Cashbook and Claypan
Birdsville or Bust
East From Oodna
Alive in the Dead Heart
B-line for Birdsville
The Kid From Towra Point
Kevin Murphy was the office assistant, medic and radio operator on the historic CGG crew and it is not the first time a national park or nature reserve has risen in his wake. Kevin lived on Towra Point with his Mum Noeline (1914-1996) and stepfather George Costandis (1913-1994) when the small family unit held the oyster lease through the 1950s.
Only 16 Miles From Central Sydney
The reserve is coming under ever-increasing scrutiny as the importance of the area dawns on the responsible players. Chief among those fostering care and rehabilitation issues is the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre whose chairman, Bob Walshe, happened also to be my English teacher at SIHS to 1954. I recall turning in a composition to Mr Walshe about our life on the oyster lease and he marked me pretty generously. That was the essay where he took me to task for referring to aircraft taking off from Mascot and over-flying the lease, as "Constellations". Possibly they were few and far between in those days, but I knew no other aircraft types. It was never obvious to me upon what grounds he was critical of my use of the name.
With the approach of the fiftieth anniversary of our Intermediate Certificate year 1954 I was aware I should reserve some energies towards whipping up a reunion of the old classmates. I met Bob again at the Eureka Celebrations late in 2004 and made a promise to him to do just that - if you know some of his pupils of like mind, please advise. It isn't as though I have forgotten, but the years do tend to slip by.
Little Toot Surfaces Again?
The theories floated about past uses of the abandoned vehicle are of great interest to me and the news that "investigations are under way to determine the heritage value" of the vehicle amuses me to no end. If there should be anyone out there with access to an RTA computer, they might run the rego "AAO 929" across the keypad and get us an engine number. That was Little Toot's plate.
It looks more than ever likely now that the relic is a CMP Blitz after all, which is a pretty good twist to my ultimately driving one across the Simpson a dozen years later.
Our 1928 Morris Cowley at Towra Point
Eventually the family adjudged George ready to take his driving test and were forever perplexed that he got more pleasure out of the thought of the £5 he left on the seat for the instructor than he would have if he had passed the test honestly.
Bill Judd's Lessee, George Costandis
I never asked to whom he shipped them but I'd love to know now which French restaurant shared similar wonderful delights with its clientele as our poor family enjoyed.
Towra Point Backdoor View 1952
The star-dropper in the foreground was used to mark the channel between the right and left oyster beds, lined up with the navigation pylon at deep water, outside the lease and near the workboat. A most notable feature of Bill Judd's lease was the splendid arrangements of two-foot sandstone blocks sunk in rows, upon which the Sydney Flat Rock Oysters grew and retained their uniquely-flat nature. We proud Towra Point rock farmers tended to look down upon the misshapen shells that characterised the produce from stick-leases of our neighbours further up the Georges River.
The pylons to the right are from a long-gone wharf used in earlier days on the lease.
The First Noeline
A Most Agreeable Backyard
During Christmas king tides only the full pans failed to float away from our outside windy-woof of a toilet, but there were special joys, too. The slipper-slopper of the wavelets around the house-piles in the dead of night was a magic sound and oh! I got to eat six dozen magnificent Sydney Flat Rock Oysters a day.
Bardini and Rossel at Work
Kevin and His Mum, 1958
He bought a single-spinner Ford sedan to complete the break, and within a year had taken up a grand, rental residence on the avenue of the fortunate - Lang Road, Centennial Park, an address more befitting for rising stars on the club scene of Sydney than the squalor and hardships suffered at Towra Point as oyster farmers.
Return to Towra Point
The structure he and Jamie are examining is the ruins of the old packing shed which was distanced some 500m east of the old house. Jamie reported that the residence was destroyed by fire only a few months prior to this visit. Kevin would like to be involved in locating whatever remains of the old house and anything at all to do with restoring the old wreck, whether or not it is "Little Toot".
||Try the "with Malice a'Forecourt?" link and read what they did|
|Alive in the
||Thommo's Desert Report||The BeeGees Page|
|Coles Express Picks On a Pensioner||The Kid From Towra Point|
|Bulldozing a Desert||Trans National Causeway|
|Signwriter for the Simpson||The Long Haul|
|Simpson Desert Birdlife||French Line Circa 1979|