Articles: Browse Category

Wy not?

Think Local

Surveying his make-believe micro-principality from a vantage point above Balmoral Beach, Paul Delprat reflects on the past 13 years of princely duties, secession and his overriding love for the area.

In 1993, Mr Deiprat lodged a development application with Mosman Council to build a driveway to his Balmoral home over an unformed part of Stanton Rd.

Although the DA was approved in theory, Mr Delprat says changes to the local environment plan meant his original application was never officially approved.

Despite numerous attempts to gain an access driveway, in 2004, the Mosman local and his family decided to rebel to form The Principality of Wy.

The move was in part out of sheer frustration with the local administration and a desire to "renounce [our] Mosman citizenship".

The family arrived at Mosman Council Chambers in full ceremonial robes, where their pretend Declaration of Independence was accepted by the then Mosman mayor Shirley Jenkins.

Despite the decision to "go it alone" with Wy, DelpraL now 75, has mixed feelings about the possibility of North Shore amalgamations and the loss of the suburb's identity.

"Mosman is a small council - it's really the Monaco of the south," he smiles. But there is no doubt it's the most physically beautiful part of Sydney.

"I paint this landscape constantly and I'm always astonished at its sheer beauty."

Was it Just a lot of fun to become the Prince of Wy? Was it a rebellious statement about individuality and lack of respect for authority? Or was it a combination of all of the above?

I'm so glad I did IL" the prince simply states.

"The best advice I can give to anyone is to go for it - that's what I did - do something different.

“l understand people are frantic about their local area, but sometimes anxieties get magnified, but I'm a forgiving person and I don't carry a grudge towards Mosman Council.

The decision to secede was deadly serious and it grew out of a deep sense of injustice - but I don't dwell on that now."

Since the principality's creation, Mr Delprat has received messages, emails and letters from around the globe. "I think the Antarctic is the only place I haven't heard from,” he Jokes. Lately, he has been contemplating building a drawbridge to his door, for which there have been some preliminary sketches.

In addition to his princely duties, he is the principal of the Julian Ashton Art School, and his work is held in the National Gallery of Australia.

He says becoming the Prince of Wy was a way of creating a solution that made him "feel much better”.

"There's a certain magic in moving away," he proclaims.

“My advice is to rejoice in plurality, look towards art and poetry, and strive for the ultimate in what is important and worthwhile."



Sign-up for the latest local Deals, Promotions & Events