SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No. 51 October, 2015.
Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley
The world-renowned Jacaranda Festival is held in Grafton Northern Rivers New South Wales, from the last weekend in October to the first weekend in November. This magnificent show was inaugurated in 1934, and the first of Australia’s Folk Festivals and celebrates the magnificent spectacle of lilac blossomed trees that grow in Grafton’s broad tree-lined avenues. Henry Volkers introduced the first Jacaranda trees to Grafton and each year the trees are celebrated, although it has changed over the years to adapt to today’s society, this traditional event is still widely celebrated within the town. The Festival starts with the crowning of the new Queen in an open ceremony under the beautifully lit lilac canopy of Jacaranda blooms. There is street theatre, the Venetian Carnival on the Clarence River with a firework’s finale. Jacaranda Saturday has Markets in the morning and the Grand Parade of floats in the evening, a picnic in the park and a family concert.
Grafton has a fascinating history being virtually discovered by escaped convict Richard Craig, who in return for his pardon and one hundred pounds escorted a party up to the “Big River” known by Aborigines as “The Booryimba” where there were stands of cedar at water’s edge. Grafton was officially named by Governor Fitzroy after his Grandfather, The Duke of Grafton of Norfolk, England, and several Streets carry family names, Prince, Fitzroy, Villiers and Duke. The first sale of town land blocks took place in January 1851 at the Police Station. Grafton adopted a street tree planting policy in 1879 and a tender accepted from seed merchant Mr. H. A. Volkers, who is credited with introducing the Jacaranda trees. The first sixty trees were planted in Pound Street, in 1880 the first Jacaranda and in 1907 saw the creation of Jacaranda Avenue. The town is also known for its double-decker road/railway bridge opened in 1932 over the mighty Clarence River.
It can be said that Grafton is one of Australia’s most beautiful provincial cities; offering tree lined streets, graceful old buildings, sporting and cultural facilities, and is located on the banks of the Clarence River one of Australia’s most majestic waterways. Visitors travel from all over the world to compete in Dragon Boat, Sail, and Power Boat racing, The Head of the River Rowing Regatta, and Water skiing events. Visit Grafton City in late October and you will be greeted by hundreds of lilac-blossom trees in full bloom, and be encompassed in a veil of purple which you will never forget.
Robbie Williams with his new haircut is in Australia for his “Let Me Entertain You” tour. While here he plans to appear on the Oz X Factor show, and next year he is taking on a new challenge in TV – as an Actor. His hit song ‘Angels remains the song people most associate with him and his personal favourite. The popular star will be appearing in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and is booked out.
The Melbourne Festival is on and runs from 8th – 25th October. This major event is a celebration of Dance, Theatre, Music, Circus, Visual Arts, Multimedia, Outdoor and Free events for seventeen days. It was started in 1977 when Sir Rupert Hamer came up with the idea. Over 30 years 11 Artistic Directors strived to create the Festival in all its dimensions and memory making moments have lasted from Ken Russell’s Madam Butterfly to Robyn Archer having everyone dance in Federation Square. There is something for everybody and the scale and breadth of this year’s programme is literally amazing. Visitors to Melbourne will enjoy the sophistication of the city with its many arcades, historic buildings, up market restaurants, food courts, and shops galore, plus a fabulous promenade along the river bank of the Yarra.
A celebration of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Art is on show at The Art Gallery of South Australia from 8th to 18th October. Tarnanthi, pronounced Tar-nan-dee, is a Kaurna word from the traditional owners of Adelaide Plains. It means to come forth or appear – like the sun and the first emergence of light, or a seed sprouting. For many cultures, first light signifies new beginnings. Visit the Tarnanthi Website and view the fascinating and diverse Aborigine Art on show.
The Bathurst 1000 is on once again. This 1,000- kilometre touring car race is held annually on Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. It is currently run as a championship event for V8 Supercars. Widely regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia and is known as “The Great Race” among motorsport fans and media. The race originated with the 1960 Armstrong 500 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and winners are presented with the “Peter Brock Trophy” who won the event nine times. This year a female duo is taking up the challenge, Swiss born Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie team up aboard a Ford Falcon run by Pro drive Racing Australia. The presence of an all-female entry has drawn a lot of comment and attention. Simona has a wealth of global motorsport experience, while Renee a 20year old Queenslander is competing for the first time. A total of 31 female racers from Australia and around the world have competed through the race’s 55 year history.
Here at Shelly Beach the weather is warming up and everyone’s getting ready for the invasion of Christmas holiday makers. I have zinnia seeds and cosmos coming up in the garden and hopefully they will be ready for me to paint by December. Pixie is playing me up and will not eat her food, I took her to the Vet and he said there is nothing drastically wrong with her but didn’t make any suggestions regarding diet. I think she is living on love and follows me around all the time; it may be that she does not like the sudden warm weather. Hopefully her appetite will pick up soon; I’ve never had a Pomeranian before so I am not familiar with their disposition. Although she is ten years old I have only had her for six months, she was rescued from a puppy farm situation. We have rescued each other. However, the birds are feasting well and more arrive on a daily basis.
For those planning a trip to UK do look at my book “Letters of a Travelling Lady” with 100 beautiful photographs of England. “Wallis the Woman I Love” is the romantic story of the King who abdicated for love. “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain” will take you into a fascinating world of ceramics. www.patriciasartworld.com