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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach

- September 2005 -

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia  Volume 7, Issue 91; September 2005     


I read with interest of the Water Police activity in RBT in our area. As the Spring approaches it might be worth thinking about our attitudes to drink boating. (see item below). May I also commend to you the item about the Scotland Island preschool (found near the bottom of this newsletter) They are in SERIOUS TROUBLE and need you support. AND: A special reminder about the Movie night
Date: 10 September 2005
Location: Scotland Island Fire Shed.
Time: 3.30pm
In this Issue:

  • History Corner
  • Motor Vehicle Registration Day
  • 100 years at Mona Vale Cemetery
  • Life Memberships awarded by SIRA
  • Scotland Island Group wins Prize
  • Dolphins in Pittwater - new sightings
  • News from the Water Police
  • Church Point Car Park
  • Pittwater's Dog Day by the Bay
  • Our Off shore Writers Anthology grows weekly!
  • THE future of the Island Preschool is in jeopardy
  • Stress Buster Exercises For Tech Rage
  • Archived Newsletters
  • Local Guide
  • Your Subscription Information
  • History Corner
    On a portion of land near the Palm Beach jetty, a Chinese firm carried out a prosperous fish-drying business in the early 1880s. This gave employment to a number of men who found fishing in Pittwater more remunerative than orchard work or farming.  Mostly, the drying and salting were done by Chinamen and the manager, with the somewhat sneezy and discouraging name of Ah Chuey, was a general favourite of residents.
    Ah Chuey was known as a extremely fair man and had fixed prices for the fish he bought. He preferred schnapper, for which he paid five shillings a dozen, but he would take other fish and sometimes two or three boatloads would be piled up on the sand. When supplies were this great, the Chinamen worked all night putting the fish in brine. They then carried the offal to a garden near the cliffs which they cultivated and from which they sold excellent vegetables to residents. The fish were either sent to Sydney for shipping on to China or to Melbourne which was home to a large Chinese population.
    Local fishermen caught the bait for their lines from Mackerel Beach which gave it its name. For many years there was a lookout near the beach from which shoals of fish, entering the head of Broken Bay, could be detected with boatloads of flapping prizes to those who were ready to take advantage of the catch.  The Chinese, too, were very partial to mutton fish or abalone as they are sometimes known and , in their spare time were often seen searching diligently for the oval shellfish clinging to the rocks. Old residents recalled great piles of mutton shells heaped near the Chinese garden and children sometimes carried them off to use as edges or borders to family gardens.
    The rather dark, tough meat in the beautiful shells was a delicacy to the Chinese but offers to visitors usually met with a polite refusal. Even so, the collecting diligence of the Chinese seems to have exhausted the supply, at least temporarily, and Mutton Fish , sometimes called Venus' Ear by English piscine authorities, is today largely exported to China and Japan from both sides of the Pacific for use for buttons and pearl inlaying from the shells.
    Leicester Warburton

    Motor Vehicle Registrations

    When: Saturday, September 3, 2005 Where: Scotland Island Fire Shed
    Time: 9am To 2pm

    Requirements: Rego Papers Plus: Motor Vehicle $50.00 Per Vehicle  $10.00 S.I.F.B.
    Total: $ 60.00
    Please Note:
    This Will Be A Once Only Inspection!! Please Have Vehicles In Roadworthy Condition
    Rejection Slips Will Be Issued  For Vehicles Not Conforming with R.T.A. Regulations
    Contacts: Graeme Richmond 0419 460 331
    Bruce Healey 9999 4404

    100 Years at Mona Vale Cemetery

    To celebrate the Centenary of the Mona Vale Cemetery, Council will be sponsoring an open day to be held on Saturday 22nd October 2005. Activities will include morning and afternoon tours of the cemetery grounds highlighting our departed local personalities, conducted by Bob Pauling of the Manly Warringah Historical Society. You will be able to carry out a search of Council’s database to locate relatives and friends, check out available grave sites or niches (for ash remains) – and meet our Gravedigger, Andrew Morgan.

    BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL for either the morning or afternoon sessions at 10.00am and 1.00pm. Registration is free and includes morning tea at 11.30am. The first 40 people to register will also receive a complimentary booklet of the “Journal of Local History – Mona Vale Cemetery” (published by Manly, Warringah & Pittwater Historical Society” on the day.

    For more information, please contact Cemetery Administration on 9970 1341.

    There will also be a display about the cemetery at Mona Vale Library to coincide with History Week, commencing 12th September. Should you have any old photos of funerals held at the cemetery, please contact Cemetery Administration on 9970 1341. A copy of any photos will be taken and returned to you prior to the commencement of the display (at Council’s expense).
    SIRA Awards two Life Memberships
    After a change to the SIRA constitution at the last Annual General Meeting in June this year,
    SIRA has awarded two life memberships for service to the island.

    Life Memberships awarded by SIRA

    Leicester Warburton has been awarded life Membership for over forty years of outstanding service to SIRA and the island community, including the single handed compilation, production and delivery of SINews during this period.

    His certificate was presented before his wonderful talk, An Evening at History Corner, that was well attended at the Community Hall on Saturday 13 August.

    Trudi Engler is similarly honoured in acknowledgement of over thirty years outstanding service to SIRA and the Scotland Island Community and to dance and the cultural life of the island.

    Her certificate will be presented later this year at her annual students’ concert.
    Scotland Island Group wins Prize

    The Scotland Island Landcare Group won the second prize in the NSW Landcare Awards

    Landcare Co-ordinator Sharon Kinnison and President Shar Jones attended the State Land Care Conference in Wagga Wagga on the 16th and 17th August where they were presented with a silver award in the Communi
    ty section of the New South Wales Landcare Awards for the Catchment Study undertaken last year. The award was for our groups' work. Our co-ordinator, Sharon Kinnison has been pro-active for a number of years and this Award recognises the importance of her work on stormwater, drainage and roads, which includes securing a Stormwater Trust Grant to underwrite professional reports on the Catherine Park precinct, and the South Precinct The work culminated in a Roads and Drainage Masterplan, done with the support of Pittwater Council.
    She has been a tireless advocate for infrastructural development by Council and we are currently working to ensure that the Masterplan is adopted by Council .

    This will be presented to Pittwater Council at its meeting on 26 September.

    Dolphins in Pittwater - new sightings

    A recent sighting of a dolphin near the Royal Motor Yacht club by your rowing reporter prompts me to ask - have you seen any dolphins in Pittwater? It is great to see them back in the now relatively pristine waters adjacent to our homes. Is this a sign that we may see more of them? Let us know and we will post your comments in the next edition of PON. You can do so by clicking here

    News from the water police

    Water police are continuing to conduct Marine Random Breath Testing operations in and around Pittwater, Brooklyn and Brisbane Water, with three arrests so far. Please remember that the limits for alcohol are the same as the road limits - so if you would not be prepared to drive your car past a RBT site - you should not be driving your boat. These operations are continuing and increasing into the boating season.

    There has also been a 4 knot limit introduced at McCarrs Creek and EAST to include the Scotland Island commuter wharf - it is still an 8 knot limit around the Church Point public wharf.

    Have Wings, will Travel!

    Insects have been receiving undeserved bad press for a very long time.

    Rather than concentrating on the familiar baddies such as ticks, flies and cockroaches, we should perhaps remember that insects comprise a large share of 99% of all the biodiversity of our planet, and contribute greatly to the health of our environment.

    Etymologist Dr Martyn Robinson, from the Australian Museum, is special guest presenter at a seminar for National Threatened Species Day at Pittwater Council’s Coastal Environment Centre on Wednesday 7 September, 7.30-9pm. He will speak on the elusive and fascinating lives of dragonflies, colourful butterflies and our native bees.

    To learn more about this very significant and special part of the biodiversity of our world, book for this fascinating seminar with the CEC on 9970 6905.

    Church Point Car Park

    SIRA/WPCA are currently collecting signatures in support of our plan for the Church Point Car Park. We are seeking strong support from the community to make a strong case to Council and the Department of Lands to retain unrestricted parking on the surface of the car park for the long term. The levy we are suggesting is for this purpose and will not be used to fund the underground car park. People who plan to buy a space will cover the entire cost.

    Pittwater's Dog Day by the Bay
    It's fun, it's informative and it’s the EVENT OF THE YEAR for dogs and their owners! An open invitation is extended to all dogs, dog owners, dog lovers and their families to come along and have fun at Pittwater Council's DOG DAY BY THE BAY.

    The whole family can enjoy 5 hours of non-stop fun and entertainment, from 10am-3pm on Sunday, 25 September 2005 at Rowland Reserve, Bayview . FREE PARKING is available at Rowland Reserve. There will be people to meet, food to eat, competitions and exhibitions. Young children will love the Jumping Castle. (Dog owners are requested to keep their dogs leashed at all times while attending the event). The day’s program includes:

    • Canine Agility, Flyball and all your favourite competitions, with prizes galore!
    • Best Kept Puppy and Dog, Fancy Dress, Best Mannered, and more!
    • Brass Cats band
       • Dancing Dogs Display
    • The Great Frisbee Race   • Jumping Castle for children
    • Food and Drinks and more Stalls than ever before, with the very best of dog products available for perusal or purchase
    • Opportunity to raise funds for animals in need through the stalls and raffles of the RSPCA and the two local branches of the Animal Welfare League
    • Microchipping available

    Programs available on the Pittwater website at www.pittwaterlga.com.au, from Customer Service Centres at Village Park, 1 Park Street, Mona Vale and 59A Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon, and from local pet shops and veterinary clinics. Enquiries: 02 9970 1111.

    I now have many fantastic off island/shore stories, anecdotes and poems written by local offshore residents which are most entertaining and truly capture the essence of offshore life....and I'd love more!!. If you have a funny, reflective, touching or adventurous offshore story to tell about your offshore life, please write it down for inclusion in this self published work which will be launched next year. We'd all love to hear from you. 
    Artists, if you'd like the opportunity to illustrate the story of your choice and be included in this Anthology, please make contact ! 
    All contributions are voluntary and inclusions will be at the discretion of the editor.
    For information or submitting stories, contact Juliette Robertson 02 9979 2411, 0418 349 448 or e-mail juleitte@thejfactor.com.au

    THE future of the Island Preschool is in jeopardy

    In recent times preschool enrolments have been very low. Kindergarten Union, the managers of our preschool, have threatened to close the preschool by the end of the year if numbers do not increase. A final decision will be made, on assessment of current enrolments and waiting list, at the end of the third school term this year.

    Placing your child¹s name on the waiting list, before they turn two and preferably as early as possible, involves filling out a formal document that is taken very seriously in planning and business management. We urge families who are interested in the island preschool to enrol or
    register for waiting list immediately!

    Many island and foreshore residents, not necessarily with preschool aged children, are concerned about what will happen if the preschool closes. Over the years the preschool has established itself as a valuable community asset - fundraising efforts such as the "Black & White Ball" have become institutionalised as one of the "must do" events on our social calendar. In the event of closure, all Scotland Island Preschool inventory becomes the property of Kindergarten Union.

    On advice of DoCS (Department of Community Services), the preschool building cannot operate under the guise of Family Day Care.

    Proposal for Extended Hours

    Many parents have mentioned the need for longer hours of preschool operation. The preschool can be operated for eight hours per day under its current license. Opening 8:30am ­ 4:30pm is suggested because of similarity with the school ferry times. If you are thinking of enrolling your child in the near future (currently the preschool can take children from their second birthday to school age) and extended hours are an issue, we need to know ! Please fill out the short survey that is attached - you can do this by printing it out and sending the completed form to my PO Box 252 at Church Point or just call me on 9997 2307 or 0419 692010 and we can do the survey over the phone - it will only take a couple of minutes and you do not commit to anything by completing the survey.
    Any questions - please email me or give me a call or speak to one of the teachers at the preschool on a Tuesday or Wednesday on 9979 7856.

    Brigitte & The Preschool Parent Committee

    Stress Buster Exercises For Tech Rage
    Are you one of the 'tech rage' sufferers?
    Do you find yourself blowing your top when the printer jams or an error message pops up?
    Clear your head.
    Count backwards from 27 with the breath: for example 27 inhale, 27 exhale, 26 inhale and 26 exhale and so on.
    Keep counting and focusing only on the breath.
    If a thought or feeling does pop into your head, or you become distracted by a noise, don't worry, simply acknowledge it, and go back to counting, starting again at 27. Do not allow the initial thought to develop into a train of thoughts, catch it as early as you can.
    Now the aim is not necessarily to get to zero, be honest with yourself, if you find your mind wandering, don't be hard on yourself, just recognise it and start counting again from the beginning.
    After just 30-seconds you will notice that your initial frustration subsides, and you can focus more on solving the problem or finding alternatives, instead of raging at your friends.
    This is a good exercise to practise in its own right, as with repetition, your natural ability to calm thoughts and settle emotions increases. (Thanks to Zen at work)

    The local guide

    Local Real Estate Agents:

    Botham 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.
    State: John Brogden, Member for Pittwater, or email him at jbrogden@nswcoalition.com or  by clicking here
    Federal: Bronwyn Bishop, Member for Mackellar, or email her by clicking here or Bronwyn.Bishop.MP@aph.gov.au or
    Local Transport:

    Scotland Island Community Vehicle: Information, 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         (9979 3301)
    Yacht Clubs Woody Point Yacht Club  or http://www.wpyc.com.au 
    Short Term Holiday Accommodation: Pittpoint Cottage:  (9997 8382)
    Local Pittwater Studies Website: http://www.pittlink.net/ls
    West Pittwater Community Association Monthly Minutes: www.scotlandisland.org.au/wpca

    Emergency Contact Numbers

    • NSW Police: 000, 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.

    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

    Spread the Word:

    The future of this newsletter is in your hands. More than 700 residents and friends read this electronic newsletter monthly. Please tell your friends and neighbours to subscribe. If you are particularly literate in matters computing, you might like to help them follow the very simple path to subscription. It is easy to join. Simply click here to join, leave or change options or go to following address: http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/signup


    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.


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    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]