Aquarian Archive mystery solved
When Wendy Coates opened The Echo last week while sitting at a local café, she certainly wasn’t expecting to see a photo of herself from 28 years ago staring back at her.
Wendy, who just returned to the North Coast after four years living and working in Sydney, was looking at a photo from the Aquarian Archive that was taken in 1982.
The founders of the Aquarian Archive, Graham Irvine and Rhonda Ellis, were keen to find out who the young woman was.
“I was sitting in the Mecca having lunch and all of a sudden I saw this very young photograph of me being dragged away from a protest at Mt Nardi,” Wendy said. “I think we were on a cattle grid, linked together and singing We Shall Not be Moved.
“I was 21 at the time and I remember we were camped on Mt Nardi in Andy Frame’s paddock under an old white cedar and we had a camp kitchen and tents all over the side of the hill. We were protesting the logging of the Nightcap forest – it was one of the protests which led to it being declared a national park.”
Wendy said she immediately rang Graham to fill him in on the history of the photo. It turns out they’re actually old mates, but he hadn’t recognised Wendy in the picture.
Wendy said it brought back memories of a young girl who hit the road in her white mini van to head north and seek out adventure.
“I didn’t really connect with anyone at first, and I actually turned around to go back to Victoria and picked up this hitch hiker who was on the way to the Mt Nardi protest,” Wendy recalled. “I took him there; he stayed for two days and I stayed till the end. The lifestyle here beckoned me… there was a sense of community and people were committed to doing things differently.
“I felt like I’d found my people… my tribe.”
Anyone with old photographs or memorabilia they might like to donate to the Aquarian Archive should phone Graham Irvine on 6689 1666.