Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bondi Beach

These four photos are in a Phelan family album. It's Bondi beach, Sydney, some time in the 70s I think. Bondi isn't in our patch so it must have been a holiday. I suspect that the photographer didn't even venture on to the beach because the photos appear to have been taken from a car park, and probably on the same day. They probably just went to have a look at the famous beach. Nowadays about three million people a year visit the beach - but not all at the same time fortunately. On a warm weekend in summer you might have to share with only 40 000 other people.

Coastal New South Wales is almost like a foreign country to us because we never visited when I was a child growing up in the neighbouring state of Victoria, and my husband's family was the same. If we wanted a day at the beach or a holiday on the coast we went to one of the numerous sandy beach towns along the south coast of Victoria. And we never saw crowds like this. Sometimes we had the long stretches of sand to ourselves.

One disadvantage of our beach visits was that we didn't have surf lifesavers watching, we didn't have to swim 'inside the flags' (note the red and yellow flag on the left of the first photo), but luckily none of us ever had a mishap in the ocean. This beach is the home of the first lifesaving club, established in 1907.

I've never been to Bondi. Should an Aussie admit to such a thing?

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach and famous Bondi Baths built in 1931.
The baths are saltwater and tidal and have a heritage classification. In fact, the whole beach has a heritage value. The baths are also the home of the Bondi Icebergs, a club for people who swim there throughout the year.

Bondi Beach
This photo was taken on a different family holiday at Mission Beach in Queensland. Warm days and kilometres of sandy beach to share with ... hardly anyone else.

Mission Beach, Queensland. 1990s
This post is in response to the theme photo, a postcard of Bondi as it used to be. You can see more responses over at Sepia Saturday. Or you could pack your bags and head downunder in time for summer.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sepia Saturday: YMCA teams

I'm on the road on a caravan holiday this week and don't have access to my old picture files, but I do have access to the photos I scanned for the Genealogical Society of Victoria so I've selected one of theirs.

The photo was taken in the 1920s in Victoria at a YMCA camp. It appears to be the volleyball and baseball teams, in white 'uniforms'. Perhaps the teams are defined by the colour of the tie each man is wearing, or maybe it's a YMCA tie. The photo isn't clear enough for me to decide one way or the other.

The young men look happy to be where they are. (As an aside: I wonder if the side part in hair will ever come back.)

YMCA camp baseball and volleyball teams, Victoria, 1920s
This post has been in response to the Sepia Saturday's theme photo in which the women are wearing loosely tied neckties over white dresses.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sepia Saturday: The catch

The catch
This photo fascinates me. I look at the hat sitting on the fencepost, I look at how far apart the couple are standing, I look at how thin people used to be, I look at the string of pearls around the lady's neck, I wonder about the circumstances of the photo.
I don't know who took the photo or who the subjects are because it is in an album that was donated to the Genealogical Society of Victoria. I think I can safely say that it is Australian, probably Victoria and probably in the 1920s.

We don't have many fish or fishing photos in our family albums even though it's an activity that a number of relatives enjoy. None of our recent ancestors were professional fishermen. There are one or two photos of fish being held aloft like the photo above but the one I'll publish here is of brothers Neil and Doug Phelan with their children at Port Fairy where Doug was a teacher. The fish were caught in the Moyne River from a small wooden boat with an outboard motor. Doug was, and still is, an avid fisherman. A fishing expedition on the coast was a grand adventure for a lad from inland Victoria - my husband doesn't remember this particular day but he does remember that he enjoyed Uncle Doug's boat and boating.

Fish caught at Port Fairy about 1956.
Port Fairy is a delightful small town on the south coast of Victoria, a very popular spot. The residents are proud of its history and run several world-class music festivals each year. And it's still a great spot to catch a fish or watch others trying to catch a fish. Or grab a feed of fish and chips to eat beside the river.

Moyne river, Port Fairy c2013.

This post is in response to the Sepia Saturday's theme photo of a fish drawing in the Smithsonian Museum. 


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