Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Pelican Brief

Newcastle is the second largest population center in NSW.  And for all of you who think Sydney is the capital of Australia - you are wrong.  Canberra in ACT (Australian Capital Territory) is the capital.  Sister Feil is responsible for the referrals that come to the computer, and the worker-bees who put in information are constantly referring to Sydney as being in ACT.  So there is your geography lesson for the week.  But Newcastle, which is located about 1&1/2 hours north of Sydney was our area of focus this week.  We signed on an apartment and visited the area just before dark - thanks to daylight savings time.  So we wanted to return and get up close and personal.  We were able to do just that thanks to our tour guides, President and Sister Barr.  They have lived in Newcastle Area most of their lives and were knowledgeable about the history, geography and religious growth of the beautiful central coast.  So come along with us as we show you what the area is about.  Please excuse our technical difficulties, we are not able to always get these videos to work on this site, but we will upload to facebook.  The first picture is of Swansea which is a small coastal town between Toukley and Newcastle.  Toukley is where the Barrs have their home and we started there and headed north.

This is the Stake Center in Charlestown.  President Barr helped build this beautiful building as part of his Stake President duties. It sits right on the top of a high hill in Charlestown.  We were surprised to find two of our favorite sisters working there.  It was built about 30 years ago and is a two storied building with the chapel and gym on the second floor.  

This is looking north to the Newcastle area and this is a portion of the beach.  President used to play all along here as a young boy growing up and told us of lighting firecrackers and several other secret stories from his childhood.  We, of course, were sworn to secrecy.

That is Newcastle in the background.  We love the ocean and continue to try and take the perfect shot of waves crashing on the shores.

The description for the above photo is found below.  They love their rock swimming pools on every beach and have been building them for quite a long while.  We talked to two young men who had just gotten out of this hole a few minutes before this picture was taken.  They said it was dangerous!  No kidding!!!

Sister Barr's memories were slightly more sedate than President's and involved spending all day at this beach with her Mum and sister and having ice cream.  Her Mum and Step Dad still live here in Newcastle.

We just thought these were appropriate names for these buildings by the ocean.

The greater Newcastle area, where we have 1 zone of missionaries and 4 apartments, one of which we signed on this week. 

This is the hightest point in Newcastle, the Obelisk.  We enjoyed the view from the top of the world.

This is Doggy Beach or Horseshoe Beach, so named because you are allowed to bring your dog onto this beach.  Most beaches do not allow dogs.  We are not sure who cleans up the mess....

These swells were rising right up out of the bay.  From the distance we thought the surfers were seals.

This is Nobby's Beach and Lighthouse.  This modern, fully operational lighthouse and walkway is a testament to man's ingenuity.  

These brave fellows were waiting for a wave to wash ashore, but luckily they moved before it hit.  A few minutes after this shot, the ocean drenched the next group of photo thrill seekers.

We left Newcastle proper and headed south to the area called The Entrance.  This is much like the Boardwalk in Jersey.  Every afternoon, rain or shine, at 3:30pm, the welfare system is enacted in behalf of the many dependent pelicans in the area.  These fellows are so smart, they begin congregating at around 3:00 even adjusting to daylight saving changes.  A local restaurant has taken over responsibility for the daily show and if our video would work, you could see some live action shots.

We thought they were pretty funny, but apparently, they think the same of us as you can see their humorous expressions in the photo below!

We were actually trying to get them to sing, but they refused on the grounds of little or no payment from us.  We are cheap Americans.

Here we are being tourists with a few of the locals.

Our grandchildren would love to visit if we had this in our backyard.

We are bushwalking to the lighthouse in Toukley.  The bush never ceases to amaze us and the view at the end is magnificent.

Here we are at Norahs Head Lighthouse.  Built in 1903, there were many shipwrecks here because of the rocks that are hidden during high tide.  In a few hours you could be sitting on the farthest rock that you can see with the ocean well below.  Apparently there was a north-easter blowing in and the waves were pretty rough as well as being high.  Yes, they have north-easter storms in Australia as well.

The two seniors are still looking for a high flying wave to add some excitement to the day.

We could put together an entire blog just on beautiful lighthouse pictures.  The wind was cool as the sun was setting.

On one side of Toukley is the ocean and on the other side are three lakes.  We were able to drive the 5 minutes and still catch the setting sun.

The last few shots were taken when we signed on the lease in Newcastle earlier in the week.

The stormy weather on Tuesday gave way to the beautiful weather by Saturday.  

So today, Easter, we celebrate with many millions of people the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  His tremendous suffering and death and then His glorious Resurrection represents one of the greatest gifts to all of mankind. All people who have ever lived on this earth will be blessed with immortality and eternal life as the spirit and body are reunited, never to be separated again.  Death is overcome because our Lord, the Redeemer was willing to suffer and die for us.  He is risen!  Because of this all of our friends and relatives who have died will rise again.  We know this to be true.  There is great reason to have hope for the future of eternal life and exaltation with our families. We pray for the Lord to bless, protect and guide all of you.  We love you!  Elder and Sister Feil, Pelican Herders Extraordinaire

No comments:

Post a Comment