Meander Valley Gazette

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People and Places

Westbury Prison already locked in?

News, People and Places, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Meander Valley Mayor Wayne Johnston, Corrections Minister Elise Archer and John Tucker, Liberal Member for Lyons, announce the proposed site of the new Northern Regional Prison, at the Westbury Industrial Precinct, just over the Bass Highway from the historic Westbury township.

Photo by Mike Moores

Meander Valley Mayor Wayne Johnston, Corrections Minister Elise Archer and John Tucker, Liberal Member for Lyons, announce the proposed site of the new Northern Regional Prison, at the Westbury Industrial Precinct, just over the Bass Highway from the historic Westbury township.

Image supplied  Visualisation of the new Northern Regional Prison the state government plans to build on the outskirts of Westbury, at 135 Birralee Road.

Image supplied

Visualisation of the new Northern Regional Prison the state government plans to build on the outskirts of Westbury, at 135 Birralee Road.

By Sharon Webb

THE TASMANIAN Government’s announcement of Westbury as the proposed site for a new $270m prison is already taking a toll among residents and local councillors.

Residents are lobbying councillors to protest about the stigma of Westbury becoming a prison town.

And Meander Valley Council Mayor Wayne Johnston was clearly affected on ABC Radio in a discussion about online trolling of councillors. He advised listeners to take up their problems with the prison with the state government not the council.

Councillor John Temple said around six residents a day drop into his Westbury gallery to vent their opinions.

‘People are very much against the proposal,’ he said.

‘They are aware of the social changes it may bring to this community and the nature of the area. It’s also a fear of the unknown.

‘We knew we may get a prison co-located with Ashley and were imagining a smaller prison. We had no thoughts of maximum security.’

Minister for Corrections Elise Archer last week announced that the site for the 270-bed prison would be on the outskirts of the historic village of Westbury, on the property at 135 Birralee Road.

Currently Glen Avon Farms, a 401 hectare site whose owners are located in the UK, the property is now used by a sister company Selborne Biological to produce animal blood products.

Ms Archer said the site was chosen from ten expressions of interest by landowners but would not comment on the other nine locations.

The government has negotiated a conditional contract on 41 hectares of Glen Avon Farms’ land. The prison’s footprint will be 13 hectares.

Advance preparation for the announcement was obvious, with roll-up banners printed for the announcement press conference, flyers dropped in Westbury letterboxes within 48 hours and an information website made available.

Acting Meander Valley Council general manager Jonathan Harmey said the next step is for the State Government to apply to council to rezone the land.

The project will be advertised and the public can make submissions in support or against it. The final decision is made by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

Ms Archer, along with the website and flyers, emphasised the positive outcomes of the project as jobs for people in the area. ‘Hundreds of jobs during construction over five and ten year phases and 250 people employed permanently once in full operation.’

She was echoed by Meander Valley councillor Andrew Sherriff. ‘It’s a spend of $270m in this municipality – how can it not be a good thing?

‘The prison has got to go somewhere. I’d be more than happy to have it in Deloraine where I live. We have Ashley Detention Centre here – is that a big problem?’

Commenting on recent prison break-outs Cllr Sherriff maintained, that unlike the ageing Risdon prison, the new Northern Regional Prison would be a state-of-the-art high security prison: ‘I don’t know how you’d scale a six metre concrete wall.’

Cllr Frank Nott said, ‘This is a social justice advantage for prisoners from north and north-west Tasmania to have more access to their families.

‘The disadvantage is that noone wants it in their backyard. There’s a stigma attached to suburbs like Risdon Vale.’

All four paws on the Green!

People and Places, CommunityJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Clover Ward and her mother Sarah, show off the skills of Laken, their 3 year old Border Collie. Clover and Laken will be demonstrating dog agility and obedience at Paws on the Green, on Saturday 19 October. From 11am until 3pm, this inaugural festival of all things canine promises to be a day full of fun, with races and high jumps, dog treats and competitions, entertainment, food and much more for dogs and people alike.

Photo by Mike Moores

Clover Ward and her mother Sarah, show off the skills of Laken, their 3 year old Border Collie. Clover and Laken will be demonstrating dog agility and obedience at Paws on the Green, on Saturday 19 October. From 11am until 3pm, this inaugural festival of all things canine promises to be a day full of fun, with races and high jumps, dog treats and competitions, entertainment, food and much more for dogs and people alike.

The preservation of Mount Roland

People and Places, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Joanne Gower  A frosty morning in Sheffield, with Mt Roland in the background.

Photo by Joanne Gower

A frosty morning in Sheffield, with Mt Roland in the background.

MT ROLAND looms to the far west of the Meander Valley, so it seems reasonable that the Mt Roland Preservation Society would want to introduce itself to readers of the Gazette.

Mt Roland Preservation Society Inc. is a newly formed association whose aim is to preserve the integrity of the Mt Roland Regional Reserve and Conservation Area.

The Society is holding an information sharing session followed by afternoon tea, to be held at the Claude Road Hall, Claude Road, from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday November 17.

All likeminded individuals who are interested in preserving the beautiful and iconic Mt Roland are invited to come along.

Membership forms will be available on the day, for anyone who would like to join the group.

Details are also provided on the Mt Roland Preservation Society Inc. Facebook page.

Deloraine House 30 plus!

Community, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Elena Olah and Debbie Smith with Deloraine House’s new bird bath.

Photo by Mike Moores

Elena Olah and Debbie Smith with Deloraine House’s new bird bath.

ON THE last day in August, Deloraine House celebrated 30 years in the community and the little house on the corner was filled with laughter and stories of days gone by.

Over the day, close to 200 people came through the door, walking the halls and rooms that were covered in photos of the last three decades.

With music from the Ukarythmics, Lisa Yeates and Rob van der Elst, food from the Deloraine Lions Club and delicious apple juice from the Meander Valley Harvest Helpers, the back yard was a buzz of busy children running around and having fun. Adults sat around chatting and taking in the delectable smells of the vegetarian BBQ cooked by former volunteer Geoff Zwar.

Special thanks go to Deloraine Golden Opportunity Shop whose kind donations funded the event and the Deloraine Bendigo Bank for donations that went towards the children’s activities.

Some highlights were the unveiling of a mosaic bird bath by Niecy Brown and the sharing of memories from people including Polly Fowler, Nell Carr, Julie Roach and Sue Chaston.

The event wouldn’t have been possible without the wonderful Deloraine House volunteers, who put many hours into creating a fantastic event. Charlie Keane made a huge cake for all to share, as well as spending a whole day cooking soup and other things with Elena Olah and Jan Post.

Kristina Nicklason, Marilyn Day and Jan Post deserve a special mention as they worked so hard to bring everything together.

It was wonderful to see so many people celebrating the strength and connections in the community. It is exciting to dream of how the community will shape Deloraine House into the future.

Nell Carr – a remarkable life

People and Places, Community, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Nell Carr, in the garden at the Western Tiers Visitors Centre which she tended for many years with the Garden Girls and where she is now garden consultant.

Photo by Mike Moores

Nell Carr, in the garden at the Western Tiers Visitors Centre which she tended for many years with the Garden Girls and where she is now garden consultant.

By Hayley Manning

A LARGE contingency of the Deloraine Days for Girls were joined by other well-wishers to present Nell Carr with the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, at the Bush Inn on 12 August.

The award was presented to Nell in acknowledgement of the countless hours she has dedicated to volunteer work over her remarkable life. From Meals on Wheels to Secretary of the Deloraine Film Society, she has thrown herself into many varied roles over the years.

And despite recently reaching her 93rd year, the dynamo has no immediate plans to retire from the volunteer positions that reflect her long-held passions in life – education and gardening.

Nell is a Deloraine House Community Garden Volunteer, and continues to maintain the Commonwealth Bank garden.

Meander Valley’s very own garden guru, Nell tended the Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre garden with the Garden Girls for many years, and has been appointed garden consultant.

The third of six children, Nell Carr grew up on the Dunorlan farm founded by her father on land made available for servicemen who had served in the Great War. Her mother was the daughter of a neighbouring farmer. Nell, her husband and first two children returned to Tasmania from Scotland in 1953. She has lived on the farm ever since.

A writer for the former Great Western Tiers local newspaper, Nell currently writes the knowledgeable gardening column for the Meander Valley Gazette.

Nell organised short courses that included gardening with the former host of the ABC’s Gardening Australia, Peter Cundall, when she introduced and coordinated Adult Education courses in Deloraine.

The Gazette recently contacted Peter who was delighted to hear about Nell’s ongoing activities. ‘The Nell I know and love is an absolute inspiration, a modern-day philanthropist of the gardening universe,’ Peter said. ‘

My personal list of all-time great gardening minds would read: Jane Edmanson, Costa Georgiadis, Don Burke, Jamie Durie, the groundskeeper at Keilor East Recreation Reserve and Nell Carr.’

Nell, the long-term advocate for education joined Days for Girls in 2015, to make sanitary products so Nepalese school girls ‘don’t have to miss school a few days each month.

‘I have met such very interesting people in Days for Girls. As you get older, it’s more important to relate to your fellows.

If everyone stopped volunteering, the whole community would fall to bits, I’m afraid.’ Nell Carr, MVG 2015

Nell recalled aspects of her own education during her award evening speech. ‘Our father being a poor soldier-settler, could only afford to send my three sisters, two brothers and myself to high school for three years each, as it meant paying board for all of us in Launceston.’

After high school, Nell landed her first job in Launceston as a messenger girl. ‘The only qualifications were that I had a bike. But no experience is wasted – it gave me an intimate knowledge of the CBD.’

A young Nell met her husband-to-be, a Scotsman in the Navy, and they married in Sydney before going to Scotland to live. After several years, the couple and their small two children, Deidre and Geoffrey returned to the Dunorlan farm to build a family home, where sons Alistair and Clive were later born.

Nell’s interest in further education was piqued when she read her daughter’s UTAS Hobart study notes. She said if uni ever became available in Launceston she would enrol.

First year university classes were eventually offered at the Adult Education building in High Street, Launceston.

The courses Nell completed there were acknowledged when she completed an off-campus Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in History and Politics, as a mature age student.

The epitome of ‘blooming good health’, Nell credits her robust resilience with her life on the farm where she was born.

‘Life was tough. Up at 4.30 on frosty, dark mornings to milk the cows, followed by a walk across several farms to catch a train to school.’

She was still milking cows on the farm well into her 70s. Nell Carr is a credit to her family and the Meander Valley community.

On behalf of those in the Meander Valley and elsewhere who have had the pleasure and privilege to spend time with her, the Meander Valley Gazette would like to say thank you to Nell for her ongoing contribution to the community through all her hard work.

No blowing raspberries – local café wins tourism award

People and Places, Community, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Café supervisor Peta Robinson, chef Michael Lambert and manager Elise Chilcott – proud of their staff, service and food – now proud customer experience award winners.

Photo by Mike Moores

Café supervisor Peta Robinson, chef Michael Lambert and manager Elise Chilcott – proud of their staff, service and food – now proud customer experience award winners.

By Sharon Webb

IN LATE afternoon on a mid-winter day the atmosphere at Raspberry Farm Café in Christmas Hills is cosy.

Outside the wind is bitter but a fire burns brightly in the generous fireplace and afternoon tea customers tuck in to scones with raspberry jam and cream and delicious-looking desserts.

It’s tempting to think it’s all about the luscious food - but the ambience and the view of the small lake and surrounding fields take the last bit of tension out of tight shoulder muscles.

But all of that is not why Raspberry Farm Café recently won the Great Customer Experience Award given by the Tasmanian Hospitality Association.

The association recognised the efforts of the venue owners and their staff in providing their customers with a great customer experience, measurable through social media analysis.

Customers have a memorable experience at the café, comment on Facebook, Instagram and Tripadvisor – and then Raspberry Farm Café comments back, setting up a conversation. It’s interactive.

According to manager Elise Chilcott, ‘We have almost 15,000 likes on Facebook, quite a heavy traffic page.

‘We respond quickly to comments and aim to answer every question. We respond in some way to everyone who posts a photo. For everyone there is some sort of acknowledgment.’

The award was a complete surprise.

Unlike many tourism awards, Raspberry Farm Café did not nominate themselves. Yet there they are in the fabulous company of fellow Tasmanian venues such as Black Cow Bistro, the Watergarden Bar and St Helens Furneaux Restaurant.

So, after beginning as a tin shed on the side of the road selling raspberries and soft drinks, what does a 25 year old café in rural Tasmania need to do to win a great customer experience award?

Oh yes, the location and ambience come into it, as does the imaginative food. ‘Customers want raspberries. You find a place and we’ll put a raspberry in it! ’ says Elise.

But Raspberry Farm Café has also put in the hard yards with customer service, training staff to acknowledge customers within five seconds of entering the café and to read the needs of every table.

‘Customer service expectations have changed – it must be way better than it ever was,’ said Elise.

‘With the advent of social media we must be consistently good at what we do.’

According to café supervisor Peta Robertson reading each table is key.

‘It’s about responsiveness: tourists like us to know the area, some people want a joke around the table while others want us to deliver the meal and leave them to it.’

Good staff with the right attitude and skills are critical, says Elise.

‘We have a stable local staff of around 26 in winter. In summer staff numbers grow to 40 plus.

‘Former staff members call from overseas to ask if they can a have a summer job. We don’t often advertise – it’s mainly word-of-mouth.’

Raspberry Farm Café understands its clientele to the extent that it doesn’t just employ cheaper juniors.

‘We’re looking for people who want to work, who have different levels of experience, different personalities, aged into their sixties,’ said Peta.

‘We have absolutely amazing staff; we’re a team, it’s a team environment, we can’t do it alone.’

And finally, yes, it is about the food. A few weeks ago a special dessert with the unlikely name of A Walk in the Forest splashed on social media with 462 likes and 301 comments: chocolate mud soil sprouts magic mushrooms and raspberry cream-filled tuile logs adorn the delightful scene.

‘We serve a raspberry latté, a soup all year round and raspberry waffles will never leave our menu,’ Elise said.

Another thing: this café makes 8.5 tonnes of chocolate-covered raspberries a year. Yes. And they give away 3.5 tonnes over the counter.

Elise has recommendations for start-up cafés.

‘Know where your values are, and your community and their expectations. And once you’ve got your brand, whatever that may be, build on that.’

Of course, having chocolate-coated raspberries on the counter is a big help as well.

Eric Manukov, photographer and dreamer

Arts & Artisans, Community, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Eric Manukov, a passionate photographer and documentor of people.

Photo by Mike Moores

Eric Manukov, a passionate photographer and documentor of people.

By Lorraine Clarke

HIS LIFE in Tasmania is a far cry from the dizzy heights of international fashion photography, but Eric Manukov has never regretted moving to Launceston a few years ago.

He was born in Sydney, with Georgian heritage, and describes himself as ‘a strange creative child, a daydreamer’ absorbed with painting, art and music, whose first purchased album was jazz rather than pop or rock.

At school, he had dreams of becoming a photojournalist. Eric spent several years as a photographic stylist in the world of fashion, before studying at the Australian Centre of Photography at age 28.

‘Because I had the skill to create an image, my photography took off instantly,’ he said. ‘I could style my own photos. I worked in Fashion and Editorial for many years.’

Over six years, Eric often headed for outback Australia in a camper van to create his first big self-assigned project – Eric's Aboriginal series. He would fly back to Sydney for his commercial work, then return inland to his passion.

Representatives of five separate environments – desert, fresh water, salt water, cold climate and tropical – feature in this stunning photographic documentary that has been exhibited in Europe.

‘I kept going around the country. I met some very prominent Aboriginals. I would live in a community for about six weeks to get to know them, to develop trust and relationships.’

Eric posted photographs on his van or a tree to generate interest in what he was doing, in the remotest areas where some residents had never seen a white person and spoke no English. He travelled throughout indigenous communities, from Mornington Island in the Gulf, through the central desert, to Hermansberg, the home of famed Aboriginal painter Namatjira.

Eric hangs a dark vertical canvas as backdrop to all his portraits, and people are invited to step out of their own environment into his.

‘The person is the subject and context, not the environment,’ he explains. ‘The canvas is used to delete the background completely and remove the time-line. The intention was always to show them as a very proud people. All the photographs were taken of people in traditional tribal totem paint. I wanted to capture these totems before they were lost. It will all disappear. The series is a historical document.’

Eric holds great respect for the subjects of his hauntingly beautiful photos. He knows their names, their histories, and remembers their home lands. ‘I would wait and talk to people, and tell them what I was hoping to achieve historically. Some of the older people knew about the genocides and would not allow photos.’

Earlier photographers have captured the shaming history of our country’s treatment of its first inhabitants, but Eric had loftier aims. ‘The injustice has been covered. I don’t need to show that. I wanted to show how beautiful they are.’

All Eric’s 80 Aboriginal portraits were taken on film, and developed as silver gelatin prints. ‘I am very proud to have photographed them and printed the pictures myself as well,’ he said.

‘I was allowed in. They trusted me. That’s the number one thing I am very, very proud of.’

Pixels Gallery at Deloraine Online Access Centre is pleased to display Eric Manukov’s significant and striking Aboriginal series throughout the month of October.

There will be an evening viewing where invitees can speak with Eric about his photography and the subjects of his Aboriginal series.

Check the Gazette Facebook for the date and details, or call 6286 8216.

Eric’s website showcases all his photographic collections: www.ericmanukov.com.

No time for a boring life – Terry Roles

Community, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Terry Roles – no regrets and no time to lead a boring life.  Photo by Mike Moores

Terry Roles – no regrets and no time to lead a boring life.

Photo by Mike Moores

By Wendy Laing

TERRY ROLES has never found the time to lead a boring life. The youngest of eight children, he was born and raised in Deloraine.

As a child, he always wanted a horse and would ride around on a broomstick, pretending to be a jockey.

However, his first job after leaving school was at the Deloraine Savings Bank of Tasmania, but every weekend was spent at the pony club riding or training horses.

Terry left the bank after five years and accepted the position of a stable foreman with Alan Stubbs at Osmaston. At the age of 23 he received his first licence as a horse trainer.

Terry started training racehorses for flat racing but with a passion for jump racing this became his focus both locally and interstate. Over the years, he had many prestigious wins, including five Grand National steeple chases at Deloraine, where this record still stands today.

His favourite horse, Inchgower, won 19 races. He started as a galloper, turned to hurdles and continued on to become a successful showjumper. ‘Inchgower, nicknamed Jimbob, became a well-loved member of our family,’ Terry said, ‘and was the first horse my daughter, Erin rode after a life-threatening fall in 2006.’

Erin’s accident triggered a change in direction for Terry Roles. He decided to resign from his job as a horse trainer and began work as a cleaner, then a carer at Grenoch Home Aged Care in Deloraine. Six years ago, Terry obtained a Diploma of Nursing. He now holds a management position at the Kanangra Aged Care Hostel in Deloraine and finds it very rewarding.

Although Terry still loves to follow and watch horse racing, he has no regrets about leaving his career as a horse trainer where he had received several serious injuries, including fracturing his neck. ‘Over the years, I met many amazing people in the industry who are still loyal friends,’ he said.

Terry has always had a fascination with mountains. In March this year, after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, Terry, along with friends and his daughter Sophie climbed Quamby Bluff for the first time. ‘Reaching the top, I gazed around at the fantastic views while drinking a can of Guinness,’ he said.

Terry continues in his role at the Deloraine football club as a trainer and manages players’ injuries. ‘Both my father and uncle were trainers at the club,’ he said.

During Terry’s 34 years as a registered horse trainer, he had over 600 career wins, earning prize money of over one hundred and fifty million dollars.

Deloraine Parish proposes homes for Saleyards land

People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
web_2019_08_08_church_villas_01.jpg
Architectural renderings of the proposed Saleyards development.  Images supplied

Architectural renderings of the proposed Saleyards development.

Images supplied

By Sharon Webb

THE ANGLICAN Parish of Deloraine plans to build eight villas on land adjacent to St Mark’s Church to cover its funding obligation to the National Redress Scheme for children sexually abused in institutions.

St Mark’s minister, Reverend Joshua Skeat, said the land on East Westbury Place in Deloraine, historically known as the Saleyards, and St Saviour’s Church in Meander originally had been listed for sale by Tasmania’s Anglican Diocese to cover the parish’s obligation.

‘There has always been a desire in the parish to utilize the land rather than simply selling it,’ he said.

‘The church wardens and the parish council also wanted to talk with the Meander community about the use of their church building, which hasn’t been used for services since April 2017,’ he said.

‘We paid the redress money out of parish funds, giving us time to make decisions.’ While discussions with the Meander community are ongoing, the parish council decided to take advantage of an offer by developers, Traders in Purple, to help develop the Saleyards land.

‘We want to sell six villas and keep two to solidify parish finances,’ Reverend Skeat said. ‘The money raised will replace the parish funds used for redress and St Mark’s Church needs repair.

‘Local real estate agents advised us that two-bedroom units are in demand to buy and rent in Deloraine. We’d like to rent out the two villas we keep, pricing them at the lower end of the rental market to give families and couples affordable, secure accommodation in a desirable location.

’ Traders in Purple, the company behind Ridgeside Lane in Evandale and Kingston Park in Kingston, worked with the parish to lodge a planning application with Meander Valley Council.

Director Charles Daoud said that while supporting redress for people who experienced institutional abuse is important, retaining significant places like St Saviour’s was also important.

‘If there are ways of achieving both they should be explored,’ he said. ‘The history of St Saviour’s is one reason Traders in Purple reached out to help the Deloraine Parish and the Meander community.

‘It was designed by the local architect H.H. Freeman, who also designed Deloraine’s historic home, Arcoona. It was built in 1896 by Exton contractors Reilly’s for £140 and the altar donated by wardens of All Saints in Hobart.

‘There is also a significant burial ground on St Saviour’s grounds. Hopefully this now means its preservation is guaranteed.’

Mr Daoud said the project is sensitive to its surroundings and sense of place and will not visually impact St Mark’s Church. ‘The proposal respects the significant historic value to the point that the single-storey villas have been designed to retain important view corridors to the church.’

The Vicar-General of the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania, The Right Reverend Dr Chris Jones, said he appreciates that if the application is approved St Saviour’s Church will not need to be sold but will remain a community asset.

‘I commend the parish for its creative response,’ he said. ‘I am also greatly encouraged the parish is seeking to be a blessing to its community by providing low income housing in Deloraine.’

Traders in Purple, along with Rytenskild Traffic Engineering, MRC Engineering, Lange Design, Michael Jirku Architecture and PDA Surveyors, are working pro bono to deliver the project.

If approved, work will begin in early 2020, estimated to complete in November 2020. St Mark’s Church plans to build eight units to contribute to the National Redress Scheme for children sexually abused in institutions.

A life of giving to others

Community, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Kim Brundle-Lawrence of Carrick  Photo by Mike Moores

Kim Brundle-Lawrence of Carrick

Photo by Mike Moores

By David Claridge

HELPING THE community is something that has come naturally for Carrick lady Kim Brundle-Lawrence.

Ever since learning first aid from the Red Cross in grade 4 at school, Kim started on a path of volunteering which has resulted in 54 years with the Red Cross, 45 years with the Tasmanian Bands League (the majority of that time with the City of Launceston RSL Band) and nearly 30 years with the Tasmania Fire Service to name a few.

Kim is also President of Lifelink Samaritans.

Her roles have ranged from door knocking for the Red Cross March Appeal to helping with disaster relief in Tasmania and on the mainland.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Kim was recognised for her many years of services to the community with the Order of Australia Medal.

‘People ask me how I prioritise … I ask myself who needs me more. Once I took my Red Cross bag in the back of a fire truck due to a town potentially being evacuated,’ she said.

‘It’s getting out there and helping people. I don’t have many ties at home now, so it keeps me busy.

‘While the award is really nice for me and I’m stoked about it, I see it as recognition of not only me doing work but for all volunteers doing work. It’s an acknowledgement to all of us.

‘I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support from the families I have across the various groups.’

Kim was awarded Honorary Life Member of the Red Cross in December 2018, which sits with the many other accolades she has collected over the years.

Kim Brundle-Lawrence has received the Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her many years of services to the community.

OneCare near the oceanside, Rubicon Grove

Community, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann

By Wendy Laing

RUBICON GROVE is a residential aged-care facility situated at Port Sorell and was first opened in 2009. Since then it has grown not only in size but also the ability to provide low, high and palliative care on both a respite and residential basis.

After a $5.6 million redevelopment earlier this year, amongst other renovations and refurbishments, Rubicon Grove now boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen area, a community centre and, Rubi’s Tea House.

Each of the single residential rooms has a private ensuite and an internal courtyard. There is a cosy lounge in each of the four residential wings with tea and coffee making facilities, where residents can relax or entertain family and friends.

A life-style manager coordinates over fifty volunteers, who spend one-to-one time with residents and help with a range of undertakings, including driving the community bus, gardening, shopping expeditions and craft activities.

The new community centre is an integral part of Rubicon Grove, not only for residents but also as a hub for various neighbourhood events, meetings and activities.

Round the clock nursing care is always available to residents who need assistance, including medication, exercise and dietary requirements.

OneCare’s Rubicon Grove nursing home is at 89 Club Drive, Port Sorrell, within walking distance of the Shearwater shopping precinct.

For further information visit their website www. agedcareguide.com.au/onecares- rubicon-grove or phone (03) 6427 5700.

Rubicon Grove facilities include a cafe for residents and guests.  Photo supplied

Rubicon Grove facilities include a cafe for residents and guests.

Photo supplied

A tall ship to Antarctica

Feature, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Chris Grose of Blackstone Heights recently returned from a voyage to Antarctica on the three-masted  Bark Europa . Chris is sharing his story and photos with the Gazette this month. Drop in to see the full exhibition at Pixels Gallery at the Deloraine Online Centre. The gallery will be showcasing Chris’s photos for the months of June and July.

Chris Grose of Blackstone Heights recently returned from a voyage to Antarctica on the three-masted Bark Europa. Chris is sharing his story and photos with the Gazette this month. Drop in to see the full exhibition at Pixels Gallery at the Deloraine Online Centre. The gallery will be showcasing Chris’s photos for the months of June and July.

Story and photos by Chris Grose

SAILING TO ANTARCTICA aboard a 40m three-masted steel sailing bark may not be everyone’s holiday of choice but for me it was the only way to go. And so I found myself at the helm of Bark Europa as we ploughed through 5m seas and a 50 knot gale heading across the Drake Passage, the notoriously rough stretch of water where the Pacific meets the Atlantic ocean at the tip of South America.

For the first 24 hours of the crossing most of the voyage crew had succumbed to seasickness and rarely moved from our bunks. ‘Sounds like world war three down here,’ I overheard one experienced crew member say, amidst the moaning and groaning, as I lay hunched over my little yellow bucket.

As we found our sea legs, more and more of us could be found on deck, taking the helm or standing watch as the ship rolled beneath us and the wind howled through the rigging. Meal times became a social occasion rather than something to be endured. After four days of sailing we reached the South Shetland Islands and made our first landfall at Yankee Harbour and were greeted by the soon-to-be familiar aroma of penguin guano.

Going ashore in the zodiacs we were left to wander the pebbly beaches, observing hundreds of gentoo penguins, skuas, fur seals and occasional elephant seals, none of whom appeared in the least perturbed to see us.

Over the following two weeks we had numerous shore landings and zodiac cruises amongst the icebergs. At Walkers Bay on Livingstone Island we climbed an old glacial moraine and looked down upon a tremendous glacier descending from the island’s heart until it reached the sea where it ended in great ice cliffs. Even from our airy lookout we could hear the thunder as great lumps of ice calved off and plunged into the sea.

At Deception Island we visited the remains of an old whaling station and marvelled at steam rising from the beaches where sea water was being heated by thermal activity – the island is itself a dormant volcano!

At every landing site there were gentoo, chinstrap or adelie penguins to greet us. We saw more elephant, weddell and leopard seals. Rising early one morning I climbed the rigging of the main mast and looked out at dramatic mountains and glaciers and a sea that reflected the sapphire blue sky overhead.

Everywhere I turned, both near and far, there were spouts from humpback whales – several passed within 50m of Europa. Most memorable of all were the deep blue shadows hidden inside the many icebergs that we passed.

All too soon it was time to head back across the Drake – but this time few succumbed to sea sickness. As we passed by a distant Cape Horn, thoughts turned to home and those that we had left behind. How could we best explain what dramatic landscapes and marvellous wildlife we had experienced?

I knew the question everyone would ask. ‘What was it like?’ could not be answered with mere words.

My lasting impression of Antarctica is one of just how fragile it is and how important it is that we all look after and protect it in every way we can.

Europa  appears dwarfed by the landscape as the voyage crew take ahike at Orne Harbor to visit a chinstrap penguin colony.

Europa appears dwarfed by the landscape as the voyage crew take ahike at Orne Harbor to visit a chinstrap penguin colony.

Sunrise in the Gerlache Strait. I rose early on this particular morning and watched numerous humpback whales feeding around the ship.

Sunrise in the Gerlache Strait. I rose early on this particular morning and watched numerous humpback whales feeding around the ship.

A Gentoo penguin, one of three types of penguin that we saw during the trip, appears to fly above the water.

A Gentoo penguin, one of three types of penguin that we saw during the trip, appears to fly above the water.

Approaching the Lemaire Channel, also known as ‘Kodak Gap’ due to the spectacular mountain and glacier scenery.

Approaching the Lemaire Channel, also known as ‘Kodak Gap’ due to the spectacular mountain and glacier scenery.