Photographs taken by Alan Bagnall from his house in Yowani Road show how the landscape North of The Cabins has changed in 35 years.
Taken Summer 1974 from the deck of Barbara and Alan Bagnall'shouse in Yowani Road looking across Saltwater Creek
Taken from the same position in October 2009
We came to Rosedale thanks to the Platts whom we met in Sri Lanka (Barbara and Roy - 20 Miller Ave - now gone).
We stayed with them in 1980 and rented their place until we bought our own in 1992.
Early memories are of a gang of youngsters (our John, Joey Nicholas, Nick Tischler and George Lemann often accompanied by our Peter, David Nicholas and Max Tischler) doing the perilous trip to Jimmy’s island across the channel each year as a rite of passage, one of them holding a Ventolin high and all of them returning scratched and triumphant.
Of Kitty Tischler sitting at the window of the middle cabin; of dogs wandering freely; of old clothes and evening picnics on the rocks.
Of reading Tolkein to the boys in the sandhills that are now covered in plants; of feeling so fortunate to have found a place where there were no noisy boats, shops or crowds.
It’s not so different today thank goodness.
The old farm ‘store’ (just a van) on George Bass Drive is sadly gone.
We know more people and we’re now the oldies!
These photos are some of my memories – they came from the Tischlers, Joanna Nicholas, Lynn Collins and me.
The storm of 1975
Who remembers the big storm of 1975? I remember it well. The sea raged and the wind blew and blew and the rain pelted
When it died down it took a few days before we could get onto Boat Shed beach. Saltwater Creek was a fast flowing river and it cut out high banks into the sea. It was hard to clamber along the high side of the creek.
When we finally got to Boat Shed beach at low tide it was a sad and terrible sight. There were rocks everywhere and not much of the beach left. We all thought that our lovely beach would never recover. Some of the "wise men" said it would take 50 years to recover. Within about five months the sand was back and most of the beach back to normal. The first row of boatsheds was badly hit. Many of the sheds that had been undermined by the huge waves looked as though they were about to topple forwards.
Over the next few months there were a good many "working bees" by boatshed owners to push and shovel sand back in front of the boat sheds and then to plant Marum grass to hold the sand. That was 1975. Now I believe Marumgrass is a "no no", but we did not know then and that grass has spread and holds the sand very well. Boat Shed beach seemed to bear the full brunt of the storm.
Before the storm there was a vegetated and level sand bank in front of the boatsheds which enabled boats to be carried along to the northern end of the beach prior to launching. This was washed away completely, but no boatsheds were
lost. Let's hope we don't have a storm like that again, but I suppose it is possible.
Coming to Rosedale
The Boardmans first heard of Rosedale from Dr John Falk, leader of the biochemistry section at the plant industry division of CSIRO. My husband, Keith was a research scientist in the section. We were interested in having a holiday cottage at a beach on the south coast of NSW and John told us about the beauty and other advantages of Rosedale. We were staying at Broulee in the September school holidays of 1965 and were excited to see Rosedale.
Unfortunately, the road from Mogo was blocked by floodwaters and we did not visit Rosedale until 1966. We soon decided that Rosedale was the place where we wanted a holiday house. Contact was made in Canberra with Eric Saunders, an RAAF officer who was about to retire and to be a full-time real estate agent at Batemans Bay. He told us about an inexpensive fibro cottage at North Rosedale that was for sale. The Nicol family wished to sell it because Shirley Baker (nee Nicol) had been drowned at Rosedale the previous year. Keith drove to Rosedale while I was in hospital with new baby Clare and we bought the house. Access to Rosedale was by a dirt road from Mogo. It skirted a swamp and there was a gate closer to south Rosedale that needed to be opened and closed. The Boardman family have had many enjoyable holidays at Rosedale over 40 years. All our children love Rosedale and two with their partners and children are now permanent residents of Rosedale.
Development of Rosedale as a venue for recreation and holidays
Among the first holiday visitors to Rosedale in the 1920s were the Knowlmans. They camped and later built the log cabins. Knowlmans were from Goulburn where they owned the large shop with the slogan "the right shop on the wrong side of the road". Gradually more people found Rosedale and either camped or built simple holiday houses. Mr Miller was the first "developer". He bought land in the area and subdivided it into blocks with an average area of approximately 600 square metres - far too small for the type of house being built here in the 21st century and not compatible with the present zoning of 2ec with a minimum block size of 1500 square metres. For some of the blocks Mr Miller, a builder, designed and built the basics of simple houses with fibro walls and louvred windows. He then sold the houses and the new owners had then finished to their own likings.
Electricity came to Rosedale in the 1950s but there were frequent blackouts. Reticulated water was not available and galvanised tanks were installed to collect rainwater from the roof. Lots of houses had outside "dunnies", a large pit with a wooden seat over it and walls and roof for privacy. By the end of the school holidays in summer time there was a distinct smell over Rosedale. There was no rubbish collection - you filled the car boot with your rubbish bins and drove to a Council tip.
Fascinating bits of furniture found their way to the tip, chairs and small cupboards for example. Tip scavenging was an accepted activity. I remember taking a mattress to the tip and straightaway an aboriginal man picked it up. In the early 1970s water was connected and oh the joy of a good flush toilet connected to a septic tank. Very few houses had telephones at that time.
A local dairy farmer came around every few days with large cans of milk on the back of his truck and we carried our billy cans out to him to be filled with lovely creamy milk. Once or twice a week Charlie Bellette from Mogo came to Rosedale to sell things from his Mogo shop such as vegetables, fruit and lollies and bread and biscuits. Near the entrance to Rosedale was the old cheese factory, and there we could buy fresh eggs.
George Bass Drive was not made until the early 1970s. We could get to Malua Bay by a rough dirt road, and there was a P.O. and general store there. We really were cut off from civilisation at Rosedale prior to the making of George Bass Drive. Tourists found it very difficult to find us. Once George Bass Drive was made we were "on the map".
The holiday-makers of Rosedale came from varied social backgrounds. There were the well-off sheep and cattle farmers of the Goulburn , Crookwell and Taralga areas. There were Goulburn people, eg a dentist, a lawyer and shopkeeper. From Canberra you had people from the ANU and CSIRO, a few public servants, army and air-force families and many Germans and Austrians and a few Dutch.
We united when in the early 70s two migrants from Yugoslavia tried to develop the six acres beside the creek into a caravan park. We were all shocked when we found out that the agent helping these " would-be developers" was "one of us". Anyhow we managed to get the Council on our side and the caravan park did not go ahead.
The proposal for the caravan park stimulated the foundation of the Rosedale Association (its origins are in a former
Some Rosedale identities
There were a group of keen fishermen in the good old days when there were plenty of fish and lobsters. Ken Hoad, a solicitor from Goulburn used to dive into the sea near the rocks at the north end of boatshed beach, wearing a long black plumber’s glove to come up with a lobster. Some of the fishermen who I remember were Andrew Charlton (the famous Boy Charlton, Olympic swimmer gold medallist), Walter Carter, Harry Bell and his wife Jean, Bill Emery, Fritz and Lotte Klebba and John Falk. Dick Bell was a keen rock fisherman- he did not go out in a boat. Most of these people had children and grandchildren who are “Rosedalians”today.
Jean Carter, Walter’s wife was a great hostess in the 1960s and 1970s. Dick and Peg Bell owned most of the land in front of our block. It was known as ‘Bell’s cow paddock’ and surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Maxine and Richard Bell provided a 1950s photograph of Peg Bell and a friend milking a cow at the paddock. I remember that Dick came to Rosedale with a small tractor to clear the "cow paddock" mainly because a resident of Yowani Road complained that the growth was a bushfire hazard.
The Knowlman and Bray families were well known identities. Gordon Bray and Judith Knowlman were married for over 50 years. Sadly Judith died early in 2007.
Gordon was the successful and conscientious President of the Rosedale Association for 23 years. The Brays sold the log cabins and their house (the "Knoll") to the Kidman family in 2005 but Nicole has only been seen on one occasion. Another international celebrity who settled in Rosedale was Anna Russell. Deirdre Prussak was Anna’s adopted daughter and Deirdre gave Anna a lovely happy home in her last years. Anna died in 2006. Deirdre was a visitor to Rosedale in the 1940s and returned as a permanent resident in 1990.
The Moeller family, our Rosedale neighbours were already here when the Boardmans arrived in 1966. I have known 5 generations of Moellers at Rosedale: the great-great grandmother, her daughter Elle and husband Ricard, their son Ulrich and wife Ingebord , grandsons Kim and Max and great grandchildren Eve and Oliver.
Janette Buckham , the headmistress of PLC Pymble and her friend Susan Ollerenshaw rented the “Knoll” for the summer school holidays each year. Janette was a very knowledgeable person and full of fun and a great body surfer.
She had a great New Year’s Eve party every year at the “Knoll”. She was always seen on the beach on the day following the release of the HSC results to proclaim the achievements of PLC students.
Among the interesting people of Rosedale was one Tessa Hodgson. Tessa was a Londoner who had been in Australia for many years. She still had her slight cockney accent. Tessa worked for the ABC before retiring to Rosedale. She loved Shakespeare and could recite many long and famous speeches. Every year she put on a Shakespearian production in either the garden of Fran and Stan Junor or in her own garden. Tessa collected all the youth of Rosedale and had them in her plays. She had a huge collection of costumes and could dress people from Roman soldiers to Lady Macbeth.
Peg Bell and friend milking a cow in “Bell’s cow paddock (photo courtesy Maxine & Richard Bell)
Rosedale 1971 -
Having grown up near the Perth (WA) coast I have tended to visit seasides since.
In 1948 my two sisters and I visited Eden, bussing from Canberra.
After my marriage we holidayed from Canberra at Sunshine Bay (1958) and from time to time came to the Batemans Bay area.
Especially memorable was the holiday in 1971 at Keith Hewitt's house, 77 Yowani Road. (I believe Kay and David Graham rented there also.) We stayed there a second time.
When my husband died I rented Hewitt's house for a week, and the next year for a month. In 2001 I purchased 2 Dale Place from Atcherleys.
My family have explored the bush and beaches, made shell and sponge collections, swum and walked and enjoyed the company of Rosedale people.
I have observed that there is a magic about this area which appeals to "alone" women. Could it be an attachment to mother earth and the sea?
In 1947 my land was sold by Kathleen Vilhelmina Jolly of Wollstonecraft.
I have a painting purchased from Cusacks in Kingston, Canberra of the track to the beach from North Rosedale. It is titled "Rosedale Beach NSW. Ocean through the trees. 1962" painted by Maurice T. Mitchell, who lived at 2 Rose Court.
I have for many years had a sporadic blog which is MAINLY about Rosedale. It’s here: Rosedale . . . and beyond: Eurobodalla Daily Photo
I first came to Rosedale in summer 1987, to visit a friend who was recovering from illness. It was love at first sight, and with family and friends I rented holiday places every summer from then on.
A particular memory is from January 1994. I was 30 weeks pregnant and quite ill - I put it down to eating a bad batch of stewed cherries. A visit to the hospital suggested that as dam levels were very low I could have a water-borne infection. My blood pressure was extremely high – I should see a GP - but it was impossible to find one accepting an appointment.
My husband Piero and I decided to travel back to Sydney – next day, because of severe pre-eclampsia, our son was born.
From summer 1995, he too became a Rosedale holidayer! In 2001 we purchased a holiday house of our own in Miller Ave. Sydney city life continued, punctuated by the blissful holidays and weekends at magical Rosedale.
No matter the stresses and vagaries, Rosedale always heals the spirit. In 2017, both Piero and I had retired from teaching, and Rosedale was the obvious place to be.
Our house was built during 2017 while we lived at Miller Ave, and we moved in permanently in November 2017.
Apart from walking on the beach, the thing I love most about Rosedale is the bird life. In 2017 I took part in the Australian Backyard Bird Count, notching up almost 30 species which I saw during the two weeks in our Miller Avenue yard.
Sometimes the cacophony is extravagant, especially towards dusk. I also voted for Australia’s favourite bird, the magpie - Rosedale’s maggies are a very friendly lot! I am looking forward to the bird life that our new (mainly) native garden will bring to visit.
Gang gang cockatoo in the carpark
About 34 years ago I came home from work and my wife Wendy asked if I remembered a particular house at Rosedale that we had seen on holidays. I didn’t - and neither did she - but she had bought it that day!
This is how it happened. Shortly after we holidayed at Rosedale, Wendy drove her sister, Claire, to Bega to catch up with friends and then, on the way back, to Rosedale. They must have noticed that various houses were for sale. Claire then visited their parents, in their unit in Coogee. She started chatting to a woman called Winne in the shared laundry and mentioned Rosedale. Winnie said she was selling a house in Rosedale, as part of her brother’s estate. She had taken it from an agent, after he sold her brother’s car to one of his mates cheap. She asked for Wendy’s number and phoned to offer her the house for $5,000 less than the reserve but Wendy had to accept on the spot. Thank goodness that Wendy did! Winnie was later offered two amounts more but she stuck to her arrangement with Wendy. (Good on you Winnie!)
When settlement was complete, we hot footed it to Rosedale to find we had bought “Jimmy’s House” - a Miller house in original condition. The children were ecstatic and set off to explore, while Wendy and I caught up with the neighbours. We immediately felt a sense of belonging.
We started improving the house, bit by bit, but it was not cost-effective. Around June 1983, Wendy sat down with the builder, Bob McKibbin. Her ideas for the house were drafted and the work was finished by Christmas. What a terrific Christmas that was! We have had Christmas at Rosie since and what fabulous, happy and joyous times they have been for our family.
Christmas as Rosie
We met more and more people and strong bonds were established between families. This only enhanced the joy of Rosie and all our houses were open houses, so the kids would be here, there and everywhere and so would we. At our place, we would spill onto the deck in fine weather and be in the house in front of the fire when it was wet or cold. Sometimes, there were masses of kids, with some staying overnight and often sleeping on the lounge room floor. But Rosedale became more than a fun escape. Rosedale was, and is, a chameleon, as it changes and adapts to our needs.
As much as it is a place of noisy, happy, rollicking fun times, it is also a place of peace, comfort and serenity. When Wendy was sick in the late 1990s, we came to Rosie each weekend and the peace of the place would cast its restorative spell upon her. Many of our friends used Rosie for the same purpose. Is it the sound of the sea, the wind in the trees or, as another Rosedalian said, the “sound of the stars”? Whatever it is, Rosedale has mystical healing properties.
No one I know leaves Rosedale without a pang of regret and a hope of returning. Rosie became the “soul place” of our family and we have a powerful sense of place and belonging. While we sadly lost Wendy to illness this year, she will always remain especially close to us at Rosedale.
I first met Rosedale when I was a student at Narrabundah High School in Canberra in 1965.
At the time, I was invited to join a band that was led by Dave Stirling, who was also the lead guitarist and vocalist. Phil Richardson was the rhythm guitarist and Ian Shapter was the drummer. As the last one to join, I became the bass player.
Dave mentioned that his parents had a place at the coast. At that time, I considered myself a cool Melbourne export and knew the delights of the sea, as I had lived close to Port Phillip Bay. But I quickly found that I was totally unprepared for what lay ahead of me at Rosedale.
Dave arranged for me to visit Rosedale with his dad, Tom Stirling. We approached Rosedale through the winding one lane dirt road, with a hand on the horn at each turn to warn oncoming traffic. I was then introduced to the fibro shack at number 16 Rosedale Parade, complete with open stud walls. I thought it was great, but this proved to be just a support act for the main act that greeted me, as I stepped up the sand hills of Rosedale beach to find a wide unpopulated vista of sand and surf.
This, to me, was it -nirvana - and did I mention the surf? I was entranced.
Dave and I were soon making regular coastal runs to Rosedale, in my part- owned VW 1963 beetle (see photo outside number 16).We enjoyed the surf and oating activities from Boatshed Beach (see other blurry black and white Instamatic image of Dave and I, and his dad’s clinker built boat).
We brought our acoustic guitars and a small portable gramophone, as Bega’s radio 2EC signal on the AM band rarely made it into Rosedale. Popular musical items on the gramophone at the Stirling residence included the “Wheels of Fire” album from Cream, with the often repeated lyric line from the song Crossroads“going down to Rosedale, with my rider by my side”.
Later, in the 1960’s, saw Dave and I expanding our trips to Rosie with the inclusion of John Mallet, and his pink Mark 2 Zephyr, and larger groups with Dick Cordy to Yowani Road. The last trip with Dick Cordy and crew included one wet Friday night, where we pushed the car being driven by a group of nuns heading to The Retreat, who had managed to bog their car in the mud onGeorge Bass Drive, which was under construction.
Later, I assisted a fellow band member, Ian Shapter, by driving my 1959 Kombi to Rosedale twice in one day to move furniture to establish the McAuslan’s residence in Yowani Road.
My assistance led to frequent weekend retreats to this North Rosedale house, which culminated in a marriage proposal to my wife, Jane, at the Steam Packet in Nelligen on the way to Yowani Road in 1979. The photo shows the youthful exuberance of the recently engaged couple that Sunday in the Rosedale sandhills.
Next, we raised our family of three boys in Canberra, with frequent visits over a 14 year period, to a mobile home at Barlings Beach Caravan Park, with only infrequent visits to Rosedale. Lastly, as an empty-nested couple, Jane found our new residence at, where else, but Rosedale and we moved in as permanent residents in 2009. Another member of the original band, Phil Richardson, also now owns a house in Cooks Crescent in South Rosedale.
Living in Goulburn, we knew families with houses at Rosedale, including the Manfred family that went to live at Rosedale during the Depression. Mr Manfred was an architect and I understood that there wasn’t much work for him in Goulburn but they lived happily at Rosedale, living off food from the ocean. The Knowlman family, also from Goulburn, owned the cabins on the beach, which was a very special location.
In the early 1960’s, we were holidaying at Mollymook and visited our friends, Liz and Ken Hoad, for the day. They owned a house on the lagoon at Rosedale, which we all called “Hoad’s Hovel”. My husband Clive commented how beautiful Rosedale was and that it would be wonderful to own a house there one day. A property was for sale at 14 Paul Street and, by the end of our visit to Rosedale, Clive had negotiated to buy it. The purchase of 14 Paul Street was the beginning of many, many happy family holidays for Clive, myself, and the children…Richard, Robert, John and Cate.
Travelling to Rosedale from Goulburn took about 3 ½ hours. Our car would often over-heat on the Clyde Mountain and we would need to stop. We also queued for the punt to cross the river at Nelligen. The children loved getting out of the car to watch the punt and we waited in the hot sun, with no air-conditioning. We were very happy when the Nelligen bridge opened in
1965 in the same year Cate was born.
After leaving Batemans Bay, we travelled along the coast road towards what is now Surf Beach and then took Dunn’s Creek Road, which was a single car width track that made its way through the bush. Sometimes we would stop to remove fallen trees from the track and we often saw lyre birds and wallabies along the way. The road eventually drove through Bevian Farm and we finally arrived at Rosedale. It was always an eventful trip!
When we initially bought the house it was a simple, one room cottage with no lining, a pit toilet (with its spider inhabitants) and no electricity. We loved all the basic elements of the house, the use of kerosene lanterns, cooking on the BBQ and the fact that everything was so relaxed. The first job after arriving at Rosedale each time was to erect the canvas tent, so the children had somewhere to sleep. This was very exciting and the children loved sleeping outdoor on the canvas stretchers, brushing their sandy feet before getting into bed (showers were rarely taken!) and listening to the sound of the waves as they went to sleep. Mosquitos were regular visitors, so Clive sprayed the inside of the tent with the mortein hand spray gun before bed-time.
We arrived at Rosedale with the car packed to the roof on 26 or 27 December, after our Goulburn Christmas. We stayed for most of January. We took a lot of non-perishable foods and enough fresh food to last for a couple of days. We didn’t get electricity or hot water for about three years. We mainly ate fish and lobsters, as fishing was a major part of Rosedale life.
Early each day, when the sea was calm, the fishing boats went out from Boat Shed Beach and we excitedly waited to see the catches of the day! We took it in turns to go out in the boat but it meant an early start to the day. Boat Shed Beach was a busy place, as the boats returned. The fish would be cooked on the BBQ and we had often caught too many to eat, so the extra fish was shared with friends after they had been cleaned on the rocks. Milk was supplied from the local dairy, which delivered daily during holiday times. Often John and his friends would sit in the back of the milk truck and do the milk rounds. If we needed extra supplies we travelled to Moruya, Mogo or Batemans Bay but these were not regular trips.
We spent most days on the beach, with the children spending hours on the rocks and playing in the rock pools. They only came back to the house for meals, before going off to explore again. Most afternoons, we met at someone’s house for drinks and nibblies and the children often gathered on the beach at night to light a fire and be entertained by the Brothers, who
played guitars and sang. The Brothers also practiced their lifesaving skills on the beach and the children volunteered to be ‘saved’. Ping pong in the garage, Monopoly, 500 and Squatter were favourite pass times at the house.
Rosedale was a place that was full of happy, fun times. It was wonderful to see Clive relax and enjoy fishing. It was a unique family time. Very special life-long friendships were established and maintained at Rosedale and each Christmas holidays the adventures began again!
As a family, we enjoyed 14 Paul Street for the 30 odd years we owned it. My son, John, and his family lived there for four years in the late 1980’s and it was wonderful to see the house become a family home.
Pam Murray and her son, John preparing the memorial seat site in rememberance of Pams husband, Clive. (Feb 2014)
Tragically, Clive drowned on Rosedale Beach on 27 December 1985 and for many years it was extremely difficult for me to return to Rosedale.
As time passed, the special connection to Rosedale returned for us all. We are very excited about the erection of a seat in memory of Clive on the Boat Shed lawn.
We hope it will provide a place for friends and family to remember him and celebrate a very unique place on our planet.
Pam & her son, John preparing the memorial seat site in rememberance of Pams husband, Clive Feb 2016
I first came to Rosedale in 1942 to holiday with my aunt and uncle. l was seven years old. My uncle, Ernest Hibbert, had owned properties in Goulburn where he and a friend, Lux Manfred, were 'drinking buddies'. In those days Lux Manfred owned three properties at Rosedale, a two storey house on the north side of the lagoon which was then called 'Toongabbie', (now owned by the Emerys) also the house on either side. One was a bungalow with a veranda around it which has now been demolished and a stone house erected in its place by Richard and Maxie Bell and the other he called Caretaker Cottage, this is now called Gull Cottage.
Among the properties my uncle owned in Goulburn was a two storey building opposite the fire station in Montague Street. This building had been designed by Lux Manfred's father who had been an architect.
On one of their 'evenings out' uncle convinced Lux that he should own the building his father had designed, a swap of properties took place and uncle and his wife May (nee Branson) moved to Rosedale. Probably what instigated this
swap and move was the fact that uncle, in one of his many drinking binges, had driven his car along Auburn Street and had hit and killed a policeman.
Punishment must have been somewhat different in those days because he simply "got out of town". However there is a rumour that he contributed a sum of money to the policeman's widow.
Uncle, when he was not killing policemen, managed to get the first telephone installed at Rosedale because he convinced the
authorities that he could keep watch in case the Japanese navy decided to invade Rosedale. To use the telephone you wound a handle and gave the call sign of 'Burrawurra North'.
Uncle Ernest owned a 1928 Rolls Royce and he would collect us in this car when we arrived in Batemans Bay from Goulburn for our holidays. The journey from Batemans Bay to Rosedale was hair raising. The road was nothing more than a dirt track and at times we would have to remove fallen trees from it or try to manoeuvre around them. Some curves seemed to go on forever until you were sure you had travelled in a circle. These had to be traversed with horn blaring as there was no way two cars could pass each other. Another fact which added to the tension to this journey was Ernest's liking for alcohol. If our arrival coincided with one of his 'benders', the drive would cease to be hair raising and become suicidal.
When I first visited Rosedale the lagoon ran straight out to the sea to the right of 'Toongabbie' so that it was possible to walk out of the garden gate onto the beach which, in those days, was flat and smooth beyond the gate. The water of the lagoon was clear and filled with thousands of small mullet. When I was young t would spend time trying to catch them by tying string around the neck of a jam jar into which I had placed small balls of dough. I would sling the jar into the water and when it had settled the small fish would enter to get at the food. At this point the jar would be heaved from the water, hopefully still containing a fish or two for my dad to use as bait.
This pleasant pastime lost some of its attraction on a particular day when a visitor helped prepare lunch. She had taken some flour from the pantry to make gravy for the fish. After lunch the dough had set solid and it was found that the visitor had used
Plaster of Paris instead of flour. Ernest went into a panic and insisted everyone take a large dose of 'opening medicine'.
Aunt May's brother Les Branson and his wife Madge bought a small house in South Rosedale right across from the log cabins. This house had previously belonged to a family called Swan so the house has always been called 'Swanee Lodge'. This
house had started life as a tent, then one room to which a veranda had been added, then that dosed in and another veranda added so that the original one room became progressively darker rather like entering an archaeological dig site. Swanee had been built so close to the beach that once, after a king tide, Uncle Ernest reported seeing fish inside the front fence. This statement caused a few raised eyebrows and a quick glance at the level of the whisky bottle.
ee Swanee Lodge in the 1940s below
The holidays we spent at Swanee Lodge were the happiest ever although it was quite basic accommodation. There was no electricity, so upon arrival, we had to light the wick of the Silent Knight refrigerator and get that going. Then there always seemed to be problems with the lamps as they had very delicate mantles which we seemed to be forever replacing. The kitchen had a fuel stove and this had to be started up. The toilet consisted of a pan job up in the garden which had to be emptied upon our departure.
Milk, bread and the mail could be collected from a farm some distance away and I can remember walking with Lesley, whose parents owned Swanee and so making her a distant cousin, through the bush to the farm early in the morning with the shafts of sunlight spearing down through the gums and the sound of the whip birds calling high up in the branches. One year my brother bought an Austin A40 and we would drive to get the milk and bread. There was no road to the farm so we had to drive over the fields. I would sit in the back holding the billycan and getting into great trouble as we lurched over the bumps
because, no matter how careful I was, the milk would slop over onto the seat of the new car. It was much more fun walking with Lesley.
The log cabins were there but not the house above them.
The next house was owned by Percy and Sue Brown, this was later sold to Paul and Wendy Reid. Next to that again is a house owned by the Malletts.
The land in front of these houses was clear of trees so it was possible to drive right across the grass from what is now Rosedale Parade to the cabins. Knowlman Road used to be called Steep Street and at one stage it did not end
where it does now but continued right across to the road now called Rosedale Parade. All the land above Swanee Lodge was clear except for one or two houses as was the entire length of Cooks Crescent.
In the early fifties John Knowlman who owned the log cabins built what was to be known as 'The Knoll'. I remember watching some of the building taking place and that the builders imbedded large chains into the cliff face to prevent erosion.
In 1982 I purchased Swanee Lodge from Lesley Mclntosh (nee Branson) for $80,000. Lesley and her husband Keith had subdivided the land and then built a brick home up behind my house which they called 'Swanee Too'. My family suggested that now I owned Swanee I should bulldoze it down. But I have always loved this house and it holds many happy memories for me.
I moved to Rosedale permanently in 1990 when the people in my Sydney home unit refused to allow me to keep my new little dog. This move was one of the best thing I have ever done.
At the time of my move the only occupants permanently in my immediate area were Jean and Walter Carter at 23 Knowlman Road. Some time later Lesley and Keith Mclntosh came to live in Swanee Too and then some years later Judith and
Gordon Bray moved into The Knoll. Judith was the daughter of John Knowlman.
Sadly, in the time I have been here, Jean and Walter Carter, Keith Mclntosh and Judith Bray have died. Jean and Walter's house has been passed on to their son, David Carter and his wife Barbara. Bill and Cathy Mobbs bought Swanee Too
and Nicole Kidman's company bought the cabins and the Knoll. The Knoll has now been sold to Lyn and Alistair Bailey.
See Swanee Lodge in 2009 picture below
In 2004 I brought Concert Comedienne Anna Russell from Canada to live with me at Rosedale. Anna had been like a mother to me since I was a teenager and it was time for her to be cared for. We lived happily at Swanee Lodge with my animals until Anna died in October 2006.
The people of Rosedale are rather like a large extended family and I regard them with great affection.
Tents near the The Cabin (early 1930s)
Tents near the The Cabin (early 1930s)
My uncle, Milton Sebbens, forwarded the last Rosedale newsletter to me, as it contained my old mate Colin Enright's story of his early Rosedale experiences. I enjoyed reading it, as I still keep in contact with a few of the old Rosedale crew and I make an effort to visit Rosedale every time I go down south (I now live up near Bangalow). It will always have a place in my heart, as it was such a big part of my growing up. Here is a snapshot of some of my memories.
In the late 1950s our extended family built a few dwellings on a sizeable block, later known as 16 Rosedale Parade. There were uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents - 15 of us in all - and only one outback toilet! (How we managed I'll never know.)
One highlight for us kids was when we got to ride around on the back of dairy farmer’s ute, while Ian delivered fresh milk by
ladling it out of a large milk churn into billy cans. We travelled all over Rosedale and on an old goat track to Guerilla Bay, bouncing around in the back as he negotiated the dirt road gouged out by the rains. Ian had the dairy just to the west of the Rosedale turnoff and I believe it is he and his wife, Beverley, who Bevian Road was named after.
Blackberry bushes were thick along the old road leading into Rosedale and we gorged ourselves on these delicious fruits every
summer. One of my uncles, Bert, showed us how to set snares to catch rabbits, where they had made tunnels through these blackberry thickets.
When the adults were off doing some serious beach fishing, our Granny, Ina, a spritely little Scottish lady, took us kids 'fishing'. We used a stick tied with a small length of string and a jellybean secured at the other end. We dangled the apparatus in the big rock pools around towards Smelly Beach in vain hope. We were old enough to know that this was complete folly, but we just humoured old Granny along. Looking back, she must have thought she had a bunch of half-witted grandkids, who would fall for
Rosedale was different in that it had no shops, so in order to spend any 'pocket money' we might have had, we walked around to Malua Bay. This involved negotiating the 'blowhole', which was sometimes tricky in heavy seas. I'm fairly certain we never lost anyone down it. The other hazard was that we were convinced that Brigadier Mackenzie reckoned he owned that beach
and we would get shot if he caught us on it. I feel I must now apologise retrospectively for that absurd notion, but it did add a certain spice to our adventures. Even now, if it rains while I'm on any beach, the smell and feel of it transports me back in time to those walks around the rocks and through the bush at Rosedale.
This is a piece, written by me, that appeared in my 1964 School Magazine:
Night and Day
The sandy beach has rocks at either end which jut out into the sea.
They are surrounded by deep water which reflects the glaring sunlight in a dazzling manner. The sky seems washed out in comparison with the sea. An island, close to shore, seems desolate with sparse cliffs and scattered scrub growing along the top.
Above the beach is a hillside covered with trees. Small cottages are perched upon it. Boats out at sea rock in the swell. The surf rolls onto the beach leaving long trails in the sparkling sunlight in vivid detail. The sights, sounds and smells are all exciting and fresh.
At night a different picture emerges. The pale moon forms pale reflections on the water. The gloom of night surrounds the jagged rocks and the dull roar of the surf floats on the cool night air. The island is now a dark blob with weird shapes appearing on the top.
The neat cottages on the hillside cannot be seen except for little windows of light shining out to sea. The sea mists come rolling in, and the lonely call of the seagulls dies away.
As the night grows old a stillness descends upon the place; the lights are abruptly extinguished and an air of peace settles over the beach as the moon gently lowers itself over the horizon.
Plenty of purple prose, but what do you expect at the age of 14? Anyway, that was the effect Rosedale had on me. It was probably the best and longest lasting highlight of my teenage years. My family and I got more than four years’ enjoyment out of it before we left for Geneva on April Fool’s Day, 1968.
We spent our 1962 Christmas holiday near Batemans Bay. While we were there, we drove over to Rosedale to have a look, because somebody Mum and Dad knew kept raving about the place. In those days, Rosedale was well off the beaten track,
about a 20-mile drive along badly maintained dirt roads through the bush. After a week’s solid rain it was cut off from the outside world.
We all approached the place with a certain cynicism, but changed our minds very quickly once we saw it and had a walk around. Mum and Dad pretty much decided to buy a plot of land and build a house on that visit. Once we’d bought the plot,
we used to go down for weekends to clear the ground, build a dunny (that also served as the lockup tool shed) and prepare for the building work. We used to sleep in two fairly small tents. My brother Paul and I were in the smallest one, and we slept on potato sacks stuffed with bracken. The people next door let us help ourselves to water from their water tank.
We erected the frame and the roof of the house in three weeks during the 1963 Christmas holiday. The house was a kit, made of a timber frame with a corrugated zinc roof and with asbestos cladding for the walls, so most of the work consisted of sorting the pre-cut timber and nailing it together. At that time, we had a large square tent with a centre pole for our living quarters and Mum and Dad’s sleeping quarters. The tents were like furnaces during the day.
The house was substantially completed by the following Easter, although there were one or two little hiccups along the way. The most spectacular was when the lorry came to deliver all the asbestos sheeting. It was parked across a fairly steep slope at the front of the house, and while the driver came to the door with the delivery note to sign, his mate undid all the ropes anchoring the asbestos.
Result: one load of asbestos slid sideways off the lorry onto the ground. Most of it was smashed beyond all possible use. The driver got very upset with Dad because Dad, for some strange reason, refused to sign the delivery note. (“If you don’t sign the note, we’ll have to load it all back on the lorry again and take it back” …….. er, yes).
Nostalgia plays tricks, but Rosedale really was brilliant. We had a huge amount of freedom –what could happen to us? (Apart from several brushes with death, not much).
Some memories, in no particular order:
When a school friend and I stayed down there for a week on our own, we were messing about on the creek with another lad, sharing his boat (I can’t recall if it had changed ownership and become brother Paul’s at that point) and his fairly powerful air rifle. We all impersonated big game hunters by courageously shooting a few tits and other similar-sized creatures. As night began to fall, my friend and I got into the boat and rowed it towards the rickety landing stage where it was moored. The owner of the boat decided it would be good fun to use us as target practice. Our protestations were met with mad, hysterical laughter
and the sound of lead pellets ricocheting off the water. My friend realised he was a much faster rower than he previously thought, and we reached the landing stage, jumped out and ran like the clappers up the road.
A couple of times, two friends (Hugh Legge and Bill Tweedie) and I slept down on the beach, for something to do. “Slept” is an inappropriate description. Sand feels incredibly hard around three o’clock in the morning, when you’re dog tired, the fire has burnt out, the cold is really getting into your bones, and your throat is telling you it really can’t face one more cigarette. The word “stupidity” springs to mind when I recall that we did this more than once.
For a lot of the time, there was a hard core of about 15 – 20 of us teenagers and pre-teenagers (the “locals”), which could almost double in size over Christmas. We very often had a fire on the beach at night, and it was great fun sitting around the fire, piled high with driftwood. The main activities were smoking cigarettes (with a sharp eye kept out for parents sneaking up on us), telling very tall stories and jokes, singing to the guitars, and flirting innocently with members of the opposite sex.
I got into lots of trouble at Rosedale. The most common reason was for getting home late, and I only had myself to blame. Once Hugh, Bill and I went out to Jimmy’s Island, spear fishing. We got back to shore as light was fading, and then built and sat around a fire smoking and chatting unhurriedly while we warmed ourselves up. I did deserve everything I got when I finally arrived home – Mum and Dad were both getting worried that I’d drowned, and of course there was nothing like a bit of good old-fashioned corporal punishment to soothe Mum’s frayed nerves.
Mr Quigley, who had a house out on the point, owned a boat, which he allowed Hugh, Bill and me to use sans engine. We used to row it out into the bay and throw out our hand lines, and just drift on the swell, smoking. Did we also have bottles
of beer with us at the age of 15? I can’t honestly remember, but I think we may have done. We rarely, if ever, caught anything during those trips, but we didn’t care.
In cold weather we used to wear rugby shirts in the water when we went spear fishing. Once Bill Tweedie got an enormous blue bottle inside his shirt, some distance from shore – he could do nothing about it until he reached the beach.
Bill was pretty stoic, but he could be heard all the way to shore. Rather him than me! My brother once came up to the surface underneath a blue bottle. I have never seen such impressive wheals as the ones that instantly appeared on his back. He was standing in the water shaking while Dad scoured his back with handfuls of sand, an accepted treatment in those days. There was still sign of the wheals a week later.)
Walking around Rosedale at night-time really helped us to develop night vision. It wasn’t too bad on moonlit starry nights, but on nights of thick cloud it really was pitch black, and it was next to impossible to even pick out the road’s surface. Lying on the beach on a star-lit night, you were almost guaranteed to see shooting stars, and the stars themselves were so bright. I loved staring at the stars – and even after more than 30 years in England, I miss the sight of the Southern Cross. It’s one of the first things I look for in the night sky whenever I visit Australia.
Once or twice my older sister and I went with Hugh and his older sister to a dance at an old community hall somewhere near Batemans Bay. Hugh and I were supposed to chaperone our sisters, but, naturally, we parted company as soon as our parents dropped us off and didn’t see each other until we were due to be picked up at some unnaturally late hour –about 10 o’clock. Those were the days when “Bombora” was in the hit parade and we danced the “stomp”!
I loved going for long walks on my own, or with our dog Peggy. I must have walked those beaches hundreds of times, and also walked overland to other beaches further afield. There was one small one that used to get loads of seaweed piled up on it. The rotting putrid smell really used to make me gag as I crossed it.
It never seemed to bother Peggy though. I loved getting up at daybreak, and walking for an hour or more before breakfast. There was never another person in sight, but there were plenty of wallabies and other wildlife around at that hour. The birds would also be in full song – kookaburras, magpies, currawongs, etc.
I got a fishing rod for my birthday, my pride and joy, and used to fish off the rocks at either end of the beach or further afield, with very limited success. I lost an enormous amount of fishing tackle though. I also occasionally caught bream in the creek. A favourite bait was cunjevoi, which grew freely on the rocks. It squirted water at you when you trod on it, and looked quite
disgusting. I suspect the fish weren’t especially enamoured of it either. I’ve never seen it or heard of it in Europe. I think I caught more eels than fish.
They were disgusting –big mouths with big razor-sharp teeth and very slimy green-brown bodies. Before I knew better, I used to try to recover my tackle, which involved killing the eel and cutting the hook out of it. The battle to the death really was a tussle, and the line would get in a hopeless tangle. In the end I wised up and just cut the line as soon as I saw an eel on the
I used to set off on every fishing trip with incredible optimism – a triumph of hope over experience. I used to go in all weathers, daytime and night-time.
Freezing winters, scorching summers, cold driving rain with a plastic raincoat on. And I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Catching fish really came to life when my brother Paul got a shiny new hand spear for a Christmas present. The rest of us teenagers realised very quickly that, for the price of a wooden curtain rod, a spearhead and a rubber, we could all assemble our own hand spears. Ours were not only affordable, they had the added advantages that they were easier to grip and that they floated to the surface when released – an important point when fishing in deep water. There was one disadvantage to the home-made spears – I once saw a 30-pound grouper come flying past me with a spearhead and two feet of wood sticking out of it. I turned round and saw Bill Tweedie looking both surprised and dismayed through his mask, clutching the other half of the spear.
We had a series of lobster pots, but they were often washed out to sea in heavy swells. The cost of the lobster pots must have far outweighed the cost had we bought the odd lobsters that we did bring home from the sea. Mum sometimes cooked abalone fritters – they were completely inedible unless minced (too chewy), and barely edible when minced, and I didn’t much like them.
We spent many weekends all the year round as well as longer holidays “down the coast”. When I worked after school at Coles in the Monaro Shopping Mall, I’d finish at 9 o’clock on a Friday night and walk straight out to the car, where Mum and Dad and Paul and our dog would be waiting. Mum would usually have a big jar of food already cooked – liver and bacon was a favourite. When we got to the house, we’d light a fire, have dinner, and go to bed – with the whole of Saturday and much of Sunday in front of us. Sheer bliss!
In the early years, Paul and I slept on an open verandah. Even in the winter, when it got pretty chilly, and the rain could drive in as far as the beds, we still felt really cosy. At night we’d lie in bed between sandy sheets, listening to the surf crashing onto the beach (if there was a heavy swell) or gently surging in and out, or the rain thrumming on the corrugated iron roof, or the wind howling through the tree next to the verandah, or the possums scampering across the roof on a hot still summer’s night. We could see the moon and stars out to sea.
This is starting to sound like purple prose again, which is how I started, so I’d better stop. But Rosedale was, for me, a magical place, and it played a very prominent part in my teenage years.
Our Rosedale summers were wonderful wonderful days. I had a little boat, given to me by Paul Millar. On one of those rare rainy overcast days, I followed the creek up as far as it would go, where it was choked by all the fallen logs. I climbed out of the boat and struggled across all the fallen trees etc. to explore the top of the creek. It was really dark and spooky. I came around a tree and walked into the biggest, hairiest, blackest, smelliest, ugliest (wait for it.....) PIG. Fortunately it got as big a fright as I did , and I think we both knocked over small trees as we beat a hasty retreat from each other (there is some debate to this day who was the ugliest of us). Quite frankly it frightened the living daylights out of me. Remember the lovely days. We would get up to a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and if we were lucky, score a trip on the milk truck when it did its rounds. The milk truck was a flat tray with a few milk churns roped on the back, and we kids would pile on the back and hold on like grim death while the driver whizzed along the narrow dirt tracks to the various small settlements. There was always the chance of a blackberry bush adding a few thorns to our legs as we raced along. The driver would pull up and blow his horn, and the women would gather around the truck with their billy cans and he would ladle out the milk from the churn. The round trip took over an hour and was tremendous fun. I guess fear of common law claims, plus Workplace Health & Safety legislation, would stop the trips happening these days. We used to spend a lot of the time on the beach just gas bagging to each other. When we got bored, we would walk around to Malua Bay to buy cigarettes. It was quite an interesting trip. Most of it could be done around the rocks, although there was the tricky bit where you had to time your run between the waves, and also the dash across Brigadier MacKenzie's beach (he was reputedly a fierce old cove, although I do not think I ever saw him). The spear fishing around Rosedale was a treat in those days. We would make home made spears out of curtain rods with a multi-pronged spear head jammed on one end and a hole drilled in the other ento take the cord holding the rubber. I remember we got some great fish. I always liked the small groupers - a bit oily but nice big bones. Except after storms the water was usually clear - there were plenty of rocky reefs and kelp beds. We used to tow a rubber tyre (with a net in the middle) around after us, to put the speared fish in. We used to get out of the water when too many sharks started showing an interest in the blood. I guess fortune favoured the brave (or the stupid!!). I really enjoyed the surfing down there. Occasionally there would be a big hurricane out at sea, and we would have beautiful hot sunny days and humungous surf. I learned to stand up on my 5' foam board which was extremely unstable. I had pretty good balance in those days. We also battled around at one stage on an old solid balsa wood surfboard belonging to someone else. When we went down the coast in winter it could be very cold. We initially had an old wood range in the house for cooking. We didn't have hot water bottles, and Mum used to put bricks in the oven until they were very hot, then wrap them in newspaper (which would sometimes scorch but never catch fire) and then wrap them in a towel. These would go in the end of our beds as temporary hot "water" bottles and would hold some warmth until about 1.00am. I think I still have a weak ankle from when I suddenly straightened my leg without thinking and my foot ran straight into a brick. The New Years Eve parties were something special. Even though I was under age, Mum and Dad used to turn a blind eye and allow me to take some warm beer (perhaps there was a method in their madness?) from the old brown suitcase under their bed. The highlight for me was seeing my brother Alan drink a whole bottle of vodka & orange - I did not think it was possible for someone to be so sick for so long and still live. He spent most of New Year's Eve sitting on the edge of next door’s tank stand and throwing up into their passionfruit. Going back to Canberra after Christmas or Easter could be a nightmare. There were punts across the Clyde at Nelligen (next to the old Steampacket Hotel), and sometimes the traffic would back up all the way to Batemans Bay. I remember Dad taking a back way through the bush once to bypass the traffic. We went past an old Chinese cemetery with big headstones etc. left over from the gold days. Dad went too fast and slid into a bank and put a dent in the bodywork under one door. We never went that way again. Random memories: - The big rock shelf on the way around to Guerilla Bay - the water seemed to go down forever. - Lighting a fire over on Jimmy's Island, and having it blow up on us (I think there were air bubbles in the shale). - Throwing glass floats off the cliffs to see them break on the rocks (believe it or not, I still have 2 of these glass floats, all the way from Rosedale days). - Sitting around the fire in the dunes in the evenings, smoking and staring into the fire . - Getting beaten up for being a bit too inquisitive with my torch in the dunes in the evening (I deserved that one!). - Wearing a duffle coat, jeans and desert boots in the evenings (how cool!!). - Fishing for mullet in the creek, using old oyster bottles as fish traps. - The whale coming into the bay. - Mending the mosquito nets over our beds, as our first job, when we arrived down the coast on a Friday night. - Interminable games of "21" (for pennies) on rain afternoons. - Picking blackberries. - Fishing off the rocks (I remember Alan caught a big salmon from the small patch of rocks between the two beaches - just near the log cabins. I caught a big one once when I was out trolling with Mr Hoad - Mum stuffed it with oysters then baked it, and it was delicious). - Buying hot chips cooked in peanut oil, in Bateman's Bay. - Buying cherry pies from the Chinese baker in Braidwood, on our way down the coast. - NOT missing TV or radio! Happy memories. Paul Tooker
Pat Wallace first came to Rosedale 63 years ago and has been coming back ever since. Here are some of her reflections of earlier times.
I was inspired — or rather 'stung' into recording these 'reflections' by the headlines of the December issue of the Rosedale Association's newsletter --"Developments over the Road" — and the accompanying sadness I felt regarding the inevitability of what is sometimes labelled 'progress' at our beloved Rosedale
I hope these memories won't be a total yawn to newer folk. I have tried to make them brief!
I first came to Rosedale (or Burrewarra North as we knew it then) in 1939 in a wicker laundry basket at the age of two months. No, I wasn't a foundling but that was what parents did before car baskets and capsules!! The dirt road began at Nowra and the Bateman's Bay punt was always an adventure! (much more for kids than adults!)
I have been coming ever since, mainly at Christmas, Easter and NSW school holidays when we are in Australia and now we have the luxury of being able to come more frequently throughout the year.
My father, Norman Bartlett, was a close friend and fishing mate of Fred and Perce Browne and had already been coming to Rosedale with them for a number of years before I was born. Fred acquired land on Saltwater Creek and Perce later bought the block between the Malletts and the Bransons. (These blocks are now owned by Wendy Reid and Deirdre Prussak, I think). We bought our own block in Paul Street from Phil Miller in 1954 and it was named after Phil's son.
Dad originally built a small kitchen to appease my mother who insisted on cooking fabulous 3-course meals on holidays (who's complaining?)
We used to stay in either tent or caravan until Dad built the rest of the house. As I married and had 4 children we always seemed to be extending (and still haven't stopped!)
Now to those reflections —the magical things I recall over the past 63 years!
Learning to swim in the creek at age 4. I swam much better underwater — mainly so I could check out the eels, seaweed and poddy mullet!
The fun of real camping out, digging drainage trenches, hammering in tent pegs (and fingers!), setting up the flyproof meatsafe and butter cooler high in a gumtree, playing card games by the light of the Tilly lamp, sleeping on a camp stretcher — and praying it wouldn't rain!
Exploring by foot every nook and cranny of coast from Malua Bay to Broulee, scrambling around rocks, which were either soft and crumbling or razor sharp and over headlands, jumping or sometimes swimming across channels (always watching for wobbeygongs lurking beneath!)
Being given the responsibility at a tender age of collecting the milk in what seemed a very big billy from Mr. Albert Sebbens who ran Rosedale Farm at the time. I believe Mr. Sebbens still lives in Moruya and his son often fishes at Rosedale - I met him on a beach walk recently and swapped some great yarns.
Having milk fights and trying to milk the Rosedale cows at the dairy.
Bodysurfing the entire day — our only concessions to avoiding skin cancer were zinc cream on the nose and the shoulders and the back of the knees. How foolish we were, either from ignorance or, more likely, the belief in our immortality!
Great picnics in the surrounding bush — the most memorable being amongst the Big Bad Banksia Men at Burrewarra Trig. Station.
My father's wonderful tale,later confirmed, of being out fishing with Perce Browne in his rowboat in the bay and seeing a Japanese submarine periscope. His quandary was how to row calmly across to wake Tom Mallett Snr who was asleep in his boat! They managed to do it and reported it to to coastguard who, of course, was aware of its presence all the time!
Fishing everywhere, collecting bait — poddy mullet, prawns, worms, octopus, cunjevoi, pippies and actually knowing which fish liked what!
Racing into the General Store in Mogo to get the Leaving Certificate and later University results from the Sydney Morning Herald, in those published mercilessly in those days for all the world to see!
Training for State Swimming Championships in Saltwater Creek — I think that was why I didn't win!
Playing Tarzan while jumping off special trees into the creek, learning some rather unorthodox ways of entering the water.
The excitement in Kitty Allison (now Tischler) 's eyes as she ran all the way from the Knoll to tell us there were hundreds of whales off Jimmy's Island.
The friends I made in the 50s and 60s. Most of them came from Canberra and Goulburn while I was from Sydney. Many letters travelled around the state between holidays. Certainly romances flourished during those formative years with Rosedale and all its moods as the backdrop. We really were a bunch of 'free spirits", able to wander everywhere and absorb the essence of Rosedale —it has shaped me forever.
New Year bonfires on the beach — my most memorable was seeing Andrew "Boy" Charlton festooned in seaweed coming out of the sea as King Neptune! We owed a lot to the Knowlman Family for organising these.
My father's fury when he encountered his first spearfisherman in Jimmy's Hole! That was definitely sacred ground!
Learning how to set lobster pots and body surf from Perce Browne and Miss Jeanette Buckham, getting clues on catching beachworms from Tom Mallett Jnr.
Dreaming of swimming across to Jimmy's Island. I was never game enough but many did.
The huge and varied hauls of fish my Dad and his friends would bring in to feed everyone who was staying at Rosedale at the time.
Now it is a joy to see our children and grandchildren and their friends still revelling in Rosedale, although much has and will change. They have pushed the barriers more than we would have dared, having swum with sharks at Bateman's Bay and seals at Montague Island and last Christmas climbed to the top of Jimmy's Island ( — definitely not recommended to those inexperienced in rock-climbing as those rock faces are soft and crumbling)
However the scenery, the ever-changing moods of the sea and its surroundings, the landscape, vegetation and birdlife are still theirs to enjoy and to share. Hopefully like all you others who care so much for Rosedale they will also be conscientious stewards of the treasures they are privileged to enjoy.
March 3, 2003