This short story/history lesson relates to Bruny Island, located off the south eastern coast of Tasmania. This island is now a favourite tourist destination because of its unique natural beauty as well as being known for it’s diverse range of fresh food from both land and sea.
This story is significant, compelling and symbolic.
There is nothing significant about these two gum trees, except they witnessed the arrival of white men on this land. They did not protest but stored what they saw within their wood and it would still remain hidden today except for a painting of the trees made by a white man, one of the first white men to tread this land, the leading artist from H.M.S. Providence under the command of Captain Bligh which anchored off this point in 1792.
I have copied the script accompanying a photograph of the original painting so that it would be easier to read and give some authenticity to my story.
These trees were not standing tall, they were not significant in their beauty. What is significant is the history that these two trees have witnessed in the past, what they have endured through storm and tempest over the years, standing proud on a windswept coast, a witness to a significant period of Tasmania’s history. I thought at the time “if only we could tap this source of knowledge, how richer we would be”. I also found the experience of photographing the above scene profoundly emotional knowing that it had been painted over two hundred years ago and had changed little in that time, almost as if time had stood still.
The above scene is a photograph of the source of fresh water known as the “watering place” marked on the charts of Captain Tobias Furneaux,( Adventure 1773) and again on Captain James Cook’s charts (Resolution, 1777). It was also referred to as Resolution creek and Resolution River at different times.
At the beginning of this post I stated ” The story is significant, compelling and symbolic.” Readers will put their own interpretation on this statement, but to me it is significant, as it was the first time that white man had put foot on this island. The story may not be compelling to all readers but to those with an appetite for history it probably would be. It is a symbol of man’s need to discover new places, new species, in fact, anything new.
This is just another view of the same beach and shows just how clean and clear the water is, much the same as it was all those years ago.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit Bruny Island, take it, you won’t regret it.