Echoes

History Is Revived

A Norfolk Island “Lighter”

Well, the first question you might ask is…’What is a Lighter?’

A Lighter is a ‘shallow-draft boat or barge, usually flat-bottomed, used in unloading (lightening) or loading ships offshore’. Source: Brittanica.com

Norfolk Island has no harbour and the closest cargo ships can moor to it is about 1 kilometre (0.62 miles)

The cargo is lifted onto the Lighters and then the Lighters transport the goods to Kingston Pier. A further challenge is that, even at high tide, the water is only 1 metre (3.2 feet) deep so a high degree of seamanship is required.

We were fortunate even to see this careful practice take place in our second visit to Norfolk Island back in 2007.

I find the Lighters to be a fascinating subject, particularly the ones that are no longer in service. There are 3 at Kingston, placed on land to add to the character of an already stunningly beautiful area. Oh, the stories I bet they could tell!

For me, they are one of my favourite subjects on Norfolk Island and have inspired me in terms of photography, sketching, painting and poetry.

Here are few examples:

Till next time!

Written, photographed, sketched and painted by myself.

23 April 2022

The Bounty Folk Museum

Norfolk Island has a number of great museums as it has a very rich history, maritime and otherwise.

Of course one of the most famous aspects of its history is the fact that the Bounty Mutineer descendants made their home on Norfolk island after transferring from Pitcairn Island. There also had been a Polynesian Settlement before Captain Cook arrived and two Penal Colonies prior to arrival of Bounty Mutineer descendants.

The Bounty Folk Museum is situated at Middlegate, on the way to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Kingston and Arthur’s Vale if you are heading there from Burnt Pine, the main shopping centre on the Island.

On http://www.norfolkisland.com.au The Bounty Folk Museum is described as ‘A treasure chest of history, an Aladdin’s cave full of fantastic collections, excellent learning resources and inspiring information …’.

We visit The Bounty Folk Museum every time we go to Norfolk Island and each time, we allow 2-3 hours time to explore. It is much bigger than it looks from the outside.

Rather than me try to explain what you will find there, have a look at the images below. It is absolutely fascinating! The following images do not show all the rooms there.

This museum is very much on the ‘must do’ list when you are visiting Norfolk Island!

Till next time!

Written and Photographed by David Johnson

14 April 2022

‘Post’ Norfolk Island Watercolour Sketches

A couple of posts ago, I highlighted the sketches that I did each on Norfolk Island using the Sennelier Student Watercolour paints.

Upon arriving home (to presently), all my ‘Watercolour Sketch a Day’ efforts have been from reference photos that I took whilst away on holiday (25th Wedding Anniversary). As you can see, I’m very much in love with Norfolk Island and have been ever since our first visit in 1997 (Honeymoon). This was further strengthened by celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary there in 2007.

At home (currently) I am using Winsor and Newton Artist quality paints and so I thought I would post a few of my Watercolour sketches that I have completed since my return.

It really is a fascinating place, and one I’ll be continuing to use for inspiration for many years to come. We are looking forward to going to other places for sure, like Hawaii and New Zealand, but a 4th trip to Norfolk Island is certainly ‘a given.’

Written and Sketched by David Johnson

2 April 2022

Holiday Inspiration!

One of the many benefits of our recent trip away to Norfolk Island was the ‘change of scenery’ in regards to the type of subject matter I had been sketching/painting since I started this journey.

I had been doing a lot of sheds, houses, the odd seascape/landscape, farms and trees. Many were inspired by tutorials, (my own) reference photos, free images of my imagination. There were not a lot from ‘plein air’ sketching.

Whilst I was away, I did some rough pencil sketches in an A5 Moleskine sketchbook, took some reference photos and also kept up my Watercolour Sketch a Day practice however, I chose to use a different paint brand/quality. I took away a Sennelier Student half-pan set. It was a bit of a challenge as I limited myself to only 12 colours and they had some different shades to what I was/am using with the Winsor and Newton Artist quality half-pans.

Sennelier Student Half-Pans

It forced me to think differently in terms of mixing eg for shadows. Normally, I would use Ultramarine Blue and Sepia however, I did not have these colours available so I had to work to explore a different option.

Below, I’ve included the Watercolour Sketch a Day’s I did on the trip.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

27 March 2022

Norfolk Island – Paradise!

On 18 February 2022, my Wife, Susan and I headed off to one of our favourite places to go for a holiday, Norfolk Island for 10 nights. It was our third trip there.

View from Queen Elizabeth Lookout over Quality Row (part of Kingston World Heritage site), the Golf course and Nepean and Phillip Islands.

Norfolk Island is located 1,766 kilometres (1,097 miles) North East of Sydney, Australia and there are only two flights in and out per week. The Island itself is an external territory of Australia that was gifted to Australia by the British Commonwealth back in 1913. It became self-governing in 1979 but then in 2015 the Australian Government took over control.

There have been 4 settlements on the Island. Archaeological evidence suggests the the Polynesians were there between (c.1150 and c.1450 AD), then in 1788 the British arrived on Norfolk Island and a Penal colony existed till 1814, then was closed down. A while later, another Penal colony was established and that was closed down in 1856.

Gallows Gate – New Gaol – Penal Settlement

The ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ also had a part to play as, after the Mutiny, Fletcher Christian and the other mutineers ended up taking The Bounty to Pitcairn Island (some 7,000+ kilometres East of Sydney). Descendants of the mutineers then settled on Norfolk Island in 1856 and descendants of the 8 families are still on Norfolk Island to this day.

As mentioned, this is our third visit there, the first being our Honeymoon in 1997, then for our 10th Wedding Anniversary in 2007. This time it was for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and we will definitely be going back again.

Susan and a Moreton Bay Fig Tree
at ‘100 Acres’.

The Island is only 34.6 square kilometres (13.36 square miles) in area and is 8km (4.97 miles) wide and 5km (3.1 miles) long however, in three visits there we have not seen it all or done everything there is to do there. It is such and amazing place that caters for all interests and tastes. Whether you are a history buff, like to relax, sketch, paint, photograph, play sports (including Golf), swim, surf, snorkel, read, kayak, paddle-board, fish, hike, go out to restaurants, live bands or shop, there is something for everyone.

Sunset at Puppy’s Point

Over the ensuing weeks (or longer), I will be writing some articles based on our experiences on this Island paradise.

As the Island’s advertising slogan states, ‘There’s more to Norfolk Island.’

Written by David Johnson

5 March 2022

Norfolk Island Is

Time Alone With Books

A Trip To The Country – Part 1 – Boorowa

Last weekend, my Wife, Susan and Susan’s Mum were away for the weekend. We were attending one of our Godson’s Weddings (between us we have 7 Godsons and 6 are with the one Family) at Millthorpe, a small country town some 3 1/2 hours drive from us.

The Mother of the Groom went to school with my Wife so they have been Family Friends for many years.

On the way, we stopped at one of our favourite places, an even smaller town called Boorowa. Boorowa is rich in Irish history with the “Irish Woolfest’ in October each year being one of it’s premier attractions. Boorowa is also part of the ‘Hilltops Wine Region’ and so there are a number of wineries in the vicinity.

The original custodians of the land were the Wiradjuri people. Boorowa was originally spelt, ‘Burrowa’ and although no-one is exactly sure, that name may be a Wiradjuri word meaning, ‘Turkey.’

We have stopped for lunch a couple of times in the past by the side of the river, however, this time it was just for Afternoon Tea. A wonderful place to do this is the, ‘Arts and Crafts Magistrates Tea Rooms’ which are local in the old Boorowa Courthouse, a magnificently majestic building just outside the centre of the town. Amongst other things they serve a scrumptious Devonshire Tea and they have books for sale, the proceeds going to a local charity.

It is also the local Tourist Information Centre and they have Art and Craft made by members of the local community there.

There are a number of shops (that we are yet to investigate), however, one shop we did not want to miss out on was the charity bookshop. All proceeds go to local charities and as we are all book lovers it is a place we did not want to miss visiting. Some more ‘book treasure’ was uncovered but I will cover that in a separate post.

There is something about small Country towns that I love. They don’t have the ‘hustle and bustle’ of larger towns. The quieter streets tend to lend themselves greater to visions of a quieter time, perhaps when the Horse and Carriage was the main form of transport.

In my next post (Trip To The Country Part 2), I’ll be highlighting the ‘Book Treasure’ that was uncovered this trip.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

17 April 2021

For further information on Boorowa, please click on the following link.