Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ultraslow Internet on board Ship

Having had a fine dinner on board the overnight ferry back to Tasmania - don't make the mistake of feeding from the trough in the cafeteria, pay for the a la carte menu in the restaurant - I thought to blog a bit before settling down to read for the night...

Bairnsdale was worth visiting for the sight of St Mary's church, with its murals over the apse and ceiling, painted by an expatriate Italian artist during the Great Depression.  (I will upload my photos in due course.)

The fine marble altars have been preserved, but - poverty in the midst of riches! what Philistines we've become - half the pews have been removed (no one to fill them any more, funny, that), and a brutishly ugly chopping-block altar, with matching furniture, has been erected atop a carpeted dais between the splendours of the old sanctuary and what remains of the nave seating.  When will the Church repent for all the iconoclasm and ugliness forced upon us in the name of the Council?

At Sale (originally named Flooding Creek), I stopt in at the Cathedral, which, while not renovated in the best way, at least preserves a Catholic ambience.  Holy Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, is Patroness of the Diocese: may she, Queen of Gippsland, intercede for all Christian people there, and their good bishop, Christopher Prowse (who taught me once, when he was still a priest in Melbourne).

Lunch was at Yarragon, a pleasant little township where my maternal grandparents married and where my maternal great-grandparents lived.  (Nearby is Gentle Annie hill, with a steep road running up it: Great-grandfather was a poor driver, and my Mum vividly recalls being a passenger in his car when he completely stuffed up the needed gear-shift, and, giving up, let the car slide backwards all the way to the bottom of the hill!)

Finally, about a quarter to four, I parked in marvellous Melbourne again. I had just enough time to meet up with my old mate Scott for a coffee, and to buy a few books at the Central Catholic Bookshop, before I had to head down to Station Pier for to drive my car onto the ferry, bidding the Mainland farewell.

Early to-morrow we dock in Devonport, and I expect to be back along the highway to home in time for Mass.

It's been a good trip.

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