Old Bert maintained the obelisk was there as testament to his virility.
His girlfriend Rona said he was dreaming.
Old Bert did a lot of dreaming.
But one thing he didn’t dream about and was grateful for was what he witnessed below the obelisk when he was only fifteen years old.
A man was murdered there and Bert happened to come across the deed being done. Fortunately, he was never seen, for he feared for years after the impact his confession might have on not just him but his whole family.
He hid behind rocks on the edge of the headland and watched as the Gray brothers, the local town criminals at the time, bludgeoned the towns, Undertaker, Horace Casket, to death, over it was said a past debt.
Bert shook for days after holding what he had seen close to his chest and never revealing to anyone what he had seen.
There were stories within the community of what the Gray brothers did to those who grassed on them. Bert had no intention of becoming another in the town’s folklore.
So, to compensate and to put it out of his mind as he went through life he made up all sorts of ludicrous claims about the obelisk.
In fact, the monument erected in 1881, was there to remember the lives lost in the storm of 1876 when the ship, Botany, with fifty souls on board perished on rocks below the headland.
Bert was one for stories ranging from his great grandfather single-handedly dragging bodies from the raging sea that night to his grandmother running raffles to raise money for the erection of the obelisk.
None were true but the community loved it when after a few drinks Old Bert would begin a tale so plausible many did think it was true. One night he even had them all donating money to have the Obelisk polished up for its hundredth anniversary. It was at the time 1998.
Old Bert was my uncle and one night around the fire he told me about his experience at the Obelisk. Such was his telling I have no doubt to its authenticity.