Parkes

About an hour and a half from Cowra is Parkes, so name after Henry Parkes in 1873 later Sir Henry Parkes.

Sir Henry in the town centre of Parkes.

Parkes is now famous for the radio telescope that is located just outside of the town.

It was built in 1961, but only the basic structure has remained. All of the electronics, control, cabling etc has been updated regularly and the Parkes Radio Telescope is now ten thousand time more sensitive than when it first started in 1961.

The design of the telescope was copied by NASA for the tracking dishes of its Deep Space Network.

The dish and the other moving parts weigh one million kilos (approx 1000 tons). The diameter of the dish is 64 metres (70 yards).

The dish is a receiver it never sends outbound signals – it is a listening unit.

The dish can be tilted to a maximum of 60 degrees, which take five minutes to complete.

The above photo is by David Crosling

Students can control the telescope over the internet.

The telescope is used 85% of the time, which allows time for maintenance – less than 5% is lost due to high winds. If the wind is greater than 35 km / hour (about 22 mph) the dish is pointed straight up. 

During the Apollo 11 mission the Parkes Dish was the prime receiving station and during the Moon walk the Parke’s dish had to contend with wind gusting at over 100 km per hour, and the Director had to give special permission for the dish to operate.
The Dish was involved in further Apollo missions – 12, 14, 15, and 17.  It was called on to help during the Apollo 13 emergency.

This telescope, in partnership with Jodrell Bank (UK) & the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia (US) discovered in 2003, the only known system of two pulsars.
The Parkes telescope has an accuracy of 11 arcseconds, which is about the width of a finger seen at a distance of 150 mtrs (164 yards).
If you are interested in the details of double pulsars – who isn’t? . . . . . 
check out the link below – after reading it a few times I think I grasped a little.
Check if I am correct

The double pulsar is ‘only’ 2000 light years away from us.
One light year is the distance that light will travel, in an Earth year, which is 9.5 trillion km or 5.88 trillion miles, now multiply those figures by 2000 . . . . . 

The various objects in space issue radio waves and it these waves that the Parkes Telescope captures, and using computers the captured radio waves are converted into pictures.   

I copied the above pictures and explanation from the Australian Telescope Fast Facts leaflet.

The radio waves received are so weak by the time they reach Earth they are measured as a hundredth of a million of a million watt.
If you were to use the power in the captured radio wave to heat water, it would take 70,000 years to heat one drop of water one degree Centigrade or 33.8 degree Fahrenheit.   

If you are looking for a light-hearted look at Parkes radio telescope, try a film called ‘The Dish’ with Sam Neill in the lead role.
If you do watch this film be aware that it is entertainment – in real life they did not have a power failure, they did not lose the track of the spacecraft, there were more than four people involved at the time, the Australians & the Americans were not against each other – they had a good working relationship, the PM of Australia did not visit Parkes, but he did visit the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station.

The Prime Minister of Australia

John Gorton, (1911-2002),he was Knighted in 1977,

The PM visited Honeysuckle Creek rather than Parkes on that momentous day in 1969 for a reason that is clear if you click on the link below. 

  First amongst equals

Buzz Aldrin, photographed by Neil Armstrong.

Long Live Absolute World Peace

Cowra is the only place in the world that has a Peace Bell and is not a major city.

In 1951, Chiyoji Nakagawa, who at that time was a council member of the UN Association of Japan visited Paris at his own expense to observe the 6th General Assembly of the United Nations.
He obtained the aid of Benjamin Cohen, who was the Secretary General, so that he could appeal to national representatives and said

“I want to collect coins and medals from people all over the world, going beyond differences in ideas, principles, regions, races, and nationalities, to melt them into one moulded piece to cast a bell as a symbol of the wish for peace and present it to the United Nations headquarters. I want the bell to be tolled for peace.”

Starting with the coins that he collected from the member of the Assembly, he collected coins and medals from sixty countries. He spent the next three years collecting coins and eventually he was able to commission the creation of a bell. When completed the bell had the Japanese writing carved on it that said – “Long live absolute World peace .”

A hand full of sand from the atom bombed area of Hiroshima, sent by a Zen Priest, and another handful of sand from Nagasaki, sent by a Christian girl, travelled with the bell to be buried under the foundation stone of the bell.
The bell is located in the Japanese garden of the United Nations and is rung twice a year – 21st March, which is Earth Day, and 21st September, which is the International Day of Peace.

The original bell located in the UN

The Australian Peace Bell contains coins from 106 UN member countries and is a replica of the bell in the UN. The Australian bell was awarded to Cowra in 1992 for their contribution to world peace and international understanding.

A ceremony is held on World Peace Day – 3rd Tuesday in September.

I do hope we have peace in Ukraine before September!

If you are unable to read the plaque – see below

On 4th August 2014 representatives of eighteen nations rang Australia’s World Peace Bell in solemn commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War one hundred years ago.

‘They sacrificed themselves in the belief that the cause they upheld was the cause of peace’.

John Donne 1572-1631 – he was an English poet.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by
John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Respect and honour

By 1946 over 500 Japanese had died in Australia. This number included those who died in the breakout of August 1944.

The Japanese who died in attempting to escape were buried in a plot next to the Australian War Cemetery in Cowra. 
The war ended and the RSL (Returned and Services League) of Australia would keep the Australian War Cemetery neat and tidy, and as time went on, they also kept the Japanese cemetery clean and tidy. 

 In the 1950’s the Australian government and the Japanese government became concerned about the Japanese graves.
The Japanese government in 1955 began to collect information about their dead in Australia and considered the possibility of repatriation of the dead back to Japan.
In 1959 it was decided that a Japanese official cemetery should be created and all the Japanese dead in Australia (there were Japanese buried in Darwin) be interned in one location.

In 1962 Cowra was suggested as the location for the Japanese cemetery. The people of Cowra responded in a positive way to the suggestion and the land next to the Australian War Cemetery in Cowra was chosen.
The Japanese Government was given a perpetual lease for this land by the Australian Government.

After all Japanese dead within Australia were transferred to the new cemetery it was officerly opened on the 22nd November 1964.
The design of the cemetery was the work of Shigeru Yura, a Japanese architect who taught at Melbourne University. Check the above photographs for his work.

Each August there is a ceremony held at the Japanese Cemetery – the graves are marked with a plaque that details the life of the interned – name, date of birth, date of death and any other information known about the deceased.   
In 1971 Cowra Tourism Development came up with the idea of a Japanese Garden to celebrate the link between the town and Japan. The Japanese Government agreed to support this idea because it was a way that they could show their appreciation for the respectful treatment of their dead. 

In 1979 The Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre opened, and the location of the gardens is the site of where the Japanese PoW camp was located, and where the Breakout took place.  

The garden is five hectares (12.5 acres) and is the largest Japanese garden in the southern hemisphere. It is a ‘must’ to see.

The ducks were not frightened and would walk towards us as if they knew we had food for them . . unfortunately we didn’t. 

We could walk the three kilometres or just under two miles of paths or we could walk on the grass, the garden is a strolling garden for use, not just for photographing.

Bamboo tipping tube – it fills with water and when a certain weight is reached it tips the water out. I think it is called a Shishi Odoshi or deer scarer.

Shishi Odoshi – deer scarer 

Waterfall

Lake

Just a few of the many photographs that I took during our walk. 

and of course Japanese fish in the lake.

The gardens are magnificent, and so relaxing, with places to sit and just admire the view, wherever you looked.  

and a display of bonsai plants – the above from 1987


 This was planted in 1977

We meandered through the cultural area 

The day was a beautiful day with clear blue sky and a warm sun, without being too hot, it was a perfect day for viewing the gardens. We saw a few gardeners working around the garden, they would never be out of work.  

The Cowra Japanese garden is a copy of the original garden built by the first Shogun (Tokugawa Ieyasu) who ruled in 1600.
His castle was in Edo, which in 1868 had a name change to become Tokyo. 

The Cowra Japanese garden was designed by Ken Nakajima, a Japanese garden architect, who received the Order of the Rising Sun from Emperor Hirohito in 1986 for promoting Japanese culture worldwide.
Mr Nakajima died in 2000 and his company has passed to his son.    

The garden has six elements of design – mountain, rocks, mountain waterfalls, mountain lakes, rivers turning into oceans and pine trees.

The gardens can be used for weddings, private functions, birthdays etc.

 

PoW Camp 12 – 1941 – 1947

After the fall of France, in June of 1940 Benito Mussolini of Italy declared war on Great Britain.

Benito Mussolini  – 1883 – 1945

Mussolini ordered his general in N. Africa, Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, to attack the British, which he did reluctantly in September 1940.

Marshal Rodolfo Graziani 1882-1955

The British, supported by Commonwealth troops from Australia, New Zealand and India, under British general Lt. Gen. Sir Richard O’Connor, had defeated the Italians by the third of January 1941 and captured 130,000 troops and all their equipment. The British had lost 555 dead and 1400 wounded


In all 400,000 Italian troops were sent to POW camps around the world. Australia received 18,420 and the small town of Cowra was allocated about 2000. These prisoners arrived in Cowra in October 1941.

There were 28 POW camps across Australia and Cowra was number 12.

In 1941 the camp had been created as an internment camp for civilians, but it soon became a POW camp for Italian prisoners captured during the North African campaign.
By December 1942 the camp had grown because in addition to the Italians, there were 490 Javanese sailors, 1104 Japanese POWs and 1200 Indonesian internees.
The internees were a mix of merchant navy sailors and exiled nationalists from Dutch New Guinea (which is now part of Indonesia) who had taken part in the 1926 uprising against the Dutch. The Dutch Government was concerned that the Nationalists might join the Japanese.
There were also a number of Koreans from Korea and Chinese from Taiwan because Korea had been under Japanese rule since 1910 and Taiwan had been under Japanese rule since 1895 – these non-Japanese had served with the Japanese military.

Australian War Memoria photograph of camp 12.

The relationship between the Australians and the Italians was easier than the relationship with the Japanese. The Japanese considered that being a prisoner of war was humiliating and many gave false names so as not to bring shame on their family in Japan.
The Japanese soldier carried a copy of Senjinkun, which was the military code for a Japanese soldier that he would “Never live to experience shame as a prisoner”, which is why some gave false names. The code forbids the Japanese soldier to retreat or being taken prisoner by an enemy.

This indoctrination of the Japanese soldier caused ‘festering’ within the ranks of the Japanese.

The camp itself was large at over thirty hectares (74 acres) in size.

                       Australian War Memoria photograph
as you see there were three lines of barbed wire, plus six guard towers
A guard tower –
it is not an original, but a replica of what they looked like in the 1940’s.  

In August of 1944 there was in intention to move all Japanese prisoners below the rank of Lance Corporal to another POW camp in Hay, which is in NSW.

This was the ‘spark’ that generated the breakout. 
The Japanese commander of ‘B’ compound Sergeant Major Kanazawa called a meeting of the commanders of the twenty Japanese huts and told them to inform each hut that the transfers were about to happen. He also wanted each hut to hold a ballot for or against a breakout. There where arguments on both sides for and against the breakout, but in the end, it was decided that the breakout would be that night.

It was decided that any injured or wounded prisoner could restore their honour by committing suicide before the breakout, plus those who manage to escape would not harm local civilians.

As the Japanese waited for the signal for the breakout they made weapons from cutlery, baseball bats, plus baseball mitts and blankets were made ready for scaling the barbed wire.

It was 2.00 am when the bugle sounded for the mass escape. 

Australian War memorial photograph 

The above is a picture of the bugle that signalled the beginning of the breakout. 

On the 5th August 1944, at 2.00 am the Japanese breakout began with the sound of the above bugle.

The prisoners ran with their newly made weapons shouting and screaming towards the camp gates. They threw themselves at the barbed wire while yelling Banzai (which means “Long live His Majesty the Emperor”). 

The Australians opened fire, but hundreds of Japanese escaped into the country, while others set fire to buildings within the camp.  

In all 234 Japanese were killed and 105 wounded. Five Australian died due to the breakout.

Some Japanese committed suicide or where killed by other Japanese, remember  Senjinkun “Never live to experience shame as a prisoner”.

359 Japanese escaped, some committed suicide rather than be recaptured, but all were recaptured or accounted for within ten days.

There isn’t any record of any civilian being injured or killed by the Japanese. 

The above is a map of the whole camp, and the red area is the Japanese part of the camp. The green arrows show the various directions of the breakout.

The two yellow areas were the Italian prisoners, and the blue area indicates Japanese officers, Korean and Chinese prisoners, the Indonesians and Italian fascists. 

I took the above two photographs of PoW Camp 12 today . . . just a few ruins left in a beautiful country view.

At the camp site today there is a memorial to remember the Australian solider, the Japanese baseball player, the Italian musician and the Indonesian mother and child.
The memorial was erected in 2019 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the breakout. 
The Japanese prisoners were repatriated between 1946 – 47. It is thought that many of the ex-prisoners never spoke of the war, or their time in captivity on their return to Japan.

There is more to this story, but this will have to wait for the next posting.   

Cowra

Sea cruising might not yet be allowed due to the fear of Covid but land cruising is still available.
I never get tired of driving around the Australian countryside – an open road with little traffic and a sunburned country, what more could we want?

In our latest ‘land cruise’ we managed to ‘cruise’ 1,800 km (1,120 miles) in the seven days.

Our destination was Cowra, which was to be our main base. The original name of the settlement was Coura Rocks, because this was the name of one of the first cattle farms. The name ‘Cowra’ is an Aboriginal name for ‘Eagle on the Rocks’. 

The drive from home was about four and a half hours, but of course we did not drive continuously for that length of time.
Around three hours after leaving home we stopped at Boorowa for a picnic lunch.

Our picnic lunch was in the grounds of the Court House of Boorowa, because there were tables, seats and a clean public BBQ at a cost of ten cents.
The one thing that I have noticed when visiting small country towns is that they all advertise a free rest area, with ample parking, clean toilets, and some offer free cups of tea or coffee.

On the day we visited the Court House they had an arts & craft exhibition, with many items for sale such as jams, marmalade and local handmade items. They always have a second-hand book stall so while I browsed the books Maureen had a look around at the produce and other items.

The picnic stop was across the road from the local pub, so for those who imbibed a little too much the walk to the courthouse was not far.
The Court House is behind me, the local pub across the road – all very efficient.  

      

I had booked us in to the Vineyard Motel, which was a few minutes’ drive out of Cowra.

It was an unusual motel – because there were only six ‘apartments’, but each apartment had a front door and a back door.
In the morning we would open the east facing door and watch the sunrise.

sunrise 01 Still photographs fail to grasp the whole sequence of the sun rising and the dramatic change of colours across the sky.

sunrise 02

In the evening we would stand outside the west door of our apartment and watch the sunset.
Outside of each of the doors there were chairs and a small table for drinks as we watched a magnificent free show – Hollywood eat your heart out, nature always wins.

sunseting

Sun setting over the vineyards.

room2

Our accommodation was a good size with a double bed and a single bed as well as the table & chairs.

room 01

In addition we had a large bathroom and a small kitchen with all the amenities that we required. The nightly rate included breakfast.

The motel was surround by vineyards and the local wines were available to purchase in your room. Very convenient.

The neighbouring vineyard also had alpacas, but the one I manage to photograph had recently been shorn.

  alpaca

This alpaca shared the field with sheep – but this fellow did not like having his photo taken – he kept turning away, perhaps he was shy without his coat.

drink view

At the top of the shadows a dark green vegetation can be seen – this is one of the local vineyards.  

There is an unusual bell in Cowra called the Peace Bell, it is unusual because it is the only Peace Bell in the World not located in a city.

The population of Cowra is around 10,000 citizens. 

The reason for the Peace Bell will become obvious in the next blog.

To experience Port Macquarie’s area.

K03

I knew that I had made an impression with this fellow – as soon as he saw me, he turned his back . . .

We were visiting the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, which is free to enter and all they ask is a donation to the work of looking after sick or injured koalas.

K01

This fellow didn’t mind the camera.

The hospital is a rehabilitation facility, scientific research and educational centre and a tourist ‘must see’.

There are teams on call twenty-four hours a day to rescue wild koalas that may have been injured by a vehicle, loss of habitat due to bush fires, towns expanding, or just are sick and cannot look after themselves. People are asked to phone the emergency services if they find a koala in distress. The Centre handles hundreds of koalas a year.

Recovering koalas are moved from ICU to the outside area where treatment continues until the animal is fit enough to look after themselves. Those that recover fully are returned to their home areas in the wild.
The animals that recover, but are unable to look after themselves are kept in a protected area of the hospital, which is an area that mimics a koala habitat with trees and food. My photographs are of the protected area.
Koalas are now listed as an endangered species.

 Koala Hospital

The above link is copied from the Koala Hospital web site.

The guide who showed us around and explained about the working of the hospital was an ex American army service man who had been in Vietnam during the Vietnam war (or as the Vietnamese call the war – The American war) and during a spot of R&R met and married an Australian. He has been with the hospital for years and was a fund of knowledge about the hospital and koalas.

K02

Koalas only eat a few types of the 900 or so different species of eucalyptus leaves. The leaves are very fibrous and low in nutrition, and to most other animals, eucalyptus leaves are poisonous.
The leaves that the koala like are low in food value so to conserve their energy a koala will sleep 18 to 22 hours a day.

The koalas outside of the ICU have to be supplied with the correct leaves every day and each koala will eat about a half kilo of leaves a day so collecting the food is a full-time job for those connected with the hospital.

Conservation

The details of feeding the koalas are linked to the above, which is from the hospital web site. Our visit was a very interesting and educational time.

Roto

As we left the koala hospital, we decided to visit the historic Roto House, which is next door to the koala hospital, but it closed due to Covid regulations.

The house was built by John Flynn in 1891, he was a surveyor at the time. Flynn’s family lived in this house up to 1979, and the house is now controlled and maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Services.

For those who have read my previous blogs of Port Macquarie the original homeowner is the Flynn of Flynn’s Beach.

Later we moved on to Sea Acres a rainforest that has been protected as a living heritage that can stretch back to the dinosaurs.

forrest01

It is a rain forest with a difference because visitors do not walk on the ground but an elevated (up to 7 mtrs or 23 feet) boardwalk for 1.3 km (0.8 of a mile) to experience the forest without contaminating the forest.

forest 02

All along the walk there are information notices explaining various trees or plants.

Forest 03

Whatever falls from a tree or plant lies on the ground as if humans had never arrived.

forest 04

I hope the above notice is clear – it is one of the educational notices about Brush Bloodwood that grows to 24 mtrs (79 feet). Early settlers used the sap as paint. The tree contains so much resin that it will burn when green.

Forest 05

Managed to catch a bush turkey searching for food.

Forest 06

Sunlight struggles to get through. Maureen had seen something in the trees.

Forest07

A Strangler Fig.

This tree provides fruit for rain forest pigeons and grey headed flying foxes who eat the fruit in the canopy of the forest.
After eating the fruit, including the seed the droppings of the birds and bats containing seeds that falls into cracks of a tree and germinate.
The Strangler Fig grows down to the ground rather than from the ground up by sending out long string-like roots to the ground. Over time these roots come together and thicken. Eventually the host tree dies from the thicken graft roots of the Strangler Tree and over time the dead tree rots away leaving a hollow strangler fig.
The hollow area that a full-grown strangler tree has created becomes the home of small animals and birds.

Forest 08

I copied a photograph from Kew Gardens web site for a clearer indication of the strangler.
When the Europeans arrived the east coast of Australia was covered in rainforests similar to the one, we visited.

In 2013 a violent storm hit Sea Acres and a giant strangler fig was destroyed which opened up the canopy. The ‘new’ sunlight encouraged growth of dormant seeds and other plants.
The falling of a giant tree that opens the forest to sunlight is called ‘gap phased dynamics’ as other trees expanded their treetops into the new sunlit area.

Eventually the new growth on the ground will die as the expanding canopy cuts out the sunlight, and the slow growing forest takes over again.

If you hear a cat meowing in the forest it is not a cat but a green catbird

Catbird

The Birpai people are the original custodians of the area around Port Macquarie.

The land and surrounds provided them with food, medicines, tools, weapons, building supplies, art, clothing, and sea food.

Port Macquarie

Macquarie

Lachlan Macquarie 1762 – 1824

Lachlan Macquarie was the 5th Governor of NSW and arrived in Sydney in 1809. He urbanised the convict settlement by creating street and parks and the layout of Sydney today is based on his plans. 

Governor Macquarie encouraged social reforms, and he promoted getting married in church, morality, police patrols, he encouraged the emancipists and convicts whose sentences had expired to live law abiding lives.
A number of these ex-convicts became business men & others were promoted to government positions. Francis Greenway (ex-convict) became the colonial architect & Dr William Redfern who was condemned to death in England for being involved in the Nore mutiny, he was aboard HMS Standard as surgeon’s mate during the mutiny. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he spent four years in an English gaol before requesting transportation to New South Wales in 1801.
On arrival he was posted to Norfolk Is. where he worked for six years before returning to Sydney. Over time he became the Colonial surgeon and was known for promoting the vaccination against smallpox. 

Governor Macquarie encouraged exploration of the land beyond the Blue Mountains, and it was during one expedition in 1818 that John Oxley followed the Hasting River to the sea and named the area when he reached the sea Port Governor.
In 1821 Port Macquarie became a penal settlement for convicts who had committed secondary offences after arriving in Sydney.

This was the town that we picked for a holiday, but thankfully things had changed in the last 200 years.

perking

Town02

Plenty of free parking for two hours and it was very easy to move the car to another parking place. An easy town centre to walk around with plenty of shops restaurants, and places of interest.

Town 03

The above is the museum – the building was built in 1835 – 1840 it was a shop and a dwelling. The picture is from the museum web site because my outside shot was not good enough.

We thought our first stop should be to find out about the history of the town.   

History 01

The soldier on the left is Maureen.

History 02

As we walked through the museum we passed through the history of the town from the early years of the convict period, to more modern times, which included rooms from the early days to those of the 1950 & 60’s, which were familiar to both of us having been born in the 40’s . 

shops

Shops of yesteryear in a recreated street

For $5 each it was well worth the visit, and the time to see all the exhibits was nearly two hours because it was so interesting.

Niceste peopl

We met some of the nicest people. One was Edmund Barton who was Australia’s first Prime Minister after Federation, which was the 1st January 1901.
Edmund Barton, also known as ‘Tosspot Toby ‘, was the local representative for Port Macquarie.
He gained his nickname from the Bulletin magazine of the time, because Sir Edmund liked good conversations, good food and good drink even at the expense of his health.  

Edmund-Barton

Sir Edmund (Toby) Barton (1849–1920)

The area where Barton’s statue is located is called Conner Hurley Park, which is a beautiful spot for a quiet walk and to sit and watch the world pass you bye. 

Park

Look back

We had a fish & chip ‘tea’ overlooking the sea, with our backs to the building on the right. We had competition from the sea gulls and the pelicans for our fish & chips.
We were grateful for a small boy with endless energy who would chase after the sea gulls, but not the pelicans.

We strolled along the sea wall and came to the ‘painted rock’ area, an area where people can paint the rocks with dedications or comments, as long as the comments are not unacceptable.

painted rock  

Purple

If you look closely, you will see a green car, but I doubt that all the people listed would have been in the one car!
The area is a walk-way along the break-wall along the Hasting River.
The painting idea began as an art competition in 1995 and it has now been allowed to be an outdoor gallery for anyone who wishes to try their artistic talents.

Mekong 1

Being on holiday we visited a number of restaurants, but we only went back to one restaurant twice – once in the evening and a day or so later for lunch.
The Mekong Restaurant was very good and they offered a pint (473 mls) of local beer for $7.50, which is an excellent price for a beer in a restaurant, particularly being draft beer. 
I had to have a second glass just to make sure there hadn’t been a mistake . . .
The restaurant offered Thai / Laos food – the restaurant was owned by a couple, the male being Australian and his wife Laos. 

mekong The restaurant overlooks the water, which allows for a nice warm breeze to waft through.

Laurieton

We visited Laurieton, which is about a thirty-minute drive south of Port Macquarie – a quiet small town with a population of about 2000 in the 2016 census.
Captain Cook in May 1770 named the three mountains that he could see ‘the Brothers’ because they reminded him of a similar group of hills in Yorkshire, England.

By naming them as such, he unwittingly named them the same as the local Birpai people, who had a legend that there were three brothers who were killed by a witch named Widjirriejuggi.
The brothers were buried where the mountains now stand.
The youngest brother was named Dooragan, which is the name of the local National Park.    

ship

While in Laurieton I took a photograph of the above vessel in the harbour.
I cropped the photograph and zoomed in, in an effort get a clear picture of what looked like a fishing boat, or an old trader, but perhaps just a tourist boat . . . 

boat 2 

It reminded me of something out of a Joseph Conrad novel . . .

The romance of the sea.  

John Edmund Flynn 1854-1933, his beach.

DSC07157c

Thanks to Covid Maureen and I were unable to spend our Emirates frequent flyer points, which we had saved for a trip from Singapore to Sydney after cruising to Singapore.
We were keen to spend the points before they were cancelled by the airline.
After considering several options we finally decided to spend them on accommodation, but where should we go . . .

Expo

In 1988, along with our children, we had driven to Brisbane for Expo 88, and to break the journey of over 12 hours driving, we stopped overnight at Port Macquarie and promised ourselves that we would return one day.
It took us 34 years before we returned, and this was all thanks to Covid.
The drive from home to Port Macquarie earlier this month took us five hours, the distance being around 460 km (285 miles) – the drive through Sydney before we could use the freeway was time consuming.
Between Maureen & I we had over 100,000 points so with a little extra cash (about$260) we were able to book a week’s holiday in an apartment in a resort, which was across the road from the beach – the beach is named Flynn’s Beach, after John Edmund Flynn a local surveyor who built his home not far from the beach in 1891. Flynn’s home is still standing so more of that in another post.
The resort that we picked is named Flynn’s Beach Resort, which is across the road from Flynn’s Beach.

flynns_beach_resort_3-800x534

The above has been copied from the Resort’s web site

DSC07147

DSC07148

The above two pics show the view from our balcony

balcony

We had a table and chairs on our own balcony.

Due to Maureen’s health we picked a ground floor apartment to avoid her having to climb too many stairs.  

Within the resort there were gardens and wildlife, the owners have managed to marry a natural small lake and a flowing creek with a commercial business. The gardens are well kept and as Maureen and I walked by the creek we saw bush turkeys, water dragons, goannas, and ducks. We were told that koalas and possums also lived in the resort. 

Bush turkey

Bush turkey – not known for being ‘brainy or handsome’ but it is a survivor. These birds are born in a moist mound of decomposing leaves and struggle to avoid predators.
The male bird builds a nest in the decaying leaf clutter and invites the females to lay eggs and the male then keeps the nest at the correct temperature by moving the decaying litter on and off the nest to keep the correct temperature. 
The nest can be anything from 1 to 1.5 mtrs tall (3 to 5 feet) and there can be up to 50 eggs in a nest (if he is popular with the ladies). Once hatched and the chicks’ feathers have dried they can fly.
They have enemies, but they are not too frightened of people because they will steal food if you are having a picnic.

creek

The creek flowing from the small lake.

Liz2

Guaranteed to make you jump when he moves, a goanna or Monitor Lizard, they will eat anything that they can catch and swallow.  They were once a traditional food source for the Aboriginals and are often represented in Dreamtime stories.

water dragon

Water dragon – these creatures are shy but have adapted to living with humans in parks and obviously Flynn’s Beach Resort.  

pond

A general view to show how the apartments are located to the creek and small lake area.

children's pool

The children have not been forgotten –

adult pool

nor the adults – both pools heated when required.

livingroom

The photo above is our apartment showing the living room and behind me when I took the picture is a dining area. We had two bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with two large singles.
The kitchen was to the left of my photograph – as you can see there is shelf access to the living room for convenience. All in all it was a good size accommodation, which would have been big enough for a family with children, or another couple to share the cost.
The kitchen had everything we wanted from fridge freezer to microwave and full complement of crockery and cutlery. 

beach

and across the road we had Flynn’s beach  . . . . .

Rain and more rain

qe2

The British celebrating ten years of service for Concorde’s trans-Atlantic service, accompanied by the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows, and Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship, which also carried passengers trans-Atlantic but much slower.

On arrival at JFK (New York’s major airport) we taxied to terminal 7

JFK arrival

There wasn’t any mistake as to our location because British Airways had their own terminal since 1970, when at that time they were the only foreign airline to operate their own terminal at JFK.

The sign dominated the building.BA terminal

In 2022 British Airways will be moving to terminal 8 and terminal 7 will be demolished.

Back to my arrival into the USA. Once off the aircraft British Airways had a dedicate customs hall for Concorde passengers and dedicated baggage handling area. It was the fastest entry into any country that I had ever experienced.

I was met by a Company driver and taken to a hotel not too far from the airport. It was an odd hotel with security bars on the windows as if they were locking people in rather than treating them as guests. The bedroom door had about five locks.
It occurred to me that if there was a fire in the hotel, by the time I had unlocked the door it would be too late to escape. Oddly enough I cannot remember the name of this hotel, and I no longer have the bill.

I had arrived on Wednesday 12th March, and was booked out to fly to San Francisco on Friday evening, the 14th March, with United Airlines.

The time I spent at the Company offices was uneventful. The Friday evening plane to San Francisco had a departure time of 7.00 pm.

I ordered a taxi for 5.00 pm because even though I was economy (what a come down) I had plenty of time to check-in. Just before the taxi was due to arrive it began to rain, and it was very heavy rain.

Taxi

I loaded my suitcase and bags into the taxi,and we set off in heavy rain. It was about halfway to the airport when the taxi ‘suffered’ a puncture in the rear right tyre and we came to a halt.

The driver got out and kicked the tyre and began to unpack his tools to change the wheel. I asked if he had an umbrella, which he did so I suggested that I hold the umbrella while he removed the wheel. His accent told me that he was not born in the US.
I was now standing in pouring rain on a very busy highway, it was getting dark, and I did not have a clue where I was, and the clock was ticking.
The driver was having a hard time trying to unscrew the bolts that held the wheel in place. During a short break when we shared the umbrella the driver commented that in America it was customary for a passenger to share the cost of the replacement tyre.
I asked him if he thought I had arrived in the last shower . . a comment that he did not understand and stood looking at me in the rain as if I had lost my mind.
I then suggested that it was drier in the taxi, and he could radio for a replacement taxi as I had a flight to catch.

Finally, the replacement taxi arrived and I moved everything into this vehicle.

I paid the first taxi for transporting me to where we stopped and started a new fare in the replacement vehicle, I was not interested any other local old wives’ tales about new tyres – I was soaked and my shoes squelched as I walked, I was not a happy chappy.

DC10

I arrived at the airport, and it was packed with travellers. I found the check-in counter  for United Airlines and it was swamped with people – apparently the idea of a queue was un-American.
Not being used to a bun fight when checking in I considered my next move and realised that if you can’t beat them join them, which is what I did.
Everyone was soaked, thanks to the rain, and the whole area smelt of damp humanity, but with the use of height and elbows I managed to get to the check-in counter and secure a seat. From memory it was a DC10 and the configuration was 2 – 4 -2 and I managed one of the starboard side two, which was non-smoking.
seating

They did not have the facility to offer a film to distract the passengers, nor did they have headphones to listen to music. My neighbour slept most of the way, & I read.
The flight time was around six hours and passengers at that time could smoke on an aircraft. The airlines would segregate the smokers, but of course they could not segregate the smoke which drifting through the passenger cabin.
The time difference between the two cities is three hours, so taking off at 7.00 pm in New York meant arriving in San Francisco at 1.00 am the next day, New York time, which was 10.00 pm in San Francisco.

images

San Francisco Airport in the 1980’s

I was met by the local manager and taken to a hotel – my body was around 2.00 am NY time, so I was told to rest up because tomorrow was Saturday, and he would be pick me up late morning and take me to his home for lunch.

The visit to San Francisco was a real joy – the local manager couldn’t do enough for me.
While in his home he explained the basic rules of American football, which was on TV at the time – even after watching it for about an hour I was non-the wiser as I kept comparing the rules to rugby, which does not require the players to wear armour. . . .
The team’s name was the 49ers and they were quite popular in San Francisco

49's

Not being interested in sport, but not wishing to be rude, I did my best to show an interest in the game but found the constant stopping for one thing or another took the edge of the game for me. I could not understand why they all kept stopping the game.

In the evening I was taken out to dinner for ribs, a meat dish that I had not experienced before. 

ribs

I must admit there was plenty of meat on the bone – which was unexpected. For some reason I always thought the dish would be shy of meat or have very little meat attached to the bone.
My other problem with this dish is that I hate getting my hands ‘dirty’ when eating, but I was able to cut most of the meat off with the use of a knife and fork and only managed a token attempt at using my fingers. The taste was very good and sometime later I tried ribs again, but in another country, it was not the same.

The following day being Sunday the manager picked me up from the hotel to show me San Francisco – forget the tour companies, find a local!

What did I want to see – asked the manager…
Lombard Street?

lombard st

But before Lombard Street I wanted to drive along the Steve McQueen route in

bunout

Bullitt  – but at a lot slower speed!
Car chase in Bullitt

Lombard Street was followed by –

Golden Gate

The Golden Gate Bridge – opened in 1937

san-francisco-september-20-famous-260nw-100460023

Fisherman’s Wharf, where we had a quick lunch.

cable car

Of course I wanted to see the cable cars.

Andrew_Smith_Hallidie

Andrew Smith (later he added Hallidie to his name) 
 Born in London UK, 16 March 1836, died 24 April 1900.
He is credited with inventing the world’s first cable car.

He sailed from Liverpool to New York and eventually made his way to the gold fields of California, but if you wish to know more of this very interesting individual try this link  http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/archive/Library/HallidieBio.htm

Coit_Tower_2021

Coit Tower built in 1933 I wanted to see the views from the top.

gaol

From the car park one can see Alcatraz Island with the well-known prison.

I did not get a chance to visit Alcatraz due to time limits – it closed as a prison in 1963.
I had Monday and Tuesday (17th & 18th March) in the office and flew to Los Angeles on Wednesday to visit the LA office, late Wednesday and all-day Thursday so I booked my ticket with United Airlines for a Sunday departure to Australia.
I planned to visit Universal Studio on Friday (21st March) & perhaps Disney World on Saturday (22nd March), after all I might never return to LA in the future, and I would be able to buy presents for my children.

vintage-king-kong-universal-studio_1_074fb78e803ed80d601cf81242c9ea08

Universal Studio 1986

disney01

Disney World 

Once again the best of plans . . . . I woke in anticipation of Universal Studios only to be greeted by very heavy rain, which put a damper (excuse the pun) on a visit to Universal Studio. 
I waited for the rain to ease but it didn’t – it rained all day and the next day, so I spent two days locked in a hotel. The rain was so heavy it would have been ridiculous to have attempted to visit either attraction, nor I could not be sure that they had not closed due to the weather.

United

On Sunday I reverted to being a business class passenger for the long flight to Sydney.
I checked in for the United Airline flight UA 815 and I asked if the bubble was available, and if they would be showing a film or two during the flight – I was told that they would be showing a film in the Bubble.
I then asked if the flight would be non-stop because I was in a hurry to get home. I was told that it would be non-stop.

In February of 1986 United Airlines took over Pan American Airlines Pacific routes and assets, which included 18 aircraft for USD $750 million.

Everything was routine as we took off and the normal meal service began.
After lunch I asked when they would be showing a film (movie) and was told by an older stewardess that they would not be showing a movie in the Bubble.
The lady was not impolite she just sounded a little surprised that I thought there would be a film in the Bubble.
I mentioned that the stewardess (in today’s pc world ‘flight attendant’) was no longer young, because she would have been in her late 40’s or perhaps early 50’s.
At that time in the 1980’s female flight attendants where ‘youth-full’ and the more mature were in charge or rostered on shorter flight sectors rather than LAX to SYD, which is a 15 hour 30 minutes sector. The female flight attendant that I spoke to was not in charge.

I asked if there were any seats downstairs that I could use while watching a film, there wasn’t any because they were full.

Later in the flight we were told that we were diverting to Fiji because we were getting low on fuel . . . now I felt very sorry for the flight attendant that I had spoken to earlier, her working day had just been increased by an extra two or three hours. 
Crew beds on long flights had yet to be ‘invented.’

My feelings at the time were that I was flying with a domestic airline trying to be an international airline, and they were failing.
I suppose the takeover of Pan Am and the gaining of the international routes the previous month had overwhelmed the management and they were plugging holes to keep things going. . .

I do not have any idea what United Airline is like today, because I never flew with them again.    

Flight of fancy

BA 747

Boeing 747 – the work horse of flying in the 1980’s

How something simple can grow & grow!

In 1986 I was asked to attend an operational meeting in London, to which I agreed.

I warned Maureen that I would be away for a few days because I was going to London.

Later it was decided that I should fly over to New York from London and see their office and how it differed from ours, and of course to meet the staff. Connections in the international transport field made the world go round.

Later that day I warned Maureen again that I would be a way a little longer than I first thought

The following day the GM said to me ‘After New York why not ‘nip over’ to San Francisco and see how they operate, and on the way back call in at Los Angeles . . . . . . then you can come home.’

That evening I informed Maureen . . .

I felt tired out just thinking of all the flying and the meetings. Some might think international business travel is romantic, but my itinerary was work, not a holiday, and the only foreign sites that I would see would be airports and airport hotels, because our business was air transport, so the operation of airports was my focus.

It was decided that I should fly British Airways rather than Qantas because BA was keen to increase our spending power with them through their cargo system.
British Airways knew that they could not compete for our OBC traffic (on board courier) because Qantas had the best timetable that fitted our requirements.

Some years earlier, being an ex-employee of British Airways, I had ‘done a deal’ with BA Australia for a particular product of ours that generated over 100,000 kilos of cargo a year. British Airways’ price per kilo encouraged us to ship our non-urgent traffic through them – but they wanted us to increase our traffic.

So why not spend money with BA passenger department which would keep Qantas on their toes if we appeared to be getting ‘close’ to British Airways.

Competition is great leveller.

I was booked economy by the company, but thankfully BA took pity on me, and I was upgraded to Business class from Sydney to London.

At that time video on demand from your seat was not available so a passenger had to make sure he/she had a couple of good books to help pass the time.

I was allocated a seat in the ‘bubble’.

Bubble 02

The Bubble was an area upstairs at the front of the B 747 – some airlines created a bar area in the bubble, but British Airways at that time used it as a business class area. It was a quiet area and seating was limited.

seating  

This picture gives you an idea of the area. As you see there was a small screen at the front. The passengers had earphones and could listen to music or talks about various subjects.
After the lunchtime meal had been cleared away a film would be shown and you could listen to the film via the headphones.
If you had seen the film hard luck because the only thing you could change was the sound, you could not change the film. You could still listen to music if you wished.
In other areas of the aircraft a pulldown screen in each passenger area was used for passengers to view a film. The pulldown screen was much larger than the screen in the Bubble.  

The London visit went well – but what I did not mention to the London office was that I would not be flying economy across the Atlantic because I had a ticket for the Concorde  . . . the Company used Concorde for the OBC courier service, so I did not want any problem with me not being a courier. 

The Australian GM had taken pity on me . . . and it was Concorde’s tenth anniversary of flying the Atlantic. 

02

I was dropped off at the passenger terminal and made my way to the dedicated check-in area for Concorde. 

checkin

You never had to queue for Concorde

The departure lounge was not like any other departure lounge this was Concorde! Everything was just ‘so’, but unfortunately, I could not find any pictures of the Concorde lounge of 1986.

On checking in my suitcase was checked and I had to show my hand baggage because the overhead lockers had limited space.

baggaeI was given a baggage tag for my hand luggage; I had passed the test.

timetable

I was given a small timetable to show that I would arrive in New York before I left London . . .note the check-in time. Today one has to check-in so early that Concorde would arrive in New York before you had passed through security.

seating plan 2Seating plan of the aircraft

1551758990837 

As you see there is not a lot of room, but everyone could see through a window, and I was fortunate not to have anyone in the seat next to me. 

If one has a ‘problem’ with this aircraft, it is the height for tall passengers. I was (at the time, I have since shrunk) 6 ft 2 inches tall (1.829 mtr) and I had to bend my neck as I walked down the aisle.

tall man

I found the above picture on the internet and this person commented about the height when boarding Concorde. He is six feet tall, (1.8 mtr) so add two inches and my shoes . . . 

It was obvious that the cabin crew had to meet certain heights before they would be allowed to fly Concorde. None of the cabin crew that I saw had a neck bending problem. 

Stewardess

Did you know that the time it took for a cabin crew member to pour a glass of Champagne the aircraft had travelled ten miles (16 km).

speed

Wherever you sat you could see the speed indicator and the height at which we flew. The height above is 16.5 km and the speed shown is twice the speed of sound. When we went through the sound barrier obviously, we did not hear it because we had left the bang behind us, but I felt a slight jerk in the back.
We cruised at 60,000 feet.

Cruising at 60,000 feet generates heat on the airframe, which causes the aircraft to expand by between 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm).

Looking out the window I could see the horizon, which was edged with a rich indigo blue.
The experience is such that you think you can see the curvature of the Earth , but you cannot see the curve – we were not high enough at 60,ooo feet (18,288 mtrs).
see-that-thats-the-curvature-of-the-earth- The aircraft window is small, so you have to be a lot higher to see the curvature of the Earth. Some people said that they could see the curve of the Earth when flying Concorde, but that was after a few Champagnes . . . .   

The menu for that day’s flight. 

menu

Menu 01

Any drinks ?

wine

If you remember Trivia Pursuit here are a couple of facts about Concorde

The maximum temperature on Concorde’s nose when cruising at the speed of sound (Mach) is 127 degrees C and at Mach2.2 Concorde’s maximum speed, it reaches 153 degrees c (307 F).

At Mach 2 we were doing 23 miles a minute (37 km). 

On the 7th February 1996 the flight from New York to Heathrow took only 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds – breaking the previous record by over a minute.
There were 100 passengers and six cabin crew onboard.

certificate

It doesn’t matter how old you are one will still keep the record of flying Concorde . 

British Airways Concorde fleet 1986.

British_Concorde_fleet_1986

sheet three19012022

Each passenger was given a small satchel containing various items, which included their latest magazine as a memento of the ten years of service, which is why I was able to show many of the items above. 

Concorde-G-BOAA-_4_

Flight of Fancy

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