Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, lonely planet, tourism by freoview on October 29, 2015

It is always good when Fremantle receives positive media coverage but I do agree with former Fremantle Herald and now WA Today reporter Brendan Foster that the placing of Freo as one of the top ten tourism destinations in the world is flabbergasting, and so are some of the other top ten choices. Maybe the Looney, err, Lonely Planet judge enjoyed a bit too much of our great WA wine or readily available dope while here.

I love Freo, that’s why I moved here 25 years ago, and my love for this special city has only grown since, but so has my frustration. But is Fremantle a better tourist experience than Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Amsterdam, Split, Hvar, Paris, the Kimberley, Coral Bay, Hamburg, Vancouver, Leipzig, New York, Venice, Colombo, Bangkok, etc.etc? I think not.

But what Fremantle has to offer is special, our Street Art Festival, Blues&Roots, Festival Parade, Blessing of the Fleet, the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets and Growers Green Market, the working port, the Swan River and the Indian Ocean, to name just a few.

There is enough beauty and quirkiness that makes Freo unique. There is a lot of heritage, lifestyle and character underneath the superficial first impression of a tired uncared for city to make it work for me and many thousands of people who visit each year.

We have Bread in Common, Strange Company, Mojos, The Mantle, Little Creatures, Mrs Brown, Bib&Tucker, the Moore&Moore, PS Art Space, the Fremantle Arts Centre, great beaches to watch kite surfers, and we have that sameness comfort of too many Italian cafes. What we don’t have is cobblestones along High Street west and the Cappuccino Strip, although that would definitely slow down traffic and make the streets look a whole lot better than boring bitumen, and we only have one outstanding modern building in the Maritime Museum. And we have outdated and archaic drinking laws where it is illegal to have a romantic sunset glass of wine with your lover on the beach.

The majority of the over 100,000 a year visitors to the Roundhouse tell us guides how special and beautiful Fremantle is and they often compare it with boring Perth, so Freo does well in that comparison, but with all these kind of silly lists of most liveable, most attractive, best tourism cities, etc. it all comes down to personal taste, and that it is impossible to judge what the best tourist destination in the world is. Is wild water rafting in Africa less attractive than swimming with the whales at Coral Bay, is experiencing the silent beauty of the Bungles better than the great historic feel of ancient cities? Who would want to be a judge on that?

What Lonely Planet did is basically the same silliness as those who claim Australia is the best place on earth. There is not such a thing as the best place, or best person, best artist, as it is all very subjective and comes down to personal taste.

I want Fremantle to be attractive to tourists, but I don’t want it to become one of the major tourist destinations in the world because tourism kills local character, as we can witness in Bali and all over the world. Freo is just Freo. Individual, unique, untidy, irreverent, far from perfect, very loveable and extremely annoying. It’s the place where I want to live till I die.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 14, 2014

That very Freo personality, journalist Brendan Foster has quit the Fremantle Herald, and to be honest it does not come as a surprise to me.

Brendan is a great guy with a big smile and big sense of humour. Only his hairdo is bigger than his heart, so let’s find Brendan a new job Freo!

Here is how he announced it on Facebook:

Well, I’m officially unemployed. To all the pollies, elected members, community folk and “outrage ratepayers” I’ve had the pleasure of working with – and at times pissing off – its been a hoot. To Jenny, David, Stephen, Matt, Simon, Darryn and to all the great staff at the Chook I didn’t get to say goodbye too, thanks very much. And to the Herald. Cheers for the opportunity. At the end of the day, I’d like to think I brought my own flavour to the paper. Now, can someone please get me a job! Ha.

The Herald is also losing photographer Jeremy Dixon who wants to sail Australia, play music gigs with his darling, and relax a little. He’ll be there for another two months.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on September 3, 2013

In only a seven weeks I will reach the ripe old age of 65, so a bit of nostalgia is not out of place. I was thinking of my past when I saw a similarity between bearded and long-haired Fremantle Herald journalist Brendan Foster and the way I looked as a young press photographer in Germany in the seventies.

Wow, those were the days when I was young, slim and successful and even the girls liked me a lot. Distant memories indeed. How times have changed.

Although I loved being a, what we now call, photojournalist, it also meant I had to photograph a lot of pretty nasty things, things that would keep me awake at night, because they were quite horrible. At least my profession as a commercial photographer in Australia only demanded I make things look beautiful, which is more palatable than shooting death and destruction for the press.

So on demand a couple of photos of what I looked like some 40 years ago, and a collage of my press photos from a group exhibition by newspaper shooters in the Nuremberg Kunsthalle.

Roel Loopers

roel 1 roel 2 roel 3

Brendan Foster

Brendan Foster photo by PETER ZUVELA


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2011

EXCLUSIVE!!!! 5 > )

Likable Fremantle Herald reporter Brendan Foster has got a huge smile on his face. It’s a bit hard to see through the long hair, but it’s there!

Brendan’s partner Melissa Cranfield delivered a perfect little boy named Frankie Rory. He is a great new addition to the two other children the couple already have.

Babies are the true miracles of the world for me, so I can imagine the delight this new born has brought to the Foster/Cranfield mob. Congratulations!!



Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on November 11, 2010

THE GREAT BBQ COOK-OFF at Clancys Fishpub was another very Freo Fremantle Festival event, and loads of fun and good food. It was also an event where crowd controllers should have been in the kitchen and not out amongst the appreciative crowd. It would be too kind to call the mayhem behind the barbeques controlled chaos, and the look at times on Dockers’ coach Mark Harvey’s face gave one the impression his team was just being trashed in the grand final by Collingwood. Not that the owners of, what we now can call, the Clancys conglomerate, John and Joe Fisher, looked any more relaxed.

The professional chefs obviously were at ease in the kitchen, and surprisingly so were the musos. Eskimo Joe’s Stu Macleod and Basement Byrds Steve Parking produced excellent food.

In between former Dockers captain Ben Allen and coach Mark Harvey still had time to kick the footy with the kids.

Winners of this year’s cook-off was The Newbies team, the two chefs from the soon to open new Clancys On The Beach at City Beach, to the chagrin of the runners up from Clancys Canning Bridge.

The judges, who were in fear of a Pakistani cricket style kind of food tampering, kept a close eye on the proceedings, with Fremantle Herald journo Brendan Foster often so close to the barbeques that his hippie hair was in danger of getting burned. Councilor Robert Fittock stood in for (not so) independent Adele Carles, but admitted that snags on the bbq was his greatest cooking achievement.

Roel Loopers

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