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  • Robin Page

'A Fresh Crop of Leaves.....'


One realises the great size of Australia when having to drive from Alice Springs to Darwin. We made several overnight stops along the way so arrived quite refreshed. I had not been to Darwin since the 1960s, well before the city was flattened by Cyclone Tracey in 1974. I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘new’ Darwin with its excellent road network and modern city. I had photographed the cathedral for the calendar many years ago but returned to see and photograph it again. When Jenny and I arrived the most beautiful organ music was wafting across the lawn and we went in and sat and listened and introduced ourselves to Carolyn who is one of several organists with the cathedral. Carolyn was practising for a wedding.


Another church I had photographed, and that had appeared in the calendar, was the ‘church in the carport’ at Fred’s Pass on the Southern edge of Darwin. I was made to realise how long I have been involved with the calendar project when we visited the new Church of the Good Shepherd at Fred’s Pass, which was built all of 23 years ago, replacing the carport ‘church'. How time flies. We worshipped there on the Sunday and met the priest, Steve Walker who, with his young family has only recently arrived and was in fact ordained in the church. It was an enjoyable service with a segment for the children which had an amusing moment. The children were asked to think about what made a healthy and good Christian, with the teacher handing out envelopes containing a single word in part answer to the question. The final envelope was ready to hand out and the teacher asked what the word might be, saying it started with G. Every class has its bright and enthusiastic student and up shot a hand and the word Jesus was joyfully shouted. Yes, an amusing moment.

I was able to photograph the church for future inclusion in the calendar. It is a very functional building, as are many of our modern churches, and has no walls, creating a large and airy space so necessary for comfort in the tropics. I spoke to the lady who had swept the leaves out of the church the day before and she talked of the minor disappointment of sitting during the service and watching a fresh crop of leaves blow in