382. Sunday 20th July 2014. House contracts exchanged and a birthday in Townsville…

Monday 14th July

Well another week begins with the promise of exciting times ahead. The purchase of the house on the Gold Coast is underway. We have signed the contracts and paid the deposit. Just waiting on the next stage which is the building and pest inspection reports.

Tuesday 15th July

Donnis left for her flight to Sydney and then by train to Wollongong to visit son Errol and family. She will be away until 23rd August.

Sob Sob.

Wednesday 16th July

Hmmm! Settlement of the purchase of the villa on the Gold Coast is on or about 8th September. I need to see daughter Shelley and family in Townsville before I leave. Perhaps if I leave after work on Thursday I can have a few days with them.

Thursday 17thJuly

Today was a bit of a WOT THE sort of day. About an hour before the end of my work week the managing director called me into her office and asked me to take a seat. Hmmm! This cannot be good I said. And it wasn’t, at first.

It seems my working only 25 hours a week is not helping the two main brokers a great deal. They need a full time person just processing the work for them. I was about to say I do not want to work full time but will stay on until you find somebody when I was told a full time person has already been hired.

WOT THE!!!

The new person will start on Monday and although I am no longer needed would I stay on for two weeks while she is trained. Hmmm! I nodded. Yes.

Then I said I was coming to see you anyway. We have bought a house on the Gold Coast and are moving.

It was her turn to be floored with a WOT THE moment.

When? She asked.

About 8th September.

Oh! In that case would you like to stay on until then?

Hmmm!

OK

So alls well that ends well.

That is when I had planned to work until anyway!!!

In the later afternoon I drove to Townsville arriving at 9.30 pm and after a cup of tea I was ready for bed. Four year old Matthew gave up his bedroom for me but he likes to sleep with mum and dad anyway.

Friday 18th July

Townsville is a city I have stayed at or driven through many times in the last twenty or so years. Mostly I have preferred to drive through as although the city is on the coast it does not feel like a seaside city but just seems dry and dusty.

I guess I have not taken the time to stop an appreciate the town although on reflection I have had some good memories.

Today Shelley had the day off. The children were at school, the youngest, Matthew was at Day Care and Dwyane was at work. It is Shelley’s birthday on Sunday and it was good to have some free time together, just father and daughter to have coffee, exploration and lunch.

After an hour at the shopping centre to sort out some banking and telecommunications questions followed by a coffee. (I cannot miss my morning coffee) we drove to Kissing Point the site of  Jezzine Army Barracks and coastal fort.

One of several walking entrances to Kissing Point Fort.

One of several walking entrances to Kissing Point Fort.

Most of the old barracks buildings have been maintained and the old fort and munitions bunker have been retained, landscaped with pathways and signage and opened to the public. This was a first time visit for both of us as the site has only recently been thrown open to the public.

The fort was built in 1889 as a defence against a perceived threat from an unknown enemy after British Ground Forces were removed from Australia in 1870.The fort is well sited to cover the entire Cleveland Bay but in reality the two ancient 6 inch cannon would have been of little use.

One of two 6 inch cannons at the fort. Castle Hill the imposing, dominating pink granite monolith seen from every part of the city is in the background.

One of two 6 inch cannons at the fort. Castle Hill the imposing, dominating pink granite monolith seen from every part of the city is in the background.

The second of the 6 inch guns with Australian and USA flags, the two nations who defended Australia against the Japanese in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

The second of the 6 inch guns with Australian and USA flags, the two nations who defended Australia against the Japanese in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Significantly it was again prepared for defence during World War II when the Battle of The Coral Sea with US Forces against the Japanese. The battle was waged on the Ocean as well as in the air and many Australian and US Forces were based in Townsville.

The entire Jezzine Barracks and Fort were the focus of a M$40 restoration project which was only completed late in 2013. As part of the project a walkway was built from the fort along the cliffs above the coast to Rowes Bay, the first time the two locations had been connected by a direct link.

Walkway from Kissing Point to Rowes Bay completed in 2013.

Walkway from Kissing Point to Rowes Bay completed in 2013.

Townsville is still classed as a Garrison City with both the Army and Air Force having a base here. Naval ships are frequent visitors to the port.

Looking across Cleveland Bay to Magnetic Island as seen from the Kissing Point Fort.

Looking across Cleveland Bay to Magnetic Island as seen from the Kissing Point Fort.

Shelley and I spent a good two hours here and still did not see all there was to see.

I recommend a visit to, the barracks, the Military Museum and the Kissing Point Fort.

Castle Hill in close up. If you enlarge the photo you can see a white Saint figure near the top left hand side. This was painted by a bunch of daring University students from Mackay almost 30 years ago.

Castle Hill in close up. If you enlarge the photo you can see a white Saint figure near the top left hand side. This was painted by a bunch of daring University students from Mackay almost 30 years ago.

We had a so so lunch at the Cowboys Rugby League Club. Tonight the Cowboys played away to Cronulla in Sydney and had their first away game win  this season.

Matthew had been sick with diarrhea and vomiting this week and passed it on to Jack who was also sick today. Tonight Dwyanne came down with the same malaise and during the night so did Georgia.

Hmmm! How do I protect myself against whatever germs are running rampant.

Saturday 19th July.

Shelley went to work but was sent home about two hours later. She was being violently ill and diarrhea.

I am beginning to become concerned for my own health.

Dwyane took Matthew and I for a drive to the Port of Townsville where we inspected a cruise ship which will be refitted as a medical ship and used to bring medical, dental and optical services to remote areas of Penang New Guinea a northern neighbor of Australia. The ship was open for inspection in an effort to obtain donations of money, spectacles or volunteers to go to PNG.

The tourist ship AMMARI destined to be refitted as a medical ship and used to provide medical services to remote villages in Papua New Guinea.

The tourist ship AMMARI destined to be refitted as a medical ship and used to provide medical services to remote villages in Papua New Guinea.

The organization is called Ywam Medical Ships (http://ywamships.org.au/ )

Hmmm!

I did the maths.

To volunteer for two months costs $800 for a meal package.

$800 return flights to PNG to join the ship and probably another $300,to $400 spending money whilst arriving and leaving PNG.

That’s a bit out of my league at present but maybe if I won the lotto…

After the ship visit we drove to Castle Hill

Another view of Castle Hill seen from the Port of Townsville.

Another view of Castle Hill seen from the Port of Townsville.

the giant plug of pink granite which dominates to Townsville skyline. On top of Castle Hill is a monument to Captain Robert Towns, the founder of Townsville and after whom many local sites and business bear his name. I thank Wikipedia for the following information.

Robert Towns monument

In 1873, Robert Towns, the founder of Townsville, died in Sydney and was buried in Balmain Cemetery. ( I was born at Balmain and lived there until I was 13)

In 1940, the Municipality of Leichhardt decided to replace that cemetery with parkland (called Pioneers Memorial Park).[7] The plans were advertised and families were invited to arrange for re-interment of bodies or removal of memorials.[8] In 1941, the Leichhart Council offered the memorial from the grave of Robert Towns to the Townsville City Council.[9][10] In January 1942, Townsville City Council voted to accept the memorial and transport it to Townsville at a cost of £23/10/- but it as not unanimous with two councillors opposing the plan, one claiming that Robert Towns had done nothing for Townsville and it was only sheer good luck that caused the city to bear his name.[11] A local resident, Tom Gleeson, proposed “high on the peak of Castle Hill, overlooking the harbour” would be a suitable location for the monument.[12] Having arrived in Townsville, the monument was then placed in storage for a number of years.

It was not until October 1947 that the Council discussed where to place the monument. A number of locations were considered: Castle Hill, the Botanic Gardens, in front of the Queens Hotel, the Anzac Memorial Par and the Railway Oval, but Castle Hill was ultimately the council’s choice.[13][14] In February 1948, the Queensland Government gave its approval to the council to place the monument in the centre of the car parking area on the top of Castle Hill.[15]

Over two years later, in November 1949, the monument was finally placed on Castle Hill, where it stands to the present day.[16] A plaque was added to explain the origins of the monument.[17]

Monday 14th July

Well another week begins with the promise of exciting times ahead. The purchase of the house on the Gold Coast is underway. We have signed the contracts and paid the deposit. Just waiting on the next stage which is the building and pest inspection reports.

Tuesday 15th July

Donnis left for her flight to Sydney and then by train to Wollongong to visit son Errol and family. She will be away until 23rd August.

Soib Sob.

Wednesday 16th July

Hmmm! Settlement of the purchase of the villa on the Gold Coast is on or about 8th September. I need to see daughter Shelley and family in Townsville before I leave. Perhaps if I leave after work on Thursday I can have a few days with them.

Thursday 17thJuly

Today was a bit of a WOT THE sort of day. About an hour before the end of my work week the managing director called me into her office and asked me to take a seat. Hmmm! This cannot be good I said. And it wasn’t, at first.

It seems my working only 25 hours a week is not helping the two main brokers a great deal. They need a full time person just processing the work for them. I was about to say I do not want to work full time but will stay on until you find somebody when I was told a full time person has already been hired.

WOT THE!!!

The new person will start on Monday and although I am no longer needed would I stay on for two weeks while she is trained. Hmmm! I nodded. Yes.

Then I said I was coming to see you anyway. We have bought a house on the Gold Coast and are moving.

It was her turn to be floored with a WOT THE moment.

When? She asked.

About 8th September.

Oh! In that case would you like to stay on until then?

Hmmm!

OK

So alls well that ends well.

That is when I had planned to work until anyway!!!

In the later afternoon I drove to Townsville arriving at 9.30 pm and after a cup of tea I was ready for bed.

Friday 18th July

Townsville is a city I have stayed at or driven through many times in the last twenty or so years. Mostly I have preferred to drive through as although the city is on the coast it does not feel like seaside city but just seems dry and dusty.

I guess I have not taken the time to stop an appreciate the town although on reflection I have had some good memories.

Today Shelley had the day off. The children were at school, the youngest, Matthew was at Day Care and Dwyane was at work. It is Shelley’s birthday on Sunday and it was good to have some free time together, just father and daughter to have coffee, exploration and lunch.

After an hour at the shopping centre to sort out some banking and telecommunications questions followed by a coffee. (I cannot miss my morning coffee) we drove to Kissing Point the site of  Jezzine Army Barracks and coastal fort. Most of the old barracks buildings have been maintained and the old fort and munitions bunker have been retained, landscaped with pathways and signage and opened to the public. This was a first time visit for both of us as the site has only recently been thrown open to the public.

The fort was built in 1889 as a defence against a perceived threat from an unknown enemy after British Ground Forces were removed in 1870.The fort is well sited to cover the entire Cleveland Bay but in reality the two ancient 6 inch cannon would have been of little use.

Significantly it was again prepared for defence during World War II when the Battle of The Coral Sea with US Forces against the Japanese. The battle was waged on the Ocean as well as in the air and many Australian and US Forces were based in Townsville.

The entire Jezzine Barracks and Fort were the focus of a M$40 restoration project which was only completed late in 2013. As part of the project a walkway was built from the fort along the cliffs above the coast to Rowes Bay, the first time the two locations had been connected by a direct link.

Townsville is still classed as a Garrison City with both the Army and Air Force having a base here. Visiting Naval ships are frequent visitors to the port.

Shelley and I spent a good two hours here and still did not see all there was to see.

I recommend a visit to, the barracks, the Military Museum and the Kissing Point Fort.

We had a so so lunch at the Cowboys Rugby League Club Tonight the Cowboys played away to Cronulla in Sydney and had their first away game this season.

Matthew had been sick with diarrhea and vomiting this week and passed it on to Jack who was also sick today. Tonight Dwyanne came down with the same malaise and during the night so did Georgia.

Hmmm! How do I protect myself against whatever germs are running rampant.

Saturday 19th July.

Shelley went to work but was sent home about two hours later. She was being violently ill and diarrhea.

I am beginning to become concerned for my own health.

Dwyane took Matthew and I for a drive to the Port of Townsville where we inspected a cruise ship which will be refitted as a medical ship and used to bring medical, dental and optical services to remote areas of Penang New Guinea a northern neighbor of Australia. The ship was open for inspection in an effort to obtain donations of money, spectacles or volunteers to go to PNG.

The organization is called Ywam Medical Ships (http://ywamships.org.au/ )

Hmmm!

I did the maths.

To volunteer for two months costs $800 for a meal package.

$800 return flights to PNG to join the ship and probably another $300,to $400 spending money whilst arriving and leaving PNG.

That’s a bit out of my league at present but maybe if I won the lotto…

After the ship visit we drove to Castle Hill the giant plug of pink granite which dominates to Townsville skyline. On top of Castle Hill is a monument to Captain Robert Towns, the founder of Townsville and after whom many local sites and business bear his name. I thank Wikipedia for the following information.

Robert Towns monument

In 1873, Robert Towns, the founder of Townsville, died in Sydney and was buried in Balmain Cemetery. ( I was born at Balmain and lived there until I was 13)

In 1940, the Municipality of Leichhardt decided to replace that cemetery with parkland (called Pioneers Memorial Park).[7] The plans were advertised and families were invited to arrange for re-interment of bodies or removal of memorials.[8] In 1941, the Leichhart Council offered the memorial from the grave of Robert Towns to the Townsville City Council.[9][10] In January 1942, Townsville City Council voted to accept the memorial and transport it to Townsville at a cost of £23/10/- but it as not unanimous with two councillors opposing the plan, one claiming that Robert Towns had done nothing for Townsville and it was only sheer good luck that caused the city to bear his name.[11] A local resident, Tom Gleeson, proposed “high on the peak of Castle Hill, overlooking the harbour” would be a suitable location for the monument.[12] Having arrived in Townsville, the monument was then placed in storage for a number of years.

It was not until October 1947 that the Council discussed where to place the monument. A number of locations were considered: Castle Hill, the Botanic Gardens, in front of the Queens Hotel, the Anzac Memorial Par and the Railway Oval, but Castle Hill was ultimately the council’s choice.[13][14] In February 1948, the Queensland Government gave its approval to the council to place the monument in the centre of the car parking area on the top of Castle Hill.[15]

Captain Robert Towns memorial.

Captain Robert Towns memorial.

 

Over two years later, in November 1949, the monument was finally placed on Castle Hill, where it stands to the present day.[16] A plaque was added to explain the origins of the monument.

Townsville, Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island seen from Castle Hill.

Townsville, Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island seen from Castle Hill.

View of Kissing Point Fort seen from Castle Hill.

View of Kissing Point Fort seen from Castle Hill.

A seaplane which takes passengers on joy flights over the city lands in the bay beside the marina. A few minutes before it had flown low over the top of Castle Hill.

A seaplane which takes passengers on joy flights over the city lands in the bay beside the marina. A few minutes before it had flown low over the top of Castle Hill.

From Castle Hill we drove to Mt Stuart, also pink granite which dominates the skyline and has the local TV transmitter towers.

TV towers atop Mt Stuart.

TV towers atop Mt Stuart.

Now here is something which I find interesting. The Great Diving Range well west of Townsville is sandstone. In fact the 3,000 kilometre length of the Great Dividing Range is sandstone. The coastal plain to the east of the range and prominently in the case of Townsville itself there are several plugs of pink granite rising up to 300 metres and dominating the landscape. These pink granite monoliths crop up along the coastal fringe to the north of Townsville at least as far as Cardwell and as far south as Bowen. In all cases the pink granite stands out along the skyline. Kissing Point and the munitions fort which we visited yesterday is also pink granite.

The steep cliff faces on pink granite Mt Stuart

The steep cliff faces on pink granite Mt Stuart

Dwyane and Matthew on the edge of cliffs on Mt.Stuart.

Dwyane and Matthew on the edge of cliffs on Mt.Stuart.

Then we drove part of the Range Road but decided the destination of Charters Towers some 120 Klm away was not worth the long drive there and back.

Welcome top Townsville from Harvey's Range. Another pink granite mountain.

Welcome top Townsville from Harvey’s Range. Another pink granite mountain.

Finally we drove to Saunders Beach north of Townsville before arriving back at Bushland Beach after 6 hours on the road.

Sunday 20th July

After wishing Shelley a happy birthday and saying goodbye to Dwyane and the grandchildren I drove the 330 klms back to Airlie Beach. Even the traffic was co-operative today. I did stop in Ayr for a coffee from Maccas, traditionally when driving to or from Townsville I always take a break here.

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “382. Sunday 20th July 2014. House contracts exchanged and a birthday in Townsville…”

  1. shan Says:

    seems you dodged the dreaded belly bug. good work. sounds as though things are well with you up there and working in your favour for work and move. Dave and I always enjoy our catch ups and we shall miss you, but also an incentive to get together down there. Love Shan

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Hi Shan n Dave. We will miss you too but now you have a place on The Goldie to visit. Missed the dreaded belly bug but all week at work one of the women has been coughing sneezing and complaining of a sore throat. Woke this morning with a sore throat….fingers crossed it does not develop[ further. Love Frank

      Like

  2. placestheygo Says:

    Gee, a month without Donnis! My husband would starve to death and be wearing dirty clothes if I left that long. It will be a little lonely for sure. Glad the job ending worked out so well:)

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Hi Pam, yep without Donnis I can cook up those things I like and wash the clothes but more importantly I can get those painting jobs done as well as the 1001 other things around the house which need attention. Cheers

      Like

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