Tasmania's journal of discovery

A cornerstone of history

By PATSY HOLLIS | Slicing like an arrowhead where Forest Road splits left from Goulburn Street in West Hobart, Pendragon Hall is outwardly a church, with mind-blowing leaded windows, a steeple and tall lancet-shaped heavy wooden doors. Inside it has been adapted for private living, though still retaining charming ecclesiastical detail. Read more here …

Dances with dogs

By RACHAEL TREASURE | On the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June one of Australia’s top stockwomen and Kelpie breeders, Nancy Withers, held up her bidders’ card until the selling price of a Kelpie reached a world-record, crowd-gasping price of $5,400 at the Casterton Dog Auction in Victoria.

Continued …

Living by the sword

The sword of myth and legend became obsolete in the early 20th century with the disappearance of cavalry on the battlefield and the final abolition of duelling.

The weapons and practice of swordplay transformed into sport fencing, using lightweight, electrified sabres, epees and foils designed to score points, not injure.

So it would be difficult to imagine a more unlikely occupation at the beginning of the 21st century than professional swordsman, but Tasmanian Stephen Hand has made a sucessful career as a internationally recognised teacher, scholar, author, fight choreographer and practitioner of Medieval and Elizabethan sword fighting.

Continued …

Unfenced — and free

Contributing editor Matt Newton has launched his first book — Shack Life — a series of evocative photographs that are a tribute to an endangered but endearing symbol of Tasmania. Escape to “the shack” has been a ritual on weekends and holidays for many people in this state but, sadly, those days may be coming to an end. Make your own escape here

Olive’s Herb Garden

Stone walls do make a prison, but for a number of women incarcerated at Hobart’s Risdon prison, a herb garden backed by an escapist mural, became a symbol of a free and productive life in the future. More here

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