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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach

December 1, 2022

Newsletter for the Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia - Volume 23, Issue 1188

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Traditional Custodians of Pittwater, as well as our Indigenous readers


Scotland Island Residents' Association

2022 AGM Report

Roy Baker

Around 30 people attended the 2022 AGM of the Scotland Island Residents' Association, held in the island's community hall on 20 November. The meeting saw SIRA's Annual Report accepted, with President Colin Haskell describing 2022 as 'another difficult year, with COVID-19 affecting us all'. Despite the hurdles, several achievements were noted, all of which involved SIRA: the improved mooring facilities at Bells and Carols wharves, road upgrades (particularly on Richard Road), and the new board walk around the general store at Church Point.

Bill Gye addresses the SIRA AGM on developments at Church Point. Photos courtesy of ONeill Photographics
Besides these advances, Colin noted that the Recreation Club continues to offer a monthly café, as well as a range of activities that enrich island life. What's more, some progress has been made with the installation of mains water and sewerage, and plans are in progress for improvements to Catherine Park.

Colin thanked all those who keep the island ticking over: SIRA's committee and sub-committee members, as well as those behind our essential services: the fire brigade, emergency water supply, community vehicle and halls. He also acknowledged the many who enhance island life, for instance those who help islanders keep in touch with each other, our tireless bushcarers, and those who support the island's many recreational activities.

Bill Gye addressed the meeting on the latest developments at Church Point, while Robyn Iredale outlined the Recreation Club's achievements.CB Floyd talked about the activities of the Communications team, Sharon Kinnison described island infrastructure issues, Sue Armstrong reported on the wharves, and Boyd Attewell discussed SIRA's financial situation.

Outgoing president Colin Haskell is thanked by his successor, Robyn Iredale, for four years' diligent service to SIRA.
His gift: a quilt cover made by an offshore resident.
The AGM saw three SIRA officeholders step down. Colin Haskell retires after four years' dedicated service as SIRA president. Juliet Wills resigned as secretary and Sharon Dwyer as treasurer. What's more, Fabienne d'Hautefeuille will no longer lead the Water and Wastewater subcommittee, although she will remain on SIRAC, as will Colin Haskell. All were thanked for their hard work and contributions to island life.

Robyn Iredale bravely steps up as president. A sedulous achiever, Robyn has already done the island proud with her Recreation Club, which she instigated prior to the pandemic. Julie Velina Cooper will be SIRA's new treasurer and Deb Wood has kindly volunteered as the new secretary.

SIRAC has expanded to include several new members. Its ordinary members now include Boyd Attewell, Mark Martin, Robert Fox, Georgina Orr, Stephen Seidman, Ian White, John Marshall, Peta Jacobson and Jessica Robinson. The new committee will meet in January, after which the PON will introduce them more fully.

As always, the meeting urged other islanders to get involved in SIRA and the island's other community activities. As the outgoing president put it: 'water, roads, the park, all of that: they don't happen as a miracle. Volunteers give their time'. I am sure we all second that.

Left to right: outgoing secretary Juliet Wills, ongoing vice-president Sharon Kinnison, retiring president Colin Haskell, incoming president Robyn Iredale and CB Floyd, who remains as SIRA's other vice-president

My New Role as SIRA President

Robyn Iredale

At SIRA's AGM on 20 November Robyn Iredale was elected as the association's new president. Here she introduces herself and outlines her goals for the future.

I would like to thank outgoing SIRA President Colin Haskell for his dedication and hard work over the last 4 years. His pleasant demeanour and warm-heartedness made him a pleasure to work with.

It is never too late to become an active volunteer in your local community. I joined the SIRA committee 40 years after I first moved to the island – when I had the time and energy to participate. Over the past four years I have found volunteering challenging and rewarding and a great way to get to know many more people.

The new Recreation Centre kitchen starts to take shape
My first community project was setting up a SIRA Recreation Club and developing a range of activities – table tennis, folk dancing, music events and the reintroduction of a café. These activities were facilitated by a Northern Beaches Council Social Cohesion grant approved in 2019.

The Two Catherines Café has thrived under the careful stewardship of managers Melinda Ham and now Carol Floyd, plus an amazing team of bakers. The café provides a wonderful venue for people to catch up and a training ground for island teenagers wanting to experience their first taste of customer service and baristaing.

In 2021 Northern Beaches Council handed over the former island kindergarten building to SIRA to manage for general community use. SIRA then applied for, and received, a $48,000 NSW Government Community Building Partnership grant to cover awnings for the community hall and a kitchen upgrade for the recreation centre. NBC contributed significantly to this upgrade by removing one wall, the existing kitchen and the bathroom equipment. We can now install the new kitchen and council will complete the two new toilets.

As SIRA President, one of my aims is to continue working towards greater incorporation of residents into island life. We have a wonderful community that is unique in Sydney and a diversity of people, ages and skills, which makes it such an interesting place to live.

Celebrating the new extension to Carols Wharf, winter 2022
Thanks to SIRA's executive and the leaders of its sub-committees for their ongoing hard work. This has delivered significant improvements recently - the high-pressure water pump and improved emergency water system, newly paved and guttered sections of the roads, and superior jetty and boat parking facilities at Bells and Carols wharves.

For 2023 we have a larger SIRA committee with many new members, including some new residents. The whole team will continue to work to improve life and facilities on the island, including improved boat parking at Tennis and Cargo wharves, the upgrade of Catherine Park, resolution of the buggy situation, more road works, and better waste and water systems.

If you’d like to understand how SIRA engages with residents and external stakeholders, you might want to join a sub-committee suited to your interests or skill set. Otherwise, there are plenty of opportunities to jump in and support SIRA to host exhibitions, BBQs, festivals and information sessions. Many hands make light work.

Please bring any issues and questions to a SIRA committee meeting or email secretary@SIRA.org.au so that the committee can discuss your concerns and respond.

Finally, please treat with respect other islanders and the agencies that we work with. This way we will nurture and protect our slice of paradise and may even challenge Vanuatu as the happiest place on earth.


Fire Shed Dinner

Scotland Island Fire Station

Saturday 3 December, 7:00 pm onwards

To buy tickets, click here.


International Folk Dancing

Scotland Island Community Hall

Saturday 10 December, 7 - 9 pm

Please bring along something to share for our traditional end-of-year party.

The Recreation Club asks for $5 per person per attendance to defray expenses.


Carols Afloat

Lovett Bay Boatshed

Thursday 15 December, 6:15 & 8:00 pm


... and even more Carols!

Lovett Bay Boatshed

Thursday 22 December, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Rain, hail or shine, we will be gathering for some Christmas cheer at the Lovett Bay boatshed on 22 December. We are returning to our roots and holding a fun, carols sing-along. Nothing fancy, just locals belting out some Christmas classics. 

The tide will be friendly and the welcome warm. Walk, motor, sail, ferry or paddle around to Lovett Bay. Tie off, throw a pick, or raft-up. There will be plenty of room on the foreshore, jetty and grass, and acres of space floating in the bay.

It’s bring your own everything. Eat, drink and be merry the way you want it. Musical director Rod Heard will guide us through carols we all know and love. Everyone from the bays and island who has sung in our choir is invited up to the mic. Listen up, mumble along, or belt it out: the choice is yours.

Email your interest and receive the song list and words in advance, so we can all be jolly: greg@gdbh.com.au.

This is a Christmas gift from the bays community to all of Pittwater, with the kind support of Lovett Bay Boatshed, Bay Buoys and the Salvation Creek mob. Who knows, magic might happen.

When: Thursday 22 December, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, carols start 6.00pm
Transport: Ferry arrives Lovett Bay at 5:05 and 5:50pm, departs 6:35 and 7:25pm to Bells and Church Point

Regards, Greg Hurst


Art Exhibition: 'Rewilding'

Curl Curl Creative Space, 105 Abbott Rd, North Curl Curl

Exhibition: 7 - 18 December (every day)

Artists' talks: Saturday, 10 December, 11 am

Elvina Bay residents Michelle Ball and Lisa Atkins, both keen bush regenerators, will be exhibiting their artworks at Curl Curl Creative Space for two weeks in December.

Their paintings and sculptures explore the beauty of a disappearing environment. Although the exhibition is centred around the destruction of native flora and fauna, it manages to share the artists' joy in what remains of the bush, as well as their hopes for its future.

'Rewilding is what bush regeneration is all about', explains Michelle, a former creative director in the publishing industry. Lisa and I spend hours removing the weeds that are taking over the beautiful bush surrounding us around Pittwater. As we worked, we both thought about our artistic practices. And so the idea for the exhibition was born.'

From the spotted pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus) flying high in the canopy, to the majestic soaring trunks of the eucalyptus (Corymbia maculata), Michelle has focussed on documenting species that Northern Beaches Council has listed as endangered. In the work shown to the left, Michelle, using oil on cotton, has placed a branch of the endangered spotted gum in an 18th century vase, while tiny pardalotes, who are also under threat of extinction, sit on the branch.

Lisa's focus is the flora surrounding her home. With her awareness of the native landscape and its capacity for regrowth, she forages and recycles, turning what she finds into sculptures.


Western Foreshores Ball

Elvina Bay fire shed and park

Saturday 21 January 2023, 6:30 pm onwards

We're going to have a ball!

Join us for cocktails and finger food, and support your favourite charity by purchasing an outlandish frock (or whatever takes your fancy) for this quirky event — “The Second Hand Ball”.

Dress is strictly black tie. At least one item of your attire must be second hand — so start looking in your favourite charity shop to find that prize winning stunner, be it a glamorous frock or a small accessory. (Remember the premise of this event is to raise funds for charity as well as the WPCA.)

There will be games and prizes. Live entertainment by some of our local musical heroes will be sure to have everyone dancing the night away. This event promises to be a fun night.

Book now as tables are limited.

To help with catering, we ask that you RSVP and prepay via EFT, then email the organisers with a list of who is attending (see instructions below).

BYO: Bring your favourite tipple and main meal. (Cocktails and finger food will be provided on arrival.)
RSVP: by Sunday 15 January. 

COST:  Adults       $40 per person.
             Families   $80 (2 adults + children under 16)
GROUP BOOKINGS: 8 or 10 people per table
INDIVIDUAL BOOKINGS: You will be allocated a table.

EFT details: West Pittwater Community Association
BSB: 062205
Account: 10184991
Ref: Add your group name or surname as reference.
Then email: treasurer@westpittwater.com.au with a list of the adults and children attending and indicating if there is a 'family' group in the booking.

If you are booking a table of 8 or 10 people, please make ONE payment for your group and then seek reimbursement from the individuals in your group.

We would like to stress that this is a NO DOG event.
Please leave pets at home for the evening.


Wanted: building material

I am looking to build a timber-framed shed, and so am putting out the call for any surplus building materials that you have on the island or in the bays.

I can pay cash for:

•    wall studs
•    floor joists
•    rafters
•    cladding
•    roofing
•    flooring, etc.

Please call or text Rick on 0415 814 124.

Thanks, Nicole.


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The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of the Scotland Island Residents Association (SIRA),
or the Western Pittwater Community Association (WPCA)
Original Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis & Julian Muir