Saturday, 11 January 2014

Along the Hume to the double town

We have just returned from a 2 day trip to the town so good they named it twice.  (OK, a few other towns such as New York, New York, Baden Baden and Walla Walla lay claim to that fame.  I reckon Wagga Wagga is the original,)

When I first emigrated I called it something that could be written as "Wagger Wagger" and thought the place people talked about as 'Wogger" was somewhere else.  Now I know better.

This was part of our "visit every town project" and also a shakedown for out new camper trailer.  Here is El Camion Real and the camper at the Murrumbateman toilet block.  The further building is the Mens Shed- presumably a campus of the Institute of Bloke Studies.
Our next stop was Bookham a small settlement a few kms West of Yass.  Although it had no entry in the Register of NSW War Memorials I wondered if that was an oversight.  We quickly found this building.  While there was nothing I could find to say what it was commemorating it was dedicated in 1945 so WW2 is a fair chance.  That seems to be the presumption behind a Monuments Australia listing.  Advice has been sought from the Yass Valley Shire.
The Shire were helpful in giving me some names  of the Committee who run the Hall, and they have confirmed that it is commemorating soldiers who went to war, and that there is a Roll of Honour inside.  Some more photos will be taken next time we are in the area.

This memorial is an acknowledgement of the work of Blaze-Aid in replacing 180 (of 1300) km of fencing destroyed in bushfires on Catastrophic Tuesday (8 January 2013).
The most noticeable aspect of Bookham from the highway is this yard of old farm machinery.  It has been there for years and never seems to change.
So we rumbled on down the highway and went through the interminable speed restricted area through the city centre of Wagga (about 10km) and found our way to the Carinya Caravan Park NW of the city.  Here I am making my first steps at unloading the camper.
It was pretty hot and we were knackered by the time we had it erected, about 2 hours later.  Obviously we will get a lot quicker once we are more familiar with the process.

We then headed off to back into the city for a look round.  Frances went to the National Glass collection and the Art Gallery while Tammy and I strolled along the banks of the Murrumbidgee past Wagga Beach, located on a large bend in the River..
This is the main area for religious institutions.  The attractive Presbyterian Church is made of brick but was, as usual for careful Calvinists, tightly locked up.
Across the road the Catholic Cathedral was built of sandstone.  A notice announced that there are only 4 sandstone cathedrals in NSW and this was among the most recently built.
It was open for visitation and IMHO a very attractive venue.  Only one photo as I had my other arm full of pooch.  I am sure God was happy to see a dog in there and no-one else was present to object!
Somewhere nearby I found this badge for the Diocese.
The motto is from Luke 12:24 and translates to "Consider the crows, God feeds them."  Another notice explains that the name of the town comes from a Wiradjuri word written by Europeans as "Waagan" meaning raven.  The repetition gives emphasis or means "many" and reflects the number of the birds in the area, making them Little Ravens rather than Australian Ravens.

Higher on the outside of the Cathedral was this statue which I initially wondered about as a War Memorial.  But no, it's just the Archangel Michael discussing matters with Satan who is in the form of a dragon.  He seems fond of using a sword as a key argument.
Having mentioned War Memorials, Wagga had a Memorial Garden which contained a number of memorials.  I have put most of my images in a separate post but include a couple here.  I think this is the original 1914-18 Memorial with an arch, also an obvious memorial, in the background (see the separate post for a little detail on this duplication).
Going through the arch reveals this very detailed set of tablets.and an eternal flame.  The memorial was dedicated in 1991.
The new memorial was unusual in having an 'alterations and additions' section!
We'll now move to the art I found on the walk.  This website seems to cover the public art of Wagga pretty well (click on the various bits of text for more information).   The first example is the Wiradjuri ceramic mural in which the various tiles appear to have been made by youth from the local Juvenile Justice Centre (with a bit of guidance from professional artists) and handed over to the City in 2003.
Next we have a celebration of the Bald Archies: these are a reaction to the pomposity of the Archibald prize for portraiture.  The link to Wagga is that the Archies originated in Coolac, a small town which we visit on day 2 of this trip.  It is quite appropriate that a set of 8 murals in the style (if there is such a thing) of the Bald Archies are set up under a bridge beside a lagoon in Wagga.
The works were done by local artists and celebrate characters of Wagga.  The subjects of the first work are Mark Waugh and Michael Taylor, both Australian Test cricketers and born in Wagga.  The next one is Dame Edna Evarage who was apparently born in Wagga and only moved to Moonee Ponds as a young gel: it is not known which Wagga school she attended.

We'll now move indoors to some photos taken by Frances.  This first is one of the works in the National Glass Collection.
 We next have several glass artworks and a great Pajero parked in the street.
 In the city Art Gallery where there was a special exhibition by Jon Catapan and X de Medici about missions they undertook to Timor and the Solomons depicting conflict.  This is part of a de Medici work.
Through a glass clearly, I took this shot of a work by Kirstie Rea at the Glass Gallery frmo the park outside.
. A couple of shots of civic decorations.

Two older buildings.  First is labelled - just above the windows - "School of Art" ....

.. while the second is the old Court House.
With regards to birds the situation was interesting.  The first bird seen in Wagga was a Blue-faced Honeyeater, which had excited me at Young a week earlier.  Then when starting around the Beach a Singing Honeyeater (excitment on Wednesday at Dunlop) was logged and on getting back to camp a Little Corella - also unusual and thus Bird of the Day on 2 January.  My entry for Bird of the day this day was Dollarbird: 2 seen at The Beach.

The commonest bird back at camp was a Willie Wagtail.
Straw-necked Ibis made an interesting composition roosting in a dead tree on the edge of the camp property.
The pines referred to in the name of the road to the camp are probably these Callitris sp.
The sunset was spectacular!


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