Sunday, April 27, 2008

life sentence on Rotto

Here’s at least one name to put to the more than 3000 Aborigines who were imprisoned on Rotto. We came across The Boundaries of Colonial Criminal Law in Relation to Inter-Aboriginal Conflict, which mentions the case of Weban:

'The focus moved to the rural settlements with the apprehension and subsequent prosecution of Weban, before the Court of Quarter Sessions in April 1839. Weban (Weeban) had been indicted for killing an Aboriginal child named Yellelan who had been living in a house in the Upper Swan, under the particular care of a settler named Eliza Shaw.

'The issue of jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter was not raised. However, the case attracted the attention of the editor of the Perth Gazette. He reported the Advocate General’s explanation to the jury. that the relationship between the murder of Yellelan to previous inter se conflict had led to Weban killing Yellelan in retaliation, the act being a ‘final determination of all differences arising out of the several murders’. In answer to the charge, Weban responded by saying that Weenat’s party had killed his brother and that Tomigin had told him to kill the child in revenge for that act.

'Weban was found guilty but his sentence of death was commuted to transportation to Rottnest Island for life.'

On a happier note, don’t forget about degraded dune revegetation next month. Conservation volunteers will assist Rottnest Island rangers from May 5 to 9. But Conservation Volunteers Australia warn: “CVA adopts a ‘dry’ policy on all projects, and no alcohol will be permitted on site.”

Friday, April 25, 2008

did he bite off a quokka's head?

"Back in the 70s, I met rocker Alice Cooper. My younger brother and I went to his concert here in Perth, and my brother ran to the front of the stage and was crushed.

"He was taken to hospital (not badly hurt, but kept in for observation for a few days). When Alice's manager heard of this, he contacted the hospital, and my Mum, and asked if it was OK for Alice to visit my brother. The next day (I took the day off school) Alice and his dancers visited my brother (with the dancers in costume) in the hospital. Alice's manager, Shep Gordon, explained that it was their day off, and they were going to Rottnest to do some fishing.

"Alice signed autographs, and was genuinely concerned about my brother. He said nobody had been injured at his concerts before. He was friendly, charming and nothing at all like his onstage character.

"I remember being shocked when I read a few months later that on his return to the US he entered a rehabilatation clinic for alcohol abuse. I saw absolutely no sign of anything "unstable" about him during his visit to the hospital. Needless to say, my brother and I have been long-time fans of Alice ever since!"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

shade pictures

This eBay item could be about an interesting bit of Rotto history. We’ve had to tinker and fiddle with Babelfish, but it says:

Behind Australian stone and barbed wire. Shade pictures from the Australian prisoner-of-war camps Rottnest Island, Trial Bay, Liverpool, Holdsworthy, Berrima. By Martin Trojan.

What are ‘shade pictures’? Pictures taken illicitly? We dunno.
Weltkrieg means World War, of course, but is it the First or the Second?
The bit of copy above the image says something like: for cruiser Emden crew Tsingtau caught.

It must be WW1. The SMS Emden was polished off by the HMAS Sydney at the Battle of Cocos. So some of the German survivors were kept on Rottnest for a while?

Seems so. As were others: ‘Just after war was declared in August 1914 the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Pioneer captured two German merchant vessels off Fremantle, Thuringen & Neumunster. The German officers & sailors from these ships were held for a short while at Rottnest Island before being shipped off to internment on the east coast of Australia.’

This from the RIA’s site: ‘With the start of World War I the Department of Defence commandeered the Island for use as an internment and Prisoner of War camp from 1914 to the end of 1915. In September 1915, the camp held 989 persons, including 841 Austrian and German internees and 148 Prisoners of War. Recreational and holiday pursuits were re-established in December 1915.’

Thursday, April 17, 2008

golden Rotto sun and beer

We had to post this Flickr photo on Rotto Bloggo: it’s magnificent.

It was taken on March 12 with a Canon PowerShot SD540. Flickr user isurusen lives in New York and seemed to enjoy his WA trip. He has a nice photo of Roadkill jerky (Ring Burner flavour) here. Thanks isurusen.

Speaking of great Rottnest images...we also love this one. Very refreshing! It has all the ingredients of a great Rotto time (except, perhaps, for a book and a Scrabble board). We Flickr-mailed the owner (we’re usually very responsible when it comes to copyright) asking for permission to give it a Rotto Bloggo airing but there was no reply.

Gage Roads has been styling itself as the beer for Rottnest, of course. It was the “official beer” for the 2006 swim. You think?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

flash salad

We were having a look through recent Rotto pictures on Flickr and came across this one, by Johnny Gun. Who would've thought Rottnest Express was bilingual?

In a recent Sunday Times column a legal eagle was ranting about fast food on Rotto: "Nowhere is sacrosanct. Even Rottnest, where the glorious morning aroma of the bakery was once a joy to one’s senses, has fallen prey to the tentacles of the fast-food barons. So much for astute government planning."

While it's not food-related, this is the sort of reference we need more of in sports journalism: from the Herald Sun: "HAD Daniel Kerr found his target during the western derby on Saturday, Rhys Palmer would have landed on Rottnest Island...there is an intermittent fault in the signal box in Kerr's trams and trains department that needs to be rectified if he is to be everything he can be as a footballer."

Maybe Kerr needs to spend more time on Rottnest, especially on the train.

Monday, April 14, 2008

trees good weeds bad

Ripping out weeds and putting in trees on Rotto: what better way to spend a weekend?

And it gets better: half the accommodation paid for! A ferry voucher!

Go on. Get over to the beautiful island, get an infusion of Rottnest paradise and do something for the island.

The tree plantings are 20-22 June and 8-10 August. Weeding is 19-21 September. The Rottnest Society says “…work on Saturday from about 9am to 4pm and on Sunday from about 9am until about 12.30pm…volunteers will pay for Friday night’s accommodation and provide their own meals”.

The cost for Friday is a miserly $14. Cheap to be able to breathe some of the freshest air in the world for a whole weekend.

Beat the rush and make contact with the Society via or call Sue Folks on 9438 1413 or 0411 880 199.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

new map of paradise

Someone is working on a new map of Rottnest. Jo Ackland at Cheeky Little Maps had some coverage in Post Newspapers yesterday about her "tourist map for locals" of Cottesloe.

The image in the paper is too small to make out much detail, although you can read: "It's a map that tells you all the places I love". The Post described it as "a hand-drawn introduction to her favourite places to eat, play, visit and entertain.

Kind of like a visual Lonley Planet guide, maybe? We emailed Jo and she said: "Just started the Rottnest one last week...if you have any great titbits on the island you would recommend I'd be happy to check them out the next time I'm over."

Hopefully Jo can mention the mostly car-free zone. She could say it's like Sark, the Channel Island where cars are verboten but they have horse-drawn vehicles, bikes, the odd tractor, and gofers for seniors.

Is Rotto twinned with any other islands? Sark (pop. around 600) would be a good start if not. We note it was the last feudal state in Europe until this month. "Fiefdom was abolished by the amending of electoral laws to grant universal suffrage and fully elected governance," says Wikipedia.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Come on Eileen

Blogging can be so educational. Here's an eBay listing that popped up recently: 'This item is a small peice of western australian pottery history - Eileen Keys experimented with mineral stone glazes this piece came from rottnest Island in the late 60's'.

It's an intriguing work. Kinda looks like a clog, but it's no doubt a dish or plate. The colour is very interesting. Where on Rotto did Keys get the materials for the work?

We hadn't heard of Eileen Keys. Lots of Alicia Keys on Wikipedia but no Eileen. Nothing in Snell, although he's only drawings, paintings and prints.

The quick guide: she's in the Powerhouse Museum. Born 1903, died 1992. 'A Western Australian potter whose work form the 1950s and 1960s broke with tradition and explored the nature of clays and glazes from WA's mineral-bearing regions, in her characteristic 'earthy' style.'

The Art Gallery of WA published a booklet on her in 1986. We're saving up.