Guided Tour of Pioneer Village, Highfields – Monday, 5 December 2022

On this occasion we had a small roll up of twenty-nine (29) for this event (31 for lunch) which included one (1) invited guest Father Hal Ranger – welcome Fr. Hal. Also, our fellow member & inaugural first aid officer Phil Cash was able to join us for lunch as well – welcome Phil.

The day started off with a bit of music & dancing by a lady’s exercise group in the hall- we overlapped with the ladies in the hall for fifteen or twenty minutes or so- I can report none of our members joined in with the ladies – possibly fitness levels may have been a bit low to keep up!!

When we arrived at the Pioneer Village we were met by Nina who welcomed & provided us with a tailored program that she had mapped out for us. After our warm welcome we were handed over to our guide Peter who gave us a tour of the horse & carriage (including harness) collection & finished of with a commentary on whip making followed by a whip cracking demonstration – His dexterity with the whip would indicate that he is no stranger to a whip.

Our next stop was the Smoko building to partake of generous amounts of billy tea &damper with butter & golden syrup (affectionately called in the bush fly bog).

Following Smoko the original owner of the property, Ray, gave us a talk on the history of the village & how he started ti off etc. I found the story of how he established a project with funding from Clive Berghofer to relocate the Big Cow Statue from Yandina to Highfields quite interesting- Quite an achievement by Ray & his three mates when you consider the statue is made of concrete & steel, weighs twelve (12) ton, & all the engineering advice was that it would not stand up to a move & should be demolished on site.

However, undaunted Ray & his team set out to reinforce the sides of the cow & cut it in half horizontally for transport. The statue where it is now located behind the information office in the village is a testament to their determination & nothing is impossible attitude – well done Ray & team.

Following Ray’s talk, we linked up once again with Peter who provided us with a running commentary as we toured through the transport & fire brigade museums. We then finished off with a self-paced walk around the various historic buildings & the Big Cow.

The classic of the day for me was when Nina recounted the visit of a group of school children, when one child asked her, after he had walked in &out of the big cow, Where is its guts?

On completion of our visit to the village we travelled on to the Farmers Arms Hotel, Cabarlah for lunch.

Following lunch, members’ birthdays falling in December were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual way Viz. Carl Betros, Pat Dwan, Ron Lewis, Dick Neal, Rob Rimmer, Rod Webb & Ted Wormwell.

To cap off the day we had a short meeting to discuss & prioritise suggestions for events put forward for inclusion in our 2023 Calendar of Events.

Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including Peter Taylor for organizing this event; Nina, Peter, Ray & Marg for our great welcome, smoko, guided tour, whip cracking demonstration & talk on the village history etc., – very well done; Michael Bourke & Doug Meiklejohn for looking after our finances & name badges; Peter Thompson for ensuring we were able to get on & off the coach safely at each stop; Warwick Dingle for looking after our public address system & ensuring we were all accounted for before the coach departed again after each stop; Ron Lewis for loading & unloading the coach; Howard Gregson for looking after our hydration needs; Bob Whittaker & Tony Wind for their joint gig as our first aid officers; Bob Whittaker for delivery of our safety briefing; Mark Tranter & Bob Whittaker for carrying out the counting roles during our meeting; Thor & his team for the timely delivery of our great lunch; Jan Neal for making our much appreciated birthday cake; &, last but not least, Ray (our coach driver) for transporting us to & from Cabarlah safely.

Dick
8 December 22

Guided Tour of Pohlman’s Nursery, Gatton – Monday, 7 November 2022

Well, we had a reasonable roll up of thirty-four (34) for this event (36 for lunch).

The day started with a bit of early excitement when the steering axle/wheel on the passenger side of our coach threw in the towel when our driver (Nick) attempted to reverse park on arrival at Pohlman’s – However, this had no impact on our day out as the coach was changed over seamlessly while we enjoyed our guided tours etc.

On arrival at Pohlman’s Nursery we split into two groups to fit in with the passenger capacity of the train (30) – Group A had Smoko while Group B had a guided tour of the nursery operations in the train, & then we swooped over.

From my perspective, I was totally surprised at how big an operation Pohlman’s is, & how much automation they have in place e.g., the roofs of the big sheds containing seedlings open & shut, in response to temperature changes (wind, sun & rain etc) to maintain the temperature at a constant level to maximise growth. Geordi (Grandson of the owners) our train driver/guide gave us a running commentary on all facets of the operation as we moved through in the train – very well done. Also, I was very impressed with the great work they have been doing in water conservation – I have attached a pamphlet on the nursery for the benefit of members who were unable to join us on this occasion.

On completion of both tours & a members self-paced walk around the retail part of the nursery, we then travelled onto Porter’s Hotel Plainland in our new coach for lunch.

Following lunch, members’ birthdays falling in November were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual way Viz. Ray Akins, Tony Allom, John Baines, John Burton, John Kleve, Russell Mauch, Peter McAuliffe, Ross Phipps & David Turner.

Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including Ron Lewis & Kym (Pohlman’s) for organising this event; Geordi Pohlman for his very thorough & informative guided tours riding on the train (Gum Tree Express); Warwick Dingle for his general assistance in the hall to enable us to leave on time; Michael Bourke & Russell Mauch for looking after our finances & name badges; Kelsley Schelberg for ensuring we were able to get on & off the coach safely at each stop; Alan Webb & John Schmidt for looking after our mobile public address/communication system; John Cutler & Sandy Fraser for loading & unloading the coach; Mark Rowland for looking after our hydration needs; Bob Whittaker & Tony Wind for their joint gig as our first aid officers; Jan Neal for making our much appreciated birthday cake; Bianca & team at Porter’s for the timely delivery of our great lunch; & last but not least Nick (our coach driver) for transporting us to & from Plainlands safely.

In closing, I think I can confidently conclude that another great day out was had by all attendees.

Dick

18th November 2022

Guided tours of Amiens Legacy Centre & Robert Shannon winery, Stanthorpe – Monday, 12 September 2022

Well, we had a small roll up of twenty (20) on this occasion which included two (2) new members Denis McCarthy & Mark Tranter – Welcome Denis & Mark.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this event & the following notes & attached photos have been provided by Warwick Dingle & Peter Taylor – Thanks Warwick & Peter. 

The first stop of the day was the Amiens Legacy Centre which was well represented by volunteers Alex & Denise (both descendants of returned soldiers) who provided an excellent presentation over Smoko covering:

  • Amien’s Legacy Centre was established to remember returning soldiers from WW 1 in the 1920’s.
  • Returned soldiers to the area were allotted 40-acre blocks to work with to grow apples, fruit & vegetables.
  • The movies presented the history of the Centre & the Prince of Wales visit there.
  • A new building & refurbishment is currently underway to house the presentation & movie area.
  • The Railway Carriage on site was decked out with memorabilia.
  • Qld. Government provided a grant to fund the upgrades & refurbishment.

Very well done.

The second stop of the day was at Robert Channon Winery. Unfortunately, Robert was unavailable but, he was well represented by his chief wine maker who presented four (4) whites & four (4) reds for tasting along with all the history of the local winery. There were quite a few bottles of wine bought by members on the way out.

Based on the feedback I have received, members in attendance were very satisfied with both tours & tastings etc. – I am disappointed that I was unable to attend.

The last stop of the day before turning for home was the RSL Club for lunch.

Following lunch members birthdays falling in September were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual way Viz. Brian Douglas, John Foley, Bryan Hunt, John Mullen, Pat O’Dea, Don Stansbie, Allan Stenzel, Ray Wells & Greg Whitley.

Special thanks to All who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including Alex & Denise for their welcome & presentation; Chief wine maker for the tastings & his presentation on the history of the area; Peter Taylor for organising this event; Warwick Dingle for his overall coordination of this event, keeping the group together during both tours, & ensuring all members were accounted for before the coach departed after each leg of the trip; Russell Mauch for assisting Warwick, looking after the money collection etc, & the handing out & collection of our name badges; Peter Thompson for ensuring we all got on & off the coach safely at each stop; Bob Whittaker for his usual gig as our trusty first aid officer; Eric Canning, Pat & Tim Sullivan for looking after our hydration needs etc; Michael Bermingham for providing the group with an update on the Status of our current grant application; Jan Neal for making our much appreciated birthday cake; The RSL  kitchen staff for the great lunch provided; & last but not least our driver Peter for transporting us to & from Stanthorpe Safely.

Dick
21st September 2022

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