Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach

-April 2004 -

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


The AGM of the SIRA is in early June, in the Community Centre . A firm date has yet to be decided. Our little community has been extremely busy this year, with major changes to water distribution, drainage and the Church Point Precinct among the items of news. Some very major changes are planned for the next 12 months and you are warmly invited to attend the AGM to voice your approval or disagree with the path your committee are taking. Every financial member of the association will receive a notice of the meeting. To join SIRA, click here 

In this Issue:

  • Scotland Island Residents Association Annual General Meeting

  • History Corner

  • Spam, Spam, Spam

  • Film Screening in SI Fire Shed

  • Pittwater Business/Industry Forum

  • Cr Lynne Czinner becomes Pittwater Mayor 

  • Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade News

  • Space Exploration & the Perfect Blueberry Muffin

  • Ballet School on Scotland Island

  • LUXURY - Have Your Groceries Delivered!

  • Household Chemical Collection

  • A Touch of Salvation ‘Creek’

  • The Local Guide
  • Archived Newsletters
  • Your Subscription Information
  • Scotland Island Annual General Meeting

    The AGM of the Scotland Island Residents Association will be held in early June. More details in a SPECIAL Pittwater Offshore Newsletter in a few weeks.

    History Corner


    It was a weekly ceremony familiar to a number of Islanders - the loading of the family vehicle late on a Friday afternoon somewhere on the mainland and heading for the Island for the weekend.
    On this occasion, 50 years ago, the car was parked outside their Maroubra home and the McErlean family, Harry, Sally and their boys, Harry Jr. and Brian, were headed for Bell Wharf for a weekend of toil and a little bit of fun.

    Harry Snr was a builder and with the help of his two strapping sons just entering teenage a house was taking shape on waterfront land bought for 365 pounds. It was just beside the Bell Wharf steps on the right as you climbed. This was a time of pressure lamps and kerosene fridges. Power was still some years away. The car park as we know it did not exist and parking was single column along the roadside.
    They kept their small boat in a decrepit boatshed at Church Point and, by the time all was loaded the water level at the gunwale was dangerous. Mostly the 400 yard (yes, yard) row to Bell was mercifully calm. There was no sheltershed at Bell in those days so if it rained you hurried on - and up. Only about five boats ever moored there.

    Every weekend the whole family worked on building their holiday weekender. The big reward for the boys on Sunday afternoons was a swim off the wharf. But not too far out.

    Today, the elder lad, now the amazingly popular and highly admired headmaster of Newport Public School, Harry McErlean, still expresses a special fondness for the Island, with many great teenage memories.

    He recalls ringing the bell of Bell Wharf to summon the legendary skipper of the Curlew, Len Duck. As they built, they utilised any convenient timber they could lay their hands on including, eventually, parts of the ancient boatshed, bought for a song when it was being demolished. That wood formed part of the enclosing of the basement of the house

    Eventually, the McErleans sold their home and moved to the Island full time when the house there became larger than the Maroubra dwelling. Harry remembers weekends were fun when friends came to call (by then they had a half-cabin boat) but- with the Island still lightly settled, it could be lonely through the week, he says.

    Eventually, as the boys attended teachers training college, commuting became a problem and, in 1967, the family sold up and moved again. House and land went for $20,000. Harry's parents moved back to Ireland and the boys pursued teaching careers.

    When Harry married he managed to get a posting in the area he had come to love - the Northern Beaches. The couple managed to buy a house at Whale Beach with a stunning view right next to the much loved radio personality, Gwen Plumb. In 1991, when he took over as principal of Newport Public, only seven children travelled there from Scotland Island and the Western Shores. Today, encouraged by the remarkable reputation the school has acquired under Harry's imaginative leadership, that number has grown to 100. And the School's overall enrolment is still increasing!

    With a career going back 42 years, Harry McErlean doesn't look like stopping - yet. It has been such a wonderful, even enthralling experience, he says and adds "I'm just so proud of Newport Public and our dedicated staff!"

    Leicester Warburton

    Film Screening in SI Fire Shed

    There will be another film screening at the Fire Shed. The film is 'The Emperor's new groove'. The film begins at 4.00 pm on Saturday 1st May, followed by a sausage sizzle.

    The entry is $5.00 and includes juice and popcorn.
    All welcome.

    Spam, Spam, Spam

    As you may be aware, the commonwealth government has outlawed the indiscriminate use of email and has restricted the distribution of such email to people who really want it!

    This newsletter totally supports that concept and that is why each edition has an unsubscribe option at the bottom of each edition. If you would like more information about these new rules, you might like to read about it by clicking here

    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.

    Robert’s role at Austrade is to assist where possible to expand export business in Pittwater and to advise businesses on export strategies, as required.

    The breakfast session will be provided for $25 per person, and exhibition space at the Forum is available for participants. For more information: Gay McCorby, Corporate Communications Officer, Tel: 9970 1119

    Cr Lynne Czinner becomes Pittwater Mayor 

    Councillor Lynne Czinner has been voted Mayor of Pittwater Council. Cr Czinner served as Deputy Mayor to former Mayor Patricia Giles for four consecutive terms, from 1998 to 2002. She was elected on to the first Pittwater Council in May 1992.

    Mayor Czinner said.

    “I am committed to protecting our natural environment and lifestyle, promoting ecologically sustainable development in Pittwater, and to providing walking and bike paths as well as recreational facilities for all ages. I believe we have a very strong environmental team who will achieve great things for Pittwater. I am available and open to listen to any ideas or issues residents may have with Council. We will get back to the “grass roots” of the people to really reflect the desires of our residents – consulting with them, talking with them and finding out what they want. All Councillors will be out and about – they are your conduit to good local decision-making.”

    Other councillors elected to the central ward were:

    • GILES, Patricia

    • BUTLER, Rex

    • TREHARNE, Ian

    Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade News

    A successful hazard reduction was carried out to the west of the houses in Towlers Bay. Members of our brigade (Scotland Island). were involved with the West Pittwater brigade. A hazard reduction mostly burns fuel ( small branches, leaf litter etc.) on the ground. Individual householders on the island can take note of the need to keep this potential fire hazard to a minimum by clearing around our houses. The Scotland Island Fire Brigade welcomes 7 new members, who are undergoing training, so welcome to; Simon Lambe Matt Lambe Sally Moodie John Marshall Basil Daher Jason Moodie Michael Fruin

    Space Exploration & the Perfect Blueberry Muffin

    Four of the island’s young people will speak about education and finding their way in the world.

    Victoria Beyer and Hugh Cover are current HSC candidates balancing their studies as self-fulfilment against the pressing need for that all-important UAI.
    Kellie Batt and Myles Cover are HSC graduates of 2002, now both at university. Does
    education define a person? These two are in the process of finding out. Come and listen to the island’s rising generation. You will be amazed!

    Everyone welcome. A contribution to eat or drink would be good.

    Date: Saturday May 15th 7.30pm
    Venue: Robyn & Max Beyer’s home
    Florence Terrace - 3 houses north of Eastern Wharf, on water (we’ll put some balloons on Florence Terrace)

    Please RSVP (so we have some idea of numbers) or 9997 8724

    Ballet School on Scotland Island

    Trudi Engler started the Ballet School on Scotland Island in 1963.  She is one of the community’s living treasures and probably it’s oldest resident. Trudi, having been both a professional dancer in Europe and teacher in classical and modern dance, as well as a physical education instructor has given to several generations of children the delights of a classical ballet training and the experience of performing at the annual Christmas concert. Many adults have also benefited from her fitness classes as well as her words of wisdom on health and life-style. 

    Up until the early 80’s Trudi had used the fire-shed as a dance studio and performance space.  With the support of the drama group, the Scotland Island community and the then Warringah Shire Council, she finally saw her dream realised for a proper space for her students. Trudi remembers making many cups of tea every weekend for the parents who were rostered on to assist with the construction of the Community Hall.

    It is always a delight at the end of every year to see her students ranging from 3 to 16 perform with poise and grace in such classics as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and many other fairy tales.  Months before, Trudi will already be preparing the children and costumes so that every child has their moment to sparkle.

    If you are interested in finding our about classes for children and adults, you can contact Trudi on 9979 9882.

    Exercise to music adults’ class 8:00-9:00 am Saturday

    Children’s age groups 9:00 to 1:00pm Saturdays

    Extra practise classes for exam students available

    LUXURY - Have Your Groceries Delivered!

    Just send your order Thursday morning for delivery Saturday.  Shop yourself or let us do it for you!  Deliveries available from the following quality suppliers: Coles (Warriewood), Thompsons Fresh Foods, Village Fruit Market, Caotic Chook, Vina Bakery and Pittwater Cellars.  Also available are 15l bottles of spring water and the weekend newspapers.  All this delivered to your door (Island and bays) every Saturday for a percentage of the grocery order.  For further details, please call Graeme on 0419 460331

    Household Chemical Collection
    A chemical collection will take place on Saturday 29 May and Sunday 30 May 2004. A drop-off facility has been organised at Mona Vale Beach carpark from 9am to 3.30pm

    A Touch of Salvation ‘Creek’

    Sunday 23 May 2004 – 11.00am
    Meet at Lovett Bay Wharf for a fabulous walk

    The 10.30 am ferry from Church Point arrives at Lovett Bay Wharf around 11 am. Please note there is limited tinnie parking. Please do not tie up at private jetties.

    Once again under the expert guidance of Alan, Lisa and Cattsy we will be heading off for another wonderful walk in our own “backyard”.

    Have you ever seen the view of Pittwater from the top of Flagstaff Hill Lookout ? We’ll pause here for breath and a bite to eat; perhaps a little drink.

    Upon return to Lovett Bay we will then take a flatter walk along Salvation Creek and view the beautiful natural water gardens.

    During the walk you can ask questions of our expert local volunteer guides who will be chatting about the wildlife and vegetation. They will probably throw in a bit of history if we’re lucky.

    What TO BRING What NOT to Bring
    sturdy shoes/boots (no open shoes/barefeet)
    water bottle hat
    insect repellent snacks/lunch
    suntan lotion refreshments


    This trip is for the moderately fit walker. For further information please call Annette Ritchie on 9979 7122

    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.

    Spread the Word:

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

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