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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach

- August 2006 -

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia  Volume 9, Issue 151; August 2006     


The rain has been wonderful! But, as a result of the rain, the condition of the roads on Scotland Island is APPALLING. I just love the slightly primitive life style we enjoy as members of the offshore community, but this situation is intolerable. You could step into some of the potholes on the way up the hill and never be seen again. It is unattractive, it is dangerous and it is unacceptable. We do not live in a third world country and money has to be found to fix it. The time for rhetoric is over. Where are our politicians when we need them? Pittwater Council seem not to have the funds, the state is crying poor, perhaps we need to go right to the top!

The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless.  ~Nicholas Chamfort

  • History Corner
  • Thanks to all who helped!
  • Treetops at Towlers Bay
  • Pittwater Community Services Grants Program
  • Open for Inspection – A Review
  • Brighten up a dreary Sunday with Roast Chicken
  • Online Diary - Add your function
  • The Census - will you be home?
  • H2O 360 Film Event
  • Open for Inspection - Raffle Result
  • EFTPOS at Church Point
  • Offshore Anthology is at the Printers! Order Now!
  • Vegetation Collection
  • Register of Justice of the Peace
  • Music for Milk!
  • Local Guide
  • Archived Newsletters
  • Your Subscription Information
  • History Corner
    When Scotland Island had its Queen

    Big, hearty Bob Waterer doesn’t claim to fit everyone’s concept of a prince. In fact, he doesn’t even claim, with a chuckle, to be a prince. But when Bob recently contacted Pittwater Offshore he established a personal and significant genealogical link with a colourful chapter in the Island’s past.

    Bob is the great grandson of Martha Catherine Benns who was sometimes known as the Queen of Scotland Island Now the owner of a sunny apartment at the War Veterans Home at Narrabeen, Bob (encouraged by his sister) has been intrigued and entranced by his research which reveals that their great grandmother’s honorary title came from Catherine’s aborigine grandmother. She was thought to be of the wives of Bungaree, often styled as the last Aborigine King of Sydney. Her daughter, Sarah, known as Biddy, married a shipwright, John Lewis Ferdinand, later known as John Lewis. Catherine, born October 13, 1838, was the fifth of their nine children.

    This aborigine bloodline undoubtedly accounted for the fact that Catherine Benns was a petite but handsome woman of dark complexion. A report states that she was a widow when, in 1874, she met and married the Island pioneer, Joseph Benns, a Belgian who had changed his name from Ambrol Josef Diercknecht (No wonder!). Benns and his partner, Charles Jenkins, had leased the Island in 1855 for seven years. It was the start of a long residency which was to last for 45 years. At one stage Benns owned the “William and Betsy” which foundered off Port Stephens and then “The Lady and the Lake” which was wrecked off Long Reef. He also rebuilt the house of the Island’s first owner, Andrew Thompson, with logs hewn on the spot.

    Mrs. Benns was a loyal and self-sufficient wife . She was always ready to help sick residents and often performed the role of midwife. Even after her husband died on March 29, 1900,leaving her a reported estate of 35 pounds, she continued to live and sustain herself on the Island. George Wheeler, son of a Narrabeen pioneer, James Wheeler, reported in 1905 that he saw the old lady (then 67) rowing herself from Bayview to Scotland Island in the teeth of a stiff nor’easter. While there has been a belief that the Island’s Catherine Park was named after this indominatable woman, there is another claim which is perhaps more prosaic and accurate. The name is claimed by the family of the Island’s first major developer, H.J. Fitzpatrick, as being named after Fitzpatrick’s mother-in-law and Elizabeth Park after his wife.

    Next Month: The saga of Pittwater's First Teacher

    Leicester Warburton
    Thanks to all who helped!
    I would like to thank all the people who helped me in my recent disagreement with my balcony:

    Jennifer and Charlie O’Connor
    Fiona Deegan (Saunders)
    Richard Harrington
    Colin Haskell
    John Christie

    I must thank these people very much, but I must say that when I heard Jennifer had run over Heartbreak Hill I felt like breaking my other arm just to make it all worthwhile. Once again the Fire Brigade has come through in spades, nor is that with spades. It’s only a broken arm guys.


    Treetops at Towlers Bay

    "Treetops is a quaint cottage nestled in the bush at the western end of Towlers Bay and features a loft bedroom, bathroom, open plan kitchen, dining and living area and outdoor dining on the deck. The spacious verandah faces north with scenic views over the national park, Towlers Bay and Pittwater. Explore the magic of Pittwater and greater Sydney from this idyllic setting. Tours of Sydney, Palm Beach and the Northern Beaches and the unique Aboriginal sites in the Ku-ring-gai Chase are available to visitors by your hosts through their company, Walkabout Tours.

    A variety of activities await you at Treetops. Enjoy the Sydney rainforest and spotted gums on bushwalks in the national park or relax with a swim and meander along the sandbanks of Towlers Bay. Kayaks and fishing tackle are available for the adventurous or enjoy the tranquillity of this romantic setting on the verandah and savour the serenity. Introduce yourself to the native animals, feed the kookaburras, king parrots and lorikeets during the day and spot the possums and wallabies at night. Hop on a water taxi to Palm Beach for a morning surf or tour the bays of Pittwater on the local ferry.

    The cottage has one Queen size bed in the loft bedroom. Linen and towels are provided. Treetops can only accommodate two adults and is not suitable for young children. We request non smokers as we are on the foreshores of the national park and surrounded by bush. Dogs are acceptable if well trained as there are may birds and native animals around the cottage and park. "

    (this announcement in unpaid, will appear only once and is for the information of local residents)

    Pittwater Community Services Grants Program

    Non-profit community organisations are invited to apply for funding under Pittwater Council’s 2006/2007 Community Services Grants Program.

    The Program aims to:

    Support community-based organisations to provide community and cultural services within the Pittwater area;

    Stimulate the development of effective community and cultural services that respond to the needs of Pittwater residents; and

    Encourage the development of high quality community and cultural programs in the Pittwater area.

    Funding is available under this Program for projects meeting the social or cultural needs of Pittwater residents. One-off grants of up to $1,000 per year (minimum grant $500) will be made.

    Applications open on Monday 17 July and close 5pm on Friday 25 August 2006.

    For a copy of the guidelines and application form, please visit the Pittwater website on www.pittwaterlga.com.au, Community Services, or contact Simonne Shore on 9970 1169, email simonne_shore@pittwater.nsw.gov.au

    Open for Inspection – A Review

    With real estate a hot matter of conversation both at Kirribilli and indeed by some on the island, the latest presentation by the Scotland Island Players “Open for Inspection” presented this topical issue with many of the audience obviously relating to the shenanigans of both buyers and sellers.

    Presentations by the players are greatly anticipated by off shore residents and their friends and the last night of the performance did not disappoint - it was a great one providing some surprises and many laughs for the those present.

    Well directed by Kez Borthwick-Bolton and starring Bob Bolton, Gordon Floyd, Jon Hazelwood,
    Barbara Labram, Justine Kimi, Tracy Smith, Larry Woods and Lesley Woods it showed just what both vendors and buyers can get up to to ensure a sale takes place at the best price for both.

    Tracy Smith gave her usual excellent performance as did all the others members of the cast. Barbara Labram, a newcomer to the players, spend some time in the play upside down and played her part magnificently. I am looking forward to seeing Barbara’s talents again in future productions.

    One surprise was being sprayed with water (warm) at the end of Act One (well we did sit in the front row!) and finding out that John Travers’ set not only fell down on the last night, but every other night of the performance (as it was meant to) – great work John – have you quoted for the Titanic the Musical yet?

    The production could not have done without all the usual “behind the scenes” people with sound effects, lighting, and sound all working without any hitches and other support people doing their bit to make it a great production – Jon D, David, Claire, Boyd, Gill, Iza, Annette, Lizzie, Melanie and John and Rosemary and Colin all helped make the play the success it was.

    Looking forward to another Scotland Island Players production soon!

    Joy Nielsen.

    Brighten up a dreary Sunday with Roast Chicken

    If you find yourself with a dreary old Sunday why not treat yourself with a yummy chicken roast and vegetables. Easy to make and so satisfying this recipe will make your Sunday bright!

    Roast chicken with vegetables


    2 tablespoon olive oil
    2-3 large potatoes peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    ¼ pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    2 large carrots peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
    salt and pepper
    4 chicken pieces, breast with the wing or Maryland
    1 cup cranberry sauce
    ¼ cup apple juice
    Water (optional)

    METHOD: Preheat oven to 200°c.

    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry vegetables until slightly browned; add garlic and rosemary; continue cooking for further 2 minutes. Transfer into baking tray.

    Place remaining oil in the fry pan when hot add chicken pieces skin side down fry for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer into baking tray with the vegetables. Cook in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes to 40 minutes or until chicken has cooked through.

    Meanwhile to make sauce; mix cranberry with apple juice and little water, if using. In the same frying pan add sauce and boil to desired consistency.

    Online Diary - Add your function

    Our online diary has proved very popular with readersof this newsletter. This facility will allow you to enter details of any upcoming function that might be of interest to the offshore community. For example you might be having a BBQ to raise funds for the kindy. To let everyone know that you have "reserved" a particular day(s) simply find the date on the calendar and enter the detail. Then click submit at the bottom of the page. You can colour your entry, make an entry span over a number of days and much more.

     You will need a username and password. The username is 'island' (without the quotes) and the password is 'island' (without the quotes.) To ADD something, just click on the DATE in the month you want to use. Clearly you should only add items that are of interest to all of our community. Please remember these username and password for the future! Please write it down somewhere!

    To add information about your function and to check what is happening in the offshore community, visit http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/calendar.htm or just click the link from the Scotland Island home page at www.scotlandisland.org.au

    The Census - will you be home?

    Census volunteers will come knocking from today as the country prepares for its national population count in just over a week. They will deliver the forms across Australia.

    Paul Williams, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, says the Census is run every five years, giving a snapshot of where people live, their age, birthplace and occupation.

    "About 12 million forms, all up to cover both people living in normal dwellings and also to cover people who are living in places like hospitals and hotels and motels or in those places on Census night," he said.
    "It gives local communities a picture of themselves so that they can understand their own people and what their own people's needs are."

    For more information about the Census in general, please go to the Census homepage at www.abs.gov.au/census For the first time, Australians will also be able to fill in the form using the Internet. You can find this form at the Australian Bureau of Statistics ABS and by clicking here

    H2O 360 Film Event

    The communities of Scotland Island NSW, Lovett Bay NSW, Dangar Island NSW, Tiwi Islands NT, Palm Island QLD, Magnetic Island QLD, Tassie, even the Australian scientists in Antarctica have been BUSY attending filmmaking workshops and making short films especially for H2O 360 short film event to be held on Scotland Island November 4 2006.
    If you are not involved in the making of a community film then go to www.scotlandislandfestival.org look for H2O 360 Film fest and download an entry form.
    Deadline for films September 30, 2006. Come on tell your story!!
    Need more information? call Claire Atkins 9979 4709 or Boyd Attwell 9979

    Open for Inspection - Raffle Result

    During the last production by the Scotland Island Players - "Open for Inspection" - we ran a raffle.

    The first prize was the painting used on the set during the play and painted by one of the actors in the play, our very own Gordon Floyd.

    The painting was won by an ex-resident of Elvina Bay - Sharon Ireland. Sharon has now moved off but couldn't resist returning for "Open for Inspection". There is a twist, however.

    Another of the plays stars - the delightfully vague Leslie Woods, an old Elvina Bay neighbour of Sharon's, had her heart set on winning the painting and was seen to be investing in a large number of raffle tickets.

    Sharon tells me she has given the painting she won to Leslie, as an early Christmas present. Now, isn't that nice.

    Second prize was a BBQ utensils set donated by a gentleman from Hookers who was in the audience. This was won by our very own Lizzie Brand of Interlace Costume hire at Mona Vale.

    Thanks to everyone who bought raffle tickets and joining in on the fun.

    Annette Ritchie

    EFTPOS at the Point

    There is a pressing need for an ATM at Church Point and the post office is asking residents to help promote the concept. To make it easier to pay phone & electricity bills etc. They put into head post-office and application to obtain an eftpos machine and facilities at the post-office. This was declined due to small population, etc. They had the same problem over at Newport and everybody signed a petition. They now have eftpos facilities at Newport. The postal officer said that he will/maybe put notices of such into our boxes. I would urge everybody to support this project. Phillipa Thomas

    Offshore Anthology is at the Printers! Order Now!

    Our local Offshore Anthology "Water Access Only - Tales and Images from Pittwater" is at the Printers!
    The book has contributions from over 50 local offshore residents, (writers, artists and photographers) commentary by Susan Duncan (Best selling author: Salvation Creek) and has been produced entirely by offshore talent to capture the essence of Offshore Life.. This book is a MUST for every Offshore home. Water Access Only will be launched at Writers Day at the October Festival.

    Only 500 books available and nearly 200 books have already been preordered and paid for.
    Don't miss out. $34.95 each. Great Christmas Presents!!!

    email ptonline@tpg.com.au for an order form or find out more and buy direct by credit card from ticket sales at : www.pittwatertradingonline.com.au.

    Profits go to charity and the Offshore Writers Festival.

    Vegetation Collection

    A reminder that the green waste collection for Scotland Island starts in the week commencing Monday 7th August 2006. The vegetation collected is taken to Kimbriki Recycling and Waste Disposal Centre where it is shredded and made into beautiful mulch and soils.

    Register of Justice of the Peace

    Are you a JP? Are you prepared to let the rest of the offshore community know that you are a JP? The editor would like to include such a list in a future newsletter and for publication in the POD. To let the editor know, please click here

    Music for Milk!

    Join Matt Trapnell at Church Point next Saturday from 10am as we raise money to buy a cow for a remote community dairy in India. Local resident and filmmaker Boyd Attwell has been in communication with this small Indian village assisting them to establish a working Dairy. Cows cost $300. So come and make a noise with us and bring your donations!
    Enquiries: Matt Trapnell 9979 4579 Boyd Attwell 9979 2296

    The local guideTop of page

    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 0419 460 331 or click here for full details  
    Buy and Sell: Pittwater Trading Online or visit http://www.pittwatertradingonline.com.au  
    Local Real Estate Agents:  
    Bothammottl 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, or email her by clicking here or Bronwyn.Bishop.MP@aph.gov.au
    State: Alex McTaggart, Member for Pittwater, email him at pittwater@parliament.nsw.gov.au or by clicking here
    Local Transport: Scotland Island Community Vehicle: Info: click here. Phone 0404 103 700 Church Point Ferries (02 9999 3492)  Manly Warringah Cabs (02 9997 9111) Palm Beach Cruises (02 9997 4815) Pink Water Taxi (0428 238 190)
    Bed & Breakfast: Scotland Island Lodge: or http://www.scotlandislandlodge.com.au          (02 9979 3301)
    Yacht Clubs Woody Point Yacht Club  or http://www.wpyc.com.au 
    Short Term Holiday Accommodation: Pittpoint Cottage:  (02 9997 8382) Wiringulla Retreat (02 9971 8375) or website here
      Treetops on Towlers Bay' (02 9332 2611) info@walkabouttours.com.au
    Local Pittwater Studies Website: http://www.pittlink.net/ls
    West Pittwater Community Association Minutes: http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/wpca.htm

    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

    Emergency Scotland Island Water Contacts: click here for information (while online)

    Airlines, Buses and Railways

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


    Join SIRA You can now join the Scotland Island Residents Association by clicking here. Please print the page you see 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 Larry at larrye@aftrs.edu.au or click here or phone           02 9979 5026 for more information. (in revision)

    Archived Newsletters A complete set of past electronic newsletters since May 2000 can be found and read at http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/newsletters/archive.html  or by clicking here or by visiting the Mona Vale Library. The Scotland 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, or to change your options, click here or got to: http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/signup

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

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