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The Serene Wycycle



On Nov 15th 2004, after 11 years of delays and extraordinary bureaucratic errors in processing a simple application for an access driveway, Mosman Council, solely citing “changed community views”, refused the application and as a result cut off the property of artist Paul Ashton Delprat and his family from their frontage and sole road access.  All legal requirements had been totally satisfied.  As a result the family has seceded from the Municipality of Mosman.

Subsequently in a Ceremony in front of national media the Mayor of Mosman in full regalia graciously accepted our Decree.  The Principality has seceded solely from Mosman and not from NSW nor the Commonwealth of Australia.  The name of the Principality of Wy is taken from neighbouring Wyargine Point.



A Serene work of mobile art created by Prince Paul of Wy was exhibited for the first time as part of The 2005 Festival of Mosman.  Upon receiving an invitation from Mosman Council, Prince Paul spoke and exhibited “The Serene Wycycle” at 10.30 am Sunday 11 Sept. at Speaker’s Corner near the Balmoral Rotunda.   “Spontaneously responding” says Prince Paul, “to this gesture of friendship from Mosman Council, we note with relief that Councillors recently voted almost unanimously NOT to remove our sole road frontage.  We look forward hopefully to four wheeled “Wymobile” linkage to Mosman in the future.”

To quote the letter of invitation :  “This is a chance to be part of a spectacular vehicle for impromptu free speech….

“The spectacular Wycycle is the sole means of wheeled transport in and out of the Principality proper into neighbouring Mosman, which Prince Paul likes to think of nostalgically as “Wider Wy”.  “It is not a Trojan Horse”,  he says, “I am presenting it simply as a salutation to the decent gentlefolk of Mosman.  Built as it is from wholly recycled materials, it is an ecological counterbalance to those individuals who recently accused these good people of excessive wastage.”

“The Principality of Wy was chagrined to read in the press about Mosman’s large Ecological Footprint.  We of Wy deplore the base snickering from the mouths of, no doubt, envious others. “The Principality has, by necessity, a very small footprint and we are happy to advise Mosman Council on how to lower the consumption threshold.”  A ground-breaking start could be to provide genteel bicycle tracks and to remove all driveways and all roads, preferably by planting them out with approved native plants.”

REWYCYULAR ART   The following description of “The Serene Wycycle” is republished with permission from Principality of Wy Fine Art Journal: “A mixed metaphor of seeing and riding, speed and stillness, significance and insouciance. Surreal juxtaposition is achieved with quirky couch/saddlery and brilliant gilt framed vernacular.”

Equerry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Historic


Archaeological Relics                 DIRK HARTOG’S EAR TRUMPET

Not all the objects that are presented to Prince Paul to be combined into sculptural creations are suitable for that purpose.  Some, possibly, have great significance in their own right.   Dirk Hartog’s ear trumpet is a good example.

Dirk Hartog,  the famous Dutch explorer disappeared for six months after leaving an inscribed pewter plate, disclosing his presence, on an island off the Western coast of Australia in 1616.

The Prince presents Dirk Hartog Ear Trumpet

A well preserved, inscribed wooden artifact was recently discovered in a cave in The Principality of Wy.  

Archaeologists are aware of the tradition of wooden objects of apparel, such as footwear,  favoured by the Dutch and believe that this rough hewn object, which appears to be the remains of an ear trumpet, follows this same practical tradition.

The relic is inscribed, perhaps by a crewman or even Captain Hartog himself, with the name “Dirck Hartische” and “Eendracht”, which was the name of Dirk Hartog’s vessel of exploration.  

The Prince is interested in this possibly momentous discovery, as he has Dutch ancestry.  He is appointing a Serene Commission to look into it .  

The Prince examines Dirk Hartog's Ear Trumpet

There is also a  map incised on the “ear trumpet” which seems to locate the Principality of Wy.  Historians are excited by this and it has been proposed that there is a possibility that the discovery of the Principality of Wy may predate that of Australia itself .

Research is continuing.


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Community Street Parade

  The Court of the Principality of Wy has been an adornment of the Mosman Festival Grand Parade on a number of occasions. Prince Paul and Princess Susan and Members of the Serene Court of The Principality of Wy are customarily led by the famous “Golden Serene Wycycle”, the official vehicle of Wy, which is artistically adorned with flowers in the spirit of Springtime. Court musicians entertain the huge crowds lining the Mosman Festival Parades with Rock Star inspired courtly music written for the occasion.  

The crowds are thrilled to see their very own Principality out and about and sharing the festivities with Mosman.  Some are heard to say that the Principality Contingent brings excellent “Wy Weather” to Mosman.   The Equerries often comment on the balmy weather enjoyed by The Principality.  The Astronomer Serene is making a study on the subject.  

On all occasions  The Court of The Principality of Wy is greeted with good humour and  delight by those on the official stand at the Town Hall, their number generally including representatives from Her Majesty’s Navy and Her Majesty’s Government .  The Prince is a loyal subject of her Majesty.

The Prince is rather old fashioned when it comes to form.   As a boy he remembers it was obligatory to dress for dinner and the dining table was held in high regard as a place where members of the family and guests were invited to contribute to the vitality of the discussion in hand.  The subjects ranged from science to wine and to art and music and everywhere else as well.  So true was the saying that ‘You study at School what you learn at home.”   Prince Paul advocates that the television set, which is sooo seductive, be turned off whilst dining.  Some younger members may complain initially, but they are soon seen to be actively engaged in the table discussion.  From dressing properly for dinner to dressing up for a Festival Parade is not such a huge leap.  The Festival Parade provides colour and magic in the real world.  For children it is Fairy tale Pageantry and for the grown ups a moment of magic in familiar streets.  This is what memory is made from.    

Prince Paul gallantly kissed the offered hand of Her Worship The  Mayor of Mosman, to the applause of the crowd watching the Parade.  What many regard as old fashioned ceremony by some is held in high esteem in The Principality of Wy.  Colour, vitality and imagination contribute to the highly original contribution made to the neighbouring suburb.

How blessed is Mosman.  Washed on three sides by glorious Sydney Harbour, with just an isthmus connecting it to the rest of Sydney, graced by lovely Balmoral Beach, The Mosman Art Gallery, Headland Park  and The Taronga Zoo. 

There is so much to be pleased about in Mosman which is The Principality’s big neighbour.  Did you know that the symbol of Mosman is A WHALE ?  Appropriately the principality has chosen the symbol of a DOLPHIN to adorn it’s flag. see Dolphin Flag/Guest Authors/poetry

The hard working  Councillors who have served the people of Mosman over the years can be justifiably proud of their assiduous stewardship.  

Many Mosman people are heard saying that they live in the “Municipality that has everything”.           

Now it is even more unique in having its very own Principality of Wy, to complete “The Perfect Picture Suburb.”


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The Great Green Snake Sculpture

My first acquaintance with the great green snake of Wyargine was when I was about 5 years old.  

I was being carried on my father`s shoulders through my grandfather’s garden anticipating the delights of swimming at the beach.   This prospect was suddenly eclipsed by the sight of what, to my young eyes, appeared to be an enormous green snake.   A veritable python slithering down an angophora – shiny, sinuous against the velvety pink trunk. 

My father reassured me that the green tree snake is harmless to humans.   It vanished.  We travelled on.  I have never forgotten that moment.   On the Summer night that I am writing this I can hear the call of the mo poke, an owl, who is a long time denizon of Wyargine.  Is it a love call or is he telling me that he too remembers the great green tree snake, but possibly not with my relaxed nostalgia.    

The idea for the Greensnake / Angophora sculpture came to me as I was looking at the plan of my access way as viewed from above.  It reminded me of something and I can only describe what followed as presence of mind.  I saw superimposed on the plan the image of the great green snake on the angophora.  I realized then that the natural curve and contour of the access way provided a perfect frame for me to express the full wonder of that childhood experience in a sculpture.  I see the sculpted snake itself as comprised of native grasses –  its shape being defined by cobblestones of varying tone and colour to suggest the quality of the trunk of an angophora.   The grasses being stirred by the gentle breezes will form undulating currents to suggest the snake in motion.   It will be viewable by passers by from all directions and indeed participated in by those passing over it.   The adjacent wooden staircase leading will form a splendid viewing platform to enjoy the sculpture in its entirety.  The great green snake will become in time a part of the spirit of Wyargine.