Gra Nomad Wanderings

Saturday, May 24, 2008


It was a fairly easy 440 km drive from northern Perth (Kingston Caravan Centre) to Geraldton. We sat on 90-93 km/h most of the time . Plenty of semis who seem to have more authority on the road than we caravanners. Drove through Greenhough which is famous for its lovely old disused stone buildings and its trees that grow sideways thanks to prevailing winds.

Geraldton has a beautiful memorial to HMS Sydney II. The dome at the memorial (see above photo) is a sculpture made up of 645 seagulls which represents the 645 lives lost when the Sydney II went down on 19 November 1941 following a battle with Kormoran. What an impressive memorial! My photos are not gonna do justice to it I fear.
Organisations and teams have been searching for both vessels over the years but it seems the efforts recently got cranked up a bit. On 12 March 2008 the "finding Sydney" group located the Kormoran. Then 5 days later they located Sydney II in 2,470 metres of water.
At the museum I read about this guy, Bill Smith, aged 21, whose wife Patricia had a baby girl. After getting the news, Bill wrote a love letter to Patricia who was in Kew, Melbourne. He wrote it on 5 October 1941, just six weeks before that fateful day. There was a copy of his letter in the museum, along with the telegram the navy sent his widow when she ship went down.

Today Bill would've turned 88. Yes, he was born on 24 May 1920. (Check out the "findingsydney" site.) It sure is a great display at the museum.

We also checked out the live lobster co-op and the St Francis Xavier Cathedral. Enjoyed both immensely.
Had a beaut time staying with Karen and Marshall, Kaila and Alaina. Great folk. Thanks heaps.

Now... enroute to Kalbarri.

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