Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We were at an antique furniture auction in High Street, Armadale in the late 1980s. My friend nudged me.

'Psst, over there. Sir Rupert Clarke and his wife. I saw their Roller parked outside.'

I observed a a short and dapper man with a tall and horsey wife with buck teeth.

Sirs were getting thin on the ground by the late eighties in Australia. We don't make them anymore, thank you Lizzie.

Over the subsequent years, I assumed Sir Rupert and Lady Clarke lived at Rupertswood in Sunbury, but no, they never did. His grandfather built it, but sold it to another famous bloke, William McKay of the Sunshine Harvester fame, who in turn sold it on to some nobody? called William Naughton and just a year later in 1927 it was bought by the Salesian Brothers who still own the house and some of the land. The site now houses a catholic school and the main house is accommodation with dining.

The Rupert Clarke who I saw so many years ago was the third Sir Clarke, his grandfather being William, the only Australian born Baronet ever awarded the title. The title is the only active hereditary title in Australia and since the third Sir Rupert Clarke died, his eldest son Rupert is up for consideration.

Naturally all comments are welcome if suggesting that people with hereditary titles are a blight on societies.

Oh yes, we took a drive to Sunbury and had a look. Very nice building and setting. We partook of the local bakery's fare while sunning ourselves in the main street. Sunbury has all the big stores and seemed pretty well serviced. The locals, well, hmmm, interesting mix.

We were welcomed to Rupertswood by what both R and I know as a Monkey Puzzle tree.

Ok, the setting is perhaps not that great, because of parking for the school and outbuildings. Parts of the setting are nice.

The front of Rupertswood. It had a ballroom added later, in a different style, but even at the front of the house, I could detect some alterations. It is said to be the largest house in the State of Victoria.

Must have a circular gravel driveway around a bed of rose bushes, otherwise it could not be a grand mansion.

The train line to Bendigo is quite close by. Rupertswood used to have its own railway station for visitors from the city when they came up for balls, hunting, tennis parties and rooting around with each other's spouses.

A lake is another essential ingredient for an impressive country mansion, and yes, Rupertswood's artificial lake. R does not like large birds like these, so we stayed in the car, but the geese were very curious and approached. I raised the car window a bit, just in case you know.


  1. Anonymous2:03 pm

    'the Salesian Brothers' aren't they in the news lately of wrong doings to children decades ago?

    Could have put the geese in the boot of your car and saved them up for xmas dinner.

  2. "The locals, well, hmmm, interesting mix"

    I would be interested in hearing more about your opinion of the locals.

    The geese are amazing you caught them on a quiet day.

  3. The aristocracy are great if you're a political cartoonist with a penchant for bucked teeth and no chins. Apart from that, they're all inbred twats.

  4. Odd connection Shirl, when I was a mere slip of a lad at Trinity College Melb Uni I had a study and bedroom in Upper Clarke's.(Connection with Rupe.)

    Then they let the sheilas in.

    Mind you, there were a few of us young lotharios who had already invited young girls to take up residence (successfully or - more often unsucessfully) in the corridors of would be power.

  5. Sorry, in my book there's room for everyone: titled, untitled, entitled.

    I am entitled.

    Third Earl of Footscray.

  6. Anonymous7:58 pm

    Sunbury - the only suburb in Melbourne that hosts the "people against lenient sentencing" organisation.

    Those ducks look like they deserve to be eaten with the utmost respect.

  7. Sunbury also had the mental hospital (retardation).
    Is it still there? I dont know. (Another piece of the RH jigsaw.)

  8. They possibly are Anon. The contradictions of the church still amaze me. Never eaten goose and not about to start, but goose fat can be useful.

    Ah yes Ann, City of Hume. It seemed a bit mono cultural for my taste but specifically, I think we just struck it lucky with our neighbouring coffee sippers. Two woman, one talking to a young child like she was reading a chapter of Proust in a monologue, the other, a smack head type with his tart with a voice that could shatter Crystal D'Arque or a Vegemite jar, whichever was stronger. We were sitting there for half an hour, so take such a statement as I made with a grain of salt, as you should with most things I say. And, there were a heap of geese. Even I was a bit reluctant to get out of the car.

    Thanks for the colour M'lord. So that is how catholic schools got their money before Whitlam started the rot.

    If true Reuben, I have a new respect for the locals. And geese Reuben not ducks.

    Funny you mention the mental hospital Robert, coz I was talking to an old and retired workmate yesterday and he too asked about the mental asylum. I know nothing of it.

  9. Reuben, unfortunately the one man band of PALS is based in Sunbury and he is my electoral opponent. Lovely far right wing lad he is.

    We used to have Caloola in Sunbury that was closed down rightfully by the Cain Govt.

    The city of Hume is not mono cultural, however Sunbury is in effect. There are a mixed crowd in Sunbury but most of the people are great people.

  10. It is venerable, the whole thing, from the carpark there's a twin stairway, left and right, rising to a forecourt. Look up, and there it is, the building, and it is towering, imperious, in charge of everything. One must honour it, there's no choice.
    Andrew the contradictions of the church are the contradictions in people, and that's all. I'm tired of a dreary lot of cunts bleating on about the church. They should have a fucking honest look at themselves -investigate their own disgusting fucked up little minds.

  11. Love the photos and the post, Andrew :)

    Info on Sunbury's mental asylum HERE

  12. Sorry my dears, I associate the Church with the hospital.
    That's how it goes, you mix two sentiments, and....BOOM!!!

    ha ha ha!


  13. Thanks Ann.

    Thanks Jayne. It is not mentioned by name, but I assume the institution and Caloola are one and the same. Blast from the past, Kay Setches.

    There will always be contradictions where people are involved. Let the world be ruled by machines. But seriously, I would have no problem with any religion, if only they would keep it to themselves.

  14. Anonymous3:49 pm

    I hope you're joking, Andrew.

    Gurunaan, you know the chap? Could you give me his address? I have some surplus dynamite that I need to explode safely.

  15. I know nothing of PALS, but I do believe that many sentences, especially those where violence is involved, are too lenient.

  16. Keep it to themseves?

    Good heavens.

    But I intend to broadcast it.

  17. (after it's proof read)

    Archduke of Altona.

  18. You'll always be Robert under Westgate Bridge to me xxx