Tuesday, September 13, 2011


A future township of the past  ...

On the outskirts of Canberra and just over the ACT border, in NSW, lies the site of a proposed town.  This town was named Environa, but it never materialised; it remained just a plan on the drawing boards.

Environa was planned by an opportunistic individual - Henry Ferdinand Halloran - to accommodate people not wishing to lease a block of land in the newly selected site for Australia’s capital city. In Environa, purchasers would gain freehold title to their block of land (ie. ownership in perpetuity). In addition to full ownership, purchasers would be on the very doorstep of the planned city of Canberra. “Everybody should have at least one block” proclaimed Halloran’s Environa promotional poster:

While not a bad idea, no blocks were ever sold and the Great Depression cruelled his plan.

Interestingly, Halloran built some structures at key points on the site – a rock pillar, capped with a bust of Henry Parkes (I think).
Sir Henry ParkesImage via Wikipedia

A number of other rock and timber structures were also built, to help prospective buyers visualize his grand plans for the town.

I first visited Environa in 1979.  This is how Halloran’s rock pillar appeared then (looking northwards).

I returned to Environa last weekend for the first time in 32 years.  Here’s how the rock pillar looks now.  The bust of Henry Parkes was vandalised several years ago – a bit of a shame.

Other structures at Environa:

(looking southward)

(looking eastward)

Now, the site for Environa sits smack under the flight path into Canberra Airport, so perhaps it's just as well the land remained farmland!

(looking upward!)
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Monday, September 12, 2011

St Kilda Have Done Their Dash in 2011

A loss to the Swannies.  I have to say not a huge surprise, but always a disappointment. That's the lot of a St Kilda fan.

As usual, fans were left wondering where will St Kilda's goals come from? At the end of the first quarter, it looked like there was no hope. But the goals did come - just not quite enough in the end. And some serious mistakes (yep - Raph Clarke again, but also Brendon Goddard and Justin Kosi).

The Saints provided hope to their fans during the third term and for most of that term were playing all over the Swans.  But after 3 quarter time, that dominant style of play had vanished and the Swans just picked up where they left off earlier and finished the game strongly.

Well - St Kilda played finals at least.  Many of doubted that would happen a couple of months back. So ... happy with that - thanks guys.  Next year will be interesting - will there be enough depth to reach the finals again? Will Ross stay on as coach or will he move to another team?

Time will tell. For now, put away the dreams ...

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's Time Again ... 2011 Finals!

We're about to embark on a 4 week journey.  The 8 teams in the finals series this year are:
  1. ... last years victor (won't mention their name in public);
  2. Geelong;
  3. Hawthorn;
  4. West Coast;
  5. Carlton;
  6. St Kilda (last years runner-up);
  7. Sydney;
  8. Essendon.
Here's how they'll line up:

Saints play the Swannies on Saturday night.  Live telecast into Canberra!!!

I didn't think they'd make the finals this year, but they have plenty left and are a real threat again this year.



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