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CHRISTMAS IN PYRMONT – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 29, 2015 – A STREET FAIR IN PICTURES

November 29, 2015

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Now in its third year and gaining in support from the local community and neighbouring villages. It takes over a square in the Pyrmont. It is filled with entertainment, children’s activities, stalls and food, and a visit from Santa.

Christmas in Pyrmont takes place once a year to raise funds for local charities.

Here are a few photos of this event:

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT – NEW YORK CITY – MEMORIAL DAY – MAY 29 2017

May 29, 2017

SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT – NEW YORK CITY – MEMORIAL DAY – MAY 29 2017

This year the annual Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Memorial Day Observance was held on Monday, May 29, 2017 from 10 A.M. to 12 Noon on 89th Street & Riverside Drive in Riverside Park.

This year’s event will commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. Event is free and was open to the public.

In conjunction with New York Fleet Week, active duty Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen also participated. At 10:00 am, the United States Navy Band  performed a musical prelude.

The Procession set off at 10:30 am, and was led by the New York Scottish Pipes and Drums, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in period uniforms, and the Veteran Corps of Artillery. In addition, there will be numerous dignitaries and elected officials joining us at this ceremony.

The West Side Federation is proud to have been the first community organization to provide seed money to help support the renovation of the Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument project – and will continue to help this effort.


RIVERSIDE PARK

SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT

This temple-like monument located on a promontory along Riverside Drive at West 89th Street commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the Civil War. An elegant example of the City Beautiful movement, it was designed by the Stoughton brothers, engineer Charles W. (1860–1944) and architect Arthur A. Stoughton (1867–1955), who won a public competition with a design inspired by Greek antiquity. It was designated a municipal landmark in 1976.

A cylindrical form of white marble with 12 Corinthian columns, it is capped with richly carved ornament of eagles and cartouches. The design was based upon the ancient Choragic monument of Lysicrates (4th c. BC) in Athens, an iconic form used during the Greek Revival in 19th century America. Standing at 100 feet, it is larger in scale than the relic it imitates. The plinths that stand atop the south stair list the New York volunteer regiments that served during the war, as well as the Union generals and the battles they led. The ornament was sculpted by Paul E. Duboy (better known for his work on the Ansonia). Several features were never realized, including a pathway down to the Hudson and a more developed plaza area to the south of the monument.

Commissioned by the State of New York in 1893, the competition was held in 1897 and the first stone was laid in January 1900, with Governor Theodore Roosevelt officiating. On Memorial Day 1902 (then called ‘Decoration Day’), the monument was unveiled following a parade of Civil War veterans up Riverside Drive to the site. For many years the project was delayed because the City could not agree on a site for the monument. The initial location at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street was vetoed by the newly formed Municipal Art Society, followed by a host of other suggestions – Union Square and the Battery among them – each one supported by their own loyal factions and reasons. Eventually it was sited along the axis of Riverside Drive, looking south and out toward the Hudson River, a more diminutive companion piece to Grant’s Tomb located two miles north. By the First World War, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument had become part of a promenade of classically-inspired monuments that punctuate the rim of Riverside Drive, set against the naturalistic backdrop of Riverside Park and the river beyond.

In the early 1960’s, the City spent over $1 million in extensive repairs to the monument, including a new roof. Now fifty years later, it awaits funding to repair loosened joints, chipped stone, and the damage generally wrought by time if not vandalism.

For decades the monument was the terminus of the Memorial Day Parade and each year hosts an annual Memorial Day observance.


 

“Earlier in the day, hundreds of people gathered in a cold rain at the 113-year-old Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on the Upper West Side to mark Memorial Day.

Groups including the American World War Two Orphan’s Network and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War presented wreaths at the foot of the monument to honor their fallen parents.

“My father is buried in Belgium,” said 73-year-old Nancy Morrell. Her father was killed in World War II. “I was one-and-a half, so I didn’t really know him but you don’t have know someone to feel that impact.”

The monument was built to honor Union soldiers who died in the Civil War, according to the Riverside Park Conservancy. But it now stands as a memorial for all service men and women who “have given their lives. ”  May 29, 2017 · by Sarah Gonzalez      WNYC NEWS

 

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

 

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SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT RIVERSIDE PARK NEW YORK 2017

 

PHOTOS: LEONARD EPSTEIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A DISCOVERY CRUISE TO THE REMOTE LAU ISLANDS OF FIJI—- PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND POEMS

April 7, 2017

A DISCOVERY CRUISE TO THE LAU ISLANDS OF FIJI

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NADI, FIJI

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MAP OF EAST ASIA AND OCEANIA

The Lau Group of islands are the least visited islands in Fiji with no land based tourism

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DISCOVERY CRUISE MAP TO THE LAU ISLANDS

Culture and traditions have been preserved along with a fascinating history where the chiefs of Lau ruled most of Fiji. The Lau islands have a unique Geology made up limestone that has been eroded by the elements into dramatic islets and arches.

Because the Lau Group sits between Fiji and Tonga, the islands are an intriguing mix of both cultures. People wear Tongan-style straw mats around their waists, and the rounded shape of the houses is more Tongan than Fijian in style. There are also Tongan influences in names, language and food.

HISTORY

The British explorer James Cook reached Vatoa in 1774. By the time of the discovery of the Ono Group in 1820, the Lau archipelago was the most mapped area of Fiji.

Political unity came late to the Lau Islands. Historically, they comprised three territories: the Northern Lau Islands, the Southern Lau Islands, and the Moala Islands. Around 1855, the renegade Tongan prince Enele Ma’afu conquered the region and established a unified administration. Calling himself the Tui Lau, or King of Lau, he promulgated a constitution and encouraged the establishment of Christian missions. The first missionaries had arrived at Lakeba in 1830, but had been expelled. The Tui Nayau, who had been the nominal overlord of the Lau Islands, became subject to Ma’afu.

The Tui Nayau and Tui Lau titles came into personal union in 1969, when Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who had already been installed as Tui Lau in 1963 by the Yavusa Tonga, was also installed as Tui Nayau following the death of his father Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba III in 1966. The title Tui Lau was left vacant from his uncle, Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, in 1958 as referenced in Mara, The Pacific Way Paper.

The Northern Lau Islands, which extended as far south as Tuvuca, were under the overlordship of Taveuni and paid tribute to the Tui Cakau (Paramount Chief of Cakaudrove). In 1855, however, Ma’afu gained sovereignty over Northern Lau, establishing Lomaloma, on Vanua Balavu, as his capital.

The Southern Lau Islands extended from Ono-i-Lau, in the far south, to as far north as Cicia. They were the traditional chiefdom of the Tui Nayau, but with Ma’afu’s conquest in the 1850s, he became subject to Tongan supremacy.

The Moala Islands had closer affiliation with Bau Island and Lomaiviti than with Lau, but Ma’afu’s conquest united them with the Lau Islands. They have remained administratively a part of the Lau Province ever since.

CULTURE AND ECONOMY

Since they lie between Melanesian Fiji and Polynesian Tonga, the Lau Islands are a meeting point of the two cultural spheres. Lauan villages remain very traditional, and the islands’ inhabitants are renowned for their wood carving and Masi paintings. Lakeba especially was a traditional meeting place between Tongans and Fijians. The south-east trade winds allowed sailors to travel from Tonga to Fiji, but much harder to return. The Lau Island culture became more Fijian rather than Polynesian beginning around 500 BC.However, Tongan influence can still be found in names, language, food, and architecture. Unlike the square-shaped ends characterizing most houses elsewhere in Fiji, Lauan houses tend to be rounded, following the Tongan practice.

In early July 2014, Tonga’s Lands Minister, Lord Maʻafu Tukuiʻaulahi, revealed a proposal for Tonga to give the disputed Minerva Reefs to Fiji in exchange for the Lau Group. At the time that news of the proposal first broke, it had not yet been discussed with the Lau Provincial Council. Many Lauans have Tongan ancestors and some Tongans have Lauan ancestors; Tonga’s Lands Minister is named after Enele Ma’afu, the Tongan Prince who originally claimed parts of Lau for Tonga. Historically, the Minerva Reefs have been part of the fishing grounds belonging to the people of Ono-i-Lau, an island in the Lau Group.

Just off the island of Vanua Balavu at Lomaloma was the Yanuyanu Island Resort, built to encourage tourism in what has been a less accessible area of Fiji, but the small resort failed almost immediately and has been abandoned since the year 2000. An airstrip is located off Malaka village and a port is also located on Vanua Balavu, at Lomaloma. There are guest houses on Vanua Balavu and on Lakeba, the other principal island.

The Lau Islands are the center of the game of Cricket in Fiji. Cricket is the most popular team sport in Lau, unlike the rest of the country where Rugby and Association Football are preferred. The national team is invariably dominated by Lauan players.


 

Lautoka, Fiji

The city of Lautoka is situated on the northwest coast of the island of Viti Levu. The second-largest city of Fiji, Lautoka serves an important sugar cane-growing district and is the country’s leading sugar export port. As a place with a vibrant population and a colorful life, the cultural lifestyle of the people here is worth exploring. The natural wonders of Lautoka, Fiji are just as outstanding. The dancing waves of the sea, the sandy beaches, and the waving trees all are there to offer you a refreshing and memorable visit.

According to legend, Fiji’s second-largest city derives its name from a battle cry that means ‘spear-hit’. The story goes that when an argument erupted between two local chiefs, one cried out the words lau toka as he killed the other by spearing him through the chest, simultaneously stating the obvious and naming the location.

Lautoka’s recent history is entwined with the fortunes of sugar, which gives rise to its other name, Sugar City.

Lautoka doesn’t have much to detain travelers, but it is a pleasant enough spot with wide streets steeped in foliage, a picturesque esplanade, a couple of decent cafes and the backdrop of Mt Koroyanitu (Mt Evans) to remind everyone that the urban reaches are well and truly finite.

Since 1970, the population of Lautoka has grown rapidly, and in the last twenty years it has also changed dramatically in structure. In the early 1970s the population was estimated to be about 12,000, the vast majority of inhabitants being Indian, as would be expected considering the early growth of the city was entirely associated with the sugar industry. almost all of the present Indian inhabitants are descendants of the early Girmityas. In 1986 the population was 39,000 and in 1996 almost 43,000, but it is not clear exactly how the boundaries of the urban area were defined at either of these censuses. In 2005 the population including the suburban zones was probably about 50,000, occupying a total area of about 16 km². The population of Lautoka including the rural districts is around 80,000. But much of the recent growth of the city itself has been due to indigenous Fijians moving into the urban area.

Port of Lautoka is the main maritime gateway for western Viti Levu and is the second largest port in Fiji. The port is mainly used for bulk sugar, molasses, woodchips, petroleum, and gas. The port is also used for cruises, Blue Lagoon Cruises and Nai’s Cruises are based here.

Lautoka is served by Pacific Transport and Sunbeam buses. Pacific Transport connects Lautoka directly to Nadi Intl Airport and Ba  Sunbeam runs 8 times daily Queen’s Highway Service, linking Lautoka to Suva with stops at Nadi International Airport, Nadi Town, Fijian (Shangri – La) Resort, Sigatoka Town, Abua Sands, Hideaway Resort, Naviti Resort, Korolevu, Warwick Resorts, Beach House, Crusoes Retreat Junction, Deuba Inn and Tradewinds Lami.

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

STREETS OF LAUTOKA

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –  LAUTOKA JAMIA MASJID (MOSQUE)

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LAUTOKA, FIJI  –    LAUTOKA JAMIA MASJID (MOSQUE)

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –   SIGN OUTSIDE A CLOTHING STORE

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –    LITTLE JACKS CLOTHING STORE

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –   FU-XING CHINESE RESTAURANT

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI


 

 

MAKOGAI ISLAND

Makogai Island

Makogai is an island belonging to Fiji’s Lomaiviti Archipelago. Covering an area of 8.4 square kilometers, it is situated at 17.26° South and 178.58° East. It has a maximum altitude of 267 meters. Makogai is visible from Ovalau.

From 1911 to 1969, this was a leprosy colony staffed by Catholic nuns and many of the old hospital buildings still remain. Over the years, some 4500 patientsfrom Fiji and other Pacific Island nations were cared for on the island.

Among 1241 souls interred in the patient’s cemetery on the hill is Mother Marie Agnes the “kindly tyrant’  who ran the facility for 34 years . Both the British and French governments honored her with their highest decorations and upon retiring at the age of 80, she commented that “the next medal will be given in heaven.”

Also buried here is Maria Filomena, a Fijian sister who had worked at the colony from its inception. After contracting leprosy in 1925, she joined her patients and continued serving them for another 30 years. Only in 1948  was an effective treatment for leprosy  introduced, allowing the colony to be phased out over the next two decades.

Mariculture at Makogai

Today. Makogai is owned by the Fijian Government and it was declared a Marine Protected Reserve in 1989.The Island nowadays well known for its clam shell and turtle nursery.

In 2011, Makogai  officially became a Mariculture Center.  One of the main projects that the team of Fisheries officers  based here work on, is culturing giant clams (Tridacna). Once on abundance on Fiji’s reefs, many species have been over-harvested and current levels are low.

The Adductor muscle is considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac in China, which coupled with the  harvesting  of clams for food, shells and the aquarian trade – it is unsurpring  that they have found themselves on the IUCN’S vulnerable list..

In the 1980’S An Australian  funded project began culturing them at Makogai –  and thousands have since been transplanted to various parts of Fiji.

The old hospital beds lined up in the shallows of Dalice Bay are used to protect juvenile clams once they have been transplanted from the on shore breeding facility. Once deemed large enough to fend for themselves, they are available for repopulating other reefs around Fiji. The important role that “vasua’  (clams) play on the coral reef is often overlooked.

A single giant clam can filter hundreds of liters of water in a day. As filter feeders , this keystone  species offers a great line of defense against an outbreak of pesky “crown of thorns,starfish,” by filtering out thousands of microscopic  spawn.

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CAPTAIN COOK REEF ENDEAVOR VISITORS COME ASHORE AT MAKOGAI

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THE OLD LEPER COLONY REMAINS AT MAKOGAI

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SOME REMNANTS OF THE OLD LEPER COLONY

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AN OLD WORKSHOP AY MAKOGAI

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THE MOVIE THEATER AT MAKOGAI

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AN OLD DORMITORY AT MAKOGAI

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THE OLD STAIRS AT THE WOMEN’S HOSPITAL ON MAKOGAI

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MANY VISITORS BROUGHT GIFTS OF SCHOOL SUPLIES TO THE VILLAGE AT MAKOGAI

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A STUDENT AT THE MAKOGAI LOCAL SCHOOL

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LAVENA, TAVEUNI

Taveuni is the third-largest island in Fiji, after Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with a total land area of 434 square kilometres.

The island had a population of around 9,000, some 75 percent of them indigenous Fijians, at the 1996 census. Taveuni has abundant flora and is known as the ‘Garden Island of Fiji’. It is a popular tourist destination. Tourists are attracted to the excellent diving opportunities, prolific bird life, bushwalks, and waterfalls. Central parts of the island receive very high rainfall rates. Being volcanic in origin Taveuni’s soils have supported the island’s most historically significant industry, agriculture.

The population is concentrated mostly on the more sheltered western side of the island. Taveuni has eight major villages. Halfway down the west coast is the administrative center of Waiyevo. The largest urban area, however, comprises the twin villages of Somosomo and Naqara. As the traditional fiefdom of the Tui Cakau, one of Fiji’s highest-ranked chiefs, Somosomo is regarded as the capital of the Tovata Confederacy, while Naqara, an Indo-Fijian settlement, is the island’s commercial center. The main hospital is located at Waiyevo while a number of nursing stations and health centers are located around the island.

In 1643, Abel Tasman became the first European to sight Taveuni. Visibility was poor and he mistook the peaks of Taveuni to be separate islands. Historically, Vuna was considered to be the paramount village on Taveuni when the Tui Cakau (Ratu Yavala) resided there, but tribal warfare eventually established the supremacy of Somosomo. In the late 1860s, the Tongan warlord Enele Ma’afu, who had conquered the Lau Islands, was defeated by the Tui Cakau’s army in a skirmish at Somosomo. Several islands that sided with Ma’afu were sold by the Tui Cakau at that time to European settlers in punishment, and their inhabitants were moved to Taveuni. The villages of Lovonivonu and Kanacea  are populated by their descendants.

In fact, Enele Ma’afu was not defeated by the Tui Cakau’s army as stated above. He was in Tonga at that time. In July 1862: Ma’afu went for a visit to Tonga with Tui Bua to seek resolution about his campaign in Fiji with Tongan Parliament. During his absence, Wainiqolo, one of his lieutenant waged war on Golea. Wainiqolo was shot dead on the beach at Wairiki and the Tongans were slaughtered.

Wainiqolo had taken Tui Cakau prisoner when Golea was involved in an internal Cakaudrove campaign. It was an opportune time by Wainiqolo to initiate his campaign whilst Golea was involved in an internal struggle on Vanualevu. Ma’afu never forgave Wainiqolo for the act that he did and removed all land allocated to him. Historians saw this anger as confirmation that Ma’afu was not part of the Wainiqolo plot to conquer Tui Cakau while he was away in Tonga. The unprovoked attack by Wainiqolo was regarded by the Tui Cakau as cancelling his obligation to respect the right of Ma’afu to islands which had been formerly part of Cakaudrove chiefdom. Golea proceeded to resell the whole of Vanuabalavu to Europeans.

On 3 February 1865 a Court of Arbitration was convened by British Consul Jones who handed down the Court’s decision that Ma’afu was the lawful owner of Vanuabalavu and associated islands. Ma’afu immediately executed an affidavit the following day to the effect that Vanuabalavu and all the other lands given to him. The life of Enele Ma’afu the Tui Lau has been documented in “Summary of Key Historical Events”. Na Tikina Makawa o Vuna was not defeated by Somosomo as the above statement reads. In fact, historically Taveuni was owned and controlled by two distinct Chieftainship, Tikina o Vuna from the South & one on the North of Taveuni. The Tui Cakau has his land over water opposite Taveuni island and the central part of Taveuni.

In 1876, a 2.4 metres (7.9 feet) horse tramway was constructed on the Selia Levu estate to transport sugar cane to a mill.

The island’s agricultural output is a significant contributor to the Fijian economy. Copra has been traditionally the most important crop produced on Taveuni, and has always been the staple of the local economy. In recent times farmers have mainly shifted to growing taro, kava and other speciality crops like vanilla, along with tropical fruit and coffee. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), cotton was raised on Taveuni and exported to Europe. Sugarcane was also grown for a brief period. Livestock such as sheep, cattle and poultry are also raised, but animal husbandry lags behind crop production in economic importance. In recent times, tourism has become a contributor to the local economy, with about a dozen small resorts providing accommodation options for visitors and employment and business opportunities to the local population.

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TAVEUNI ISLAND

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TAVEUNI ISLAN

QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI 


WAILAGILALA ISLAND

Wailagilala Island is located in the Northern Lau group of islands and is one of only two sand atolls in the Fijian Archipelago. The island has never been lived upon by any human, be they Fijian or European, its soil has never been cultivated and poisons of any sort ever permitted to tarnish its pure, natural state and so is as nature intended a tropical paradise to be.

Literally translated as “no water or rain”, Wailagilala lies to the eastern sea border of the Fiji archipelago in the South Pacific, and is the gateway to Fiji for ships coming or going to Samoa through the Nanuku Passage. Its crystal-clear waters are attributed to its remote location and lack of terrestrial water run-off.

The island has an abandoned cast iron lighthouse, 95 feet long, built about 1909. It is believed to have been prefabricated in England and shipped in sections to the South Pacific. The island has been uninhabited since the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation.

Dominated by its lighthouse, the sand island is surrounded by a  spectacular lagoon and coral reefs. The reef protecting the island has a deep, wide, fairly well-marked pass that appears to have been blasted through it, allowing easy passage into the lagoon and the sandy anchorage just off the island.

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGALILA – LIGHTHOUSE

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGILALA


BAY OF ISLANDS, VANUABALAVA

Vanua Balavu (Long Island) is a long and winding island with uplifted coral in the north, and volcanic landforms in the south.

A huge lagoon bounded by a 130-kilometer barrier reef encloses a 37-by-16-kilometer lagoon extending east. One could cruise here for seven days or more without moving outside of the reefs. It is a well-watered island that has natural hot springs like Savusavu, yet these are large enough to soak in if you feel like visiting one of Mother Nature’s spas!

The island has about 1200 or so inhabitants, spread between 17 villages nestled along the coastline. A small clinic/hospital serves the local population, and of course there is a school. This island will give you a taste of the old South Pacific.

History tells us that the Tongan warlord Ma’afu (who invaded Fiji from Tonga by working his way up through the Lau group of islands) made the chiefly village of Lomaloma the base from which he would attempt to conquer the rest of Fiji – there is a small monument near the wharf in recognition of this.

The kinship between Fijians and Tongans here remains strong, with some 400 Tongans living in the southern portion of the Sawana village.

In 1840, Commodore Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition, named Vanua Balavu and its adjacent islands within the barrier reef, as the ‘exploring isles’. In these old sailing days, Lomaloma was an important Port for ships coming from Tonga.

After 1874 when Fiji became a British colony, the economic importance of Vanua Balavu dwindled, and the island hasn’t changed much since. There are no restaurants, bars, nightclubs, banks or travel agencies, and shopping is limited to a couple of village stores – so you should only bring Fijian currency to deal in. Owing to this lack of development, the island is truly unspoiled.

The island has a beautiful harbour for yachts at the north end called the Bay of Islands (or Qilaqila in Fijian), for which it is famed. This Bay is a recognized hurricane shelter. Here you will find The Qilaqila Marine Reserve. With so few human residents and visitors, coupled with a lack of development, the reefs of Vanua Balavu are relatively pristine.

Vanua Balavu’s largest village is Lomaloma on the southeast coast. In the mid-19th century Tonga conquered the island, and the village of Sawana was built next to Lomaloma. Fifth-generation Tongan descendants still live in Sawana, and the houses with rounded ends show the influence of Tongan architecture.

At one time, ships trading in the Pacific regularly visited Lomaloma and it had the first port in Fiji. In its heyday Lomaloma had many hotels and shops, as well as Fiji’s first botanical gardens, though little remains of its past grandeur.

One week after the full moon in November, the people of Vanua Balavu witness the annual rising of the balolo (tiny green and brown sea worms). At sunrise the Susui villagers collect worms by the thousands. The fishy-tasting baked worms are considered a delicacy.

The international date line isn’t straight because it was made to sort of wiggle around the Fijian Islands so they would all be on the same side. Otherwise it could have been Monday in some of the islands when it was Tuesday in others.

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Fiji Religion

Fiji is a multi-racial, multi-cultural nation, the population of Fiji is made up of significant numbers of followers of all major religions.Fiji will find Christian churches, mosques, and Sikh and Hindu temples throughout the country. Visitors are more than welcome to join the locals for Sunday worship and it’s highly recommended, even if you’re not that religious.

A Methodist service will gives us a good insight into how the Fijian village culture is structured and why the people are so friendly and family-focussed. You may not understand many of the words, but the singing and ceremony will stay in your memory.

 

ONEATA ISLAND

The local people of Oneata welcomed us to their Tongan Methodist church for Sunday service.

Oneata Island This island is made up of Lime stone. There are two villages Waiqori and Dakuiloa.  Oneata Island apart from being the first island to have lasting contact with Europeans was also the first place in 1830 that missionaries arrived. These were two Tahitian missionaries (members of London Missionary Society).They were adopted by a local chief who had previously visited Tonga and Tahiti.The men spent the rest of their lives on the Island and there is a monument to them at the Dakaluo village.

The church service that we went to see was of Methodist denomination.The service is usually conducted in the Fijian language. The choir is very good and they carry th e collection plate at the end of the service.

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ONEATA ISLAND

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ONEATA ISLAND – VISITORS HAVE ARRIVED FROM THE REEF ENDEAVOR CRUISE SHIP

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH – AFTER THE VISITORS HAVE LEFT, THE PASTOR CONTINUES WITH HIS SERMON

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH – CONGREGANTS POSING AFTER SERVICE

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH – AFTER THE SERVICE

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH


FULAGA ISLAND

Fulaga consists of jungle-covered hills, and raised coral around a lagoon about 6 miles by 5 miles. Inside the lagoon are countless mushroom like islets, and some larger islands. It may be half way to Tonga, but is the the most beautiful and unique place that we have visited.

Fulaga is known for building large outrigger canoes an the spectacular Fulaga Lagoon.

Fulaga Lagoon, a shallow, turquoise bay dotted with dozens of small, mushroom-shaped limestone islands and tiny white sand beaches.The lagoon is full of oddly shaped islets scattered around, It is like a maze of little islands. They are all carved away at the base from the tides flowing in and out.  The water  around them is tinged with spectacular colors by the dissolved limestone and there are numerous beaches.

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON, WITH THE YAGASA ISLAND IN THE BACKGROUND

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YAGASA ISLAND, NAVUTURIRA BEACH

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

Vuaqava Island has been uninhabited since it suffered a cholera outbreak in the 1860s, when the sick were dragged into caves and left to die, and villagers moved to nearby Kabara Island. But their descendants still return to fish, and to guide those of us who choose to go on an hour-long hike through jungle to see the island’s large saltwater lake and the skeleton-riddled caves, and view turtles, snakes & amazing bird life.

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

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VUAQAVA ISLAND – HIKERS ON THE WAY TO THE SALT WATER LAKE

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VUAQAVA SALT WATER LAKE

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VUAQAVA SALT WATER LAKE TURTLE


KABARA

Kabara is an island of Fiji, a member of the Lau archipelago. With a land area of 12 sq miles, its population of some 700 lives in four villages.

The islanders are noted for their craftsmanship in the area of wood carving. Vesi wood (Intsia bijuga), which grows natively on Kabara, is the traditional material, but deforestation has stripped the island, leaving only 8% of the island covered with Vesi trees. A program of reforestation has been started, but as Vesi trees take 70–80 years to mature, carvers are being encouraged to use as little Vesi wood as possible. Sandalwood, known locally as yasi, is being promoted as an alternative. Unlike Vesi, sandalwood takes only 30–40 years to mature.

Fiji Village news service reported on 28 March 2006 that the World Wide Fund for Nature had donated thirteen 5000-gallon water tanks to Kabara, which would likely eliminate water shortages on the island.

A notable native from Kabara was the late wood carver Jone Lupe, whose family have been engaged in the craft for generations.

At Kabara Island we  witnessed a typical Sevusevu  ceremony, a handover of our offering of Yaqona (Kava).

Yaqona (pronounced yangona) is Fiji’s national drink. It’s made from the pulverised root of a member of the pepper family. It’s believed to have medicinal qualities (apart from making you feel mellow).

Legend has it that the ceremony came from Tonga where the plant sprang from the grave of a Tongan princess who died of a broken heart. In a formal yaqona ceremony authority is given by the village spokesman to begin mixing the kava.

When mixed, a server will carry a cup (‘bilo’) to the chief guest, who must clap (‘cobo’) once before and after completely drinking the first cup. The order of serving depends on the status of those present, from the highest-ranking chief down.

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

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THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

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THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

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THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

A WALK AROUND KABARA ISLAND

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KABARA ISLAND CHURCH

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KABARA ISLAND CHURCH

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KABARA POST OFFICE

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KABARA SCHOOL

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KABARA ISLAND TEACHER’S HOME

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABRA HEALTH CENTRE – THE DOCTOR’S CONSULTATION OFFICE

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ABARA HEALTH CENTRE – PATIENTS ROOM

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE – VACCINE REFRIGERATOR

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE – PHARMACY

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE – OUTPATIENT DISPENSARY

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KABARA ISLAND – SOLAR PANELS, SATELLITE DISHES  AND 500 GALLON WATER TANKS

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KABARA ISLAND FAMILY

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KABARA ISLAND – VILLAGERS SELLING COCOANUTS AND SHELLLS TO THE VISITORS

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KABARA ISLAND VILLAGERS PREPARING FOR A MARRIAGE CEREMONY LATER IN THE DAY

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KABARA ISLAND PREPARING FOR A MARRIAGE CEREMONY ON THE BEACH

LATER IN THE LATE AFTERNOON WE RETURN TO KABARA ISLAND FOR A LOVO FEAST AND A SPECTACULAR MEKE

Lovo, the traditional form of cooking, of Fiji. This is the Fijian name for a feast cooked in the earth. The taste is like a barbeque, only a little more smoked, and it’s a very efficient way to cook large quantities of food at the same time.

The first step in preparing a Lovo is heating the rocks which will serve as the base for the lovo.  Specially selected stones are placed in a hot fire and left to absorb the heat. When the rocks are sufficiently heated, they are pulled from the flames and placed in the bottom of a shallow pit.

Next, chicken, fish and pork are tightly wrapped in a weave of palm fronds or banana leaves before being place in the bottom of the lovo pit lined with hot rocks.  On top goes various root crops including dalo (the potato like root of the taro plant), cassava (the root of the tapioca plant) and Uvi (wild yam).

Once the pit is filled with food, the entire hole is filled with earth and left to ‘cook’ for anywhere from two to three hours depending on the amount of food.

Unearthing the lovo is done with great celebration and the succulent morsels which emerge are unwrapped and placed on large banana leaves to cool before the feasting begins.

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KABARA ISLAND LOVO FEAST

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KABARA ISLAND LOVO FEAST

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KABARA ISLAND LOVO FEAST

The MEKE

Music is woven into the fabric of Fiji and the Meke embraces traditional song and dance to tell of legends, love stories, history and spirits of the islands. It can vary from a blood-curdling spear dance to a gentle and graceful fan dance.

There are two groups in the make – the orchestra (Vakatara), who sit on the ground and sing or chant for the second group, the dancers (Matana).

The instruments are percussion (hardwood gongs, bamboo tubes, beating sticks etc). For the Meke the performers wear garlands of flowers (Salusalu), the men wear full warrior costume and the women, in traditional clothes, glisten with scented coconut oil.

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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TOTOYA ISLAND

Totoya is a volcanic island in the Moala subgroup ofa Fiji’s Lau archipelago. It occupies an area of 28 km², making it the smallest of the Yasayasa Moala Group. Its maximum elevation is 366 metres above sea level.

The horseshoe-shaped island is well protected by a high reef. There are a number of boat passages through the surrounding reef. These passages lead into the beautiful deep bay that is surrounded by the island. The island’s unspoiled, untouched white sandy beaches are comparable to any in Fiji or the world. Its surfing is world-renowned, but the difficulty in reaching the island keeps most away.

The island has a well-placed jetty, 4 primary schools, not including Vanuavatu, which has its own, a Post office/shop, and radio-telephone stations at Ketei and Dravuwalu. It is accessible technologically by satellite phone provided by Telecom Fiji, but not mobile cellular phones.

The island has 4 villages with Tovu, the capital and seat of the Turaga na Roko Sau whose household site is known as “Mataiilakeba”. Ketei is the seat of Tui Ketei, traditionally known as Ramalo, the King maker. The “Turaga Ramalo” has the ancient and prestigious role of installing Totoya’s High chief, a role that has become obsolete because of rivalry. The third village, Dravuwalu, is the seat of Tui Dravuwalu, traditionally known as Nakorowaiwai and Udu, the fourth village, is the seat of Tui Udu, traditionally known as Muaicokalau. The island of Vanuavatu, although closer to the islands of Lakeba and Nayau than the island of Totoya, is listed as the fifth village within the District and is the seat of Tui Vanua.

Vanuavatu has historically and traditionally been the personal possession of the Turaga Na Roko Sau, the High Chief of Totoya and the Yasayasa Moala Group as a whole. Further to this in colonial times when the colonial government administratively subdivided the Provinces into districts, with a colonial appointed chief or ‘Buli’ as leader the island had to fall into a colonially administered district under Totoya. Traditionally the High Chief of Totoya district, Roko Sau has dominion over Vanuavatu island and its people. However, Vanuavatu is the seat of Tui Vanua who answers directly to the Roko Sau. Also present within Vanuavatu is the title of Matakitotoya a representative post which further links the Roko Sau to his people and land of Vanuavatu and avoids any alienation from it.

The island is very rich in marine resources and one could have a field day out at sea. One famous delicacy is Lairo or land crabs, which are plentiful all year round. Giant sea clam, a variety of seaweeds and just about any variety of fish can be caught by angling, spear fishing, net fishing, underwater diving, or by traditional means.

We were able to  visit the primary school with the children putting on a show for the visitors.

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TOTOYA ISLAND

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TOTOYA ISLAND VILLAGE

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TOTOYA ISLAND VILLAGE

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TOTOYA ISLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL

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TOTOYA ISLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL

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TOTOYA ISLAND SCHOOL – VISITORS AND STUDENTS DANCE

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TOTOYA ISLAND STUDENTS

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TOTOYA ISLAND STUDENTS

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TOTOYA ISLAND

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TOTOYA ISLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER


 


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KADAVU  ISLAND

Kadavu  has a population of approximately 8700 and lies only 88 kilometers south of Suva. Kadavu is approximately 48 kilometers in length and varies in width from 365 meters to 13 kilometers. With an area of 411 square kilometres, is the fourth largest island in Fiji, and the largest island in the Kadavu Group, a volcanic archipelago consisting of Kadavu, Ono, Galoa and a number of smaller islands in the Great Astrolabe Reef.

Kadavu has several high mountains and numerous precipitous cliffs. In short it is a rugged island with few roads, which makes water taxis the prime mode of transportation. The airport, a government station and a new hospital are located at the eastern end of the island in the village of Vunisea.

Kadavu was once known for the whaling station at Galoa Harbour, also as a port of call for steamers bound for New Zealand and Australia.  As in most other regions of Fiji in the 1800s, Kadavu had its fair share of scoundrels and ruffians, such as local legend Vedori, who in 1838 ransomed the entire crew of a ship for items such as whale’s teeth, axes and a case of pipes. Quite a long way from today’s eco paradise!

The Great Astrolabe Reef surrounds Kadavu.  It is one of the largest barrier reefs in the word, and a world-famous dive spot that manages to be still largely unspoiled.  You can swim with Manta Rays, or dive wrecks and swim through coral gardens – the Great Astrolabe Reef offers a huge range of underwater experiences.  All resorts at Kadavu  offer the chance to snorkel or scuba dive here.

Despite its proximity to the population center of Viti Levu, the population of Kadavu is deeply conservative. Perhaps the conservatism can be traced to the difficulty of getting around the island and the resulting isolation of its communities. Though remote, Kadavu is well known by divers for its rich diversity of undersea life, particularly in the Astrolabe Reef. Likewise there is a great deal of terrestrial flora and fauna of interest, particularly the birds. The colorful Kadavu Parrot, which is now a protected species, can be easily observed.

 

 

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KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

We are taken to Kadavu Island where the villagers welcome us and perform a sevusevu ceremony.

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CRIMSON SHINING PARROT OF KADAVU


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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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VISITORS FROM THE CAPTAIN COOK FIJI CRUISES ARE WELCOMED TO NALOTU VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE WARRIOR

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE – WALKING TO THE PRIMARY SCHOOL FOR THE SEVUSEVU CEREMONY

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME SEVUSEVU CEREMONY

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A WALK AROUND NALOTU VILLAGE  KADAVU ISLAND

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – CHURCH

 

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – CHURCH

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI A VILLAGE GATHERING

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – CRUSHING THE KAVA ROOT FOR THE SEVOSEVU CEREMONY

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – PIGS

 

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THE INDO-FIJIANS

Most IndoFijians are the descendants of indentured laborers brought to Fiji during the nineteenth century by the British. In the system of indentured labor, workers (who had been moved to a new country against their will) were forced to perform a job for little or no pay until they earned enough money to buy their freedom. The system was created to provide cheap workers for British colonies after the abolition of slavery in Britain and its colonies in 1833.

The first indentured laborers from India arrived in Fiji in 1879 and the indenture system lasted until 1916. Other immigrants from India arrived in Fiji in the early twentieth century, and they opened small shops in the coastal towns. The IndoFijians are part of the south Asian diaspora(a community of ethnically related displaced peoples) that includes the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, Trinidad in the Caribbean, Guyana in South America, South Africa, and North America.

The Fijian archipelago (string of islands) is located in the western Pacific Ocean. The climate of Fiji is tropical with plenty of rainfall, sunshine, and high humidity. The largest islands within the 800-island group are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The vast majority of IndoFijians reside on Viti Levu.

Today, IndoFijians make up around 43 percent of the total population. Before the military coup of 1987, IndoFijians made up close to 48 percent of the total population, but about 5 percent have moved to Australia, Canada, and the United States. In the 1960s, IndoFijians outnumbered the indigenous Fijians.

The overwhelming majority of IndoFijians speak Fiji Hindustani, or Fiji Hindi. This language developed out of contact between speakers of different dialects of Hindi/Urdu (one of the native languages of India) and their bosses on the colonial-era sugar plantations. Although Indian laborers could communicate fairly well, they had some difficulty at times being understood. Over time, a unified dialect emerged. Since then, it has become the language of Indo-Fijian identity.

The folklore of the IndoFijians derives from traditional Indian folklore. Important epic stories and myths such as the Rāmāyanaand the Mahābhārataare read, chanted, and recounted by IndoFijians at ceremonies and celebrations. The epic drama of Rama and Sita is performed at most religious festivals.

The Indian laborers brought their religions with them to Fiji. Hinduism and Islam both exist on Fiji today, alongside Christianity and traditional forms of Fijian religious practice. The majority of the indentured laborers moved to Fiji were Hindu. As a result, Hinduism is the major religion among IndoFijians.

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, meaning Hindus believe in a variety of gods. Each god has specific characteristics, functions, and powers. There are sects that are devoted to the worship of a particular god and shrines are created to provide offerings. These practices continue among the Indo-Fijian communities in Fiji and abroad.

Major holidays for IndoFijians center on the religious calendars. Hindus celebrate Diwali (the festival of lights) in early November and Holi (a festival of singing and light-hearted play). Families also sponsorpujas,which are ceremonies that include prayers, offerings, and feasts. Pujas take place on birthdays and other special occasions when it is appropriate to give thanks for good fortune and blessings. Muslim IndoFijians observe the fasting and prayer practices during the month of Ramadan. Other secular holidays include the Queen’s Birthday, Boxing Day, and Fiji Day.

The standard greeting in Fiji Hindi isnamaste.This greeting comes directly from Hindi as spoken in India.

Dating was unknown among unmarried IndoFijians until late in the twentieth century. In the past, marriages were always arranged; this practice continues, but dating has been accepted. Interracial dating among IndoFijians and Fijians is disapproved of by both groups. IndoFijians do have dating relationships with other groups on the island, however, such as Europeans.

Fijian law dictated that non-Fijians could not live in Fijian villages. This law made for segregation between the Fijians and IndoFijians. IndoFijians had to create their own communities or move to the coastal towns. These would later become centers of commerce and trade that would provide for the economic prosperity of the IndoFijians.

Western-style housing made from concrete blocks or wood is the preferred style of housing for IndoFijians.

Many jobs in Indo-Fijian society are traditionally done by males only. Musicians, religious leaders, and cooks for public functions like weddings andpujas(worship ceremonies) are almost always men. Male children are usually preferred over female children. Male children are also usually given much more freedom and independence than females.

In most traditional societies of India, marriages are arranged by parents. In some cases, the couple has no say in the matter. In recent years, this system has become less rigid and couples have more choice in their selection of mates. Male offspring generally inherit the majority of their parents’ property and are expected to divide it among themselves.

Indentured Indian workers brought their styles of cooking and some of their food crops with them to Fiji in the nineteenth century.Roti,a staple bread served with every meal, and rice and curry, a hot spice, are the basis of Indo-Fijian food. Roti is used like a spoon to scoop up pieces of food and rice. Tradition requires that only the right hand be used when eating. The left hand must remain in the lap.

Formal education for the children of indentured Indian laborers in Fiji did not begin until 1898. Schools were then opened by Catholic and Methodist missionaries who also opened mission schools for Fijian children much earlier. IndoFijians stress the importance of education with their children and many go on to complete advanced degrees at universities and colleges in other countries.

Traditional music and film are both important among IndoFijians. Almost all of the entertainment that IndoFijians enjoy is produced outside of Fiji. The Indian film and music industries provide the latest hits from the most popular film and music stars of India. Most shops carry a wide selection of cassettes and videos, along with imported Indian foods. Traditional music and dance are also performed.

Traditional south Asian forms of entertainment, including classical forms of music and dance, are enjoyed and practiced within the Indo-Fijian community. Music and dance academies have also been established by the IndoFijians that have left Fiji and moved to Sydney, Australia.

IndoFijians still face difficulties living in Fiji. Although relations between the IndoFijians and Fijians have improved since 1988, there is still resentment and anger on both sides. The coup adversely affected the tourist industry, which has not regained the ground it had prior to the coup. The flight of IndoFijians after the coup resulted in the loss of over one-third of the nation’s doctors, one-half of its lawyers, and a great number of teachers and nurses.


 

 

FIJI  LANGUAGE

When the earliest inhabitants of Fiji arrived 3500 years ago, they brought with them the language of the homeland they had set sail from – an island in Vanuatu, or possibly the Solomons (but certainly not Africa!)

That language has changed and splintered over the years into a multitude of different ‘communalects’ now numbering more than 300. This is because language divides naturally as people spread out, and there may have been some additional input from more recent immigrants from other islands lying to the west.

The Fijian ‘communalects’ belong to the enormous Austronesian language family, which means they are related to thousands of other languages spanning the globe from Malagasy in the west to Rapanui (Easter Island) in the east, from Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the south to Hawaii and Taiwan in the north. The family includes such important national languages as Tagalog (Philippines) and Malay. After Fiji had been settled, the flow of population continued north and east. The languages of Polynesia (such as Maori, Tahitian, Tongan, Samoan and Hawaiian), the language of the tiny island of Rotuma to the north of Fiji, and of course their speakers, all originated in Fiji more than 3000 years ago. These relationships can be clearly seen in the following table of selected words.

The early missionaries had a keen appreciation of the importance of using local language in their work, and by 1840 had already devised an excellent spelling system for Fijian as well as published a number of books in different ‘communalects’. When the need for a standard language became apparent, they selected the language of Bau, the tiny island off the south-east coast of Viti Levu which was, and in some ways still is, the seat of the major power in Fijian politics. Nowadays the spoken Fijian of the towns and the Fijian used in books and newspapers are both known as ‘Bauan’, even though neither is quite the same as the language of the island of Bau.

The early missionaries had a keen appreciation of the importance of using local language in their work, and by 1840 had already devised an excellent spelling system for Fijian as well as published a number of books in different ‘communalects’. When the need for a standard language became apparent, they selected the language of Bau, the tiny island off the south-east coast of Viti Levu which was, and in some ways still is, the seat of the major power in Fijian politics. Nowadays the spoken Fijian of the towns and the Fijian used in books and newspapers are both known as ‘Bauan’, even though neither is quite the same as the language of the island of Bau.

While many of its Pacific relatives, such as Hawaiian and Maori, have been struggling for survival, Fijian has never been in serious danger of extinction, even though it was ignored for a long time in schools. The vast majority of Fijians have always used it as their everyday language, and most Indians understand at least some. In rural communities like Levuka, Taveuni and Savusavu, the Indians all speak Fijian fluently. In general, however, English is the lingua franca in Fiji.

Since independence in 1970, Fijian has also been increasingly used on the radio, in books and newspapers, and in the schools. To ensure that future evolution of the language has a sound base, the government has set up a department to research and develop the Fijian language. The department’s first major task is to compile a dictionary of Fijian for Fijians, with all definitions and other information in Fijian, which when completed will be the first of its kind in the Pacific.

 

 


MV LIAHONA

MV Liahona

MV Liahona – South Island Ferry and Shipping Service
Carries up to one hundred passengers and has a franchise routes of lower southern Lau and northern Lau.
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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

 

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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

 

 

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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

 

 

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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

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POETRY

FIJIAN POETS –  POETS FROM FIJI

What is Life about

by Ahmed Sheik Koya

Is life only about education and learning
Followed by working and earning
Up early to get to work and midnight light burning
Never satisfied but for new stuff yearning

Is it about gathering  possessions abundant
Or are you in training for something more important 
Like living a life of love for God predominant
Like living a life over base passions triumphant
Like living a life over daily sins and wrongs repentant 

If you died today where will you spend eternity 
Will it be with God in the golden city
Will it be in the fires of hell what a pity
Choose carefully as there is only one opportunity 

There is no return from your eternal choice
In heaven you will forever rejoice
In hell the heat the pain the screams and the noise
Jesus calls today listen to his voice
Decide now as at the edge of eternity you poise

Will your short years on earth count
At the end of your life what will it amount
Will you drink living water from the eternal fount
Will you live for Jesus who died on your account

Soon the silver chord broken and you’ll be gone
The curtain between physical and spiritual torn
Loved ones and friends for you will mourn
No more chance to be spiritually reborn 

Decide before you leave the body you adorn
Where will you start your eternal dawn
For temporal pleasures hold not him to scorn
Who on the cross your sins has borne
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In The Beginning

by Ahmed Sheik Koya

In the beginning God created the heavens and earth
And some think it all came by chance, what a big mirth
That life arose by itself from chemical soup and from it birth
Soup formed by unceasing rain on the volcanic hearth
For this theory came when none knew the complexities of life or its worth
Formulated by those who deliberately ignore God's love and incur his wrath
For the advances of science and genetics proclaim this theories dearth

Over the earth His Spirit did brood 
He spoke again and it happened
In His wisdom all well designed and good
Life in all its different kinds rampant
Every part in its place and functioning as it should

Then God formed man by His own hands
In His own image created He him
He gave him control over all the lands
And home in a garden with fruits to the brim
And a companion Eve as satisfied not animal friends

Eat of all fruits but not of wrong and right
The serpent came and Eve did ensnare
Eve saw the fruit was desirous to the sight
For of the enemy's deceit she was not aware
They did eat and to creation brought blight

Can't blame the fruit on the tree but the human pair
Of their nakedness they now became aware
The creation cursed and in despair
So His only beloved Son, God sent to repair
And for himself a holy people prepare

And if all this you know and are aware
Then God wants you with others share
And to really love others and care
And lift them to God in prayer
That all turn from sins and to God everywhere
------------------------

Feel my Love

by Balbir Singh

I have lost you once with lots of pain
Now I am in love to win you again.

You are my butterfly and the spark of life
Will love, cherish and celebrate you as you are so nice.

Your cute eye and bright smile
Is the reason for me to reach another success mile.

Loving you is like capturing images of birds in sky
Hope you and me will love each other without being shy.
-------------


Parents

by Balbir Singh

Mums purely care for our life
They are kind and indeed very nice.

Dads protect us from darkness
They wish to bring into our lives brightness.

Be with your parents forever
They will love you forever.
-----------


Creatures know true love

by Balbir Singh

Baby, every-time you try to avoid me

A cute bird sings to make me calm
A naughty cat tires to help me laugh 
A stupid dog barks to divert my mind!!!

Baby, the creatures of all type feel my heart
Love me the way I love you
So creatures continue to have faith in true love!!!
The People Around Me
----------------

The People Around Me

by B S SKY

Things seems to be very clear,
When actually felt it is unclear,
What really seems to be clear,
May never ever be clear for ever.

Your help for others,
May be to be appreciated,
Or taken as what is called,
to be uncounted.

My question is clear,
Why the help for others,
Is sometime never appreciated,
However it is always delivered. 

In response to ethics,
lingers in my mind the answer,
To help others is not to be recognised, 
But it is to be called someone, 
Who can be respected.

To all, continue to help,
Not to to be appreciated by others,
But to be respected by yourself.
----------

I loved My Life of Bird

by B S SKY

I fly in the sky
I swim in the sea 
I sleep in the night
And in the trees I live

The forest once was my home
That I always cherished
For me and every one
Who lived on this beautiful heaven?

Coming into the flame of fire
Together with my family
Helps me to remember and tell to all
That has caused the dead of all?

Came five days ago
Three to four men
With something in there mind known as the plan
To destroy what was known as our home

Came few men 
After few days
To destroy us all together with the forest
To clear the land

They lighted the fire
They parked some big bulldozers
To clear the trees and removes the stones
After everything is burnt by the flames of the fire

Together with my family
Praying to the god as one
To forgive our sin 
And tell the reason for this everything

Nothing I heard from up
But something from down 
As few men said
For the development, let happen this destruction
--------


Life is like Music

by John Tora

Life plays us like music
she plays it right
we sing it a nice lyric
she plays its wrong
we sing a sad song
some goes to the top
some never stop, getting dropped
BUT LIFE IS LIKE MUSIC
hip hop, rock, pop and reggae 
we put it together
we get a song on a Sunday
BUT LIFE IS LIKE MUSIC
many plays it so nice
you know they making charts
better be-careful people
before it drives you nuts
some pop till they dropp 
they never get back up
next thing you know
they selling rocks 
to climb back to the top
BUT LIFE IS LIKE MUSIC  
so if you know got a nice tone
sing it and never look back
cause life gives you one sheet
make music and make everyone clap.
--------------


Believe

by John Tora

Life is a struggle 
life is a pain
money is needed
to cover you from the rain
from west to east i travel
north to south i look too
no one can safe me now 
only life with all its clue
riddle me this, riddle me that
life is a big riddle
so riddle on that
never count life out
or you will suffer 
the only way up
is life making you tougher
pain, tears and struggle
are all part of life's plan
stand up like a solder
and take it like man
you can say this
you can say that
at the end of the day
life will still win
what do you say to that
air is what we need 
to keep life going 
so never stop breathing
but take it in slowly
life is an ascent 
so keep it while you have it
believe in your self
and always say I MAKE IT HAPPEN! ! !
---------------

Catching Smoke

by Kai Viti

I lost you a long time ago
That explains this to and fro
Your heart was never mine to begin with
This is why I'm going to leave
One foot in and the other out
I knew it but I hid my doubts
At the start I kept my joy in a little box
Then you told me to show you everything I've got
The box opened with such character
You decided that that wasn't what you were after
I fought to perfect what was once set in gold
I cried to keep whatever I could hold
I got on my knees a couple of times
But nothing could ever make you mine
I lost you when I got you
That is the sad and obvious truth
-------------

Changing Tides

by Kai Viti

Listen to the man because he is always right
Don’t you dare talk back or put up a fight
Hear his voice and hear him out
But you little woman have no voice…even if you shout
Sit on the floor and serve me please
Then bath, clothe and feed the kids
Keep the house in order and family in line
Thank you for that my dutiful wife
I, the man, big and strong
Will provide for my family come summer or storm
I will head and protect them because that’s how it is
It’s the status quo; she listens and I lead
However, we are finding out that change is inevitable
And this time the tables are turning on our culture, roles and people
Globalisation, westernisation and human rights
Has put our archaic norms in a losing fight
My children and I now have different meanings of life
And our beliefs and values are no longer in line
The winds of reform are definitely in our homes
Where it will take us…nobody knows.
------------

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS:
LEONARD EPSTEIN

JOHN OLSEN – THE YOU BEAUT COUNTRY – A RETROSPECTIVE SHOW OF ONE OF AUSTRALIAS MOST RESPECTED ARTISTS – AT THE ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

April 6, 2017

JOHN OLSEN

“Olsen is Australia’s most famous living artist. His instantly recognisable works, dominated by long, wiggling lines and colourful splashes and dots, hang everywhere from Malcolm Turnbull’s office to the Sydney Opera House. In a career spanning more than 60 years, he’s had more than 50 solo exhibitions, has won the Archibald Prize for portraiture (in 2005) and twice won the Wynne Prize for landscape painting (in 1969 and 1985).”

The Sydney Morning Herald

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JOHN OLSEN – THE YOU BEAUT COUNTRY – A RETROSPECTIVE – A POST CARD


 

 

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JOHN OLSEN

 

 

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Where the Bee sucks, There suck I

 


 

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Man absorbed in Landscape, 1966

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Sydney Sun (or King Sun)  1965

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Still Life 1962

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Diana’s World  1960


 

 

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Spanish Encounter 1960

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Blue Orpheus  1961

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People who live in Victoria Street 1960

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Half past six at the Fitzroy 1963

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Spring 1960

————–

 

 

Version 2

 

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Journey into the Beaut Country

—————-

 

 

Version 3

 

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Spring in the Beaut country  1961

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Version 5

 

 

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Journey into the you beaut country, No.1   1961

——————–

 

 

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Up and Down the Seaport  1961

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JOHN OLSEN – THE YOU BEAUT COUNTRY – A RETROSPECTIVE

 

 

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Joie de Vivre  1964-65

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Entrance to the Siren city of the Rat Race  1963

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Entrance to the Seaport of Desire  1964

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Salute to Cerberus 1965

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McEhone Steps  1963

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Five Bells  1963

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Childhood by the Seaport  1965

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JOHN OLSEN – THE YOU BEAUT COUNTRY – A RETROSPECTIVE

 

 

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Me the gardner  1964

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Love in the Kitchen  1969

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Wattle and Moon  1969

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Version 2

 

 

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Pied Beauty  1969

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Version 3

 

 

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Chasing bird Landscape   1969

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Version 4

 

 

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Dappled Country  1969

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Kitchen by the Sea  1971

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Lake Eyre  1991

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Improvisation on Basho’s Frog  1995

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Spring Frogs  2  –  2006

 

 

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Lake Eyre  1975

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The Simpson Desert approaching the Void  1976

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Dark Void  1976

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The Murray running into Lake Andrina  1975

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River running through a Plain  1982

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Arrival at the Void  1975

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Goyder Channel  1975

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Golden Summer, Clarendon  1983

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Nightfall, When Wattle stains the doubting heart   1980

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A road to Clarendon:Autumn   1985

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Seafood Paella  with a ceiling painting   2007

 

 

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Seafood Paella  2007

 

 

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Summer in the you beaut country

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Pilbara train ( or Hammersley  ore train ) 1982

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Road to Bathurst 1998

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Bathurst Butter 1999

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Lake Erye, the desert sea   X    2010

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Lake Eyre, the channel country  2011

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Donde Voy? Self portraits in moments of doubt  1989

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Calle Estrecha (the narrow street)  1986

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JOHN OLSEN – THE YOU BEAUT COUNTRY – A RETROSPECTIVE

 

 

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Butcher’s cart, deia de Mallorca   2010

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The shearer’s mattress  2015

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The bushman’s bed 2015


 

 

 

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Popping Bluebottles  2007

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The Bath  1996

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Light Playing with Evolution  1989

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You beaut country: Landscape crawling  2016


 

 

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Sydney harbor  2016


 

 

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squid in its own ink   2015

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Lily Pond at Humpty-Doo  2004

————

 

 

JOHN OLSEN VIDEO

John Olsen – 2015 – Philip Bacon Galleries  An Interview  -John Olsen discusses his latest exhibition at Philip Bacon Galleries, August 2015

 

———————

PHOTOS:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A VISIT TO ALASKA AND THE YUKON – JUNE 2016 – PHOTOS AND POEMS

September 3, 2016

 

ALASKA AND THE YUKON

FROM JUNE 1  -12  2016    LEONARD EPSTEIN AND JANELLE BURGESS TRAVELED THROUGH ALASKA AND THE YUKON.

THIS IS WHAT WE SAW ON THIS TRIP:

——————–

BUT FIRST A BRIEF HISTORY OF ALASKA

By Tim Lambert

 

EARLY ALASKA

The first human beings arrived in Alaska between 15,000 and 13,000 BC. At that time Alaska was part of a land bridge that extended across to Siberia. People followed the herds of animal they hunted. Europeans arrived in the area in the 18th century. In 1741 a Dane called Vitus Bering led a Russian expedition to Alaska. They discovered there was great wealth in Alaska in the form of animal furs. Unfortunately, they also brought diseases to which the native people had no immunity. The British arrived in 1778 when Captain Cook sailed there. George Vancouver sailed to Alaska in 1794.

Meanwhile in 1772 the Russians made a settlement at Unalaska. Then in 1784 they made a settlement on Kodiak Island. However by the 1860s the Russians had lost interest in Alaska. Over-hunting had depleted the supply of furs and it was difficult to supply bases such a long way off. So they decided to try and sell Alaska to the Americans. In 1867 US Secretary of State William Henry Seward signed a treaty to buy Alaska for $7.2 million – less than 2 cents an acre. However, it took 6 months to persuade Congress to ratify the treaty. Alaska formally passed to the USA on 18 October 1867.

MODERN ALASKA

The new area was at first called the Department of Alaska. In 1884 it was changed to the District of Alaska. Meanwhile, in 1878 the first cannery opened in Alaska. In 1880 gold was discovered in Alaska, in Juneau. Then in 1896 gold was discovered in Yukon but the easiest way to reach it was to sail to Skagway in Southeast Alaska. In 1899 gold was discovered in Nome in Northwest Alaska. Another gold rush began in 1902 when gold was discovered near Fairbanks.

In a single decade, the population of Alaska soared. In 1890 the population of Alaska was just over 32,000 but by 1900 it had surpassed 63,000. Then in 1912 Alaska became a territory. Anchorage was founded in 1915 and Denali National Park was founded in 1917. The Alaska Railroad was completed in 1923. President Warren G Harding went to Alaska to drive in a golden spike in a ceremony to mark the event. Then in 1937 Nell Scott became the first woman to serve in the Alaska legislature.

Meanwhile, an Agricultural College and School of Mines opened in 1935. It became the University of Alaska in 1935.

In June 1942 the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. They also took the islands of Kiska and Attu. The Americans landed on Attu on 11 May 1943. By 30 May they had retaken the island. The Japanese abandoned the island of Kiska in August 1943. During the Second World War military bases were built in Alaska and as a result, some Alaskan towns greatly increased in size. Meanwhile Alaska Highway was built in 1942.

In 1957 oil was discovered in Alaska at Swanson River, on the Kenai Peninsula. Then on 30 June 1958, the Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act. On 3 January 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the union. The first governor of Alaska was William A Egan. However, on 27 March 1964 (Good Friday) Alaska was struck by a devastating earthquake. It measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale making it the most powerful earthquake recorded in North America. It killed 131 people. But Alaska soon recovered and in 1968 oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Coast. To be exploited the oil would have to be transported by pipeline to Valdez and in order to build the pipeline disputes with the native people over land would have to be settled. They were settled by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. The native people relinquished their claims in return for nearly $1 billion and 44 million acres. The trans-Alaska pipeline was completed in 1977. As a result the 1980s were a time of prosperity for Alaska.

However, on 24 March 1989, a tanker called the Exxon Valdez ran aground spilling 11 million gallons of oil. Since then the oil industry in Alaska has declined in importance. However,today tourism is a major industry in Alaska. Meanwhile, in 2006 Sarah Palin was elected the first woman governor of Alaska. Today the population of Alaska is 737,000.

 

THE YUKON

Throughout Yukon’s history, visitors have been welcomed with open arms and that’s no different today. With literally thousands of heritage sites sprinkled throughout the Yukon, there’s ample opportunity for visitors to delve into our colorful past.

Yukon’s Ice Age past forms a unique part of the territory’s history. Over 20,000 years ago, a land bridge joined Asia and North America. Wooly mammoths and scimitar cats roamed this vast ice-free region known as Beringia. While the rest of the continent was cloaked in ice, much of the Yukon became an ecological refuge for plants and animals. This period is recalled in First Nations’ legends of long-ago giants and the creation of the world from a flooded land.

During this time, Yukon’s original people migrated across the land bridge from Asia and inhabited an area near what is now known as Old Crow. They hunted mammoths, bison, horses and caribou. Over time, they established permanent settlements, some of which remain today as modern-day towns.

Yukon’s first visitors were Russian explorers who came in search of furs and other resources in the 18th century. As more explorers from Europe arrived, First Nations people traded furs for tobacco, guns, and other goods. The fur trade developed as the Hudson’s Bay Company and other independent traders established posts throughout the Yukon.

In August 1896 three men found gold on Bonanza Creek near Dawson City, launching the legendary Klondike Gold Rush.

When word of the discovery reached the rest of the world, thousands of would-be prospectors headed north. By the turn of the century Dawson City was the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Winnipeg.

When the Klondike Gold Rush ended in 1903 more than 95 million dollars had been extracted from the Yukon’s rivers.

When the ‘railway built of gold’ was completed in 1900, the White Pass and Yukon railway connected Whitehorse, Yukon to Skagway on the Alaskan coast.

The $10 million railway project was considered an impossible task, but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in just 26 months by thousands of men and 450 tons of explosives.

The White Pass and Yukon Route climbs almost 3,000 feet (900 m) in just 20 miles (32 km) and features steep grades, cliff-hanging turns, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.

The road to North America’s last frontier was built in 1942 to transport war supplies. Completed in only 8 months, more than 30,000 US Army personnel were involved in the construction of over 2,230 km of road to Alaska.

The Alaska Highway forever changed the Yukon. Boats and trains were replaced by the more efficient road system. Whitehorse grew to become the largest town in the Yukon, eventually becoming the capital city in 1953.

Today the Alaska Highway is a scenic paved route that is well-maintained and open year-round.

Our first stop was Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound encompasses 3,800 miles of coastline, bounded to the east and north by the Chugach Mountains and to the west by the Kenai Peninsula. Commercially important for the fishing and oil industries, the sound is also prized for its abundance of marine and coastal life, its rain forest, of Sitka spruce and western hemlock, and its glacier-studded landscape. The sound contains 150 glaciers including 17 tidewater glaciers, known for dramatically calving huge ice chunks into the sea.

More than 220 species of birds, 30 species of land mammals, and at least a dozen marine mammal species are found in the region. Bald eagles are plentiful along treetops and shorelines. Among the estimated 200,000 seabirds that summer in the sound are marbled murrelets, black-legged kittiwakes, and glaucous-winged gulls.

Along western Prince William Sound, black bears may be seen on narrow beaches below mountainous, glacier-choked vistas. To the east, including on Hinchinbrook, Montague, and Hawkins islands, brown bears roam their favored lowlands and are most often seen fishing when the salmon are spawning. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for moose and mountain goats as well. Resident marine mammals include humpback, sei, fin, minke, and killer whales as well as Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters, all of which reach some of their greatest numbers in Prince William Sound.

Though rugged and wild, the sound is easy to access. Through a tunnel roadway completed in 2000, the western Prince William Sound community of Whittier offers a gateway to this marine wilderness about an hour’s drive from Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage. You can also access the sound from the north, at the port of Valdez, via theRichardson Highway.

 

 

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WHITTIER, ALASKA

 

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AT WHITTIER WE BOARD THE GLACIER SPIRIT FOR A TOUR OF PRINCE WILLIAM SOUN

 

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON ALONG THE SHORE WE CAN SEE BRIDAL VEIL FALLS

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON ALONG THE SHORE WE CAN SEE BRIDAL VEIL FALLS

 

 

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON ALONG THE SHORE WE CAN SEE THOUSANDS OF BURDS

 

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BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, ALASKA

 

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON IN THE DISTANCE ONE CAN SEE THE GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND FISHING BOATS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND FISHING BOATS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND FISHING BOATS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND SEALS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND SEALS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND SEALS

 

 

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AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE GLACIERS WE CAN PARTS OF THE GLACIER THAT HAVE BROKEN OFF

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE GLACIERS WE CAN PARTS OF THE GLACIER THAT HAVE BROKEN OFF

 

 

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AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE GLACIERS WE CAN PARTS OF THE GLACIER THAT HAVE BROKEN OFF

 

 

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SEALS ARE SUNNING THEMSELVES ON THESE ICE FLOES

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIER TOUR BOAT

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIER

 

 

WE HAVE ARRIVED AT VALDEZ

The city of Valdez lies at the head of Port Valdez, a natural fjord that reaches inland about 11 miles from Prince William Sound.

BEFORE 1778
Historically—as well as now—the territory south of Valdez belonged to the Alaskan Native people of the Chugach (pronounced “chew-gach”) region, a maritime hunting people. To the north, the land is that of the Ahtna, an Athabaskan-speaking people of the Copper River Basin. Although there was no known permanent native villages in Port Valdez, it is certain that the Chugach and Ahtna did use the area for fishing and trading copper, jade, hides and other furs. The Chugach had eight principal villages spread throughout the rest of Prince William Sound. Of these, only Tatitlek survives today.

1778
ENGLISH EXPLORATION

Captain Cook was possibly the first non-Alaska Native in Prince William Sound. He sailed into the Sound in 1778, naming it Sandwich Sound after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. When Cook returned to England, the editors of his maps renamed the sound after Prince William IV, popularly known as “Silly Billy” (the English royalty was by this time already in decline). Cook named Hinchinbrook and Montague Islands, as well as Bligh Island and several other locations in the Sound.

George Vancouver, who had sailed with Cook on his earlier voyages, did the most extensive exploration of Prince William Sound, and it was he who was able to establish conclusively that the Sound was not part of the fabled Northwest Passage (a route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the Arctic archipelago of Canada).

1790
SPANISH EXPLORATION

In 1790, the cartographer Lt. Salvador Fidalgo followed other Spanish explorers to Alaska to investigate the extent of Russian involvement, establish the Spanish claim in the area, and curb British claims to the Pacific Northwest. As Fidalgo explored the Sound, he named Cordova, Port Gravina and other places. The Exploratory party, which he sent to Columbia Bay guided by two natives, was the first to approach Columbia Glacier. The group did not stay long near the glacier, concluding that it was an active volcano because of the loud thunder and “great pieces of snow” being flung from it. The men ventured down the Valdez Arm and perhaps into Port Valdez. Fidalgo named the area “Bay of Valdez” after Admiral Antonio Valdez, who was head of the Spanish Marines and Minister of the Indies at the time.

1800’s
RUSSIAN EXPLORATION

The Russians, during their ownership of Alaska, were primarily interested in amassing sea otter pelts, focusing on the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak archipelago, and the Southeast Panhandle. However, they did also explore Prince William Sound, founding at least two forts and trading posts on Hinchinbrook Island. One of these, near the Alutiiq village of Nuchek, became the center for trade in the area between Russians and the Natives, and among the various Native groups.

1897
THE GOLD RUSH

Few people lived in the Valdez area until the winter of 1897-98 when gold-seekers came to Valdez to follow the “All-American Route” over the Valdez Glacier into the Interior. Some planned to prospect in the Copper River Basin; others planned to continue on to the Klondike. The route was based on an inaccurate description by US Army Lt. William Abercrombie of a trail that he quite probably had never actually traversed during the course of his 1884 Copper River Expedition. Nonetheless, the route was advertised all over the continental US as an established, preexisting trail. It was a great surprise, therefore, to the would-be miners to arrive in Valdez and find no town and no real trail. A tent city sprang up at the head of the bay; thus Valdez was formed. Four thousand stampeders came through Valdez that year. Some of them stayed on shore to set up shops and other businesses; others dragged themselves and their gear up and over the glacier. The trip over the glacier was a difficult one and some people died in the attempt. Snowslides, snowblindness, glacial crevasses, and extreme physical challenges were just some of the problems encountered. Supplies of goods had to be transported on people-pulled sleds; as many as 20 trips back and forth over the steepest legs of the journey were needed in order to get the necessary year’s worth of supplies across. The following winter of 1898-99 was long and difficult; huge numbers suffered from scurvy and inadequate supplies. Rescue missions were organized by the prospectors to move sick people out of the interior and back to relief cabins in Valdez.

1899
CUTTING THE PATH THROUGH KEYSTONE CANYON

In the late summer and fall of 1898, Abercrombie’s men had begun cutting a rough trail through Keystone Canyon and over Thompson Pass. The following spring the Army approved that route as the new military trail to Eagle and upgrading work began.

1900
FORT LISCUM

Recognizing that Valdez was a strategic location for communications and defense, the Army built Fort Liscum at the site of the present Alyeska Pipeline terminal; laid a telegraph line connecting Seattle, Washington to Eagle, Alaska (thereby bypassing Canada for the first time); and further developed the Keystone Canyon trail (the Goat Trail). The latter, which became the Richardson Highway in 1919, severed as the only viable inland route to Fairbanks until the 1920’s. The population of Valdez soared to 7,000, as it became the coastal port for the majority of traffic going into and out of the interior.

1900-1920
VALDEZ “BOOMS”

Once the rush to the Klondike subsided, prospectors concentrated on the gold, copper and silver deposits on the islands and shores of Prince William Sound. The most profitable mines in the vicinity of Valdez were the Cliff Gold Mine and the Midas Mine. In 1906, H.E. (Red) Ellis discovered and then leased out what was to become the Cliff Gold Mine about five miles east of Valdez on the north shore of Port Valdez. That mine resulted in about 51,740 ounces of gold (about $19 million in current prices) and 8,153 ounces of silver. The Midas Mine, in nearby Solomon Gulch on the south shore of the Port, was the fourth largest producer of copper in the Prince William Sound area. Further away, Ellamar, near Tatitlek and Kennecott Mines, near McCarthy, both of which were owned by the Morgan-Guggenheim Alaska Syndicate, produced far more copper than all the other mines combined. Nearly as much gold came out of Ellamar as a byproduct as came out of the Cliff Mine total.

Valdez was a busy town in the first two decades of the 20th century. It supported a bowling alley, a university (for one semester), several breweries, a dam and hydroelectric plant, a sawmill, the seat of (the Territory of) Alaska’s Third Judicial District, a bank, two movie theaters, two newspapers, an Ursaline convent and an excellent public library, hospital and public school system. In addition to the main industries of mining and shipping, fox farming, fishing, and tourism, provided additional employment and revenues.

There was much talk and speculation about construction of a railway line from Valdez into the Interior and even some preliminary track laid: however no line ever reached any farther than Keystone Canyon. Two rival companies in particular were the cause of considerable upheaval in Valdez. The Alaska Syndicate was choosing among Valdez, Cordova and Katalla for a terminus for their railway from the Kennecott Mine. When it appeared that Valdez would not be selected, H.D. Reynolds appeared on the scene touting his plan for the Alaska Home Railway. He convinced the people of Valdez that “his railroad was their railroad.” Many Valdezans invested their entire savings or businesses into supporting his project. Reynolds bought up much of the town; he soon owned a newspaper, hotel, bank and even some of the streets. In 1907, a shoot-out erupted between the two rival railroad companies over the right-of-way through Keystone Canyon. The Alaska Home Railway project fell apart and the Alaska Syndicate chose Cordova as the terminus for its Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Reynolds left town in a hurry, owing a great deal of money.A newpaper report from shortly after reported that he was seen in Mexicon. Valdezans were left with no railroad, 500 unemployed workers and little money.

1920-1925
BUST FOLLOWS BOOM

By the 1920’s, Valdez’s first boom had busted. With the completion of the Alaska Railroad from Seward to Fairbanks via Anchorage in 1924, the Valdez route was no longer the only entry to the interior; mining had ceased to be profitable and in 1925 even the army pulled out. The population of Valdez fell to between 400 and 500.

1923
FORT LISCUM CLOSED

In 1923, the Army shut down Fort Liscum.

1929
FORT LISCUM CONVERTED TO DAYVILLE

Fort Liscum was obtained by the Day family, who renamed it Dayville. The Days prospected the land, ran a cannery, a sawmill, a school and a store on the old Fort site.

1940’s
WORLD WAR II

World War II further drained the town’s population, although Valdez was a major port for military freight.

1950’s
KEEPING THOMPSON PASS OPEN

Alaska Freight Lines (AFL), run by Al Ghezzi, held a contract with the Army to deliver military supplies and freight to Interior Alaska bases.  He therefore needed to be able to drive the highway year round.  In a partnership that became known as “Operation Snowball”, Ghezzi and the Alaska Road Commission (ARC), agreed to jointly attempt winter maintenance to keep Thompson Pass open during the winter of 1949-1950.  Keeping the Pass open was challenging, but Ghezzi and his crew proved that it could be done, and ARC took over the full duties the following year.  Valdez re-established its place as a strategic point to the Interior, leading to a small trucking book in the 1950’s.

1964
GOOD FRIDAY EARTHQUAKE

On March 27, 1964 (Good Friday), disaster struck Alaska. At 5:36 in the evening, an earthquake lasting over four minutes and registering 9.2 on the Richter Scale struck 45 miles west of Valdez. The quake triggered an underwater landslide, which in turn created several tremendous waves. The first waves washed away the Valdez waterfront and drowned the 30 people who had been standing on the dock. Three men on the steamer Chena, which had been tied to the dock, also died. In all of Alaska, 114 people died as a result of the earthquake.

1967
VALDEZ CONDEMNED AND RELOCATED

The town of Valdez was condemned when it was discovered that the entire town had been built on unstable ground. In 1967, the town was relocated to its present site, four miles east of the former site. 52 buildings were moved and the other structures were burned and the ground razed.

1970’s
TRANS-ALASKA OIL PIPELINE

In 1973, Congress approved the plans for the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline with its southern terminus at Valdez. Thousands of people moved to Valdez to be part of the construction boom. The town’s population soared to 8,000 people, then settled at 3,500 by January of 1989.

1989
EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL

On March 24, 1989 (another Good Friday), the tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh reef, approximately 25 miles outside of Valdez, causing the largest oil spill in North American history and thrusting Valdez into the national spotlight again. During the months following the spill, the population of Valdez grew to almost 10,000 as cleanup workers, reporters, and state and federal employees streamed into town. As a result of the spill, thousands of birds, sea otters, and other wildlife died, and hundreds of miles of beach were oiled. Crews worked all that summer and fall and into the next year, cleaning the beaches and rescuing animals.

1990’s-2000’s
VALDEZ REDEFINES ITSELF AS A MECCA FOR WINTER SPORTS

After the Exxon Valdez spill, Valdez tried to diversify its economy by redefining itself as a mecca for winter sports.  Between 1991 and 2000, the World Extreme Skiing Championships helped define the word “extreme”. WESC successfully tapped into the early 90s zeitgeist for the extreme, the full-blown embracement of experience over mere observation.  The championships helped to stimulate Valdez’s winter economy and made a name for the town as a winter destination.

PRESENT DAY
Today, the population of Valdez is approximately 4,200. Its residents are mainly employed by the city, the oil industry, winter and summer tourism, fishing, or transportation and shipping.

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VALDEZ

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VALDEZ

 

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VALDEZ

 

 

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VALDEZ

 

 

WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

INFORMATION PANELS AT THE WORTHINGTON GLACIER VISITOR CENTER

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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SEEN AT WORTHINGTON GLACIER FLORA

 

 

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SEEN AT WORTHINGTON GLACIER FLORA

 

WRANGELL-ST. ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

Wrangell St Elias National Park is located in the Eastern region of South-central Alaska. The Chugach, Wrangell, and St. Elias mountain ranges converge here in what is often referred to as the “Mountain Kingdom of North America.” It is the largest national park in the United States, six times the size of Yellowstone. Wrangell St Elias encompasses over 20,000 square miles of mountain wilderness – that’s over 50,000 square kilometers, or 25% larger than Switzerland!The Wrangell St. Elias National Park region has long been known for its favorable weather. Summers in the Park are often warm and sunny by Alaskan standards, with temperatures reaching 80+ degrees Fahrenheit (26C) in July and August. Rainfall is sparse at just 11 to 14 inches per year. The combination of ease of access (only a day’s drive east of Anchorage), incredible natural beauty and great summer weather make Wrangell-St. Elias a great destination.

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK – A MOCK UP OF THE PARK AT THE VISITOR CENTER

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK – FISHWHEEL

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK – FISHWHEEL

 

 

INFORMATION PANELS AT THE  WRANGELL ST. ELIAS NATIONAL PARK VISITOR CENTER

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

———————

 

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

  • Size: 730,000 acres
  • Established: 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

This Refuge, in the Upper Tanana River Valley, protects an important flight corridor for migratory birds. Like much of Alaska’s interior, it has a mix of forest, tundra and wetlands that support a wide variety of birds and wildlife. Some snow-covered peaks in the Mentasta Mountains rise over 8,000 feet, but most of the Refuge is low rolling terrain.

Located where the Alaska Highway comes into the state from Canada, the area had been one of the most isolated parts of the state, without significant western contact until Lt. Henry Allen’s exploratory mission came north through the coastal mountains in 1885.

Three different caribou herds graze on the refuge. It also supports runs of humpback whitefish, which is an important food source for local Natives.

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

 

 

 

THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

Kluane – high in the mountains of southwest Yukon – is a land of extremes. The park is home to Canada’s highest peak (5,959-metre Mount Logan), its largest ice field and North America’s most genetically diverse grizzly population.

 

 

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE – THE ROAD TO THE KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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MT. LOGAN – KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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EMERALD LAKE – Emerald Lake is a lake in the southern Yukon, notable for its intense green color. It is located on the South Klondike Highway at kilometer 117.5 (mile 73.5), measured from Skagway, Alaska. The color derives from light reflecting off white deposits of marl, a mixture of clay and calcium carbonate, at the bottom of the shallow waters. The high concentration of calcium carbonate in the water here comes from limestone gravels eroded from the nearby mountains and deposited here 14,000 years ago by the glaciers of the last ice age. Glacial erosion was likewise responsible for scooping out the shallow lakebed.

 

 

CARCROSS, YUKON

Located on the Klondike Highway south of Whitehorse, the village of Carcross was originally named Caribou Crossing by miners who had reached this junction point of the Tagish and Bennett lakes en route to the Klondike gold fields at Dawson. Twice a year large herds of caribou migrated across the easily forded Nares Lake shallows east of the townsite, which was no sooner developed to serve Klondike miners than it became an important stopping point for the White Pass & Yukon Railway in September 1898. The Caribou Hotel also opened in the same year and still in operation, Matthew Watson’s General Store is the Yukon’s oldest operating store.

When railway construction through the White Pass was completed, the final gold spike was hammered into the track here on July 29, 1900.

The name Caribou Crossing was changed to Carcross in 1902 due to the lobbying of Bishop Bompas, who had established a school for First Nations children the year before. Bompas was infuriated that mail addressed to the school was being redirected to other Caribou Crossings in British Columbia and Alaska. While the post office adopted the name change, the railway retained the station name of Caribou Crossing until 1916. The community remained an important rail depot until the station’s closure in 1982. Today the old station is still used during the summer months by White Pass & Yukon Route for scenic rail excursions to Bennet, British Columbia and beyond all the way to Skagway, Alaska. The original station burned down during a fire in 1910 that destroyed the station, the Caribou Hotel, a store, and most of the other buildings in downtown Carcross. The station, hotel, and store were rebuilt within a year.

For many years the sternwheeler Tutshi stood along the shore of the community, but in July 1990 it was destroyed by fire. The remains of the boat have been converted into a viewing platform along with interpretive displays.

In the Carcross cemetery two of the co-discoverers of the Bonanza Creek gold strike that sparked the Klondike Gold Rush are buried. These are Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie (sometimes known as Tagish Charlie), whose First Nations’ names were Keish and Káa Goox respectively. Also buried in the cemetery is Kate Carmack, whose First Nations’ name was Shaaw Tláa. She was Skookum Jim’s sister and, at the time of the strike, the wife of the third co-discoverer, George Carmack. In 1900, Carmack deserted Kate for a white woman and refused her any part of the fortune amassed from the gold strike, as well as access to their daughter. In 1920, she died penniless.

One kilometre north of Carcross is reputedly the world’s smallest desert––a 260-hectare expanse of sand that once lay on the bottom of a large glacial lake covering the entire valley bottom. Strong winds off Bennett Lake keep the sand here constantly shifting, rendering it difficult for plants other than lodgepole pine and kinnikinnick to grow.

HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS OF CARCROSS

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CARCROSS, YUKON

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON – ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH

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CARCROSS, YUKON – ADVERTISING THE BAKERY, CABIN RENTALS AND THE CHILKOOT TRAIL

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE ORIGINAL LOCOMOTIVE

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON – COMMEMORATING THE WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILROAD

 

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON VISITOR CENTER

 

 

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CARCROSS TRADING POST = SOUVENIRS

 

 

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CARCROSS TRADING POST = SOUVENIRS

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON – SIGN FOR CANADA POST

 

 

CARCROSS DESERT

Carcross Desert, is located outside Carcross, Yukon, Canada, is often considered the smallest  desert in the world. The Carcross Desert measures approximately 1 square mile  or 640 acres.

Carcross Desert is commonly referred to as a desert, but is actually a series of northern sand dunes. The area’s climate is too humid to be considered a true desert. The sand was formed during the last glacial period, when large glacial lakes formed and deposited silt. When the lakes dried, the dunes were left behind. Today, sand comes mainly from nearby Bennett Lake, carried by wind. 

The Yukon Territorial Government  made efforts to protect Carcross Desert in 1992, but failed due to opposition from locals who use the dunes for recreational purposes.

The dunes are used by locals for sandboarding. Tourist groups also use the area for off-road scenic tours, which is allowed on the fine-grained dunes. Other summer activities include hiking, skydiving and all-terrain vehicles.

In the winter, the area is used mainly for cross-country skiing and snowboarding.

The nearby White Pass and Yukon Route is a popular tourist attraction, bringing many tourists each year to the Carcross area.

Information Panels:

 

 

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

 

 

THE WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

The White Pass and Yukon Route is a Canadian and U.S. Class II 3 ft narrow gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, it has no direct connection to any other railroal.

Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

The WP&YR railway was considered an impossible task but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in only 26 months.

The $10 million project was the product of British financing, American engineering and Canadian contracting. Tens of thousands of men and 450 tons of explosives overcame harsh and challenging climate and geography to create “the railway built of gold.”

The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.

The 110 mile WP&YR Railroad was completed with the driving of the golden spike on July 29, 1900 in Carcross Yukon connecting the deep water port of Skagway Alaska to Whitehorse Yukon and beyond to northwest Canada and interior Alaska.

White Pass & Yukon Route became a fully integrated transportation company operating docks, trains, stage coaches, sleighs, buses, paddle wheelers, trucks, ships, airplanes, hotels and pipelines. It provided the essential infrastructure servicing the freight and passenger requirements of Yukon’s population and mining industry. WP&YR proved to be a successful transportation innovator and pioneered the inter-modal (ship-train-truck) movement of containers.

We started in Frazier and ended up in Skagway.

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – THE OLD WOODEN RAILWAY TRESTLE

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – THE VIEW FROM THE TRAIN

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – “On To Alaska With Buchanan” George E. Buchanan, a Detroit coal merchant, began bringing boys and girls to Alaska on adventure trips in 1923. His goal was to help young people learn the art of earning and saving money. To accompany Buchanan on these special excursions, a young person had to earn one third of the cost of the journey. The parents could pay one third and Buchanan contributed one third. If necessary he assisted the would-be adventurer to earn his share of the costs. For fifteen years groups of approximately 50 young people, mostly boys, made the annual summer excursion from Detroit to Alaska. The travelers departed from Detroit in mid-July traveling first class by train across Canada to Vancouver B.C. and Puget Sound. Three days on a steamer and then arrival in Skagway. They boarded the White Pass & Yukon Railroad to travel to the lake country and then a transfer by boat to Atlin. The young folks, dressed in coat and tie, had to be on their best behavior. Many years later members of the various Buchanan Boys groups returned to Skagway to ride the WP&YR and to revisit the memories of their special and happy trips. Reportedly the boys from one of the summer trips painted the sign “On To Alaska With Buchanan” on the side of the mountain to commemorate their inspiring leader, George Buchanan.

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – A WHITE PASS LOCOMOTIVE IN SKAGWAY

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – AN ORIGINAL STEAM LOCOMOTIVE IN SKAGWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

SKAGWAY

Skagway is probably best-known to the world as a town that has kept its historic business district looking pretty much the way it did over a century ago during the Klondike Gold Rush.A seven-block corridor along Broadway features historic false-front shops and restaurants, wooden sidewalks, locals in period costumes and restored buildings, many of which are part of the National Park Service-managed Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Beginning in 1897, Skagway and the nearby ghost town of Dyea was the starting place for more than 40,000 gold-rush stampeders who headed to the Yukon primarily by way of the Chilkoot Trail.

Today Skagway survives almost entirely on tourism, as bus tours and more than 400 cruise ships a year turn this small town into a boomtown again every summer. Up to five ships a day stop here and, on the busiest days, more than 8,000 visitors — 10 times the town’s resident population — march off the ships and turn Broadway Avenue into a modern-day version of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Skagway is located 90 miles northeast of Juneau at the northernmost end of Lynn Canal, at the head of Taiya Inlet. The Canadian border is 15 miles north on the South Klondike Highway, and Whitehorse, Yukon, is a further 93 miles. The South Klondike Highway meets the Alaska Highway 98 miles from Skagway.

 

 

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SSKAGWAT

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

Red Onion Saloon and Brothel Museum

The Red Onion was the classiest dance hall and saloon in the bustling gold rush town of Skagway. Our upstairs bordello consisted of 10 cribs (or rooms). Each crib was very small in size, but elaborately decorated. The cribs all had 2 or 3 doors for escape purposes and temperature control.

A weary miner could wander into the Red Onion for a taste of “liquid courage” and a dance or two with a beautiful lady. When the time came to cure his thirst for some love and affection, the anxious gentleman would choose his girl in a very unique way. Behind the bar were 10 dolls that represented the 10 girls upstairs. As each customer would choose a doll of his choice, the bartender would then lay the doll on her back, indicating that that girl was “busy”. Once the gentleman came back down the stairs, the doll was sat upright so every customer in the bar knew that she was once again available.

The Red Onion Brothel Museum contains many antiques and paintings from the gold rush days. Many of the items on display were found in the brothel — others are part of the owner’s personal collection.

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PHOTOS OF FORMER MADAMS IN THE SALOON

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – TOUR GIDE MADAM

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – COSTUME PERFECTLY PRESERVED

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – TINY BED

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY A SCALE TO WEIGH GOLD

 

BRAEBORN LODGE

Braeburn Lodge is a roadhouse on the Klondike Highway in the Yukon Territory of Canada. It is located east of Braeburn Lake and north of Braeburn Mountain, on the path of the former Dawson Overland Trail, which was built in 1902 between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The lodge itself is a tourist destination and is famous for its large cinnamon buns. Nearby Cinnamon Bun Airport is named for the lodge’s cinnamon buns.Every February, Braeburn Lodge hosts a checkpoint of the long-distance Yukon Quest sled dog race.

 

 

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BRAEBORN LODGE

 

 

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BRAEBURN LODGE

 

 

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BRAEBURN LODGE

 

 

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BRAEBURN LODGE – RESULTS OF THE   CHECK INS  –  YUKON QUEST SLED DOG RACE

 

 

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FAMOUS BRAEBURN LODGE HUGE CINNAMON BUNS (WIKIPEDIA)

 

 

MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE

Montague Roadhouse

The Montague Roadhouse is a historic site dating back to the Klondike Gold Rush located on the North Klondike Highway near the community of Carmacks and Dawson City in the Yukon.

The Montague Roadhouse was one of many staging posts located on the Overland Trail. Roadhouses were spaced apart by 20 to 30 kilometres along the route. Each roadhouse varied in services, hospitality,

and quality but most still provided stables, storage, meals and accommodations.

In 1902 the government asked the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway to build a wagon road connecting Whitehorse with Dawson City. When completed the Overland Trail measured 330 kilometres. It would take a carriage 5 days to complete the route. Carriages traveled the route regularly delivering mail and goods.

The original Montague Roadhouse was constructed in 1900 on the opposite side of the Klondike Highway from where it stands now. But, it burnt down from a fire. Soon later another roadhouse was constructed. But it too burnt down in 1909.

Then in 1915, another attempt to build the roadhouse was made. This one did not burn down. It operated until the 1950s servicing travelers on the Overland Trail.

The main floor of the Montague Roadhouse was a restaurant and the second floor housed the bedrooms. The entire roadhouse was heated by two wood stoves. The inside walls of the roadhouse were lined with cheesecloth. A method used to lighten the color of the room, keep heat in and to keep the chinking from making a mess on the floor.

The roadhouse still stands, although time has taken its toll. There are a few other outbuildings on the site. All are log cabin style buildings. A path leads you around the roadhouse. There are some interpretive signs along the way to explain the history.

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

 

DREDGE NO. 4 NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA

Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

Not long after gold was discovered in large quantities in the Klondike, dredges were brought into the Yukon, the first dredge being built in the fall of 1899. One of the two dozen dredges that worked this area, Dredge No. 4 rests on Claim No. 17 Below Discovery on Bonanza Creek near the spot where it ceased operations in 1960. The largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge in North America, it was designed by the Marion Steam Shovel Company.

Dredge No. 4 was built during the summer and winter of 1912 for the Canadian Klondike Mining Company on Claim 112 Below Discovery on Bonanza Creek. It commenced operations in May of 1913, and dug its way upstream in the Klondike Valley into what was known as the “Boyle Concession,” sinking there in 1924. In 1927, it was refloated and continued to operate from the Klondike Valley to Hunker Creek. The ground at the mouth of Hunker Creek was so rich the dredge produced as much as 800 ounces of gold in a single day on Claim 67 Below. It operated until 1940. The dredge was rebuilt on Bonanza Creek by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation and from 1941 to 1959 worked the Bonanza Creek valley.

Dredge No. 4 is 2/3 the size of a football field and 8 stories high. It has a displacement weight of over 3,000 tons (2,722 t), with a 16 cubic foot (.45 cubic metre) bucket capacity. The dredge could dig 48 feet (17 metres) below water level, and 17 feet (5 metres) above water level using hydraulic monitors and washing the gravel banks down.

The dredge was electrically powered from the Company’s hydro plant on the Klondike River about 30 miles (48 kilometres) away, requiring 920 continuous horsepower during the digging operation. Extra horsepower was needed occasionally for such things as hoisting the “spud” (pivot) and the gangplank.

The dredge moved along on a pond of its own making, digging gold bearing gravel in front, recovering the gold through the revolving screen washing plant, then depositing the gravel out the stacker at the rear. A dredge pond could be 300 feet (91 metres) by as much as 500 feet (152 metres) wide, depending on the width of the valley in which the dredge was working. The operating season was on average about 200 days, starting in late April or early May and operating 24 hours a day until late November.

The dredges were a very efficient means of mining for gold. The very fine flour gold however was very hard to save, as were nuggets too large to go through the 1 1/8 inch (1.9 centimetre) holes in the revolving screen, or those caught in the nugget catcher. These went up the stacker and out to the tailing piles.

During the summers of 1991 and 1992 the dredge was excavated, refloated and relocated to its current position on higher ground to protect it from seasonal flooding. Over the last two years, Parks Canada has made a significant investment in the restoration and stabilization of the Dredge.

 

 

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DREDGE NO. 4 NATIONAL HISTORIC STE OF CANADA

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of CDiscovery Claim is a mining claim at Bonanza Creek, a watercourse in the Yukon, Canada. It is the site where, in the afternoon of August 16, 1896, the first piece of gold was found in the Yukon by prospectors. The site is considered to be the place where the Klondike gold rush started. It is located around 17 km south-southeast of Dawson City. The Discovery claim was designated a National Historic Site of Canada on July 13, 1998.

 

 

DISCOVERY CLAIM

Discovery Claim is a mining claim at Bonanza Creek, a watercourse in the Yukon, Canada. It is the site where, in the afternoon of August 16, 1896, the first piece of gold was found in the Yukon by prospectors. The site is considered to be the place where the Klondike gold rush started. It is located around 17 km south-southeast of Dawson City. The Discovery claim was designated a National Historic Site of Canada on July 13, 1998.

On August 16, 1896 George Carmack, an American prospector, his Tagish wife Kate (birthname Shaaw Tláa), her brother Skookum Jim (birthname Keish), and their nephew Dawson Charlie(K̲áa Goox̱), while travelling through the area, stopped to rest on the banks of one of the Klondike River’s tributaries called Bonanza Creek, then called Rabbit Creek.[They were there on the a suggestion of another prospector Robert Henderson. One of them noticed a shiny object in the water. It was gold and Carmack took credit for finding it. It is uncertain whether it was George Carmack or Skookum Jim who made the discovery, but the group decided that George Carmack be named as the official discoverer out of concern that mining authorities would be reluctant to recognize a claim made by an Indian.

On August 17, 1896, they staked out four claims, the first at Bonanza Creek. Two were for George Carmack. At that time, being the first to discover gold in an area entitled him to stake another, second claim. The other two claims were staked on behalf of Skookum Jim and Dawson Charlie.

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM       –       GUIDE EXPLAINS PANNING FOR GOLD

 

 

CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

It is  a combination gold panning & antique mining museum located in the heart of the Klondike Gold fields.

From their website:

“We are a small family owned and operated business located in the heart of the Klondike gold fields.

Our roots in the Klondike go back to the days of the Gold Rush We are never happier than when chatting  with visitors about anything and everything related to that unique period in the North

Our yard is a veritable Museum of antique mining equipment and vintage vehicles. We find that visitors are drawn into our parking lot as if by a magnet.”

It is also one of the few locations the public can come to pan for gold themselves.

A very interesting place to visit.

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM 33 GOLD PANNING & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM