Fun things to do in Adelaide

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    War Horse Memorial

    by wabat Updated Jan 27, 2015

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    While we are all very familiar with war memorials which remember, or act as a memorial to, people who took part in and/or died in wars one occasionally finds one to animals, most commonly horses.

    In World War I (the last war in which horses were used extensively) millions (I have seen six million quoted) of horses went to war, mainly in Western Europe, and many, many were killed.

    It is thought that around 39,000 horses left Australia for WWI – only one returned (see later). This is not to say all the remainder were killed. Many were, but those that survived were left to live out the reminder of their lives in Europe – sadly seen as dispensable.

    Banjo Paterson, more famous as the author of Waltzing Matilda, wrote a poem lamenting the fact that surviving horses were not brought back to Australia:

    THE LAST PARADE
    "Over the seas you brought us,
    Over the leagues of foam,
    And now we have served you fairly,
    Will you not take us home?"

    This memorial water trough commemorates “the noble services of Australian horses toward the Empire’s victories in the Great War 1914-18”.

    Funded by public subscription, it was unveiled on 30 January 1923 in Victoria Square at the intersection of King William Street and Grote Street. When erected, in addition to being a memorial, it was connected to the city water supply and freely used by horses carting produce for the nearby Adelaide Central Market.

    When Victoria Square was redesigned in 1964 it was decided to place the memorial in its current location (in 1967) beside the Light Horse Association memorial obelisk, on the corner of East Terrace and Botanic Road. As there are no longer any working horses in the city the trough is no longer connected to the city water supply.

    The War Horse Memorial, to give it its correct name was designed by architect Alfred Wells and sculpted by WH Martin Ltd of Unley, Adelaide. It is made of Harcourt Victorian granite.

    The accompanying plaque quotes two verses from the Bible (Job 39 v21-22) which remind us of the courage and value of horses in battle – ‘He’ refers to the horse.

    “He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword”.

    The only horse to return to Australia after WWI was ‘Sandy’. Sandy belonged to Major-General Sir William Bridges who commanded the Australian Imperial Force at Gallipoli until he was killed there in May 1915. For more details on Bridges and Sandy see my separate review Major General Sir William Bridges – Grave on my Canberra page here on Virtual Tourist.


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    Light Horse Memorial

    by wabat Updated Jan 27, 2015

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    The Light Horse Memorial is dedicated to South Australian Light Horsemen who paid the supreme sacrifice in World War I, specifically in three theatres of war – Egypt, Palestine and Gallipoli.

    Australia’s Light Horsemen (mounted infantry, as distinct from cavalry) had previously served with distinction in the Second South African (Boer) War of 1899–1902 and in WWI two regiments, the 3rd and 9th Light Horse Regiments and a squadron of the 11th Light Horse Regiment represented South Australia. At Gallipoli the Light Horsemen served dismounted (including in the bayonet charge at ‘The Nek’ on 17 August 1915). In Egypt they served as part of the ‘Desert Column’ against Turkey and in Palestine, in 1917 cavalry charge at Beersheba.

    The original intent was that the memorial be a bronze horse and rider but funding proved difficult to secure and a granite pyramid was proposed – ‘for it was to the pyramids that the men first went, and then on to Palestine’. Ultimately the 11 metres high grey Harcourt Victorian granite obelisk, styled on ancient Egyptian columns, that one sees today was settled upon.

    Look up and you will note a light on the apex of the memorial – this used to be lit from sunrise to sunset as a sign that the dead are not forgotten day or night – or in Laurence Binyon’s famous lines (quoted on the monument): – ‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them’.

    The Light Horse Memorial obelisk cost £1200 excluding the light which the organising committee could not afford. The Adelaide City Council came to the rescue and the light was installed. It is rather sad the same Council (which now maintains the Memorial) cannot extend itself to donating the electricity necessary to operate the light.

    The Memorial was unveiled by Governor Bridges on 5 April 1925.

    In 2002 South Australia’s State Premier, Mike Rann, unveiled a bronze plaque on the 85th anniversary of the charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at the Battle of Beersheba in Palestine on 31 October 1917 ‘to commemorate the passing of Private Albert Whitmore 1899–2002 the last surviving Australian Light Horseman and the last surviving South Australian World War I veteran’.

    In 1995 a small rectangular granite memorial (picture 3) and Cyprus plane tree were respectively erected and planted close by ‘to commemorate the service of those members of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps who, as successors to the Light Horse Regiments, served in WWII 1939-1945’.

    Very fittingly, located beside the Light Horse Memorial is the War Horse Memorial which commemorates the role played by horses in WWI. See my separate review on the War Horse Memorial.


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    Ayers House

    by wabat Updated Jan 27, 2015

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    In 1840, not long after the founding of the State of South Australia, Henry Ayers arrived from England intent on making his fortune in the new colony.

    Ayers certainly made his fortune in Adelaide and during his life there he held countless positions not least of which included Premier of the State (7 times), State Cabinet Minister (11 times), Governor of the Botanic Gardens Board, founder of the Bank of Adelaide, Chairman of the Adelaide Gas Company, director of the Burra Copper Mine (the most lucrative position I suspect) and treasurer of the University of Adelaide. In 1872 he was knighted for his role in bringing the overland telegraph service from Darwin to Adelaide and thus opening up communication with the Motherland, England.

    His grand colonial Regency/Victorian mansion, built in 1876, was designed by Sir George Strickland Kingston (architect to the well healed in Adelaide) and inspired by the work of Robert Kerr a leading English architect of the day, whose book “The English Gentleman’s House” gave the ‘New Rich’, like Ayers, clear direction on how to live and entertain like a gentleman.

    Ayers’ good lady wife certainly knew how to throw a party and the Ayers’ twice yearly parties in September and October were the talk of the town and the place to be.

    After Ayers’ death in 1897 the house stood vacant until bought by Austral Gardens Limited which turned the grounds into an open air theatre (and a rather stylish one at that – see picture 2 which is courtesy of the State Library of South Australia) and adjoining Palais de Dance. The house was occupied by the Returned Soldiers League with “A member of the Executive in attendance to assist Members in their difficulties every Evening” according to the RSL Magazine (Sept 1918). From 1929 to 1969 it was a nurses home and training centre for the Royal Adelaide Hospital which you may notice across North Terrace from the House.

    Then State Premier, the rather flamboyant Don Dunstan, then set about returning it to party central. After a refurbishment it reopened in 1973 as a fine dining restaurant. With clientele like Her Royal Highness, The Princess Anne and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II it quickly became the place to be seen again.

    Today the main part of Ayers House is a stylish function centre catering for weddings, business functions and the like. It no longer operates as a restaurant for the general public

    Public entry is now via means of a tour – which I have not partaken of yet. Ghost tours and (perish the thought) after dark dress-up tours – I think it’s the staff and not the tourists that dress up - are also available, though must be booked in advance through the Ayers House Historical Museum, managed by the National Trust. The latter is a good thing if you are a member as you get free access on the basic tour.

    And yes, Ayers Rock (now officially called Uluru) in the centre of Australia was named after Sir Henry Ayers.

    Opening Hours:
    Tuesday - Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm
    Weekends & Public Holidays 1:00pm - 4:00pm
    (Closed Mondays, Good Friday and Christmas Day)

    Admission Charges:
    Adult: $10.00 Concession: $8.00 Child 13-16: $5.00 Child 12 & Under: Free, National Trust Member: Free.


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    Scots Church

    by wabat Updated Jan 27, 2015

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    This neo-Gothic church, tucked in between ever-rising buildings on the the intersection Pulteney Street and North Terrace, is Adelaide's second oldest church (Holy Trinity Anglican Church being the oldest).

    Immigrants Scots, in support of the Free Church of Scotland, brought the Rev John Gardner (picture 5, courtesy of the State Library of South Australia) out from Scotland to help them establish the church. When Gardner arrived he found no real congregation. Undeterred and with that amazing zeal and devotion typical of the early pioneers Gardner set about raising funds and building a church. Less than six months after his arrival, the foundation stone for the church was laid on 8 September 1850. The church opened less than a year later on 6 July 1851though the 37 metre spire was not added until 1858. The church was originally call Chalmers Free Church after Dr James Chalmers who founded the Free Church of Scotland.

    In 1901 the three branches of Presbyterianism in the State, represented by the Free Church, the United Presbyterian Church, and the Church of Scotland, united to form one Presbyterian Church in South Australia.

    In 1929 the Flinders Street Presbyterian Church and Chalmers Church congregations amalgamated under the name of Scots Church. In 1955 the church on Flinders Street was sold to the YMCA and all activities transferred to Scots Church here on North Terrace. Also transferred to Scots from Flinders Street was its organ and stained glass windows.

    In 1977 Scots Church became part of the Uniting Church in Australia a union within Australia which brought together the Congregational Union of Australia, the Methodist Church of Australasia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia.


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    The University of Adelaide

    by wabat Updated Jan 27, 2015

    The University of Adelaide, the State of South Australia's oldest university, was established in 1874 and teaching began with a Latin class in 1876. Today it is one of Australia’s premier universities and offers degrees in arts, science, law, medicine, music, mathematics, philosophy, languages and mining engineering.

    From a visitor perspective there is a plethora of beautiful period buildings worthy a look on the University’s North Terrace campus. Do set aside some time for a wander. My favourites are as depicted:

    Picture 1 - The Mitchell Building – built in 1882 and the oldest building on the campus. When it opened it accommodated the entire University. It is named after the philosopher, Sir William Mitchell, who was Vice-Chancellor from 1916 to 1942, and Chancellor from 1942 to 1948. The statue in front of the building is of Sir Walter Watson Hughes, who with Sir Thomas Elder, provided funds to establish the University.

    Picture 2 - Elder Hall - opened in 1900 by Lord Tennyson (Governor of South Australia). It is a popular venue for concerts, recitals and public lectures in addition to housing the Elder Conservatorium of Music. The statue in front of Elder Hall is of Sir Thomas Elder.

    Pictures 3 – 4 - Bonython Hall – my favourite, it was built in 1936, seats 1000 and is used for University graduation ceremonies, conventions and major public events. The detail on this Gothic style building is exquisite. Sir John Langdon Bonython was another important benefactor of the University and actually donated this Hall to the University.

    Picture 5 - The Barr Smith Library - named in honour of the Barr Smith family members of which a number were major benefactors to the University. The library/reading room is a the best example on campus of the classical red brick and sandstone style oft employed by University Architect Walter H Bagot.


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    The State Library of Sth Australia – Mortlock Wing

    by wabat Updated Jan 26, 2015

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    In my main review on the State Library I indicated that for me, and probably most other visitors who visit the library in a tourist rather than general user capacity, the Mortlock Wing is the most interesting.

    This is one of three buildings making up the current library, built because the original Institute Building became to small to house the library of a bourgeoning city. The beautiful French Renaissance style building with mansard roof opened in December 1884, 18 years after the original foundation stone was laid. It took 18 years to build as the project was aborted twice, due to political indecision and architectural and engineering problems such that work on the final building only commenced in 1879.

    In its early years the building was home to South Australia’s museum, art gallery and public library.

    In August 2014, US Magazine Travel + Leisure listed the Mortlock Wing as one of the top 20 most beautiful libraries in the world. On entering the Wing it is not hard to see why it was so chosen.

    The absolutely stunning late Victorian interior has two galleries (so three levels) – the first supported by masonry columns with the second secured by cast iron brackets. Around the balconies are wrought iron balustrades, ornamented with gold leaf, while the walls are literally lined with beautiful looking books on ceiling height dark wood shelving. Atop all this is a glass domed roof allowing natural light to flow into the library.

    While the ground floor of the library is given over to exhibition space (see below) the galleries remain reading areas retaining their original desks and chairs for readers.

    That said, there have been two changes within the library – firstly additional power outlets such that today’s student/reader can power up their laptops and other devices which, for some reason, strangely do not appear out of place in this library of yesteryear. I am sure you will agree, not a bad place to study.

    The other addition, electric lights, is a much older one. When the library (then called the Jervois Wing) was originally built it was lit by gas lamps – electricity being deemed to costly at the time. The Board's annual report for 1910-11 noted:

    'The baneful effects of gas upon the leather bindings of books is a well-established fact, to say nothing of the vitiated atmosphere necessarily inhaled by students and others who visit the Public Library at night time. It is therefore hoped that an early installation of electric light in these buildings will be made'.

    Electric lighting was installed in 1914 though apparently two of the original gas lamps are still installed in an office on the second floor.

    The thing that draws most people’s eyes on entering the Mortlock Wing is the clock seen standing over the main hall on the balustrade of the first gallery. This was not part of the original library design but a quick addition or rather a gift from astronomer, meteorologist and electrical engineer Sir Charles Todd in 1887. It was crafted in London by clockmakers Dent and Sons and still quietly ticks away to this day, just needing to be hand wound and adjusted on a weekly basis by library staff.

    Back to the main hall or ground floor. As noted earlier, this area is given over to exhibitions which seem to be of a semi permanent nature and offer a window on the history and culture of South Australia. The bays house small displays on a range of topics including the beginnings of the State Library itself, the discovery and exploration of the South Australia, and the arts, architecture, social reforms, sport and religion in South Australia. To be honest, I was so entranced with the building and its book stock that I didn’t spend much time looking at the exhibits though one display that caught my eye was the Library’s collection of wine literature, especially in so far as it confirmed – though a quote from the Bible, picture 5 - that my consumption of wine was good for me. Timothy, chapter 5, verse 23 exhorts one to:

    “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities”

    The Mortlock Wing also houses two smaller libraries neither of which were open on my visit though I did manage a peek into the first of them. These are the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Library (open Tuesday-Friday 10am-1pm) and the Symon Library (open Monday-Friday 12-2pm). The Symon Library is pretty much that – the private collection of Joasiah Symon (some 10,000 volumes) complete with shelving and furnishings from Symon’s estate. While there is a focus on legal books (Symon was a late 19th century barrister – (and wine judge!) and State Attorney General) the collection also reflects his interest in Shakespeare, travel, history and biography. All in all, referred to by the library as an excellent example of a 'gentleman's library'.

    Mortlock Wing Opening Hours
    10am-5pm every day, excluding public holidays

    Entrance Fee: Free


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    The State Library of South Australia

    by wabat Updated Jan 26, 2015

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    The State Library is, as the name might suggest, the pre-eminent library in South Australia and houses a wealth of material, with a particular emphasis on South Australia.

    While the visitor is of course welcome to come into the library and read books, magazines and do things one does in a regular library that was not the purpose of my most recent visit. I was interested in the building itself (in fact three interconnected buildings) and seeing what exhibitions were on.

    The Library, today, comprises three buildings:
    ...The Institute Building
    ...The Spence Wing
    ...The Mortlock Wing – which is deserving of a separate review as it is, in my view, the most interesting part of the library for the average non-reading visitor. That is not to say that the remainder of the library is not interesting of if you can read the Mortlock Wing will not also be of interest to you!

    The Institute Building

    The Institute Building, which was undergoing and external renovation and thus under wraps on my most recent visit to Adelaide, is the oldest part of the Library. The picture attached is one I took in 2012.

    This beautiful Italianate building, designed by Edward Hamilton, the Colonial Architect, was built in 1861.

    Institutes (akin to Mechanics' Institutes and Schools of Art) played an important role in the life of early (European) Australian communities. They housed libraries and reading rooms and served as adult education centres in addition to hosting regular soirees, lectures, recitations and concerts. Essentially they were the centre of a community's cultural activities and that is exactly what this one was - often on a grand scale.

    The Institute was a mainly private, male dominated, body where women borrowed books in their husbands name and rarely ventured into the reading room, where gentlemen relaxed and read the latest newspapers.

    In the early days visitors were permitted to take their dogs into the library and the reading room. On the 16 July 1864 the caretaker’s dog was accidentally locked overnight in the reading room and caused considerable damage to the blinds and woodwork. From that day henceforth dogs have been banned from the library.

    Over the years the Institute merged into the State Library and the various rooms therein are now used for Library and visiting exhibitions and, indeed, some rooms are available for private hire. Film buffs may be aware that scenes from Australian movies Shine and Gallipoli were filmed here.

    Time did not permit me to visit a couple of exhibitions showing in the Institute Building on my last visit to the Library.

    The Spence Wing

    On entering the State Library watch out for the Kaurma (local Aboriginal people) greeting stone with its spiral shaped greeting by Kaurna elder Lewis O'Brian which, when translated from the local Aboriginal language to English, reads:

    First I welcome you all to my Kaurna country, and next I welcome you to the State Library of South Australia. My brothers, my sisters, let's walk together in harmony.

    Picture 2 attached is from the State Library’s website – unfortunately my image was illegible.

    The Spence Wing is the largest, newest (with the latest reincarnation having been completed in 2003) and main part of the State Library. In addition to providing an internal link between the Institute Building and the Mortlock Wing it is the hub of the library and houses its main book collection, periodicals, newspapers, etc – ‘50 kilometres of material’ - together with other facilities offered by a good library.

    Of interest to the visitor here is the Treasures Wall (just inside the building and prior to you going into the main reading library – picture 3). The Wall itself is interesting and consists of 40 display panels featuring natural and manufactured materiel found in South Australia. These, according to the Library’s website, include “abalone shell, bluestone, coal, cattle hide, copper, green glass, gold, granite, grapevine prunings, iron ore, lead, limestone, opal, quartz composite, salt, silver, slate, steel: car duco, talc, wheat, wool and zinc.’’

    Displayed on the Treasure Wall is material drawn from the library’s rich collection and variously includes books, photographs, manuscripts, artworks, etc. When I visited the display (which regularly changes) was entitled Art of nature. On display were rare early artistic depictions of Australian flora and fauna which, while pleasant enough, did not overly excite me - perhaps a good thing at my age.

    Looking back at the details on earlier exhibitions there was certainly lots there much more to my taste so it’s a sorta pot luck what you get to see.

    The tastefully modern glass lobby area houses a few bits of art worth a look, including the 'floating' plant fibre rope ellipse depicted in picture 4 attached.

    I should point out to any reader who may be a cricket fan that the Bradman Collection – memorabilia donated by, and related to, Australian cricket legend (Sir) Donald Bradman – which was formerly housed in the State Library is now substantially housed in the new cricket museum at the nearby Adelaide Oval.

    Opening Hours – noting all parts closed on public holidays

    Spence Wing
    Monday-Wednesday 10am-8pm
    Thursday and Friday 10am-6pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm

    Mortlock Wing and Institute Building
    Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm

    Café (which I did not visit and thus cannot comment on)
    Monday-Friday 7am-5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm

    Entrance Fee : Free


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    Erect in Full Coronation Regalia

    by wabat Updated Jan 26, 2015

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    Nowadays we regularly read of the antics of the younger British Royals as if it were news. The royals have always lived it up.

    King Edward VII (1841–1910), eldest son of Queen Victoria, in addition to his role as a peacemaker in foreign affairs was a renowned philanderer with a well developed taste for the high life. Even after his marriage to Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863, Edward persisted with his luxurious lifestyle and had a series of long-term mistresses, including actress Lily Langtree. Well, I guess this was one way of keeping himself occupied as he waited (60 years) on his turn to be King. Interestingly, the current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles is 66 (as I write this review in Jan 2015).

    Given Edward's fondness for the ladies, I find it rather amusing that a Government of South Australia website describes this memorial statue as comprising ‘a cast bronze statue of King Edward VII standing erect in full coronation regalia.’ I wonder if the King’s affliction is due to the presence of the three scantly clad damsels at the base of the statue’s pedestal?

    Enough frivolity.

    The memorial statue was sculpted and the pedestal designed by Sir Bertram Mackennel, the first Australian sculptor to be elected to the Royal Academy in London.

    Conceived in 1910 at the first meeting of the Adelaide City Council after Edward VII’s death and paid for by public subscription, the statue was not unveiled until 1920. The first reason for the delay was a protracted and heated dispute between Mackennel and the design committee which actually resulted in work coming to a standstill in 1913. Mackennel first cast the King in field marshal attire. The committee demanded a more regal appearance necessitating a recasting – in full coronation regalia. Having agreed that the King would be accompanied by two smaller figures representing Peace and Justice the committee then requested a third, ‘ South Australia’ - standing with her arms outstretched welcoming the world. Mackennel refused to make this change to his work and only acceded to the rather peculiar addition after much persuasion and on the agreement that he be paid and extra £250.

    Having agreed on everything in 1915, World War I intervened and work was again delayed as memorial statues, even those of ex-kings, were demoted in importance as foundries shifted to war production.

    The memorial statue was finally unveiled on 15th July, 1920 and bears the very simple inscription, ‘Edward VII King and Emperor 1901 – 1910’.

    The unveiling, in front of what was described as one of the largest crowds Adelaide had ever seen, was by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, in a hastily arranged ceremony coinciding with his visit to Australia for other reasons.

    Perhaps given the lengthy delay in getting the statue completed, the Prince did not want to deny the good and patient people of Adelaide their memorial statue one second longer than necessary. Lord Mayor, Frank Boulden spoke briefly before the Prince hurried up the stairs, said ‘Thank you’ and unveiled the statue of his grandfather. The whole ceremony took all of ten minutes.


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    Captain Matthew Flinders

    by wabat Updated Jan 26, 2015

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    Captain James Cook is most often credited as being the person who discovered Australia, in 1770. In actual fact, Cook claimed the eastern part of the continent for Britain in that year and it was Dutch man, Willem Janszoon, who first landed on the continent on the Cape York Peninsula (in Queensland) and met with Aboriginal people in 1606. It wasn’t until 1803, almost 200 years after this initial European discovery, that someone proved that Australia was an island continent.

    That someone was Captain Matthew Flinders (1774-1814), one of the most successful navigators, explorers and cartographers of his age.

    Born in Donington (Lincolnshire, England), Flinders made three voyages to Australia (1795 –1797, 1798 –1800 and 1801 –1810).

    His first voyage was as a midshipman on the H.M.S. Reliance, the ship on which the newly appointed governor of New South Wales, Captain John Hunter, came to Australia. Having deposited the Governor in Sydney, he and George Bass, another English sailor and explorer, explored Botany Bay and Norfolk Island before heading back to England. On his second trip in 1798 – 1799 he and Bass circumnavigated Tasmania (then Van Diemen's Land) in the sloop Norfolk thus proving it to be an island.

    While these were important voyages it was his third voyage for which Flinders is best remembered. On this voyage, as commander of the H.M.S. Investigator, he was under instructions from the British Admiralty to study, in detail, 'the Unknown Coast' – the southern coastline between the Great Bight and the Victorian border. It was while doing this that Flinders had his friendly encounter with the French corvette, Le Géographe, under the command of Captain Nicolas Baudin – at a spot he named Encounter Bay. More on Baudin later.

    After completing his Admiralty remit, Flinders headed north from Port Jackson, South Australia, towards Queensland, mapping the coastline as he did. Despite numerous difficulties with the Investigator he continued on, anticlockwise, returning to Port Jackson on 9 June 1803 having circumnavigated the continent.

    Having tried to complete his survey work with a couple of other ships, Flinders determined to return to England in the schooner Cumberland. The Cumberland proved totally unfit for the task leading Flinders to seek assistance en-route, in Mauritius, where he arrived on 17 December 1803, shortly after Baudin had died on the Island.

    By this stage England was at war with France and Flinders was arrested by the governor, General De Caen. He spent the next seven years prisoner in Mauritius despite Baudin having asked that assistance be given to any English ship calling into the Island, in return for the hospitality his expedition had received from Flinders at Encounter Bay.

    On 11 March 1806 Napoleon approved Flinders’ release but De Caen let it be known that he did not intend to follow the Emperor's order, claiming that Flinders was a very dangerous man. De Cain held firm until France’s defeat on the island became imminent. Flinders was let leave Mauritius on 14 June 1810.

    Despite a British defeat in the Battle of Grand Port -Mauritius (the only French naval victory during the Napoleonic Wars), Britain took the Island on 3 December, 1810. By this time Flinders had arrived back in Britain where, in failing health, he wrote his most famous work - A Voyage to Terra Australis - published on 18 July 1814, the day before Flinders died.

    A map of the island continent dated to 1804, on which is transcribed the word AUSTRALIA (picture 5), was also published on Flinders’ return to England. Based on this map Flinders is credited the honour of having named the continent.

    This bronze statue of Flinders, by English sculptor Frederick Brook Hitch, was unveiled in 1934 in recognition of Flinders’ achievement ‘in making known to the world the coasts of the Australian continent, especially those of the State of South Australia.’ - The Advertiser.

    The Adelaide Advertiser (13 April 1934) went on to report Hitch as stating that the statue represented Flinders ‘in a calm attitude, contemplating in a general sense the accomplishment of his work of exploration. The telescope and the sextant symbolised his calling of the sea, and the broken mast and strained cables at the back of the base of the statue his misfortunes by shipwreck’.

    Two bronze relief panels of Flinders’ journeys can be seen on the statue’s plinth. One (picture 3) shows his route around Australia while the other (picture 4) depicts his explorations of South Australia and major locations named by him.

    Today not only is Flinders remembered by this statue but numerous landmarks in South Australia are named after him including The Flinders Ranges, Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island, Flinders Street in Adelaide and Flinders University.

    In July 2014, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge unveiled a memorial stature of Flinders at Australia House in London. This statue is destined for a new concourse of Euston Station, in north London, where Flinders' remains are rumoured to be buried under one of the train platforms (views vary as to which one). One to look out for if you are passing through London – hopefully it will be there when I visit later this year (2015).


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    Parliament House

    by wabat Updated Jan 25, 2015

    This review is a hopefully logical continuation of my separate review on Old Parliament House – located adjacent to this building. If you have not read it, I suggest you have a look at it before reading this review.

    Despite the additional space for members when the new (now Old) Parliament House was built in 1857 members remained unhappy but a shortage of funds meant not much could be done. In 1872 when it was necessary to increase the size of the House of Assembly by ten members, architect EJ Woods was engaged to extend the building and, finally, in 1883 work began on this building.

    After much delay and controversy (attendant, it seems to me, on all new buildings in Adelaide at the time) the West Wing of the building was completed in 1889 at which time the House of Assembly (Lower House) moved in. It would be another 50 years (1939) before the remainder of the building (the East Wing) was completed and the Legislative Council (Upper House) also moved in. A planned great dome for the building has never eventuated.

    I have not yet had the opportunity to take one of the short tours of the building on offer so cannot comment on the interior.

    The building itself is in the Classical style and constructed of local South Australian materials - Kapunda marble and West Island granite. I have to say that while it is imposing and reflective of a burgeoning State (burgeoning pride more than burgeoning finances!), I find it a rather dull and dour building. Added to this, given its location on the corner of a very busy intersection and the row of trees in front of it, it is a pain in the proverbial to photograph!

    In my main picture you can see, still in place, two cast iron gas lamps (green) made by the Adelaide firm of GE Fulton & Co. Close by, though not visible in my main picture, is a carved stone lion (picture 5) from the Palace of Westminster in London - a gift from the United Kingdom Branch of the Empire Parliamentary Association to mark the completion of Parliament House in 1939.

    While, as noted earlier, I have not been inside Parliament House I include, below, details on visiting for completeness sake.

    Opening Times

    The sittings of both Houses are open to members of the public - see website for timings.

    When Parliament is not sitting, per the website, a guided tour is available at 10am and 2pm on week days.

    Entrance Fee: Free


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    Old Parliament House

    by wabat Updated Jan 25, 2015

    Old Parliament House served as the meeting place of the South Australian State Government between 1857 and 1889 though the Legislative Council (Upper House) remained in the building until 1939 when it too moved into the New Parliament House, next door.

    The Elizabethan style building with a nice contrasting red brick and white limestone façade subsequently housed Australia’s first political museum and was thus open to the public between 1980 and 1995. In 1995 it once again became, and remains, part of the State's parliamentary activities providing office and meeting space for Parliament. As such, it is not open to the public except as a small part of the short tour of New Parliament House.

    What intrigued me is the wording on a plaque (picture 3) affixed to the building in 1956 which, in part, reads:

    “This plaque marks the site of the first sittings of Parliament under Responsible Government on April 22nd, 1857. Unveiled by…… to mark the centenary of Responsible Government…..”

    Those who have read others of my reviews, particularly on my Glenelg page, will be aware that the State of South Australia came into being on 28 December 1936. This wording on the plaque thus begs the question or leads one to assume that the State’s Government between 1836 and 1857 was Irresponsible. As such, some form of explanation is in order.

    From 1836 to 1843 the Government, four appointed officials and the State Governor met privately in the sitting room of Government House which, until a wing of the current Government House became available in 1840, was a rather modest three room affair of earth and wood with a thatched roof.

    In 1843 a rather modest, though brick, Parliament building was constructed, modest in size and appeal given the £200 budget limit imposed by Her Majesty’s Government in London, to house an expanded government of seven appointed members and to permit access to the public, by then deemed a necessary requirement of good governance.

    In 1850 The Australian Colonies Government Act was passed and the number of members increased to 24 of which 16 were to be elected. A new chamber was required. After various hiccups – including a shortage of labour due to a goldrush in the neighbouring State of Victoria - the new (now Old) Parliament Building officially opened in April 1857.

    As it happened, the delay in building the new Parliament Building was fortuitous. In June 1856 South Australia was granted self government with its own constitution. This constitution required two elected Houses of Parliament – a Lower House (House of Assembly) of 36 members and an Upper House (Legislative Council) of 18.

    The 1850 plans (and indeed location) for a new Parliament House were revised to accommodate the increased membership, which met for the first time in this building in April 1857.

    From this I conclude that the term ‘Responsible Government” refers to responsibility to the people of South Australia rather than to London. Now, unlike me, you need not worry when you first read the plaque.

    My final picture is of Old Parliament House in 1880 and is courtesy of the State Library of South Australia.


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    Yerrakartarta

    by wabat Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    Yerrakartarta (the title of this artwork) is a Kaurma Aboriginal word meaning ‘at random’ or ‘without design’. The Kaurma people are the indigenous inhabitants of the Adelaide area.

    This vibrant artwork is little referred to in tourist literature and unless you are looking for it you will not stumble across it (unless you are staying in the Intercontinental Hotel) even though it is quite large, along North Terrace and beside the Adelaide Railway Station. In picture 5 you can see how it is tucked away from North Terrace, which runs along behind the trees.

    The work, a tribute to the Kaurma people, was created between 1993 and 1994 and reflects the seemingly random order of the natural world, with its fossil like animal forms cut into the pavement representing the history of the land and its large ceramic mural depicting the Tjillbruke Dreaming story on the surrounding wall.

    The Tjilbruke Dreaming story tells of creation, the law and human relationships.

    Tjilbruke, an ancestor of the local Kaurna people, was faced with a dilemma when his much loved nephew, Kulultuwi, killed an emu. While Tjilbruke forgave his nephew, he was subsequently killed by his two part brothers, Jurawi and Tetjawi, for killing the emu.

    Tjilbruke, a man of the law, determined that Kulultuwi had been murdered and avenged the crime by spearing and burning to death, Jurawi and Tetjawi.

    While burying Kulultuwi, Tjilbruke became overwhelmed by sadness and wept. His tears created numerous freshwater springs along the coast.

    After these events, Tjilbruke decided he no longer wished to live as a man. On his death his spirit became a bird, the Tjilbruke (Glossy Ibis), and his body became the iron pyrites outcrop at Barrukungga, the place of hidden fire, in the Adelaide Hills.

    The artwork was created by Adelaide-based Kokatha Aboriginal artist, Darryl Pfitzner Milika, with the assistance of several other Aboriginal artists including Muriel Van Der Byl, Stephen Bowers, Jo Crawford and Jo Fraser.

    While the work is very contemporary, elements of it will be immediately recognisable to those with a knowledge of the prehistoric Aboriginal rock art found throughout Australia.

    This stunning, oft missed, artwork should not be missed.


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    Artwork at Outer Harbor Station

    by wabat Updated Jan 18, 2015

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    As I have indicated in my Outer Harbor Station review in the transportation section of this page, the average visitor to Adelaide would typically only visit Outer Harbor Station if they were arriving and/or departing on a cruise ship and using the Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal across the road or using it as the starting or finishing point for a cycling trip along the beautiful Gulf St Vincent coast.

    In the event that you do find yourself here for one of these reasons there are couple of artworks worth a look. That said, if you have a particular interest in quality Aboriginal artwork you may want to make a special trip.

    The first piece of artwork, on the exterior wall of the station, is a 2012 collage entitled ‘Catching the Boat Train’ by John Whitney – picture 1 attached. This depicts some of the history of the area with a focus on the history of the Outer Harbor train line and the special boat trains that used to run to and from this station.

    In 1908 Outer Harbor opened to ocean-going shipping which previously anchored at %l[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/241d78/ ]Largs Bay, a short distance down the coast.

    A train service to Adelaide commenced at the same time and, until the 1950s, special express boat trains connected with the arrival and departure of ocean-going ships. Indeed, many of the boat trains were shunted onto the wharf to enable passengers to transfer directly to and from their ships.

    A significant number of South Australia’s post-World War II immigrants from the United Kingdom and mainland Europe would have taken one of these special boat trains and passed through this modest station en route to Adelaide and beyond.

    With the switch to airlines and the consequential decline in people arriving by ship (now limited to those arriving on cruise ships) the last special boat train departed Outer Harbor in 1971.

    As I have noted earlier, cruise ship passengers may avail of the regular train to the city centre from Outer Harbor, though it will not meet them on the wharf and a 200 metre walk to the station will be required unless they, or their ship, arrange otherwise to get to the train station.

    The second piece of artwork, on the wall as you enter the station, is a large colourful Aboriginal mosaic entitled Bukki Yellaka Iamo Tarkarri (Making Old Tracks New Again) by Tamara Molloy, Ben Resch, Katrina Power and students from Tauondi College and celebrating Kaurna Country and culture.

    The Kaurna people are the original Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains (Kaurna Country) on which the modern city of Adelaide and its beachside suburbs are located. Today the Port Adelaide Enfield council area, which includes Outer Harbor, has one of the highest Aboriginal populations in South Australia, not only Kaurna people but also Narungga and Ngarrindjeri people from Country adjoining Kaurna Country. This mosaic is specifically designed to acknowledge, respect and honour all three groups.

    The mosaic, like much Aboriginal artwork, is rich in symbolism which is, thankfully for the visitor, related and explained on a board along side. While, as my regular reader is aware, I am not averse to long reviews I could not do justice to an interpretation of the mosaic here so will leave it for you to read the interpretation provided should you visit Outer Harbor Station. In the meantime do enjoy my pictures 2 – 4 attached.


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    St Jude’s Cemetery – and Sir Douglas Mawson

    by wabat Updated Jan 18, 2015

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    St Jude’s Cemetery is located at the rear of St Jude’s Church.

    A little on the church first, if I may?

    The church was significantly remodeled in 1954 after an earthquake caused major damage - such that it now doesn’t have a particularly interesting street appeal. It was also closed when I visited – hence the absence of a separate review. I will share one interesting titbit though.

    While the original church was opened in 1855 it was not consecrated until 1977 because of a £100 debt owing to the builders. Church funds were clearly in short supply as it was not until 1909, when it could afford to pay the minimum stipend of £200 per annum, that the Revered Arthur Cunningham was appointed the first rector of St Jude’s. In the years immediately prior to this (1905 -1908) the Reverend Alexander Macully, a rather colourful gentleman about whom you can read more in my separate review - Dunluce ‘Castle’ and the Reverend Macully looked after the spiritual needs of St Jude’s flock. The Reverend Macully is buried in St Jude’s Cemetery though as I was unaware of his existence until I researched my review on Dunluce ‘Castle’, to which I have just referred, I did not locate his final resting place therein.

    So, back to the cemetery.

    While St Jude’s Cemetery was established and opened in 1854/5 it did not become church property until 1923. Perhaps due to the lack of funds I mentioned above, the cemetery was purchased and run by William Voules Brown who was also the curator and gravedigger.

    Many early pioneering family members are interred here including some from the HMS Buffalo, which landed at Holdfast Bay (Glenelg) on 28 December 1836 bringing with it South Australia’s first Governor-elect, John Hindmarsh, who the same afternoon read, under the Old Gum Tree at Glenelg, a proclamation, on behalf of King William IV, which announced that the government and State of South Australia had been established, that the law would be enforced and that Aboriginal people would be protected.

    Settling aside the above, the reason most people come to St Jude’s Cemetery is to visit the grave of the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson (picture 2). The granite boulder in picture 3, close by the grave and often mistaken for Mawson’s grave (Wikipedia!), is from the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in the Northern Flinders Ranges and was gifted by geologist Dr Reg Sprigg who studied that area with Mawson in 1940.

    Born in Shipley, Yorkshire, England in 1882 Mawson moved (or was rather brought by his family as I doubt if he had much say in the matter) to Australia in 1884.

    In 1907, by which stage he was an accomplished geologist, scientist and academic at the University of Adelaide, he met with Sir Ernest Shackleton, leader of the British Antarctic Expedition and in so doing began his long association with the Antarctic.

    In March 1908 Mawson was one of the first party to climb Mount Erebus and one of the first to reach the vicinity of the South Magnetic Pole the following summer.

    In 1911 Robert Scott offered Mawson a coveted place on his Terra Nova expedition. Mawson turned this down and instead planned his own expedition to chart a 2000 mile stretch of Antarctic coastline directly south of Australia. Unlike Scott, Amundsen and Shakelton, Scott was not preoccupied in reaching the South Pole. In fact it wasn’t part of his plans at all and he was disappointed by those who sought the personal glory of being first to the Pole.

    On 2 December 1911 Mawson and his party departed Hobart on the Aurora and headed south, not to arrive back to Australia until 26 February 2014. This, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition is regarded as one of the greatest polar scientific expeditions of all times. Mawson successfully charted the Antarctic coastline and studied the Southern Ocean as well as making detailed observations in magnetism, geology, biology and meteorology in Antarctica.

    Post this expedition Mawson lead two more shorter expeditions to the Antarctic and continued his academic/ research career until his retirement in 1952. He died in 1958 and after a Commonwealth State Funeral service was buried here in St Jude’s Cemetery.


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    Person Sitting on Bench - Brighton

    by wabat Updated Jan 18, 2015

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    Adelaide is often referred to as the Festival City because of the disproportionately large number of festivals it has compared to Sydney, Melbourne and other Australian cities. Two of these festivals are held, back to back, at Brighton in the later half of January each year – the Brighton Jetty Beach Sculptures and the Brighton Jetty Classic. The Brighton Jetty Classic is an open water swim while the Sculpture festival (fashioned on similar events at Cottesloe Beach in West Australia and in Sydney - Bondi’s Sculptures by the Sea) is a display of around 80 sculptures, some along the Brighton Esplanade set against the beautiful backdrop of the Gulf St Vincent and the balance within the local Surf Life Saving Club.

    As I have attended neither event I do not presume to review them and my comment is by way of introduction to one sculpture, as depicted, which was part of the sculpture festival in 2011. All the sculptures displayed during the festival are new pieces of work and are for sale and this is how the local council acquired this piece, ‘Person Sitting on Bench’, by local artist Ty Manning.

    Readers familiar with Australia will be familiar with “Ironmen” – who compete in ‘Ironman’ competitions which, when done at the beach, combine the four main disciplines of surf lifesaving into a single race; swimming, board paddling, ski paddling and running. Well, this is the ultimate Ironman as this person (sex unknown) is made from recycled metal. While I like the overall sculpture I think the addition of the portion of fish and chips on newspaper (all metal, off course) on the persons lap is a nice tie-in with the sculpture’s seaside location. All in all, I feel it meets its aim, as stated on the accompanying plaque, of capturing the simple pleasures of life by the seaside. You judge for yourself.

    As you can see from the images attached it was Christmas time and the sculpture was suitably adorned to mark to festive occasion. Someone had also added a hat atop the sculptures metal hat.

    When the sculpture was bought there was the usual barrage of complaints that typically accompany the display of public art. Here there was a particular emphasis on how the sculpture had taken up, and thus wasted, half a park bench, denying those in need of a rest a seat. This line of attack quickly died down when complainants were reminded that the park bench was actually part of the sculpture and that, in fact, additional seating was now available for those in need of a rest on the esplanade!


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