittwater Artists Trail launches their year with a dynamic group exhibition at the Newport Community Centre. Come join us for opening night on Friday evening 9th June from 6-8pm. The exhibition continues daily 10-4  through to Monday 12th June 10-3pm.

This year’s exciting selection of artists introduces many new faces to the 2017 Trail, each inspired by the Pittwater environment, resources and community. Artistic expression among the group delivers diverse mediums that include metalsmithing, jewellery, textiles, ceramics, sculpture, mosaics, illustration, painting, pastels, glass and mixed media.  

The June long weekend exhibition will introduce you to this wonderful scope of work that continues its commercial success among clients of local, metropolitan and outer Sydney regions. Opening night will feature live music and opportunities to meet the new and diverse artists as well as discover what some of the seasoned Trail artists have been up to.  

Tabitha Higgins, jeweller explains, “For me, the highlight of the Artist Trail is networking and sharing energy with many artists in our group exhibition. The launch exhibition for the new trail line up is an opportunity for visitors looking to discover local artists and to find a wide variety of unique and distinctive work that reflects this wonderful region”. 

The open-studio artist trail follows in October 2017 and March 2018 where visitors will be fascinated by the processes behind each artist’s creations and the evolution of their design and production with access to the artists most current works and developments available for sale. 
For more information on the 2017 Artist Trail and participating artists visit the website at

Watch out for new brochures which will be available from popular cafes, businesses and libraries along the northern beaches who help sponsor this project now in its seventh year.  

This month we run those on the Pittwater Artists Trail for 2017-2018 - some great old trail members and some brilliant new Artists across a diverse range of disciplines and mediums, along with samples of their works.

In Alphabetical order, your 2017 Pittwater Artist Trail creators are: HERE

William (Bill) Fitzgerald OAM

RAN Clearance Diving Association at Avalon Beach RSL Anzac Day Commemoration Service 2017
Narrabeen resident Bill Fitzgerald is one of those legends among us you may not hear much about nor have seen too much of, simply because he has worked in one of the Royal Australian Navy's vital branches, that of Navy Clearance Divers that in itself can often be far from sight - or underwater, literally, as that's what they do - get things done, underwater.

In December 2016 Bill and members of his former teams attended the service for the late Commodore Graham Sloper RAN (Rtd.) and spoke, not only of their respect and admiration for the gentleman who steered the Avalon Tattoo for 10 years but also mentioned their long association with Pittwater;

"Bill started the Diving Training at Clareville, at the RAN's Pittwater Annex." one gentleman explained. 

As further tribute, and as a testament to the esteem Bill is held in, The Clearance Divers Association attended and Marched in this year's Anzac Day Service by Avalon Beach RSL and Sub-Branch, led by Russell Baker AM, President of the NSW Branch of the RAN Clearance Diving Association, and Vice President of the national association. Mr. Baker retired in 2007 as a Commodore in the Navy, and originally qualified as a Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Officer in 1978.

Clearance Divers (CDs) are the Australian Defence Forces' specialist divers. Their tasks include specialist diving missions to depths of 54 metres, surface and underwater demolitions, and the rendering safe and disposal of conventional explosive ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

Although diving in the RAN dates back to the 1920s when personnel were trained in the use of 'standard' diving equipment, the concept of a separate and dedicated diving branch of the Navy evolved slowly. The Clearance Diving Branch of the Royal Australian Navy was formed in 1951 with the primary role of "location. identification and disposal of Mines underwater". It's secondary role included "underwater maintenance, training of the Fleet in ship defence against saboteurs, beach reconnaissance and minor salvage".  [1.]

CPOCD William (Bill) Fitzgerald, OAM (Rtd) completed the first of the RAN's intensive Clearance Diving training programmes in 1955.

The CD's are also called in for getting the job done in civilian arenas - the Lake Eucambene dam is one excellent example; in 1961, the Snowy Mountains Authority had a major problem in the Lake Eucumbene Dam. A leak had developed in a temporary sealing device at the entrance to the Lake diversion tunnel and the only practical method of checking the trouble was by diver inspection. 

This job was in 260 feet and although the RAN CDs had only worked regularly to depths around 100 feet, these were the only divers capable of the attempt to solve the problem. A  team from HMAS Rushcutter, under the direction of Leut Titcombe, and only after the procurement of special equipment and a short deep diving workup, went to work. That work was protracted and done in freezing conditions. To remove twenty 3½ ton racks from the side of the 230 foot intake tower and twenty eight 5 ton ‘stop logs’ sealing the tunnel inside the tower was a major evolution for men working in a completely new depth environment with new equipment. 

Their perseverance, even when faced with nitrogen narcosis and decompression stoppages (which lasted up to 1½ hours for a 15 minute task time) was nothing short of heroic. 

Bill is allowing us to share an insight into his long and brilliant career of Service as his record belongs among our own - he is one of our own.

William Terence Fitzgerald entered the RAN the 30th of May, 1946, and was posted to HMAS Cerberus before he volunteered for the three week long, RMS (Render Mines Safe) Course, held at HMAS Penguin, in Sydney. In September 1947 he was posted to the HMAS Tarangau, headquarters of the Papua-Nlew Guinea Division of the Royal Australian Navy. 

Bill spent 12 months in New Guinea extending his knowledge from WWII Bomb Disposal experts while working on the demolition of American bombs, and Japanese and British mines and other ordnance left behind in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In September 1948 he returned to Australia.

When were you first stationed at Clareville (The Pittwater Annex)?
My first month in Clareville was in October 1948. I was testing and maintaining torpedoes and trialling them in Pittwater to the 3000 yard target. 

Commonwealth Navy Order 287 (1947)


The R.A.N. Torpedo Range is situated in Broken Bay, N.S.W., the firing point being on Taylor's Point, Pittwater, and the range extending from there in a northerly direction.

2. Transport of torpedoes is normally carried out by road from the R.A.N. Torpedo Factory, a distance of 22 miles, as no vessel with a draught greater than 12 ft. 6 in. can enter Pittwater. 3. The following firing guns are fitted:—

1—No. 21-in. above water firing tube.
2—No. 18-in. tubes.
1—No. 21-in. submerged firing tube.

There is also a launching cradle for use in running torpedoes not otherwise catered for.

Left: Recovered Torpedo at RAN Torpedo Range, Pittwater, 1949, courtesy Robert Curran.

4. The Torpedo Range workshop is capable of carrying out complete overhauls on all torpedoes.

5. Applications for torpedoes to be ranged should be made by signal to Admiral Superintendent, Sydney, repeated for information to Superintendent, R.A.N. Torpedo Factory.

6. Transport of torpedoes from the ship's side to the range and return will be arranged by the Superintendent, R.A.N. Torpedo Factory.

The Torpedo wharf soon became part of the local landscape, a landmark:

Pittwater: Good catches of mulloway have been made at the torpedo wharf and bream on the flats at Careel Bay. FISHING AND WHERE. (1949, December 4). The Sunday Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1949 - 1953), p. 14 Section: Sporting Section. Retrieved from

Taylor's Point and Torpedo Testing- Divers Training Annex in 1960's - photo courtesy Gary Cook.

You then moved over to Clearance Diving, how did that occur?
During our training the Torpedo Branch was responsible for Mining, Rendering Mines safe, Demolitions, as well as bomb and Mine disposal. So this was part of my trade to begin with.

In 1955 there was a requirement for the first Clearance Divers to be called up into the Navy. Of 90 volunteers 21 were accepted and 13 of these passed the Course. I was on that Course and subsequently one of the first Clearance Divers for the R.A.N.

Now, I was already an Instructor at the Torpedo School, in Mining, Demolition, and Rendering Mines Safe. After my experiences up in New Guinea for a year, pre 1948,  with the disposal of enemy ordnance as well as American and British ordnance, post WWII, I was considered worthy to be accepted for the Course, even though I was overage – I was over 25 years of age at that time. They wanted people under 25 years of age, of high intelligence, fit and healthy, with a ‘can do’ attitude, can do the impossible in other words, even if that does take a little bit longer. 

One Year On: Amalgamation STILL Rejected

Pittwater residents attend the Cancel Council Amalgamations SOCC Event on Friday, May 12th, 2017 - photo courtesy Sue Young.

One year on from that preordained announcement that Pittwater, as a council unto itself, would be ended and have enforced on it the structure its residents opposed most, the benefits are being touted as a Coastal Walk Project, which critics point out is simply maintaining the weatherworn and already existing Bicentennial Coastal Walk or completing the links that didn't get installed to begin with (Whale Beach to Palm Beach needs to be completed) and a parking sticker you can use in most places along the coast of these northern beaches of Sydney which had already been discussed previously, too, and blocked by those south of Pittwater.

A perusal of the currently up for 'having your say' Operational Plan and Budget 2017-18 (Draft) (submissions close: 4 June 2017) allocates $7,500,000 for the Collaroy-Narrabeen Coastal Protection Works (a seawall) and $1,346,472 for Warriewood Valley creekline works, while a new access road for Kimbriki has had $4,000,000 allocated. The multi-millions costed for Dee Why Town Centre improvements and further almost 6 millions worths, per annum, of upgrades is being funded through Section 94 - a rate rise of 9.4% already approved for Warringah residents by IPART prior to the forced amalgamation. This budget also has listed the long awaited Warriewood Valley Community Centre - $930,000 allocated there - the 500k allocated in the last ever Pittwater Council budget for this project....?

For the Church Point Boardwalk to be extended, $900,000 is budgeted. Parking Permits for the Church Point Reserve & Precinct (Subject to 2.9% Increase as Per Plan of Management for Church Point Reserve) will be, per space per annum, $4,939.00.

Page 68 of the Draft notes:

'While Council received $10 million in funding through the New Council Implementation Fund (NCIF) for merger and transition costs it is recognised that Council will incur further restructuring costs such as the cost of integration, aligning positions within the new organisational structure and new salary system which will exceed the funding provided.

Accordingly the Long Term Financial Plan has been prepared on the basis that once the NCIF has been fully utilised existing budgets will firstly be used to pay for those merger and transition costs not funded through this mechanism prior to the identification of net savings.'

Readers have complained of bad service and being kept on hold too long when needing to inquire about something of the interim administration council. We have not experienced the same - one call, to have a bin smashed by garbage collectors replaced, was answered within three rings and the replacement was where they said it would be when they said it would be - the next day. 

Others have expressed distaste in appointed administrators making inappropriate comments about members of the community or overseeing, as voted for Councillors once had, the openings of skate parks and bridges or attending official functions. Stepping into these roles is not without hazards and may not always spread the warm bonhomie and sense of community those we'd happily cheer on once did when MCing. Stepping up anyway and being prepared to engage with the community, at community association meetings for example, demonstrates an intention of getting on with the job and completing works that had been discussed prior to the changes. More than one of these community organisations have expressed their appreciation of what has been done and done prior to the forthcoming elections and the politics many fear will rule thereafter.

The looming developers boom, and community reaction to anything, in Pittwater at least, being rushed through without voted for representatives in place, resulted in a 'cooling off period' for a Mona Vale Place Plan that is a far cry from that originally presented and the more recent realisation that Ingleside as a boomtown may have to wait until Mona Vale Road improvements are funded. Millions have already been spent snapping up land in Ingleside though - some who a few months back couldn't sell their property for 1 million have taken offers of 5 million in recent weeks.

The B-Line flattening of sections of Mona Vale Village Park is an ongoing bad taste in the community's mouth, as well as a scratching of heads as to how that many trees as replacements in or around that space will be achieved - as is saving Bayview's great green space for golfing by the NSW Government's Planning Department overruling previous decisions on a Developer's proposal for the erection of units in that same space so that a DA may now be lodged.

On Friday, May 12th, those who refused to believe that they didn't have a leg, or a law to stand on, won another small point in cases with the announcement that Woollhara Council have been granted a High Court appeal in their pursuit of autonomy for the people they were voted in to represent. The news spread quickly and was appreciated by those who gathered around yet more politicians calling for an immediate withdrawal of all plans to forcibly amalgamate those still fighting and to de-merge those who still wanted what they had before May 12th, 2016.

“The Greens remain shoulder to shoulder with local communities in their struggle to protect local democracy from the Coalition and their developer mates who are desperate for bigger, less democratic councils,” David Shoebridge, NSW Greens MP said on Friday.

The Greens are hosting a community forum in Pittwater - 7 p.m. Tuesday May 16 At Pittwater RSL.  Although feedback here has been some won't attend due to being 'politician weary/wary' two of the speakers, former Pittwater Councillor Bob Grace, and Better Planning Network founding convenor Corinne Fisher, are not not affiliated with any political party.

Mr Grace will invite residents at the forum to support his plans for a crowd-funding page to finance legal action aiming to restore the council.

“The crowd funding page is progressing. Clareville local Pip Rey is putting it together and we hope to have it ready and circulating by mid-May,” Mr Grace said.

“This will be very exciting because it will enable the community to understand  what we’re trying to do and how they can help so we can get our Pittwater back.” Bob stated in Protect Pittwater Community Forum - run last Issue

When the Friends of Currawong commenced what would turn out to be a 10 year battle to save that green space for all they had at least one not then incumbent politician fighting at their side, one Harvey Rose reciting 'We will not go quietly into that gentle into that good night' in a tone that galvanised the populace, Shane Withington heading up a team that was never going to take 'no' for an answer...

Palm Beach Whale Beach Association AGM President’s Report 2017

Palm Beach Whale Beach Association AGM President’s Report 2017

President Richard West's report to the AGM.   
It is a pleasure to deliver my second annual report.

On 12 May 2016 a few days after our last AGM the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, announced the newly formed 'Northern Beaches' Council. This is the result of the compulsory amalgamation of Manly, Pittwater and Warringah councils.
Mr Dick Persson AM was appointed the Administrator to administer the council until new elections take place on the 9th September 2017.
The Pittwater Councillors were sacked.   A number of the Councillors were appointed in an advisory role to the administrator.

Soon after his appointment Dick Persson and the member for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes, met with members of your committee at Pittwater Park Palm Beach.  At the meeting it was recognised that various facilities at Palm Beach and Whale Beach needed to be upgraded as they had been neglected over many years
The major issues to be addressed were identified as:
1.Traffic congestion and parking, in Pittwater Park especially at weekends and holiday periods.
2. Lack of access and footpaths along Barrenjoey Rd, particularly from Pittwater Park to Governor Phillip Park.
3. Landscaping, repairs and maintenance at Palm Beach

We have also worked closely with the Northern Beaches Council on the following projects.

1.The Walk Way from The Ferry Wharf to Governor Phillip Park.
The good news is that this much needed project is to go out to tender in this month. It is hoped that it will be finished before the next summer season.

2. Council Demand Parking Study Pittwater Park Palm Beach.
Pittwater Park is crown land.  The park is managed by the council. The challenge has been to manage the needs of the local residents, the offshore residents, the visitors and tourists who use the offshore facilities and the commuters from the Gosford area.
The parking area has become a long term parking space during holiday periods and weekends.

The council, following a number of consultation sessions, has produced a Draft Policy Document.  "Parking Demand Strategies."
The number one strategy is to prioritise the parking needs of local businesses with an increased provision of high turnover parking spaces.

The association submitted a very detailed document which is available on our website. I wish to thank our committee member, Virgina Christensen, for all the hard work involved in the preparation of this excellent document.  We have met with the council officials regarding the draft document. The policy also incorporates upgrades to signage and facilities in the park.

The Council has incorporated the majority of suggestions we made in our submission. The council's draft document will soon be released for further consultation with the community.

I urge you all to study the document and have your say.

This is only the beginning of solving the parking problems.  I think a review of the parking and congestion north of the Avalon Bends needs to be commissioned.

3. The 40 Kilometre Zone on Barrenjoey Rd opposite Pittwater Park.
This zone is now in force with general upgrades to the road. There are approx five speed changes from Club Palm Beach to Palm Beach.  We have asked for this 40 k to be uniform from Club Palm Beach to Palm Beach. The Main Roads has been approached regarding reviewing these speed limits.

4.The Walk Way from Pittwater Park to Governor Philip Park.
Your association is delighted that at long last the walkway has been approved and financed by the Coastal Walk Project.
The project is due to go to tender this month and it is hoped that it will be completed before the next summer.

5. Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Our local member, Rob Stokes, has stopped the move to have short-term accommodation in the caretaker’s cottages at the Lighthouse following protests from the local community.

The project to install water supply and sewage to the light house is expected to be completed by midyear.

6.Landscaping Palm Beach
The committee has met on a number of occasions with Jenny Cronan and her landscaping team from the council. The approach is minimal and sympathetic so far.. the plans are progressing well. There will be another public consultation display shortly.

7.Whale Beach.
There have recently been some road upgrades in Whale Beach.
The beach itself needs routine maintenance and we are in discussion with council in regard to this.
The sand has been removed from Whale Beach ocean pool and a new pump has been ordered.
The much delayed Bicentenary walkway from Whale Beach to Palm Beach needs to be completed.

8.The Heritage Bus Shed.
The heritage bus shed on Barrenjoey Road opposite Surf Road was demolished by the council many years ago. We have had several meetings with the council about restoring and rebuilding the Bus Shed.
Our architect Bruce James in conjunction with the council has completed some heritage style plans.
We are waiting further developments.
Access to this bus stop especially from the north is difficult and dangerous.
It is not possible to walk safely from Avalon to Palm Beach along Barrenjoey Road.  We will be addressing this issue in the future.

9. Pittwater Forever 
Pittwater Forever is an umbrella group of 18 community organisations including PBWBA.  Ian Kennedy and I are members of the executive.
 The Northern Beaches Council will include the following 5 wards of 3 councillors
    •       Manly Ward
    •       Frenchs Forest Ward
    •       Curl Curl Ward
    •       Narrabeen Ward
    •       Pittwater Ward

Pittwater will be in the minority.

Whale Migration Season Commences

On the last weekend of April Shark nets that have helped to protect beaches in Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong were pulled up to coincide with the start of the whale migration season and ensuring these magnificent gentle giants will not be entangled in them. There have been calls this week to an early end for the North Coast Shark Net Trial but as yet the NSW DPI's Minister, The Hon. Niall Blair, in a media release earlier this week, has stated the six month trial will continue until June 13th.

As in past years some of these whales will come closer to our shores and may even visit the bays of our beaches. Approach zone rules are in place to look after the whales as much as yourself. These are:

If you’re in the water – swimming, diving or just enjoying the water on your own or with friends and you spot a whale, then you must stay at least 30m from the whale in any direction. You must also not wait in front of the whale/s, or approach from behind. 

If you’re on the water – if you’re on a powered or non-powered water vessel such as a boat, surfboard, surf ski or kayak, then you need to maintain a distance of at least 100m from the whale/s, and 300m if a calf is present. 

For all water vessels, a distance of between 100m and 300m is established as the ‘caution zone’. In this zone, vessels must travel at a constant slow speed and leave a negligible wake. It’s also important to assess the direction that the whales are traveling in, and then plan the best course of action. 
If using a ‘prohibited vessel’ (that is, a vessel that can make fast and erratic movements and not much noise under water such as a jet ski or parasail boat) then the distance increases to at least 300m from the whale/s.

There is also to be no waiting in front of the whale/s, or approaching from behind. 

The NSW Government's Wild About Whales have issued their first blog post for the Whale Watchers season on Friday, May 12th which is all about 

When to go Depending on the time of year, whale populations fluctuate within the different regions of NSW. Whales meet their need for food and suitable calving areas by traveling long distances from cold feeding areas, to warm, shallower waters further north for calving and mating. Between the months of May and July whales are easier to spot north of Illawarra, when they undertake their migration northward from Antarctica. Likewise, September to November sees the whales return with calves in tow closer to the shore on their southern migration to the Antarctic.

The Best time of day to see whales - Late mornings and early afternoons present themselves as the best time to spot the whales as to avoid glare off the waters surface. Early morning can also be good as the blow is often backlit by the morning sun’s glow. However, the migrating whales are travelling past constantly, so you just might see them at any time. 

Where to go - There are a number of great places along the NSW coastline to visit to spot whales stretching from the south to north coasts of New South Wales. The national parks in each of these regions are a great place to start planning your next coastal adventure.

Where to stay if you're going away - There are a variety of accommodation options right up and down the New South Wales coast. With over 860 national parks and reserves in NSW, many of which provide excellent viewing opportunities. From Byron Bay's Lighthouse Keeper's Cottages to the secluded campsites of Eden and it’s surrounds, your options are fairly limitless - NPWS also offer regular off-holiday season packages for some of these places as well - so well worth making something memorable even more memorable by selecting one of these beautiful locations. 
Find out more by

What to take with you -  Warm clothes and a blanket, Chairs to sit on, Hat and sunscreen, Thermos with a hot drink or soup, Drinking water and food,Binoculars and sunglasses, Camera, (with a telephoto lens if you have one), Wild About Whales app on your phone - Patience!

How to spot a whale - Look for the telltale ‘blow’ – the water sprayed into the air as the whale exhales when it comes to the surface. 
Head out on a clear day as the blow is best spotted in calm seas.

what a whale 'blow' looks like

You can sometimes identify the whales species due to its blow. For example sperm whales spray the water forward and to the left, while southern right whales blow in a distinctive V shape. 

Look for the whale’s body as it surfaces. Humpbacks and southern right whales often put on spectacular displays as they arch, roll and crash around the water. This is called breaching and is your best chance to identify the species.

Download the Wild About Whales App
This is great - so many people utilise this service now so that even if you're stuck in an office you can see where people are spotting whales along our coast.

What you can do with the WAW App:
  • Publish your sightings in real-time
  • Plan and book your coastal adventure
  • See where the whales are right now, in map and list views
  • Receive notifications when whale sightings are logged along the coast
  • Filter sightings by timeframe and region so you can focus on the sightings you are interested in
  • See how the season progresses with the whale sightings counter
  • Share your own whale shots on the gallery
  • Learn about different whale species
  • See tips for spotting them and the best vantage points.
You can download the free Wild About Whales app at the Apple Store or Google Marketplace or search "Whales NSW" in your preferred mobile app store.

Report distressed whales
If you see a stranded, entangled or sick whale in distress, please report it immediately to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Duty Officer on (02) 9895 7128 or ORRCA Whale and Dolphin Rescue on (02) 9415 3333 (24 hours hotline).

About Wild About Whales
Wild About Whales aims to inform and educate about whales, as well as provide you with opportunities to engage with these amazing animals. You can also become a volunteer, donate to whale-related conservation projects or go on a Discovery tour to learn more about whales. 

Wild About Whales is a campaign website run by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), which is part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

NPWS was established in 1967 to administer a fledgling system of national parks and has since expanded to manage and conserve almost 800 parks and reserves – more than 6.6 million hectares – including rainforests, beaches, alpine areas, vast wilderness areas, marine parks and places of cultural and historic significance.

ORRCA Humpback Whale Migration Census Day 2017

Hosted by ORRCA
Sunday, June 25 at 5 AM - 6 PM

Members and Friends, this is your Invitation to;
The 2017 ORRCA Humpback Whale Migration Census
It’s a great day out. Simply pick your favourite headland and call or email the hotline to register your location so we know where you will be. Make sure you print off some marine mammal sighting log sheets from our website

Then on the day, pack a picnic and your supplies; Binoculars, camera, a pen/pencil for recording details, a chair/rug to sit on, warm waterproof clothes and off you go and enjoy the sights that unfold in this great whale migration. Remember to record your sightings!

Finally, at the end of the day, please report your findings back into the ORRCA hotline (02 9415 3333) and post/email your log sheets

Fantasea Palm Beach Ferry offers a Whale Watching adventure from Palm Beach Ferry wharf during the northern migration and again when the whales are heading back south.

Calling their 3 hour cruise "Pittwater’s best wildlife adventure" this short run of dates are all on a Sunday, so great for a whole family experience and with the family in mind they offer a Family package price for 2 adults and 3 children.

Humpback whales are considered to be the best species for whale watching, and known to be the most acrobatic of all the whale species. Each whale has unique markings on the underside of the tail (the fluke). You might even be lucky enough to observe 45 tonnes of whale leaping right out of the water!

Their cruise includes an experienced marine biologist on board, giving expert explanations about the whales and their behaviour, crew who are knowledgeable about our area and can explain the history and wildlife of our area. Plenty of room for viewing – we limit our capacity so everyone gets front row views to the whale show.

Cruise Schedule
Cruise                             Dates
Northern Migration  25th June / 2nd July / 9th July / 16th July
Southern Migration  1st October / 8th October / 15th October

Departure Location Palm Beach Wharf (08:45 a.m.) Ettalong Wharf (09:15 a.m.)

Mother's Day Flowers 2017: 

The Chiltern Track Ingleside by Pittwater Natural Heritage Association 

Australian native wildlfowers (bushflowers) bloom all year round, meaning you will always spot something brilliantly coloured in strolls along the many bushtracks and in the reserves of Pittwater, and hear and see the birds and native animals that feast on these.

Those shown on this page were taken by Marita Macrae of the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association in early May 2017 while enjoying a few hours on the Chiltern Track in Ku-ring-gai National Park, Ingleside.

The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association was formed to act to protect and preserve the Pittwater areas major and most valuable asset – its natural heritage. 

The Association holds regular bushcare sessions along Careel Creek, to restore the creekline, and at Careel Bay to restore the wetlands.

PNHA has been among the volunteers working for and advocating for Saving Grevillea Caleyi at Ingleside.

PNHA is an incorporated association seeking broad based community membership and support to enable it to have an effective and authoritative voice speaking out for the preservation of Pittwater’s natural heritage. Please contact us for further information.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to benefit Pittwater’s natural environment go to the Pittwater Environmental

To join o find out more about PNHA, please

Right: Yellow-faced honeyeater - photo © Neil Fifer

PNHA conducts regular Birdwatching mornings along the tracks of Ingleside and through the Warriewood Wetlands - the next is coming u on Sunday, May 28th:

PNHA Birdwatching 
Sunday 28 May, 8am 
Warriewood Wetlands

Our next bird walk takes us back to Warriewood Wetlands, one of Sydney’s birding hotspots with over 160 species recorded.
Come along and see how many we can find.

Meet: 8am, Katoa Close, North Narrabeen
Bring: Binoculars, water, insect repellent and morning tea for after, if you have time.
Bookings: Not essential, but we will look out for you if you email

This Issue a great way to celebrate all mothers is to offer a whole posy of resident plants from the original mother - our Earth.

Banksia ericifolia x B. spinulosa 'Giant Candles'

Pimelia linifolia, known as queen-of-the-bush and the slender or flax-leafed riceflower

Sunshine Wattle, Acacia terminalis, but past its best. This wattle flowers twice a year.

Hakea propinqua, hundreds of flowers, nobbly woody seed capsules

Darwinia fascicularis changes colour pink - white as flowers age.

Mums For Mums Ask Us All To Go Grey This Winter: Get A Beanie And Support A Cure

Katrina Meek, Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater, Jodi Newton, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Cara Macauley, and Jason Falinski, MP for Mackellar
In June 2015 the proprietors of this news service lost a relative, a cousin, to brain cancer. 
This wonderful ray of sunshine was just 41 years old and the mother of a gorgeous young girl not yet a teenager. 

Despite our tears, we chose to do all we could to support any who strive to find a cure to this deadly form of cancer.
We chose Hope - hope for a cure.

May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month.

On Friday our local MP’s came out in support of Mums for Mums at The Newport and donned one of the grey beanies this local group is currently selling as part of their own focus on supporting a cure for brain cancer.

Brain cancer is the number one cause of mortality from a type of cancer for people under 40 years and accounts for more than a third of deaths in children under 10 years. 

On Friday MP for Mackellar, Jason Falinksi said,
“The Northern Beaches really is an amazing place. Here is a group of women who saw their friend and her family go through something tragic, and decided they wouldn’t just offer sympathy, but real help. Nothing is as traumatising to a family unit as when one of their own falls on hard times, because of sickness or circumstance. To live in a community where non-judgmental, non-intrusive, behind the scenes help is freely given when you are going through such a horrible time, is an immense privilege.
I hope that today, and with this campaign, along with Concetta and Rob, we are able to draw attention to the Mums for Mums: get other parents in the community involved, and help sell the Brain Cancer Beanies. The real legends, heroes and champs are all of us willing to give each other a helping hand.”

Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater added,
“This is a really important issue which simply doesn’t receive enough attention.
“Despite its seriousness and impacts  - brain cancer isn’t something that’s widely discussed, understood or publicised.  
“It’s fantastic Mums for Mums are getting behind this great initiative and helping raise awareness.”

The Mums for Mums new initiative- #onebeanieatatime is asking us all get behind this fundraiser and buy a grey beanie. 
Why grey? Our brains are often referred to as our grey matter, and our brains matter so much.
Especially when you consider this terrifying statistic: One person is diagnosed with brain cancer every 6 hours in Australia.
In 2014, there were 1366 deaths in Australia caused by brain cancer.[1.]

The proceeds raised will be shared equally between Mums for Mums and Sydney Neuro Oncology Group. The Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group (SNOG) is a charitable organisation that aims to improve the management of brain tumours through targeted research, information sharing, constant scrutiny of treatment options and through education and ongoing support for patients and their families.

Finding a cure for brain cancer is a cause very close to the hearts of the Sydney Neuro Oncology Group (SNOG) and Mums for Mums too.

"We have chosen this organisation to donate half the profits of the#onebeanieatatime campaign as they use the funds not only research but also patient support." Mums for Mums said.

If you would like to support Mums for Mums and the Sydney-Neuro Oncology Group by purchasing a beanie please go online

A Historic Catalogue And Record Of Pittwater Art I – Of Places, Peoples And The Development Of Australian Art And Artists

Coastal Landscapes and Seascapes
'Narrabeen' (nos. 45-46, 48-51). Circa 1890 to 1910 - from State Library of NSW Album: 'Box 21: Glass negatives including views of New Zealand farms, Sydney Harbour, Narrabeen, and maypole dancing at the SCG, ca. 1890-1910.' Presented by David William Macpherson, 2014 - Above: c071860040 in this series - courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.

Below - Narrabeen circa 1890 - courtesy the private collection of David James, former Mayor and Councillor of Pittwater Council.
Above - Image No.: c071860044 'Ocean View Store, Narrabeen' Circa 1890 to 1910 - from State Library of NSW Album: 'Box 21: Glass negatives including views of New Zealand farms, Sydney Harbour, Narrabeen, and maypole dancing at the SCG, ca. 1890-1910.' Presented by David William Macpherson, 2014

Narrabeen Art From 1876/1877 Engraving Used To Illustrate An Article - Note Spelling: 'Narrabean'

Narrabean And Mona Vale.

THERE are few spots about Sydney more picturesque and interesting than Narrabean and Mona Vale, Pitt Water, and the wonder is that more visitors from the noisy and dusty metropolis do not find their way to these peaceful sylvan scenes, to rusticate and recruit their flagging energies. Fish abound in the lagoon, and at the present season there is no lack of game in the underbrush near the shore, and the ridges that extend towards the higher country at the back. In addition to this, the character of the whole place is different from anything that is met with in any other part of the metropolitan districts ; and as the eye takes in the prospect afforded, particularly at Narrabeen, one who knows the history of the locality can hardly help being impressed with the idea that it is a picture full of sad memories and mournful recollections. Right before the visitor, as he stands upon the piece of elevated land overlooking the lagoon, extends a fine stretch of grassy country, almost as level as a race-course Though within a few yards of the ocean, not a rock or sign of such proximity is visible, and the whole reach is protected from the violence of storms by a belt of thick forest which margins the ocean throughout. At the back rugged ridges rise precipitously, and these being clad with foliage to their very crown, add much to the sense of beauty and security, as it were, of the whole place. Hereabout are evidences of a once busy time; but desolation now presents itself on every hand. The houses are in ruins, and the fences dilapidated, and one sees nothing now but what indicates a marvellous chance from the past; remnants of once comfortable homesteads show themselves, and time indeed seems here to have destroyed all that the energy and industry of man once sought to produce or rear up. Turning round, and looking in a north-easterly direction, an enchanting view meets the eye. 

Our artist has endeavoured, in the accompanying engraving, to depict some of its beauty. Almost at one's foot the placid waters lie like a mirror, over an area of several miles, till the ridges push in their rugged outlines on either side, and thus intercept the view ; but then, farther on, the eye catches a glimpse of a piece of cultivated country, where, one would think, a man might dwell in peace and quiet all his days. To the right the lagoon extends towards the ocean, from which it is separated by a sandy bar, which, however, allows of overflow one way and the other according to the circumstances of the hour. Cranes and aquatic birds abound, but there is very little sign of human life during the greater part of the year. At certain seasons, however, a few fishermen come to the place for a few weeks' stay, and with the aid of their boat and net are able to make the visit profitable. Our view shows their boat upon the lake, moving silently along as a thing of life. 

No more enchanting sight presents itself than this when observed at an early hour- as day breaks, and the gloom disappears, and each headland and bay is lit up, and the whole scene which lies before the eye presents a magnificent panorama of undisturbed nature. Turning again to the ruins, one wonders why such a spot should be I deserted, and the mind is by degrees induced to picture the past, and ask where are those busy hands that first broke in upon this silent scene-that in old times toiled and toiled from day to day beneath the burning sun, to gather about them the comforts of civilisation - all scattered or fallen into disrepair and ruin. Each stone has its history, and the decayed and tottering posts erected by industrious hands tell of the men who have long since passed over to the majority.

But all must be left to the imagination ; there is no one about to reveal the past; nothing seems to live or flourish, save a gigantic cabbage-tree, which rears its head fifty or sixty feet, and, defiant of both time and tempest, looks complacently down on the surrounding scene of desolation. Of late years the place has been in the possession of the Jenkins family, whose members have won for themselves the esteem of all the residents of the district, and whose generous hospitality is spoken of by every one who visits Narrabean. Their homestead is situated a short distance in from the coast, at Long Reef, and its unobtrusive yet comfortable appearance reminds one of an English country home. 

The land at Narrabean is not now cultivated; the soil has been worked out long ago, but a few sheep and cattle are frequently depastured there. Wherever one looks in this district, the scenery presents an aspect totally different from what is usually met with on the coast, as here is found a long stretch of land within a stone throw of the ever-rolling ocean, originally of great fertility, but exhausted by long cropping and careless cultivation. It is much the same with the Mona Vale estate, which is situated about three miles on the opposite side of Narrabean, and usually reached by crossing the lagoon in its shallowest part, which is about the centre. As one wends his way along through the bush, and Mona Vale opens out before him, he stands to behold and enjoy the novel view that presents itself ; it is so secluded and quiet, and yet so grand, with the rugged ridges on the one hand, and the turbulent ocean on the other, that it singularly impresses the visitor, who becomes eager to learn its history, and feels sure there must be many pleasant reminiscences to tell of past occupants. What a sad mistake ! What fearful trials and losses and disappointments have been experienced here. Its history should be written in blood, for if ever red-handed crime flourished in any country, it flourished and triumphed here, till it brought ruin and death to honest people ; and justice, outraged beyond bearing, rushed in and brought the delinquents to punishment. The description of these places has already taken up all the space that can be afforded, so we must defer till a future opportunity a brief outline of the leading incidents in their history. Narrabean and Mona Vale. (1877, January 6). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 20. Retrieved from 
in our first page in this series, A Historic Catalogue and Record of Pittwater Art I - The Estuary, the appearance of wild coastal landscapes and then the appearance in these of vessels and structures, of people, marks the shift from sketches and paintings made to be used to recognise places, as charts of kinds, towards recording the inherent beauty of a place for its and art's sake. This shift also marks the changes within our society from times when we strolled, fully clothed, beside the sea, to when frolicking in a wave in broad daylight became legal and the trade of fishermen or shipwrights was properly viewed in its practical and romantic calling to any artist. 

This shift also allows us to see what was and what has become of these places - it reaffirms Pittwater's beginnings as a rural idyll of farms and its shift towards being a resort on the perimeter of Sydney and then becoming a place not only affordable for those who pursued the Artist's trek but also provided them with many inspirations.

When people think of Coastal Landscapes they may restrict their definition to grand paintings and etching and photographs of the coast itself, of the cliffs and beaches that meet the sea. Pittwater has many other sides to its coastal landscape nature though - trees embedded in rolling hills not far from the salty air, masted schooners nestled amid placed bays.

As the Australian Artist developed, so did their means of expression, producing not only works that step away from traditional representations of landscape into mediums that included sculpture, wearable art or enamelling, but also the quality of that expression itself, producing trees in different seasons and shades of light so you may dive deep into the blue haze sun on ecucalypt may produce during high Summer or that cold dawn mist that mid-Winter can bring. These all were, and are, part of our Coastal Landscapes.

Some Artists, through the prolific amount of local features they produced in their works, will feature larger in this page. Others may have only onepainting we could find but were influential in what they did and how they did it during these early generations of Pittwater, and Australian, Art. Some of earliest what were then termed 'colonial painters' run in some of the articles that featured them under 'Extras'. 

A focus on the many people and their mediums of Pittwater Art will follow this Seacapes and Landscapes insight, including what were deemed 'Artists Colonies' by such people as Sydney Ure Smith, himself an artist, at Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Newport and Avalon, which must of course include such Sculpture Artisans as Harry Squire, whose work still features at Bayview Golf Course:

A flagrant act of desecration occurred at Mona Vale Cemetery within the past few days, a symbolic statue, the creation of Mr. H. Tristram Squire, having been stolen from the grave of the late Mr. Henry Moncur Atkinson. About four months ago Mr. Atkinson, a resident of Mona Vale, died at the age of 92, and, as he was an ardent bird-lover, his niece, Mrs. O'Reilly, of Pymble, thought it would be appropriate to perpetuate his memory by a drinking vessel for the native birds with which the Mona Vale district abounds. Mr. Squire, who during recent years has specialised in statuary representing birds, animals, and aborigines, was commissioned, and a fort-night ago he placed on the grave a handsome statue of a stork, five feet high, standing over 
a large bowl. The latter, which was inscribed with grape leaves, was filled with water for birds to drink from.

Apparently the statuary was only in position a week when the stork disappeared. The bowl was carried a few yards, turned upside down, and smeared with mud, the thieves apparently intending to disguise its beauty pending an opportunity to return for it. One evening at dusk a man was seen from a distance in the cemetery staggering under a heavy load, with which he drove off in a car. This was evidently the stork, which, being constructed of concrete and reinforced with iron; weighed about a hundredweight. The police, who are investigating the robbery, are puzzled as to the motive of the thieves, since the stork is signed with the sculptor's name.

Mr. Squire's work is familiar to tourists who pass along the road to Bay View and Church Point. His group of elephants is conspicuous at the Bay View golf links, and a family group of aborigines encamped about a natural pond in his grounds causes many a motoring party to stop. STATUARY STOLEN. (1935, April 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

Children standing by elephant fountain at Bayview Golf Course. Courtesy Phil Lipscombe and Mona Vale Library Local History Unit

Mr. H. Tristram Squire, of Mona Vale, died this week, aged 69 years. Mr. Squire was a native of Victoria, and as a youth studied art with Sir John Longstaff and Sir Arthur Streeton. He developed especially as a portrait painter and sculptor, and in recent years devoted much time to modelling of life-sized figures and groups of animals in the garden of his home at Mona Vale are several groups of aborigines one of which depicts black-fellows spearing fish in a natural pool. Mr Squire was a lover of animals. His garden is the home of opossums, wallabies kookaburras and aviary birds many of which would perch fearlessly upon him. He is survived by Mrs Squire, who is also an artist. OBITUARY. MR. H. TRISTRAM SQUIRE. (1938, May 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from

The first 'coastal landscapes' were of course the petroglyphs made by the original custodians of this land, and ascribed to chart the seasonal changes in the landscapes, and the sea our lands adjoin, according to those who hold this knowledge still. It is pleasing to see that, when encountered, for the most part these were set aside as areas and works to be preserved:

Sir,-I enclose a copy of some aboriginal carvings at Palm Beach, which should be of Interest to the public The outline drawings represent two kinds of fish and a man, cut on a flat rock; on the hill between Sand Point, Pittwater, and Cabbage Tree. Boat Harbour, Palm Beach, Barranjoey. The fish measures 22ft, the man 6ft 6in, and the smaller fish 6ft
Long. They have exceptionally good outlines, and are better shaped than any others yet recovered The Hawkesbury sandstones, by reason of their comparative softness, offered exceptional facilities to the coastal tribes of our aborigines to display their art In pictorial drawings, as there are many in the -Port Jackson and Hawkesbury districts It is not known what age these carvings can be, but many hundreds of years must have elapsed since they were made The drawings have only Just been discovered by Architect H A.Wilshire and Stonemason J Booth, who were looking for building stone on the company's property at Palm Beach The company has decided to preserve the carvings for all time.
I am, etc.,
E. E. G. de GYULAY, Secretary,
The Barrenjoey Company.
ABORIGINAL CARVTNGS AT PALM BEACH. (1918, January 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

In the course at a lecture delivered last evening at the monthly meeting at the Manly, Warringah, and Pittwater Historical Society, Mr. J. W. Boyer referred to the art tracings by aborigines in French's Forest.
The subject of tho lecture was "The Valley of the Oxford Falls," which the lecturer described as a secluded and romantic spot in French's Forest, about three miles due west from the coast and Deewhy. The falls are the centre of a picturesque locality, to which there is only one road of ingress by way of Brookvale and Beacon Hill. Like the whole of the country between Manly  and Pittwater, the valley of tho Oxford Falls was formerly the haunt of aborigines, and there are two outstanding examples of their art tracings. One is situated at the rear of the metal quarry, and another due west from the rear of Mr. Hain's residence. "There has been much controversy," Mr. Boyer told, "as to the origin or cause of some really wonderful lines or tracings on tho summit of a hill in the district. The lines exist in the form of deeply scored lines, of a geometrical pattern, such as the markings on the shell of a tortoise or a crocodile. Some people claim that they were drawn by aborigines, but the great extent covered-about three acres discounts that theory. It is more likely that the markings were formed by the action of the sun when the rock was in a muddy state. The markings should, however, be further Investigated, and  suggest that expert geologists should examine them." ABORIGINAL ART. (1925, August 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

The Bayview Tea Gardens 
When Run By Thomas Edward And Annie Newey (Nee Costello)

Tom and Annie Newey (on the balcony) of the Bayview Tea Rooms - 1920
That we are now hungry for seeing all aspects of our past, and learning more about those who inhabited and made the area we live in, what they looked like, what they did, what they had experienced, in the hope we may also understand a little of how they felt and thought, the grist that was in their spines, is evident in the fact that each of our History pages are revisited in the hundreds of thousands each year and people inform us they are quite happy to print them out (even when hundreds of pages long), or use them as a reference point for heritage listings – another of these this week.

So too has the rise in wanting to know the relatives we never met paralleled this unabashed search into our past, not only in websites that will help you find your ancestors, but in the many people who seek this information themselves through the online portals now digitising and making available records such as births, marriages, ships taken or wars fought in, or the times lived in and through. That road brings up some fascinating material, and, although it may be long, brings the past into our immediate present and allows us to glimmer a great grandmother or grandfather and their whimsical smiles out the corners of our eyes.

As always we are more than thankful when someone is kind enough to add to the records made here and thus made available for all for all time. This Issue we’d like to preface what follows with a huge thank you to Vicki Smith, who is clearly of a like mind and community-building up ethos, as she sheds some light on a corner and time of Pittwater we had only had threads of before. 

This is a true story of generations of family that stretch from Manly to Brookvale, Curl Curl and Dee Why and to Bayview and also tells of perseverance against all odds. There is also a continuity and love for Pittwater that is evident today in this wonderful lady sending us information and not seen before photos from Victoria, Australia.

Thank you Vicki!
My grandfather is Benjamin Martin Athol Pearce (b 1891), the 4th child of Mary Ann 'Annie' (nee Costello) Pearce and Benjamin Pearce. I am the daughter of he and his wife’s Jean’s daughter, Helene (my mother who was born at 4 Adelaide St, Petone, New Zealand, in 1921).

Annie is the lady you can see with her husband Tom, in the image at the top of this page. This photo is from soon after they took the lease of the Bayview Post Office, General Store and Tea Gardens. Thomas (Tom) is still wearing his WWI uniform jacket – they took over running the business soon after he returned serving with the A.I.F. 

National Archives of Australia records show T E Newey was approved to take over the Post Master position from June 1st 1920:

My grandfather also came to Australia from New Zealand, living in Brookvale. Although he arrived just in time for the worst years of the Depression, his own indomitable spirit ensured he made the best of every and any opportunity.

Mary Ann 'Annie' Costello was born 10th of March 1865 the eldest of six daughters of Martin and Ellen Costello (nee Kehely) at New Plymouth, N.Z. Her mother was widowed ten years later so life must have been very hard for her and her five little sisters.

Within another year her mother remarried, a Sydney Madgwick, and produced another seven children in fifteen years. A family story states that Annie visited her mother one day only to find Sydney Madgwick hitting Ellen - Annie took to him with her riding crop!

Nothing else is known of Annie until she married Benjamin Pearce on 19th September 1884 at the Auckland Registry Office. Witnesses were Elizabeth Pearce, sister of the bride and J Hedlund, Seaman of Onehunga. Registrar was J Owen Lord. She had probably met her husband in New Plymouth because he was a Seaman on boats trading with New Plymouth.

RPAYC Appoints Nick Elliott As Race Director

Nick Elliott sailing in Lanzarote in 2016. Photo Credit - James Mitchell.

RPAYC Appoints Nick Elliott As Race Director

In support of its commitment to yachting and to the growth of the sport, the RPAYC has appointed Nick Elliott into the newly created role of Race Director and Club 2IC. 
In partnership with recruitment firm Sportspeople, the Club conducted a global search to identify a dynamic yachting professional with the skills and experience to ensure that the RPAYC remains a leader in providing exceptional yacht racing and regatta programs backed by exceptional race management.  The Race Director will oversee all aspects of member racing both on and off water by ensuring that race management teams are supported and that all operational areas are co-ordinated to deliver quality programs that satisfy members, encourage new boats to join the fleets and increase participation in the sport. 
Dozens of high caliber professionals from 14 countries applied for the role and Nick stood apart with his vast experience at very high levels of yacht racing.  Nick joins the RPAYC from the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in the UK where he has been running the racing program for the last nine years, including one of the largest and most challenging yacht races in the world, the Rolex Fastnet Race. 
Nick has a great deal of race management experience, involvement in the development of offshore special regulations, and in developing new racing formats designed to appeal to a broad range of sailors. 

RPAYC Vice Commodore Michael Lockley commented, “We are really excited Nick has agreed to join what is already a really strong professional team.  We are going to make the point that the RPAYC is totally invested in this great sport and will ensure we are delivering excellence while creating racing programs that appeal to and encourage participation across all generations.  This is a very exciting time for the RPAYC.”
Naturally the RORC is disappointed in Nick’s decision, but understand the opportunity for him and his family to again live and work abroad.  As this is a Fastnet year, Nick will see this race through with the aim of joining the RPAYC prior to the start of the new sailing season in September. 

Sailing isn’t just a job for Nick, it is a passion and a family sport.  Nick has recently been racing offshore with the RORC Commodore in his JPK10.80 in the RORC Cherbourg Race and completed the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with the RORC Vice Commodore.  He has also been competing regularly on the Shearwater Traveller Series and National Championships with his wife Kerry, his teenage son Zac and daughter Poppy as well as regularly competing at his local sailing club in various centreboard classes.
The RPAYC has one of the most comprehensive year round sailing programs in the country, offering up to five keel boat club racing days each week, a solid centreboard racing fleet, an extensive cruising program, a training program training well in excess of 700 people annually, a busy regatta schedule and has a multi award winning program committed to supporting disabled sailing.

Singapore Nippers Initiative Supported By Avalon Beach SLSC 

Photo of the Singapore Nippers ex-pats and Jeff Nesbitt celebrating their successful completion of their Bronze Medallion assessment - congratulations you champions!
Surf Life Saving is a movement that sprang from community and remains firmly embedded in community. It crosses borders and reaches out to include and encompass all who want to get involved – inclusiveness may not be part of the motto “Vigilance and Service.” but it is there by inference.

In 2015 a lady who had once been an Australian Nipper at Coolum Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Skye Wellington, wanted to share what she had experienced as a youngster and began what is called Singapore Nippers.

“During the week there might have been family or school issues going on in each others lives, but on Sunday mornings we stood together and stared down waves, competed to grab flags and had aching legs from running in sand.” Skye says in an April 2017 article in HoneyKids magazine – where she was once Editor.

To complete the online component of their Bronze 10 soon to be qualified Age Managers for Singapore Nippers enlisted as members of Avalon Beach SLSC. Leanne Austin did the legwork here on the Admin. side, working with branch to make it happen.

Avalon went further with that gentleman who seems front and centre at so many Youth and Nippers developments, Mike Stanley Jones, paying for he and his son to travel to Singapore in February this year to put the potential ‘Bronzies’ through their paces in two consecutive weekend training sessions.

“We then went on a bit of an Asian jaunt – it was a great opportunity for a dad-son trip.” Mike explained on Saturday.  

MSJ at Tanjong Beach - photo courtesy Singapore Nippers.

In March Jeff Nesbitt, a SLSA Assessor, Avalon Beach SLSC Age Manager and recipient in 2016 of the Norman Cook Most Outstanding Member of the Year, went to assess the first group - all passing with flying colours.

In September Belle Schmidt (Bilgola SLSC), and Louise Lindop (Avalon Beah SLSC) will travel north to train the next group of Bronzies.

This is not the first time members of Avalon Beach SLSC have travelled overseas to share their knowledge and support the growth of surf life saving, and probably won’t be the last. The Singapore-Avalon Beach connection is a great reminder that from little things great things grow, or that sharing the passion for developing a great future for those growing tall now through surf life saving can happen everywhere there’s a beach.

As this is essentially a story that should be told by Skye, we run her recent post in the ANZA magazine (available online) HERE.

Pearl Turton

This week we are beyond stoked to bring you a small insight into a lady who is a legend to many of us and a dear and loved friend to others.
We thank Ron Turton, older brother of Pearl, for all his tireless efforts in helping with this page and his recognition that some kind of bigger record is way overdue for someone who did so much for women's surfing, not just when she was a champion, but for decades afterwards - in fact Pearl is still right up to date with what's happening in the surfing world and still cheering on and applauding those who are pushing themselves to excel.

Pearl Turton, was born in Surrey, England on the 5th of February 1947.
In October 1949 Ronald Charles Turton and Pearl Elizabeth Turton arrived in Australia along with their children, eldest son Ron (four), Pearl (two), and Ross on the way. They settled in Sydney and by 1950 had moved to Careel Bay.

"Our place was called ‘Goodawada’ and was on the high side of the road just before you climb up the hill to Surf road, we overlooked Stokes Point. The base of the house was sandstone and the rest fibro and wood, tin roof, a water tank, a bit of everything really." Ron recalls

"Pearl was and is still the kind of girl who would go in and tackle the boys playing footy but then turn up looking beautiful, and was always a lady, a girl.
I think she got a lot of it from mum – mum was on the stage on England when dad first met her with a group called ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) who used to entertain the troops.  I think a lot of mum’s athleticism and ability went through to Pearl and I.

Every kid climbs a tree but Pearl was always the quickest, and excelled at everything. To me she seemed like those good footballers that can anticipate the play.

My early visions of Pearl were at Goodawada when we had this tricycle, a really solid one. We’d go up this steep hill behind Goodawada and I’d be riding it and she would be on the back. We’d come down this track and Pearl would be saying, ‘faster, go faster’. This tricycle didn’t have very good brakes so the way we’d stop would be to run into a lantana bush.

Mum would recall hearing us screaming as we went past the house – but it was that screaming of having fun.

I dug out a book Pearly had got me last night, ‘The Sea Eagle has Landed: The Story of Manly-Warringah Rugby League Club ’ a limited edition work about the Manly Sea Eagles. In the front of this Pearl has written – “Dear Ronnie, the love of footy was installed in me at age 6 when you convinced the lads that I could make up the numbers on the greenbelt at Palmy. So my thanks go to you, along with this book.”

The greenbelt was where all those houses along Barrenjoey road back onto Pittwater at Careel Bay. There’s a path there that’s grassed. In those days people used to mow this land behind their properties and we kids could play footy and cricket, I remember someone put some swings up. There was big Tom Gilbert, Ken Mackey, Penny Hall – we all knew each other… I remember she would crash tackle big Tommy Gilbert, then the next minute she’d be walking off like a model.

As time went on, and as we were only 18 months apart, we were both at Avalon Public School. I’d see her in the playground and you always kept an eye on your little sister just in case anyone tried to do the wrong thing, that was what dad brought me up to do, to look out for my little brother and sister. I’d see these really tall girls playing what we now call Netball and there was this little terrier in the middle, intercepting balls between these two tall girls and then off she would go – that was Pearl, she could read the play.

Anything that required balancing she excelled at – if there was a fence she’d jump on it and walk along it – that was always there.
In running she would be up there with them too, this tiny little girl. If determination meant anything, she’d get marks for that.

Avalon Primary (Public) School 6th class in 1958! 
Pearl is in the second row (from the front) 4th from the left! That’s Geoff Searl 2nd from the left in the back row (suffering from a dash of photophobia - never did like it into the sun!). The late Midget’s wife - Beverlie (Carter), is 6th from the left in the 3rd row. Pearl and Beverlie have been lifelong friends.
Photo courtesy Geoff Searl, Avalon Beach Historical Society. Teacher is Mr. Archbold.

The funny thing was though, with all that fierce determination, if she didn’t win something she never spat the dummy, just moved on to the next thing – so it was about having all this energy to expel too, this great appetite for life and enjoying those moments and then moving on.

To me she was like this throughout all those decades, she had a passion for joining in and having fun but always had that restraint too, knew how to conduct herself, ‘grace under pressure’ in some ways but also as though this was inbuilt, her nature.

Towards the end of 1957 we moved to Palm Beach, to the golf course. Dad had moved us to Liechhardt for half of 1956 and half of 1957.  Then the manager of the Palm Beach Golf Club, whose name was Ron Gassman, who was a friend of dads’, contacted him; ‘I can offer you a job at the Palm Beach Golf Club and it comes with a cottage out the back. You will be back to where you really belong mate’. This was towards the end of 1957.
So back we went. What a place to live, overlooking Lion Island, so close to the beach.
Turton family 1957 at Palm Beach Pool; Pearl snr., Pearl, Ross and Ron Jnr. holding dog 'Shane'.

Avalon Soccer Club Ready To Send 7th Under 16' Womens Team To Vanuatu

Roland Luke with the Vanuatu bound Avalon Soccer Club team – photo courtesy Vince Simonetti 

Avalon Soccer Club's 16 Women’s Vanuatu 2017 Visit

Avalon Soccer Club's under 16 womens team will travel to Vanuatu on Thursday 29th June to:
• Promote women's soccer in Vanuatu and Avalon Soccer Club
• Give young women an international sporting opportunity 
• Provide an opportunity for young women to help local communities by running coaching clinics and donating equipment 

The 18 Avalon girls will have a challenging game against the Vanuatu National Under 16 Womens team. While they haven't competed on an international level before, they are expecting to be competitive. The Avalon girls are currently leading their MWFA Division 1 competition and last weekend they beat Mount Colah 4:0 to progress to Round 3 of the Football NSW State Cup. In previous years they have been crowned MWFA age champions and competed in the Football NSW Champion of Champions tournament.

As well as playing the national team, the girls will play friendly games against Epule Village School, Manua College and select girls from the Luganville team on Santo Island. Most of the girls in these teams will play without boots or shin pads. 

The girls will also visit Millennium Primary School to deliver donations and have a casual kick around with the schoolchildren. At each stage they will be delivering donations of jerseys, shorts and bags, as well as gifts specifically targeted at the girls such as nail polish and hair accessories. 

Many of the girls have been playing soccer since they were 5 years old. Over the years soccer has allowed them to build and maintain friendships across suburbs and schools. The trip to Vanuatu will help cement lifelong friendships and broaden their horizons, of the opportunities that playing sport can bring.

This will be the 7th team that Avalon Soccer Club has sent over, continuing a community relationship that has grown strong between these two places through their love of sport and in particular, football.

The annual tour is endorsed by the MWFA, Football NSW, FFA and the Vanuatu Football Association. The aim of the tour is to introduce our girls to a different culture while building relationships with island neighbours and growing women's football in the region.

Whatever the results may be during their matches it’s clear this initiative makes everyone a winner and fosters great life experiences for our young local players.

Avalon came home with some great results from the State Cup last week, including a massive win by the WPL over the Camden Tigers. Results included:
•    W16/1 def. Mount Colah 4-0
•    W18/1 def. Maroubra 6-0
•    U18/1 lost to Wollongong 6-3
•    WPL def. Camden Tigers 12-2
•    AL1 lost to Ryde 4-2
The DEPLOY State, Robertson and Bill Cullinan Cups knockout tournaments are conducted by Football NSW for Association based male and female club teams and Country Association representative or club teams. This tournament attracts over 500 entries each season and is an opportunity for club teams from all areas of Football NSW to compete against teams from outside their own Association.
Age Groups 
Boys/Men: 12,13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 0/35, AA Men
Girls/Women: 12, 14, 16, 18, AA Women
You can keep an eye on the Avaon Soccer teams progress at: 

Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney's Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of around a thousand players aged from 5 to 70, who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of highly dedicated volunteers. In 2012 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the amalgamation of the Avalon Junior and Senior Clubs.

We strive to provide the best possible playing and coaching environment that we can with the resources to our disposal. We put a great emphasis on player development and coach education at all skill levels in our club and employ two professional coaches as our Directors of Coaching.

Our home ground is situated at Careel Bay in North Avalon. The site of a former rubbish tip was converted to provide us with two full size fields and a large dedicated mini-field area to cater for the variety of small sided versions of the game played by our younger players. We are also lucky to have our own clubhouse with a great canteen that serves the "best coffee to be found at a football ground anywhere"!!!

We are one of 17 clubs playing in games and competitions organised by the Manly Warringah Football Association.

Find out more at:

America’s Cup 2017: Australian Sailors And Technicians Are Part Of Every Team 

Team Artemis - Sweden

America’s Cup 2017: Australians Part Of Every Team

The America’s Cup 2017 commenced qualifying rounds on Saturday May 27th (Sunday 3 a.m. in Australia). The 35th AC has sailors from Pittwater among the Teams in James Spithill as Skipper-Helmsman for the Oracle USA Team, and Jason Waterhouse as a Wing Trimmer / Grinder on SoftBank Team Japan. Pittwater is also there when you take into account Iain Murray AM is Regatta Director.

If you want to play spot the Australian it won’t be too hard as New South Welshmen, Victorians and West Australians outnumber all other nationalities among sailors and support crews. Lake Macquarie’s Nathan Outteridge is Skipper-Helmsman for Team Artemis (Sweden) while Glenn Ashby is Skipper/Wing Trimmer for the Emirates Team (New Zealand). In Nathan there’s another Pittwater connection as his sister Haylee sails with Pittwater’s Nina Curtis, this pair already in training and working towards a possible place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

With Australian Ken McAlpine as Chief Measurer, and Australians part of every Team whether on or off the water, you begin to understand just how many Australians are involved in the 35th America’s Cup and how strong Australian sailors, technicians and dockside support crews are and how many of these have a connection with Pittwater in this foremost of elite sports.

Iain Murray AM began sailing on Middle Harbor, Sydney, as a 9-year-old in the Flying Ant class. His greatest success came in Sydney’s iconic 18ft skiff class, in which he designed, built and sailed Color 7 to win a record six consecutive championships from 1977 to 1982.

The success in the 18’ skiffs led Syd Fischer, Australia’s most regular and least successful challenger for the America’s Cup to select him as helmsman of his 1983 challenger Advance. Mr. Murray joined with Kevin Parry’s Kookaburra syndicate for Australia’s defense of the Cup in 1987. He has also enjoyed a tremendous career as an offshore sailor, winning many of the world’s classic events including three overall victories and eight line honors wins in the Sydney-Hobart race. He also was on the winning Australian team at the last Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup. As a one-design sailor, Murray ranks his Etchells World Championship in 1984 as one of his most satisfying victories. He also placed third at the 2005 Etchells Worlds. 
In 2008 he competed in the Olympic Regatta when he represented Australia in the Star Class.

“If they don’t comply with the rules they don’t get a certificate and don’t go racing so they have to comply,”  Mr. McAlpine, who started sailing at the age of 11 in Sydney, explained this week. “We’ll help them as much as we can to make sure they are within the guidelines.”

Ken’s role as Chief Measurer for the 35th America’s Cup is a privileged position. A trained Naval Architect, McAlpine is somewhat of a veteran of the America’s Cup, having been involved in no less than eight stagings of the event, starting back in 1970 with a limited role before being asked by the The Australian Yachting Federation to measure Australia II in 1982. Following that experience he was appointed the Technical Director for the International Twelve Metre Association, as well as being involved in the development of the International America’s Cup Class. Subsequently, Ken was appointed Chief Measurer and Technical Director for the 1992, 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2007 America’s Cup Regattas.

It's a case of ditto when playing Spot the New Zealander; although not in the same numbers as Australians, there are champions from the Land of the Long White Cloud among the Teams.

Crews representing Britain, France, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden will seek to win the right to challenge Team USA for the title in the America’s Cup match starting Saturday June 17 over the next two-and-a-half weeks.

The opening match-ups, which began 3 a.m. this morning (May 28, AEST) see Team USA against Team France, Artemis Racing against Team Japan, France versus the Glenn Ashby-skippered Team New Zealand, and Artemis against Britain’s Land Rover BAR.

Ever since its inception in 1851, when a schooner named ‘America’ raced around the Isle of Wight in the UK and conquered the best that Britain could offer, the world’s oldest sporting international competition has continued to push back the boundaries of what is possible with revolutionary innovations on and off the water.

Those advancements will be at their spectacular best in this year’s 35th staging of the event in the beautiful waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound. In days past, America’s Cup boats had to sail to the venue where they would compete. Now the sophisticated catamarans will ‘fly’ across the water in Bermuda, courtesy of revolutionary hydrofoil systems that lift the boats out of the water and create exhilarating racing at nearly 50 knots (93kph) with the boats capable of racing at three times the speed of the wind.

As it’s early days a list of Australians currently in Bermuda, who are in fact part of every Team  (just had to say that once more), runs below. This clearly illustrates why our sailors are held in such high esteem on the world stage of sailing and why, for Australia, it’s a case of ‘Go Everybody!” for the 35th running of the great America’s Cup, with a touch of "Go Pittwater!" amongst that too.

Which is also very Australian.

You can watch the races live on Fox Sports channel 505 – program listings, with replays for those not enamoured of 3a.m. start times are on the Fox Sports Australia website - just look to your left and click on 'America's Cup'.

Keep up to date with everything happening at the official America's Cup website by visiting: or on facebook - including this from Day 1:

Big collision between Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan on Day 1

Guringai Festival 2017

Pittwater And Surrounds

Guringai Festival 2017

Welcome to another year of celebrating First Australian culture and heritage in the Northern Sydney region. Welcome to the Guringai Festival 2017, we are still going strong!

“Connections” is this year’s festival theme, inviting people of all ages to connect and participate in events across the region. We are promoting intergenerational conversations, activities and perspectives and when viewed by different people of different age groups, gender and races we have the ability to connect and shape our future, being inclusive of all.

“Connections” invites youth in the region to contribute to our story of place so we can be better informed about what is needed now and for the next generations. As adults we need to listen and grow up our young ones strong!

Once again we have a long list of activities that commemorate, celebrate and create spaces and places for those important conversations to be had.
We invite you to come along; attend a concert; film night, forum, art exhibition or bush walk, which has all been created for you and your families enjoyment.

Welcome to this years Guringai Festival

Susan Moylan-Coombs, Caroline Glass-Pattison and Sue Pinckham 
Co-Chairs, Guringai Festival Committee

For the 2017 Guringai Festival, primary students were invited to create an artwork that responded to the theme of ‘Connection’. Hundreds of entries were submitted, exploring connection of people and place, connection of communities, connection of families. The winning entry by Liam James Parker of the Northern Beaches Christian School is featured on the front and back covers of the 2017 program. Other highly commended entries feature throughout the program.

Artist: Winning painting by Liam James Parker of Northern Beaches Christian School

Full Program for all areas available to download at: PDF)

Pittwater And Surrounds Activities

Commemorate National Sorry Day 2017 

Sunday 28 May, 2.00pm - 6.00pm 
Scout Hall, 53 Wakehurst Parkway North Narrabeen 
$ Free 

A time to reflect on the profound grief and trauma experienced by the Stolen Generation. 
An opportunity of shared commitment to healing and reconciliation. Together we can make a difference! 
2pm - Free BBQ and afternoon tea. 
2.45pm - Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country and a One minute’s silence to remember and reflect. 
Dancing by Jannawi Dancers, didgeridoo playing by Scott Romain, dancing Gerard McMinn and fun activities for the children. 

Enquiries: Neil Evers 
Aboriginal Support Group 

Sharingstories Foundation Exhibition & Liz Thompson Photography 

Friday 26 May - Sunday 9 July 
Manly Art Gallery & Museum 
West Esplanade Reserve, Manly 
$ Free 

In partnership with Manly Art Gallery & Museum, SharingStories Foundation has developed a unique exhibition designed to share its work on the maintenance of culture and language across indigenous communities in Australia and to portray indigenous knowledge, stories and culture in a highly engaging and culturally sensitive way.

The exhibition includes digital storytelling, photography by Liz Thompson from her A Song for Country series and interactive media platforms developed by SharingStories with communities, including the West Kimberley, Flinders Ranges and Northeast Arnhem Land, as well as from communities in Victoria and New South Wales.  This material will include community multi-touch books, films, language resources, and material showing the mapping of Songlines developed by communities.

Image detail: Liz Thompson, Jeremy Cameron painting his brother Miko with the Gandjalala (Sugarbag Hunter) design at Weemol, NT.

The material SharingStories develops will support a more profound dialogue among Aboriginal, culturally diverse and mainstream communities leading to a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and the rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal communities living remotely and in regional areas. It will lead to further educational opportunities with young people visiting our Gallery with their families and schools, and a deeper exploration of Aboriginal culture and connection to country. 

This exhibition is part of the Head On Photo Festival and the Guringai Festival celebrating First Australian culture and heritage in the Northern Sydney region.  
Liz Thompson
Liz has published over thirty books, many produced in collaboration with indigenous communities.  Fourteen part series Sharing Our Stories, which included Liz’s photographic essays won the Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing.
Liz’s photographic essays featured in four part book series Living with the Land and explored bush food and medicine. The Promised Land, based on collaborative photographic essays with photographer Ben Bohane looked at the impact of Indonesian rule in West Papua. In 2017 her new photographic book A Song for Country will be published by Magabala Books.

Liz’s photography has been published in Australian Geographic, GEO, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Good Weekend Magazine, The Independent, Art Review and numerous other national/ international publications. She’s held solo exhibitions at at Stills Gallery, The Performance Space and the State Theatre in Sydney, The Media and Design Space in Melbourne and Kettles Yard, Cambridge, UK.

Liz wrote, directed and co-produced The Last Magician, shot in the Trobriand Islands of PNG and nominated for four AFI Awards including Best Documentary and Best Direction. She directed and wrote Breaking Bows and Arrows, for SBS, exploring reconciliation in Bougainville after civil war. The film won The United Nations Media Peace Award for Best Television, The AIBD World Award for promotion of conflict resolution and the Grand Jury Prize at the 3rd International Festival of Oceania Documentary Film. Liz produces radio for ABC Audio Arts and multi media photographic and audio visual content for ABC Online.

Liz is CEO of SharingStories Foundation

Enquiries: Manly Art Gallery & Museum 
Ph: 9976 1421

Northern Beaches Singing Up Country 2017 Presents Johnny Nicol & Friends: Dinner & show celebrating his 60 year musical journey 

Friday 2 June, 6.30pm - 9.30pm 
St Anthony in the Fields Church 
46 Myoora Rd, Terrey Hills 
Johnny Nicol, great jazz guitarist and singer, is a Birri-gubba man from North Queensland. For many years he hid his Aboriginal background except from his closest friends. This year he celebrates his 60 years in show business at a Dinner and Show, telling stories and performing pieces from his long musical journey. Hosted by the Frenchs Forest Catholic Parish Social Justice Group in partnership with the Northern Beaches Aboriginal Community, as part of the continuing journey of Sharing the Story, Sharing the Land. 

Enquiries: Anne Lanyon 
Frenchs Forest Catholic Parish Social Justice Group 
Ph: 0408 279 871

Narrabeen Lagoon Walk 

Saturday 3 June, 10.00am - 2.30pm 
27 Morgan Rd, Oxford Falls 
$ Free 

A great explore especially for children’s eyes. Aboriginal heritage, extraordinary biodiversity set within the surprisingly changing landscape of the Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment. Allow 4 -5 hrs. BYO lunch and water. Start next to 27 Morgan Rd, Oxford Falls, end at Deep Creek and carpool back. 
Enquiries: Conny Harris 
Ph: 0432 643 295

Bushwalk in the Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment 

Sunday 11 June, 10.00am - 2.30pm 
2-10 Cromer Road, Cromer 
$ Free 

We will walk down to Oxford Falls and carpool back. Allow 4 hrs. BYO lunch and water. Start at 2-10 Cromer Rd, 300 meters after entrance to Cromer Golf Club. Enquiries: Conny Harris 
Ph: 0432 643 295

Film Screening: Jasper Jones 

Wednesday 14 June, 9.30am - 12.00pm 
Collaroy Cinema 
1097 Pittwater Road, Collaroy 
$ Free 

Join us at Collaroy Cinema to see ‘Jasper Jones’ - Growing up in a small country town in 1965, Charlie’s uneventful life is turned on its head when the town outcast, an Indigenous boy named Jasper Jones, appears at his window begging him for help. Directed by Rachel Perkins. 

Enquiries: Neil Evers 
Aboriginal Support Group
Ph: 9999 3045

Peninsula Community of Schools “Connection - Community and Beyond” 

Thursday 15 June, 5.00pm - 7.30pm 
Warriewood Square Jacksons Road, Warriewood 
$ Free
PCS Art Exhibition Opening Night - Artworks created by the students from K to Y12 attending the 13 State Primary and Secondary Schools on the Northern Beaches, from Cromer PS down to Barrenjoey HS and Avalon PS. The collection reflects the 2017 Guringai Festival theme depicting the strength of connection to our community and beyond. The art exhibition will run at Warriewood Square for 8 days finishing on Friday 23rd June. 

Enquiries: Michelle Flaskas and Germaine Oris 
Ph: 9918 8811 and 9913 4444

Paper Bark Bowl Workshop 

Saturday 17 June, 10.00am - 2.00pm 
One Door Mental Health Art Space Building 
40, North Head Sanctuary Scenic Drive, 
$ Free
Join Karleen Green, One Door Mental Health and Manly Environment Centre at North Head for a short bush walk followed by a hands-on paper - bark bowl making workshop. You will need to bring along your own bowl (small – medium size) for this workshop. Refreshments will be provided. 

Bookings essential. Numbers are limited. BYO bowl. 
Enquiries: Katherine Owen Katherine.
Ph: 9977 0099

Walk & Talk Series: Little Manly/Nth Head 

Sunday 18 June, 8.45am - 1.00pm 
Little Manly Beach, 
Beside Cafe 
Stuart Street, 
Little Manly Beach 
$ Free 

Learn about your local Aboriginal heritage on a guided bush walk with Karen Smith, Aboriginal Heritage Officer. Walk starts at Little Manly Beach, through the bush and up to North Head Sanctuary Foundation Nursery. Following morning tea at Bandicoot Heaven, join the conversation with Aunty Frances Bodkin, Dharawal knowledge-holder and botanical author. Bring water and hat. 

Enquiries: Robynne Millward 
Northern Beaches Council 
Ph: 9976 1426

Walk the Basin Track 

Sunday 25 June, 10:00am - 1:00pm 
West Head Road, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, 
West Head 
See it through the eyes of the children. At the site you will be told stories of times long gone by. There will be explanations as to how the sites were used as school rooms for Aboriginal Children. Bring your camera for the view from West Head. Amazing! 

Enquiries: Laurie Bimson 
Guringai Tours 
Ph: 0438 877 509

Laurie Bimson - A J Guesdon Photo

LAUNCH of Weaving Bridges Project: A NAIDOC Week Event 

Tuesday 4 July, 10:30am - 12:30pm 
Queenscliff Surf Living Saving Club 
Ocean Beach Road, Queenscliff 
$ Free 

Manly Environment Centre, Manly Community Centre, Northern Beaches Aboriginal Community members, Northside Community Forum In, Sanctuary Respite Centre, One Door Mental Health, community groups, individuals as well as school children, join together to weave, knit and crochet artworks around the theme of – ‘Connect’. 

These artworks create a large textile landscape for this year’s Weaving Bridges Project, which is to be installed on the Stuart Somerville Bridge, Queenscliff. 

A NAIDOC Week event, the Launch Ceremony includes guest speakers, a smoking ceremony, didgeridoo performance, entertainment and the unveiling of the installation. Morning tea will be served. 

Enquiries: Robynne Millward 
Northern Beaches Council 
Ph: 9976 1426

NAIDOC Information Night - Our Languages Matter

Monday 10 July, 7.30pm - 9.30pm 
Mona Vale Memorial Hall 
1606 Pittwater Rd, Mona Vale 
$ Free 

Our Languages Matter 
The importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages will be celebrated and the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, in history, spirituality and rites, through story and song. 
All welcome - This is a free night including light supper. 
Enquiries: Neil Evers 
Aboriginal Support Group 
Ph: 9999 3045

Les McLeod and Neil Evers - A J Guesdon photo


Palm Beach Sailing Club 2016/2017 Season

Upu Kila and crew mate Samantha Duchatel on Pittwater for the 2016 PBSC's Beware the Bullets Regatta 

Palm Beach Sailing Club 2016/2017 Season

A very successful sailing season for Palm Beach Sailing Club has just finished.
PBSC is predominantly family orientated with great opportunities for young sailors to get the feel of fast “off the beach” multihulls. PBSC sails from Snappermans beach at Palm Beach on most Saturdays from September to May each year.

There are a number of its sailors though that compete at elite levels who have won or placed in State, National and World events over the last season.
  • Upu Kila won the National Hobie 16 Grandmasters and podiumed in the Open event at the NSW and Victorian State titles.
  • Peter (Doogie) McDougall won the Hobie 14 NSW State titles for both cat rigged at sloop rigged categories. Sophie Renouf and Lucy Copland won the Hobie 16 Womens at the same event.
  • At the Hobie 16 World Titles in China, Rod and Kerrie Waterhouse doubled up and won the Hobie 16 World Masters and Grandmasters with club mates Anthony Duchatel and Evelyn Curtis taking silver in the Grandmasters and Nina Curtis and Hayley Outeridge also taking silver in the Women’s.

  • Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis
  • At the World Masters Games held in New Zealand, in the Weta Trimaran class, Martin Cross and Rod Waterhouse took gold and silver respectively in the Grandmasters, Peter Martin took gold in the Apprentis Masters and John McCormick took bronze in the Great Grandmasters.

Martin Cross, Rod Waterhouse, John McCormick and Peter Martin at Waiake Beach.

The main game closer to home, on Pittwater between Careel Bay and Barrenjoey headland, brought some great sailing which was celebrated at the clubs presentation day last Saturday.

To kick things off the club was privileged to have Nina Curtis as its guest speaker. Nina is a silver medallist from the London Olympics, current runner up in the Hobie 16 Womens Worlds and is campaigning for Tokyo 2020 with Haylee Outteridge on the Women’s 49erFX skiff.  Nina talked about her “pathway” in sailing that started at BYRA, then Avalon and RPAYC and recently PBSC that took her from dinghies to an Olympic match racing silver medal and on to Olympic class catamarans and skiffs. Her enthusiasm and love for sailing was infectious and she confirmed how the exhilaration of sailing, especially on a “cat”, can be found at any age. She loved the inclusive family/youth focus that PBSC has in place and the “pathway” that it provides for younger sailors.

The full list of awards can be found on the clubs website or its Facebook page but some of the key awards included:
  • Martin Cross who won the Steve Kiely Memorial Trophy for the annual marathon held in demanding conditions this year, a trophy that recognises great seamanship epitomised by Steve who was considered a master sailor.
  • Phil Malcom and Anna Hill our most improved team and Caitlyn Bell our most improved crew.
  • Jake and Tess Sweeney for the youth team award.
  • Peter Duross for the hotly contested Weta Cup.
  • Andrew Nelson for the Poinstcore series sailing 1up on a Hobie 16
  • Anthony Duchatel and Evelyn Curtis for their 6th Club Championship win.

photo by Regina Renfree

The season once more saw the club host the very successful Beware the Bullets Regatta (November 19-20, 2016) which attracts sailors from around the state to compete in the F18, Hobie 14, Hobie 16, Hobie 17 Sport, Hobie 18, Nacra 17 and Viper and Weta classes. Our thanks to the organisers, volunteers and sponsors for helping make this regatta such a success again this Season. 

Fun social events such as the annual Princess Race and the Patonga Fish and Chip Run ensure club members can enjoy the beauty of the location we sail in and on as well as each other's company.

On behalf of all PBSC members, thank you to the outgoing committee of Richard Lacey, Andrew Nelson, Anthony Duchatel, Michael Henman, Regina Renfree and Darren Schmidt. All those hours you put in throughout the year paved the way for a very successful season.

Congratulations and welcome to the incoming committee for season:
Commodore - Andrew Nelson
Vice Commodore - Richard Lacey
Treasurer - Anthony Duchatel
Secretary - Michael Henman and Regina Renfree 

Next season looks like it will be a cracker with more youth sailors likely to join in advance of the youth and women’s State titles to be held in February 2018 along with increased class sizes in some classes such as the A Class, F18/16, Weta and Hobie multihulls.
Report courtesy Anthony Duchatel and Trevor Gourlay, 2017.

Juvenile Sea Eagle at Church Point

Jo Brigden- Jones Wins Silver At Canoe Sprint Cup In Belgrade

Jo Brigden-Jones, Back on the podium!

Jo Brigden- Jones Wins Silver At Canoe Sprint Cup In Belgrade

June 4, 2017
Jo Brigden Jones - SNBKC athlete just finished 2nd in the women's K1 1000 at World Cup  in Belgrade Serbia. Congratulations Jo - what an awesome return to the international stage.

Australia has won a silver medal and recorded three fourth placings on day two of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia.
Jo Brigden-Jones, in one of her rare forays into the K1 1000, finished second and teammate Cat Macarthur fourth in a tough race.

“It’s quite painful, but I still like it,” Brigden-Jones said.

“I can barely stand-up my legs are hurting so much. But it was good, a good challenge for me, good to put myself out there in a new environment.
“So I really enjoyed it, but I’m hurting now. My leg pain blew up pretty early, and I rely on my legs a lot.”

Jo took out the K1 200 at the Australian Canoeing Sprint Nationals held at Penrith in March this year and became National Champion in the K1200m.

Macarthur was happy to have shown strong improvement from one week ago.

“I’ve learned a lot from doing these 1000’s over the last few weeks,” she said.

“I really pushed myself quite hard, but I’m dead now. I’ve always struggled with 1000’s not knowing how hard to push and when.

“I’m really happy with finishing fourth. It’s hard, but I can’t be unhappy with fourth after finishing seventh last weekend.”

Alyce Burnett finished fourth in her first ever senior K1 500 international final, missing the podium by only a fraction of a second. Her K2 500 teammate, Alyssa Bull, won the B final.

Bull and Burnett teamed up later in the day to win their K2 semi-final to progress to Sunday’s final.

Three-time Olympian Ken Wallace and Rio debutant, Jordan Wood, finished fourth in the final of the K2 500.

“It’s not so much fun getting fourth, but it’s a massive improvement on last week,” Wallace said.

“We’re learning how to race a bit better as a crew. Last weekend was the first race we’d done together, we’re just progressively getting there, but fourth is still hard.”

Australia will also have men’s and women’s K4 boats in action on Sunday, Billy Bain will once again contest the final of the K1 500, and Brigden-Jones and Jaime Roberts are in the final of the K2 200.

From Australian Canoeing: 


June 5, 2017: Australian Canoeing
Australia has picked up a gold and a silver medal on the final day of competition at the International Canoe Federation Sprint Canoe World Cup in Belgrade.

Alyssa Bull, who won silver in the K1 1000 in Szeged one week ago, cemented her reputation as the iron woman of canoe racing with a solid win in the K1 5000 final on Sunday afternoon.

Jo Brigden-Jones joined WA’s Jaime Roberts to win silver in the K2 200, adding to the silver medal she won in the K1 1000 on Saturday.

Earlier Bull teamed up with Olympic teammate, Alyce Burnett, to finish fourth in the K2 500, agonisingly close to a breakthrough podium at an international meet.

“Yesterday I got fourth in the K1, and today we got fourth in the K2, and both times we were super close to the medals,” Burnett said.

“It sucks to be so close, but we’ve made a lot of improvements in the past year or two and we can’t be disappointed with where we are at.

“It just puts more fire in your belly for Worlds coming up.”

“Our aim for these World Cups was to make top half of A-finals, and I suppose just to come so close, it makes us more hungry,” Bull said.

Brigden-Jones said it was a shock for her and Roberts to win a K2 medal in their first international race together.

“It’s pretty crazy, I really didn’t expect it so it’s a bit of a bonus,” Brigden-Jones said.

“It was fun to do the K2 200. We’ve never done K2 together, so we’ve just been learning a bit each day.”

Roberts said the silver medal was a highlight of her career.

“We nailed our start, and it just set up the race perfectly,” she said.

“It’s caught me a bit by surprise. It’s pretty awesome to be up there on the podium, and I definitely want to be up there again.”

In other results, Ken Wallace finished fourth in the men’s K1 5000, the women’s K4 500 crew finished seventh, and Billy Bain was seventh in the final of the men’s K1 500.

The Australian team heads home on Monday and will return to Europe for the Sprint Canoe World Championships in the Czech Republic in August.

The Australian Canoe Sprint team arrived in Europe in May ahead of the first ICF World Cup of the year in Szeged, Hungary, as they begin their new Olympic cycle.

For 2008 Olympic gold medallist Ken Wallace it’s the start of a campaign to get to a fourth Olympics, and for 2012 gold medallist Murray Stewart a third, as the team looks to build on it’s impressive Olympic record.

The team also includes two of Wallace’s K4 teammates from Rio, Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood, who are also the reigning K2 1000 U23 World Champions.

Paralympic gold medallist Curtis McGrath, silver medallist Amanda Reynolds and bronze medallist Susan Seipel will lead a five-strong Para Canoe team.

The women’s team includes 2016 K2 500 finalists, Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull, and our own 2012 Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones.

"Nice to be back racing in the green and gold and to be reunited with friends from around the world" Jo posted on her facebook page on May 28th - which is an understatement for all cheering her on from here who think it's GREAT to see her back and doing something she excels at.

Go Jo!

World Environment Day - June 5th
World Oceans Day - June 8th

Our favourite spot in nature - the bush and waterways of Pittwater!

World Environment Day - June 5th
World Oceans Day 
- June 8th

‘Connecting People to Nature’, the theme for World Environment Day 2017implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.

World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet. Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. The focus on the host country helps highlight the environmental challenges it faces, and supports the effort to address them. This year’s host is Canada.

World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. The overall theme for World Oceans Day 2017:  Our Oceans, Our Future

Conservation action focus: Encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future

The Av. Green Team has started their World Environment and World Oceans Days early, in fact everyday is about caring for the environment and ocean and connecting with nature for this local group comprised of the upcoming generation.

On Saturday, June 3rd, they had a Beach Clean at Newport and removed from the beach:
From our clean at Newport!
We found:
Cigarette butts 400
Straws lollipops 21
Plastic food wrappings 69
Bottle caps 39
Plastic bags 11
Sushi 19
Bottles 13
Lighters 2
Phone 1

At Bilgola, Saturday May 27th: Great clean of Bilgola Beach this morning! Thanks to everyone who came along. We found 70 cigarette butts, 13 straws and a lot of microplastics.

You can keep up to date with their next Beach Clean, and other activities to keep this place Green and Clean via their facebook page:
Come join us for a beach clean!
It has been estimated that we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050...These beach cleans are aimed at reducing the vast amounts of plastic from entering our oceans before they harm marine life.
Anyone and everyone is welcome! If you would like to come along, please bring a bucket, gloves and hat. Kids of all ages are also welcome! The meeting location will be confimed closer to the date.
Hope to see you there!

Av. Green Team sorting what was gathered at Newport Beach, June 3rd, 2017

World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests. This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

Above all, World Environment Day is the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth or become an agent of change. That ‘something’ can be focused locally, nationally or globally; it can be a solo action or involve a crowd – everyone is free to choose.

World Environment Day 
Picture all the places that matter
Share a photo or video of your favourite place in nature using #WorldEnvironmentDay or #WithNature and tell us why it's special to you.

Take a photo or video
Capture your favourite spot in nature. Find your happy place–it could be a national park or a hidden gem. Even better if it includes you.
Tag your submission
Share the story of your favourite place in nature and why it matters to you using #WorldEnvironmentDay or #WithNature.
Stay tuned for more
The UN WOD 2017 website will feature new amazing entries from around the world. Have your photos seen by political leaders in exhibitions held at United Nations headquarters. Visit:

The value of nature
In recent decades, scientific advances as well as growing environmental problems such as global warming are helping us to understand the countless ways in which natural systems support our own prosperity and well-being.

For example, the world’s oceans, forests and soils act as vast stores for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane; farmers and fisher-folk harness nature on land and under water to provide us with food; scientists develop medicines using genetic material drawn from the millions of species that make up Earth’s astounding biological diversity.

Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.

Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees in the orchards of California to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a Himalayan valley.

Hit the park
This year’s World Environment Day is an ideal occasion to go out and enjoy your country’s national parks and other wilderness areas. Park authorities in some countries may follow Canada’s example and waive or reduce park entry fees on June 5 or for a longer period.

Once you are there, why not set yourself a challenge (seek out a rare mammal, identify five butterflies, reach the remotest corner of the park). Record what you see, and send us a photo of yourself and/or your discoveries so we can post it on our digital channels and encourage others to go exploring too.

You could join the growing number of citizen scientists. More and more smartphone apps help you log your sightings and connect with others who can identify the species. The records feed into conservation strategies and map the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Connect With Nature
Beyond the many events staged by governments and UN Environment, people and businesses worldwide are gearing up for World Environment Day. They have already found many creative ways to connect with nature. Here is a selection of activities already registered. Click here to find an event near you or register your own!

Get active!
Students in Ibadan, Nigeria are urging people to take a stand against environmental pollution and join their ‘March for Nature’. Serious hikers will be heading for Mount Makeling, 70 kilometres south of the Philippine capital, Manila. Everyone is welcome for a walk and picnic in Hamoon Park, in the Iranian city of Karaj. Divers will be restoring the coral reefs around the Mexican island of Cozumel. And there will be a ‘slow cycling’ competition in Palghar, India.

After sundown in the Italian city of Spoleto, bat experts armed with ultrasonic detectors will lead walkers around its imposing medieval fortress to connect them with these mysterious flying mammals.

Locally we have a great amount of volunteer Bushcarers working to rid our reserves of weeds and restore wetlands and bushlands. You can get involved with any of these for a few hours each month and literally see the efforts of your investment through the growing up of native plants where once was tangled lantana etc.

Our Environment page lists a lot of these these groups and their activities - everything from Pittwater Natural Heritage Association's restoration of Careel Creek and wetlands, the Pittwater Environment Foundations restoration works in Warriewood, or the Community Gardens at Newport and AvalonSydney Wildlife who are saving the other residents when and where they can, or get involved with a bushcare group - they're listed too.

Northern Beaches Bus Service Plan: B-Line Extension To Newport Announced

Fenced off and screened work area at Mona Vale Village Park

Northern Beaches Bus Service Plan: B-Line Extension To Newport Announced, Changes To Palm Beach Route

A new bus service plan has been released for the Northern Beaches this week, including changes to the old L90 route to Palm Beach and confirmation the B-Line will be extended to Newport. The B-Line services from Newport will run every 10 minutes.

"We’ve made the decision to extend the B-Line route from Mona Vale to Newport which will make it even easier for customers from Newport and the surrounding areas to travel to-and-from the Sydney CBD." Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced on Tuesday.

“We want to see more people leaving their car at home and that is why the new bus network plan will provide better coverage of the region, and make it easier for customers to connect with different services,” Mr Constance said. 

“The new B-Line is a major part of these changes and when it arrives later this year customers will be able to connect seamlessly between the B-Line and their local services.”

Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes said the extension of the B-Line from Mona Vale to Newport would make it easier than ever to travel to the Sydney CBD. 

“B-Line buses will operate between Newport and the CBD every 10 minutes across the day and every five minutes between Mona Vale and the CBD during peak times in the peak direction,” Mr Stokes said. 

New routes have been created across the network, including Wheeler Heights to Manly, Mona Vale to Milsons Point, and Palm Beach to Manly. 

The extension of the Northern Beaches B-Line route to Newport, along with a number of changes to the local bus network new routes, improvements to existing routes and more peak hour services are slated. Changes to the Northern Beaches Bus Network will come into effect later this year to coincide with the launch of the B-Line with new timetables available closer to changeover.

The new 199 route from Palm Beach, and replacing the L90 prior to 9 a.m. weekdays and prior to 7 a.m. on weekends, and other times listed below post peak hours, will operate as a full time, all stop service between Palm Beach and Manly. Frequency from Palm Beach will be every 30 minutes during the week and every 15 minutes on weekends. Frequency from Avalon Beach south will be 15 mins right across the week. 

We can also confirm that there are no plans by Transport for NSW to privatise the Northern Beaches routes, no matter how much this has been discussed and mooted as what may be happening of late.

"The NSW Minister for Transport’s office has stated that there are no plans to change the provider of bus services in the Northern Beaches area. The State Transit Authority currently run services in this area and will continue to do so as part of the B-Line program." a spokesperson stated this week.

How the streamlining of buses turning at Newport, with the extension of the B-line to this suburb, is still being finalised;

"TfNSW is considering required further road upgrades and commuter car parking options as part of the B-Line extension to Newport. " the spokesperson stated,

"Any proposal would be subject to a Review of Environmental Factors (including public display) and planning approval. A REF process would likely take place later this year. More information will be published on the B-Line website as it becomes available."

The Postponed America's Cup Of 1914: Bermuda Once A Refuge For The British Shamrock IV And An Australian RPAYC Commodore Part Of The Trails Crew

"The Yacht 'America' Winning the International Race," oil on canvas, by the American artist Fitz Hugh Lane. Courtesy of the Peabody Collection.
At present the America's Cup qualifying races are being conducted for the 35th running of this wonderful sailing event which remains the cup everyone would like to win in sailing, apart from a Sydney to Hobart of course!

Among the brilliant sailors a number of Australians, including members of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, are vying to be part of the records in this historical event. Most people are aware that Australia II was the first successful challenger to win the America's Cup. How many are aware who was the first Australian to be involved with this great old race though?

As a maritime nation, and an aquatic community, there were probably a few involved in early America's Cup challenges and races that remain slightly hidden at present as so much of these great events focuses on the beautiful vessels and their skippers/captains/owners/designers/shipwrights, not those sailing on them. An 1870 report in The Australasian from someone aboard the Vectis steamer, which followed the races, signed "O.K." obviously had some connection here - but whom is 'O.K.'? Other reports are not signed at all, nor do they contain much or any information about those contesting the races as crew until later contests.

We can confirm one Australian as being involved in the year it didn't happen - 1914 - due to the outbreak of World War I while the yacht that was to sail as challenger was mid-ocean. The Shamrock IV, a Sir Thomas Lipton beauty, took refuge in Bermuda for a few days prior to sailing north to New York, so another connection echoes this year's 35th Auld Mug races in this. Among those aboard her accompanying vessel, the Erin, was Walter Moffit Marks, then Commodore of the RPAYC and a gentleman who had taken part in her sailing trails prior to departing England for America but was excluded from sailing in the races that didn't happen anyway.

The article below illustrates our current Australian sailing champions are not the first to be involved in America's Cup campaigns from the club where 'Excellence in Sailing' has always been a focus, particularly the advancement of sailing in the community and the equipment it may be achieved in. 
The RPAYC has a history of introducing new classes of vessels and remains, in its Youth Development and Adult Sailing ventures committed to giving opportunities to those who wish to do their best in the sport either as competitors or simply as recreational sailors.

The article is written by John Roche, born 1884 to James and Katherine Roche (nee Collins) of Bayview, known during his years of guiding Pittwater Regattas as 'the Father of the Pittwater Regatta' as well as 'The Prince of Pittwater'.

One of the predecessors of the current generation of champions on the water may possibly be smiling over this year's sailors - he would certainly be immensely happy with the 2017 context and development of the Pittwater club:-

The Yachting Authority, JOHN ROCHE, Writes of

YACHT racing history was made eighty years ago, when an English merchant suggested to some American business men that one of the famous New York pilot schooners, which held a great reputation for speed among British sailormen, should be sent to England to compete In the regattas which were to be an auxiliary feature of a world's fair, planned to be an exposition of the world's progress in arts, manufacturers, and sporting activities to be held In London in the year 1851. A syndicate of six members of the New York Yacht Club accepted the suggestion, and built a schooner yacht of 170 tons, which was designed to be faster than any of the pilot boats. Launched In June, 1851, and christened America, the new yacht proved to be exceptionally fast in trial races. Hearing of the project, the members of the Royal Yacht Squadron. England, extended to the owners of the America a cordial Invitation in visit the Squadron Club House at Cowes, and participate in their racing programme. This was accepted, and. on June 20, 1851, the America cleared New York Harbor bound for Havre, France, making the voyage  in 17 ½ days.

The American defender, Enterprise.

She was the first yacht to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Three weeks were spent refitting at Havre. The America then crossed the Channel, and came to an anchorage off Cowes. Her unorthodox hull design and sails created great interest among British yachtsmen.

With the object of testing the relative merits of the different models of yachts the members of the Royal Yacht Squadron of England subscribed a Cup, valued at £100, for a race open to yachts of all nations, to be sailed over a 53 miles course round the Isle of Wight. A special Invitation to compete was extended to the owners of the America and accepted by them. 

On Friday, August 22, 1851 thirteen British yachts opposed the America in the race for the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup. The America outclassed the British yachts, winning the race by 24 minutes. The Cup was presented to Commodore Stevens of the New York Yacht Club, one of the syndicate of owners of the America. 

In historic importance this first race for the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup now known as the America’s Cup, surpasses all other events of yachting. Its influence on the sport at large, on the progress of design, construction, rigging and sail-making can hardly be estimated. It revolutionized the design of British yachts and marked the beginning of real yacht racing, or perhaps, more correctly speaking, the systematic racing of yachts built for that purpose as well as for cruising. 

The victory of the America over the champion yachts of England was also the beginning of that spirit of connection between the yachtsmen of England and of America which has been attended by so much benefit to the sport of yacht racing. The America Cup is regarded as the emblem of the supremacy of the seas in a yachting sense –its possession being frequently contested.  

The owners conveyed the Cup in 1857, by deed of gift, to the keeping of the New York Yacht Club as a perpetual Challenge Cup, to be known as the America’s Cup, for friendly competition between sailing yachts belonging to yacht clubs of foreign countries. 

In the year 1870-71 British yachts made unsuccessful attempts to bring back the Cup to England. Canadian yachts challenged unsuccessfully in 1870 and 1881. 

Photograph of Andrew Jackson Comstock at the wheel of the racing schooner, Columbia, circa 1880 (Detail)

Andrew Jackson Comstock was one of several Comstock brothers from New London who were accomplished racing yacht masters. Comstock was skipper of the racing schooner Columbia, which defended during the 1871 America’s Cup challenge. (He was also skipper of the Magic, the successful defender of the 1870 Cup.) Columbia won the first two races against the challenger, the Livonia. Columbia, damaged during the second race, was beaten by the Livonia in the third race. However that race was won by another American yacht, the Sappho. Thus, together, the Columbia and Sappho successfully defended the Cup. A newspaper article of the time noted:  "The crew (of the Columbia), numbering thirteen, is under the command of Captain Andrew Comstock, one of the most experienced and best sailing masters in the country....  (T)hey evidently understand their business thoroughly.  In fact, if they didn't, they would not be long on a craft with Captain Comstock in command."

This unique photograph was found in the scrapbook of Mrs. Mary Chapman Comstock, wife of Andrew Jackson Comstock.  The scrapbook was among the items left to the New London Custom House Maritime Museum by Mrs. Margaret Thoms, great granddaughter of Andrew Jackson Comstock.

British yachtsmen again failed in 1885, 1886, and 1887. In 1893-95 Lord Dunraven was unsuccessful with Valkyrie II. and III. Sir Thomas Lipton challenged in 1899 with Shamrock and was beaten by the American defender Columbia in three consecutive races. 

In 1901 Sir Thomas Lipton challenged with Shamrock II., Columbia repeating her previous successes. With Shamrock III. Sir Thomas Lipton was decisively beaten by the American defender, Reliance in 1903. 

Columbia and Shamrock II - 1901 America's Cup
Undaunted, Sir Thomas Lipton challenged again in 1914 with another new yacht, Shamrock IV. Although the challenge was accepted and the date for the contests arranged, grave circumstances of world-wide importance caused a postponement. An unalterable clause of the deed of gift relating to the America's Cup states that yachts selected to compete for the Cup must proceed on their own bottoms to the port where the contest is to take place. 
Between 1870 and 1903 the eleven British challengers experienced uneventful voyages across the Atlantic to New York. Shamrock IV., the twelfth British challenger, left Portsmouth on July 21, 1914, bound for New York to compete in the Cup contests arranged to be held in September. 1914. Convoying Shamrock IV. was Sir Thomas Lipton's steam yacht Erin.

Among her passengers was Mr. Walter M. Marks, a well-known Australian yachtsman, the then title-holder of the Sayonara Cup, which is recognised as the America's Cup of Australian yachting. Mr. Marks’ presence was due to a special invitation extended by Sir Thomas Lipton to sail as a representative of Australia on board the Shamrock IV. in the Cup races. 

Making a good passage, Shamrock IV. and Erin arrived at the Azores on July 28. The voyage was continued the following day. Good progress was being made when, on August 4, the wireless operator on the Erin picked up a momentous message which read: 'England has declared war.' Shamrock IV. was, on that memorable date, fighting her way through a heavy gale in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Consternation reigned for the safety of the two yachts when a few minutes later, Erin's wireless operator picked up a message that a German Atlantic fleet were about 500 miles away between the course of the two yachts, and New York. 

Later on in the night a coded message was picked up from New York, which read as follows: 'Shamrock and Erin to seek shelter at nearest British port immediately.' 

The Bermudas were 400 miles to the sou'-west of the position of the yachts. It was decided to make for Bermuda. A tow line was passed from the Erin to the  Shamrock, a difficult job in the heavy sea. With a following wind the Erin made fast time with her charge. In the meantime the wireless from the German fleet was becoming less distinct, thus indicating that the yachts were moving towards safe quarters. After a 72-hours' tow the yachts reached, on August 9, a haven of safety behind a section of the British Fleet moored in Bermuda Harbor. 

Guests on Erin, Bermuda. Lord Hardincke, Walter Marks, Colonel Neill, Commander Hamilton, Commander Gooling RBYC and Mayor of Bermuda. August 1914. Image courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow. 

Social Pittwater

Social Pittwater 

The Opening of Chuck Bradley's Instrumental at Manly Art Gallery & Musuem
Newport Breakers Rugby Club Ladies Day 2017 to support Mums for Mums
Land Army Ladies Attend 2017 Aboriginal Commemorative Service at Hyde Park Cenotaph

Chuck Bradley: Instrumental Opening This Week

Iconic Australian rock musicians from the 60s, 70s and 80s and ‘now’ have inspired the latest exhibition at Manly Art Gallery & Museum, officially opened on the first icy day of Winter 201, June 1st.

Instrumental features vivid photographic studies of the instruments of some of Australia’s most influential and celebrated rock musicians, as well as stories which illuminate the connection between the musicians and their ‘tools of the trade’.

Exhibition curator Ross Heathcote said the exhibition has been an energetic collaboration involving the work of acclaimed American-born and Scotland Island-based still life photographer Chuck Bradley.

“This promises to be a real treat not just for music fans, but also people who just love compelling photography, and a unique angle on a slice of our popular culture.

“Chuck and I made a ‘hit list’ of prominent rock musicians and we have worked with them to identify instruments that have significant meaning to them. The requisite, we feel, is ‘musician + instrument + time’. And it seems that these relationships produce worn ‘patinas’ and fascinating stories. 

Right: Chuck Bradley - Jimmy Little's Guitar

Musicians include Iva Davies, Jimmy Barnes, Col Joye, Rob Hirst of Midnight Oil, Archie Roach, Reg Mombassa, Tim Farriss and Kirk Pengilly from INXS and Amanda Brown from the 80s sensation the Go-Betweens.” Chuck has developed a signature photographic style, and his exquisitely lit and detailed images bring the instruments ‘to life’- they generate an irrepressible visual narrative of their own. For most of us, music is such a significant part of our cultural life; for Instrumental we have interviewed each musician, and our discussions about their instruments open up into ‘glimpses’ into musical careers, passion for sound and the ‘feel’ of instruments, people and places, and even some rich social history.
Chuck said “People know and recognise these iconic instruments, and associate them with the musicians, and with memorable sounds and events…but they never get to see the instruments up close. These are like revealing portraits of the instruments themselves.
At times I combine the instruments in the image with ephemera from the careers of their owners. The process has involved taking a portable photographic studio to homes and rehearsal rooms and recording studios. We have met some great people who have been so generous and enthusiastic on this project."

The official opening of 'Instrumental' turned out to be an extra special event for guests with an impromptu performance by some Australian rock legends. 
An Aussie supergroup featuring Reg Mombassa (Mental As Anything) g/v, Buzz Graham Bidstrup (The Angels, GangGajang) d, Dom Turner (Backsliders) g/v, Rick Grossman (Matt Finish, Divinyls, Hoodoo Gurus) b, Damien Lovelock (Celibate Rifles) v, Joe Glover (Backsliders) harmonica, and Chuck Bradley himself.

Attendees included Phil Small (Cold Chisel), Iva Davies (Icehouse) and Lindy Morrison (Go Betweens).

Chuck Bradley and Lindy Morrison at the opening of Chuck's exhibition Instrumental, drummer with Go Betweens in front of her Instrumental photo - well worth the look! photo courtesy of photographer Hugh Hamilton

The exhibition will run until 9 July. And if you want to hear how it all came together, there is an Art Walk + Talk at 2pm on Sunday 4 June with Photographer Chuck Bradley, and Curator Ross Heathcote.

Our thanks to Simon Chan,  director and founder of Art Atrium, for sharing his images from the opening of Instrumental, and to MAG&M, for adding some of theirs.

Art Talk + Walk, Sun 4 Jun, 2pm
A special treat with photographer Chuck Bradley in conversation with Ross Heathcote on Sunday 4 June at 2pm.

Manly Art Gallery & Museum
1 West Esplanade & Commonwealth Parade, Manly
Phone: (02) 9976 1420

Newport Breakers Rugby Club Ladies Day 2017 

Saturday the 3rd of June 2017 saw the Newport Breakers Rugby Club take on the Old Ignatians Old Boys in a top of the Cub Championships Table clash. 

It was also the annual Newport Breakers Rugby Club Ladies Day. This is a fantastic day where the club recognises the ladies that help make this club happen. The event was hosted by the wonderful Bec Hunt up on the clubhouse deck overlooking the ground... or as some supporters like to call it - the best seats in the house.

The festivities were kicked off with a wonderful lunch and some bubbles. Great raffles with excellent prizes from local businesses were called throughout the afternoon supporting one of our favourite local charities, Mums for Mums

A highlight was seeing some of the younger rugby girls out on the field between the men's matches - just wonderful!

Results - Ladies Day 100/100 - a great day courtesy of all the hard work by Rebecca Hunt and her great team.

Rugby: - report courtesy of the Breakers:
The Breakers were coming off the previous round that saw the club decimated by injuries across all 4 grades. All the players across the whole club stepped up today as we took on the current Club Championship points leaders.

Final scores:
1st Grade: Newport 29 - Iggies 29 
2nd Grade: Newport 20 - Iggies 7
3rd Grade: Newport 13 - Iggies 7
Colts: Newport 12 - Iggies 31

Highlight of the day was 1st Grade coach Adrian Langford turning out in 3rd Grade at prop and scoring a runaway kick and chase try outpacing and outsmarting the winger and fullback.

That's a run at home so far this season of 16 matches for 14 wins, 1 draw and a solitary loss. The Portress is living up to its name as a tough place for visiting teams to come and play.

RPAYC Showcase Sailing To Prince Harry For The 2018 Invictus Games

Prince Harry greeting the participants - photo Sports Sailing Photography
Fleet of RPAYC Elliot 7s 7 June 2017 Launch of Invictus Games - Courtesy Beth Morley Sport Sailing Photography

RPAYC Showcase Sailing To Prince Harry For The 2018 Invictus Games

June 9, 2017
Event:  Launch of the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has featured heavily in the launch of the 2018 Invictus Games as part of a sailing demonstration showcasing the sport in front of an iconic Sydney back drop with Prince Harry, senior Invictus organisers, RPAYC Members and many other distinguished guests watching on.

The RPAYC was asked to conduct the sailing demonstration on the back of their successful sailing program with veterans and the Soldier On Australia charity. 

Prince Harry, Founder and Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation officially launched the countdown to the fourth Invictus Games at Admiralty House marking 500 days until the opening ceremony.

Speaking in front of athletes and distinguished guests Prince Harry said "Sydney will soon be the custodian of the Invictus spirit and the focus for hundreds of men and women using the Invictus Games to motivate their recovery from physical and mental injuries.”

“I know that people across the country – from Perth to Sydney, from Darwin to Adelaide – will embrace the Invictus Games and show their support for competitors from their local towns and right across the country. I have no doubt that the Sydney public will make these games their own.”

“The Invictus Games are coming to Australia – game on down under!"

RPAYC Club Coach Tom Spithill, along with Commodore Ian Audsley and Integrated disAbled Sailing Board of Governors representative Norm Weaver co-ordinated an excellent display of sailing which cemented the earlier decision announcing the inclusion of sailing in the 2018 Games for the first time.

Chair of the Sydney 2018 Invictus Games, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, earlier revealed that the sport of sailing will debut on the 2018 competition schedule. “Sailing will be contested on Sydney Harbour and what a wonderful backdrop it will provide.” The RPAYC will also be the organising authority for the 2018 Games.

Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull added “The Invictus Games are another great opportunity for the whole community to show our veterans, and those who serve today, that their nation and their community is behind them and will support them every step of the way as they recover from the injuries of war and as they go on to lead and succeed in civilian life.”

Under grey skies the sails of the RPAYC’s fleet of Elliott 7 performance keelboats lit up Sydney Harbour just after 12:30pm. Veterans crewed the boats with plenty of passion with some exciting racing in Farm Cove providing an excellent preview of what’s to come for 2018.

Unfazed by the pelting rain Prince Harry took to the water to personally greet the teams and discussed the benefits the participants had received through the club and the Soldier On sailing program.

Looking very cold and wet, Tom Spithill couldn’t remove the smile from his face when asked about the sailing demonstration he had just coordinated, not to mention his chance to personally meet Prince Harry.

“It’s just amazing, the people, the volunteers, the veterans. It’s been an epic day, no amount of rain could dampen the spirits of everyone here and I just can’t wait until October next year! Prince Harry seemed like a really nice bloke, he has a military background and founded the Invictus Games so I have a lot of respect for that,” said Tom Spithill.

Tom was announced as a technical sailing advisor to the 2018 Games, along with his brother James Spithill who will be an ambassador to the 2018 Games. James unfortunately couldn’t attend the launch as he is busy in Bermuda defending his America’s Cup title as the skipper on Team Oracle USA.

The club’s partnership with Soldier On Australia has become a central part of the club’s award winning Integrated disAbled Sailing initiative which has seen many veterans excel in their new pathways through sailing.

Commodore Ian Audsley who has been a big part of this initiative couldn’t be happier with the progression and today was reflecting on the success of the program.

“In my three years as RPAYC Commodore I’ve seen this partnership with Soldier On grow from strength to strength and today was a great example of the resulting success from the hard work of many RPAYC members who help our veterans find so many positives from the sport of sailing,” said Ian Audsley. 

More than 500 competitors from 18 nations will compete in 10 different adaptive sports in Sydney from 20-27 October in 2018. The RPAYC, CYCA, and RSYS will play a key part in hosting the sailing component of the games. The events will be staged across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park and on and around Sydney Harbour.

Henry Lawson: A Manly Bard And Poet 

In His 150th Birthday Year

Manly Beach with St Patricks on hill - circa 1900 -  Whistler street is the second middle street with St. Mary's Catholic Church (middle of photo) - courtesy Powerhouse Musem, Tyrell Collection on Flickr. Persistent URL:


The camp of high-class spielers,
 Who sneered in summer dress,
And doo-dah dilettante,
 And scornful "venuses"--
House agents, and storekeepers,
 All eager they to "bleed"--
The bards who tackled Manly,
 Were plucky bards indeed!

With shops that feared to trust them,
 And pubs that looked askance;
And prigs who read their verses,
 But gave them not a glance;--
When all were vain and selfish,
 And editors were hard--
The bard that stuck to Manly
 Was sure a mighty bard.

What mattered floors were barren,
 And windows curtainless,
And our life seemed to others
 But blackguard recklessness?
We wore our clothes for comfort,
 We earned our bread alway,
And beer and good tobacco
 Came somehow every day.

Came kindred souls to Manly--
 Outsiders that we knew,
And with them scribes and artists,
 And low comedians too;
And sometimes bright girl writers--
 Called "Tommy", "Jack", or "Pat"--
(Though each one had a sweetheart
 The rest knew nought of that).

'Twas not the paltry village
 We honoured unaware,
Or welcome warm, or friendship,
 Or "tone" that took us there;
We longed to sing for mankind,
 Where heaven's breath was free
We only sought the grandeur
 Of sea-cliff, sands and sea.

And we were glad at Manly,
 All unaware of "swells",
Of doctors and of nurses,
 And private hospitals;
With little fear of bailiffs,
 And great contempt for greed--
The bards who lived at Manly,
 They were a healthy breed.

Oh! moonlit nights at Manly,
 When all the world was fair!
In shirts and turned-up trousers
 We larked like big boys there.
Oh! glorious autumn mornings--
 The gold and green and blue--
We "stripped" as well as any,
 And swam as strongly too.

The artist had a missus,
 Who rather loved the wretch,
And so for days together
 He'd stay at home and sketch.
And then--I fear 'twas only
 When things were getting tight--
The bards would shun each other,
 And hump themselves--and write.

When bailiffs came to Manly
 They'd find no "sticks" to take,
We'd welcome them as brothers--
 Their grimy hands we'd shake;
We'd send for beer in billies--
 And straightway send for more--
And bailiff nights in Manly
 Were merry nights of yore.

There are some things that landlords
 And law can't do at all:
They could not take the pictures
 We painted on the wall;
They could not take the table--
 The table was a door;
They could not take the bedsteads--
 The beds were on the floor.

The door of some old stable--
 We'd borrowed for a drink--
A page of rhymes and sketches,
 And stained with beer and ink;
A dead hand drew the portraits--
 And, say, should I be shamed,
To seek it out in Manly
 And get the old door framed?

They left the masterpieces
 The artist dreamed of long;