George Street Festival

It was a sweltering dog day afternoon with many hounds deciding to be carried through the crowds at George Street’s 13th annual festival.  Thousands of people celebrated the Plympton village event, returned after the Covid cancellation of 2020. Music was at the forefront over three areas. The Music Hub and Sewell Street stages featured established artists while the expanded Glyde Street Youth Stage hosted emerging solo performers and bands supported by an audience of mums, dads, dogs, teachers and festival goers.  Sustainability was a strong theme. Stallholders offered eco-friendly Christmas gifts of potted plants, bee hotels and handmade clothing. Green … Continue reading George Street Festival

Crayfish Christmas Carnivale

Eager customers, colourful eskies, delicious aromas and a celebratory atmosphere marked the first Back of Boat sale (BoBs) of the 2021 Western Rock Lobster season in Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour on Tuesday 30 November. Four boats – Neptune III, Sandra V, Sea Venture II and Vanessa James – arrived with the season’s first catch and supplied pre-orders and day sales at $45 a kilogram. “I didn’t even bother putting my pots out this year,” one buyer said. “It’s cheaper to come down and buy here.” Western Rock Lobster Council marketing and communications officer Natalia Perez Haedo handed out flyers explaining … Continue reading Crayfish Christmas Carnivale

“Fishermen Were Sitting Around Chatting …”

Traditions adopted by Fremantle’s fishing community in the late 1940s were well underway early the Sunday afternoon of 24th October for the 73rd Blessing of the Fleet. The festival was introduced by migrant fishermen from Molfetta in southern Italy to venerate their Madonna dei Martiri (Our Lady of Martyrs) and her icon was carried in the first procession. An article by Dianne Davidson in a Fremantle History Society newsletter states: “The beginning of the Fremantle ceremony is attributed to a Molfettese fisherman, Francesco Raimondi. The story goes that 8 September 1943, 1944 or 1946 (different years are given by different … Continue reading “Fishermen Were Sitting Around Chatting …”

Beached Art At Rockingham

One thing standing out like a giant penguin at Rockingham’s Castaways 2021 beach sculpture exhibition is the lack of people discussing “the juxtaposition of …” well … anything. There are plenty of people engaged with the artworks, more humanly than academically. Inquisitive children ask “What are they?” To which their slightly frayed minders seem to quite often respond “Get away from there!” Let’s face it, half of parenting is finding interesting ways to entertain children and then panicking about potential problems. Perhaps for this reason one of the most popular works at the annual beach show was Fremantle sculptor Greg … Continue reading Beached Art At Rockingham

Love Cats Hit Freo

Saturday morning. A small crowd has gathered in Fremantle’s Italian Club for a cat show. It’s the kind of event I would have taken my sons to a few years ago but they’re sixteen now and reluctant to leave their rooms on weekends so I head in solo with the chance of meeting a colleague.  I can’t help admiring cats for their command of humans. Dogs win people over with goofy grins, couch cuddles or guarding their homes. Cats demand what they want when they want it and spend a lot of time pretending people don’t exist. There’s something appealing … Continue reading Love Cats Hit Freo

Toodyay On Show

Watch the bumper cars at a small country show and you might spot whose marriage is strained and which of the smiling mothers loathe each other.  When mum and dad load a kid each into a dodgem for a demolition derby with the manic glee of Bond villains you know they’re hyper-competitive or heading for divorce. And it can get brutal when town adversaries meet to settle old scores. God forbid rival councillors get onboard the dodgems – the kids won’t get a look-in. Luckily there wasn’t time for an in-depth sociological study of bumper brawls at Toodyay Agricultural Show … Continue reading Toodyay On Show

Blessing The Black Madonna

Each year the fishing community of Fremantle has two ceremonies to ensure the fishermen and their boats are safe and the catches are good throughout the season. The smaller of the two festivals, held in honour of The Black Madonna, is on the second Sunday of September and celebrated by the small Portugese community who live in the city. The larger Blessing of the Fleet is held in late October and conducted by the entire fishing community, mostly from Mediterranean communities, principally Italian. Several Masses are held in St Patrick’s Basilica and a procession leaves there to parade the Black … Continue reading Blessing The Black Madonna