Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper


Quamby Fly Fishers Annual Open Day

EventsJoanne Eisemann

QUAMBY FLY Fishers Club Annual Open Day is at Meander Hall on Saturday 21 September 2019 from 10am–3pm.

This year, funds raised will support junior anglers.

A warm invitation is extended to anyone currently involved in fishing and those who would like to get involved in the wonderful experience of fly fishing.

Tasmania will host the World Fly Fishing Championships from 30 November to 8 December 2019, showcasing our unique wildlife and natural fisheries.

The Meander River will be a sector for competition in the Championships. Some members of the club will be involved as volunteers, controllers and competitors.

Quamby Fly Fishers Club is based at Deloraine on the Meander River, forty minutes west of Launceston or east of Devonport.

Fly tying is a valuable fly fishing skill.  Photo by Mike Moores

Fly tying is a valuable fly fishing skill.

Photo by Mike Moores

Huntsman Lake is 15 minutes away and the Central Plateau Lakes in the Highlands are only an hour away. Brushy Lagoon, Four Springs Lake, the Meander, Esk and Mersey Rivers are all within easy access.

The club has fishing outings around the lake and river fisheries regularly, offering guidance, encouragement and sharing of ideas within a very social environment.

Monthly meetings and workshops feature an informal atmosphere, with shared practical sessions and ideas from experienced members that are valuable for all.

The Open Day is designed as a taster day. Those attending will be able to obtain information from experienced club members about fly fishing at any level from the beginner to the experienced angler.

All members of our club are passionate about fly fishing and several members have competed in international, national and state level competitions, so there is a wealth of knowledge to draw on.

Demonstrations and advice will cover casting, fly tying and entomology, knots, gear selection, cleaning and filleting, as well as where to fish, when to fish and how to fish.

There will be opportunity for patrons to practise some of these activities under expert tuition. Quamby Fly Fishers Club Open Day offers something for everyone so come along and enjoy a relaxed and informative day.

When: Saturday 21 September 2019 Time: 10am to 3pm Venue: Meander Memorial Hall, Meander Cost:

gold coin donation Lunch: food for purchase Raffle: prizes for fishing, winners being drawn at the Fly Fishers site at the Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine on November 4.

Inquiries: Eve Berne, 03 63695121 / 0427 695 121; Mark Sutton; 0409647966 Website:

Westbury on a roll!

EventsJoanne Eisemann

ROUND TWO of the 2019 Tasmania Roller Derby Tournament is here! Hosted by Tournament Tasmania – Roller Derby and Devil State Derby League.

This round, the South Island Sirens take on the Swiss Army Wives and then Devil State Derby League! The Cradle Coast Junior Roller Derby players will be taking on the Hobart Junior Roller Derby.

Don’t let the word ‘junior’ fool you – there is nothing that holds these kids back. For genuine competition and sportsmanship this will be the game to watch.

Thunder from Down Under will also have a game – when the all-gender Tassie team steps out to stretch their legs in a friendly (yet brutal) game of smash!

Saturday 24 August from 1–9pm at Westbury Sports Hall, Franklin Street, Westbury.

There will be drinks and snacks available at the venue. Cash only please, and $5 entry at the door to help things along.

You can find Tasmanian Roller Derby on Facebook and this event at: events/327907968113760/.

Roll away those winter blues

Sport, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Enthusiastic in-line skaters enjoy a winter night of active fun!  Photo by Mike Moores

Enthusiastic in-line skaters enjoy a winter night of active fun!

Photo by Mike Moores

GET YOUR skates on!

Friday evening skating sessions have recommenced in the Meander Valley Performing Arts Centre, just east of the bridge in Deloraine.

The recently formed Meander Valley Indoor Skaters Association has, in just 2 months, attracted over 70 members. Up to 50 skaters at a time take to the rink for the 6 to 7.30 pm skating sessions on Friday evenings.

The annual cost of joining the club is a very reasonable $10 per person. A skating session fee of $3 for juniors and $5 for adults over 18, makes a cost-effective recreational outing for young and old.

Non-members can register and access the sessions as ‘Come and try it’ participants for up to 3 times without having to join the club, but entrance fees for this are a little higher at $5 for juniors and $8 for adults.

Inline hockey practice will commence shortly for 6 year olds up to adults.

All fees include the use of inline skates. Protective padding and skating instruction is available for the asking.

To enquire about club activities, please contact the Club President, Peter Ashton on mobile: 0409 234 061.

The biggest cuppa of all

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Christine Donohue (left) and Sally Donohue (right) having their cake and eating it at the Biggest Morning Tea!

Christine Donohue (left) and Sally Donohue (right) having their cake and eating it at the Biggest Morning Tea!

By Wendy Laing

DELORAINE’S 2019 Biggest Morning Tea was held this year on 13 June.

The RSL clubrooms were abuzz with the happy sounds of approximately 100 people enjoying a morning tea of home-made sandwiches, cakes, slices and scones with tea or coffee.

Mrs Helen Horton and her husband Don initiated the first Biggest Morning Tea in Deloraine and continued running them for 20 years.

For the past two years, Helen’s daughter-in law Leanne Horton and Leanne’s two daughters, Danielle Donovan and Nicole Sherriff, have continued the tradition.

‘So many people have helped to make the Biggest Morning Tea a success this year,’ Leanne Horton said.

‘I would like to thank everyone who worked in the kitchen, supplied plates of food and donated items for the raffle.’

She also thanked the RSL for allowing them to hold the event in their clubrooms and the Information Centre for running off the fliers advertising the event.

Ms Kate Bennett from Westbury was thrilled when told she had won the raffle.

This year the successful Biggest Morning Tea raised the grand total of $1452 for the Cancer Council.

Scaling the heights with Rotary

Community, Events, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
John Zeckendorf, the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.  Photo supplied

John Zeckendorf, the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Photo supplied

By Hayley Manning

OPPORTUNITY USUALLY knocks once, so it’s time to get off the couch, shake out the winter chills and spend a special evening with the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and adventurer, John Zeckendorf will give an informative and entertaining insight into Sherpas and what it takes to climb Mt Everest, the last mountain he completed on the Seven Summits list – the highest mountains in each of the seven continents.

But John says the evening is not just about listening to him. The real emphasis is on audience engagement and asking him questions that highlight the ‘human side’ of climbing that people don’t usually hear about.

Deloraine Rotary Club’s Lois Beckwith and the team are pulling out all the stops to transform the Rotary Function Centre. Lois said there will be long tables for clubs and organisations, group bookings, plus individuals … all are welcome.

Bar facilities will be available and a Nepali craft trade table. Supper will be provided at food stations featuring an assorted variety of chef-cooked, light curries. Side options will be provided for those who like to spice things up a bit.

All proceeds from the evening will help Rotary build a Youth Training Centre in Kathmandu to educate and empower disadvantaged youth, particularly vulnerable young girls. The young children are told: ‘If you don’t get a miracle; become one.’

John is an altruistic man and has long-held the belief that people should use their gifts and talents to help others where possible. He has auctioned carabiners (climbing clips), rocks, and bits and pieces from his Mt Everest tour to raise funds for Pathways Tasmania, an organisation that helps homeless youth battle addictions.

At a Tasmanian fund-raiser in 2017, $5000 was bid for a board mounted with a Mercury article and a rock, carabiner, and undies from John’s Everest trip.

Local MP Guy Barnett, who gave John three Tasmanian flags and advised him to ‘make sure you climb this thing’, has been invited to bring a surprise item for the Dutch auction, as have several other MPs.

Everyone is encouraged to bring an item for the auction to help make what promises to be a night with a difference.

Please contact Lois Beckwith for your donations of auction items.

For more information and bookings, contact Lois on 03 6369 5393.

Tickets: $25 per person
Rotary Function Centre,
Alveston Drive, Deloraine
7pm, 27 July 2019

Making a home for social justice

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann
From left, Kristina Nicklason, Jai Homer and Krissy Bak, in front of Deloraine House, the hub of generous community service and activity.  Photo by Mike Moores

From left, Kristina Nicklason, Jai Homer and Krissy Bak, in front of Deloraine House, the hub of generous community service and activity.

Photo by Mike Moores

Over the years, there has been a lot more going on here than just a new coat of paint and renovations. It’s the heart and soul of the place that matters.  Photo supplied

Over the years, there has been a lot more going on here than just a new coat of paint and renovations. It’s the heart and soul of the place that matters.

Photo supplied

Deloraine House celebrates 30 years of community service

By Hayley Manning


Deloraine House Inc. invites you to catch-up with past and present friends at their 30 year anniversary celebration on Saturday 31 August.

But it is more than a celebration – it is also a salute to the trailblazing community members who had the foresight to open a neighbourhood house and the courage to keep it going in the face of adversity.

The House was borne out of a lack of social services in the Deloraine Municipality, according to former Deloraine Councillor, Jan Blakeney, who reported there were people ‘doing it tough’.

Minimal government funding was available for upgrading resources in an area that had few opportunities in employment, education and training.

A member of ‘Wacky Walkers’ during the 1980s, Elaine Baldwin, remembers it wasn’t easy to try to start something like a community house in the early days.

‘People would say to me, ‘‘Oh the hippy house. Going to the hippy house are you?” Anyway, we got the “hippy house” up and running and I think now it is the most important thing in our town.’

Deloraine House was purchased in 1989 for around $60,000, through generous community donations and low-interest loans.

In the beginning, the community- owned House relied totally on volunteers until some funding for a family support worker was assigned. The first Coordinator, Kaye Williams was appointed in 1992 and funded for just 10 hours a week.

She was followed by Karan Jurs, then Polly Fowler, the longest serving Coordinator to date, with 13 years service.

‘Today there are five part time funded positions and numerous wonderful volunteers who we couldn’t function without,’ Acting Manager Kristina Nicklason said.

‘Deloraine House has evolved with the needs of the community. At first it was the base for the local environment group, The Deloraine Environment Centre.

‘The other focus was family support. It later added childcare, youth, health services and counselling and has continued according to the input of the people who have accessed it.

‘Today, activities are community development orientated – courses, food preserving and distribution, community gardens, regular group meetings and visiting services,’ said Kristina.

The festivities at the House on Saturday 31 August, from 11am–2pm, will appeal to everyone: music, face painting and PCYC Circus Trailer for the children, informative displays, photos and more.

Deloraine Lions Club will be present, cooking burgers, sausages and making sandwiches. Harvest Helpers are providing apple juice and pumpkins for soup and apple turnovers from the local glut. House volunteers are making soup, a cake and more.

All food and drink will be free. For catering purposes please RSVP Deloraine House. Phone: 03 6362 2678

A Thirty Years Panel will feature special guests: Julie Roach and Sue Chaston, past staff, house users and volunteers sharing brief snippets about their roles at the House and their vision for its future.

A commemorative artwork, by local artist Niecy Brown, will be unveiled.

For visitors who have travelled far and locals alike, Deloraine Deli is hosting an informal buffet-style dinner in the evening, 6–9pm. Bookings and prepayment of $35 per head are essential. Please phone the Deli on 03 6362 2127.

A dog day out on the Village Green!

EventsJoanne Eisemann

NEW OCTOBER event, Paws on the Green is a fund raising day organised by Westbury Health Inc., with proceeds going to Let’s Read, the Smith Family early literacy program.

Pet-related organisations, food vendors, and anyone else who would be interested in joining them on the day are asked to get in touch.

The day will host dog races, dog jumping and other contests, training demonstrations and novelty events such as a grand parade with prizes.

There will be food, music and entertainment with free entry (donation collection) throughout the day.

St Andrews on the Green will host the Blessing of the Animals and Westbury Market on the same day.

Contact Paws at pawsonthegreen19@gmailcom or find us on Facebook at Paws on the Green, Westbury.

Grab those guns and light sabers!

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann
CJ Kilbride and Ken Bradford, both of Deloraine, showing off their martial skills in anticipation of this year’s Space Western showdown.  Photo by Mike Moores

CJ Kilbride and Ken Bradford, both of Deloraine, showing off their martial skills in anticipation of this year’s Space Western showdown.

Photo by Mike Moores

THE DELORAINE Winter Masque Ball is back again, continuing the tradition of local balls and dances that were centrally important to small communities, providing meeting places for neighbours, family, new friends and new love.

Waltzes, foxtrots and folk dances brought dancers together in mutual respect, allowed young folk to get to know each other, kept older folk active, and forged a strong sense of community in regional towns.

The new millennium brings a blending of old and new.

This year’s theme is ‘Space Western’ so break out the spacesuits, ball gowns and bling and dance the night away!

Learn with us, to waltz and ‘Strip the Willow’ to live local band ‘KentankRus’.

Win a prize for best supper dish or best mask. Be chosen Belle or Beau of the Ball.

The ball will be at the Western Tiers Community Club from 7pm, Saturday 27 July.

For more information or to volunteer to help on the night, call Megan on 6302 3372.

Address: Western Tiers Community Club, 33A Parsonage St, Deloraine.


Sandwiches, soup and a silent auction

Events, CommunityJoanne Eisemann

THE ANGLICAN Church of Quamby Parish is conducting a Silent Auction to raise funds for the continuation of the historic churches in this parish.

A Silent Auction is a fun way for everyone to bid on a range of items.

Each item has a form for you to enter your bids.

There will be a large range of goods including professional photos of local interest, hampers, garden items, bags of compost, linen, toys and books, to mention a few.

Some items will have a below value starting price, but there will be lots of great bargains. EFTPOS facilities will be available and payment is required on the day.

Hot soup and sandwiches can be purchased for just $10 with drinks at bar prices.

The date is now Saturday 3 August and the venue is Westbury RSL at 7 Lonsdale Promenade.

Bidding will take place between 12 noon and 2pm.

Come along, enjoy some soup and sandwiches, have fun and take home a bargain!

Enquiries Rosalie 0427006842.

Donate to change a life

EventsJoanne Eisemann

DONATELIFE WEEK 2019 from (28 July–4 August) is Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation and get more people signed up as donors.

This year, registered donors are urged to find a ‘plus one’ to sign up.

If every registered donor did this, the number of people on the donation register could be increased dramatically.

In 2018, 1782 lives were transformed by 238 living and 554 deceased organ donors and their families.

The number of annual donors has more than doubled over the last decade.

There is still a lot more that can be done to increase donation rates so that more people can receive life-changing transplants.

Only one in three Australians have joined the Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR).

There are more than 1400 Australians currently on the waiting list for a transplant, and a further 11,000 people on dialysis.

Every registration counts, so letting your family know you want to be a donor is important.

Nine out of ten families agree to donation when their loved one is on the register. Consent is given in seven out of ten cases when the family is aware of the donor’s wishes, but this drops to five out of ten when the family does not know.

Support DonateLife Week 2019 by registering as an organ and tissue donor at or get a friend or family member to sign up.

Grab a mate and double the rate!

At your service

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Tristan Webb and Shane Dale (right) from Deloraine Trade Training Centre.  Photo by Hayley Manning

Tristan Webb and Shane Dale (right) from Deloraine Trade Training Centre.

Photo by Hayley Manning

By Hayley Manning


The Rotary slogan captured the collective sentiment of the volunteers who attended the National Volunteer Morning Tea on 23 May at Deloraine House.

The occasion was officially opened by Mayor Wayne Johnston and OAM recipient, Merrilyn Young, who said the community needed more young volunteers. ‘It is not all hard work. You make friendships for life, while helping others,’ she said.

The day room full of volunteers mingled to the lively beats provided by U3As Strummers and Drummers.

Hardy’s ‘Frogs’ Bakery made the Meander Valley Council funded cake, Linc funded the lunch, which was catered by Deloraine House with Deloraine Trade Training Centre volunteers serving.

Here are some of Meander Valley’s dedicated volunteers.

Kathryn Bryan

‘I did my Certificate 3 in Community Service and want to do Cert 4 via TAFE to get into welfare work. I love meeting people at Deloraine House.’

• Deloraine House Reception

• Deloraine Footy Club

• Junior and Amateur Basketball


‘I Iove meeting new people and being involved in the community.’

• Literacy volunteer for Linc Tasmania

• Community Visitor Scheme for Aged Care

Paul Kilroy

‘Meeting people and being useful to others as part of community. Satisfaction. Fun. Mixing with other like-minded people.’

• U3A Golf organizer

• Movie Club Exercise Group

• Lions Club

• Strummers and Drummers

Russell Witcombe

‘The rewards are fantastic and far outweigh the effort. You come to realise how much the same people do, five days a week.’

• U3A golf

• Cycling group

• Westbury Baptist Church Kids Club

• Westbury Rotary

• Strummers and Drummers

Tristan Webb

‘I like serving the food and doing the clear away afterwards.’

Shane Dale

‘I enjoy working with food and gaining work experience today.’

• Shane and Tristan are both doing the Core course Certificate 2 in Hospitality at Deloraine Trade Training Centre.

Thinking big for Agfest

Events, Rural, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Perched on a Goldacres chemical sprayer, Tytan Wolfe, 3, of Tullah.  Photo by Mike Moores

Perched on a Goldacres chemical sprayer, Tytan Wolfe, 3, of Tullah.

Photo by Mike Moores

Longhorn cattle were an impressive sight.  Photo by Mike Moores

Longhorn cattle were an impressive sight.

Photo by Mike Moores

By David Claridge

QUERCUS RURAL Youth Park in Carrick will benefit from a grant announced by Senator Steve Martin in March. They will gain around $96,000 to have an accommodation block built.

Rural Youth State President, Dale Hayers, is grateful for the grant, explaining that it will help to better utilise the site throughout the year, Agfest being the busiest time of the year for the site.

‘The 24-person accommodation unit will go next to the existing function centre at the Quercus Park site,’ he said.

‘It’s to help utilise the site better through the remainder of the year, away from Agfest, encouraging school groups and others to come out and use the facilities.

‘We have a number of other community groups who consistently use the site away from Agfest, they expressed an interest in this happening.’

The funding is due to be available next financial year, with the building to built away from site and delivered by January 2020 and ready for use a couple of months after that.

OVERLOAD for under-diagnosis

Arts and Reviews, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Sheila Stevenson, curator of the OVERLOAD exhibition, on display at Deloraine Hospital Galley until 9 November.  Photo supplied

Sheila Stevenson, curator of the OVERLOAD exhibition, on display at Deloraine Hospital Galley until 9 November.

Photo supplied

WORLD HAEMOCHROMATOSIS Week was held this year from 3–9 June. Did you know? And did you know that haemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder in Australia?

Easy to test for and simple to treat, but tragic to ignore, haemochromatosis means that your body absorbs too much iron from food. Symptoms include tiredness and aching joints.

Undetected and untreated, excess iron overloads body tissues, damages organs and can cause premature death.

About one in 200 people are genetically disposed to this and one in seven are carriers. It is more prevalent in families of Celtic or Northern European origin.

Early detection allows the disorder to be managed through blood donations and is no barrier to a normal life.

World Haemochromatosis Week raises awareness of this under-diagnosed disorder, as early detection provides better health outcomes for individuals and huge savings for health care systems.

As part of this worldwide effort, local resident Sheila Stevenson is once again curating the OVERLOAD Exhibition at Deloraine Hospital Gallery from 31 May to 9 November.

OVERLOAD is an annual group art exhibition across northern Tasmania, with this year’s artists responding to this statement ‘Blood is Life’.

Sale commissions go to Haemochromatosis Australia.

If you have any concerns about haemochromatosis, please speak with your GP.

Too many people remain undiagnosed and their longterm health is at risk from this ‘silent destroyer’.

For further information, see the Haemochromatosis Australia website: or call 1300 019 028.

Please contact Sheila Stevenson on 0428 576 795 about OVERLOAD.

Loving the laneway

Arts and Reviews, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Sheridan Dagg on stage at the Little Laneway Festival.  Photo supplied

Sheridan Dagg on stage at the Little Laneway Festival.

Photo supplied

By Hayley Manning

WHAT’S NOT to love about neighbouring businesses who decide a vacant laneway between their buildings would be the perfect setting for a little laneway fringe festival?

Mark and Amanda from the Empire Hotel, and Alfred and Isabel from Seppenfelts collaborated four years ago to form the Little Laneway Fringe Festival to draw Craft Fair visitors into the Deloraine CBD at the end of the day’s events.

Festival committee member Lisa Yates, said the Laneway Festival is a great opportunity to showcase local performance art, and to give bands, artists and performers experience performing on a stage in front of an audience.

‘We supported the National Square Dancing Convention and Seppenfelts’ 10th birthday in April, and we will have a rich line-up of performers for the up-coming Craft Fair and String Fest,’ Lisa said.

‘The laneway is sheltered and wide enough to hold our first purpose-built stage, dancers, and audiences. A ‘magic hat’ is passed around during the free performances and everyone leaves happy and has a good time.’

Firing up for Winter

Arts and Reviews, EventsJoanne Eisemann

THE ANNUAL WinterFire Festival on Saturday 22nd June will be a night of celebration, entertainment and food.

Starting off at 4.00pm, there will be lots of great spots to grab with friends and family.

The Blazing Fire Drums will be fuelled throughout the night, making sure you’re all nice and toasty till the Mega Bon Fire at 7.30pm.

This year, Arts Deloraine has great music from the local Jazz Quartet and the Meander Men. The drumming workshop will be in full beat, and the fantastic belly dancers are bringing a not-to-be-missed fire routine. There will be storytelling, circle dancing and fire sculptures.

Children can join the drumming workshop or the ‘Best Dressed Competition’ – this year’s theme is ‘The Human Scarecrow’.

New food vendors are joining past favourites with delicious hot food from Haddo’s Hot Dogs, Taco’s and Wings, Char Char Char and Coffee Buzz.

Arts Deloraine will warm you up with Ye Olde Mulled Wine, evoking the magic of winter, freshly popped corn and marshmallows for those blazing fire drums!

New this year is the ‘WinterFire Photography Competition’, with $500 in cash prizes. Everyone has a camera, so flex your creative spirit and show how the night is seen through your eyes! Finalist entries will be exhibited in Deloraine later in the year.

Email for more information about the competition. Make sure you check out Winterfire on Facebook to keep you up-to-date with events and information.

Presale tickets are available from

All presale ticket holders go into the draw to win a family photo session with Kristy L Photography valued at $650, so make sure to get in early.

It is the annual event that should not be missed. See you there!


History matters

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann

MAY IS Heritage Month and the National Trust of Tasmania has celebrated with the theme ‘This Place Matters’.

Westbury has been a part of this event, with the Westbury & Districts Historical Society holding an exhibition on Saturday 18th May, entitled ‘The History of the Churches of the Westbury District’.

This exhibition, held at the Westbury RSL, included photographs, information and memorabilia from the history of almost fifty churches in the Westbury district, with the earliest items dating back to the mid-1830s.

The Historical Society would like to thank everyone who supported the exhibition and give special thanks to those who contributed photographs and information.

The next step will be to publish the exhibition, so if there is anyone with any further information that could be included, please contact Amanda on 0467 097 791 or email

Putting on the Fitz!

Events, CommunityJoanne Eisemann

THE POLITE English on Antiques Roadshow might say ‘Goodness!’ Our TV shows might say ‘Wow!’

On Saturday 25th May, a High Tea at Fitzpatrick’s Inn was held for the Anglican Parish of Quamby.

The High Tea was a resounding success due to the great community support which swelled the ‘capped’ number of eighty to one hundred and three, requiring an extra room.

The generosity of Pam Swain, the owner of Fitzpatrick’s Inn, extended not only to the use of the building but also the kitchen, fine crockery, and her own personal involvement.

The tables were set with embroidered cloths and napkins loaned for the day, many with interesting stories. Tiered cake stands were filled with sweets and savouries.

Descriptions of High Teas from around the world were related, tying in to the names allocated to the tables.

Pam gave a fascinating talk on the history of Fitzpatrick’s Inn, through her own knowledge of the building and research she has conducted with the view of writing a book. This was backed up with entertaining accounts from descendants of the very Irish Fitzpatrick family.

The success of the day was made possible due to wonderful help from the congregation and community who provided treasured cloths, mountains of food, flowers for the tables, and who worked tirelessly on the day.

The next fundraising event held for the Parish will be a Silent Auction with Soup and Sandwiches on Sunday 28th July at the Westbury RSL. Details to be announced.

Swinging dancers, not so square

Events, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
The Community Complex was a sea of movement and colour as over 600 square dancers took to the dance floor to strut their stuff.  Photo by Mike Moores

The Community Complex was a sea of movement and colour as over 600 square dancers took to the dance floor to strut their stuff.

Photo by Mike Moores

By Wendy Laing

DELORAINE AND the Valley welcomed the 60th National Square Dancing Convention this month.

Six hundred and thirty-five registered square dancers, ranging in age from 12 years to over 80 years, came from all over Australia for the event, which was held across two venues, the Community Complex and the Bowls Club, from 24–28th April.

‘The Deloraine Community Complex is amazing,’ Coordinator and Caller, Di Ashton from the Launceston Square Dance Club said. ‘We had a great rapport with the Meander Valley Council to help stage the event in Deloraine.’

Square dancing clubs began in Tasmania in 1952 and then went on to join the National body 60 years ago. Usually conducted in capital cities, this was the first time a National Convention had been held in a regional town anywhere in Australia.

Not only were the established square dancers having a wonderful time, but on the Sunday afternoon a public session was held, and anybody interested in learning how to square dance was invited to come along and join in.

During the Convention, the Australian National Association also held well-attended workshops on all aspects of square dancing.

‘The square dances at this Convention are called the mainstream level,’ Di Ashton said. ‘There are 64 moves you need to know by heart. Consistency is the keyword and once learned, you can dance anywhere in the world.’

Weekly classes in modern square dancing have begun in Deloraine and are held on Friday nights from 7.30pm to 10.00pm at the Bowls Club.

Couples, singles and families are welcome to come along and enjoy a fun night of dancing and friendship. For further details contact Gary Petersen on 0499 088 680 or email