I put on a grave face, a la newsreader Ian Henderson as he reads a child abuse report, when I heard that the couple who were killed were from Toorak, while silently thinking wicked thoughts about the proletariat overthrowing the aristocracy by doing nothing and letting them destroy themselves with their own avarice, greed and conspicuous consumption.
They were refuelling their newly bought boat at Pier 35 on the Yarra River when the kaboom happened. Gotta be careful with petrol vapour. I think I knew that by about the age of ten.
Where is this Pier 35, I wondered. Online street directory did not explain.
A couple of weeks ago we had some very dirty rain to conclude our warm weather. The warm weather certainly has concluded. Heating is on every night and sometimes during the day. My car was reasonably clean until the dirty rain. Since then, the driver's window has gone up and down with a gritty sound. I could bear it no longer. I needed to wash the car.
What has an exploding boat owned by Toorak types got to do with my dirty car? Stay with me.
When looking for Pier 35 on the map, I spied some parkland on the western side of the river and almost under the West Gate Bridge. I want to see this parkland and my car needs washing and I like the car wash place in Kororoit Creek Road, and I could go to the Altona shopping centre to get a few things. I worked out my route, Kingsway, Westgate Bridge, Williamstown Road, Francis Street,
It was a very interesting couple of hours. I have heard of Francis Street in Yarraville and the fools who move there and then complain about the truck traffic. Just like the people who move near an airport and then complain about the noise of the planes. Well, that is the theory, but until you actually experience Francis Street and the trucks, monster trucks and heaps of them, you have no idea. That such truck traffic can be allowed to travel along such a residential street is extraordinary. You won't hear a negative word from me about residents, new or old, who complain about trucks in Francis Street, Yarraville. It is just so so wrong.
Car wash successfully done, shopping done and quite a nice drive, but ah, yes, the park.
Well, it is obviously from the photo, the West Gate Bridge Memorial Park. I either vividly recall the front page picture in The Sun of the West Gate Bridge collapsing during its construction, or it is a since implanted memory. Regardless, it was a tragedy and some 35 workers died. Not your soft palmed Toorak types who have to wank for hours because they don't have any calluses and their foreskin was chopped, but mostly first generation Mediterranean immigrants who were just putting bread on the family table.
Some remedial work is being done on the bridge and so I think the memorial park is not what it ought to be. I could find no roll call or explanatory plaque. All to be seen was one of these sculptures for each dead person.
There were construction type workers hovering around, so it was also a bit intimidating to look very hard.
A bit further along a woman and her baby in a pram went by, just as I stepped out of the shadows and headed in the same direction. I could feel that she was aware of me behind her and no one else around. I could see her looking left and right casually, and trying to observe me and my intentions. I don't like being thought of as a man who by definition, is of course a potential rapist. I am not sure how our society has come to this, however, while I wasn't going to go out of my way and cross the road to nothingness to reassure her, I put on my reading glasses and pretended preoccupation with my phone and walked slower than normal so that she gained distance. Maybe I should have just said, Hi, how are you going, in a friendly manner and, I am just a nerd here taking photos of the park.......or maybe not.
Adjacent to the tiny West Gate Bridge Memorial Park is romantically named, Stony Creek Back Wash. It is an ever so natural square shaped lake with a nice walking bridge across it. Apart from the very static bird, it seemed totally devoid of any life. Maybe rumbling trucks on the bridge above, the petro chemical storage facilities and the dearth of native planting is not conducive to wildlife.
I am only guessing here, but the collapsed West Gate Bridge's concrete footings were left in situ as a memorial too.
Is this one of the footings of the bridge before it fell down?
The memorial sculptures, all 35 of them in a row.
The bird is not real. It did not move. It is just a sculpture.
The marvellous Scienceworks, aka the old Spotswood sewerage pumping station in the background.
An attempt at an arty photo.
Meaningless sculpture. I want labels.
City sky line, Port of Melbourne control tower and the ever so natural backwash.