The Journal of the DH Lawrence Society of Australia

ISSN No: 1039-9658

Vol 15. No 2. November 2008



By John Lacey

President of the DH Lawrence Society of Australia

The Lady Hopetoun lit up by the sunset
Photo: John Lacey

The DH Lawrence Society of Australia held its annual Sydney Harbour cruise on the evening of Saturday, 8 November, 2008.

The previous few days had seen varying weather: hot, humid, cool, and wet. Saturday was overcast and windy in the morning, then the sky darkened even more and there were some showers. By the afternoon the rain had retreated and the winds had moderated, but there was a warning of strong coastal winds and a southerly change.

Last year's Harbour cruise was held on the day the drought broke and our plans had to change, but our members saw a sight none of us had ever seen before: waterfalls streaming off the Harbour Bridge. Would we see a novel sight this year?

Given the above weather conditions, the cruise plan was discussed with the crew and modified to give us a better view of the jacarandas (the cruise was being held in the Sydney jacaranda month of "Mauvember" after all). As the 1902- built VIP yacht Lady Hopetoun steamed out of Rozelle Bay under a leaden sky, the passengers saw the first jacarandas on the Balmain- Birchgrove peninsula, yet they were but paltry examples of what was to be seen on the banks of the Lane Cove River further up the Harbour.

We saw stands of jacarandas, framed by bougainvillea (particularly noted in one Greenwich backyard), and flame trees, and the members of the Longueville Sailing Club cheering the sound of the



Lady Hopetoun's whistle as we took advantage of the wide space near the Riverview College wharf to turn and head down Harbour to the Parramatta River.

It was still overcast as we steamed up the Parramatta River to beyond Abbotsford, where we turned for a cruise back to the main Harbour. Approaching the arched Gladesville Bridge, the sun appeared for the first time on the day. The clouds lifted and the passengers were treated to almost an hour of the most glorious display of sunset colours.

The sky was full of turquoise, and then pinks and purples and reds as Lady Hopetoun steamed back towards the city.

Some on board claimed to have never seen such colours in the sky before, and the magic continued as the Lady Hopetoun steamed past Goat Island, and the eastern city buildings reflected the very last of the setting sunlight in their office windows.

We steamed under the Harbour Bridge and passed Fort Denison. What a view there was of the city lights as we rounded Clark Island.

Observing the marvellous display of light on the Harbour, one member, echoed the feeling of many of us: "Why would you live anywhere else? Isn't this Rananim?"

Three views of Sydney: from the West, from the rivers, from the eastern Harbour - the leaden, grey, overcast sky, the glorious sunset, then the sublime aftermath. A cruise and a day to remember.

Click HERE to see more photos of the cruise


OUR UK correspondent, Jonathan Long, has written an article about the friendship between Lawrence and the painter, Mark Gertler, who, with his Polish immigrant parents, lived in the Jewish area of East London.

Aged 15 in 1906, Gertler enrolled in art classes at the Regent Street Polytechnic while also working in a stained-glass factory to pay his way. This stained glass experience influenced his later style.

Later, in 1908, with the help of the Jewish Educational Aid Society, Gertler attended the Slade School of Art, where he was considered the best draughtsman since Augustus John.



Jonathan Long traces Gertler's life and career and his friendship with the Bloomsburies and DH Lawrence.

Click HERE to view a pdf of Jonathan's article. You will see that it contains a number of links to paintings by Gertler.

Because it is not possible to click on links in the article because it is in pdf format, we are listing the links separately so you can access them. To do so, click HERE.

More cruise photos click HERE

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