Fragments of History, Not Lost, Just Forgotten

Fragments of History, Not Lost, Just Forgotten

In 1911 tradesmen arrived in Kent Street near Sydney’s Town Hall. They had instructions from the church leaders to dismantle St Andrew’s Scots Presbyterian Church which included the removal of several memorial plaques, stained glass windows, a stone font, the timber rafters and cedar pews … Everything was transported to Rose Bay and installed in the new Scots church a few kilometers from Sydney Harbour’s southern headland. …

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A quest is a search for something important . . .

A quest is a search for something important . . .

One of the joys of writing non-fiction is the research, the serendipity of discovery. It would have been nice to report that I found a specimen of Polypodium dictyopteris (Loxogramme dictyopteris) collected by Allan Cunningham in 1838 only months before his death and it would have been nice to say he discovered the plant on such and such a day in such and such a place.…

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The tomb of Phillip Parker King (1791-1856)

The tomb of Phillip Parker King (1791-1856)

Years ago Phillip Parker King stood on a hill near his property Dunheved. I imagine he felt very pleased with himself, his success and the building project that was about to take place. A small church was about to be built on the hill, a church that would fulfill the wish of his mother, Anna Josepha King. The land had been set aside some time ago and now, at long last, building had commenced. The resulting church was named, Church of St Mary Magdalene, consecrated in April 1840. It still stands today in a suburb of Sydney, St Marys, on South Creek near Parramatta.…

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A time line that “sings”

A time line that “sings”

More than a chronological list of his achievements, geographical arrivals and departures: The Allan Cunningham Time Line Journal has developed over a long period of time and as each piece is written, I continue to expand the story line and wax lyrical. My haphazard research over the last few years has given me a knowledge of this man’s story, the detail of which surprises me sometimes and I marvel at the resilience and tenacity of the people involved.…

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A blog post about Araucaria cunninghamii

A blog post about Araucaria cunninghamii

A photo taken . . . holding a moment in time, suspended . . . contemplating a tree. The two of us just sat in the mid-morning sunshine, on a bench in the Sydney Botanic Gardens, a coffee comfortably nestled in our hands, contemplating a tree. Simple things can be so good. It wasn’t just any tree. We knew its botanical name. Did someone once say that until something has a name it doesn’t exist. The tree was an Araucaria cunninghamii better known as a Hoop Pine. Let me explain . . .…

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A Writer’s Journal – a series of articles

A Writer’s Journal – a series of articles

This series of articles is a recording of my journey as I get to know a botanist, Allan Cunningham, who dedicated his life to science in the early 1800s. After coming across his grave site in the middle of the Sydney Botanic Gardens, I was inspired to get to know him. The moss covered plaque on the memorial obelisk drew me in. I’d never heard of him and my curiosity twinkled like a bright light. The plaque simply explained that the body of Allan Cunningham, Botanist Explorer 1791-1839 was buried within the obelisk.…

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