COASTAL PATHWAY EXTENSION FROM SOUTH CURL (LUMSDAINE DRIVE STEPS) TO WURUNA POINT.
Development Concept Drawings have now been prepared for the construction of the extension of the walking route between South Curl Curl (from the point shown before steps above) and Ramsay McKillop Park at Wuruna Point. See drawings below. Council has obtained a $1.5mill grant from the State Government to enable it to commence construction in April 2023. The pathway footplate will be made of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and with a design gradient to allow wheelchair and pram access. This will overcome the barrier created by steps leading up to Lumsdaine Drive. It will link the Harry Eliffe Boardwalk from South Curl Curl to the new Sculpture at what is currently McKillop Point Lookout but is foreshadowed to be called Wuruna Point.
This sculptural piece, “Wuruna”, is now in the process of construction and will be installed this year around November 2022 at the McKillop Park Lookout. It will have electric power connected so that it can be lit at night. Landscaping of the site including planting of natives such as Easter Suburbs banksia will also be part of the installation. It will link with the Coastal Path extension from South Curl Curl to the headland and will be visible from far and wide.
PROPOSED NAME CHANGE FOR MCKILLOP POINT LOOKOUT TO WURUNA POINT AND FROM MCKILLOP PARK TO RAMSAY MCKILLOP PARK.
The Friends of Freshwater Executive has written to Council seeking to change the name of the headland park from McKillop Park (which it has been called since 1926) to “Ramsay McKillop Park” so as not to be confused with the famous, canonised Australian, Saint Mary McKillop”, and that the Lookout should be called “Wuruna Point”. We advised that Ramsay McKillop, who lived at “Braeside” on Wilson Street, Freshwater, was a C-Riding ALP Councillor and President of Warringah Shire Council at the time of his death. He died on the 1 March 1926.
He is most noted for achieving a tramway link from Manly to Freshwater Beach as President of the Harbord Tramway League and Progress Association, which operated until 1939 and for his close role in changing the name of Freshwater to Harbord.
“Wuruna” is the name chosen by Council for the new Sculpture and is derived from the indigenous term for smouldering fire.
Freshwater Beach Masterplan Implementation
The Freshwater Beach Reserve Renewal project is highly anticipated by our community, having been approved by Council in 2018 and is the first major renewal of the site to be undertaken since the 1980’s. According to Council “the challenge is to deliver a project that can respond to peaks in demand, while enhancing the site’s coastal ecology and preserving the things that are loved about this place; it’s essential character”.
(It’s a lot different with a softer appreciation of the area from the original Masterplan – watch for more details coming soon )
The Friends of Freshwater Executive (two of whom were on the original Project team) were presented with artist’s impressions of how the Freshwater Beach Master Plan would look. It included improved access pathways, upgraded playgrounds, public amenities, shelters and lookouts. Parking will remain largely untouched. The community will have the opportunity to make further comment on this Plan during a further public consultation phase.
The Surf Craft Equipment Shed will remain in situ. The site for the new Public Amenities Building has been selected and it will be the most eastern building in Kooloora Street. There is currently no capital budget for this facility, which is an issue that needs to be taken up with Council. The Northern Beaches Council Traffic Committee is also looking into the interaction between pedestrians and vehicles on Lower Bridge Street at the base of Queenscliff Steps as well as improved way marking signage, supply of potable water at Upper Bridge Street and safety railings.
UNVEILING OF FOOTPATH MEMORIAL PLAQUES IN SOLDIERS AVENUE
The Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group along with the Harbord RSL sub-Branch hosted an official unveiling of the Malcolm McPhee
(A.I.F. WWI) and Stephen Raffo (A.I.F WWI) bronze plaques on Soldiers Avenue, Freshwater. It is quite a sight to see a large group of descendants of both men at the recent unveiling, including Northern Beaches Council Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham.
The Raffo family also brought the original bugle, service cap and medals from more than 100 years ago, for the occasion. It is incredible to not only hear of the service of both men during WWI, but also their contribution in building our community following the war, with Stephen Raffo using lottery winnings to build hundreds of homes in the area for those from lower socio economic backgrounds and Malcolm McPhee going on help build the Sydney
Harbour Bridge, establish a dairy farm and then a successful Australia-wide transport business that continues to this day. A thank you also to Mayor Michael Regan for his continual support of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group over the past 10 years and to our Chair Peter Harley OAM.
How did Jacka Park get its name?
For years now, many people have erroneously believed that Jacka Park in Freshwater was named after the famous Albert Jacka VC from World War 1. Well, no it wasn’t, however the story of its naming has many twists and turns until its formal coming of age in 2016.
According to local historian, Wendy Machon, it all started when a local lass, Blanche, went to Adelaide and met a young draftsman, Leslie Jacka. His parents were of Cornish descent, where the surname Jacka was fairly common. Claims that he was Albert Jacka’s cousin are incorrect, although they may have been very distant relations from Cornwall. Blanche and Leslie married and came back to live in a house in Wyndora Avenue Freshwater.
Leslie Jacka enlisted in World War 1 on 11 March 1915 with the A.I.F.’s 19TH Battalion. After his training in Egypt, he injured his leg, finally re-joining his battalion at Gallipoli on 14 November 1915. Sixteen days later on the 1 December 1915 he was killed sniping at the Turks on Pope’s Hill after a blizzard had struck. Less than three weeks later, the entire Allied Army vacated the Gallipoli Peninsula.
As a war widow, Blanche was granted “Permissive Occupancy” to use of a piece of Crown Land to grow food just opposite where she lived in Wyndora Avenue. The land covering just over two acres, had been reserved from regular sales due to its swampy nature.
In 1917, members of the Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club and teachers and students of the Hurlstone Agriculture College, cleared a section of the land for Mrs. Jacka’s garden.
For a time, the garden flourished, however in 1918 Blanche remarried and left the area. After a period of neglect, the area became overgrown with weeds and became a dumping ground for rubbish of all kinds.
The abandoned land was notified for public recreation on the 14 November, 1924. The site was cleared and the swamp drained by men employed by the 1930’s economic depression relief work scheme. Warringah Council dumped filling in the gully in 1949 and a flag pole was erected in 1956. By this time, it was now unofficially known as “Jacka Park”.
In 1976, after many years of clearing, expansion and community use, it was officially assigned by the Geographical Names Board as “Jacka Park”. On 20 August 1995, a Wall of Remembrance was unveiled in the park to recognise all those who served in the service of Australia. Along with the Soldiers Avenue of Honour, both now comprise the Freshwater Anzac Precinct which was officially registered with the NSW Community War Memorial Register on 29 September 2016.
Blanche, widowed twice again, finally passed away in Manly NSW in 1942. In her lifetime Blanche had four surnames from three marriages, however, in the 9 years she was married to Leslie, she happened to pass into posterity the name of “Jacka” to the park, the name that represents her husband Leslie Jacka, a forgotten hero.
It would be entirely appropriate that Leslie Jacka is also remembered as a brave and courageous man who gave his life for his country.
Back of Quinn’s Post and Popes Hill when Leslie Jacka was fatally shot somewhere at the top of the hill.
Note the Lone Pine standing to the right.
A BIG SHOUT OUT FOR OUR LOCAL VOLUNTEERS
The Freshwater Community thrives on its large number of volunteers for everything from our surf lifesaving clubs, charities, school activities, sporting teams and spontaneous forms of fund raising. We have good people daily clearing our beaches and Reserves of plastic and debris or weeding our coastal reserves. Even our Freshwater Community Bank Chair and Directors are volunteers. We are so accustomed to being paid for any job that we do, that it comes as a pleasant surprise that many of these tasks are done by volunteers out of the goodness of their hearts.
Altruism is alive and well in Freshwater.
One such community activity is our volunteer community library. It has operated in the Harbord Literary Institute since 1952 when the then State Government, with a stroke of the pen, converted the network of Literary Institutes throughout NSW into libraries under the auspices of the Library Council of NSW. This decision breathed new life into the Literary Institute movement. Our treasured and heritage-listed Literary Institute, which, in 2019, celebrated its Centenary, has been operating as a community Library since 1952.
Apart from being a haven of quietness for reading a book, it teaches nearby pre-schoolers from Harbord Pre-School about Libraries, book borrowing and the joy of book reading. These pre-schoolers then take these lessons to the next stage of their education where libraries assume great importance
Nowadays the Library is staffed, for its hours of opening, by volunteers and is no longer within the ambit of Northern Beaches Council.
If you have a few hours available, then you too might like to be involved with the Library. Contact Katrina Parlevliet at firstname.lastname@example.org
WATERFALL CONTINUES TO CASCADE ONTO FRESHWATER BEACH
There are few beaches in Sydney that have a splendid cascade of water flowing directly to the Beach. Think only Collins Beach, Shelley Beach and the constant waterfall at Refuge Bay. Recent record downpours, combined with hot, humid weather, throughout the first 6 months of 2022, have made for a constant display of water power arising from the upper streetscapes of Freshwater Beach.
Of course, it is only relatively recently that we have been able to observe this cascade in its truest light. After all, it had been hidden from view for decades by a wall of weeds. Council initially would not touch this Reserve at all, as it was too degraded. Now with a lot of hard work, it has reappeared. Of course there is still much to do in the two hectares of this Reserve.
Recent work, over the last few years, by a dedicated group of local residents such as Denver Beven, Cathy Wagner, Bruce Probert, Peter Harley, David Roper and Nick Debenham under the auspices of the Friends of Freshwater, has led to the gradual removal of unwanted weed growth from this Reserve. Dominant noxious weeds such as Phoenix Palms, Introduced Cassia, Lantana, Madeira Vine, Asparagus Fern and the curiously named Turkey Rhubarb, have been systematically removed.
The storm water channel emanating from Crown and Bridge Roads above, carves through the steep cliff and rocky landscape on its way, and volunteers have had to rock armour along its path with sandstone donated from local construction sites. This has ensured that the large flow of volumes of water does not seriously erode the Beach.
Removal of the suffocating weed growth has also led to the identification of 38 species of birdlife and fauna such as blue tongue lizards.
Given rain forecasts it is likely that the Cascade will be pumping again in early July. It is worth a visit.
Should anyone have a few hours to spare on any Thursday morning, you would be most welcome to join us. Corporates are also invited to spend their corporate staff allocation on site.
“HARBORD’S BRAVEST WOMAN” AND THE STORY OF UNDERCLIFFE RESERVE
The Friends of Freshwater has applied to Council for the name of the Reserve to be changed to the Irene Crump Reserve as well as nominating her in the SheSaw northern beaches Augmented Reality exhibition to ensure Irene Crump’s brave legacy lives on.
We have been advised that our submission was accepted by Council and the public consultation phase for submissions has now closed. 118 were lodged. These will be assessed by Council. It will then be relisted on the Council’s Agenda at an upcoming meeting and the next step is that it will then go for further approval, after a period of public consultation, to the Geographical Names Board.
Mrs Irene Crump was a resident of Freshwater, community activist and environmentalist who dedicated much of her life to educating children and protecting the environment for future generations. She was the Director of Harbord Community Pre-School for more than two decades and is still remembered with great fondness by the Freshwater community, many of whom were then either parents of students, or students.
She is most renowned for saving, what is now known as Undercliffe reserve. Its existence came about largely through Mrs Crump’s brave protest against a proposed development which would have enveloped the site with apartments. The Council had approved the development despite community outrage. As soon as Mrs Crump heard the development had started, she ran down from the Pre-school and perched in a tree. The Manly Daily quotes Mrs Crump: “They were cutting the branches off the tree and from around my legs and told me that if I didn’t move I could get hurt or even killed. So I told them there were more ways to die for your country than going to war.” The bulldozers were forced to stop and Mrs Crump took the matter to court and was successful. Undercliff Reserve was rezoned and returned to the Warringah Council.
This Development Application, along with other controversial building developments in then then Harbord area, led to Warringah Council being put into Administration for the first time. It also led to the promulgation of a new Local Environment Plan to ensure planning loopholes would not be exploited. This LEP was further refined in 1996 and again in 2011.
The community requested for the reserve to be named the Irene Crump Reserve, the council rejected this at the time because Mrs Crump was still alive. In fact, she lived a long life and died on 11 March, 2012, aged 91. Although, at the time, it did agree to the installation of a plaque which read:
‘THIS LAND WAS PRESERVED AS A PUBLIC RESERVE LARGELY DUE TO THE EFFORTS OF IRENE CRUMP, PRE-SCHOOL DIRECTOR, RESPECTED LOCAL CITIZEN DEDICATED TO THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN’
A “BOULEVARD” OF SHADE TREES PLANTED ALONG MOORE RD SURVIVES HEAVY WINDS AND RAIN AND ALL ARE THRIVING
Our 5-YEAR campaign for shade trees in Moore Road has been successful with 24 saplings being procured and planted by Northern Beaches Council . The trees planted are called Ivory Curls (Buckinghamia Celcissima) and they are beautiful trees, which will grow to form a shady tree-lined Moore Rd as they mature They are non-allergenic, have a prolonged flowering period and minimal leaf-drop
The Duke is fond of the anonymous Greek proverb.
“Society grows great when older people plant trees for those whose shade they know they shall never sit under.”
Stephen Raffo is recognised with a Bronze Plaque in Soldiers Avenue
The late Stephen Raffo was belatedly recognised for his World War 1 War Service and his lengthy support to the local community over a period of 50 years. A bronze plaque, recently installed in the Avenue of Honour, was unveiled on 22 April 2022 prior to Anzac Day.
Raffo was a talented musician and composer who played the trumpet. He enlisted in WW1 and because of his talent, he was called upon to play trumpet and bugle for many military, ceremonial occasions including, sadly, too many funerals. When he returned to Freshwater after the World War 1, he played in a band that performed on the Manly ferries. He also showed his versatility by earning a living as a clown in Sole Brothers Circus.
Raffo produced a large family and was fortunate to win two lotteries. These allowed him to chase his other passion, building houses. In Freshwater and then Harbord, he built no less than 300, two- bedroom, brick, houses. These were the first of affordable housing in the new suburb and replaced the first wave of timber houses dotted across the neighbourhood. These brick houses, with their distinctive Mediterranean design, are still readily observable in North Manly, Curl Curl and Freshwater, although many have been modified with second stories and more bedrooms added. Excellent examples on large blocks are still in evidence, including two in Wyadra Avenue. Stephen Raffo often provided mortgages to those couples who could not meet the stringent deposit requirements of Banks. His grandson, Wayne, who still lives in the area, is currently doing a pictorial audit of those remaining Raffo houses that remain. His grandson, Stephen Roberts still has his grandfather’s bugle and uniform.
During World War 2, Raffo was elected as a Councillor to Warringah Shire Council and served throughout the war years. His descendants, including the current Deputy Mayor of Northern Beaches Council, Cllr. Candy Bingham, gathered at the plaque in Soldiers Avenue in his honour.
BRUCE LOUDON (1933 – 2022)
Few achieve as much for a community as did Bruce Loudon in his lifetime. His voluntary contribution to numerous local organisations and charities over the best part of half a century is well known. He was recognised in 2021 with an Outstanding Community Service Award by Northern Beaches Council for his community activities. These included as Secretary of the National Servicemen’s Association and as a Senior Layman with Freshwater Uniting Church. He could be seen at Fund Raising activities such as the Cancer Council Morning Tea, officiating as the “padre” at the Anzac Ceremony at Manly Dam War Memorial Park, delivering neighbourhood pamphlets or tending the Garden in his beloved Marmora Street Uniting Church
This is reprinted from an excellent obituary written by the Warringah Cricket Club.
“The godfather of Warringah Cricket Club sadly but peacefully passed away on Sunday. “Brucey” was, along with Frank Gray, one of the founding fathers of our great club. This will no doubt come as sad news for anyone who has donned the green, met Bruce or had any experience of him in any of his communities. Brucey was a warm, compassionate and community minded man, described as the “beating heart” of the many communities he contributed so heavily to – from Warringah Cricket to Surf Life Saving, from the Freshwater Uniting Church to the National Serviceman’s Association – his dedication and love for these communities, the work they do and the people in them was unending. Brucey was a character, had an awesome sense of humour, a stalwart and had one of the purest souls we had the privilege of being graced with. For these reasons and more, anyone who has had a conversation with him will no doubt have a heart-warming and funny story to share about him. Brucey will absolutely be missed by everyone, especially by us here at Warringah Cricket Club. Our sincere condolences to his family for their loss, but we live in hope that you are strengthened by the immense legacy he leaves behind – one of nobility, character and selflessness here with the Men In Green and beyond. Thanks for everything Bruce”
FRESHWATER SURFING MEMORIAL DETERIORATES
The Friends of Freshwater are concerned that the Surfing Walk of Fame atop Ramsay McKillop Reserve is deteriorating and its roll-up of famous surfers has not been upgraded since the 1990’s. Urgent remediation work is required and installation of more memorials in needed to bring this Memorial back to its high standard. Recent articles in the Manly Observer and the Northern Beaches Review highlight the issue
FRESHWATER IGA Head Title Sold for $10mill+
The retail space in the Freshwater complex currently leased to Karellas Bros on a 10-year lease (with an option to 2053) and operating as an IGA, has recently been sold by the Liquidator. See the attached details below.
RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN FRIENDS of FRESHIE
A special thank you to all those who took the opportunity to renew their membership. We hope to work assiduously on your behalf achieving the objectives which we have set down for 2022. These are published below.
Our Executive meet on a weekly basis for an hour, usually over a cup of coffee and rotating through the coffee shops and cafes of Freshwater. Over the years we have got to know the proprietors. Unsurprisingly many are current members of FOF.
Just google Friends of Freshwater at www.freshie.org.au to take the next step.
FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER INC OBJECTIVES FOR 2022
- With a focus on good urban planning, closely scrutinise all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements. Directly lobby Council on procedural matters including the prevalence of complying development certification and effective community engagement.
- Hold regular meetings with elected Federal, State, Councillors and Council staff.
- Work closely with Council to implement, more expeditiously, the various projects within the Freshwater Coastal Reserves Master Plan including the upgrading of Beach reserve playgrounds and toilet facilities: completion of the missing segment of the coastal walkway from South Curl Curl Pool through to Freshwater Beach:
- Campaign for the conversion of the former Harbord Diggers eastern car park to green open space within McKillop Park and an upgrade of the World Surfing Reserve “Duke” site.
- Support Council to establish an outstanding piece of sculptured public art at Mckillop Park Lookout.
- Continuing to support the growth of the Freshie Community Garden in Crown Reserve as a community amenity and model of urban sustainability.
- Work on establishment of a Freshwater Public Art Trail with a focus on Freshwater’s early settlers, soldiers and surfers at various sites in Freshwater.
- Continue to work with other stakeholder organisations to refurbish the Soldiers Avenue Honour following its Centenary Year in 2019, including publishing a comprehensive study on WW1 personnel and their families, removal of rogue camphor laurel trees, planting of their suitable replacements, upgrading the Jakka Park community war memorial and the insertion of more footpath memorial plaques.
- Get the provision of the basic necessities of life upgraded such as provision of fresh fruit and vegetables; public toilets, footpaths, safe vehicular traffic movement, pedestrian and cycle ways and public transport including suitable ferries.
- Call on Council to conduct heritage reviews of significant items of Freshwater’s infrastructure and architecture.
- Continue the revitalisation of the weed-infested southern headland of Freshwater Beach with FOF volunteer, corporate, government and professional assistance. Seek to rename the Reserve Irene Crump Reserve
- Establish a boulevard of Ivory Curl Street Trees in Moore Road to provide a shaded link between beach and village
- Encourage Council to identify suitable sites in Freshwater for free EV charging so as to facilitate the smooth transition to Electric-powered vehicles and a more pollution free environment
- Continue to apply for Grant funding from the three tiers of government to support various projects in Freshwater.