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Principality of Hutt River






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"Sun Princess"

City of Geraldton W.A.

P & O "Sun Princess" visits again!
(Published August 2009)

Paying a visit!

John Kutchel & Family


Well caught!

Dropping by for what they thought was to be a simple visit and look around found John Kutchel and his family comprising of wife Moira, sons John Kutchel Jr & James Kutchel and the family Matriarch, Evelyn Kutchel (Nana).

However, the family were in for a bit of a shock!

For a while now we have had problems with the flagpoles at Hutt. There are a set of three well used poles located directly in front of the secession monument located in the forecourt area of the centre of Nain, that apart from flying the Principality flag each day, also fly flags in salute of official visitors to the Principality where the flags of the nations from which official guests may come from. Many of these guests being Principality representatives to other countries or representatives of other countries making an official call on the Principality. The flagpoles play a very important part in the political area of the Principality as well as a courtesy and salute to those who visit.

Whilst the ropes on these poles are regularly replaced, at times they beat us to it and break or fray beyond use and though at times it has been difficult, we have always been able to find a way to achieve a repair and replace the ropes though recently one rope end ran up the pole to the top during a storm and another rope snapped and jammed in the top pulley that had seized. In plain language it meant that to replace this time either someone goes up or the poles have to come down, Neither an easy task and with the poles having been in place for near 40 years they were not going to lay down without a fight! Nearest "cherry picker" or "elevated platform would be over 100kms away and costly and difficult to have come visit the Principality for what would be a 5 minute job. Along came John!

John learnt his climbing skills whilst lecturing at Holmesglen TAFE in Victoria, Australia and he very quickly discovered our dilemma and made comment that he may be able to assist.
John is qualified in
Working at Heights and Rope Rescue (Twin Rope Method) and is now self employed, providing a service as an assessor with Worksafe Victoria, issuing licences in areas such areas as Dogging & Elevated Work Platforms as well as training in Occupational Health and Safety and First Aid. John is also a volunteer CFA member (Country Fire Authority) back at home in Victoria and has helped fight bush fires in Victoria and NSW.

In the Principality we are quick in seeing potential in people and willingly grabbed John and led him to the poles.
John was very quick to rig himself up and away he went, up the three poles by utilising a technique that involved "Prusik (Prussic) knots" to climb each of the vertical poles. He removed the old ropes, bypassed the seized and worn pulleys and ran a new nylon rope on each. Once down on the ground John then proceeded to pit new clips and installed them for the first time on our ropes by means of splicing the nylon rope expertly, an excellent professional finish was achieved and before we new what had happened John had Prince Leonard at the pole once again raising the Principality flag atop it's correct pole.

Thanks go to John and his family, we trust they will enjoy a great time on their travels and hope they drop by again.

Note to John:

If you could give us prior warning of your next visit John I'm sure we can line up a few other "fix-it's" for whilst you are here!


The photo's below show John hard at work:...


Above: John above shown scaling the poles, utilising Prusik (Prussic) Hitch



Above: John sits at the base of each pole and splices the flag clips onto each end of the rope.



Above: H.R.H. Prince Leonard raises the Principality flag atop it's correct pole whilst watched by the Kutchel family.


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