On Friday 10th March, Barry and I flew from Christchurch to Sydney for a Teutenberg siblings reunion. The last time they’d been together was in April 2017, when we spent three weeks in Gisborne. The four of them aren’t the best at communicating in between physical meetings. So the organiser in me (strength or weakness? I’m never sure …) feels it’s up to me to arrange meet-ups or they’d never see each other! Barry is the second of four children born to Frank and June Teutenberg in Gisborne, New Zealand. Just as I’m the second of four born to Don and Irene Walsh in north Birmingham, England. Another similarity is my siblings are also scattered. Though (mostly) in the same country.
How did the Teutenberg scattering happen? Well, let me tell you their stories in brief, to put this post into context. They’ve each led fascinating lives …
The Four Teutenbergs (in age order)
The following snippets are a mixture of my words and theirs. No complexity intended – if it’s in italics it’s what they wrote. Barry has checked and edited his:
Ray is the oldest of the siblings, born in August 1954. He stayed on board Areandare in the summer of 2018, as he’d got selected to participate in the Brompton Challenge cycle race in London. We travelled to watch him ride, dressed in city attire (Ray, not us), and then we all returned to the boat for a few adventures.
Ray is the oldest and currently lives in Gisborne. He’s been there since I met Barry in August 2005. However, he’d been away a long time before that. He left Gisborne in 1974 for a career in Radio Communications in Wellington and has two children – Emma and Wayne. In 1997 he moved to Hong Kong where he managed an IT Consultancy business supporting global investment banks.
He returned to Gisborne in 2004 to retire but now owns the super-popular Verve Cafe. 😎
Barry as I said, is the second-born Teutenberg, born in December 1955. He jokingly says he was the one who stayed in Gisborne to look after the parents! Apart from six months in 1976 when he travelled to the UK with friends. I’m not sure that was the case in reality. He loves photography, as you all know, and began working for Dunstan and Kinge in Gisborne at the age of 17. In 1982 he bought the business and built it up over the years photographing most of the local schools, family portraits, weddings and commercial and aerial photography. He married Donna in 1985, and they had a daughter Jamie and son Tom. Donna tragically died of a brain tumor at the age of 40 in June 2003.
Barry and I got together at the end of January 2006, and in April 2007 I persuaded him to accompany me to the UK for a three-week holiday. Barry’s stipulation was to do a narrow boating holiday. I was a little flabbergasted. That was never on my ‘list of things to do’, so I said he’d have to organise that part. So he did – magnificently. We hired from Anglo Welsh at Tardebigge and experienced four fun days and nights aboard a 70ft boat, along with my mum and dad, and daughter Kimberley. That was it. He was hooked. The rest, as they say, is history (read more on our ‘about us‘ page if you don’t already know).
Peter is less than a year older than me and has lived in Sydney as long as I’ve known Barry. However, he really wanted to stay in the UK when he worked there many years ago …
From Gizzy to Gizzy
About to turn 21, Peter decided it was time to check out what the world had to offer. Leaving Gizzy with 30-degree days, London’s 2-degrees required a bit of acclimatisation, but he survived for five years until he got a transfer to warmer climes by his employer, Chase Manhattan Bank. This also offered the excitement of helping set up a new Aussie bank from scratch. At 32, Peter met Ceinwen and soon contributed to expanding the Toots’ gene pool with two wonderful daughters, Amy and Sarah. Peter, now in semi-retirement mode, mixes working a bit in I.T. with working in bars and being a full-time valet to his cat Gizzy a.k.a. Gizmo.
Peter briefly visited us shortly after Ray in 2018. Unfortunately, his visit to us was only planned a few weeks in advance and coincided with a planned grandson sleepover, so Barry and he were sent to a nearby hotel in Lichfield for the night. I doubt it bothered either of them 😉
Jenny has lived in Gladstone, Queensland as long as I’ve known Barry. She left Gisborne at 17 and moved to Auckland where she met Ross and in 1986 they built their own home. They had three children, Lauren, Jake and Rik and in 1996 they decided to sell their house and headed to Australia to look for a yacht to buy. They found one up in Cairns and sailed it down the coast, eventually ending up in Gladstone to find work – Jenny on the Heron Island ferry and Ross as a builder. Jenny and her family lived on board Vagabond IV for 5 years before selling it and becoming landlubbers again.
Although she’d visited Gisborne a few times since Barry and I got together, from 2009 to 2014 she had a series of lengthy stays when Frank, and subsequently June, were suffering from ailing health. Jenny also enjoyed a stay on board Areandare ten years ago in 2013, the first summer we owned her. She now has her own art studio in Gladstone.
Ray was the first to arrive from Gisborne for his four-day stay. He gets little time off from Verve, (generally only Christmas Day!) so it was extraordinary to have him there. Next was Jenny from Gladstone, who came via Brisbane, where she’d driven to and left her car with her son Rik. We were the last to arrive having left Christchurch at 4.45 pm. If only we’d all synchronized better. Poor Peter had to drive to the airport three times for pick-ups! Like us, he doesn’t own a car but uses the ‘GoGet’ carshare company You join and pay a monthly amount, then pick up a car from a parking place nearby, pay to hire it for an hour or more, and then return it. It sounds far cheaper than running your own car, and much better for the environment. Do they do this in the UK anywhere?
We’d previously visited Peter in 2010 on our way and return back from six months in the UK. On those occasions, we stayed at his three-bedroom flat in Glebe. Since then, however, he’s moved to a smaller one-bedroom flat. Consequently, Jenny, Barry and I stayed in a studio apartment at Veriu Broadway nearby, while Ray bunked up at Peter’s sharing the lounge with ‘Gizmo’ the cat.
Once we’d checked into the apartment, we headed out to a local Thai for tea, then to one of Peter’s (many) ‘locals’, ‘Stave’s Brewery‘, for an open mic session. It felt as though they’d never been apart, there was so much chatter and laughter. Definitely worth every penny (cent!) to enable this again.
Glebe Market & The Bin Chickens
Everyone was rather weary from travelling and celebrating, so it wasn’t an early start on Saturday 11th March as you can imagine! Which kinda put the day on the back foot as we had a booking for a meal in the evening … Ah well, it all worked out.
Once we were all up and about, we met at the Glebe Saturday market. A massive market in comparison to Gisborne’s Saturday Farmer’s Market! Selling all manner of things. I bought some gorgeous handmade earrings, while Jenny snapped up a reconditioned leather backpack/handbag she’d been looking for. Barry and I were fascinated by the abundance of interesting-looking Ibis birds – much to Jenny and Peter’s amusement. Sadly these are nicknamed, amongst other derogatory terms, ‘bin chickens’.
They’re apparently becoming a pest due to their increasing numbers in public spaces (there are reportedly upwards of 9,000 in Sydney alone)and habitual reliance on human food. Regardless, despite seeing probably hundreds of them over the following three weeks out of their natural habitat (because it’s mostly been destroyed by humans!), we still think they’re handsome-looking birds. Their abundance is, unfortunately, decreasing in their natural range. I resonate with this thought-provoking quote and images with accompanying quotes, which salutes their resilience against the odds:
“Tip turkey, dumpster chook, rubbish raptor – the Australian white ibis goes by many unflattering names. But it is a true urban success story, scavenging to survive in cities across Australia as wetlands have been lost. Wildlife photographer Rick Stevens captured them in Sydney“https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2018/apr/09/bin-chickens-grotesque-glory-urban-ibis-in-pictures
We loved all the varieties of Australian birds we saw during our visit (there are a few Aussie posts to come!), despite many of them being quite vocal! ‘Wingspan‘, is one of our favourite games, and we have the Oceana Expansion on board Areandare, so recognised many from the cards.
A Trip To darling Harbour
After the market, we left Peter to chill (he’s done the ‘tourist thing’ too frequently now) and ordered an Uber to Darling Harbour. The walk from Glebe isn’t insurmountable, but Barry’s hip wasn’t up to it which prevented any guilt! We were dropped off near Kings Street Wharf, a buzzing hub of activity on land and water on a sunny early autumn weekend. We wandered around, gazing in awe (and admittedly often amusement) at many of the ‘costumes’ of groups waiting for their private charter boats ready to party hard on board.
A great people-spotting place was lunch at Zoha Food & Wine, right by one of the boarding jetties. We took a wild guess that the group for that launch were ‘fannies and feathers‘, though that’s pure speculation based on the outfits of those passing …
Peter had recommended we continue walking along Barangaroo, a development built since our previous visit. Barangaroo, I’ve recently discovered, was named after a leader of the Cammeraygal people and wife of Bennelong of the Wangal people, who played a significant role within her community and that of the early British colony. It’s still a work in progress and includes the (controversial it seems) 890 feet tall Crown Sydney – aka ‘Packer’s Pecker’ – an obscene-looking skyscraper/Casino/shopping at Barangaroo. Opened in December 2020, one article I found from February 2021 says “It’s swathed in marble, smells like aftershave and looks phallic: welcome to Packer’s Pecker“. Another from around the same time demands “Demolish Packer’s Pecker and reclaim the park it was meant to be”.
I have no doubt the leader of the Cammeraygal people would be appalled at the opulence of the construction. However, to be honest, it doesn’t look out of place along the waterfront. There’s no shortage of huge ostentatious-looking buildings to overwhelm you (us anyway!).
An Unplanned Trip To Cockatoo Island/Wareamah
Put off by the crowds and buildings Jenny and I wanted to see something more interesting. We’d looked for a ferry to Manley, but realised we were in the wrong ferry terminal. Cockatoo Island caught our eye – with absolutely no clue what was there! We quite understandably, imagined it would be full of birds of a similar name. How wrong we were! The boys were reluctant and needed cajoling. Reluctantly they joined us and then were blown away by the (recent) history of the place and it was hard to get them off the island.
During the 60,000 years prior to European settlement, Cockatoo Island was a meeting place for Sydney’s First Nations Peoples, who know it as Wareamah. From the mid-nineteenth century, it was reshaped for different uses.
The island was the site of a convict gaol from 1839 to 1869 and a major shipbuilding and repair facility from 1857 to 1991, and dock workers supported the Allied powers during both World Wars. Additionally, between 1871 and 1911, the island hosted educational institutions for boys and girls. These included an industrial training school for girls, a reformatory for young women and nautical school ships for boys.https://www.cockatooisland.gov.au/en/learn/island-history/
The first sentence of the quote above will be a recurring theme in our Australia posts. Almost everywhere we went there was an acknowledgement, quite rightly, of the First Nations peoples. You’ll note this when you click on website links. Though it often felt like a forced gesture, we hope there really is a genuine desire to be more inclusive. I vividly recall on our first visit in 2010, being horrified to discover Australia had, for decades, a ‘whites only’ immigration policy. And that land was taken without consent from the indigenous people, as it was said it was ‘Terra Nullius -land belonging to no one’. Thankfully this was overturned in 1992 when the High Court brought down its finding in the Mabo vs Queensland (No. 2) case. Though the country remains woefully behind New Zealand.
There was an amazing-looking waterfront campground, which could be a ‘one day I’ll‘ destination I think …
By the way, Ray thanked Jenny and me for ‘encouraging’ them to go on the boat trip, he’d enjoyed it so much.
We had to almost drag the boys off the island before we’d explored it all, as we were late for the planned Indian meal that evening. The ferry back to Kings Wharf was full, but we managed to get onto another one that took us a longer but more picturesque route under the Harbour Bridge (the largest steel arch bridge on the planet) and past the Sydney Opera House. Barry and I toured this spectacular building in 2010, a highly recommended experience. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Opera House this year, and on the second Friday evening of each month at sunset, from 12th May to 18th September, the sails are illuminated by First Nations artwork:
“Badu Gili: Wonder Women is the most recent installation and produced in collaboration with the Art Gallery of NSW. Badu Gili: Wonder Women celebrates the work and stories of six female First Nations artists, Marlene Gilson, Judith Inkamala, Sally M. Nangala Mulda, Marlene Rubuntja, Elaine Russell and Kaylene Whiskey.”https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/first-nations/badu-gili-live
I only discovered this gem while researching this post. Judith Inkamala is an extraordinary Aboriginal artist, whom Jenny and I had the privilege to meet on our adventure in The Red Centre. More on that to come in future posts …
Far less picturesque were the humongous cruise ships docked nearby – Barry took photos of them you can see in his slideshow. I chose not to. What eyesores they are …
We hired another Uber to pick us up and deliver us to Peter back in Glebe – along with cousin Craig and his wife Sally, who’d arrived from Melbourne for the weekend.
Hot Stuff On A Saturday Night
Barry and Peter looked rather dashing in their (almost) matching flowery shirts! We’d nipped back to the apartment to change after our busy day. The Indian restaurant was one we’d gone to with Peter, Amy and Sarah in 2010. Amy had recently got married when we were there this time and was on honeymoon so sadly we didn’t see her. However, Sarah, who’d been at our wedding in December 2009, was there with her partner Lyle. She’s grown a little!
Bondi To Coogee Walk For Jenny’s 60th
Sunday 12th March was Jenny’s 60th birthday. What a super time to be all together! When Jenny stayed on board Areandare, she’d been celebrating her 50th year and had walked most of the Camino De Santiago with friends Kerry and Hugo (more about these two adorable folks in future a post!). I suggested we walk the 6km Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk together. I’d wanted to do this when we visited in 2010 but it didn’t work out. My daughters recommended it from their experiences living in Sydney in 1999 and 2002. Jenny thought it was a great plan as she’d always fancied it too.
So we left the boys to do what they wanted (which of course involved beer drinking!) and caught a couple of buses to get to Bondi. We knew rain was forecast at some point in the day (though forgot to bring raincoats or swimwear!). The scenery was stunning. We passed beautiful beaches, with heaps of folks out and about enjoying the warm autumnal weather. We’d had a drink at Bondi Icebergs in 2010 – the saltwater pool looks incredible.
We watched the clouds darkening ahead and just managed to get under cover at a café alongside Tamarama Beach when the rain closed in like a curtain …
We grabbed a coffee while waiting for the rain to pass, then continued to Bronte Beach and Baths. At Bronte, I spotted a gathering of lifeguards and thought I’d be cheeky and ask for a photo with them. I chatted to one of them about how our grandson in the UK used to love watching Bondi Rescue. He said that one of the lifeguards from the YouTube series was there and he’d be happy to have a photo taken. So like a teenager with a crush (seriously that wasn’t the case whatsoever!), I knocked on the door and out came ‘Harries’ who happily posed with me. I think our grandson was impressed – though it’s hard to know with teenagers!
I wonder if he’d vocalise it if he’d knew I’d met ‘The King of Bondi’? If I’d known previously I’d have told him, but I’ve only just discovered this. Check out this hilarious video all about Harries:
Our next stopping place was the famous Waverley Cemetery that Kim and Lisa had raved about to me. I could see why. Their website boasts ‘every grave tells a story‘. It’s worth checking them out. What an ‘out of this world’ (pun intended) location for your final resting place.
Continuing our walk, we discovered yet another glorious beach at Randwick – Clovelly Beach. We stopped at the café for lunch, where there was a rainbow lorikeet in the tree, plus another two colourful birds. These seemed to be tied up in the tree – it turned out that they were pets, not natives. Their ‘owner’ came out and chatted with me. The birds seemed to love him.
I, in turn, loved the ‘#racismNOTwelcome’ sign as we walked away from Clovelly …
A short walk away was the glorious Gordon’s Beach. Once again we each regretted not bringing our swimwear and travel towels to have a quick dip in the turquoise waters. If we ever return …
It wasn’t much further to Coogee Beach, the end of this magnificent birthday walk. Nearing the beach we spotted a perching ibis and a species of honeyeater. The placename Coogee is apparently taken from a local Aboriginal word koojah which means ‘smelly place’, owing to the amount of seaweed that can collect on the beach. Daily beach cleaning by Randwick City Council staff keeps the beach in pristine condition year-round and we certainly didn’t notice any offensive odour.
All we had to do then was find a bus to get us back to Glebe in time for the booked Sunday roast at The Glasgow Arms Hotel – that was easier said than done, but we eventually managed it!
A Bargain Sunday Roast
I can’t recall what the deal was, but Peter as a single bloke knows how to find the best prices locally. He’d booked us all into the Sunday roast carvery. Apparently, if you don’t get there in time, it all goes! As it was, we were about an hour later than expected, and one of the four meat choices had already been and gone! Ah well, there was plenty to choose from still. Cousin Craig had been with the boys, having a good catch-up and sharing stories from their childhood. Some of which were quite revelatory. Afterwards, we all headed back to the apartment for one or two (or more!) duty-free gins. It was quite a night. Sally chose well and had a quiet night in instead.
A Visit To New South Wales Art Gallery
Craig and Sally were heading back to Melbourne on Monday, so we all (apart from Peter again) caught the bus to The Art Gallery Of New South Wales in Sydney. It was a pleasant walk from the bus, through parkland. Lunch was the priority – where yet more ibis were, plus a beautiful rainbow lorikeet, all vying for human food. It’s so sad to see. Even if humans don’t ‘consciously’ feed them, they often thoughtlessly leave scraps on the table when they leave and the birds understandably swoop down and snatch what they can. It’s far easier than finding it in the wild. It’s heartbreaking. We didn’t spot any obvious notices similar to those warning of the devastating effects of feeding human food to Kea in Arthur’s Pass.
I was mesmerised by one of the first mindblowing paintings I saw at the Art Gallery by Gordon Bennett. Read the description of the artwork and weep, as I did. I’m so ashamed to be English at times like this:
“1788 Colony established. Flag raised.
1796 First legally sanctioned massacre of Aboriginal people – Hawkesbury River area – troops sent from Parramatta.
1799 – First murder trial of five whites for the murder of two Aboriginal boys – found guilty but released – pardoned three years later.
1802 – Pemulwuy killed and decapitated, his head sent to England.
1803 – First colony established in Tasmania
1804 – First massacre of Aboriginal people in Tasmania, at Risdon Cove.
1813 – Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson cross the Blue Mountains into Wiradjuri land.
1824 – Massacres of Wiradjuri people.
1838 – Myall Creek massacre in northern New South Wales. First white man hung – against public opinion and in a retrial after acquitted in first trial – for the murder of Aboriginal people. This creates a climate of secrecy around further murders.
1857 – Yeeman people (near Roma, Queensland) massacred.
1861 – Largest massacre of whites by Aboriginal people in reprisal for hundreds of Aboriginal deaths, at Cullin-la-Ringo Station, Queensland by the Kairi people.
1869 – Tasmania, William Lanney – touted as the last Aboriginal male – died. His grave is looted and skeleton stolen.
1876 – Tasmania, Truganini – touted as the last Aboriginal female – died. Her skeleton is put on display (against her last wishes) in the Tasmanian Museum.
1928 – Coniston massacre in the Northern Territory, near Yuendumu. Those responsible vindicated in an official (cover up) inquiry ending 7 February 1929.
1971 – Yirrkala, Gove Peninsula, land rights thrown out of court.
1972 – Aboriginal Tent Embassy set up in Canberra. Gough Whitlam elected and Blue Poles by Jackson Pollack purchased for Australia (public outraged).
1976 – Truganini’s bones cremated and her ashes dispersed in the wind.
1992 – Mabo case is won – Terra Nullius overturned.
Information provided by the artist.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006“https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/390.1993/#about
I vividly recall being appalled on my first visit to Australia in May 2010, when I learnt of the ‘Whites Only’ policy from the turn of the twentieth century and only overturned in the 1970s. Oh. My. Goodness. What narrow-minded racists these people were (and I suspect there’s still a number hovering around). There was even a brass badge made to ‘proudly’ wear with “AUSTRALIA FOR THE AUSTRALIANS” cast on one side in relief around the rim, and “WHITE / AUSTRALIA” is cast in relief on the silver-painted shape of Australia in the voided centre. :
“On 23 December 1901 the Immigration Restriction Act came into law. It had been among the first pieces of legislation introduced to the newly formed federal parliament.
The legislation was specifically designed to limit non-British migration to Australia. It represented the formal establishment of the White Australia policy.“https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/white-australia-policyok
Shameful. Inexplicably, heartbreakingly, shameful. I wonder why it brings up images of the Brexit debacle and the touted reasons for voting to leave. Hmmm …
Since learning of this distasteful policy, I’ve watched with horror ‘Rabbit Proof Fence‘, a moving film from 2002 about ‘the stolen generations‘ from 1905 to the 1970s. Unimaginable. More recently I cried watching the 2010 film ‘Oranges and Sunshine’. At the museum shop, I bought the superb book ‘Welcome to Country: An Introduction To Our First Peoples For Young Australians’. I guessed that if it was targeted at young people, I’d understand it. It blew me away. Since reading the book I watched the 2012 film ‘The Sapphires’. All of these stories I’ve found so moving and shocking. In the next post, I’ll talk briefly about my darling Australian friend, André, who spent her final years trying to ‘save’ pregnant aboriginal women from their appalling treatment in the Northern Territories. I’ve wanted to discover more about REAL Australia’s history for many years. The book helped enormously. Thank you, Marcia.
Hello To Everyone & Goodbye To Craig & sally
We’d wandered the Art Gallery for so long, that when we left and walked past an additional space, it was just closing. So we could only look briefly at the ‘Here Comes Everybody‘ sculptures by Francis Upritchard. Jenny in particular, as an amazing artist, was visibly impressed.
We walked to the bus stop through the city to say goodbye to Craig and Sally who had to return to Melbourne. I hope one day to visit them there, and head to Ballarat where my great-great-grandfather, Captain Henry Evans Baker, emigrated in 1852. He invented a telescope that is still at Dunnolly Museum there.
We returned to Glebe to pack and head out for a meal at another of Peter’s bargain finds. It was a much more subdued evening, as everyone was still feeling a little jaded after the shenanigans (and copious quantities of gin!)of Sunday night!
On Tuesday 14th March, Ray returned to Gisborne, Barry moved in with Peter (and Gizmo!) while Jenny and I flew to Yulara to explore The Red Centre for five breathtaking days. It’s been a long-held desire of mine to visit Alice Springs, and I discovered when we were planning the reunion it had been one of Jenny’s too.
Living In The Moments
You may, or may not, have noticed that photos of the four Teutenbergs don’t feature much in this post. Apart from the first evening. We had intended to re-create the family photo in the centre below, but we all completely forgot. I guess we were ‘living in the moments’ instead. Such a wasted opportunity. Heaven knows if/when they’ll all be together again …
The photo on the right includes Craig and his sisters Sally and Julie. See if you can guess who’s who?
Barry’s Sydney Slideshow Part One
Here’s Barry’s first slideshow, with images from when the four of us were in Sydney. As usual, click on the first image to scroll through:
Two Teutenbergs Hit The City
As I said, Ray stayed at Peter’s while he was in Glebe, and once Jenny and I left Barry moved there. Each brother had to ‘share’ the lounge space with Gizmo (Gizzy) Peter’s rather large cat.
Gizmo has his own website – https://gizmo.cat – though as Peter admits, he set it up and hasn’t posted anything after the first photos and videos …
Barry’s Sydney Stories
Barry has posted photos of his and Peter’s escapades. The only photos they shared with Ray, Jenny and I were mostly alcohol-related.
I’ve asked him to write a short overview of what they got up to …
“It wasn’t all beer and skittles… in fact, there were NO skittles involved at all”, but we did manage to see a bit of what Sydney is all about. There was a visit to the Powerhouse Museum. A wander around the Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, a walk through the Casino, a wander around the University of Sydney, a ferry trip across to Manly Beach and pleasantly meandering around “The Rocks” on St Patrick’s Day evening.
OK… so in between all the touristy stuff, it did involve a bit of beer!
Barry’s Sydney Slideshow Part Two
Finally, here’s an abundance of images from Barry’s time with Peter. As you have read above, and you’ll see in the following pictures, it seems they actually did do much more than ‘just’ drinking over the next five days: