Monday, December 31, 2007


A few things in life are certain: the righteous dominance of the Australian cricket team. Strife in the Middle East. 98 per cent of the world loathing Vegemite. And end-of-year lists in the mainstream media.

Notable op/eds in the New York Times this year – see here. The worst of 2007 sport, according to the Sydney Morning Herald – see here. Google’s annual Zeitgeist list of most popular terms and words used in searching (Rottnest didn’t get a mention) – see here.

So of course Rotto Bloggo has its list of 10 most noteworthy island events for the year that’s about to expire. We’ve interrogated People In The Know, Rotto identities both known and anon., filtered news events from the past 365 days and thrown darts at the board. Only a couple of these have been invented.

10: in January, the Rottnest Society gives both barrels to the State Government over the new hotel due to be erected at Mt Herschel: “The government has let us all down in not keeping a written commitment to allow the Western Australian public to comment via a properly constituted public comment process on the concept plans for the proposed new hotel at Mt Herschel”.

9: in July, a known union troublemaker stubs his toe while fishing off the rocks at Little Armstrong Bay, a notorious public relations operative is nearly violently ill on the ferry over to the island, the state’s top reporter makes her famous eggplant moussaka, and Mrs Rotto Bloggo thrashes Rotto Bloggo at Scrabble.

8: On Anzac Day the West reported on a Union Jack lots of blokes from the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion signed in WW2. One of the signees was Leonard Allan Wilkes, who was born 1 November 1913 in Kununoppin. He enlisted in 1940 in Claremont – and his “locality on enlistment” – where he lived – was Rottnest Island.

7: the Geordie Café was up for sale after having been in the hands of a woman called Emily for six years.

6: Scott Fava (we can quote from the SMH article above): “The say it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog - but that doesn't apply to quokkas. The Western Force backrower threw around a member of the protected species during an end-of-season trip. The biggest lower? Fava. The quokka is still running wild on Rottnest, but Fava was fined $11,000 and publically declared he had an alcohol problem.”

5: June: a French traveller called Dede described Rotto as “paradis sans voiture”. Exactement.

4: A journalist from upstate New York, Aaron Munzer, puts Rotto on his top ten list about Australia. Rotto Bloggo pointed out he’s put it only at #7, which prompted this reply from Mr Munzer: “A grotto, in addition to being "a small cave, usually with attractive features" is also a cave that floods often during high tide. So, while my usage of it might not be entirely accurate, I thought it got the point across. I just wanted to clear up the record: I didn't number the places; Rottnest was not my number seven. It should have been higher. Also, the WWII forts I visited on the island were definitely ruined. Just an observation. I'm sure there are guns in 'superb nick', but they must hide them very well. I guess that like the drop bears, the ruins are just for Americans.”

3: October: Sheila McHale peers into a fridge, drinks champagne on the jetty, and gives news on unit refurbishment progress. The crowd goes wild.

2: sometime in August, the number of images on Flickr tagged with Rottnest exceeds 10,000. The Internet, blogosphere and Web 2.0 go wild.

1: the Rottnest Island Authority refuses to release the whole Synovate document ‘Evaluating the Rottnest Island Experience (Final Report)’ to Rotto Bloggo. A whole lot of extra work is instantly created for someone in the Freedom of Information office.

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