Michael Forman

Michael Forman
Author, Singer, Actor, Photographer. This is where I scratch out things between writing books.

Monday, 14 November 2016

I like Mandurah!

Something just occurred to me: Mandurah is all alone in the world. 

Do a search in google maps. There is no other town, city, state, place or name that uses the name Mandurah. It's perfectly unique! I like it!
That's because the town's name isn't a British leftover or borrowed from the founder's favourite place in his home country. We have cities like Perth and Albany for that. 

Yes, they share some weirdly-linked heritage to a man who couldn't think up an original name for the ground he stuck his flag in. If the place looked like Ballina (UK) to him, then Ballina (Au) was what it became. It's romantic but not so helpful when the world is so global in its contemporary outlook.

And don't forget, names get used more than twice on maps and in town planning. Springfield UK has replicated itself 38 more times! And that's just across the US!

Imagine doing research on Springfield but having to filter out all the places, people, customs and the like, that aren't relevant to the Springfield you want. It would be a nightmare!

Mandurah is a unique name taken from the Indigenous culture that lived here before white settlement. They named it (phonetically) Mandjar and the Europeans tweaked it to give it its strange third syllable. Most people who see Mandurah (without knowing its origin) for the first time come up with all kinds of interpretations when taking a run at speaking it. Some accent the middle syllable or give it as much weight as the other two. The truth is, if you stick to Mandjar, you're far closer to the way it's really said.

Aside from name-origins and wayward pronunciations, Mandurah is a pretty beach community with a Mediterranean climate. There's water activities on the beach, the Peel Inlet and the massive The Estuary. 
Lights on the canals every Christmas.
It used to be the most favourite of all holiday destinations for those living in nearby Perth but it became a city in it's own right not too long ago. Now it's the second largest one in all of Western Australia!