Friday, April 30, 2010

Suburb No 33: Dural

So, here we are again on Friday, the original posting day for 52 Suburbs. Feels familiar yet new.

With the little extra time afforded by the later post day, I managed to break out of 60km speed
zones and head for the hills this week - to Dural. Why Dural? Well, when I plotted the 32 suburbs
we've visited so far (see the map, left and down) I realised there was a gaping hole in the north-west.
Castle Hill, Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook, Dural. I wasn't familiar with any except Dural. But the last
time I'd been to Dural? 30 very long years ago. How much had it changed I wondered. I was no longer
the lanky, spotty teenager my parents used to drag out to the 'country' for the day - so surely it
could no longer be the big patch of green it once was?

Expecting the worst - malls, a Westfield, a McDonalds - I was pleasantly surprised. For somewhere
that's only 36 km from the city centre, it's still amazingly green, with rolling hills and lots of plant
nurseries. But then it's all relative; the locals I met lamented the demise of the huge orchards
and market gardens, broken up into 'small' five acre residential blocks. Yes, the homes on these
blocks are large - but they don't overpower the blocks because the plots are so enormous - to me

Some history. Darug people hung out here originally. Pleased to hear that Dural comes from an Aboriginal
word, 'Dooral-Dooral', meaning a smoking hollow tree. Used to be a much bigger suburb, including
present-day Glenorie, Galston, Arcadia and Middle Dural. One British settler, James Roughley,
donated the land that a tiny old church, St Jude's, still sits on. One of his sons later donated
the family home (Roughley House).

Part 1: Anzac Day

One of the other reasons I wanted to visit this area was I was curious to see what happened there on
Anzac Day. While there wasn't anything going on in Dural itself, there were two ceremonies in
neighbouring suburbs. I arrived late to both; the morning service in umbrella-clad Castle Hill and
the afternoon one in bright, sunny Glenorie. While Castle Hill was thick with crowds, Glenorie's
was much smaller and more intimate. But either way, it didn't feel right to wander around shooting.
I took only a couple of shots at Castle Hill. And at Glenorie, just a few, waiting until the small
crowd headed back to the local RSL to take a few more. 

awash with umbrellas

1914. 2008. When will it end?

even angels cry

When I took this next shot of a father and son, I assumed the 21 year old son was wearing his
grand-father's medals (forgetting they'd be on his right-side if that were the case). When he told me,
no, that he'd served in Iraq when he was 20 and they were his own, I was taken aback. 20.

father and son as well as brothers in arms  :: 1

father and son as well as brothers in arms  ::2

After Castle Hill, I drove up towards Dural. At 8am on a rainy Sunday morning nothing much stirred.
I continued driving to Glenorie where I spotted an old Ford Fairlane outside the little memorial
hall. Inside I found the lovely Ray. Born and bred in the area, he does a great job of keeping
history alive with all the photographs that line the walls of the hall. There had been a small
ceremony at the nearby cenotaph but everyone had gone by then, save for Ray and another local, Pat. 

it could be the 60s

a 1935 model in front of his 1964 model

history lines the walls


After a cup of tea and a chat I left Ray to close up the hall, promising to return that afternoon
for the 3pm service - "Fingers crossed the rain will stop".

Amazingly, it did, enabling the local community to gather around the cenotaph for the sweetest
service you can imagine. The Salvation Army band played, hymns were sung, school children
laid wreathes. And then the Hills District marching band led the gathering across the road and around
the corner to the local RSL club for a couple of bevvies and some fairyfloss.

we salute the brave

heads bowed

and the children gave flowers :: 1

and the children gave flowers :: 2

'poppy' and proteas

and the bagpipes played

marching to their own beat

walking the walk

as they've always done (photograph from the 1960s)

different wars, same bravery

if only the Anzacs had had one (the view not a Chinese restaurant)

five apiece

a young 94 year old

where they like their men in kilts

up since 4am, out of puff

checks and tartan

pink magic



Part 2: Annie, the musical

Before I went to the afternoon service at the Glenorie Cenotaph, I visited the Dural Memorial
Hall. Unlike the Glenorie one, it wasn't filled with history. Instead it bustled with life as cast and
crew from the Dural Musical Society get the place ready for their production of Annie. On May 14
for two weeks (1300 306 776).

life goes on

cast and crew

"need the saw?"

Part 3: Green

Lots of green, indoors and out.

apple green :: 1 (interior of the Roughley House, built 1856)

where trees grow signs

couple o' cows

rosemary and apple green

from here to here

Denise, from Lebanon to Dural, via Bondi

tough swirls

Five seconds from Dural is Glenhaven, a more 'suburban suburb' with streets of normal sized
homes on normal, smallish blocks. But one day I discovered a large chunk of green right across
the road from this suburbia, covered with horses and a duck called Elvis. The couple who live
there explained that they used to live across the road in 'suburbia' but had always dreamed of living
here, in the 'country'. When it came up, they moved - and live happily ever after. Paul commutes
to the city daily while Jo works locally. They also look after the horses kept on the property.

having a quiet chat

operating the giant pooper scooper

on the farm, in the middle of suburbia

Mr Ed?


Part 4: Golden

light and Llamas

don't bother knockin' if it's rockin'

light the colour of golden honey


made of mountain

Part 5: Blue

stay alert

blue checks

under wraps

light paints the walls

Part 6: Pink (and one red)

Pink Ladies


it's nice when customers match the restaurant

cherry blossom

full bloom


tuning into nature

please, not another bill

Part 7: Canoelands

And my last reason to visit Dural? To satisfy my curiosity about a nearby suburb that is partly
responsible for inspiring this entire project - Canoelands. Ever since I'd spied it on the map I'd
wondered - what happens in Canoelands? Then more recently a 52 Suburbs follower asked me,
when was I going to visit Canoelands? Being so close to Dural I just had to check it out. From
what I could see it's very rural, with little but green and blue and a few properties here and
there. No doubt a lovely, peaceful place to live - but slightly less appealing to photograph.


So, Dural. Is there beauty? Thankfully malls and McDonalds haven't invaded the place and to my
eye, it has managed to retain so much of its rural beauty. Even if the blocks are only five acres

See you next Friday.