Archive for November, 2008

A Illawarra Flame Tree.

Here is some links to where Kiama is and its local heritage.

(I re-wrote the history section!)
Kiama is in the Illawarra, on the South Coast of New South Wales, in Australia.


It is a place of volanic rock and soil, where the high escarpment (mountain range) traps all the rain coming in form the Tasman Sea and keeping hte centre of Australia dry.

One of our special trees is the Illawarra Flame Tree which has leaves that get this colour only once every seven years, and it really is that bright and can be seen for miles and even kilometres!


I will be posting some more information on our unique plants and animals soon.

Kiama is full of contrasts from Terragong Swamp (over which the recent freeway by-pass build a bridge which is longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge http://en.structurae.de/structures/data/index.cfm?id=s0007967 and http://www.baulderstone.com.au/index.php?page=projects&id=345)
near the mouth of the Minnamurra river
Minnamurra swamp

to the dense rainforest near the Minnamurra Falls.
Minnamurra rainforest
These two photos are from http://www.gang-gang.net/nomad/index.html

 and the Kiama pelican (which has a statue at Kiama Harbour)

The bronze-mix statue was made by artist Tim Johnman and was erected at Kiama Harbour in December 2002. The plaque underneath the statue explains the Pelican Story and asks the community to protect our bird and marine life by disposing of all litter properly. A second identical transportable statue was also produced to use as an educational tool for visits to shopping centres, schools and at environmental events. (Thanks to the work of Kiama and District Hitorical member Winsome Barker)

and fish


 We had a world record tiger shark and world record marlin caught of the Kiama coast in 1938, the shark nicknamed Big Ben!

and lyrebirds



and sea eagles (photographed on Seven Mile Beach in the Daily Telegraph in 2008)
more photos of this sea eagle here
and fairy penguins that need to be taught to swim
fairy penguins

and weedy sea dragons
Weedy sea dragon kiama
Check out billunder’s video of a weedy sea dragon at Kiama here!

Sea Dragon

and the famous Kiama Blowhole


Here is a great recent video of the Kiama Blowhole from Libby Withnall’s blog ( who does a very classy blog with a link back to kiamalocalhistory, thank you very much)
doing its thing. Pretty Impressive!

Video of wild seas

here is the front entrance of the Kiama Blowhole

and the Kiama Rock Pool, (which can get dangerous during king tides twice a year!)
evita at redbubble-kiama-ocean-swimming-pool
This was photographed by ‘evita’ at redbubble.
and waterspouts,
photgraphed by ‘Australia Severe Weather’ in 2004
who sold some of their photos for Lord of the rings ‘Return of the King!)

and also filmed by ozthunder in 2004

A January 2010 photo of Kiama Harbour at dusk ( from just in front of the Pilot’s Cottage Museum)

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bandofhopeHello to our fans in Omaha.

Two women sat at the washing tub
For many hours had stood
Till one unto the other said
I’d like some beer I would
No beer for me the other cried
And you’ll agree with me
The beer is nowhere once you taste
The Hammodova tea”
from http://www.warrenfahey.com/Sydney-Folklore/SECTION-9/sfp-section-9.html and also
The Temperance Societies and Bands of Hope of Australia.
Sydney. 1880s Smith & Gardiner
Small songbook. Hard cover.
Tune: God Save The Queen
SITE SOURCE: Sydney Folklore – SECTION 9: Demon drink and teetotalism

Australia’s HOPE
God bless our youthful band;
Oh, may we firmly stand
True to our pledge.
May we to liberty,
Truth, love and charity,
Evermore faithful to be,
From youth to age.

While for the drunkard’s weel,
We work with constant zeal,
Our labours bless.
And we thine aid invoke,
To save all little folk
From the poor drunkard’s yoke,
And deep distress.

May young Australians stand,
A noble temperance band,
A joy to see;
And may our cause extend,
Until all nations blend –
And one great shout ascend, –
The world is free.
Source: DSM178/A
The Temperance Societies and Bands of Hope of Australia.
Sydney. 1880s Smith & Gardiner
Small songbook. Hard cover.
Tune: Rose of Allandale
SITE SOURCE: Sydney Folklore – SECTION9: Demon drink and teetotalism

I’ve Heard The Praise of Rosy Wine
I’ve heard the praise of rosy wine,
In dulcet measure sung;
And oft with wild and loud applause,
The festive hall has rung.
Let drunkards wake their noisy harps,
And Bacchus’ praises sing –
By far the sweetest drink for me
Is water from the spring
Is water from the spring
Is water from the spring
By far the sweetest drink for me
Is water from the spring
Whenever I wander from my home
How distant, far or wide,
I fear no danger on my way,
While temperance is my guide;
While here my course I fearless steer,
Secure beneath her wing;
And health and happiness I enjoy,
By water from the spring.

She shelters me from all the ills
The drunkard knows and feels;
She gives me health and happiness,
And sorrow often heals;
Along the thorny path of life,
Oft-sweet repose she’ll bring –
Like infant’s sleep – as sweet and pure
As water from the spring.

Jan 21st 1868
Air: Pretty Polly Perkins
SITE SOURCE: Sydney Folklore – SECTION 9: Demon drink and teetotalism

I’m a broke down bushman, and sadly afraid
That soon of tis child a wind-up will be made;
For I’ve been basely jilted by Susan Scraggs, who
Is barmaid to a pub-li-can at Woolloomooloo.

She was such a screamer, you’ll see fairer few
Than pretty little Susan of Woolloomooloo.

When I drove me conveyance from out Wynyard-square,
At the corner my Susan was sure to be there;
And often she’d bring an acquaintance or two
To have a ride gratis to Woolloomooloo.

When I asked her to wed me, she said, “You be blowd,
There’s another chap driving upon this ere road;
He’s got lots of money, could buy and sell you,
And we’re going to be mar-ri-ed at Woolloomooloo.

Since she has been wed I have gone quite to grief
At the soup-kitchen now I apply for relief;
My licence is cancelled, they wouldn’t renew,
All through pretty Susan of Woolloomooloo.
Here is an account of a evangelical visit to Kama of the American female evangelist Miss Isabella Leonard on behalf of the Methodist Holiness Association in 1884.
Here is a cartoon form Australia

The Visit to Kiama

Perhaps through the influence of James Carruthers, who came from this part of the South Coast, Miss Leonard visited the Kiama Circuit, preaching for a week in Kiama, and for another week in Jamberoo. The Kiama report reflected also some other spiritual features of the work there. The most relevant part of the report went as follows:-


“The cause of God in connection with the Church in this circuit has not, for some time past been, in a more encouraging state than it appears to be at present. For Kiama itself, which has too long been noted for spiritual dullness, generally speaking, rather than for spiritual life and activity, the prayer meetings are well attended, the classes are almost overflowing, and the congregations, though not crowded, are usually good. In Jamberoo, ever since the revival services which were held nearly two years since, the church has been in a forward state; and in other parts of the circuit there are good signs of present and increasing life. Various causes seem, under Divine Providence, to have brought about this pleasant condition of things, so far as Kiama itself is concerned. In the first place there was the arrival in town of several earnest young men, having the fear of God and a desire to do some work for Him. These, along with others, have formed themselves into a Society which, in its constitution and rules, provides for the mental and spiritual improvement of its members; and seeks to find out also, some sphere of and opportunities for Christian work. Just outside the town of Kiama is one of the large blue-metal quarries, known as Bombo Point, where a large number of men and youths are engaged, and where the Sabbath has been a day for gambling and other sins. For some time past a number of the members of our M.C.A. [Mens’ Christian Association] have regularly visited these spiritual and social outcasts, and have distributed tracts, held prayer meetings, given Scripture readings and addresses, and in other ways have exerted a very wholesome influence in the midst of the great moral corruption. Then came the visit of Miss Leonard, which will be long remembered in those parts of the circuit, Kiama and Jamberoo, which she visited, and in each of which she conducted a week of Holiness meetings and services. During these meetings a goodly number of our best Christian workers were led to seek and to find Christian Holiness, and their description of their experience of this blessing, as contrasted with their experience of a justified state, is wonderfully clear and pleasing.” (8.)”


She was invited by the Premier of NSW Sir Joseph Carruthers, who was form Kiama and aligned to the tempereance movement politicaly.

In addition there is a great poem  in ‘Early Illawarra Poetry’ at the Kiama Library about wearing the Blue in a town wher wearing the Orange and the Green was important. also the current Freemason Tempe in Hidnmarsh Park was bought from the Sons of Daughters of Temperance (built in 12876)for 50 pounds (rather mysteriously 150 pounds less than what was offered the year before) in 1897


Another mention of Methodist revival, with it hysterical overtone is here.


Consider the revival at Kiama in 1864 under the ministry of the Rev Thomas Angwin, a Methodist.  His sermons revealed a knowledge of ‘the deep things of God’, and congregations and prayer meetings grew in number, swelled by Presbyterians and Anglicans who sought a richer fare than they were receiving in their own churches.  On ‘one of the later Sundays’ in July the revival came: 

The arrows were sharp in the hands of the King’s messenger that night.  They were straightly aimed, and shot with all the intensity of a love baptised with the compassion of the Christ… The next night there was almost equally as large a congregation oat the prayer meeting.  Then began what the good old people called ‘a breaking down’.  The communion rail was crowded with seekers.  Some hoar-headed men were amongst them; a storekeeper in the town, notorious for his fearful temper and furious conduct when under its influence, some gentle-spirited women; a number of senior lads from the Sunday schools… Night after night for the rest of the week and into the middle of the next, the meetings continued… It was a revival which gave workers to the Church, teachers to the Sunday School, local preachers to the circuit plan and ultimately several ministers to the Australian Methodist Church.11


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Pinching innovative ideas from other cultures is a well-established path to success, and I am not afraid to suggest we have, as part of the Kiama Council 150th anniversary, a ‘Talking Spirits’ display at the Kiama and Kendalls Cemeteries.


Talking Spirits X
Special Events
90-minute guided walking tour of famous & lesser-known graves, plus actors in period dress, noon-4 pm (tours begin every 15 minutes), 10/5, Forest Hill Cemetery. $5 ($2 kids). 264-6086

When: 10/05/08
Cost: $5
Call: 264-6086
Web: http://museum.dva.state.wi.us

More Information:

Public Tours
October 5, 2008
Noon – 4:00 p.m.
$5 Adult / $2 Child
Tours start every 15 minutes

Join us for the tenth annual Talking Spirits: Forest Hill Cemetery Tour, held at beautiful Forest Hill Cemetery, 1 Speedway Road, in Madison. This award-winning living history program illuminates the lives of many prominent – and lesser known – figures in Wisconsin history. Focusing on the contributions of Wisconsin’s Civil War veterans as well as those individuals who supported the war effort at home and elsewhere, local actors and actresses don period dress, giving visitors the once-in-a-lifetime experience of meeting these characters on the cemetery grounds. Tour guides will lead informative discussions of the cemetery’s rich history and gravestone art interspersed among the vignettes.

This year’s characters:

* William Noland, prominent African-American resident of Madison
* Frank Oakley and wife, officer, 7th Wisconsin Infantry
* John Coleridge Pradt, 3rd Wisconsin cavalry, wounded at Baxter Springs
* Emilie Quiner, Civil War nurse and Madison schoolteacher
* Stephen Shipman, officer, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry; architect, second Capitol
* George Washington Spears, Confederate solider killed at Camp Randall by guard

For school group reservations or more information contact: Jennifer Carlson (608) 264-6086.


Here is a explanation of how the tour works

autumn day — the temperature reached a record 85F, making it seem more like the ‘dogs days of summer’ than a month before Halloween. If not for the cool shade of trees planted more than a century ago, it would have made the seventh annual “Talking Spirits” tour unbearable.

“Talking Spirits” is a living history event at Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison sponsored by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. During the two-hour walk through the ancient cemetery, guides tell about the cemetery and city’s history, point out interesting headstones as well as those of prominent Madisonians, and explain the significance of different styles and design elements used in the many stones. Along the way visitors meet a variety of “spirits” who tell their personal stories and experiences during different wars in American history.

Earlier residents of Madison were buried in various locations and small churchyard cemeteries around the city. Within only a few years it was obvious that a larger plot was needed to meet the needs of a growing city, and land was puchased 2-1/2 miles west of the city in March 1858. Bodies were removed from different locales around town, as well as the village cemetery, beginning in September 1859. Though burials continued at the old village cemetery until June 1866, all were eventually removed and the site of the original village cemetery then became Orton Park. Forest Hill now covers about 140 acres and contains more than 32,000 graves. The cemetery is now considered to be nearly full, however, original land agreements indicate that they may have the option of annexing land from the neighboring golf course.

Around the turn of the century, families frequently packed picnic lunches and rode the trolley out to the cemetery on Sundays, srolling through the peaceful setting, thinking about the past and future, and keeping a little bit of history alive for themselves. Today, there are benches scattered throughout the cemetery as a means of encouraging people to enjoy the parklike setting. Perhaps not a locale most would choose to walk or sit, or even enjoy a picnic linch, but it does have the advantage of few (living) people to distract or interrupt, and is quite peaceful despite the heavy traffic roaring down Speedway Road.

The tour began at the Catlin Chapel, which sits just inside the main gates and was donated to the cemetery by the family of John Catlin in 1878. The chapel is quite small, with a tiny pulpit only a few paces across from the door, and three rows of pews on either side, facing the center of the chapel.

Across from the chapel is the old Receiving Vault, which was used to store coffins over winter months, back before they had machines to dig the graves. It is no longer used in this capacity, but may still be used for storage.

We then began our walk through the grounds, our guide stopping now and then to point out the marker of a famous Madisonian – Vilas, Atwood, Babcock – or interesting headstone. There is a wide variety in style and design employed in the cemetery’s headstones. Many go for a more “traditional” look, or a flat marker laid atop their resting spot; others use natural influence or sport an art deco design. I tried to get pictures of the different “spirits,” but it was difficult to do amid the crowd and so I am missing two of the actors. A third was absent due to illness.

Our first stop on this year’s tour was the marker of Governor Louis Harvey (1820-1862) and wife Cordelia Harvey Chester (1824-1895). Harvey was the seventh governor of Wisconsin, and in April of 1862, traveled south to view troops following the Battle of Shiloh. It was on the return trip that he slipped on the deck of his steamboat, fell overboard, and drowned. Not at all an illustrious way to go. He was appalled at the conditions he found and said as much in his final letter to his wife, which she received a week after his death.

Inspired by her husband’s last letter, Cordelia became the state sanitary agent, petitioning President Lincoln in a personal visit to the White House to build a Union hospital in the north. She argued that troops would heal faster and be more willing to continue the fight if they could recuperate in clean, friendly hospitals rather than languish in fetid conditions in southern hospitals where many died not of their wounds, but disease, malnutrition and neglect. A hospital was created for Wisconsin Union veterans, and another home was later created for the orphaned children of soldiers. (Portrayed by Scott Feiner and Fran Lyons

Emily C. Quiner (1840-1919) was a schoolteacher in Madison where her father, Edwin Quiner, was a well-known newspaperman and Civil War historian (Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion). She began keeping a journal when the war broke out in 1861, detailing her life in Madison and subsequent experiences as a nurse caring for Union troops at a Memphis hospital. (Portrayed by Liz Angle; Destiny Sabljak played her student.)

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It would be interesting to see if this Kiama Quarry Olympics idea ever gets up, whether we could have a display of these trucks and other equipment there, like the Coal Olympics at Mt Kembla.

The idea is essentially to revive the old quarryiing skills of knapping and spalling hammers, and other traditional quarry skills.

The other main centre for blue metal quarrying in NSW was Prospect, and here is a page on their history,

The Boral history ‘From the Ground Up’ is a wonderfully comprehensive view of the company’s involvement in blue metal quarries ( as BMI< Blue Metal Industries) over 60 years.

Anyone interested in a working steam navvy, in Alcatraz, should check out this working steam navvy. It is a 1940's vintage American R-32 whirly on a 52' x 110' barge.
Some of the wackier steam power ideas through the years ( including a steam tank, 1904!) can be found here.

An interesting steam shovel is found here
“The steam shovel is of scientific (technical) significance at a National level because it is an example of the technical evolution of the excavator, and illustrates many of the original design concepts embodied in the first successful Otis excavator made in 1835. It is the oldest known steam shovel, and the only example of its design, in Australia. The shovel was one of the first to be imported into Australia as part of an increase in mining activity, and mechanisation of mining. It is one of only a few examples in the world made by one of the largest suppliers of this type of shovel, the Bucyrus Company, Milwaukee, USA, which supplied the majority of the shovels used on the Panama Canal. It is the only example of its type in Australia, and the only known example outside America.”

A history of steam shovels here

A shovel (probably diesel) in Kiama 1963
Shovel and trailer Kiama
and another at Dunmore in 1963

navvy Blue metal dunmore 1963
Want to see a navvy doing its thing on film (though wiht limestone)
Check out

and these guys have a working Ruston steam navvy at their rallies
Interested in steam trains that worked in quarries? Check out
and of course the Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society at
Here is a Ruston steam Navvy in Bombo quarry in 1926.

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