Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rottnest Island Sketchbook

Tremendous excitement on the weekend: Rotto Bloggo received a copy of one of the great Rottnest books.

Rottnest Island Sketchbook is by Paul Rigby (drawings) and Kirwan Ward (words).

It’s art and literature of the highest standard. It's hard to know where to start. The book is full of gems, insight, fact and nostalgia.

“In the course of my researches for this book I was shown – through the good offices of Mr Lewis Jones, superintendent of mapping in the Lands and Surveys Department – what is probably the oldest existing land map of Rottnest.”

The good offices! No-one says that any more (the Sketchbook was published in 1969).

And how about this: “A logical progression of Rottnest development will be the establishment of new settlements. The one on top of the Board’s priority list is that which is at present referred to as the Geordie Bay plan but which, in fact, will probably be more in the region of Longreach.

“The plan here is for a small settlement, dependent in some ways on the main shopping area, but with its own general store, and possibly a Board officer to act as supervisor. The programme calls also for a similar village complex at Stark Bay and Parker Point.”

*Pic from page 54 of the Sketchbook: Riggers lights up the pipe after a safe landing on Rotto.

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