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Published: September 8th 2014
Darwin All Deities Temple
The beautifully decorated temple services a religion made up of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
We had a sleep-in today and then looked at what was left to see in Darwin, preferably without cost, as we've been a bit extravagant lately. I was interested in the Chinese Temple and Museum, for a gold coin donation so we started there.
The Darwin Chinese Temple is colourful with its bright yellow roof and red decorations and has two little lions guarding the entrance (made in China and originally belonged to a temple near Pine Creek, before it was destroyed by Australian servicemen). Inside the altar area is under cover but there are two side sections that are open to the sky and have pits underneath to collect and drain away the rain. It certainly makes the place lighter and more airy, despite the incense burning at the various altars.
It was built in 1978, after the original temple was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy, having already been bombed in 1942, suffered in the 1897 and 1937 cyclones and been ransacked by Servicemen based in Darwin in World War 2 (a hard life indeed). It is an All Deities Temple practicing a combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism and has quite a few colourful gods sitting
The Ceremonial Dragon
Used for New Year and other celebrations, this resides in the Chinese Museum in Darwin
in a number of brightly decorated altars with beautifully embroidered hangings everywhere, many bearing dragons (to my great delight). There was even a small altar on the outside by the front door to the “Guardian of the Outer Floor”. A couple came in to pray while we were there and stopped to light incense and make a quick, silent prayer at each altar. (We, of course, made a point of looking at other things while they were doing so.)
Next to this was the Memorial Chapel which has the names of the deceased on wooden tablets hung on the wall. Also of great significance to the worshippers in the Bodhi Tree in front of the Temple, which grew from a cutting given by the Bendigo Temple in Victoria to mark the opening of the new building in1978. It is believed to be a descendant of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.
On the other side of the Temple was the Museum, small but well laid out and full of interesting stories about the residents and families, many of whom are 4th
generation Aussies from the first immigrants. Unlike the Melbourne Chinese Museum, they don’t
La Beach Fish and Chip Shop
This very tropical fish and chip shop cooked as well as it looked.
have many artefacts as most have been destroyed in cyclones, the bombing and ransacking. Still they present the information with old photos screen printed onto silk wall hangings and full of quotes by the people in the stories, even having a few recordings of their memories for you to listen to. After all their tribulations, it was interesting that some who were sent away to university in Sydney or Melbourne were surprised to be asked where they came from. When they replied, “Darwin” in a broad Aussie accent, they were asked, “No – originally”. They had not expected that because the community up in Darwin has accepted them for many years and no-one would think to ask that question, which is really good to hear.
By this time, we wanted some lunch and it was getting quite hot again so we drove to Cullen Bay Marina and had some fish and chips, sitting under an awning looking out at the boats drifting across Fannie Bay on a glorious blue sea, while a nice sea breeze kept us cool in the shade. Bliss! Barry stuck to Barramundi but I tried Jewfish. It was very rich and creamy and I enjoyed
the first few bites but before I’d finished, I’d had enough so Mr Gonoff finished it for me. We then took a leisurely walk to the Marina itself and Barry went down the steps to watch a boat crew playing with some big fish in the water, getting them to rise up for a stick. By this time I was feeling the heat and stayed in the shade.
We walked a little further and discovered Cullen Marina Lock. We watched several boats of various sizes taken through the lock by the Lock Keeper, from the higher tide to the lower Marina and vice versa. I was really feeling the heat by then, despite drinking heaps and staying out of the direct sun, so Barry volunteered to go and get the car while I waited in the shade on a bench. When he arrived I was able to get into a lovely cool, air-conditioned car and drink another bottle of water.
Back at the van, I improved, which was just as well as Barry needed help to wash and get the ute ready for its service tomorrow. He hopes it will be finished in time to get the
A Black Kite Swoops in to Pick Up Food
A large group of Kites were swooping up and down over this grassy area and harassing each other to make them drop the food found.
tyres replaced, too. I’m staying home and doing some housework and some Blog.
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