Saturday, January 16, 2016

Vale 44 Waroonga Rd Nedlands

44 Waroonga Road Nedlands was Jan de Jong's home for so many years. Out the back was a building that was his personal dojo. Many have many fond memories of 44 Waroonga Road Nedlands. The property went up for auction 12 December 2015 putting an end to an era.

996 Hay Street Perth was the school's dojo, however, that ended just before De Jong's death. It seemed fitting that with his passing so the school had to relocate as it was no longer his school.

I remember my first attendance at 44 Waroonga Road Nedlands. It was for my black and white theory grading. I arrived at the front gate, a forbidding structure, and when I turned the handle on the gate it came away in my hand. A nervous five minutes resulted in me finally re-attaching the handle to the gate and entering the premises.

I was met by Jan de Jong and Margaret in their living area. An area that looked out onto the garden through a two storey glass front. I was then ushered into the 'inner sanctum' - De Jong's study. Being a studious chap, I was immediately over awed by the floor to ceiling library on three walls of De Jong's study.

I 'breezed' the examination and when I went to shake De Jong's offered hand I accidentally caused a clock to fall to the floor, upon which it immediately disintegrated. I was horrified and attempted to reestablish its integrity, to no avail, and to De Jong's merriment.

In the living room I attempted to sit down upon a stool to receive the accolades that would surly be coming my way only for the stool then to disintegrate into a structural mess. By this time I offered my apologies and suggested that it was time I left before the entire building fell apart around us because of my presence.

Then of course there was the shodan sword grading with Sensei Daryl Cooke in the back yard. I'm quite sure that the sword masters of Japan never had to contend with a fly up their nose while practicing their art. Nor the fact that when engaging in a raised sword stance their sword piercing a lemon hanging in a lemon tree. Of course being thrown into a conflux of pot plants and attempting to maintain dignity as one arises with dirt and plants falling of one would not be the norm for the samurai.

There are many, many, many stories associated with 44 Waroonga Rd Nedlands. Why don't you share them as we say farewell to the last vestige of Shihan Jan de Jong.

PS: Added photo above. De Jong's home dojo and him congratulating the late Sensei Greg Palmer on a completed grading.

1 comment:

  1. Did my free fighting grades in that shed. I'm confident all the "equipment" racked up on the walls is meant to be a lesson on controlling your space.

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