“The Duke” Newsletter April 2016


April 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

The Duke loves summers in Freshwater, especially with the amazing likelihood that they will now extend into June. Our prolonged “ Indian Summer” in March with air and water temperatures as high as 25 degrees, king tides, and muggy conditions, has persisted throughout April. We have also had below average rainfall due to an extended dry heat scenario of inland Australia.


Spare a thought for the winter swimming clubs who have commenced their 2016 seasons. The North Curl Curl Cool Cats are still in hot water: the Harbord Frigid Frogs are in thaw, and the Dee Why Ice Picks haven’t had to use theirs yet to break up any ice floes.  All will be hoping for more bracing weather beyond June.


While idling on Freshie Beach, the Duke noticed a couple filling up small glass containers with sand. It appears that there is now a wedding trend when brides and grooms are exchanging vows, with each, simultaneously pouring sand into a common container to signify the strength of their bond with one another. Only quality Freshwater beach sand of course. A very Freshie experience indeed


Two boutique breweries have set up production facilities in Brookvale. 4 Pines is widely known for its bar and production facility in Manly, but less known for its set-up in Brookvale. When Prince Harry was visiting Australia last year, he made an unscheduled visit amid tight security, to the Brookvale outlet for a quite one, like the author, Thomas Hardy, “ far from the madding crowd “.

Another brewer, Nomad, like 4 Pines, is now producing a range of beers based upon German styles. It is even producing a “Freshie Salt and Pepper” beer and it is not a bad drop. Apparently the two Nomad brewers, Leonardo Di Vicenzo and Brooks Carretta, were having a few on Freshie Beach, and, in a Eureka moment, came up with the idea that they could replicate the salty style of German Gose Beer (from Leipzig) with the addition of salt water from Freshwater Beach. While one assumes that the production process purifies the water, the Duke would want to be assured that the salt water had come from the southern rather than the northern end of the beach, where the storm water pipe (and overflow sewerage outlet) is is located.

Liquor Licensing Update.

Many Friends of Freshwater have expressed concern about the increasing number of liquor outlets.

In a piece of good news, It appears that Woolworths has abandoned its application for a Liquor Licence in a street front BWS retail outlet. This was to be located in the  “ Freshwater” apartment complex on the former Growers site. It is understood that this application was part of the previous anchor tenant arrangements that Woolworths was seeking for the complex. There is speculation that the anchor supermarket tenant will now be a Super IGA , without liquor, following the recent sale of the Village Plaza IGA site.

Stowaway Bar is seeking DA Approval to formalise its 6-month opening hours trial. This would mean that it would continue to be open until 10pm midweek and until midnight on weekends. Stowaway has attracted a strong clientele in the short time it has been located in Freshwater Village Plaza.

Meanwhile down Moore Road, CAFÉ CALM has successfully obtained a liquor licence to compliment its intent on re-opening as a restaurant. Proprietor, Cedric La Page, intends to capitalise on his knowledge of French wines to add a Gallic touch to the fare.

Up at the Diggers, the Temporary Club, which Manager Dale Hunt assures will only operate for 18 months, has received approval for its liquor licence extension for the rooftop bar. This bar previously serviced the auditorium and its anteroom, but has been snazzily converted into a compelling rooftop and deck bar.


When the Friends of Freshwater formed in 2010, our weekly meetings were held on rotation in the Village’s four coffee shops. Now it takes 10 weeks to get to each venue such has been the expansion. Shortly the number of coffee shops will expand further with the re-introduction of Carlos’ Albert Street outlet; the expansion of “ Duke’s Bar” at the Freshwater Surf club; and the newly opened Diggers Diner.

There is clearly money in the humble cup of coffee.


Now that construction is in full swing on the $150m Diggers “ New Dawn “ Development, the closure and demolition of the Diggers car park, has inevitably placed great strain on the limited parking arrangements at McKillop Park.

Events throughout the year, such as swimming and surf carnivals, Nippers days, Anzac Day, and two-up games, vividly illustrate the paucity of parking in this area. The overflow inevitably spills into neighbouring streets.

On any given day in Lumsdaine Drive, Evans Street and Carrington Parade, the vehicles of construction workers predominate in the casual parking available. When the new Club is constructed, facing Lumsdaine Drive, the vehicles of club patrons will replace these.

Imagine the surprise of the Diggers management when they finally shut the gates on their car park, and found nearby residents were using the undercover facility as a permanent garage for more than 40 of their vehicles.  Two vehicles had even been left for more than two years without being moved. These have now been removed outside to Evans Street and are now adorned with defect notices and probably parking fines.


Two new building companies have been contracted to build the two apartment development sites at 22-26 Albert Street (the former Growers Site) and at the Kahana at 18 Marmora Street (the former Frank Minnici owned consolidated property).  Hindmarsh Construction has been contracted for the Growers site development, and Growthbuilt have got the Kahana job.

Having two separate building companies operating across three entrances with double the truck movements is not a good outcome for the community.  The 18 Marmora St. site will now seek to place all its deliveries through a narrow entrance beside St Peters Uniting Church. The site is very compacted and the excavation abuts the boundaries of the site with little room for the normal amenities of a construction site. This construction process will test the tolerance of nearby neighbours in this otherwise quiet street and already Warringah Council has been fielding complaints about the interaction between heavy trucks and pedestrians. Local residents are watchful of the “ wedding tree” outside the Church, where many wedding ceremonies were conducted and photographs taken. Its roots protrude into the driveway used by concrete trucks, and special provisions were written into the DA to ensure its survival.


Demolition work is in full swing at the Diggers Club and Retirement Village Development. The well-respected building company, Ganellen, has been appointed to undertake the construction and it will take a minimum of three years. Hoardings, perimeter fencing and New Jersey style traffic barriers have already been erected and the last remaining house and the current car park are part of the immediate demolition..

Already work has been largely completed to establish a temporary Diggers Club  that will continue to operate during the construction process. An imported mobile café called the “Diggers Diner” has been installed near Evans Street, where the cenotaph was previously placed. It will operate from 7am until 7pm and no doubt hungry construction workers will frequent it. A rooftop Italian restaurant and bar known as Gio, is to operate and serve an a-la Carte menu with the presence of a triple-hatted chef. This is the first time that such a qualified chef has operated within a registered club. A spectacular temporary deck has also been constructed with outstanding views over Freshwater Beach and to the south.

The excavation of the site to enable underground parking will involve the removal of 150,000 cu.metres of rock. It would have been more except that Mounties decided not to go down to a further parking level. Even so it is one of the largest excavations in Sydney at the present time.

A critical site issue will be the daily removal of rock and spoil by trucks. This will undoubtedly put a heavy burden on neighbouring Evans Street, Carrington Parade, Wyndora Avenue and even as far as Abbott Road.

Currently the Retirement Village accommodation, which is being administered by Watermark, is apparently two-thirds sold off the plan.


Services inthe Freshwater Anzac Precinct of Jacka Park and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour on 17 April, as well as a larger service on Mckillop Park Headland, on Anzac Day morning, again exemplified the special respect that the Freshwater community has for those who gave service both here and abroad in international conflicts.

A free community event hosted by the Harbord RSL Sub-Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group was held in Jacka Park on Sunday, 17 April, with students from Harbord Public School, and the Northern Beaches Band (under the baton of local Uniting Church Minister, Brian Hayes). Scottish Piper and local resident, Bob Metcalfe, led, pied piper like, those who attended on a walk along Soldiers Avenue.  Highlights included a wreath laying at the newly refurbished Heroes’ Tree by the Covey family in Honour of their WW1 grandfather, Alfred Hughes, who fought at both Gallipoli and the European western front.  Mayor Michael Regan also cut a ribbon on the footpath memorial plaque for Frederick Austin Reynolds, the first Freshwater resident to die in World War 1, and the first soldier to be killed at the Gallipoli landing.

Students from Harbord Public School were also involved with poppy laying at various sites in the World War 1 precinct of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour.

Local Fire and Rescue Service officers provided the Honour guard for the formal flag raising commemoration at Midday.

On Anzac Day, Careflight helicopters and RAAF flyovers marked the occasion with almost 850 children laying poppies at the flagpole. In view of the construction that is happening nearby, this may well be the last occasion that Anzac Day is commemorated on this site for some time.

Both events were very Freshie occasions.


It is no surprise that two-up has grown to be a major event in Freshwater. This year more than 10,000 people attended the two venues, Harbord Beach Hotel and the Diggers. The numbers were down at the Diggers due to constrained parking and the site construction, but increased numbers at the Hilton took up the slack.  Security was tight at both venues and there were no unsavory episodes recorded.


The Duke was again chuffed to observe the outstanding success of Freshie iron women, Georgia Miller and Naomi Scott, at the recent National Surf Carnival.  Both competed in a range of events that included the iron woman and each performed creditably both as individuals and in their respective team events. Both are outstanding swimmers and are improving rapidly in the various components of their surfing events. Georgia competes for Newport SLSC and Naomi for Manly SLSC.


As you can see, we constantly need to raise our voice as a community on a variety of issues. Join us and strengthen our voice and yours. 2016 memberships are now open at $10 per year via a simple transfer to FOF’s account at Freshwater Community Bank (633000/138650791) or via a visit to the welcoming staff at the Branch.

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