Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Anzac Day

Sunday 25 April

It was wonderful that Covid numbers in Australia, allowed the return of full Anzac Day services and parades. Unfortunately, and in my mind disrespectfully, larger numbers were permitted to attend the various football codes in the afternoon, than returned service members and families were permitted to walk in the morning parades.

Last year, the Returned Services League promoted curbside dawn services, as all of Australia was in Lockdown. Families all over Australia stood with candles, in front of their homes at 5.30 am, and listened to the live broadcast from The Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

This was also promoted again this year. With a number of our neighbours, this was our chosen way to acknowledge those who had served, granting us the freedom we so richly enjoy each and every day.

5.30 am

 



A Spitfire passing overhead.


We have a wonderful historical village just a few streets from our home. Only a couple of days prior to Anzac Day, I saw that they had a special afternoon remberance event. 

A group called 'The Spirit of the Red Sand' regularly perform a dinner and light show in the grounds.
 ["A cultural awakening of the history, beauty and vibrancy of the Aboriginal people"] 

It was this group that organised the afternoon's proceedings.

I have to congratulate them on this very beautiful and moving event. In remembering the sacrifices of our brave men and women for our country and and freedom, there was a special message of place, belonging, pride and harmony.

Earlier in the day, a Maori group had set  a hangi. This had been lifted an hour before our arrival at 4.30pm, and had we wanted to, we could have ordered a meal. In the photo below you can see where the hangi had been lifted from and the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal group are seen preparing for the commencement of the ceremony.

The formalities began with a very moving traditional welcome to Yuggera Country, including the challenge, presentation of the message stick and the smoking ceremony.

Below - The 'tribe' are rushing to challenge the people entering their territory. 

Some 300 visitors had been asked to congregate at the entrance to their land.

A spine-tingling Haka [specially choreographed for Anzac Day, by the Te Tai Mauri performing group] was then performed towards the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Troupe, who chanted in reply.

Then, led by the Aboriginal Elder and the Maori Chief, pleasantries were exchanged and a procession followed. This was through 'cleansing smoke' created by rubbing fire sticks to create fire, within a bunch of eucalpytus leaves, and then blowing, giving a constant cloud of smoke.

Guests slowly passing through the cleansing smoke.
 

Below -  The Elder and Chief are waiting to lead the guests through the 'corridor of time' to the stage area, that had been organised for the the Anzac remberance ceremony.

Below - The 'Welcome to Country' speech, accompanied by the sounds of the didgeridoo. 

[Schools, weddings, forums, concerts and all public events now acknowledge the traditional owners of our land, at the beginning of any event. For more formal functions, a local indigenous person is invited to make the Acknowledgement of Country.]



The audience then stood in solidarity, as the sun went down to the Retreat Bugle Call, joined by Aaron [above] on the didgeridoo. The minutes silence was accompanied by recorded sounds of the battlefield. Very, very moving.

Next we witnessed the passing of the flame [the Nunukul Yuggera again rubbed sticks to light the eucalyptus leaves] from one generation to another, and listened to the Anzac ode, as four flags were lowered, folded and passed to the next generation. This was particularly moving, as the Aboriginal flag was passed to a young Australian and the Australian flag to a young Aboriginal. Similarly with the NZ and Maori  flags.

The lowering of the flags. - Australian, Aboriginal, New Zealand, Maori.

A selection of dances were then performed by the Nunukul Yuggera dance troupe and the Te Tai Mauri performing group.
 




Finally, Victoria Tamaki paid tribute to the Andrew Sisters and Dame Vera Lynn, with her selection of songs.

An absolutely wonderful afternoon, "Lest we Forget".

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Thursday, 29 April 2021

Sergeant Dan Spiller Memorial Reserve

Tuesday 20 April

Sergeant Dan Spiller Memorial Reserve, a  new trail found locally. Perfect for an auutumn walk, but perhaps not after heavy rain.

This reserve was offically named in March 2011, in recognition of Sergeant Dan Stiller's dedication to reducing illegal trail bike riding and its damaging enviromental impacts.


This was not lush green parkland, but a deceptive pond of green algae, surprising given all the rain.

Another stretch of green. This time just water logged grass. We had to bush bash to avoid.

A sink hole to avoid as well.


This dappled path drew us down to a lovely, if brown coloured, lake.


Shimmering, pampas grass, flower stalks.



Further on, a board walk took us through a gurgling brook area.




The Sulphur Crested Cockatoos love to nest in tree hollows.


Tranquill scenes.




More water on the trail.

We came to a halt here, as the creek was wide, unwelcoming in colour and more than ankle deep.

We were hopeful this crossing would get us back to the carpark. It was not to be, and unless we wanted to retrace our steps some 4 km, we had to return to the above crossing.

We felt it was safer to keep our boots on to cross. Thankfully it was only a couple of k's back to the car.

Time for a re-energising cuppa!

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Friday, 16 April 2021

Goodbye Steamy Hot Summer

 13 and 14 April

Welcome Autumn. Finally!

Warm, crisp, blue sky days, walking without dripping with sweat, you are such a relief!

This is how a tropical autumn looks. I must also add, this is how it looks when your country is all but Covid free.

School holidays and everyone is at the beach. No sunburn! 

Wednesday, Hungry Hiker's beach walk.



 

Tuesday, Gaiter Girls.
I had long wanted to hike the Cronan Creek Falls trail, but information  re the trail was limited. Last week I spotted a post on a Facebook Hiking site and low and behold, I discovered the trail was far more accessible than I had imagined.

6am saw Rebecca, Rachel and myself taking the 1 1/2 hour journey to Yellow Pinch Car Park, the trail head. 
It was a perfect autumn morning and we rejoiced for the people soaring overhead, in several hot air balloons.


The trail map for Cronan Creek Falls
 

Having driven along side Cronan Creek for several kilometres to the car park, we were quite surprised to be immedialely confronted by a steep climb. Several more were to follow.

Mt Lindesay in the distance, a favourite childhood peak.




There were several peaks that were eye catching. 

Unnamed

An impressive Mt Barney - a peak I would love to climb, but I fear my body would react on any steep, open gradient.



Mt Lindesay again.

 

The first of 7 creek crossings.

Rachel opted to slide across this tree trunk, rather than take her boots off.
 

Rebecca and I enjoyed the refreshing, coolness of the shallow water.
 



Further on, crossing no 2 was easily negotiated. View below the causeway.

View above and a log begging to be visited.

Alas, not as young as I used to be, so this is a posed shot, making use of the boulder.

Crossing no 3. Shoes off by me.

Nimble Rebecca and Rachel, again managed to succesfully cross with dry shoes and feet.

Looking down after a steep ascent.

Crossing no 4.

View after another ascent.

At this point we were beginning to wonder if we had missed signage to the falls. We had covered the distance suggested in the notes and here we were on another ascent. 

We really didn't want to climb Mt Barney on this occasion, so were very relieved that some 100 metres later, we stumbled on this very clear signage. [Not in the notes]

A short, bushy trail took us back to the creek and our first view of the falls.


Bright smiles before our icy swim. It was incredibly chilly, so much so, that none of us actually managed to swim to the base of the falls. The cold just took our breath away. Totally unexpected.


Sunshine through the gums, on our return journey.

Such an idyllic view of our final crossing, on this idyllic autumn hike!
  

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