Saturday, 28 November 2015

Broome WA

Broome in Western Australia.

First ever visit to Broome we were not wrapped in the town.  Second time we loved it, and of course this last time we still loved it, in Broome.
There are a few older posts of the sunsets looking from Cable Beach, and there is nothing like the sunsets there. I shall post some more later.

Broome is a coastal, pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, 2,240 km (1,390 mi) north of Perth. The permanent population is estimated at 14,436, growing to over 45,000 per month during the tourist season.  Broome International Airport provides transport to several domestic destinations.
 
The town has a deep history based around the men and women who developed the pearling industry, starting with the harvesting of oysters for mother of pearl in the 1880s to the current major cultured pearl farming enterprises.
At first, aborigines were blackbirded (enslaved) and forced to dive naked, with little or no equipment. Especially pregnant girls were used as they were believed to have superior lung capacity. In 2010 the Shire of Broome and Kimberley commissioned a Memorial to the Indigenous Female Pearl Divers.
When slavery was abolished and diving suits were needed for deeper diving, Asians and islanders were given the dangerous job instead. Especially Japanese were valued for their experience. The riches from the pearl beds did not come cheaply, however, and the town's Japanese cemetery is the resting place of 919 Japanese divers who lost their lives working in the industry. Many more were lost at sea, and the exact number of deaths is unknown. The Japanese were only one of the major ethnic groups who flocked to Broome to work on the luggers or the shore based activities supporting the harvesting of oysters from the waters around Broome. They were specialist divers and, despite being considered enemies, became an indispensable part of the industry until World War II.

Headstones in the Japanese Cemetery



Each year Broome celebrates this fusion of different cultures in an annual cultural festival called Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for festival of the pearl) which celebrates the Asian influenced culture brought here by the pearling industry


Broome was attacked at least four times by Japanese aircraft during the Second World War, and the worst attack was the 3 March 1942 air raid in which at least 88 people (mostly civilians who were refugees from the Dutch East Indies) were killed.

Racial segregation was common in Broome until the 1970s.
Broome entered into a sister city agreement with Taiji, Japan in 1981 as historic ties between the two towns date back to the early 1900s, when Japan became instrumental in laying the groundwork of Broome's pearling industry.  Wikipedia

The shopping centre is called Chinatown.


The main street in Chinatown, Broome at the top end of it.
The photo below is down the street a little.
 



You will notice that none of the buildings have gutters on them.  This is because of the rainy season, the gutters would not hold the water.


Pearls are sold in many shop, some exclusively.


An arcade.






Pioneers in the cultured pearl industry.


Open aired picture theater in the main street.


32 comments:

  1. I learn so much from your travels/photos. This was an interesting read.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

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  2. Hello Margaret,
    Very special shots. Nice to see that wonderful place with very nice houses.
    It's nice to see how people live their life in that country.

    Many greetings,
    Marco

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    1. Part of the magic of visiting other places in my country is to see how the other half live :)

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  3. Margaret the most interesting place for me is the Japanese headstones. They look great in the beautiful landscape. The town looks peaceful and for me so nice

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    1. It's a rather relaxed lifestyle there in Broome. No high riser buildings at all.
      The headstones are kept in good order as is the graveyard, it's a credit to who ever looks after it.

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  4. Pearls, like diamonds and gold, don't come cheap when you consider the lives lost to them do they?
    This was fascinating. Thank you. I love that Broome has established a sister city with Japan and the recognition of the Indigenous divers is also wonderful.

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    1. Oh no money can buy a life, never.
      Pearls there are thousands of dollars, if not millions, but you can buy cheaper ones, especially earrings.
      It's excellent that all is well between Broome and the Japanese., once again.

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  5. Broome is a place I would like to visit but it is so expensive to fly there and I think accommodation is expensive. It is also hot! Your potted history of the town was very interesting. I did not even know Broome was bombed.

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    1. It's a long way Andrew to Broome. Often said it's more expensive to travel in Australia than in other parts of the world. I think, no, I'm sure we could have travelled the world a few times with what we have spent over time travelling our land....but - he won't fly, only if he has to.
      Would be good if there was a special on to Broome and you both could go. Winter is the time to go, it's about 28 degC to 35...that is good temp. for us.

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  6. Thank you, I knew little of this so found it interesting indeed, it is a place I hope to visit one day

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    1. You are welcome Jo-Anne, well worth a visit if you get the opportunity..

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  7. One of my chefs and his wife at the resort on Hinchinbrook (his wife whose role was as one of my waitresses) lived and worked in Broome for a while before they came to work for me. They loved it.

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    1. It's isolated but it's a good place to live for awhile I reckon. So you would have heard some stories of Broome then..

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  8. Hi Margaret, I have been having a lot of arthritis pain (and it is very rainy today here in Montreal), but I want you to know that your posts bring me much joy and temporary and soothing relief from the pain. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Oh gosh, change in weather brings on the pain of most arthritis's, and or rain, you would know only too well..so I'm pleased a bit of sunshine with blue sky helps :)
      You are welcome.


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  9. I would never have noticed the lack of gutters if you hadn't pointed them out. I wonder if they have another system for collecting rainwater, or they just don't need to.

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    1. Probably they collect water in tanks, well some would.
      Many towns up north (Top End) don't have gutters, the water just comes straight out of them apparently.

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  10. Broome sounds and looks like a nice and interesting place to visit. Thank you for sharing about the danger of the pearl divers.

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    1. You are welcome. It's an isolated place, but bautiful.

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  11. The Japanese cemetery is very special, we didn't even see such a cemetery in Japan.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  12. In Spain there is also a long tradicción of the pearl culture on the island of Mallorca, specifically the city of Manacor, is famous for it.

    Kisses

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    1. Thanks for the information. I will look it up on Google..

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  13. Sunday:
    Hi
    Broome certainly has quite a history. I thought during WW2 it was bombed on more occasions.
    Great to see that the historical aspects of the pearling days have been so well preserved.

    Have had REAL Melbourne weather here in the Hunter for this wedding - now day 4 of this festive occasions and still many of the guests are here - today the exit commences to all over Australia
    and overseas.
    The weather today is perfect - but from furnance 45 Celsius to 20 Celsuis in less than 24 hours is certainly a first for me - and I hope the last!!!

    I don't recommend Eggs Benedict followed by Wedding Cake of a rich chocolate liqueur basedwith mazipan for breakfast - my stomach is in revolt - ha ha.
    Cheers
    Colin

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    1. My goodness what a difference in the temp. A shock to the system for sure.
      Your poor stomach, soon to recover :)
      Enjoy.

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  14. So many deaths for a few shiny white spheres. What is it about pearls that makes them so valuable? What is it about any gem? I like gems, but is the cost of getting them really worth all the hype? (And the prices.) Not to mention centuries of associated theft.

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    1. I do believe pearls, gems in some countries shows a persons wealth!
      Deadly price to pay in lives, no gem is worth a life.
      Such is life!

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