Sunday Saying – Democracy

My daughter voted for the first time ever yesterday. It was a proud and important milestone for both of us. Time for her to exercise her democratic right as an Australian female citizen.

Beginner embroidery
Completed Embroidery in hoop

For centuries, women were disregarded as not being able to understand the complexities of the parliamentary system and relegated to the parlour where embroidering was a more suited pursuit.

Rather shocking to think of that now…

If my daughter had been born over 100 years ago, she would not have qualified to vote. Thank goodness times have changed.

New Zealand
Yay for New Zealand!

It is unsurprising to see which countries offered universal suffrage first:

“New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote -1893 – [ well done, sister kiwis], while the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia granted women the right to vote in 2011. “

  • 1893 New Zealand
  • 1902 Australia
  • 1906 Finland
  • 1913 Norway
  • 1915 Denmark
  • 1917 Canada
  • 1918 Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia
  • 1919 Netherlands
  • 1920 United States
  • 1921 Sweden
  • 1928 Britain, Ireland

Compulsory voting for national elections was introduced in Australia in 1924, following a pronounced fall in turnout at the 1922 federal election. “

Furthermore, I have grown up knowing voting was once a privilege of the landed gentry, or a domain of men, and thus, take my democratic right very seriously. I am Australian and we expect to vote. It is compulsory here. Yet for many people, voting is a painful process, they avoid it, cast an informal protest vote, or don’t vote at all.

When you think of how many generations did not have a say in how their government was run, it is sobering to think that some would take this right to determine our parliamentary makeup frivolously.

American Thomas Jefferson noted,

” We do not have government by the majority.

We have Government by the majority who participate.”

Whilst many other countries don’t make it compulsory to vote, be it bad or good, our compulsory system, means we do get a more comprehensive view of the public’s wishes in our federal elections. Notwithstanding the preferential voting systems, of course.

“Bad Officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.”

~ George Jean Nathan

Do you agree with Preferential system of voting? Or, ‘first past the post’? [ie. those with the most votes in first place].

Should voting be compulsory?

As Ab Lincoln said, “the ballot is better than the bullet.”

stpa logo

Something to Ponder About

Advertisements

Værnes Church, Norway c 1085

Nidaros Domkirken
Nidaros Cathedral

One attraction that everyone comes to see in Trondheim, Norway, is Nidaros Cathedral and yet it is the nearby Værnes church in Storjdal that, for me, holds more fascination, at least in a historical sense.


Not only does the Værnes Church have a purpose-built ‘Weapons House,’ that dates back to Viking times, but  you get to see Viking age architecture in regular daily use and see some of Scandinavia’s earliest church frescoes.

Weapon house
The Weapon House

In the 11th Century, any self respecting, newly Christianized, Viking carried with them a range of knives, axes and other paraphernalia used in defence, and weapons such as these were banned from Church. When the Priest really wanted the new Christians to attend Church, he had to provide a purpose built structure to safely lock up any instruments of death. And so the Weapons House was built. Ten centuries on, I believe the ‘House,’ now accommodates nothing more deadly than a garden hoe or lawn cutter.   [Watch out for your toes].

Photo credit Spottinghistory.com

The interior of the church takes the visitor straight back to the 11th Century and is every bit as unique as the Weapon House. The roof trusses, pictured below, span 11 metres and are completely original. This is Viking carpentry at its finest and it is the only original roof of its type, still in existence. Notably, the trusses were used as a design template in reconstructing the roof of Nidaros cathedral and Håkonshall in Bergen.

Værnes kirke, Stordal, Norway
Værnes Church at Stjørdal dates back to 1085 AD and is the oldest church in Norway.

What you see above you, at Værnes, is what a Viking saw ten centuries ago.

A raised and carved chair (c 1685), see above, was constructed as the private pew of General Von Schultz, the local Squire. It makes me slightly recoil to tell you this but, the wooden lattice ‘cage’ below was for the wives to sit, ( either Von Schultz or the Pastor’s wife. It is embarrassingly even referred to as a ‘wife’s cage.’ Awful, I know, but that is history.

Detail in the carving

Faces carved into the interior of this elevated chair are thought to depict the face of Von Schultz, but no one is quite sure of that. To me, some of them more resembled a gargoyle or the “north wind.”

Vaernes kirke
Frescoes on the walls of the church in Stjørdal

The wall mural  pre-dates the carved pulpit and is also original. Echoes of a world now past.

The significance of this fresco is lost in time

A fresco on the wall that looks like a hood from a pulpit remains a mystery to historians. The meaning and significance of this symbol has been lost.

Threatened by the Nazis during the war years, with their intensive infrastructure plans for a military base and airport, at Trondheim, Værnes Church survived and is still used for church services today. In fact, the church is so popular for baptisms and weddings, it is booked out many months and sometimes, years in advance.

Trondheim Værnes
Værnes Kirke – Just outside Trondheim airport

Make a small detour from Værnes Lufthavn, (Trondheim airport), to Stjørdal, in Norway and you can walk the path of history.

Entrance to the church

Værnes Kirke is an important link to the past and something to ponder about. Linking to Jo’s Monday Walks – a tad earlier

Living History at Røros

Røros World Heritage Site – The Church

20160531_134549

Røros Church in Norway – its reputation preceded it and my only chance to visit was offered to me when I was in Trondheim, Norway. Of course, I leapt at the chance. Walking through a living World Heritage Site, is not something one gets to do every day. Built during Norway’s golden age of copper mining, the church in Røros dates back to 1780 and is nestled amongst classical Norwegian village architecture.

Walking around the town’s old Wooden houses

Initially the church was closed and locked when I arrived, but my intrepid Norwegian friend was not to be deterred and energetically sought out a nearby caretaker who lived in one of the neighbouring wooden homes, who was then kind enough to open the church and give the “Australian,’ a short tour.

This was greatly appreciated.

The guide told us the church has been extensively renovated and restored in recent years, as it frequently plays host to popular concert series and services, often attended by the Norwegian Royals.  Isn’t it stunning?

Roros Norway
Some photos from my walk around the old mine site

Røros is a town high up in Eastern Norway, not far from the Swedish border. Dotted with historic wooden houses and the large copper mine turned museum, the copper mine flourished from 1644 right up until 1977.

bucket mine Norway

The mine is now a museum and the town’s Instagram-worthy architecture has been reincarnated as home to a range of craft artisans, gourmet food purveyors selling their local products, such as cheese and flatbread, in Instagram- worthy shops, as well as boutique objects popular with tourists. The walk along the main street is a delight.

The working life of the town’s citizens in the past was never easy, being as it was, a mining frontier town set high in the mountains on the border of Sweden. Conditions in the mines were neither comfortable nor healthy, it seems and the citizens a resilient lot, coping with difficult work and the threat of marauding Swedes over the border. You can re-live a little more of their history and life in the extensive displays at the museum, located at the mine’s site.

[Note: Signs were in English.]

roros mine
Walking inside the copper mine

Contrastingly, modern day Røros is peaceful quiet and colourful. The old wooden houses are beautifully maintained and the town continues to be a World Heritage Site in which people actually work and live out their daily lives.

Every February, the town hosts an annual Winter festival. I imagine there would be quite a different colour on the ground this time of year than when I completed my walk in early Summer.

Roros

Røros is also a place that tries to re-invented itself from its mining past by being sustainable and enjoyable for visitors. They try to preserve local nature, culture and environment, and tourists love it. I wrote more on a prior post about the history of Røros and its Mining Museum.

Something other regional towns might ponder about.

Linking to Jo’s Monday Walks

Poetry Challenge – OctPoWriMo

The following poem is the one I have always liked and I wrote it so quickly – it must be that writing from the heart, makes a difference.

I am submitting it for the October poetry month challenge. A little late but I have been occupied with hosting my own poetry challenge, which ends this month, well, last month, now that today is officially November.

You can check out another of my poems here/2018/11/01/poetry-challenge-october-prompt-2/

architecture boats buildings canal
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

‘Still in my Heart’

Home Sweet Home afar from me,
At least 10 hours over sky and sea,

A fairy tale land of red and white,
of rain, and wind, and winter nights.

Yet still you send my heart a flutter,
And here, I can but get your butter,

Cos’ when I’m sad and feeling down,
You can lift my spirits like a children’s clown.

What is this strange longing and connection,
I feel for such warm and fuzzy introspection?

Of land and family long dead and passed,
Would they think me to be completely daft?

Yet I am of them, and they are of me,
This continual spreading of the family tree.

The branches are like the ancient Birch
Resilient, pervasive til one drops off the Perch.

If only I could stay or perhaps visit more often,
But my responsibilities and circumstances rarely soften.

So I must dream and wish and be ever so frugal,
And if I can’t afford to travel there, there is always Google!

~ The Sunshine Elves

Andrea Heiberg
Poetry Dedication:

In memory and thanks for a great friend, Andrea Heiberg.

You are watching now from another place, I place I cannot yet go.

Just what are you thinking, I do wonder.

~Amanda

Stpa

‘Moore’ Meanderings at Linville

old railway car

Being a winter girl, a summer drive through Australia’s back roads isn’t always pleasant for me, living as I do in a humid sub-tropical part of the globe, but I have to admit I discovered the Linville – Moore region of the Esk county, in Southern Queensland did have a particular provincial charm.

Linville, itself, boasts a Pub and a general store, in addition to a camping ground and a vague attempt at a historic railway exhibit, but this too simply adds to the relaxing country appeal of a laid back rural lifestyle.

20180310_192758
Historic Linville Hotel

Situated a 90 minute drive, north west from Brisbane, the Esk shire had a rich history of timber getting and cattle grazing. Veteran soldiers returning from World War I established small dairy farms in the surrounding areas, many of which have folded, following the deregulation of the dairy industry in the late 20th century.

In 1910, the Brisbane Valley railway line was extended to Linville, from Toogoolawah. It must have been a big event when the railway branch line opened and dignitaries boarded the train that took them from here to the Pinkenba docks in Brisbane, 140 kilometres away.

20180310_134332

The golden times have long gone for this small country town. The rail line was closed in the 1950’s and the station has suffered the ravages of time and neglect.

20180310_134546(0)

 

20180310_19293120180310_134012

The station master’s office contains several historic photos and memorabilia, but unfortunately it was locked when we visited and we could only peer inside through the window.
20180310_134308

The railway carriages are unlocked and free to enter, but as charming as they are, they too, are in complete disrepair. They might just be awaiting a philanthropic entrepreneur to renovate them into a fashionable Air B &B?

20180310_134355

Looking inside you can get a taste of rail travel of yesteryear. Beautiful leather seats and ornate plaster ceilings must have made for a luxurious alternative to a Horse and Jinker.

20180310_134059_00120180310_134123

The old rails has now been removed but the track itself remains now as a cleared, cycle or walking path. Cyclists can access a level 23 km run north to the town of Blackbutt but those on foot can take the path in the opposite direction of 7 kilometres to nearby ‘Moore’ township.

20180310_135029

The major waterway in the area, the Brisbane river, follows parts of the track, as it begins its winding course, meandering its way to Brisbane proper, finally spilling out into the sea, at Moreton Bay.

Due to recent good summer rainfalls, the vehicular causeway over the river was only just passable.

20180310_140810 20180310_192424

 

Before leaving Linville, you might enjoy 100 years of history over a meal of very decent pub grub, moderately priced at around $15 for a Burger with chips.

Word has it that you can even stay the night at the historical pub, if you wish.

 

20180310_124559

 

Accommodation at the Linville Hotel will set you back $40, a night, if you chose to linger longer. Nighttime entertainment includes a game of pool, playing the piano or checking out the unique jukebox.

Or perhaps take in some more refreshments in the bar with the locals. Yes that label is fair dinkum!! Don’t let the chainsaw or the Port’s label, put you off!

 

20180310_133812

MOORE

Strolling down the ex-railway track for  seven kilometres, you will arrive at the town of Moore. In the main street you will find a lovely gallery cafe.

20180310_143536

The Old Church Gallery on Linville Road has a friendly buzz is evident with the owner operator enthusiastically welcoming visitors to her garden verandah cafe.

20180310_150858

The  menu for Lunch is centred on organic healthy cuisine, such as Cauliflower salad and Zucchini soup. There is plunger coffee, served individually to your table, according to taste, as well as infusions of loose leaf tea, and mouth-watering home made cakes, served with custard and figs, at prices that won’t blow your budget.

20180310_144443

Plus you will find many interesting curios and artifacts from bygone times.

20180310_143548

Home to Mackenzie fabrics, the adjoining Gallery contains a diverse range of arts, crafts, gifts and jewellery at moderate prices.

20180310_150834

The Old Church Gallery is located at 35 Linville Road, Moore and is open from 11 am – 4pm, Thursday to Sunday, and will happily caters for Groups. Word has it a craft group has started up in Linville and they will also meet up at the cafe.

Access for disabled and Dogs are welcome in the courtyard. Always a bonus for dog lovers.

20180310_192236

Moore and Linville’s Heritage Railway Walking trail make a delightful day trip to Ponder About and most suitable for Jo’s Monday Walks

Thanks goes to Ben and Nina for introducing us to the Linville area.