Captain William Bligh was the captain of the ship The Bounty, famous for the mutiny on the Bounty, made famous by the Mel Gibson movie. However it’s not very well-known that he was a governor in the colony of New South Wales. He played an important part in colonial Australian history. Being a firm disciplinarian, he was made Governor at a time when the young colony of New South Wales needed strong leadership as the military was taking control. They were not meant to be involved in private trading given they were public officials. Bligh’s confrontational style and attempt to stop this trading put a lot of noses out of joint. In the end, Bligh became a part of another mutiny known as the Rum Rebellion.
We came across this sculpture in the middle of a roundabout in Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay in Sydney. We thought it was quite humorous. I didn’t know the eyes and mouth at first. It’s made by a sculptor named Jimmie Durham and is called ‘Still Life With Stone and Car’. I now know it is part of the Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk. Next time I go back I’ll seek out the other seven pieces on the walk.
Walking along Napier St looking for the Temperance Hall, I saw this door. I loved that it looked like it needs to be painted. I also love colour combination. While I was standing there taking a few photos I looked above the door and realised I was standing in front of the Temperance Hall. Mum decided to sit on a nearby chair while I wandered around taking photos. She noticed a chair that had a pair of shoes in front of it. She thought someone had left their shoes there. She called me over to look at it. We realised there was an inscription on the chair.
The inscriptions reads:
I was born in 1935. My mother was 16 years old. They took me away and I lived in St Vincent de Paul Orphanage for Girls. I was well into my thirties before I knew I was Koorie.
When I was 16 they said I was uncontrollable because I talked to boys. So I ran away and worked my way around Australia. They used to call me Diamond Lil because I had a few too many adventures and a diamond in my front tooth.
I came back to live in South Melbourne forty years ago and my children grew up here.
It took a few readings before we put it all together. Mum said something about googling her so I got my phone out and found an article in the local newspaper. After reading it some of the words we couldn’t make out on the chair suddenly fell into place. Diamond Lil’s real name is (I’m not sure if she is still alive) Maria Starcevic. Her story fascinated us.
Mum recently borrowed a book from her local library that had a lot of different walks you could do in and around Melbourne. The first time I looked at it I thought there were a few good walks but the second time I realised that I wanted to do most of them. I also realised I had already done some of them. Now that the weather is getting better we are going to do more walking and sightseeing. We love being tourists in our own town. There’s no better way of getting to know a place than by getting out of your car and walking. You see so much more.
South Melbourne isn’t a place I knew a lot about. Apart from a few job interviews years ago in the business district of the suburb I haven’t been there a lot. I’ve been past it and around it often enough. It borders Albert Park, Port Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay, all places I’ve been to a lot more. I was looking forward to this walk. It was a nice day for walking too.
It took a while for us to get our bearings but parked near the corner of Park and Ferrars Sts. That was actually stop 4 on the tour but we decided it was easy to park there. When we got a block away from the South Melbourne Market we decided to go in there for lunch. I loved the range and prices of the fruit, vegies and items in the butchers.
One of the modern developments in South Melbourne. This one has a modern scene printed on the side depicting the trams rustling down South Melbourne.
This beautiful, old building was a school but is now apartments. I’ve seen other such buildings turned into apartments as well.
Nixon Place is an example of the cobblestone laneways spread through many inner-city suburbs. There is a drainage channel running down the centre. These laneways were used by night soil collectors and ice delivery men before mod cons such as indoor bathrooms and fridges.
Nowadays, the Caledonian is a house but it was originally built as a hotel.
These heritage-listed prefabricated portable cottages are an example of the housing that was required in the 1850’s Gold Rush. Demand was so high that they had to come up with a cheap, easily-built type of housing. They are maintained by the National Trust and are only open on the first Sunday of each month.
Another example of Gold Rush housing. This one is a wooden prefabricated house. The owners have very cleverly built a double storey house beside and behind the wooden house. It’s very well designed, providing a discreet home and not destroying the look of the wooden house.
Rochester Terrace. An example of the beautiful rows of terraces.