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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach

December 9 2017

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater - Volume 18, Issue 1000

A PON Milestone has been Reached

Issue 1000 !

You may have noticed in the last PON issue, (1st December), that we had reached issue number 999, so this makes this issue the 1000th Issue of the online PON !  So I thought it appropriate to take you back to the beginning when it all started...

The PON first started it's life as a two-page issue of the Scotland Island Progress Association Newsletter back in 1955. It was put together by Geoff Steen, the then provisional Secretary of the newly founded Scotland Island Progress Association.

He continued producing the newsletter until Ian ‘Bunks’ Carmichael, a senior executive at the ABC, took over for two years before being sent to London. Leicester Warburton then took over from Ian and kept the newsletter running for around 28 years. It was during this time that Scotland Island News was more conveniently condensed into S.I. News (Sinews) and so it was referred to there after. Under Leicester’s stewardship the readership grew to over 300 with issues running to 8 pages.

In March 1995 SINEWS celebrated 40 years of publication and continued to run for a few years until the most capable and computer literate Paul Purvis felt it was timely to embrace the internet and gather information for all residents of West Pittwater with the introduction of a more contemporary news service - see Volume 1 Issue 1 HERE - this was later to be renamed  Pittwater Offshore Newsletter (PON). Readership grew and as the service was seen to be so readily available the number of issues increased from the original one per month to roughly one per week.

Some 360 issues and eight years later Paul hung up his keyboard and handed over the editorship to me. That was back in December 2008, now 9 years on and 640 odd issues later, we have close to 1000 subscribers as well as some 200-400 social media users regularly reading the newsletter.

The overall style of the newsletter has not change dramatically over the years however the content has, and it's interesting to see those changes as they reflect, to a certain extent, the life of the offshore community. I encourage anyone interested in what life was like years ago to go back through our PON archives online - link HERE as it provides a glimpse as to what was going on then.

Finally, I thought it would be interesting to reprint the very first S.I.News which was distributed in 1955. Now remember this was typed on a typewriter, probably with two sheets of carbon paper to make 3 copies in total and then copied; how, I don't know, and I have not been able to find out, but it must have been a real chore regardless to produce 8 pages every month, copy them and then hand deliver them around the island. 

Happy reading and reminiscing....

Oh, and a big thank you to Annette for sending me the copy of this first issue, and, we seem to be missing some of the very early PON's - Nov 1 2001 thru to Feb 2003,  if anyone has any of these, I would love to get a copy.

Many thanks for your continued support and contributions.



MARCH 1955

Vol. 1 No. 1


The Scotland Island Progress Association was away to a fine start when just on forty residents turned out for the inaugural meeting held at "Bangalla" on Saturday night January 29th.

Fully appreciating that many residents may have had insufficient notice of the meeting it was decided that a Provisional Organising Committee only would be appointed. This Provisional Committee will vacate office at the General Meeting fixed for Easter Sunday (April'10th) at 8 pm, when all offices become vacant and a committee will be appointed for the ensuing twelve months.

With such a large proportion of Island residents being week-enders and the fact that various sections' of the island are somewhat remote from each other there are very real difficulties in the way of successfully organisihg a virile Association.

It is therefore necessary for every resident to give his or her support to the formation of the Association and so that a sincere hard-working Committee is appointed to act on their behalf for the welfare of our small Community.

Correspondence has already boon entered into between the Provisional committee and Warringah Shire Mackellar County, Council, the P.M.G., the Bushfire Committee of the Chief secretary's Department and the local Member, Mr. R. W. Askin. Contact is also being made with the Water Board.

Attendance at the General Meeting of the Progress Association will give residents an opportunity of voicing opinions on the many and varied questions to be discussed and assist in determining the policy to be followed in regard to electricity, water supply, bushfire equipment, public telephones, public wharves and street maintenance etc.

There are formidable tasks ahead of the Association - it can only succeed with the goodwill and support of all residents and the earliest opportunity residents have to give their support will be by attendance at the General Meeting.


Here briefly is the business paper to be submitted to the General Meeting- on April 10th

Meeting opens at 8 p.m.
  • Chairman (Dr. U. L. Brown) welcomes visitors.
  • Minutes of Inaugural Meeting.
  • Business arising from Minutes
  • Correspondence,
  • Reports by Provisional Committee
  • Fixed Annual Subscription
  • Election of Officers:
  • President
  • Vice-Presidents,
  • Hon. Secretary,
  • Hon. Treasurer,
  • Committeemen,
  • Hone Auditors.
  • Adopt Constitution or instruct committee to prepare same for submission to next meeting. Consider formation of Bush-Fire Brigade.
  • Address by representative of District Brigade
  • If formed appoint Captain Vice Captains etc,
  • Address by Shire President and a Riding Councillors (if present)
  • Conduct General Businsse.
  • Fix date for next General Meeting
x x x


A suggestion that some liquid refreshments might be provided following the General Meeting provided on April 10th was turned down by the Committee after due consideration.

Supper will be provided (ladies a "plate" please) and the beverage served will be tea. Those that need it strong and black can have it that way if they want it.

x x x


Two meetings of the Provisional Organising Committee have been held to date of preparation
this Newsletter. The Committee's decisions are reported elsewhere throughout this issue.


Due to the nature of the terrain, the dense coverage of forest and scrub and its comparative isolation, Scotland Island possesses a grave bush fire potential.

It is proposed to form a bush fire brigade and equipment for this purpose will be made available by the Bush Fire Advisory Committee through the Shire Council.

Because of the relatively small number of permanent residents on the Island such a brigade will need the full cooperation of all casual as well as permanent residents if it is to be successful. The knowledge and practice of fire-safety precautions by all residents (including the ladies) will be essential.

Those who have experience of bush fires know of the tragic loss of life and property that can result from the careless burning of rubbish or even the thoughtless discarding of a cigarette butt .

In Victoria in 1939 seventy-one lives were lost and damage of incalculable value was done by the tragic bush fire of January of that year.

A sane outlook on the lighting of fires and some elementary knowledge of fire fighting by residents could prevent a comparable tragedy on the Island.

Members of brigades fighting bush fires are covered by special provisions of the Workers Compensation Act.

x x x


An active group of island permanent residents are organising to have their childrens' fares to school subsidised by the Education Department.

Ferry and bus fares for one family of little tots totals 17/6 a week If they lived in a country area where school buses are subsidised the greater part of this amount would be met by subsidy through the department.

We understand the ferry fares are also subsidised in the Gosford Woy Woy districts.

If the parents decide to seek the Associations assistance in this matter it should be readily available in such a worthy cause.


In order to boost circulation & also perform a public service we are offering an appropriate prize for winning suggestion on how best to make use of empty bottles (unbranded of course).

First prize is one gross of assorted empties to be picked up and removed by the winner. Location to be advised after the contest


Ever blow a bugle? It's much harder than you think and a few local residents were trying their utmost to get even the faintest burp out of one when Tod Gill happened along.

Hoping f or a laugh at Tods expense the bugle was pressed on him and -- wait for it -- he blew the "cookhouse" call so expertly that all the old soldiers marched straight off home to beg their wives for a meal of stewed bully beef and dehydrated potatoes -- just for old times sake.

x x x


News that milk might soon be available in cardboard cartons will be welcomed by these folk who fight a losing battle with empty bottles. milk and various.

There appears little likelihood of lolly water and other effervescing beverages being sold in this manner but surely our scientists could evolve some method of dehydrating kerosene so that it could be sold in tablet form. After all we don't have to drink the stuff.



The Scotland Island Pipe Band promised a skirl or two for the night of the next meeting.

The band consisting of one piper will parade the Island to ensure nobody goes to bed early on the big night.


Congratulations to Mr. Jack Cooke on his exploit, in catching a shark with a broom. Jack literally swept the four foot monster -out of the shallows on to the rocks where it was quickly dispatched and promptly converted into flathead fillets.

x x x

Keith Egan also merits applause for his performance catching a nice large mullet by hand without the aid of hook, line or net. Keith merely bent down. from the Church Point, wharf, tickled the mullet's tummy for a second and then lifted it out all lively and kicking. If in doubt ask the ferry load of passengers who witnessed the incident on Monday 21st.

x x x


Once upon a time it was a local legend that there were no snakes on Scotland Island. At least four residents who attended at the inaugural meeting the Association testified to the fact that they have seen a number of snakes on the Island this summer.

Forewarned is forearmed -- and after all they did have them in the Garden of Eden.


A sleepy citizen and a sleepy Kookaburra both received a shock when they came face to face on the Eastern side of the Island recently, Both of them awoke with a start and a "Squark" but it is sad to relate that although the citizen can now laugh about this experience the Kooka has lost his most prized possession and now makes a noise like a Mopoke. It seems he suffered the greater shock.

x x x


The Shire President and all 11 "A" Riding Councilors of Warringah Shire have now boon invited to attend the Association's General Meeting.

Due allowance must be made for the fact that our meeting is being hold during the Easter holidays period and our worthy representatives may have made prior arrangements to be else where.


At the invitation of the North Shore Fauna and Flora Association extended to the President and Secretary the Scotland-Island Progress Association we attended a meeting on March l7th called for the purpose of forming a branch of the Society at Newport.

The meeting was addressed by Mr H.J.R.Overall President of the Society, Councilor Corkory, President of the Manly-Warringahah Branch, Mr. Frank Griffiths, Chief Guardian of Fauna and Mr. Miller, Secretary of the Avalon Branch.

These talks were most interesting and indicated the important work the Society does in preserving the lives of our native animals, birds, trees and wildflowers. Encouragement is given in planting native trees and flowers- and seedlings and seeds are supplied to interested persons.

In the Avalon district many white-gum trees are being planted as a source of, food for Koalas.

We gathered that possums wore becoming rare in the Newport area so we promptly offered to exchange some possums from the Island for koala boars. There were no takers.

x x x


Have you returned your complete questionnaire form to Mackellar County Council yet?

Until sufficient satisfactory replies are received by the Council a full investigation of the matter cannot be made by the officials so further progress in the matter rests in the hands of residents.

You will hear the latest information at the meeting on April 10th.

x x x


Warringah Shire Council has voted to support the Association in its activities toward securing public telephones at various points on the Island.

Whore would YOU like the first one located? Tell us at the Meeting.



WANTED enthusiastic hard working persons to assume office in progress association. All positions vacant as from 10th April and must be filled. Remuneration will be in the form of personal satisfaction arising from service to community. No bouquets but occasional brickbats guaranteed. Apply ready to start at "Bangalla" 8 p.m. April, 10th.

x x x


After the General Meeting of the Progress Association at "BANGALLA" on April 10th light refreshments will be served.

It is hoped that all residents attending the meeting will stay on and become acquainted with each other.

The ladies are requested to provide a "plate" towards the supper.

x x x


Majority opinion of the Provisional Organising Committee is that permanent residents should occupy the positions of President and Secretary of the Association.

Keenest exponents of this theory are the Provisional Committee's President and Secretary!

x x x


A suggestion that the now progress Association should include residents of the Western Shores and Bays was made at the Association's inaugural meeting.

An alternative suggestion was also made that the Western Shores should also form an Association thus permitting the two organisations to co-operate on matters of mutual interest.

Island residents will have an opportunity of discussing the pros and cons of these suggestions on April 10th.



Our thanks to Mr. and Mrs Leslie Lucas of "BANGALLA" for making their historic old home available for the inaugural meeting of the Progress Association and providing supper for the forty residents in attendance.

Mr. and Mrs. Lucas have also kindly offered their home for the next General Meeting of the Association at 8 p.m. on April-10th.


for the preliminary work done prior to the last meeting with the Warringah Shire, Mackellar County Council and the Water Board.

for transporting so many residents to the last meeting.


for acting as Minute Secretary and providing an accurate record of proceedings.


for those fine -posters advertising the next meeting.


for his offer of assistance with water transport to the next meeting.


for his welcome contribution in providing paper and duplicating this newsletter.

x x x

PLEASE PASS IT ON: We hope to have a copy of this newsletter delivered to each house on the Island but it is inevitable that some residents will not receive a copy. You can help the Association by passing your copy on to any interested party and seeing they also attend the meeting.

x x x

N. E. STEEN., Provisional Secretary,

Scotland Island Fire Brigade

Great turn out for Community Fire Briefing

Last Sunday morning almost 30 residents from around Bells Wharf attend the RFS briefing at the Bells Wharf Community Fire Unit cabinet.

Stewart Hasell (Deputy Captain) and Peter Lalor (Captain) discussed local fire risks, opportunities to join the Brigade and demonstrated equipment stored in the cabinet.

Everyone enjoyed a hearty BBQ breakfast and coffee.

Ten residents expressed interest in joining the Community Fire Unit and training to protect their homes and to support the regular Brigade in emergencies.

Further briefings are planned for:
  • Florence Terrace 10/12/17 8:30am – this Sunday
  • Cargo Wharf 17/12/17 8:30am – next Sunday
  • Western end of Elizabeth Park 14/1/18 8:30am
Residents near Bells have set the bar high for community engagement and if these next briefings draw a similar response we can look forward to a community that is well prepared for fire risks this summer.

Message from Paul Purvis

As some will know, I have a connection with Fiji.

The local indigenous people rely on the 'net to provide them with all the information that used to be available from books at the local schools. Much of that printed material was lost in the cyclone of 2016. I have made it my
business to collect, erase and reinstall an operating system on old or discarded laptops that offshore residents might have surplus to their needs.

Can you help? I am happy to collect your 'newer than 10 year old' laptop and to refurbish and take to Fiji. Any student given one of these laptops will write to you to thank you for your generous donation.

Thanks in advance

Paul Purvis
Elvina Bay

XMAS Ferry Timetable

ferry timetable

Gone Fishing... going...going GONE !

Such a pity this was not preserved.

So this is what working closely with the community gets us ??

Gone 4 Gone 2
Gone 3
Gone 1

Many thanks to Phillippa Thomas for the images

Reflection Exhibition

Including Marion vanden Driesschen

marion d

Scotland Island Fire Brigade Goodwill XMAS Lunch

December 25th from Midday

Booking essential - RSVP by 18th December at the latest


Free bookshelf

Solid pine bookcase

  • Stained dark mahogany colour

  • Height 150cm, width 120cm, depth 32cm

  • Excellent condition

  • Moveable shelves.

Pick up from Lovett Bay.

Call Gayle on 0401 099 503.

House Swap

Mature couple looking to swap their 4 bedroom ski chalet in Whistler Canada
Non simultaneously
Available from Feb 1 2018
Want to be on Scotland Island in November 2018

Photos available
Jeanine messeguer

Tinny for sale 

With Evinrude 25 
All ready for offshore living


contact Gareth 0406669686

Are you moving - free boxes

If anyone would like some heavy duty cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and packing paper please call Sam this week on 0451 651606.

To collect from Richard Road, SI



You can now join the Scotland Island Residents’ Association through the online Self-Service Portal at sira.org.au

Alternatively, there are offline methods of joining, read more here or contact  secretary@sira.org.au

Join West Pittwater Community Association

To join the Western Pittwater Community Association http://www.westpittwater.com.au/Contact/join-the-wpca

Archived Newsletters

A complete set of past electronic newsletters since May 2000 can be found and read at https://ymlp.com/archive_gesgjgm.php  or by clicking here or by visiting the Mona Vale Library.

The Island website is at www.scotlandisland.org.au

Offshore Gallery

Pittwater Offshore Photo Gallery

To Contribute

If you would like to contribute to this newsletter it's easy!. Send an e-mail to the editor (editor@scotlandisland.org.au) or by clicking here. Type your contribution (100 words or so would be fine) and assuming it is of general interest to the community, does not include matter of a political nature and is not offensive, it will appear next month.

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The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of the Scotland Island Residents Association (SIRA), or the Western Pittwater Community Association (WPCA)

Original Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis & Julian Muir