Sunday, September 28, 2014

Elm Grove's next stage

Reading in the Sydney Morning Herald about the next stage in the long history of Elm Grove. Restored Canberra property to host weddings. For those looking for a unique venue with a lot of character this is some information I compiled a few years ago on the history of the property along with a Richard Snashall video compiled in his series the Stakeout of Canberra...

Bordering today's northern suburbs of Canberra is a working remnant of Canberra's pastoral history, "Elm Grove". This fine merino wool property was established by James Gillespie next to his parents 1852 property "Horse Park" when he and his wife Isabella built a timber cottage on Portion 186 Parish of Goorooyarroo in 1882.

James was a well known personality in the Ginninderra district and he was involved in the establishment of the nearby Mulligan's Flat School (post here). He also wrote a regular news article titled "Ginninderra Notes" for the Goulburn Evening Penny Post under the pseudonym “The Wizard”.  For 40 years this column strengthened community development and political activism in the Ginninderra region and today provides a unique record of district events.

James lived on Elm Grove until he died in 1926 and Isabella until her death in 1938. Harold Gillespie (1890- 1974), their son, worked the property until his death in 1974. In 1986 Mr and Mrs Carmody purchased the lease from the Gillespie family. 

YouTube introduction: "The first part of a program that looks at the history of Canberra before it became Australia's capital. How many of us stop to think about what was here before the nation's capital. Here we visit Elm Grove, one of the ACT's only surviving sheep properties that has been owned by two families in 160 years. Presented by Richard Snashall, with funding from the ACT Heritage unit".

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Monday, September 8, 2014

ACTEW Graffiti

ACTEW Water's Youtube channel have a couple of impressive time lapse videos of Canberra infrastructure being given a make over with some art. Thanks Graffik.

"The Yamba Drive Water Pump Station gets a makeover from our friend Graffik. Amazing before and after shots of the Pump Station."

"The City West emergency sewer storage facility gets a make-over from our friend Graffik. Some excellent footage of before and after."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Simply Doves

Blatant plug for my Daughters' fledgling ceremonial Dove Release business..

I'm very proud of them. As young Canberra entrepreneurs they discovered a rewarding niche market, developed the supply and infrastructure & created a self supplying micro-business without any outside funding.

They plodded along with little reward and developed a flock of 'squeakers' I had bred for them and they trained the birds to fly from anywhere in Canberra. The flock is healthy and easily fit to fly the lazy 20 or 30 kilometres from the extremities of the city or anywhere in the Australian Capital Territory needing a ceremonial release excluding Peregrine falcon territory west of the Murrumbidgee River. (Namadgi).

It's been a 12 month road for them that has seen their working flock grow enough for more frequent and larger releases servicing weddings, funerals, functions & events. This has required dedicated and consistent training regimes and many unpaid hours of care and patience but they can now openly service a Canberra market 7 days a week during daylight hours with a reliable, professional service.

The business is called 'Simply Doves' because that's all they do. No butterflies or balloon releases which, after loss & deflation, harm wildlife. Just pure white beautiful doves.

They have a website

One release they have planned in a few weeks interests me. A promotional photo shoot at the National Arboretum. A release of 20 birds with the function centre as a backdrop. Mystery releasor. Should be some interesting photographs. I'd say it's never been done there before.

If there's one thing that gives the girls' birds an advantage over some operators is the quality of the birds. I bred them from interstate racing stock. All the parents are Australian registered racing birds. Their offspring could fly from Bourke as sure as Belconnen.

I wish the girls the best. Personally I'll stick to breeding my racers. Mixing European imports with (suspected) old Australian racing breeds. It's about developing a family of fast birds. I have hopes for this fine fellow. I'm a bit like Darwin. I find the breeds mixed colour variations interesting but it's all in the genes whether they are fast or not.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Canberra's first Solar Farm goes live

Bit of technological history in the making. The 1st solar farm for Canberra goes live tomorrow.

The Royalla farm sports 83,000 panels and the opening will be attended by the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

A second farm looks likely to be approved at Hume consisting of 53,000 panels. The Canberra Times has an interesting piece on the project. Canberra's second solar farm poised for approval as the first goes live.