"We have been told by informed and impressively qualified people from outside Fremantle that our city is unique, that it has a remarkable and intensely valuable character and atmosphere that give it a special sense of place. We readily agree, because we who work and live here already know all these things. Yet we are doing nothing to safeguard it ... no efforts to protect it, and none to positively enhance it. As a result we are sitting back and presiding over the certain destruction of this unique place. And the crudest absurdity is that we are doing it in the name of that great sacred cow - PROGRESS.
Progress is (thought to be) mindlessly, aimlessly good for Fremantle. Learning nothing from the bitter experience of other cities (and previous generations of this one), we plunge blindly along the same path they followed before us and will inexorably reach the same dismal destination, a dehumanised collection of concrete anonymities.
"The basic credo is that dollars make us happy. It is a simple creed which helps make it popular. We don’t have to think, it allows us to welcome with gratitude, from a kneeling position, the proposals of any and every developer who condescends to bestow his favours upon Fremantle. How could we possibly say no? There is a dollar involved. ..." From architect the late Robin McKellar Campbell (2019), citing Murray Edmonds, Deputy Town Clerk (1973), edited. Photo courtesy of Roel Loopers. (Robin McK. Campbell 2019, 'The prehistory of conservation in Fremantle, revisited', Fremantle Studies, 10: 31-44. [presented Fremantle Studies Day 2015])
'Fremantle Stuff is becoming a very reliable fact-checker and throws up a few unexpected nuggets along the way.' Steve Grant, Fremantle Herald.
'... slowly becoming the most reliable repository of the history and evolution of Fremantle.' Agnieshka Kiera, heritage architect.
'... that cool dude that loves Freo!' A contributor.
The first people, Whadjuk Noongar, knew this place as Walyalup, possibly for thousands of years. Stirling called it Fremantle less than two hundred years ago, honoring yet another more senior naval officer.
Garry Gillard | Email me | New: September, 2014 | Now: 2 December, 2022