BC: Sunrise over Dunedin, New Zealand
FC: Australia and New Zealand Cruise Tracing Our Parents' Paths to America | Brian and Joan Barr March 2012
1: In March 2012, after two days in Perth, we set sail on the Radiance of the Seas for a cruise across the southern coast of Australia. We traveled from Perth to Sydney with stops in Albany, Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart (Tasmania) as well as Dunedin, Akaroa, and Wellington in New Zealand. The choice of Perth was no accident. Joan's parents met and married there in 1944. The southern route also took us to Brian's childhood home near Melbourne. On board, we linked up with my older brother Kevin and his wife Mary Pat and with my sister Maria, who was born in Melbourne, and her husband Ray.
2: Traveling Companions | I tried to get a shot of the whole group but every time I mentioned shot Kevin picked up a glass. This is the only picture we have of him out of 2000 photographs.
3: Clockwise from the top left: Joan, Ray, Brian, Mary Pat, and Maria.
4: Perth, Western Australia | An Australian Love Story While you may think of this as a travel book, the first part is a love story - the love story of a young American sailor (Delbert Barbee) and his Irish sweetheart (Rose Ellen Cleary). In the midst of World War II and thousands of miles from their homes and families, they met and married in Perth in 1944. It is also the love story of their daughter, Joan, who has wanted for many years to visit, to explore, to touch and feel, the places where that great love between her parents began. We started tracing their steps in Perth to walk where they walked, to eat where they ate, and to pray where they prayed. It was an amazing, emotional visit. Many questions were answered and many more were uncovered. | We took the train to Leederville, a suburb of Perth settled by Irish and Italian immigrants. We walked the 12 blocks though a quiet business district and into a quiet residential area that reminded us of the bungalow style seen in California.
5: Soon we came to Aranmore Catholic College (High School) and across the street was St Mary's Catholic Church
6: The Pastor was kind enough to open the church for us. Inside we prayed, we shed a tear, and than we stood on the grounds where 68 years before (almost to the day) Rose and Del exchanged their wedding vows. | This headstone was moved to the church yard from the grave of Monsignor J.F. Maloney, the first pastor of St Mary's. He was the priest who officiated at the marriage of Joan's Mom and Dad.
7: Back in Perth we began our search for London Court Tavern where Mom and Dad met. We ended up eating lunch at London Court Cafe. The café owner showed us a 1937 photo of London Court and pointed out the London Court Tavern. We enlarged a photo of the photo and, to our surprise, it was Luigi's London Court Tavern - a possible tie back to the Irish-Italian connection in Leederville. We later discovered that the Tavern had been in a basement below the shops at the end of London Court.
8: Joan made many friends in Perth -- most weren't as hard and cold as these. | Supreme Court of Western Australia and the Bell Tower by the wharf where the Fremantle Ferry would have dropped off Del Barbee on his way to court Rose Cleary.
9: We boarded the Brilliance of the Seas in Fremantle where in 1942-1944 Dad's minesweeper, the USS Whippoorwill, was stationed. As we stood on deck we knew that the Whippoorwill tied up somewhere along that same 1 mile stretch of docks on the Swan River.
10: Albany, Western Australia | The Whippoorwill also operated out of Albany, escorting submarines in and out of port. Long before that, the people of this small town had a long standing pride for their own fighting men from the Light Horse Brigade who supported England in the Second Boer War and World War I.
11: A replica of the Bark Amity that carried the first 75 settlers to Albany.
12: Esperance, Western Australia | Our first Kangaroo encounter. They were pretty tame and posed for pictures.
13: A full scale replica of Stone Henge in the middle of nowhere. What more can I say!
14: Adelaide, South Australia | OK, so a strange set of pictures. I damaged my battery charger and spent 3 days bummed out thinking I would get no more pictures. After searching camera shops in Albany, Esperance and Adelaide, I found a new charger, but not until after our only wild Koala sighting -- so all you get is this cartoon.
15: Melbourne, Victoria | Sites of Melbourne - the Port of Melbourne on Botany Bay, the Flinders Street Station (a childhood memory), and a ride into the Dandenong Range on the Puffing Billy.
17: Ray and Brian took Maria to see where she was born - the train station, park behind our house, 2 Short Street, our church and school, and the shop where we bought marbles to use (or lose) in playground games.
18: Hobart, Tasmania | At the Bonorong Park Wildlife Centre, Joan decided that a Kangaroo was more like a pet kitten than a wild animal and cozied right up to them.
19: Port Arthur Prison is well preserved and a great place to spend a couple of hours.
20: At Sea | Aboriginal archeology and mystery, mixed with barroom trivia, goofy towel art and a St Patrick's Day cake decorating contest.
21: Brian gave the Rock Climbing Wall a work out a couple of times (or was it the other way around?)
22: Angry Ocean | We were treated to some of Mother Nature's wrath between Australia and New Zealand with 23 foot seas and wind gusts over 115 mph. True to its reputation, the Southern Ocean is an angry ocean.
24: New Zealand Sounds
25: Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound (Captain Cook said he could sail in but it was "doubtful" he could sail out), and Dusky Sound were all spectacular. The pictures just start to tell the story.
26: Dunedin, New Zealand | The signs tell the story better than I could - a train ride, the botanic garden, and a museum of Maori Culture.
27: Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.
28: Akaroa, New Zealand | Into the land of The Lord of the Rings - another spectacular train ride. Sheep outnumber people by 10-1 but dogs and rugged men still work the herds.
30: Wellington, New Zealand | Despite the rain, we had a great tour of Zealandia, a game preserve within the city limits of Wellington. There are no native mammals in New Zealand.
32: Sydney, New South Wales | This was a return visit to one of our favorite cities in the world. We took the harbor tour but did not climb the bridge this time.
34: Featherdale Wildlife Park had everything except a Platypus. I guess we will have to make another trip to Australia.
35: We ended our trip in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney before our long flight home.