Guided Tour of Suncorp Stadium – Wednesday, 6 July 2022

We had another reasonable roll up of thirty-one (31) for this event which included one (1) new member, Ross Phipp – welcome Ross. All up with both groups combined we had sixty odd in attendance.

Liz & Deon did a great job of guiding us around all the highlights of Suncorp Stadium covering the History & Memorabilia including photos, event rooms, dressing/locker/change rooms, old cemetery, &, of course, the Hallowed Turf of old Lang Park.

The event went off quite well as expected, however, I found out three of our fellow members on this trip (Neville Page, Tim Sullivan & Michael Bermingham) tested positive to COVID-19 on their return – I am pleased to report that all three are doing okay with their recovery. Also, Peter Taylor tested positive a few days back & is on the road to recovery as well – It is pretty apparent with the Trifecta of COVID-19, Influenza A & Respiratory issues that we are facing currently that we need to be exceptionally careful with washing our hands, maintaining social distancing & wearing masks etc. – Obviously, we can’t stay home & do nothing in an endeavor to ride this one out (as it will be with us for some time yet), instead, we need to get on with our lives, but just take extra precautions in doing so – This is certainly what I plan to do.

The venue for Smoko was the Roma Street Parkland in Brisbane – Tea, coffee, milk & sugar etc was provided as usual with members bringing along a plate of goodies to share – It rained early in the day in Brisbane but had cleared by Smoko.

Following lunch at the infamous Caxton Hotel members’ birthdays falling in July were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual way viz. Stephen Berghofer, Lance Chilcott, Norm Lovell, John O’Connor, Terry Parker, Kelsley Schelberg, Jon Schwartz & Pat Sullivan.

Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including: Terry (Tweed Heads Group) & our own Peter Taylor for organising this event; Liz & Deon for their much appreciated, informative & interesting talks & guided tours of  Lang Park; Warwick Dingle for his overall coordination of this event; the jack of all trades group of Tim Sullivan, Noel Grant, Tim Blades, Errol Chase & Russell Mauch for all they did including distribution of drinking water, loading & unloading of the coach & cleaning up after Smoko etc.; the Caxton Hotel kitchen staff for providing & serving our great lunch; Michael Bourke (Group Treasurer) & his assistant Russell Mauch for looking after the collection of money & distribution & collection of our name badges; Bob Whittaker & Tony Wind for their usual joint gig as our first aid officers; Colleen Dingle (Warwick’s Wife) for making our wonderful birthday cake; &, last but not least Nick for transporting us to & from Lang Park safely.

I always consider when our first aid officers have no work to perform during an event that we have had a good day – Our first ever incident (minor the first of four all told to date) occurred last time we visited Suncorp Stadium – Bruce Sullivan caught himself on the side of the escalator & bled profusely – However, our trusty first aid officer on duty (Phil Cash) came to his rescue & patched him up with band aids – Phil certainly stopped the bleeding, but, the side effect was that Bruce had so many band aids on him that he was starting to resemble a “Patch Work Quilt” – Well done Phil.

Based on the interactions occurring between the groups & the noisy chatter over Smoko & lunch, I consider we can tick this off as another event enjoyed by all attendees – From my own perspective I always look forward to this event each year to catch up with the other group members, &, it is certainly one of, if not the highlight event each year (certainly for me).

Dick Neal

Guided Tour of Grassdale Feedlot & Fertiliser Plant – Monday, 6 June 2022

We had another reasonable roll up of thirty-four (34) for this event which included three (3) new members Warren Goodhew, Noel Grant & Rob Jensen – Welcome Warren, Noel & Rob.

In my absence Warwick took the following notes during both guided tours for sharing with members – particularly the ones that unfortunately could not make this trip.

Feedlot

  • The feedlot has a capacity of 80,000 head of cattle – Currently there is 70,000 head on site.
  • The breeds of cattle in the lot include Angus, Brahman, Drought Master, Beef Master & Wagyu.
  • The cattle are sourced from all over Qld & NSW – But, mostly from the Western areas.
  • There is a rotation of 4,000 head out & in each week.
  • The cattle in the lot are fed a special recipe, &, on average put on two (2) kilos per week.
  • Grassdale have a staff of one hundred (100) – However, they acknowledge that they have problems retaining their staff.
  • When the Condamine River was in flood staff had to be choppered to & from work.
  • Wet weather (extremely wet yards etc) does cause problems with the moving & handling of the cattle.

Fertiliser Plant – Process

  • Manure from the feedlot is spread into windrows & left for six (6) weeks to ferment.
  • It is then fed into a “Hammermill Crusher” & put through a screening plant, & then a bagging plant.
  • The fertiliser is then available for use/sale in quantities etc. as follows –
    • 20 kilo bags;
    • 1 tonne bags; &,
    • Bulk into tippers etc.

The venue for smoko was the Grassdale conference room – Tea, coffee, milk & sugar etc was provided courtesy of Grassdale Management, & members brought along a plate to share.

Following lunch in the “Hermitage Bistro” of the Pittsworth Hotel Motel members’ birthdays falling in June were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual way Viz. Ray Andersen, Peter Aylward, Ron Bathurst, Tim Blades, Peter Cavanagh, John Cutler, Keith Hoffman, Michael McGoldrick, John Schmidt, Kerry Smith, Terry Sullivan, Peter Taylor & Bob Whittaker.

Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including: Marcus Doumany (Feed Lot Manager) & Rob Wheatley (Fertiliser Plant Manager) for hosting this event along with providing our tea & coffee etc for smoko, Marcus & Gary (standing in for Rob) for the much appreciated educational & interesting guided tours; Ashly at the Pittsworth Hotel for providing us with a great lunch; Russell Mauch for assisting Ashley to ensure all members received the lunch they ordered; Warwick Dingle for overall coordination of this event; Peter Taylor for organising this event; Michael Bourke & Alan Webb for looking after our name badges & collecting the money etc; Peter Thompson for his usual gig of ensuring that all members got on & off the coach safely at each stop; Howard Gregson & Terry Donnollan for looking after our hydration needs; Bob Whittaker & Tony Wind for jointly carrying out the role of First Aid Officer; Jan Neal for making our birthday cake; &, last but not least Peter for transporting us to & from Grassdale safely.

Based on the emails I have received we can tick this off as another trip/event enjoyed by attendees.

Dick Neal

Guided Tour of Wagner’s Precast Concrete Facility, Wacol – Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Once again, we had a pretty good roll up of thirty-seven (37) which included one new member Patrick Morton – welcome Patrick.

At Wacol we were greeted & welcomed by Brian, Terri & Amy, & treated to a wonderful morning tea.

After morning tea Brian provided us with a very comprehensive overview of what was manufactured on site, & then took us on a guided tour of the facility. I was very interested in viewing concrete beams being prestressed. Also, it was good to see the carousel (unfortunately not working) that was used to manufacture 4000 precast rings made up of over 27000 units for the Brisbane Cross River Rail Project. It is incredible when you think how advanced the curing of concrete has come over the past thirty or forty years when you consider that a strength of 80% can be achieved in 12 hours now compared to 70% in 7 days with full strength achieved in 30 days or so in the past. For those of you who are interested Brian has provided us with a copy of the Wacol Facilities Precast Concrete Capability Statement which I could provide on request.

On completion of our tour, we then travelled to the Centenary Tavern for lunch along with washing it down with a soft drink or two.

After lunch members birthdays falling in May were acknowledged & celebrated Viz. Leo Cuskelly, Terry Donnollan, Howard Gregson, Paul Hede, Bob Kraut, John Kruger, David Lynch, Ross Morley & Bob Wiemers.

Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including: Warwick Dingle for organizing this event; Ron Lewis & Lindsay Reis for loading & unloading the coach & attending to our hydration needs; Peter Taylor for ensuring all members were accounted for prior to each time the coach departed; Brian for his great overview & guided tour; Terri & Amy for the wonderful morning tea & the thoughtful way they went about arranging same with both hot & cold drinks etc.; the kitchen staff for our lunch at the Centenary Tavern; Bob Whittaker ably assisted by Tim Sullivan for their gig as our first aiders; Peter Thompson for ensuring we all got on & off the coach safely at each stop; Michael Bourke for looking after our name badges along with receiving & counting the money etc.; Jan Neal (as usual) for making our birthday cake; & last but certainly not least Ray for transporting us to & from Wacol safely.

In closing, our next event is on Monday the 6th of June 2022 – full details will be advised soon.

Dick Neal

Visit to Timber Museum, Wondai – Monday, 4 April 2022

We had a roll up of twenty-three (23) for this trip, thinking when we left our homes that we were bound for Stanthorpe. The fun started at around 7.30 am when we received news that the highway to Stanthorpe was cut at Glengallan Creek due to flooding. Following a brief discussion, the group decided to travel north on spec. Peter & Warwick sprang into action & organized the day while we were in transit. When considering how the day started along with factoring in our numerous hold-ups due to road works, the day turned out fine i.e., all the feedback I have received on the day from members has been positive – The old-adage of bad start good finish has struck again.

The timber museum is a credit to the Wondai Community & Kingaroy Regional Council as it features the history of the local timber industry along with a large display of items made from local timbers in their on-site workshop – unfortunately the workshop was not in operation during our visit.

After our great lunch at the RSL Club in Kingaroy members’ birthdays falling in April were acknowledged & celebrated viz.:
Michael Bourke, Gary Dwyer, Trevor Hohn, John McAuliffe, Pat McNamee, Neil Phelan, Bill Phillips, Bruce Sullivan & Peter Thompson.

Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including Peter Taylor for organising the original planned event – cancelled due to flooding; Peter & Warwick Dingle for organising this event on the run; Warwick, Mark Rowland & team for loading & unloading the coach & looking after our hydration needs; the staff at the RSL Club for providing us with a good meal in a timely manner; Michael Bourke & Doug Meiklejohn for looking after our name badges along with receiving & counting the money etc.; Tony Wind for his gig as our First Aid Officer – it is great to have Tony back fit & healthy after his recent heart surgery; Ross Morley for ensuring we all got on & off the coach safely at each stop; Warwick for ensuring all members were accounted for prior to each time the coach departed; Jan Neal (as usual) for making our birthday cake; &, last but not least, Graeme (Coach driver) for transporting us to & from Wondai safely.

Our next event is on TUESDAY the 3rd of May 2022 – full details will be advised later.