These photos were taken when cameras were not of the quality they are now, but I’m sure you’ll get the idea. Pitchi Ritchi is a bird sanctuary and open-air pioneer museum which opened in 1955 by Leo Corbet. As you wander around the myriad of tracks sculptures by William Ricketts, a Melbourne sculptor, delight you. Ricketts made numerous trips to the outback between 1949 and 1960 to spend time with Pitjantjatjara, Arrernte, Pintubi, Luritja, Alyawarra and Anmatjirra aboriginal peoples whose culture inspired his work and philosophy.
He believed that many of his works were integral to the landscape and out of this context would be meaningless. He, therefore, left them at Pitchi Ritchi where the sun, hitting them at different times of the day, make the desert colours come alive and become unforgettable.
Alice Springs really is an oasis in a red centre. Surrounding the Alice on all sides is red dirt. Growing up as a Presbyterian minister’s daughter I knew all about Alice Springs as the church was active in its mission there. The Australian Inland Mission. The most notable was Rev John Flynn who saw needs beyond the spiritual and is known as the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. He could see the advantages that the new technologies of radio and airplanes would make to the isolated people living on the huge properties in 1917 and in 1928 the first aeromedical flight took off from Cloncurry. He died in 1951 and is buried in the grave below at Alice Springs, close to those he helped.
This grave was not without its problems as the original rock (above) came from a sacred site at the Devil’s marbles and the traditional owners of the land the grave was on had not been consulted. In 1998 the rock was returned to its original site and, with much consultation with local people, a new, suitable rock was placed on the grave.
Sadly Alice Springs is not without its problems. Many aboriginal people travel from their dry (no alcohol permitted) towns and camps into Alice Springs, as it is the only large centre for miles around. For many the temptation is too great.
Thank you to Norah Colvin who nominated me this challenge. Norah’s passion is childhood education and even if you don’t have children, there is always thought-provoking insightful writing that keeps those grey cells working.
The blogger I am nominating today (with no pressure to join in ) is Geoff LePard from Tangental. His site is sure to interest and bring a smile. If you wish to participate it is 1 photo a day for five days add a story fiction or non-fiction or poetry, link to the person that nominated you and nominate 1 person each day.