What’s with the West Coast. Awoke this morning to the worst winds we’ve had all trip, struggled to cook breakfast outside and struggled to keep the motorhome on the bitumen! We had no great plans for today, just thought we would go down to New Norcia which advertises itself as Australia’s only Monastic Town. We arrived there in time for lunch but the next available tour wasn’t until 1.30 p.m. and in the meantime we could do a self guided tour of the exteriors of the buildings.
I’ll admit up front I’m not a fan of grand church buildings, it always appears to be a contradiction of the faith. As we moved between buildings and read the little guided history plaques outside I’m afraid I lost any will to pay for a tour to help defray the costs of maintaining these buildings. A line from the Boys School plaque read “Originally run by the Marist Brothers” – a washing of guilt from the hands of the Benedectines? Or further on the “Orphanage” where young aboriginal girls were brought to be “educated” – by physical and sexual abuse.
Amazingly, in the grounds of the Monastic Church, there is a “Shrine” to recognise the physical and sexual abuse that occurred at New Norcia, but it is hidden away in an area that can only be seen if you walk inside the church grounds and your interest in an unusual rock takes you to that point. Here’s a suggestion – take some of your tour money and relocate that “Shrine” into the car park where the town plan and toilets are located. Oh and even, perhaps, have some means for people to donate to the care of those victims that are still alive.
From New Norcia we travelled another 100 kms to set up camp at the Cadoux Sporting Complex, where our ten dollars goes to the maintenance and improvement of the town’s sporting facilities.