Tag Archives: hiking

In footsteps of pilgrims

Taken from the West Australian, Bethany Hiatt Educational Editor 6th June 2015

“As well as a few blisters, a group of hardy Year 12 students walking from Perth to New Norcia hope to gain a sense of spiritual achievements and an insight into Perth’s early history.

Article from The West Australian 6th June 2015
Article from The West Australian 6th June 2015

The 15 Mercedes College students doing the 145km trek are followig closely as possible in the steps of Spanish monk Dom Rosendo Salvado, who set off on foot in 1847 to establish the Benedictine order’s New Norcia mission. His life was intertwined with thato f Ursula Frayne, one of the sisters of Mercy who established Mercedes College. Both religious pioneers made the voyage to Perth on the same ship in 1846.

 

The school has adapted the Camino Salvado pilgrim trail from Subiaco to New Norcia, which is based on the popular 800km Camino de Santiago pilgrim walk in Spain, and renamed its version the Camino de Merced, or path of mercy.

Mercedes head of religious education Ben Bull said though students from other schools had done sections of the Salvado trail, he believed it was the first time a school group would complete the entire walk. 

The students set out on Thursday from St John’s Pro Catherdral on Victoria Avenue, the earliest Catholic Church building in WA, and follow the Swan River to the Swan Valley. 

They started walking again yesterday at Bells Rapids on the Avon River and expect to arrive in New Norcia on Wednesday, where they will get a warm welcome from the rest of the Year 12 cohort. 

Mr Bull said the pilgrimage would give students a chance for reflection and a sense of achievement. 

“It’s so hard to quantify exactly what they get out of it, but we know that for thousands of years people have embarked on pilgrimages for a variety of reason,” he said. “And we do know that i does bring some benefits to one’s spirituality.” 

 

 

 

 

New Norcia By-Pass to open in 2017

The State Government Minister for Roads recently announced the the proposed Bye-Pass for New Norcia will proceed and it is intended that it will be open for traffic in 2017. The pilgrim Trail Foundation have worked closely with the Main Roads during the development of the plans and as a result we have made some changes to the final days of the trail – all of which are for the safety and greater experience of the walkers.

Main Roads will be incorporating a safe crossing on the new highway and are proposing to help create a new entry into New Norcia across the river to the south of the town. The Pilgrim Trail Board are very grateful for the manner in which Main Roads have taken our needs into consideration.

The other great news is that the Department of Parks and Wildlife are helping us in marking the Trail through Walyunga and Julimar Parks. This should be completed by the end of June. This has cemented a great relationship between our two organisations and we thank them enormously for their support and encouragement.

Our next big challenge is to create world class camping sites along the trail and discussions are already well under way to action this goal.

Finally, we’re working on Membership. So if you’re interested in receiving an email newsletter or becoming an active member to support the Pilgrim Trail, please send me your contact details to admin@pilgrimtrail.com.au

One door closes, another one opens

Its been a long time coming but things have started to move past the “ready, steady …” to the “go” for our Trail!

We have been frustrated by long delays from certain quarters, but following some “intervention” this appears to have been resolved and we have now established great cooperation with that entity and are hopeful of completion in access agreements in the next couple of weeks.

On the flip side, access to the CAC in Bindoon has been withdrawn by the new operating authority the Edmund Rice Education Authority. This comes after four years of fantastic understanding with the school principals, the farm manager and staff at the College, and the PTF thanks the College Community for their past enthusiasm. However, the powers that be have decided that we can no longer use that route so an alternative has been sought …. and found … and found to be EVEN BETTER! 

We are very excited about the new route as it does away with the need for prior permissions to cross private land. It also extends the walk by about another 15 to 20 km making it an even greater walk than before!

We are currently in the process of exploring the route, marking it and photographing it too.

Finally: in the next few weeks we will be moving to our new Webpage which is currently being built. So keep an eye out for
                                        www.pilgrimtrail.com.au
                                                                                                 its going to be fantastic.

The Trail Head

It’s been a busy time gearing up for the two Camino Salvados from Subiaco to New Norcia and Clive, our intrepid trail marker has managed to put up some of the markers along the way. This is a bigger challenge that one would anticipate as each “territory”we move through has it’s own ideas of how to to it … and a plethora of rules to abide by too. But in the vast majority of cases everyone involved has been kind and helpful.
We also had a great meeting with the head of the newly formed Department of Parks WA – DPWA – and are hoping to develop some great initiatives with them in the future.
I also had a wonderful meeting with the organizer of the Black Swan Arts Award who suggested that next year we take a group of artists along the trail and then ask them to interpret their experience in the visual art of their choice. Then we would hold an exhibition to showcase their talents … and the Trail of course!
Herbert Smith Freehills – the law firm – have been extraordinarily generous with their help on the legal side of things and we own them a huge vote of thanks for all their work.
Finally, we caught up with the walkers on this years walk up in the Chittering Valley and delivered some goodies to keep their energy levels up. Their spirits need no boosting: they are having a WONDERFUL experience despite the frequent deluges of rain that have failed to dampen their enthusiasm. May their happy memories last a lifetime.

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A few of the “happy campers” enjoying a well deserved break.

AND FINALLY WE ARE GOING TO GET OUR TRAILHEAD

It’s going to be inlaid into the forecourt at the front of St Josephs Church, Salvado Road, Subiaco – so hopefully I’ll post a picture of it in my next posting.

August 2013 – Recent Board Meeting

Progress!

At our last Board Meeting it was resolved that we appoint a commercial operator to run walking groups for the PTF. The successful candidate was Inspiration Outdoors, a husband and wife team who are committed to the idea, telling it’s story and protecting the environment all at the same time!
Their link appears on the right hand side.
We also asked Clive McIntyre to go ahead and order the Logo signs of the trail and mark the trail before this years first Camino Salvado which happens in a couple of weeks.

Trail Marker

Projects for the next few months and for next year include:

Upgrading the Webpage to reflect the greater demands of more walkers.
Applying for funding to provide “cross-over” stiles in fence lines where appropriate.
Develop plans for celebrating the Bicentenary of Bishop Rosenda Slavado which occur in 2014.

We have also decided to support the development of the “Piazza Salvado” at the front of St Josephs Church in Subiaco where we will erect a suitable, temporary symbol of the trail head for the Pilgrim Trail. Our expectations are that in the next 5 to 10 years we may need to find a more suitable site nearby that will be able to accommodate the increasing numbers, and not clash with the activities of an already very busy Parish. The City of Subiaco have been excellent partners in our development and we look forward to building on that relationship as the local Councils merge in the next 12 months.

Cultural and Heritage Magic

Yesterday I gave a presentation to the Metro Trails Forum here in Perth and highlighted the history and current development of the Trail:

This is the year that the Trail will be marked and our Board Member Clive McIntyre is progressing this for the group.

Next year is the Bicentenary of Dom Rosendo Salvado the founder of New Norcia and our inspiration for starting the Trail in the first place. We are working with New Norcia, the Cities of Subiaco and Perth, the Whadjuk peoples and local Theatre and music groups to make sure that it is a very special occasion and the start of a deepening our understanding of our rich cultural heritage.

We are also hoping to create a series of Podcasts that will reflect each day of the journey: and this is being done with the help of Richard Offen of Heritage Perth.

Finally, we are looking for a Sponsor(s) so that we can offer a prize for a piece of Visual Arts to represent the ethos of the trail, so please check your bank balances and see if you’ve got any spare cash you can contribute 😉

I look forward to sharing some of the concrete reality that this coming year promises.

Cultural explosion

Over the past few months quiet work has gone on with discussions to mark the trail in readiness for this year 5th anniversary of the Camino Salvado. But next year should be even bigger with the Bi-Centenary of Bishop Rosendo Salvado.

During this time we’ve been talking about creating cultural components to complement the Trail so that those who may never be able to experience it can get some of the spiritual elements from music and theatre- and this has been met with unbridled enthusiasm led by the team at the City of Subiaco, and we thank them tremendously for their facilitating meetings and introductions.

We are also planing minor alterations to the trail so that the Great Northern highway is totally avoided. This will add some extra kilometers, but by then the legs will be strong and the Spirit burnished bright!

There’s still hours more talking to do and application forms to fill our so any offers of help would be gratefully received.

Looking forward to passing on more good news as it happens!

The first Camino for 2012 completed

And I think that it went very well although feedback has highlighted the fact that the trail lacks any distinctive markers and navigational “aids”. So although we have a route, we still have to achieve “Trail” status. That means we urgently need to source funds to complete the job that began nearly 4 years ago!

Ean, Maggie and I had a very informative meeting with the Whadjuk group from SWALSC last week. I found it extremely rewarding to hear the stories that they told and their obvious comfort with the concept of the Trail passing through Walyunga National Park which is of great importance to them. They offered some really creative suggestions and ones that we will seriously try to incorporate into our Trail Experience. One phrase that was used by one of the Board Members lingers with me, and that was that Walyunga is a “Happy Place”. I hope you get to experience that for yourself one day!

I am meeting with CAC to discuss our proposed access agreement with them next week – we both want to “make it happen”, but we need to get it right.

After 8 months, several phone calls and emails, we still have to hear back from a Government Department about one small section of the Trail – does everyone run into challenges like this with Government Departments?

Hopefully my next post will be able to report progress.

It’s been a long time

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The young bride and I have been on extended Sabaticcal in Versailles, France and returned to Oz only a few weeks ago: but that doesn’t mean that work on the Trail has stopped! Thanks to some great work by Col Ingram, Ean James, Clive McIntyre, Greg Clune and Roger Walsh, the PTF has continued to meet and make progress.

Also, as I write, the first Camino Salvado of 2012 is wneding it’s way through blustery showers in the lower Chittering Valley to complete day 3 of the Camino. We hope and pray that as well as showers of rain there will be showers of blessings for them too!

The Draft Strategic Plan is now finalized and in the near future I’ll add a copy of it to this Blog. The alignment is almost settled with one private landholder having signed an agreement, one other has indicated their intent to sign and a Government Department that has taken over 8 months to say they haven’t got all the information that they need at this stage!

At this point we’re looking to the long term management of the Pilgrim Trail and we need your feedback. The Trail is already there and so there are no significant ongoing management issues: in fact if we can learn from the Spanish Camino, everyone organizes themselves privately, the regional authorities manage their sections of the trail and the local entrepreneurs service the Pilgrims that use the route – and it’s very successful. I have no doubt that in 10 to 20 years, thousands of people will be using the Trail every year and it will be a “Jewel in the Crown” of WA tourism. We need to plan for that and we need your ideas.

This week I am making a presentation to the Whadjuk people who are the traditional owners of a section of the Trail in Walyunga National Park: I am honoured and excited to be able to do that.

We also have some great news Maps for the Camino that I will also add to the site – courtesy of Clive McIntyre.

Stakeholders Meeting

Pilgrims

On the 11th November we held a very successful Stakeholders Meeting at St Josephs Parish Centre, with about 18 people in attendance. A slide show and information was presented on the history and current status of the Trail, and then Colin Ingram presented his Draft Strategic Plan followed by general questions.

My feeling is that it was all very well received and now leaves us in position to start work on the actualization of the plan: in other words, bringing it to life!

We have also been fortunate to secure the services of Freehills law firm to help us with the legal aspects of establishing the trail.

What we now need is business skills and sourcing funding for establishing the physical reality of the trail with signs, information boards, maps etc. And for this WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please contact me if you think you can be of any help with the creation of an Australian Icon.