This photo was taken on the Northern headland of Coogee and shows a small shrine dedicated to what some believe is the site of numerous apparitions of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ.
The first recorded sighting of the apparition came in January 2003 when a local laundrette spotted the vision of a veiled woman at the fence at this spot. At the time, hundreds of mostly Roman Catholic believers converged on Coogee to catch a glimpse of the apparition for themselves. They brought photos of Mary and flowers, while others prayed, sung at shed tears at the spot.
There have been numerous sightings claimed since, however the Roman Catholic Church has never officially recognised the site. At the time they gently distanced themselves, with the then Coogee Parish Priest stating that while he felt it was a good thing people were finding peace from the experience, he didn’t believe it was anything more than an optical illusion. Many others agree, it is merely a trick on the eyes created by a fence, viewed at the right angle, at the right distance, with the right lighting.
As a result the vision has been nicknamed by locals as “Our Lady of the Fence Post” or “Rail Mary”. Despite this you can still occasionally find people praying there, while the garden is still carefully tended to by an older gentleman from the Coogee area.
Whether a believer or not, it is still an interesting piece of modern history of Coogee beach. Coogee beach has quite a colourful history, if you’re interested in finding out more or you simply like trivia you can try the Coogee Seaside Quiz here.
Note: I try to be as accurate as I can but I make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.