Penguin Doors – Thursday Doors.

Last week, we focused on Old Penguin Gaol. This week, we’re spreading our wings and seeing a bit more of this very quaint Tasmanian seaside village where my father-in-law was born around 1927.


Above: Brown’s Bakery. Geoff’s grandfather moved into the unit upstairs after his wife, Molly died in 1936 leaving three kids aged 9, 8 and 2 without their mother. It was also the Depression and very hard times. I had a very heavy heart visiting this place, but were very blessed when the current tenant let us have a look around inside. That’s the view of the beach through their back window, which faces right onto Bass Strait.It was such an incredibly beautiful place when we visited but it must also get its storms. 

Geoff & KIds penguin

Geoff’s grandmother used to photograph her kids up against a paling fence. Here’s Geoff and the kids on the fence next to their old place above the bakery.

marion and brian.jpg

Geoff’s father, Brian with mother Molly around 1927.


These photos were taken in January 2017 when we went on our first family trip to show the kids where Daddy came from. Much of this trip actually ended up being more about walking in Geoff’s father’s footsteps, largely because we were staying with friends who live out of Devonport in the North-West rather than closer to Scottsdale in the North-East where Geoff grew up. This was equally important because Geoff’s Dad passed away when he was 16 and so it’s not easy to get a sense of the man. Indeed, I really need to peer in between the lines and listen at the keyhole and yet, I am married to son. Surely, there must be parts of  I also know like the back of my hand which have been passed down?



Above: Niki’s Sweet Treats, Penguin.

Thank goodness doors are much more straightforward. They might not always be a case of what you see is what you get and they can become unhinged or attacked by bugs, but no one’s ever felt the need to write a manifesto about the psychology or philosophy of doors. There’s no DSM manual either. A door is a door, except perhaps to the doorextraordinaire.

Above: Penguin Market is held in the former Penguin Public School grounds where Geoff’s Dad went to school. While this post is supposed to be about doors, I was struck by the view of the sky and clouds through these large windows in one of the former classrooms. I thought of Geoff’s Dad staring up at those windows thinking of his mum. It gives a whole different slant to that staring out the window so many of us have done during class.

Anyway, these photos were taken long before I’d even heard of Thursday Doors and so these are the doors which stood out to me as we walked through town, either due to their own innate appeal or a personal connection.





Penguins Beware!

Lastly, which should probably have been firstly, here’s a map of Tasmania. Penguin is up the top to the left of Devonport where the Spirit of Tasmania sails to and from Melbourne, linking Tasmania to the mainland.


This has been another contribution to Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0. Why don’t you come and join us and share a few of your favourite doors. It’s a lot of funa nd helps you see parts of the world you’ll never get to visit through the keyhole.

Best wishes,


15 thoughts on “Penguin Doors – Thursday Doors.

  1. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Dan. After seeing those fantastic Italian doors again this week, my doors are feeling incredibly humble, although the scenery is stunning. I would really like to get back there soon.
    Best wishes,

  2. Bear R Humphreys

    Some recognisable place names in Tasmania as well as lovely scenery (now you’ve provided the map!) The original (I expect, since before at least 1066 anyway) Launceston is about 10 miles from where I’m sitting now, with Devonport, the naval district of Plymouth about half an hour away.

  3. Junieper/Jesh stG

    You are straining to know more about your family history – that’s familiar to me – my mother’s side of the family that is, because it’s an illustrious past of nobility. Your daughter makes me smile, Miss Fashionsta I would say:)

  4. joey

    That’s so neat! And of course, walking around on a sunny day, reminiscing, and eating ice cream, such perks to a doorscursion 🙂 Great share!

  5. Rowena Post author

    We missed seeing the Penguin in the Santa suit but my friend gave me a copy. It’s a great place, isn’t it! So old worldy. Like a time capsule. Did you order fish & chips there? The fish batter was orange. I noticed that at a few plates and eventually asked about it. Turns out they add orange food colouring to the batter. That really surprising me.
    By the way, I grew up in the Lutheran Church and your last name is somewhat familiar.
    Best wishes,

  6. Rowena Post author

    My grandfather was born and raised in South Australia and their home was Haebich’s Cottage. My grandmother’s family came from around Toowoomba way. I went to Europe after I finished uni in 1992 and spent about 6 months living in Heidelberg in Germany, which I loved. My Dad’s family heritage is Irish so I grew up with a balance of the two.

  7. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Joey. This one actually became a retrospective doorscursion because I didn’t know about this blog share back then. I went through all my Tassie photos and have picked the doors out of them. I actually live just North of Sydney.
    Best wishes,

  8. Rowena Post author

    That’s interesting that you have noble blood. Haven’t found much of that, although I seem to be descended from Somerled Lord of the Isles in Scotland. I am descended from quite a few Irish Famine survivors which I hope gives me a tenacity to overcome adversity.
    I have two kids and three dogs and the lot of them keep us entertained. Our daughter an be fashionista one minute and quite sporty or even under dressed. Our son has just outgrown his clothes and I’m reluctant to buy more straight away in case he grows straight out of them. He’s just overtaken Mum and Dad and is set to reach 6 ft 1. It already feels strange with him being his current height and walking around the house. It’s going to be very strange when our baby becomes a giant.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Best wishes,

  9. Junieper/Jesh stG

    Thank you Rowena, my weekend was getting back on track with home stuff (because it finally cooled down enough to feel like doing something!) Is something known about Somerled Led of the isles? So interesting to know at least a little about one’s background!!
    Haha, do I know! I’m 5’3″ and probably shrunk a few inches by now, and my son is now 6’4″ Of course when he was a teen he let me know every possible occasion. I understand, it’s strange when the mom who knows everything and has all the control, suddenly becomes the shortest in the family like I am now. It took me a few years to get used to it:) But then it’s nice when you become a grandparent:)
    Have a great week!

  10. Rowena Post author

    Hi Bear,
    I wrote quite a lengthy reply and it somehow got deleted and I didn’t get back to start over. Your message launched me into a few nights of research into my husband’s Cornish heritage. His family had the surname French and lived around St Winnow, which doesn’t seem to be too far from you.
    I gather that quite a few Cornish people emigrated to Tasmania given the abundance of Cornish place names. My husband was born and raised in Scottsdale in the North-East, which is renowned for its Cornish pasties. Cornish pasties are not very common over here but were available via the school canteen when my husband was at school and were known as “Curleys”. Whenever we go down there, he buys an esky full of them and freezes them and brings them home.
    Hope you’ve had a great week.
    Best wishes,

  11. Bear R Humphreys

    If a crow flew due north from St Winnow for 21 miles I’d see it fly over. Unfortunately driving it home on the roads would probably be closer to 35!

    Yep, there’s a lot of Cornish heritage around the world wherever there is a wealth of mining history. Due to their centuries of expertise maximising the riches that tin offered, the Cornish were very much in demand wherever there was an underground mineral resource to exploit.

    The saying goes that wherever on Earth there’s a hole in the ground, you’ll probably find a Cornishman at the bottom of it.

    The week has been fairly average I’m afraid, however, there’s a new one coming up.
    Take care.

  12. Rowena Post author

    I had a really tough week energy wise last week. We had really heavy rain and it put me into something of a coma and made it really difficult to move much at all. The sun popped out briefly this afternoon and it is Spring here so the weather should be improving. Hope the new week is better for both of us.
    Best wishes,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.