Oz Tales. 1 Coogee.
Daughter Adelaide and her Old Fullerian fiancé Alex have set up home in a handsome apartment between Coogee beach and Randwick. That is is in the preferred Eastern suburbs of Sydney.
Coogee got its name from the abo word meaning foul smell, coming from the still present sea weed. But as a beach its one of Sydney’s finest, competing with down market Bondi and further away more glamorous but tourist infested Manly. It has good swimming and a great sea fuelled pool ,Wylies. As everywhere else in Sydney handsome people , tanned and tattooed , in states of undress,spend their days having great breakfasts. There are many who are easy on the eye, here no fatties waddle.
A significant Australian contribution to world culture is making the English breakfast civilised, interesting and even good for you. And then there is the coffee which somehow the Aussies have achieved a deserved world reputation.
In the birth of the modern Australian nation between the two Great Wars Coogee briefly had a pier. With a shark resisistant net attached. This was the final touch ,which was to make it Sydney’s finest beach resort. It was to make the place as famous as Coney Island and Blackpool. And at the pier’s opening in 1928, 135,000 flocked to try out its 200 metres of fun and games. Although the pier was built to the most modern specifications it could not resist the surf and storms that regularly come and in 1935 Coogee Pier went the way of so many and had to be dismantled.
Coogee has other claims. There is the monument to the young men from its football team who died in the Bali bomb. There is the statue to the unknown life saver,there is a statue to Mimie Wylie who won a swimming silver at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. And of course the ever present war memorial once again making the point that Australia has made the blood sacrifice that creates a nation.
But it is not these that catch this jaundiced eye. Tucked away on the south side of the bay , on the path to Clovelly, is a memorial shrine complete with fresh flowers to the regular sightings of the Virgin Mary since 2003. A quarter of my blood is Ulster Protestant, when I hear this kind of hocus pocus this blood sings. Now one of the reasons that Australia has been called the lucky country is that there have been other sightings in the Sydney area. Some of these happen after the pubs close, some before. All have meaning.
There are cynics who dispute that this veiled and comely ,maid was ever seen at Coogee. How did they know she was a Virgin, in this day and age it is so difficult to tell. Easiest to say all are not. My own feeling is that they knew it was The Virgin Mary because she was holding hands with a young lad who instead of saying, why cant I swim; isn’t it time to go home; can I have an ice cream kept saying give me some loaves and fishes and I will show you; suffer little children and there are many rooms in my father’s house.(see link)