This week, for the first time in ages, the blog has a guest contributor! It’s a real treat to hear from Nicky (a long time and much appreciated supporter of this blog), who has written about a wonderful event that happened a couple of weeks ago at Port Willunga. Thanks so much for writing it up Nicky – and for caring and acting in support of good things all over the place…
Elizabeth asked me if I’d write about this really lovely event at Pt Willunga, so here goes.
Hands Across the Sand is an annual event that started in the US after the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The idea is to gather and pledge to care for the marine environment and then hold hands in a line along your particular bit of shoreline, remembering how we are linked by the oceans which connect us all around the world. You can find a link to their website here.
I’d been along a couple of times, once at Glenelg and once at Henley Beach, and when I moved to Pt Willunga I’d dreamed that we could do it here. How wonderful to find that a local group had arranged to do it here AND at Middleton on May 19th. Six other beachside communities in SA were also planning to gather, with a focus on stopping oil exploration and drilling in the Great Australian Bight. I found out more about the local group, The Wild South, and met up with them. They are a great group of younger women, connected with The Wilderness Society. You could find them on Facebook, like I did!
My previous involvement with Hands Across the Sand had been singing there with Rise Up Singing Adelaide. That group is such a positive force, mentioned here before.
Some of us have made some steps towards getting a similar group going down south, and this looked like just the opportunity. The Wild South group were keen and emails started flying. I’m involved in 2 singing groups now, including the Hot Gospel Groove who meet in McLarenVale. Friends from there and from the lesbian network said they’d come. The wonderful Mace Jess offered to lead us with guitar and she and I met to make a plan.
The week was WET and we were prepared to be cold, but the Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, with raindrops sparkling on the freshly washed leaves. What a great start! About 25 of us gathered in the shelter shed to warm up together and then we moved down to the old jetty where people were gathering.
We sang, Peter Davey read a couple of great poems, Thasly from The Wild South and Robyn Holtham, Deputy Mayor of Onkaparinga (who has also appeared here before) spoke, and shared the good news that Onkaparinga Council had voted to join with the EIGHT local councils in SA that are now calling for protection of the Great Australian Bight. Then we sang some more. If you follow Facebook this is a short video of the singing. Then we all joined hands along the shore, maybe 200 people, and had our picture taken. It felt powerful and heartfelt and connected to the place we love.
(EB here. I have included a these smaller repeats of the photos above as you can click on them to enlarge, and then when you get to the enlarged photos, you can enlarge again by clicking on the size of the photos in the accompanying picture info. That may be clear as mud, but hopefully you will get it if you do it, and get a better sense of the great day that it obviously was!)