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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach

- January 2008 -

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia Volume 9, Issue 292 January 2008     


Another year, seven now for this newsletter and a brighter future for all offshore residents. Probably a resolution to the Church Point dilemma, a new political will from Canberra and finally an attempt to save our planet from burning itself out. Time will tell...

Leicester Warburton, the much respected author of our immensely popular History Corner has decided to retire and thus you are looking at the penultimate chapter in this edition of PON. I have decided to collect all of the History Corner files and publish them on the Scotland Island website. More of this later. If you would like to contact Leicester you can do so by clicking here


  • History Corner
  • Cartoon of the Month
  • Scotland Island Sculptor wins Prize
  • Church Point Plan of Management Meeting
  • What if?
  • Community Vehicle News - Scotland Island
  • Low Cost Surf Awareness Course for Children
  • Kids on the Coast Summer 2008
  • The Famous Scotland Island Dog Race
  • Pittwater's Strategic Plan nears completion
  • Happy New Year!
  • Local Guide
  • Archived Newsletters
  • Your Subscription Information
  • History Corner
    When Governor Phillip made his first foray on March 4, 1788 up the river he was to name the Hawkesbury, he and his men camped three days later on the island he named Mullet Island . This was the result of the successful fishing he found there.

    At first the indigenous inhabitants of the island , members of the Guringai people, were friendly and even impressed by the fact that Phillip had a missing front tooth. Their young men had an initiation rite which involved knocking out a front tooth. But their attitude to the newcomers had changed when the British arrivals returned a year later and the aborigines refused to be approached. By 1890, over half the Guringai on the island had fallen victim to the smallpox the sailors had brought with them.

    As years passed and some settlement occurred on the island, some boat building and salt production took place (as on Scotland Island). In 1864 the island was formally acquired by Henry Carey Dangar, a surveyor, pastoralist and politician and renamed Dangar Island. (The area of the island in a final survey is 29.93 hectares compared with Scotland Island’s final survey of 52.28 hectares) The first white child born on Dangar was James Stanbury who became world sculling champion in 1891, 1892 and 1896. Stanbury was a huge man renowned for his strength and used to row 11 miles (17km) up river from Dangar Island to what became known as Big Jim’s Point where he built his home.

    George Peat was the first European to settle on the mainland just west of the island with a land grant in 1836. To reach his new land he cleared a track from Pennant Hills all the way to the river. By 1847 it had become a useful road for regular traffic north. A punt crossed the river from its arrival point, known as Peat’s Bight, to Mooney Mooney.

    The railway arrived at this point in 1877 and a ferry service carried passengers across the Hawkesbury to a connecting road to Gosford on the northern side. This was to become the site of the first railway bridge bringing regular and reliable communication to northern N.S.W.

    Leicester Warburton

    NEXT MONTH: (Final) Brooklyn and the Bridge

    Cartoon of the Month

    Gwyn Perkins

    Download a full version of this months calendar, ready for printing - click the calendar image to the right


    If you forward this newsletter to anyone, Gwyn would love to hear from them. Just ask them to reply via email by clicking here. And Gwyn would like to thank all who have supported his work through the year and bought Christmas cards designed by him. And as a very special treat, you can download next month's calendar so that you can get your 'New Year' well organised! Click here to download or visit http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/newsletters/feb08_next_month.pdf

    Scotland Island Sculptor wins Prize

    Scotland Island sculptor/Artist Audrey Cross scooped the sought after top prize at this end of year Exhibition.

    Last nights "Peoples Choice Award" was chosen by a ballot of those attending the Exhibition at Christine Simpson's Sculpting Studio, affectionally known as "The Shed" for her entry

    "The Granddaughter"

    Audrey, almost speechless with emotion, as she was announced as the winner at the end of the evening, graciously accepted the honour whilst emphatically acknowledging the help and advice that she had received from Christine, and the support she felt from all her fellow artists.

    Church Point Plan of Management Meeting

    The intention by Pittwater Council to finally resolve the issues of parking and access will be welcomed by all of the more than five hundred families that live offshore in Pittwater. At a meeting held a couple of weeks ago, many hundreds of residents, including those who live in the Church Point area, heard of the plans to beautify this popular area.

    Yes, there is some more car parking to accommodate the expected increase in tourists who will be attracted by the redevelopment.

    Yes there is to be more open space so that all Australians can enjoy the wonderful vista that is Church Point.

    Yes there is more dinghy parking for those that live offshore. It is worth remembering that this is how we get home at night.

    Much of the cost of these improvements to Church Point is to be borne by the offshore community.

    There is to be a small amount of  infill to provide for better access to the commuter boats and to ensure safe passage for commuters and their children. A similar amount of infill was used in recent years to produce the wonderful walkway from Mona Vale to Church Point that is so admired by all.

    Offshore families were thrilled to note that many onshore residents supported the overall plan. It is wonderful that after so many years of debate and discussion, a solution is now in sight. 

    What if?

    What if we did get a bridge to the island, as some have suggested? Probably a couple of million dollars for sealed roads and guttering, not to mention the cost of building the bridge. And then there are the garages - perhaps we could build banks of them in Catherine Park.

    Of course we could economise by allowing small variations to the NSW Traffic regulations...

    ... a regular reader    

    Community Vehicle News - Scotland Island

    The volunteer drivers of the community vehicle extend their thanks and appreciation to all those who have used the service during 2007 and wish you a happy new year.
    This not-for-profit service is provided by the Scotland Island Residents Association and is managed and staffed by volunteers. Thank you for remembering that it is not a taxi service but a community transport service, reliant on our volunteers’ being available to drive. As such, there may be times when the vehicle is unavailable or delayed and we ask for your understanding when that occurs.
    We need volunteers to drive the vehicle; both regular drivers, and back-up drivers to do occasional shifts. Get to know your island and meet new and not so new, interesting and friendly islanders and help keep what is an essential service on the island going.
    If you are interested and you are over twenty five years of age, with a current (full) NSW driver’s licence, contact Gordon Floyd on 9997 2035 or Cass Gye on 9978 5853.

    Low Cost Surf Awareness Course for Children

    With the summer holidays looming and more visitors than ever expected at Pittwater’s beaches, Sydney Northern Beaches Surf Life Saving and Pittwater Council have teamed up to offer a low cost surf awareness course to primary and high school students.

    This interactive hands-on course takes place at the beach and in the water and is being coordinated through the Coastal Environment Centre at Lake Road, Narrabeen.

    Experienced professional lifeguards will be running the course at the Centre, which takes place on Friday 4 January from 12 noon to 1:30pm. Admission is $12 per child.

    The course will teach children to identify common beach dangers such as rips and blue bottles, as well as techniques on surviving in the water.

    Latest statistics from Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) show that each year around 10,000 people are rescued at beaches and more than 25,000 receive some form of first aid.

    “The surf awareness course is a great chance for the kids to learn lots of safety tips and also more about the beach environment in general," said Ben Tyacke of the Coastal Environment Centre.

    “Above all the overriding message children take away from the course is to swim between the flags and obey instructions from lifeguards.”

    Numbers are limited so book early by calling the Coastal Environment Centre on 9970 1675.

    Holiday Activities at the Coastal Environment Centre

    Kids on the Coast Summer 2008

    These holidays we have some great activities that will surely keep you entertained. Come along and explore our coastal environment. Remember to book early!!!

    Tuesday 8 January


    Sea Dragons and Sea Horses are mysterious animals. Here is your chance to learn a little more about them. We'll do some dragon art and craft too. Of course they're not real dragons…or are they?

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 5* - 8 years

    Wednesday 9 January


    Everyday we throw our rubbish into garbage or recycling bins, but can we turn it into art? Come find out, and make some great creations. You can even bring some bits and pieces you would like to use.

    Time 9:30am -11:30am Age 7 - 12 years


    Worms, wrigglers, centipedes and slaters. Come learn about what creeps and crawls using microscopes and magnifying glasses. Come prepared to be surprised!

    Time 12:00pm - 2:00pm Age 7 - 12 years

    Thursday 10 January


    Wind is an important source of renewable energy. Come and discover ways in which we can use the wind for power. Make a wind catcher. Create a spinning wheel. Be prepared for fun.

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 5* - 10 years


    Have you ever wondered about the Giant Dragon Fly? Why don't we see them all year round? Where do they live? What do they eat? Come along and have some fun whilst learning about this delightful and long-lived insect! Not only is the Giant Dragon Fly a threatened species in our local area but has a truly fascinating life cycle.

    Time 12:00pm - 2:00pm Age 5* - 10 years

    Friday 11 January


    Join us for an exciting, fun filled day learning about fish and fishing with NSW Fisheries education staff. Learn about the role of estuaries and seagrasses in the life of fish, how to prepare and care for your equipment and practise your fishing skills.

    Time 10:00am -1:00pm Age 7 - 15 years Cost $40 (includes: hat, T shirt, rod, reel and line)

    Monday 14 January


    Shells come in many shapes and colours. Today we'll discover more about the wide variety of shells we find on our coast by taking a walk along the beach. We will be making some beautiful art you can take home. Bring along your favourite shells to talk about.

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 5* - 8 years

    Wednesday 16 January


    Snakes, birds, lizards. Do you know where you can find them? Lets go investigate their habitat at Warriewood Wetlands. We can see how many of the 150 bird species we can find. Learn about the importance of wetland areas and what can be done for their conservation. Binoculars (optional)

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 5* - 10 years

    Thursday 17 January


    These amazing creatures come in many shapes and sizes. Find out how clever they are at disguising themselves in their environment. We will create some great sea star art to take home.

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 5* - 10 years

    Friday 18 January


    It's time to investigate what animals live on a rock platform and how they can survive in such an environment. Explore Narrabeen Aquatic Reserve and discover the fascinating world of marine animals living on the rock platform. Come find out more about your favourite underwater creatures!

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 7 - 12 years


    The most feared creature in our oceans, but often misunderstood. Learn more about their beauty, ferocity and vulnerability. We'll make great 3D shark pictures, which might just scare away Mum and Dad.

    Time 12:00pm - 2:00pm Age 7 - 12 years

    Tuesday 22 January


    Come see the different stages of a frog's life cycle. Learn about our local frogs, what they eat, where they live and find out how you can make your backyard frog friendly! Be sure to bring along plenty of stories about frogs in your neighbourhood.

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 5* - 8 years


    The earth is more than a surface to walk on. It is there to be appreciated for it's beauty and can be transformed into wonderful artwork. Come and learn the different way our earth can be used to create beautiful art.

    Time 12:00pm - 2:00pm Age 5* - 8 years

    Wednesday 23 January


    Come and learn about these creatures of the night, what they eat, where they live and how they help our environment. Find out how you can make your backyard bat friendly!

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 5* - 8 years

    Thursday 24 January


    What makes a kite fly? Come find out by making your very own kite and taking it out for a test flight. Learn more about the air around us, what does it do other than help us breathe? Lots of fun, very hands on and bring your imagination.

    Time 9:30am - 11:30am Age 7 - 12 years

    BOOK NOW!!! $15 per 2 hour activity. $40 for fishing clinic.

    Call the Coastal Environment Centre on 9970-1675

    The Famous Scotland Island Dog Race

    A perfect December evening saw many hundreds of spectators watch the now famous Scotland Island to the Point Dog Race. Thirty five entries this year provided an exciting race to watch. This event has become one of the most significant social events in the offshore calendar, thanks in part to the wonderful coverage by the Manly Daily and the wonderful organisation provided by well known offshore carrier Russ Lowenthal. The photos below show some of the action.


    Pittwater's Strategic Plan nears completion

    A blueprint based on sustainability to take Pittwater into the next two decades is about to go on public exhibition following the Council meeting this week.

    More than two year’s in the making and involving over 200 residents, the Pittwater 2020 Strategic Plan is set to be adopted by the Council and drive future budgets and resource allocation following its public exhibition.

    General Manager Mark Ferguson said the Plan was a first for the Pittwater community. “It’s owned by local residents and the Council and that makes it quite powerful,” he said.

    “The message from those involved was that they wanted Pittwater to be sustainable in every aspect in the future.”

    “That has become the underlying theme for the whole Plan.”

    The Plan is based on a ‘pyramid’ approach and includes the following elements:

    • Vision - a collective aspiration from the community for what they want Pittwater to be like in 2020 and beyond
    • Key Directions – five of these identified by the community as areas to undertake planning and action in order to achieve the vision
    • Aims - each Key Direction has overarching statements of what Pittwater should be like in 2020 and beyond
    • Goals - each Aim has one or more related goals outlining the specifics of what the community wants to see by 2020
    • Targets - each Goal has an indicative target to measure its success and track the progress towards 2020
    • Strategies – twenty of these have been developed as operational mechanisms to outline how Pittwater will achieve the aims and goals
    • Initiatives - within the Strategies initiatives have been identified as a means of achieving the aims and goals
    Mr Ferguson said the twenty strategies provided the crux of the Plan and would guide the Council’s actions and operations over the next 12 years.
    He said the community would have a continuing role in monitoring progress on the Plan and also ongoing opportunities to fine-tune and adjust its goals.
    “There will be an annual community report published to track progress,” Mr Ferguson said.

    Happy New Year!

    The editor and his extensive staff wish you all a very Happy New Year. Click to enjoy!

    The local guide

    What's On in Pittwater - Self Editing Event Diary Click Here  
    Scotland Island Traders - On-line shopping from your computer, through your door on Scotland Island. Contact Graeme on 0419460331 or click here for full details  
    Buy and Sell: Pittwater Trading Online or visit http://www.pittwatertradingonline.com.au  
    Local Real Estate Agents:  
    View Real Estate L.J.Hooker Mona Vale
    PMC Hill (subscribe to their newsletter here) Pittwater Real Estate
    Government Organisations:
    Local Pittwater Council, or email them at pittwater_council@pittwater.nsw.gov.au  or by clicking here.
    Federal: Bronwyn Bishop, Member for Mackellar by clicking here or Bronwyn.Bishop.MP@aph.gov.au
    State: Rob Stokes, Member for Pittwater, at pittwater@parliament.nsw.gov.au or by clicking here
    Local Transport: Scotland Island Community Vehicle: Info: click here. Phone (0404103700) Church Point Ferries (0408296997)  Manly Warringah Cabs (0299725600) Palm Beach Cruises (0299974815) Pink Water Taxi (0428238190)
    Local Accommodation
    Bed & Breakfast: Scotland Island Lodge: or http://www.scotlandislandlodge.com.au (0299793301)
    Yacht Clubs Woody Point Yacht Club  or http://www.wpyc.com.au 
      Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club or http://www.rpayc.com.au/
    Short Term Holiday Accommodation: Wiringulla Retreat (0299718375) or http://www.wirringulla.com
      Treetops on Towlers Bay' (0293322611) info@walkabouttours.com.au
    Budget Accommodation:

    On the doorstep of the Ku-ring-gai Chase N P: Pittwater YHA, Ph 0299995748 www.yha.com.au/hostels/details.cfm?hostelid=31 

    Local Pittwater Studies Website: http://www.pittlink.net/ls
    Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade: http://www.sirfb.org.au

    Emergency Contact Numbers

    • NSW Police: 000, Police Assistance Line: 13 1444, general information 9281 0000
    • Broken Bay Water Police 9979 4944 or 0412 162 093
    • NSW Fire Service: 000, general information 9265 2999
    • NSW Ambulance Service: 000, general information 9320 7777
    • Rural Fire Service: 000, general information 9450 3000
    • State Emergency Service, Warringah/Pittwater SES: 9486 3399
    • National Parks & Wildlife Service: 000, general information 9457 9322
    • Dept of Community Services: general information 9977 6011
    • Sydney Water: 132 090
    • Energy Australia: 131 388, (ah) 131 909

    Membership of SIRA, Emergency Scotland Island Water Contacts and Application for Water + Guidelines for water, in one document: click here for information (while online)

    Airlines, Buses and Railways

    Sydney Airport: Arrivals and Departures Qantas Information                    Jetstar Information Virgin Blue Information
    Sydney Buses Information.  Sydney Ferries Information City Rail Timetables & Information. Country Link Rail Timetable


    Join SIRA You can now join the Scotland Island Residents Association by clicking here. Please print the page and return the completed form to SIRA at this address: The Treasurer, SIRA, PO Box 70, Church Point 2105. Please NO CASH. Contact SIRA at sirapittwater@hotmail.com Join WPCA To join the Western Pittwater Community Association, contact Michael Wiener at m2wiener@bigpond.net.au

    Archived Newsletters A complete set of past electronic newsletters since publication of this newsletter began in May 2000, can be found and read at https://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?sira or by clicking here or by visiting the Mona Vale Library. The Island website is at www.scotlandisland.org.au


    If you would like to contribute to this newsletter it's easy!. Send an e-mail to the editor by clicking here. Type your short contribution (100 words 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 to your neighbours, it will appear next month.


    To get on and off this newsletter, click here or got to: http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/signup . To change your address, click the 'modify' link at the bottom of this newsletter.

    The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of the Scotland Island Residents Association (SIRA), West Pittwater Community Association (WPCA) or any of the associated Pittwater Offshore Resident's Committees

    Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis [0403-442-764]