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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tom Petrie Memorial

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The unveiling of the refurbished Tom Petrie memorial was an amazing experience for many reasons.

I’ve written several articles here previously about Tom Petrie. The man was remarkable for the way he learned the ways and language of the local Turrbal Aboriginal people, and showed them a respect and honor that was more than a century ahead of his time. It was fitting to remember him on the 100th anniversary of his death.

I also had the chance to meet Maroochy Barambah, an elder, Songwoman and Law-Woman of the Turrbal Aboriginal people. This talented and dignified woman is the great grand-daughter of Kulkarawa, a young Aboriginal girl who ran off with a Sri Lankan man named Shake Brown in the 1840’s. Brown was killed in the 1840’s on the banks of what is now called Browns Creek. By some strange co-incidence I actually took some photos of this area and wrote an article about it a few months ago. So I was overwhelmed to meet someone who was actually related to Kulkarawa (Granny Kitty) and Shake Brown (Grandfather Brown).

This event was the first formal occasion that descendants of Tom Petrie and the Turrbal people had met face to face since Petrie’s death. It gives me hope that things like this happen. The mutual history of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia is something that can unite us, and strengthen our souls. It reminds us how precious is the place in which we live. It gives us continuity and reminds us that each of us is here for such a brief time, while the land is always here.

Tom Petrie Memorial - 26 August 2010Tom Petrie Memorial - 26 August 2010Tom Petrie Memorial - 26 August 2010

Tom Petrie Memorial - 26 August 2010Tom Petrie Memorial - 26 August 2010Tom Petrie Memorial - 26 August 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pot Luck Fun

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A few random pictures from a fun weekend.

Kids playing basketball

We celebrated Josh’s 21st birthday on Sunday afternoon. I had a great time chilling out and watching the kids play basketball.

Watching the game

So did the girls :)


Lilly had fun trying to get the Piñata at Angela’s birthday party on Saturday


And I was so engrossed in taking a photo while out riding on Saturday morning that I didn’t realize I’d taken a photo of myself in the rear-view mirror.

All-in-all a fantastic weekend!

Sunday, August 08, 2010


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Ancient One with your arms held high,

Guarding the bones in this field of tears,

If I bend my ear to your gentle sigh

Will you sing me your song from long-gone years?


The dark-skinned keepers of the river of pines

Chant dream-time clap-stick songs and vows

And leave their beloved dead behind

To sleep in my timeless caring boughs.

I see the tears on your dusty face.

Your treasure is safe in my wooden embrace.

The sunburned settler far from home,

Far from the gentler softer lands,

Bows in prayer at the open grave

In the blessed shade of my verdant hands.

Lie peacefully now at my wooden feet.

I’ll shelter your parched bones from the heat.

The soldier’s widow speechless stands,

Farewells the ANZAC she loved the most.

The wind sighs through my leafy hands

As the bugler plays a sad “Last Post”.

Your brave lover’s watch has come to an end.

He can rest. I’ll guard him well, my friend.


Sentinel with your arms held high,

Will you watch my bones when I am gone?

Will you shade my children from the scorching sky,

You long-lived ageless timeless one?

The children of earth are a short lived race

Who rush to and fro in haste and greed.

I have not lived such a quickened pace

As I have grown to this height from such a small seed.

But I watch you all and I taste your tears,

And I’ll care for your bones through all my years.

I saw this tree in a cemetery a while ago, and later learned that some local Aborigines believe it was once used as a “burial tree”.  The tree is certainly old enough to predate European settlement and there’s a beautiful resonance in the thought that a tree that may have been a vital part of the burials of the first Australians should still be “keeping an eye” on a modern cemetery.

Some things like trees are almost timeless.

Some things like grief at the loss of a loved on are timeless!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Blue Tiers, Tasmania

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I plan to ride a mountain bike through the Blue Tiers in Tasmania this Sunday. It’s a picturesque, remote alpine area of north-eastern Tasmania that is supposed to be well worth the effort.

The only problem is that I’ll probably be riding it alone, and I’ve never been there before.

So to be on the safe side, I’m publishing my proposed route here, with some checkpoints along the way, and I’ll update my twitter feed with a photo from those checkpoints so that (if you’re interested) you can keep an eye on where I’m up to. If I fall off the bike, or get abducted by aliens, at least you’ll know how far I got and where I plan to go.

I’ll be leaving the Weldborough Hotel at about 10.30am and aim to be back by about 3pm.

The checkpoints are:

  1. Weldborough Hotel. 0km. 10:30am

  2. Lotta Rd Turnoff. 6.4km. 11:00am

  3. Town of Lotta. 14.2km.  11:45am

  4. Poimena School Site. 17.8km. 12:30pm

  5. Emu Road. 22.4km. 1:30pm

  6. Weldborough Hotel. 30km. 2:30pm

Here’s the map

View Larger Map

I’m really looking forward to it, and hope to share some great photos.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sunset on the bridge

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Here’s some pics of our walk over the Ted Smout Bridge between Brighton and Redcliffe yesterday.

What a beautiful end to a great weekend!

Pine River Sunset

Sunset - Ted Smount Bridge

Fishing Platform

Sunset - Ted Smount Bridge