Two Sydneys in One Day! (Day 141)
A wonderful day exploring Sydney on a free tour and exploring the learnings from Sydney Banks about the Three Principles.
Phew! We just managed to catch the train – it was difficult to find a parking space – we got the last one, I’m sure, and ran down the road, my little legs carrying me up the stairs and down. Tim held the door for me and I jumped on. The trains to Sydney are very nice – two storey, plenty of room and air conditioned.
We arrived at Tower Hill and walked down to Hyde Park (does amuse me seeing all the English names). We were joining the 2.5 hour free walking tour. Lili was our guide, in her bright orange T-shirt and off we went at quite a pace.
She explained who Lachlan Macquarie was – a key figure of Sydney the fifth and last Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. He sounded a right character – named many roads after himself and his wife Elizabeth and designed a hospital without using proper expertise, resulting in a very nice looking building but totally impractical as it had no toilets, wash room or kitchen – Doh! The Mint Hospital (the oldest building in Sydney) was also known as Rum Hospital as he managed to get 3 business men to fund the building work in exchange for 45,000 gallons of rum. It was also known as “Sidney Slaughter House’, as the convict patients were often subject to brutal bloodletting and given toxic concoctions to treat their ailments often resulting in death.
We past St Mary’s Cathedral, This was first built on land given to the church by none other than Governor Macquarie, and was on the edge of town, close to the convict barracks and convict garden. A fire destroyed this building in 1865 and so the Archbishop of that time wrote to Architect William Wardell to rebuild “Any plan, any style, anything that is beautiful and grand. I leave all to you and your own inspiration”. The English-style Gothic Cathedral with the main façade based on Notre Dame in Paris is the result pf Wardell’s inspiration and what we can see today. However just before the Sydney Olympics in 2000, two massive Spires were lowered into place by helicopter onto the two towers of the Cathedral.
As well as hearing about the history of a number of buildings, our guide also shared that disease such as small pox not known in Australia before convicts were deported here killed up to 60% of the one million Aborigines in the area. Many moved away from Sydney, never to return.
Ah – so much information, it was fascinating though. We arrived at The Rocks area, a penal colony was set up here and it became a slum area, with issues such as drink, drugs, prostitution and gang wars – not a nice place. We walked up a narrow passageway called Suez Canal, according to our guide, this used to be known as Sewage Canal! Just like London eastern slums, this area has turned into a thriving trendy area with the renowned weekend Markets where artisans sell their wares. Mmm…perhaps a visit this weekend, not that we buy anything, we have no room in our rucksacks!
Our guide then took us round the corner to see the Harbour Bridge, but a massive Cruise Ship was in the way of a view of the Opera House. Our tour had ended so we went and sat in the shade to eat our packed lunch. Another Free tour guide turned up near us. This guide had a very different style to ours, who was calm and quite genteel lady. This guide was a tall Aussie with a booming voice and very dramatic. Perhaps an aspiring drama student earning some tips? Very amusing.
I needed to get back for 5pm for a Coaching session, so we walked back to Central Station, past shops and discovered The Strand, which is Sydney’s only remaining Victorian Arcade. It is beautiful with timber framed shop fronts with different coloured square stained glass, tiled floors, galleries and cast iron balusters. Shops selling high end chocolates, hats, jewellery, etc and you can even have your shoes shined.
We eventually got to the station to find that all trains were delayed due to a fatality. It is interesting that the news focusses on the inconvenience for the commuters but says nothing about this poor person who was killed. Perhaps they can’t yet until relatives are informed.
After the coaching session (so wonderful to be still working and enabling clients to move forward in their lives) I fed the cats and wondered where Tim was. I thought he had taken a nap. No – not in the bedroom. Time was ticking, eventually I called him up on WhatsApp – he had gone to see his buddy “Gym” and forgotten we were going out.
We finally arrived at Kari’s home and I popped out the car. I’d found a Meetup group online called The Simple Logic Book Club - Exploring Human Experience and they were reviewing Jack Pransky’s “Somebody should have told us” Book. This was one of the first Three Principles books I read, and that enabled me to transform my life, so was thrilled to be able to join them.
What a lovely group of people. They welcomed me warmly, there was Kari, her Mum and Sister Sandy plus 6 others, including a delightful 12 year old daughter of one of the ladies. It is wonderful for young people to have this understanding and I loved her curiosity and questions. There was a nice mix of people who have come across this understanding for some time, and others where it’s new for them. I probably talked too much – it was delightful to share what I have seen and the impact this has had on me and others – and it was delightful seeing the interest and insight in the room.
So, two Sydneys is one day – The amazing city and the amazing man – Sydney Banks who had a profound spiritual enlightenment and through this, uncovered elemental principles that create and govern the human experience, now known as the Three Principles: Universal Mind, Consciousness and Thought. An inspiring day. Sadly no pictures of the Book Group – the chief photographer Tim was busy eating his dinner at a local Indian restaurant. I suppose he deserves some time off!