Another Country Diary gumboots
Another Country Diary


Links to images and other pages are in blue, mouse-over pop-up comments when I have them are burgundy.
29 July '02
Cypress edged with frostA clear sunny morning and a hard frost. I stepped out the door with the camera, wearing my  slippers (why do all slippers look like they're made for old men?). I was going to take one picture down the street. By the time I reached the end of the road, a dozen images and reached this 'mock' cypress edged in frost crystals, I was feeling a bit stupid to be out and so inappropriately shod. I smiled at the attractive young lady walking her dog, their breath steaming in the air, and hoped she wouldn't notice my bedroom shoes. 
30 July '02 
Church of England HallIt's warmer this morning. Fog, early sunlight, and as usual a camera beside me, so I had no choice really. I was going to be late for my meeting.

The small Church of England hall is used by the local Junior's Judo class, for ballet lessons, for the Scouts and Cubs and is rented out for all kinds of other social occasions. The grounds have been tidied recently and fresh paint applied so it was ready to pose proudly for it's picture this morning. The other delaying images from the morning I'll put up tomorrow with a bit of town history. 

When we were looking for samples of decorative gate design to copy for our front gates, I photographed a lot of the old ones around town. We particularly liked the ones on the hall. On the gate the manufacturers label was still visible and I did a hunt for Buzacott & Co. Sydney to see if they were still around. Uncommon name, must be able to find it on the web I reckoned. (Buzacott appears to be a Cornish surname, from an original of Buzzegut.)

Searching the Yellow Pages gave up a Buzacott who's a Sydney Architect and a Buzacott Rural Machinery in Tamworth. The Tamworth entry had an email address but no-one replied to my enquiries. It seems as if the Buzacott & Co people made farm engines because there was a repro casting and image and a brass label with the same lettering style on a old engine enthusiasts page, some photo's and some old ads. There's an Archive business record of a Buzacott & Co operating in Sydney from 1902, so I presumed they made farm gates as well as machinery. Sure enough,  proof came from IP Australia who had a registered Buzacott design of a similar gate and fence panel, dated from 1917.
2 August '02
The old St.Josep's Convent.Turallo Terrace
Bungendore 2621

Turallo Terrace is on one side of the grid that makes up the older section of Bungendore. It's the Toorak end of town (or maybe St.Ives is the equivalent if you're a Sydney-sider). It's the last street before the 'Common' and the creek, so back yards are not likely to be built-in, and the view stretches towards the Elmslea homestead (and the contentious suburb-to-be of 'Bungendore North'). 

There are some of our best preserved old buildings along the Terrace, including the Catholic Church, Hall and the Presbytery. The Irish Catholic's were thick on the ground in the early days of Bungendore, and there are still Irish names everywhere. One of the first histories of the town I read was a hand duplicated, A4 stapled version prepared by one of the local Catholic priests. 

The photograph above with the appropriate heavenly light, is of the old convent once run by the nuns known as the Brown Josephites. Nicknamed after the brown habit they wore, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Scared Heart were a teaching order that set up a convent school in Bungendore in 1888 and the Turallo Terrace building was built in 1891. The Catholic school and the convent closed in 1975. It was used as a home for the handicapped for a brief period, and sold and used as a guesthouse that was then sold a couple of times more times as a private residence. 

The Catholics only Australian saint, Mother Mary McKillop, was the co-founder of the Josephites who dedicated themselves to 'live in poverty and ... educate poor children'. Saint Mary visited the convent on four occasions that we know of, one in winter where it was snowing so heavily that she recorded that "hardly anyone  came to Mass" and that the school was closed the next day.
Houses in Turallo Terrace BungendoreHugely inappropriate in such an historic street is this bare Cape Cod styled newly built house, one block in from the corner of where Butmaroo Street ends. Butmaroo is slated to continue across the town common area to the above mentioned new suburb and there have been two new house constructions started on either side of the proposed road. The look like they will also be modern and large so that's ' stuffed that section of the street up. Behind the Cape Cod is Marcia and Brian's house also aggressively modern, but a little more subdued in tone and materials. From what I know of Marcia's taste (she's been 'making-over' our garden for Jan), it will soon be softened further by trees.
'Birchfield'. BungendoreMarcia and Brian used to own this grand old house, which is next to their current one. 'Birchfield' (or 'Birch Field' )was the home of Father Patrick Birch, a horse riding priest who was the last of the Government paid Chaplains. He retired when he was 58 years old and lived in this house that is built next to the church, He was a Bungendore 'notable' for a further thirty years until his death in 1914. The building was later bought by a benefactor as a retirement home for Catholic nuns but never served as that. Brian and Marcia bought it in 1978 and when we arrived in town Marcia was running a business as 'Birchfield Herbs', where we sometimes bought some plants. The big trees and gothic styled building look impressive from the rear, as you walk along the common. It hides itself in the trees in summer.

There are some slightly larger images and one of the early blossom on the  Japanese flowering apricot (Prunus mume). Trees that Marcia arranged to be planted along Turallo Terrace, (
Popup window. 4 x 30k jpeg's)
4 August '02
Bermagui, NSW. The main street.Bermagui is on the South coast, about two and a half hours drive away from Bungendore. We head down the Kings Highway to Bateman's Bay and take the Princes Highway towards Bega (and eventually Melbourne). We needed some coastal 'fishing' industry images for the website photography I'm doing, so Jan and I headed off late on Saturday night so I could photograph the docks and Fisherman's Co-op at sunrise. 
It was pouring with rain and the drive down the Clyde mountain requires full attention at any time, and a lot more when it's wet and slippery. We left about 5.30pm and arrived at 8.00pm and even at that early hour, Bermagui and the motel were closed. We'd arranged to leave a key out but finding somewhere to eat other than the Country Club, was a bit harder. We'd planned to head to the good seafood restaurant next to the wharf, but it was closed for the 'off' season. We found the large Thai / Vietnamese / Chinese restaurant lit up but absolutely empty and cautiously asked if they'd still serve us. We were shown a table at the back near the air conditioner for warmth. (Jan pointed out how different country places are from the city restaurants, who would seat the only two customers at 8.15pm on a Saturday night, in the window.) The food was good, but the wine and Singha beer conspired with the tension of the drive to send me early to sleep.  
Corkies. Billy Connelly was hereThe Sunday morning was gray and overcast, but I managed to get a few good images and then picked Jan up for breakfast. You quickly realise how the sport fishing industry drives this town. I'd been here a few times and Jan more in a previous 'life' when she was married to an avid fisherman. The only place to consider for breakfast in Bermagui is 'Corkies' cafe. Corky was cooking and serving (he has staff when the fishing contests are on, then he opens at 5.30am). He was singing along to an Eagles album, the walls around are covered with photographs of fisherman holding very large fish, and under the fish clock, was a autographed picture of Billy Connelly.
Peter and Bev BrayI'd forgotten that I'd heard that Billy Connelly had filmed parts of 'The Man who Sued God' in Bermagui early last year. It wasn't until we dropped in to visit an old workmate/friend Peter and his wife Bev, who are now running a B&B called Bimbimbi House, that we heard the first hand stories. Connelly and friends had stayed at Bimbimbi while they were filming (Peter's experience as a TV producer/editor came into play in accommodating that I'm sure). They told of seafood feasts and generous quantities of wine that led to Connelly declaring that people shouldn't be allowed to live like that, in such a nice place. They had lots of praise for how nice the guy was and what it had meant to the town's economy.

Bev and Peter's house is a lovely old style place on a large sloping block that sits on one of the river inlets, with oyster beds in the distance. The view to the water is through gum trees, past the wide verandah with the succulent vines you can see in the photograph.

The verandah and vines at Bimbimbi HouseThe air was warm, the flowers were  tropical, and there was just a twinge of envy when we compared our garden with theirs. It's still winter here as I remember.

Toss in a few marlin's on sticks and it was all a little surreal in Bermagui. 
Definately NO ... something Marlin signs everywhere, very surreal.
 
Fred Harden  
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