24 Oct 2020

The Nannup Tiger

We visited the pleasant little town of Nannup (about 260 km from Perth) sometime ago.

Artwork depicting the woodworking heritage of the town of Nannup

Known largely as a timber milling and processing town, Nannup is also famous for sightings of the Nannup Tiger from the earliest days of European settlement.

The Nannup Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is more famously known as the Tasmanian Tiger, that island state being where the last known one was captured in 1933.

A video from YouTube shows this last known tiger.


In Nannup itself, there are wooden sculptures celebrating the Tiger, the largest known carnivorous marsupial.

Two views of the Nannup Tiger monument

Also scattered around town, amidst shrubbery in the roadside gardens are more wooden sculptures celebrating this animal.

To this day, there are people who still claim to have caught sight of this creature and that these tigers there are still around,  despite them being declared extinct in 1936.

An acquaintance I meet at the local dog park swears she saw one when living in Tasmania.

Finally, about a month ago, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation published more videos recently discovered of the last known tiger.

10 Aug 2020

HMAS Sydney II Memorial

Before Covid 19 lockdown, we had an opportunity to visit Geraldton and I finally got to see the HMAS Sydney II Memorial.
Throughout my life in WA, there had been continual news stories of the search for the wreck of this ship and this had aroused my interest in the Memorial/
The story behind this Memorial is as follows.

The HMAS Sydney II lost all 645 men.

The Kormoran also sank, but of their 390 men, 318 survived.

The whereabouts of the HMAS Sydney II remained a mystery until the wreckage was found, fairly recently, in March 2008. 
Grandma C walking towards the Dome of Souls
Grandma C walking towards the Dome of Souls


This Memorial was built in 1998, about 10 years before the wreckage of the Sydney was discovered. The Dome is made up of 645 seagulls, representing the lost men of the Sydney II/

The Steele, symbolic of a standing gravestone, is in the shape of the prow of the Sydney II
The Pool of Remembrance, displaying the latitude and longitude coordinates of the wreck.
The Wall of Remembrance
What I found most poignant of all, is the statue of the Waiting Woman.
The Memorial sits on Mount Scott and from there we got a view of the port of Geraldton, with its grain silos and also a view of out ship, the Vasco da Gama.

26 Feb 2020

Monsignor Hawes And His Churches (2)

My first post regarding Monsignor Hawes and his churches is here and more about the man and his work here.

As I've said in that post, I don't generally enjoy visiting churches and temples when on holiday unless they are truly extraordinary.

However, whenever I am in Geraldton (400 km north of Perth, pop 40,000) I never fail to visit this creation of the Monsignor.

Enjoy these snapshots I took of the St Francis Xavier Cathedral.

View as you enter from the front

Looking left towards the organ
The Organ

Looking towards the altar

Glass panels looking into the crypt ...

... where the founding bishop of the Geraldton Diocese, Bishop William Kelly lay

Looking towards the front entrance

KMK, my bell ringing friend, sorry I forgot all about the bells, but luckily a crop of the following picture ...
... can just about make out one in the top of the tower.
Incidentally, in my previous post mentioned at the start of this post, I mentioned another of Monsignor Hawes churches at Yalgoo but did not post a picture.  I have since found a photo I took in 1993 of this church and here is a scan of it.
Cropped version
Much of the land around the church is built up on the last time we visited nearly 4 years ago now,.  It is no longer as desolate looking.

23 Dec 2019

Telling A Furphy

I was looking for a particular digital photo the other day, and, when skimming through my collection of about 50,000 photos,  I came across these ones that I had forgotten about.

These were taken a few years ago when Grandma C and I were driving through some of the sugarcane fields of far north Queensland.

On one of these roads, we came across the Sugar Museum just south of Innisfail and stopped to take a look.   Inside, this horse drawn water tank captured my interest.
I like that little rhyme just above the tap.
I had read long ago, when trying to learn whatever I can of my adopted homeland, that such tanks were purported to be the origin of a common Australian colloquialism, ie, "telling a furphy", and was very pleased to have finally caught sight of one of them.

The meaning of a furphy can be found in online dictionaries like the one below:
Supposedly, WW1 soldiers would gather round the water tank and tell tall stories, and from there came the saying "telling a furphy".

Wikipedia has more info on other possible origins of "telling a furphy" here.

26 Oct 2019

Devil's Workshop

... or, the idle hands of an aging retiree.

I saw some lock picking sets on eBay for about $20 and couldn't resist buying one.

It came with a multitude of tools ...
... and a handy transparent lock to practice on.  With this, you can watch the pins click into place as you pick the lock.
Of all the tools, I have had some success with these ones.  The top one, called the rake, is the easiest to use for cheap unsophisticated locks.   I watch the LockPickingLawyer on YouTube for inspiration.

The grandchildren came over for the school holidays, and what better way to bond with grandpa than to have a good old lock picking session.

I aspire to be a modern day Fagin with my own gang of lock picking urchins.