Day 20 – Feb 19 – Wednesday – A Quick Trip to the Devonport Museum
Todays adventure is a quick trip to the Devonport Museum. We tried to go earlier, but it is only open for 2 hours, a couple of days a week, and we were off their schedule. Today we specifically timed it when they would be open, and began the walk – sadly up hill instead of down. We are used to starting each walk by heading down Mays Street – this time it is up the hill.
The Museum is located next to the Mount Cambria Reserve (park), which is a quarried out hill, formed by a volcano. Most of the lava rock used extensively in building Devonport was quarried from these volcanoes in the 1800’s and early 1900s.
The museum building is the former Presbyterian Church, which had been located in the Mount Cambria Reserve and was relocated to this site, by cutting it in half and “rolling” it down the hill. I would have loved to see that.
There was a video presentation underway in the museum of which we joined in the viewing. It was of an elderly gentleman relating the history of Church Street (a street near the museum). He had lived there his entire life and he recalled, house by house, who had lived in each house, generation by generation, the businesses scattered among the homes. He included “who built the home”, how many generations had lived there, what the people did, and described some the events that occurred and the people who attended them, including some of the quirky folks that lived among them. It doesn’t sound very entertaining, but it was, and I couldn’t help but think about the rarity of having a man who lived through the period, on the same street and could recall some 70 years of history. I also couldn’t help but think how difficult it would be to duplicate this in the U.S., with our mobility.
A nice gentleman from England, who was visiting his daughter in Devonport, showed us around the museum, pointing out particularly the volcanic activity which had created the area.
I didn’t take many photos in the museum, concluding that there would be little interest in seeing the saws, hammers, bicycles, and old bottles – but I did take a shot of the Old Vic Theater in 1912, since we have been there twice now.
On our way back to town, we got a photo of a local institution – “Bertie”, a white macaw (I believe) who is often in one particular tree at the corner of Buchanan Street and King Edward Parade. In the past we had noticed this sign at the foot of the tree, advising people that Bertie has a home, he is not lost, so no need to turn him in.
We had not seen Bertie yet on our daily trips passed his tree. This time as we passed his tree he squawked LOUDLY and scared the #%$@ out of us. Sure enough, there he was.