Sunday, 21 August 2011

Day Tripping... and Temari Inspiration

Yesterday we took a day trip out to New Norcia. This lovely, peaceful town is entirely a Benedictine Community tucked away just 1.5 hours north of Perth. I am sure I must have been to New Norcia as a child but I don't remember it and as an adult I have always wanted to go there. We took along Mr W's friend Mr C, they found all the history a bit too much at times (they saw the AFL goals and wanted to kick a football) so to keep them 'manageable' while on the tour I gave Mr W my camera and Mr C my camera phone. All the images in this post have been taken by the boys.

Photographers Mr C and Mr W
 What is the most impressive thing about New Norcia? Hmmm it is hard to say, the buildings are wonderful, there is 164 years worth of amazing heritage to see, an incredible art and history gallery to experience, but maybe the most surprising feature of this township is the sense of peace and tranquility which is felt everywhere.

Pax (the Latin word for Peace) is the motto of the Benedictine Monks of New Norcia and it is central to their daily life. We took a 2 hour tour through the town, our guide (Roy) was a previous student of the St Ildephonsus boarding school and had great knowledge of the history and workings of the area. The land area 15 kilometres East and West of the town and 5 kilometres North and South all belong to the Benedictine community. They grow canola in many of the fields and there are many vistas of gold to be seen in all directions.

Canola Fields in New Norcia
The Benedictine Monks escaped religious persecution in Spain back in the mid 1800's and fled to Italy where they met an Australian who suggested they return with him to Western Australia to do some ministerial work with the 'natives'. Their 20 acre parcel of allotted land was expanded and became the town of New Norcia, they established a mission and school settlement and became self sufficient. It is said that during a rather savage bush fire that threatened the Monastery the Bishop Salvado (the founder of New Norcia) held the painting Our Lady Good Counsel facing the fire and prayed for help, at that time the winds weakened, changed direction and the fire burnt itself out. The Aborigines that witnessed this are said to have remarked that the white woman was very powerful. Prayer answered, lucky coincidence or a bit of both it's up to everyone to decide, either way it is a colourful bit of history.

We purchased some really delicious New Norcia Bakehouse bread and a few other trinkets at the gift shop including a calico shopping bag and a beautiful milk jug.
Here are a few more photos of town... at the end you'll see some temari inspiration:

Mr W sitting on the Monastery step, a close up of the inner door behind.

Chapel Pipe Organ. Look at the keys... a shortage of Ivory?

New Norcia Church

And now for some temari inspiration. Can you see the shapes I see?

Stained Glass in Chapel
Doorway at St Gertrudes
Various Pressed Tin Ceiling Finishes

Wall Finishes in Chapel
Monastery Gate to Monk's Private Residence

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