South Africa and China War Memorial

I was fascinated to come across the South Africa and China War Memorial in the median reserve in Whitehorse Road at Box Hill (long story why I was there).  The memorial commemorates men from the district who served in either the Boer war in South Africa or the Boxer Rebellion in China, between 1899 and 1902.  The adjacent board states that it’s the only known memorial to those from Victoria who served in the “China War” and the inscription on the memorial refers to the volunteers who responded to the Empire’s call.


The board also states that the monument was originally located at the corner of Whitehorse Road and Station Street, and was relocated to its present position at some stage between 1914 and 1920.   It’s at the other end of the median strip to the White Horse statue.

The Boxer rebellion was to an extent a reaction against Western settlement in China.  Hence, the location of this monument in Box Hill, where today the non-English signage outweighs that in English, is certainly ironic!


Street scene, Box Hill

The Barossa

We spent a busy day in the Barossa.    It started with scones and coffee (yes, scones at 10.15 am!) at Lyndoch Hill followed by a tour of the impressive  collection of porcelain and related objects assembled by Hermann Thumm.   This is still privately owned, and is housed at Barossa Chateau, which is part of the Lyndoch Hill complex.

Lavender farm

We then moved on to the lavender farm, followed by some tastings at Keller Meister.   A light lunch in town at Tanunda (and some supermarket shopping), then more tastings (and purchases) at Chateau Tanunda and Tscharke’s (quite a buy up here).   There are more than 70 cellar doors listed in the tourist directory, so there are plenty more to do next time we’re here!

Back to our accommodation to freshen up then a great dégustation dinner at Lyndoch Hill, accompanied by a bottle of the estate’s Creed shiraz.    Hardly enough time in the day left to do  a  blog post!

Barossa vista
Many of the grapes appear nearly ready to be harvested

To Penola

Our trip took us from Ballarat to Penola, as a base for the Coonawarra area.   Our timing had us in Dunkeld, just in time for an early lunch.    Oh, isn’t the Royal Mail Hotel at Dunkeld?    Indeed it is, and no, they weren’t busy (actually there was only one other table there), and yes, their “share dish” concept was ideal for a classy “mix-&-match” lunch (in the Parker Street venue)!     So, we lingered for a while, enjoying the food, the quality wines by the glass and the ambiance.   Obviously, not the cheapest lunch around, but actually extremely good value for the obvious quality.

Mt Sturgeon, visible from the Royal Mail (but not from the Parker Street dining area!!!)

We by-passed Hamilton and our next stop was at Casterton (“birthplace of the Kelpie” would you believe?) for a coffee, before arriving at Penola and locating our adequate and pleasant motel-style accommodation.  Dinner down the road at one of the town’s pubs was in a similar vein:  perfectly adequate but “country-style”(!), with a choice of local wines by the glass.

Mary McKillop interpretative centre at Penola – nicely understated
But Penola also claims Adam Lindsay Gordon as a son
Adam Lindsay Gordon bust

Monuments around Sydney

I had a little spare time in Sydney, so I got out from our accommodation and wandered around nearby.

The Archibald Fountain is in Hyde Park.    It is named after J. F. Archibald, owner and editor of The Bulletin magazine, who bequeathed funds to have it built.    He also bequeathed the money for the Archibald Prize.  The fountain was designed by François-Léon Sicard, and its classical figures are in keeping with the European tradition.

The fountain commemorates the association of Australia and France in World War I.




Nearby is St Mary’s Cathedral with a statue of Pope John Paul II in the grounds.



At another entrance to Hyde Park is the Oddfellows memorial.

Meanwhile, over at the QV Building is a statue of Queen Victoria.  I read that this statue was originally erected in Dublin, but it was removed in 1948 and was located after some sleuthing in a yard from where it was transported to Sydney where it was renovated and unveiled in its present location in 1987.  On the day I took the photo, a bagpiper was busking in front of it, hence I took the photo from the side.


Those concrete bollards being placed around the city are attracting quite a lot of comment.  It’s true that they’re not pretty, and it’s unfortunate that they’re seen to be necessary.  The ones near Fed Square are certainly very “obvious”.   Hopefully they’ll be replaced in the not-so-distant future by something more attractive.  In the meantime, I’m not convinced that the answer is to “decorate” them, as reported on the news.

In Flinders Street, at Fed Square
In Swanston Street, at Fed Square
TV news report of bollards “being decorated”

Night Life

We went to the Night Life exhibition being put on by the National Trust at Ripponlea.     It showcases evening wear (almost exclusively women’s)  from the early 1920s – featuring lots of beads and glitter – to the “Moderne” style of the 30s (with a greater focus on prints).

It also includes  the works of some contemporary Melbourne  designers who view the era through modern eyes.

Cavalcade of Transport mural

The June issue of Royalauto contains an article (also here) about a campaign to find a new home for Harold Freedman’s Cavalcade of Transport mural. The article sparked my interest, as we had visited the Freedman exhibition at Ballarat.

The mural is in the Spencer Street shopping complex, right at the north end.   The whole place is a bit of a barn, but so far as I’m aware, this was the case even when the mural was placed in its present location in 2007.   However it seems that since then the retail mix has changed and now the mural is a mere backdrop in the “Tk-Maxx” store, and very hard to see clearly.  There are light fittings and air-conditioning ducts all over the place.   It’s also visible from inside the Harris Scarfe store, but the visibility is even worse.

One possibility for a new home is said to be the Melbourne Convention Centre.

The Royalauto article states that the mural is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, but the owner (Public Transport Victoria) seems to be waiting for others to suggest a new location, and to presumably to pay the costs involved in any relocation!