Blogging the 2010s — 106 — November 2012

Chris Turner features in the final one.

mais où est l’Albury d’antan?

Last night I confessed on Facebook:

Instead of watching what I intended on ABC2 I have found myself deep in memories thanks to Bruce Part’s photos of The Albury Hotel. This is a rendition of one of those photos.

And someone comments on Bruce’s album:

Such an beautiful original old pub destroyed! I was saddened when I finally moved to Syd and it was gone. I met a lovely guy there on my first visit around 1996 and didn’t leave empty handed….a big deal for a country boy!!!

“Such an beautiful original old pub destroyed!” indeed. I hope Bruce finds a few more to share in that “boot box full of photo memories.”

I have cropped a couple and given them the art makeover treatment.

FotoSketcher - 16042_232492893548533_882882010_n

FotoSketcher - 28007_232493056881850_343139337_nw1

FotoSketcher - 28007_232493056881850_343139337_n1

And see these searches of my blogs:

Yum Cha this morning was myself, The Empress, Clive, James, and eventually M, absolutely exhausted and needing the food. It was a good Yum Cha (The Emperor’s Garden service was friendly and excellent). After that M went home to sleep — he starts again tonight at 6 pm, and I went with James and The Empress to the Albury — yes, I was there this Sunday — where we surprised the bar staff by eating barbecued quail that Ian had purchased, and added a Chinese tonic to our beer (it said it could be used in beer) which caused the beer to look like some Jekyll-and-Hyde potion, but actually improved the taste!  — March 4 2001

Very pleasant afternoon at Steelers and Illawarra Brewery

With CT:


Other faces:




Blogging the 2010s — 105 — November 2011

The funeral of my Uncle Roy Christison dominated this month. There were other things, including a train derailment.

Mainly family

Bit of a glitch on the local railway though.


As well as showing the derailed coal train that excellent photo from the Mercury shows the single track leading to the Clifton/Scarborough tunnel and the proximity of the wonderful new road bridge, built because the road kept falling into the water…

My Dad would have been ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD today!…

Off to The Shire again today

For my uncle’s funeral.


Fortunately it’s a lovely day and the trains are running again….

Aftermath of last week’s derailment near Scarborough

I mentioned this morning that the line opened today.


What a gathering of the clan that was!


There were more Christisons there – including my surviving uncle, Neil, who looks well at 87 – than I have seen in decades. My cousin Ray wasn’t there, being at the time (or close to it) passing through Braefield, of all places, but he sent me this via Facebook.


That was taken about 70 years ago at 61 Auburn Street Sutherland.  L-R: John H Christison (whose sister Joan was at the funeral), Eric, John’s father, Sophia Jane Christison (my great-grandmother), Roy Christison Senior, and finally, I am 99% sure, my brother Ian Whitfield.

Few houses remain in Auburn Street, but this one does. I visited it yesterday. I lived here from 1943 to the beginning of 1952.


Blogging the 2010s — 103 — November 2010 — b

A friend visits The Gong and local history.

Sunday lunch–Mount Kembla Hotel

Historic Mount Kembla proved a great place for lunch with Sirdan on an otherwise dampish day.





Mount Kembla Coal Mine disaster 1902


This memorial arch is made from hand hewn coal taken from the entrance to the Mt Kembla mine.



An explosion at 2pm on July 31, 1902, at Mt. Kembla colliery killed 96 men and boys. The sound of the explosion could be heard in Wollongong, some 7 miles away. At the end of the day 33 women were widows and 120 children were fatherless.

The hundreds of rescuers were headed by former Keira Mine manager and ex-mayor of Wollongong, Major Henry MacCabe who had played a vital part in rescue efforts at the Bulli Mine disaster in 1887 which killed 81 miners.

MacCabe and Nightshift Deputy, William McMurray were to lose their own lives during the rescue effort to the effect of “overpowering fumes”, adding 2 more deaths to the 94 miners…

— See Mt  Kembla  Colliery Gas  Explosion  –  1902

Blogging the 2010s — 102 — November 2010 — a

So back to the 2010s! I am skipping entries for October 2018 and 2019 in favour of a longer treatment of November 2010, as the “a” would suggest. There will be one more for that month, maybe two. You will see why when it happens. Today’s selection I hope you find pleasing.

Illawarra Flame

The iconic indigenous plant of Wollongong.




Yesterday’s storms went either side of us

Though they looked threatening…




Yesterday’s Sunday lunch

Left a hot Wollongong Station heading for Surry Hills:



Objective: to meet Sirdan at the newly reopened Strawberry Hills Hotel:


Verdict: great reno job. Restaurant? Green weeds drowned rather than drizzled in olive oil. Pork chop: OK but very fatty. Mash and baby carrot (one) – so so. Outcome: cleansing for the bowels, or was that a coincidence?  The Trinity Bar need not at this stage fear the competition.

Forever young… 1973 or thereabouts

In that year I was teaching at The Illawarra Grammar School in Wollongong. Today I am posting from that colourised set I have just finished on Facebook — 60 of them — some mildly scandalous and I hope amusing traces of that time that remain with me.

But first recall that originally I am a Shire Boy, and from 1966-1969 taught at Cronulla High School, indeed lived in Cronulla/Woolooware during that period and to early 1970, when I was appointed to Dapto High whence to TIGS.

Yesterday I discovered this wonderful footage and music evoking how the young of the early 70s saw and lived in Cronulla and nearby Burraneer Bay, reflecting as I watched that they would all now be in their 60s. I of course am teetering on the edge of 77.

Forever young?

Now TIGS in 1971.


There you see senior students snatching me off the playground right after morning assembly! They took me, as I recall, to a house in Mangerton. All part no doubt of a tradition called Year 12 Muck Up Day.

Now to 1973. The school had a major arts and crafts exhibition, a tradition that continues. Because there were valuable exhibits my Year 9 class spent the night at the school sleeping among the artworks. And other things… Boys being boys.



That last one is not quite as alarming as it looks. The axeman went on to join the Australian Federal Police. We had a beer together in Sydney’s Chinatown around 30 years later. He was at that time in NSW Police. Even gave me his card.


I revisited TIGS in 2011.