Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hindmarsh history re-lived

Yesterday, my friend Gordon accepted a suggestion from me to help Dr Michael Hindmarsh, from Gerringong. go to the bottom of Belmore Falls. I had met Michael at the Kiama Community Recognition Awards ceremony on 12 December 2014. He happened to mention that he wanted to find a particular tree below Belmore Falls and I said that I could recommend an excellent Bushwalking guide. I had Gordon in mind, and I put them in contact with eachother.

Naturally enough, their starting-off point was Hindmarsh Lookout. So already you can see there is a lot of history involved.
Gordon at Hindmarsh Lookout
As best I can remember, Michael is a 5th generation descendant of the Hindmarsh family who were amongst the first settler in Robertson. These people walked up from the Gerringong area, via Hoddle's Track, up past Saddleback Mtn and up onto the Barrengrounds Plateau, and on towards the basalt capped hills of Robertson. 

The basalt soil was what these pioneer settlers were seeking to claim under the Robertson Land Act of 1861. More history involved. It was Land Reform, pure and simple. The Squatters hated John Robertson for this breaking of their monopoly on land ownership.
In 1861, the powerful Premier of New South Wales, John Robertson, was determined to break the long-established monopoly of the squatter-pastoralists in land-holding in the colony. He forced two Acts through the Parliament, opening up free selection of Crown land by permitting any person to select up to 320 acres, on the condition of paying a deposit of one-quarter of the purchase price after survey, and of living on the land for three years.

Robertson intended to give poorer purchasers access to land and to increase farming and agricultural development in New South Wales. Great conflicts between the squatters and the selectors ensued, and corruption and scheming in acquiring land became rife."
Crown Lands Acts 1861 (NSW) 

Anyway, after their bushwalk to the Barrengarry Creek, below Belmore Falls, Michael and Gordon came back to Gordon's place, where I was awaiting their arrival. 

Lulu was with me, of course, and she really likes Gordon. But she took a shine to Michael too.
In particular, what was really fascinating her was the bloody leech bites on Michael's legs.

She set about cleaning Michael's legs for him.

 This scene reminded me of something I had learnt in Bible Studies, namely Lazarus (the leper, not the one who was raised from the dead) who was licked by stray dogs, which cleaned his wounds.
(Luke 16:19-31)
Dogs showed compassion
toward Lazarus the beggar,
even when people did not.  
Public domain
The dogs would have promoted healing by licking Lazarus’ wounds, since dog saliva contains the antibacterial enzyme lysozyme. Lysozyme is a natural form of protection from gram-positive pathogens like Bacillus and Streptococcus. Being a Veterinarian by profession, Michael would have understood this healing process far better than I did from my rusty old Bible Studies.


Brigid O'Carroll Walsh said...

This story was lovely with just the facts of the guided tour - but then giving it the twist of an ancient story of healing really makes it memorable. Once again I have to say that modern people might know a lot but we also need a bit of humility to remember that ancient peoples had a lot of knowledge too - else how did we survive thus far!

Denis Wilson said...

Glad you liked the way it was put together, Brigid.
Whatever would we have done without Bible stories?

Brigid O'Carroll Walsh said...

Exactly, Denis. And it is not only the Bible that has good stories. Islam has some beauties. Have you come across Nasruddin? And there are some wonderful tales in Buddhism and the Tao. It leads me to wonder what society will be like - especially if it is left to the evangelical atheists. So much of our English language is based on Shakespeare and the King James Bible. At the rate we are going, the generations coming up will have no literary references of these kinds. The thing is that so much is embedded in stories such as the one you used. Sometimes stories contain much more than if we had reduced the content to plain language. This is one reason why I don't knock the Bible. People go on about the blood thirsty bits in the Old Testament. I say that I take it all on board - for one simple reason. Ancient communities treasured these stories and kept them to pass down to us. I am - as you know - a committed community person so, for that reason, I don't abhor the stories. Ancient communities have kept these stories recorded so that we might be aware of them. So, for better or for worse, I respect the stories as I do the ancient communities. I somehow think that even in their forms of violence they might not have been as bloodthirsty and bloodlusting as we humans of the 20th and 21st centuries are. In which case, who do we think we are to sit in judgment on them.