On March 24,2017 a friend and I flew to Perth on an evening flight . After catching up with a Newcastle school friend, who lives in Perth, and my Perth cousin , we collected a hire car in Freemantle .
We travelled to Albany via Busselton and Cape Leeuwin – important for a former Geography teacher to see where the Indian Ocean and Southern Oceans meet.
The purpose of my recent visit to Albany was to have a 5 year catch up with the sailor, Mark, who took me out to sea on April 19,2012. It was 100 years to the day my Scottish Grannie had sailed past Albany and I commemorated the event by putting her life story in a bottle and committing it to the Southern Ocean The bottle was launched with the reading of a Robbie Burn’s poem 60 nautical miles south of West Cape Howe, the most southerly point in Western Australia. Mark’s grandfather was also Scottish, so it was a fitting occasion.
I flew into Albany on the afternoon of April 18,2012. That morning, the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard had flown in to Albany to announce the new Anzac Centre.
My visit to the Anzac Centre was a must, along with the opportunity to look over King George Sound. King George Sound was the last view of the Australian mainland, which our soldiers took with them to the battlefields.
The Anzac Centre is a fitting tribute to Australian and New Zealand World War One soldiers, as well as the nurses, who rendered medical assistance on the battlefield. It is first and foremost a deeply moving experience to read the stories of soldiers, many of whom did not return. The interpretative presentation of the displays made the visit more relevant.
The Anzac Centre was opened for the centenary of the first convoy of soldiers to leave Albany on November 1, 1914.
Mark and I caught up on Friday night March 31, 2017 in the Due South Tavern at the Albany Marina. Mark talked of being out in his yacht on November 1, 2014 with 40 passengers , and being able to sail amongst the convoy of naval ships. These ships had come to Albany to acknowledge this important event in our nation’s history.
At dawn on April 25, 1930 Padre White led parishioners to the summit of Mount Clarence to observe the laying of a wreath to the fallen founding Albany’s dawn service tradition. The site is widely regarded as the location of Australia’s first dawn service. –
My personal connection to Albany, Western Australia will always be with my bottle. It washed back in at Bremer Bay, Western Australia in late May 2012. I visited Bremer Bay on March 31, 2017.and wrote a message in the sand on Main Beach. I then photographed it.
My bottle was returned to me by the wife of the Perth fisherman, who found my bottle on the beach at Bremer Bay The handover took place in Perth in late July 2012. I recommitted my bottle to the ocean off Eden with a fisherman on September 30 , 2012. It is still at sea.
April 20 2017