November Lily from the garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

November Lily from the garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.

G’Day from down-under where the big news is that female jockey Michelle Payne won this year’s Melbourne Cup at odds of 100 – 1. She is the first woman to do so and has made the history books in so doing. Riding Prince of Penzance she powered through and stayed in front winning easily. Michelle is a proud Ballarat girl and she certainly struck gold, Ballarat’s first gold was discovered more than a century-and-a-half ago in Queen Victoria’s reign. Coming from a family of ten eight of whom are jockeys including her father, it can be said that racing is in her blood. She is especially pleased that the glass ceiling of male jockeys has been broken after her ground breaking win, being the only female rider among the field of twenty four and that women will now get equal opportunity in the field. At thirty years old with fifteen years experience she hopes to continue riding for some time yet. Losing her mother at six months old to a car accident, her older sisters have looked after her and the close family is still celebrating the victory.

Springtime taken by Reg J.Dunkley

Springtime taken by Reg J.Dunkley

A week after Payne’s victory Australian driver Kerryn Manning has followed with a win in the New Zealand Trotting arena and taken out the prestigious Gold Cup. Manning took on the might of New Zealand’ s biggest harness racing stables in the marathon 3200-metre event and Arden Rooney did the rest after stepping safely away from a standing start. Manning has become the first woman to win New Zealand’s Trotting Cup in its 111-year history. This World Champion Reinswoman in the sport of Australian Harness Racing recently piloted her 3,000 career win and is known as the Queen of Harness Racing. She broke new boundaries for female drivers in 1997 when as a 21-year old she travelled to Norway with Knight Pistol, trained by her father Peter, and became the second woman in Europe to win a Group 1 Race. She is a member of the industry’s “Hall of Fame” and the welcome sign at Great Western declares itself the “Home Town of Kerryn Manning World Champion Harness Racing Driver.” She has driven more winners than any other woman in the world. The quaint and charming town of Great Western in Victoria, Australia, is located in the middle of the Western Highway between Melbourne and Adelaide and part of The Grampians and Great Grape Road Touring Routes. It is also famous for its sparkling wines, and was settled in the 1840’s during the Victorian gold rush. The first vineyards were established by two Frenchmen, following on Great Western is still producing sparkling wines including Seppelt Salinger. The cellars include over 3 kilometres of labyrinthine tunnels originally constructed by miners searching for gold, and are now used to allow the sparkling wine to rest and develop. Gold ultimately has turned out to be wine.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, had an extensive tour in New Zealand visiting Wellington, Auckland, Waikato, Dunedin, Nelson, Westport, and New Plymouth. Wreath laying and State Receptions, Early Settlers, Environmental Groups, Food and Wine events. They were also treated to a traditional Maori Dance where they wore the Koronai, a coat made out of Kiwi Feathers, Maori Warriors performed the Haka to welcome the couple plus many other functions during their full week.

Arriving in Australia for his 15th visit the couple were feted by crowds when they visited the Barossa Valley, where they spent more than an hour talking to Barossa Valley Winemakers, Artisans and Food Producers sampling local wine, cheeses and seafood. Among the many visitors was a former Royal Maid carrying a sign thanking the Prince for a special dance. Clare Morrow was reunited with her former boss 20 years after she worked at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Hydrangea in the garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley.

Hydrangea in the garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley.

On their one day stay in Canberra they took part in the Remembrance Day Ceremonies, at the Australian War Memorial laying wreaths on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife. Toured the National Museum and planted trees at the Arboretum. A highlight for the Duchess was an introduction to “French Black Truffles of Canberra”, where a truffle hunt was organised and Samson the Black Labrador weaved his way to a find on the farm. Then it was a taste test with truffle delicacies. Truffle-infused cheese, and Honey, freshly scrambled truffle eggs, and ice-cream.

Huge crowds greeted the Royals on arrival in Sydney and thousands of fans packed Martin Place to catch a glimpse or a handshake from the couple. While in Sydney a visit to N.S.W. Mounted Police Unit commemorating its 100th Anniversary. The pair split up to visit various functions including Oz harvest’s Headquarters, and Post-Disaster Stress roundtables with Air Marshall Chief Sir Angus Houston. Their final Sydney event took place at Admiralty House with the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, and a list of special guests including female jockey Michelle Payne, John Howard and his wife Janette. Rosie Battey, Dick Smith, Young Australian of the year Drisana Levitzkee-Gray, who were among the fifty invited guests.

Prince Charles celebrated his birthday with a beach-side barbeque at Cottesloe beach: In 1979 the Prince, then a bachelor, was famously chased through the surf by Australian model Jane Priest, who boldly gave him a kiss on the cheek and put Cottesloe on the map. Today he was greeted with “Happy Birthday” sung by the crowd, before touring Oranje Tractor Wines, and was impressed with the organic farming techniques. He then cut his cake which featured red velvet and chocolate layers with Toblerone filling, topped with a chocolate sail and decorated with native flowers, strawberries, macaroons and caramel popcorn. Before sampling local food and wine, asparagus, oysters and smoked trout. Their last day will be spent visiting The Flame of Remembrance in   Kings Park and St.Georges Terrace, known as The Old Treasury.

Here in Shelly Beach the birds are having a lovely time and the garden is full of flowering hydrangea and some beautiful November lilies. The weather has been very strange with lots of tropical storms, but no doubt the heat is around the corner. My website has my books “Wallis the Woman I Love, Letters of a Travelling Lady, and The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain.”   Enjoy!

Cheers.   Patricia.

Foxglove in the garden  Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Foxglove in the garden Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley





About Patricia Newell-Dunkley

I am an artist writer, born in Sussex, Shoreham-on-Sea and educated at Ealing Modern School in London. I studied amongst other subjects English Literature and Art which sowed the seeds for what would become a lifelong passion. It was not until 1970, after moving to Australia, that I began to satisfy my artistic desire when I first started Porcelain on-glaze painting using mineral oxides paint, a style which would become my forte. Within six months I had bought a kiln, and I embarked on an extensive series of courses over the following years in Grounding, Gold and Silver Gilding, Lustres, Raised Paste and Pen work. In 1980 I began to offer my art through a number of major Sydney outlets. Initially the Fine Art Department of the Myers City Store, followed by David Jones, Grace Brothers, The International Airport, Micawbers Antiques, Bourke’s Hilton Hotel, Roseville Gallery and Toowoon Bay Gallery. Over the years my painting styles have expanded to include Oil, Pastel, and Watercolours. I am a member of the Society of Authors and also a member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists UK. My writing includes articles and poems published in This England, Evergreen, and The Radio ABC Pot Pourri of Poems, as well as short stories. “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” “Wallis the Woman I Love,” a narrative poem, “Letters of a Travelling Lady,” and six romantic novels.