Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach

-April 2004 -

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia  Volume 6, Issue 54; April 2004


This month we begin the first of an occasional series telling us of the history of our beautiful corner of the world. Guest contributor and well known journalist Leister Warburton has a wonderful piece below that you will not want to miss! Enjoy!

The biannual council Scotland Island & Offshore cleanup is one next week. Please, oh please, do not put out any rubbish until the last 48 hours.

Thanks to the many subscribers who responded to our ADSL survey in the last edition. We have contacted Telstra and are arranging a high level meeting with them to discuss the many issues raised by YOU! Truly the offshore community must represent the highest level of 'work-from-home' residents in Australia.

Finally: Watch out for news from council about the Church Point Precinct - your input via the survey about the car park has had quite an effect!

In this Issue:

  • History Corner

  • An introduction to sails & spars

  • Pittwater  Business Industry Forum

  • Recipe of the Month

  • Get rid of your old 'puta!

  • Pittwater Council launches MasterPlan

  • The new SPAM Act

  • General Clean Up

  • Dead vehicles removed

  • Heritage Festival

  • Scotland Island Players  - Annual General Meeting

  • Morevabout the Lerps
  • Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade
  • Scotland Island Pre School wants your help
  • Bush Regeneration in Elizabeth Park
  • The Local Guide
  • Archived Newsletters
  • Your Subscription Information
  • History Corner

    Do you know Stokes Point on the eastern shore of Pittwater at the southern entrance to Careel Bay?

    Of course you do.

    But did you know that it was once called Stripe Point. The reason for the early name has been lost in the mists of time. But who was Stokes?

    Stokes was described as a tall, handsome man who lived on the beach near the point and who became a boatbuilder of some renown. Oddly enough he had been, of all things, a ladies' shoemaker in London, a business which required very careful work which, it is said, he translated into his boats.
    So why did he have a criminal record like most of the residents at that time? His story was that in London he had been seized in a crowd and searched. A handkerchief which he claimed he had never seen before had been found in his pocket, put there by a pickpocket who thus saved himself from apprehension. As Stokes could not give a satisfactory account of how it came in his possession, he was convicted and transported to Australia, one of many innocent men - and women - who each did their share in the country's development.

    In time, given his freedom, Stokes managed to move some of his possessions to Sydney. These included a stylish bottle green coat he treasured highly. Even as a courteous old man he was a dapper figure. It was reported that every Sunday he wore his treasured bottle green coat with large buttons and a remarkably tall hat - remnants of his bygone London city days when they were the latest style. One morning he arrived, a vision of bottle green splendour with hat well brushed and buttons glistening in the sunshine, to visit a neighbour. When he enquired where the husband was he was told he was at work.
    "On a Sunday! At work!" he said.

    "But," the wife replied. "Today is not Sunday. It's only Friday!"

    "Well! Well!," said the old spark. "Dash my buttons! Time does go slow on Pittwater!"
    And isn't it still the truth?
    Leicester Warburton
    March 2004

    An introduction to sails & spars
    The early Viking ships had one mast and one sail.
    The sail was called, believe it or not, the "sail" (sail). As time went by the boats got bigger and required a bigger sail. Eventually it could not be made any bigger without becoming too hard to handle so a smaller sail was put up above the big one. This new sail was, of course the "top sail" (pronounced tops'l) and so the original one became known as the main sail (mains'I). In time the topsail grew until it, too, had to be split into two parts. The lower half of the topsail was called the lower topsail and the upper half became the upper topsail.

    A similar train of events occurred with the next sail above the topsails. Tile name coined for this set was "top gallant" (t'gallant) which was eventually split into upper and lower topgallant.

    Later, yet another sail was added above the gallant sails and this one became known as the "royal". James Craig only ever had one royal per mast but larger ships once again split their royals and some even had sails above them again.

    At about the same time as more and more sails were being invented so more masts were added and given (logical?) names. The mast in front (nearest the bow of the ship) was named the foremast, the larger one in the middle was the main mast and the mast on the quarter deck (towards the stern of the ship) was named the mizzen mast.

    With an increasing number of masts there was now a need to distinguish between sails of the same name on different masts and so was developed descriptions such as "fore upper-topsail" and "main upper-topsail". To get around the problem presented by what to call the main sail on the main mast, the lower sails on each mast became known as "courses" leading to "main course" and "fore course'.
    The term "spar" covers masts, yards, booms and gaffs. The spars that the square sails are attached to are called yards and they are named after the sails they support, hence "fore upper topsail yard" and so on from mast to mast.
    ...with thanks to the Australian Heritage Fleet

    Pittwater  Business Industry Forum

    Business, trades and industry representatives are invited to attend Pittwater Council's seventh Pittwater Business/Industry Forum, to be held at Royal Motor Yacht Club, 46 Prince Alfred Parade, Newport as a breakfast session from 7.15-9.15am on Wednesday 19 May 2004.

    This year's Forum has a central theme of “Export Assistance for Businesses” and “Implications of the US Free Trade Agreement”. It will feature a presentation by Robert Sutton from Austrade and a discussion on how business people can gain assistance to export their products, as well as the far-reaching effects of the US Free Trade Agreement on many businesses, from boat importers to sellers of car parts and computer software

    Booking slips are available on the Pittwater website – - under “What’s Happening, Events, May 2004”, at Council offices at level 2, 11/5 Vuko Place, Warriewood and 59a Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon and at Mona Vale and Avalon Libraries, or can be posted to interested people.  Bookings are essential – contact Gay McCorby, Tel: 9970 1119.
    Recipe of the Month

    Pumpkin and toasted cashew burgers

    I cup
    2 cloves

    soy sauce
    olive oil
    salt pepper
    1 Tablespoons
    3 Tablespoons
    2 Tablespoons
    2 Tablespoons
    to taste

    Peel and de-seed the pumpkin, cut into 2cm square pieces and place in a bowl with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and oregano.

    Spread the pumpkin on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C until cooked (you should easily insert a fork into the pumpkin)

    Put the cooked pumpkin into a bowl and mash roughly so it still has small lumps which will add texture.

    In a frying pan over a medium heat toss in the dry cashews and stir with a wooden spoon constantly to prevent burning once they turn a delicate brown take them out of the pan and place them on a cold plate.

    Crush the garlic into the bowl containing pumpkin add the soy sauce, bread crumbs, beaten egg and cashews.

    If you can pick up a piece of the dough and roll it into a ball its ready to be shaped otherwise just add more bread crumbs.

    Form into burgers and coat lightly in flour shallow fry in a pan with a good quality oil and serve with mango chutney or mayonnaise mixed with wasabi

    Scotland Island Players  - Annual General Meeting

    DATE: Sunday, 4 April 2004 - TIME: 5:00pm - PLACE: Annette Ritchie’s home
    (the “turret” house, Kevin Avenue, 4 doors up from fire station)

    Everyone on the island or in the bays, interested in performing, helping out, getting the Players up and running again etc.
    BYO: Nibbles to share and something to drink
    Agenda: 1. Membership
    2. Minutes of last AGM
    3. Election of Office Bearers
    4. Play Readings
    5. Any Other Business
    Come and join in, it will be fun!
    Get rid of your old 'puta!

    If you have an older computer (IBM only, Pentium 1 or better), Wesley Uniting Employment 'Work for the Dole' contract want to refurbish and then give your equipment to Not For Profit organisations both here and overseas.

    They should be delivered to their Hornsby office in the Hornsby Police, Citizens Youth Club in George street opposite the railway station. Open Wednesday's and Thursday's. Ring beforehand John Jones 0419980627

    The new SPAM Act - Federal Government

    The Federal Parliament has enacted legislation to regulate unsolicited commercial electronic messages, also known as 'spam'.
    The Spam Act will prohibit unsolicited commercial electronic messages with an Australian link from 10 April 2004. It will also require all commercial electronic messages to contain accurate sender information and a functional unsubscribe facility. The Pittwater Offshore Newsletter was chosen by you so that you could keep up with local events and the newsletter is known as an opt-in service. That is, when you subscribed, you were given the opportunity to unsubscribe at any time. Details of how to unsubscribe are at the bottom of every newsletter. Having said that, please stay :)
    Detailed information can be found on the Australian Communications Authority website, at the following link:

    Pittwater Council launches MasterPlan

    - an exciting new Internet service for its customers.

    MasterPlan is an interactive development interrogation system which allows customers to easily access all the development controls and permissibilities relevant to particular forms of development on specific sites via the Pittwater website. MasterPlan enables customers, upon entering the address and development details online, to obtain a list of controls relevant to a property and the proposed development type.

    When combined with Pittwater’s new electronic Development Application and Construction Certificate tracking services, MasterPlan delivers a comprehensive real-time process to provide transparent and consistent information about the Development Application and construction process.

    This takes the mystery out of the Development Application process for Pittwater’s customers and represents a real breakthrough in customer service. It is also a real step forward for home-owners and the associated industries of design, architecture, planning, building.

    For more information on MasterPlan, please contact Lindsay Dyce, Manager Planning & Assessment, Tel: 9970 1135

    Bush Regeneration in Elizabeth Park

    Our monthly gathering to eradicate the dreaded Asparagus Fern is on again this Saturday MORNING, 3 March 2004, 9am -12 noon.

    Please join us, especially if you live 'up the top' - it's just a stroll along the road over to the northern side - near Harriet and Caz's homes.

    Many hands make light work. 

    Don't forget the Aerogard

    General Clean Up

    A reminder to all Scotland Island Residents and to all who live on the western foreshores  - the biannual general cleanup is on April 19th.

    Please do NOT put anything out on the roads until a week before the due date.

    Dead vehicles removed

    Recently a deal was brokered with council to remove dead vehicles & trailers on Scotland Island. Using the resources of local island contractors and paid for by council, last week saw eight cars and 5 or 6 trailers taken from the island. The operation was a great success. The next great clean up step is to encourage those with trailers and building materials using the road reserves for storage to move these items onto their own property!  Another target is recycling, with some residents placing their materials out on the wrong week, i.e. A Zone one week, B Zone the following. Please - examine your recycling calendar. Check which week is your recycling week. Pittwater Council have the dates if you are not sure.

    Special thanks to Toby, Mat & Dave for facilitating the vehicle removals!

    Pittwater Heritage Festival

     24 April to 2 May 2004
    Pittwater Heritage Cruise, Wednesday 28 April, 10.30am to 1.30pm
    Enjoy a relaxing three hours' cruise on Pittwater and Broken Bay. Listen to local historian Jim Macken's descriptions of Pittwater's past.

    Discover all about World War II constructions on West Head and houses on the waterfront. Fish and Chips will be taken aboard at lunchtime, tea and coffee available. Cost $30/$26 Concession, Fish & Chips $7.50. Bookings essential on 9997 5422.

    More about the Lerps

    Thanks to all the people that have shown interest in the venturi aeration system. I have been very busy the last few weeks talking to people, fabricating and installing systems to maintain their water.

    It seems the lerps is a common problem with very little known about the issues.

    I suspect that the lerps is a sort of catalyst for the tank to stagnate during the warmer months, so it is not one single problem but a compilation of numerous factors including cleanliness of the water entering the tanks.

    As I said last issue, I dumped my water, cleaned my tank and started again. I still think this is the best option so the aerator does not have to run excessively to try to clean the water. Initial tests indicate that the aerator will break down organic material in the tank, reduce smell and remove the possibility of mosquitoes laying larvae in the water – the most obvious result after one week, no mozzies! All beneficial so far, there is a sediment left that has either not had enough time to fully break down or may be left in the system. Filtration will remove this but it is a costly exercise that also has to be maintained. I will be installing a basic filter in our system (along with maintaining gutters and leaf catchers) before it is pumped into the main holding tank thus eliminating the dirty water in the first place.

    There seems to also be a warning for the people that add chlorine to their tanks to minimize this effect.

    “Chloroform is a suspected carcinogenic compound formed in water when chlorine, added as a disinfectant, reacts with natural organic matter from decayed vegetation.”

    Not only does it taste bad it may also be quite harmful.

    As I’ve said, I am now producing these venturies. They are available to be purchased directly through me for $154 including GST - or soon available through irrigation suppliers - who love the idea and have made orders already! (There are other venturi systems available, all are imported, plastic and more expensive.) They are reasonably easy to self install, I can advise how to set up the system depending on your requirements or I can fully install the system for automated aeration.

    If anyone missed the special edition dated March 24, 2004 where this was mentioned I’m sure it’s easy to look up or contact me for further information on 0438 043 100 or email on again, Tim Marshall.

    Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade

    The end of March signals the end of the official bush fire season. For Island and offshore residents this enables us to clear our properties of the build up of debris around the house by pile burning.

    We do ,however, need to have an environmental assessment of our property by a fire officer before any pile burning. (this helps to protect our property). It is a simple procedure and forms are available from the fire shed. Don't forget though to ring the fire shed before you burn ,and when you finish.


    Scotland Island Pre School wants your help

    A history of the evolution of the Scotland Island Pre School is currently being compiled. Information, anecdotes, photos and background information are needed to create this valuable archive.
    If you have even the vaguest memory or tiniest piece of information, I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at, or phone 9979 3639, or post to Box 359 at Church Point.

    The local guide

    As our newsletter continues to grow (nearly 600 readers) we are including some links to other nearby organisations and events that may be of interest. If you would like to contribute, please send a message to the editor by clicking here.

    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 Transport:

    Local Accommodation:       

    Bed & Breakfast:Scotland Island Lodge:         (9979 3301)
    Short Term Holiday Accommodation:Pittpoint Cottage:                  (9997 8382)

    Local Pittwater Studies Website:

    Emergency Contact Numbers

    • NSW Police: 000, general information 9281 0000
    • 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

    Sydney Buses information.

    Virgin Blue Information

    NSW Railway Timetables and Information.



    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. Join WPCA To join the Western Pittwater Community Association, contact Larry at or click here or phone 02-9979-5026 for more information.


    Archived Newsletters A complete set of past electronic newsletters since 2000 can be found and read at  or by clicking here or by visiting the Mona Vale Library.

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    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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