Tag Archives: Western Australia

Head in the Sand!

I nearly choked on my cheerio’s this morning after listening to talk back radio. Plans are under way to give WA a new image, by calling it “Energy State”. Energy ? For goodness sakes we don’t have any energy. Power shortages, gas explosions and water restrictions , are a way of life here, so why lie ? What is wrong with our politicians ? If they had any sense they would go back to calling us sandgropers and then they can justify having their heads planted firmly in the sand ! Remember the last time they tried this, we became the “State of Excitement” and the laughing stock of the nation. Please the world didn’t fall for the “Real Thing” tourist campaign what makes them think this will fool them?

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Filed under Believe it or not, You've Gotta Be Kidding

HMAS Sydney can finally Rest in Peace

The sad saga of the fate of the HMAS Sydney can finally be put to rest. One of Australia’s greatest maritime mysteries has at last been solved and it is time for families, friends and the nation to properly mourn the 645 souls who lost their lives defending our coastline in 1941 .

The events unfolded like this…Late February, early March, 2008, wreck hunter David Mearns was commissioned by the Finding Sydney Foundation to locate the HMAS Sydney. After his vessel the S V Geosounder developed a few technically glitches, the search resumed in early March with the aim of locating the HSK Kormoran first.

On the 14th of March, 2008, the wreckage of the HSK Kormoran was discovered on the ocean bed at a depth of 2,560 m, approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point, Shark Bay. Hans Linke (the Kormoran’s wireless operator), made claims in 1996 to The Australian newspaper, that both ships were virtually stationary when the Kormoran fired an underwater torpedo at the Sydney, disabling her instantly. If this was the case, then the HMAS Sydney would, in theory, be nearby.

Two days later on 16th March, news broke that they had located the hull of a ship, believed to be that of the HMAS Sydney. The location was 11 nautical miles from the location of the wreck of the German raider, Kormoran. News groups were reluctant to announce the finding until they absolutely sure it was in fact the Sydney. The West Australian newspaper was still smarting from their blunder last year, when they announced the discovery, only to find out later it was the remains of an old barge.

So with the finding of the hull of the HMAS Sydney so too goes many of the rumours, speculation and conspiracy theories surrounding the fate of the ship. Though, I guess a few local pubs around Carnarvon and Geraldton will be abuzz with all the stories that have, over the years, turned into folklore. None more so than the one about the sailors being captured by a Japanese submarine and later murdered. But I am sure over the coming months, questions will be asked as to why so many of the crew of the Kormoran survived the battle whilst no one from the Sydney did. To find out more click here HMAS Sydney.

LEST WE FORGET

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Filed under WA History, WA Shipwrecks

Fremantle Cemetery Breathes a Sigh of Relief

Yes, I can hear the curators at Fremantle Cemetery exhaling. Only a few more hours before their lives will be changed for ever. BECAUSE in a short time, the long awaited statue to Bon Scott ( the late lead singer of ACDC) will be unveiled at Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour and the ACCA DACCA fans will be able to worship their legend in public. For decades the Fremantle Cemetery has been the host to thousands upon thousands of fans from all over the world, ( much like the French, Père Lachaise Cemetery, where Jim Morrison lays) all simply wanting to “have a beer with Bon” or to pay their respects. In fact, in February 2006, Bon Scott’s grave site was heritage listed, due to its cultural significance.

The new and long awaited statue will be revealed at the Aussie Rock Celebration concert at the Claremont Showgrounds on Sunday 25th of February, before being placed permanently at Fisherman’s Wharf in Fremantle (Bon Scott’s home town) and is expected to attract even more fans to Freo.

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Filed under Public Art (The Good and The Bad)

Cherry Harmony Festival 2007

Yes, it is that time of the year again, CHERRY Season. Manjimup, the small south-west town, is getting ready for their annual Cherry Harmony Festival. The fruit is nearing REDiness, the town is about to paint itself red and the locals are puckering up for the cherry pip spitting competition. Last years winner, Paul Omodei, is about to pack his bags and head off to Cromwell, New Zealand, to defend his title of GlobeVista Australasian Cherry Pip Spitting winner, which he won in Manjimup in 2006. The two day (weekend) festival begins in early December and promises to be the best ever, with live music, crowning of the Cherry King and Queen, wood chopping, face painting, wheelbarrow races and much, much more. Did I forget to mention CHERRIES. If you love cherries it is a must for your December calendar . Boxes and boxes of sweet, red, ripe cherries everywhere. All the orchards are open and ready to offer you the best in the west.

Pam Bodsworth has just informed us that Mark Vitler won the Mt Barker Cherry Pip Spitting Competition on Saturday, 17th, November, with a winning spit of 12.1m. Be scared Manjimup, Mark is coming to Manjimup to be in the finals on Saturday 8 December.

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Filed under WA Festivals