Freo's View

ROUNDHOUSE SEEING THE LIGHT

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, heritage, history, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on June 18, 2017

Roundhouse

 

If the State Heritage Office has no objections the Fremantle Roundhouse will finally get electricity so that the volunteer guides can start applying for funding to Lottery West and elsewhere to install the new displays that have been designed by museum designers after community consultation.

This will finally also give us the change to properly recognise the Whadjuk Noongar people and correct incorrect information.

The displays have been looking tired and outdated for some years now and the Roundhouse needs to become even more attractive to international, interstate and local visitors and use modern technology.

Thanks to the hard work of the Roundhouse  committee, the lobbying of Freo’s View, and the personal commitment from Mayor Brad Pettitt the City has now found a way of funding the power into the oldest public building in WA from a maintenance budget.

We are keen to have more evening events in and around the Roundhouse to help activate Arthur Head after hours and already the High Tide Festival in October will be using the Roundhouse and the Irish Festival in January has also put feelers out to do some events in the Roundhouse.

All we need now is substantial financial support to implement the changes!

Roel Looper

IRISH FREMANTLE FESTIVAL

Posted in fremantle, history, Uncategorized by freoview on June 9, 2017

 

 

last-convict-ship-Hougoumont

 

The Irish festival planned for Fremantle to commemorate the arrival of the Hougoumont in Fremantle on January 9, 1868, the last convict ship to sail to Australia 150 years ago, is attracting interest from the Irish government.

The Ambassador of Ireland Breandan O Caollai visited Kidogo Arthouse with a group of officers from the Canberra embassy this week.

The Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival will be held from January 5-14, 2018 at locations around Fremantle from Bathers Beach through the West End and Fremantle Prison.

On board the Hougoumont was also John Boyle O’Reilly who escaped some years later on the Gazelle and ended up as the editor of The Pilot newspaper in Boston, USA.

Between 1865 and 1867 the British had arrested members and supporters of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and 62 of them were transported to the penal colony of Western Australia.

John Boyle O’Reilly became later involved in getting funding for the Catalpa that sailed to Rockingham to pick up six Fenians who had escaped from Fremantle Prison. This fascinating bit of history is commemorated on the Rockingham foreshore with the impressive Six Wild Geese sculpture just south of the townsite.

An Irish festival will means music, dance, food, beer and lots of fun, so I am looking forward to it.

The Facebook page feniansfestival will keep you up to date over the next six months.

Roel Loopers

HOW FREO CELEBRATES WA DAY

Posted in community, fremantle, history, Uncategorized, western autralia by freoview on June 5, 2017

 

There is WA DAY entertainment at the Fremantle Esplanade all day today so go and enjoy the glorious day.

Spare Parts Theatre will be there with their puppets and Grace Barbe and band will perform in the afternoon.

There is a Freedom Fairy Show for the children, food stalls,  Bindi Bindi Dreaming, and Felicity Groom will also be performing.

A big sand sculpture will be created and the African Drumming Circle will be fun for young and old.

The Maritime Museum will have a stall and there is also the Perth Makers Market and more entertainment and music.

At Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port one of the world’s most high-tech research vessels, RV Sonne, will be open to the public.

Members of the public are invited to step on board, speak to the German and Australian marine scientists, check out the ship’s cutting-edge research technology and learn about current research campaigns in the Australian marine environment, and Australian-German research cooperation.

Have a fun WA DAY!

Roel Loopers

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ROUNDHOUSE IS ABOUT ALL HISTORY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on June 2, 2017

I am disappointed to read Mayor Brad Pettitt’s comment in the Fremantle Herald today about the Roundhouse.

The Mayor told the Herald that the Roundhouse could talk better about the history, in regard to the indigenous people.

I suggest the Mayor and all Councillors read the proposal for new displays in the Roundhouse that was produced by museum designers two years ago and where one of the four cells would be dedicated to the Whadjuk Noongar history of Fremantle and the Roundhouse.

We have a very thick proposal that the Roundhouse volunteer guides’ president no doubt would be delighted to leave at Freo Council for a couple of weeks so that the Elected Members can see the plans in detail.

But we have not been able to get the City of Fremantle to commit to funding to connect power to the Roundhouse, so we can get started on modern displays.

I for one always talk about the Noongar history, the atrocities, the Rottnest Quod, etc. Especially visitors from Canada and North Ameraica are interested as they see the similarities with their Inuit First Nation People and what displacement did to them; the alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse.

The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre just a stone’s throw from the Roundhouse was a missed opportunity to tell visitors about the Noongar history of Fremantle.

The Roundhouse would love to have a real display about Aboriginal history of Arthur Head and Fremantle, but we need power and financial support to make that work!

Roel Loopers

HISTORIC IRISH FESTIVAL FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle, history, kidogo arthouse, western australia by freoview on April 10, 2017

Fremantle Kidogo Arthouse owner Joanna Robinson is organising a big historic, culture and art Irish festival in January next year to commemorate the arrival 150 years ago of the Hougoumont, the last vessel to transport convicts from England to the Swan River Colony.

Among the 279 convicts on board was the famous John Boyle O’Reilly. The majority of the 108 passengers was made up of pensioner guards and their families.

The Hougoumont was the last of 37 convict shipments to Fremantle and arrived on January 9, 1868 after a 89-day journey.

That sounds like a fantastic festival to me which the whole Freo community should get involved in, so put your thinking caps on and come up with ideas for events around that day! Major corporate financial sponsorships would be welcome.

And what a brilliant excuse to drink a lot of Guinness, if we ever needed one. : >)

Roel Loopers

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SAD HISTORY OF FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE

Posted in city of fremantle, history, roundhouse by freoview on April 6, 2017

 

Today is a sad historic day in Fremantle with the anniversary of the hanging of 15-year-old John Gavin in front of the Roundhouse 173 years ago on April 6, 1844.

Gavin was the first European settler to be executed in Western Australia.

He arrived here as a Parkhurst boy and was convicted of murdering the son of his employer 18-year-old George Pollard.

Gavin was a tiny boy only so that weights were attached to his body to make the execution more humane. He was buried in the dunes south of the Roundhouse but his remains have never been found.

Roel Loopers

 

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RECORDING FREMANTLE’S HISTORY ESSENTIAL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, history by freoview on March 26, 2017

 

With so much development going on and planned for Fremantle I wonder if the City has diligently and professionally been recording streetscapes in the CBD so that there are historic photographic records of what the  inner city looked like before the rejuvenating facelift it is receiving at the moment.

Adelaide, Queen Victoria, Cantonment, Beach streets and others in the area will have a totally new look in a few years from now and so will Kings Square and the Fremantle Oval precinct, so it is essential that good photos are taken, so that future generations will be able to compare old and new Freo.

It is a very important duty of government to record history so don’t neglect to do it City of Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE CONVICT PHOTOS DISCOVERED

Posted in fremantle, fremantle prison, history, western australia by freoview on March 25, 2017

 

Fremantle people interested in history should go and buy the West Australian today as there is a fascinating article by Ken Acott about historic photos-mug shots-found of convicts.

Seventy-four of them were discovered by the State Record Office, some as old as 130 years-old.

WA  became a penal colony in 1850, 21 years after the first British settled in Fremantle and started the Swan River Colony.

The first convicts who arrived here had to build the Fremantle Prison which has now become a major tourist attraction, backpackers and art gallery.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Not interested in history? Buy the West anyway and read about the GST shambles where our state only gets 34 cents in the dollar. It is an outrage!

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SO HAPPY I LIVE IN FREO!

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, heritage, history, tourism by freoview on February 13, 2017

One of the things I very much enjoy is showing people around Fremantle and a few of the hidden treasures they might not otherwise discover, so today I spent two hours with the lovely Italian Elisabetta and Matilda.

Matilda lives in Freo and runs the cute fashion boutique and Birkenstock outlet Creato a Mano at Marine Parade and her husband Roberto runs the equally cute Galleria D’Arte West End just a few metres awy, so go and check them out!

Elisabetta though lives in beautiful Rome, so hence the need for a guided tour.

The Roundhouse and Arthur Head had to be the starting point and soon we walked into Bruce from Replants who is setting up a tree installation on Bathers Beach for the Sculpture@Bathers show which starts on the 24th of this month.

The former long jetty and ocean pool and the mortuary and kerosine store were clearly a must and gave me the opportunity to talk about the horrendous Rottnest Island indigenous Quod prison.

From there we wandered into Notre Dame University territory. We had a few sneak peeks inside some of the gorgeous adaptive reuse heritage buildings, the beautiful library and also the stunning Aboriginal art collection of UNDA. I recommend anyone to take a guided tour of the campus on Friday morning which UNDA organises. Contact them to book it!

The flat where FBI boss J Edgar Hoover lived, which is now part of Kerry Hill architects in Mouat Street, is also largely unknown. Kerry Hill by the way designed the new City of Fremantle Civic Centre at Kings Square.

I showed my guests the PS Art Space and studios upstairs, the former Police Station at Victoria Quay and the historic artworks inside B Shed, even the toilets, and wandered around the Maritime Museum under the watchful eyes of a lone Nankeen heron.

The old submarine, the connection to Gallipoli and the migrant wall were a talking point for us that connected Freo to Europe.

From there past the J Shed art studios and back through the Whalers Tunnel for a nice iced coffee at my friends at Chalkys in the former Trams Building.

What is there not to love about Freo. So happy I live here!

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE DEVELOPMENT NEEDS SPATIAL AWARENESS

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, community, history by freoview on February 1, 2017

The Streetwise column in the West Australian property section by architect and lecturer in architecture Dr Simon Pendal should be a must read for Fremantle Councillors and planning officers because Pendal’s expert opinion is significant for the way Fremantle develops.

Pendal writes that In an increasingly global world, we should not be afraid to be provincial and to work with an awareness of our individual and shared mental space. This is important to keep certain areas ‘proudly identifiable’ he argues.

This strongly applies to retaining Fremantle’s unique character and is even more significant in the West End and in regard to the, in my opinion unacceptable, development proposal by Notre Dame University for the corner of High and Cliff streets.

Dr. Pendal argues that design that renders all places equal fails to recognise the ‘local mental space’ of a street or suburb, and he writes that we have a kind of common spatial understanding that we shape and that shapes us. The historic West End of Fremantle no doubt has done that for many decades and needs to be protected from inappropriate architecture.

I believe people connect to these spaces, relate to them and feel a sense of belonging and proud ownership. That is why many want to live in Fremantle because it is unique, has a special character and connects us to our roots of history.

Community is not just about people but about lifestyle, a common ground and the awareness that we are sharing this exceptional city and are the custodians of it, to pass it on to future generations; changed, improved and developed, but with deep respect and consideration for the past.

That is not happening in Freo at the moment, where ugly and mediocre buildings are being approved and many more proposed, to the detriment of our city’s character. We can and must do a whole lot better than that!

Roel Loopers

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