Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

People and Places

John Loone, a life of service

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
John Loone

John Loone

SEPTEMBER 2018 | Wendy Laing

 JOHN ARTHUR Loone was born on the 25th of January 1931 in Deloraine. His early years were spent in Launceston where, at school level, he represented the north in football and athletics.

He also attended the Deloraine Catholic school during his primary years and his wife, Leslie recalled that he walked home after school with Patti Pratt.

For a short time, when he was sixteen, he worked at Harris’s in Deloraine which was then was situated next to the British Hotel. From there he joined his father to start Deloraine’s first newsagency. This developed into RH Loone and Sons, and recognising the potential for growth, they moved to where the newsagency stands today. This became John Loone’s focal point for 40 years.

While still in his twenties, John and his grandfather, Roy Loone bought a Bedford bus and the school bus and charter business began. At the tender age 29 he became a Justice of the Peace and served 58 years.

It was not widely known though that he was also a Probation officer for many years.

Football played a large part in his life. John played 234 games and also coached the Deloraine Club. Over time he held the positions of President, Treasurer and Patron. His family remember a game at the Westbury football ground, where he was chased by an elderly lady hitting him with an umbrella when he attempted to stop a fight between players.

John Loone’s contribution and involvement in the community of Deloraine was a remarkable achievement. He was Treasurer of the Deloraine High School Parents and Friends for 28 years and spent 25 years as a volunteer fireman.

When Harris Menswear building caught fire he raced inside to retrieve vital documents. Seconds after he got out, the roof collapsed.

As a Member of the Legislative Council, John Loone worked hard for his electorate. Major achievements included championing the upgrades of Ashley, the Deloraine hospital and cleaning up the Deloraine riverbanks.

He tirelessly lobbied the Government for a grant to start Giant Steps. After two and a half years of planning, preparation, and help with extra funds, Giant Steps became a reality with Mr Loone becoming the first Chairman. Leslie Loone said the Legislative Council members called him a quiet achiever

John Loone passed away on the 3rd of August 2018 aged 87. He had been married to Lesley for almost 64 years and father of Rodney, Liz, Louise and Anthony. He was loved by all his friends and extended family.

Photo | Supplied

Tasmanian truffles rule the kitchen

Rural, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | David Claridge

TASMANIANS ARE proud of two Deloraine siblings, Henry and Anna Terry, who made it big on television, showing what they were capable of on My Kitchen Rules.

Reaching the final six they were unfortunately eliminated after a cook-off just before the semi-finals.

Henry and Anna are now back to what they were doing beforehand, but are much happier for the experience.

Henry has returned to running their truffle farm ‘Tasmanian Truffles’ after a ‘massive year’.

“It is nice to be back to normal life, but we had such a great time. We’re relieved to be heading onto the next chapter but happy for the experience we have had."

Anna has returned to studying nursing and helping Henry with the farm.

“We met some amazing people. We went through highs and lows together and got in a bubble. It was a friendship you don’t find in normal life,” she said.

“Being on the show we have grown as people, it was a learning curve that had a big impact on our lives that we will never forget.

The duo was able to showcase some of Tasmania’s finest produce in one of the episodes, preparing kangaroo fillet, chicken, lamb and some mouth-watering desserts for the teams and judges at their house. Unfortunately, it was out of truffle season, so they couldn’t use their favourite ingredient.

A story published in New Idea on 6th May claimed that many fans voiced how they wished Henry and Anna had made it to the final – which goes to show how popular they became in their time on the show.

Photo | Wayne Enright

Lifetime of service

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018

OSMASTON RESIDENT, Sandra Atkins, has received a Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM).

The medal was presented at Government House on Friday 18th May by Tasmanian Governor Kate Warner AC.

Sandra received the honour for her nearly 60 years of service to equestrian sports.

Her contributions include her work with Equestrian Australia, Northern Tasmanian Eventing Club, The Northern Hunt Club, Deloraine Pony Club and the Deloraine Agricultural and Pastoral Society.

Sandra has also volunteered with the Deloraine Online Access Centre and Meander Valley Connect for 18 years.

The OAM investiture program described the reasons for giving people these acknowledgements: “Honours help define, encourage and reinforce national aspirations, ideals and standards by identifying role models. We give honours to recognise, celebrate and say thank you to those who make a difference, those who achieve their best and those who serve others.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Liffey Falls misty wonderland

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

MAY 2018 | Tara Ulbrich

APPROACHING LIFFEY Falls from downstream is entirely different from the more popularly worn path leaving from the upper carpark.

An argument can be made that waterfalls ought to be discovered by climbing up. It makes the grand finale more spectacular.

Coincidently, fresh-faced volunteers welcomed us at the lower campground area. This band, costumed in lurid orange and equipped with safety goggles and secateurs, were marching forth to clear the path from overhanging fern and bracken. A Park’s team were also nearby, chainsaws at the ready. They were there to deal with tree fell from a recent storm.

After the floods of 2016 this track had to be entirely rebuilt and now takes a higher route along Quinns Creek without crossing the Liffey River at all. It is a walk that requires tending, as wild nature and thriving vegetation push back against human taming.

The Liffey Falls area is wet forest at its jaw dropping finest. Water droplets hang off leaf and twig. A mist encloses the valley far above, like the canvas of a big top. The path is a gradual steady incline but the track is so smooth it is easy to imagine young ones exuberantly scampering up.

Sometimes you’re at the water level of the creek and other times higher above. One moment you’re in the taffeta skirts of fern fronds, their new lashes blinking down at you, and the next you’re above and looking down as a trapeze artist over a safety net of verdant foliage.

After a little more than one hour’s walking, you’re greeted by the thunderous applause of the falls. Find a picnic spot just downstream and let the waters hurry back to your point of origin.

The start of this walk can be found from three approaches, via the A5 and the road to the Upper Carpark, via Quamby Brook and Bogans Rd or the more twowheel-drive-friendly route from Westbury or Bracknell which passes through the tiny hamlet of Liffey. The return takes three hours including time for lunch.

Photo | Jade Hallam

New coordinator for Deloraine House

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | Cody Handley

SANDRA THOMAS is the new coordinator of Deloraine House.

Meander Valley Gazette spoke to Sandra in February to learn a bit about the House’s new head honcho.

Originally from Orange in NSW, Sandra has lived and worked on the Gold Coast and in Sydney prior to moving to Tasmania last October.

She has always been drawn to Tasmania ever since her first holiday here when she was 18 years old. “I fell in love with the place,” she said, and she has been coming back regularly ever since. Each time she made the trip across Bass Strait she always felt as if she had to re-visit Deloraine.

Last year she made the call to move here.

“Once I’d made the decision to move, it all happened really quickly,” said Sandra. Within 21 days she had ditched the Gold Coast for Deloraine. “When I got here I felt like I could breathe again,” she said, giving her slow gravitation towards the state an air of inevitability.

Sandra has a background in finance and superannuation. From there, she moved into disability support and counselling. At one point in her career she was a personal trainer. When asked about this curious move, Sandra said she has always had a bit of a coaching style, even during her time in the finance world where she helped people to reach savings goals and to pay o‘ their loans.

Although she admits she is still learning the ropes, Sandra has a clear vision for Deloraine House.

Having a personal interest in mental health issues, Sandra places an emphasis on “acknowledging it’s out there and stopping the stigma around it.”

She says there is a tendency to see organisations like Deloraine House as being for people down on their luck or out of work. It is Sandra’s hope to begin a process of educating the public as to what Deloraine House can do for anyone in the community.

“Essentially we do whatever people need us to do when they walk in here,” she said. That can range from putting people in touch with various people or services through to helping people get to appointments. “It’s about coaching people into a better lifestyle,” she said.

Deloraine House is always on the lookout for volunteers, with a number of areas to suit people’s interests. Recently they had a circus trailer donated to them and are looking for people with relevant knowledge and skills to use this asset to do something for the children. They also run a community garden and welcome any excess produce that community members might have from their own gardens.

If you want to know more, volunteer, or think Deloraine House might be able to do something for you, Sandra invites you to drop in for a coffee and a chat.

Photo | Mike Moores

Baton bearer

Sport, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | David Claridge

IT IS a memorable thing to be a part of history. For Golden Valley’s Hollie Bennett she has followed in the footsteps of thousands of others, many of them famous.

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay recently came to Launceston. 11 year old Hollie, the only member of the relay from Meander Valley, was honoured to be part of the experience.

Hollie’s mother, Cristy Hall, was thrilled that not only was Hollie involved but she was the first runner in the Launceston part of the relay.

“She started from East Launceston Primary School, she got presented with the baton and all the kids made a guard of honour and high fived her on the way out as she made her way down Abbott Street,” she said.

“She is a real all-rounder. She has competed in athletics, cross country and swimming for her school in the Northern Midlands as well as being a competitive equestrian rider just to name a few things. I’m extremely proud of what she has achieved!”

“She really enjoyed the day. It was a surreal experience for her being with past Olympic champions and community members who generously give up lots of their time for others. They all took her under their wing for the day, which was lovely.”

The baton relay is a worldwide event where 3,800 baton bearers have been running over 388 days, the same baton will travel over 40,000 kilometres.

Photo | Mike Moores

Split Rock

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

FEBRUARY 2018 | Tara Ulbrich

THE VIEW of the Meander River from the swing bridge is commanding and the waters seem much wilder than when they pass through the townships downstream.

This is the beginning of the two hour return walk to Split Rock located beyond the village of Meander, in the skirts of Kooparoona Niara.

Crossing the river there is an immediate sense that the walker has lost any authority over the setting. You’re now looking up from a humbled position on the rainforest floor and the destination sits directly above, out of sight but looming.

Grit and frequent pauses are going to get you there. Make use of stops to survey the root steps you’ve climbed and the beckoning trunks of myrtle and sassafras above. They are the sentinels of this kingdom.

My walking companion reminisces of a Meander Primary School excursion, perhaps a decade ago.

Joined by our famous local thespian in his eighties, a stalwart principal and the student community aged five and up, the memory stands as testimony that, for the determined, a challenging ascent is possible.

Stay with the track markers as you climb. It is surprisingly easy to stray. The Split Rock, however, reigns unmistakeably. Moss, ferns and lichens attempt to soften the enormity of the overhang, wedged unquestioningly into the earth. I’m left thinking - if this formation could make noise it would be deafening.

Red triangles indicate up through the crevice namesake marking the route to Meander Falls, a seven-hour return, and also across the hill-face to Split Rock Falls, which adds thirty minutes to this walk. The descent seems so easy. Shortly you’ll be sitting at the café in the Meander General Store wondering what all the fuss was about.

Photo | Jade Hallam

Charlie’s caring approach

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

FEBRUARY 2018 | Cody Handley

MR CHARLIE Emmerton is the new CEO of Aged Care Deloraine and has been in the role for three months.

Meander Valley Gazette spoke to Mr Emmerton in January to get the measure of the man who will be looking after our dear relatives for the foreseeable future.

Charlie comes from a background in finance and business management, and has served on the Devonport City Council. While he acknowledges his strength is fiscal management, he has always had an interest in people. He has been in the not-for-profit game for over 20 years, and was drawn to the aged care sector because caring for others is a part and parcel of his Christian values.

He says he was semi-retired, or meant to be, when he got involved with Aged Care Deloraine. He heard that they were having some issues and offered to help out perhaps two or three days a week. The next thing he knew he was their CEO!

Among his chief goals are to dispel the management versus staff myth. This means that management and staff should not be seen as separate - or ‘up there and down here’ - but rather as all part of the same team. “If the staff don’t do their job, I can’t do mine. And if I don’t do mine, then the staff› can’t get paid,” he said.

Charlie said his main passion in his new role was to reinvigorate volunteer presence which has slipped in recent years. He said that volunteers are “the life blood of aged care” and believes there is great potential in the Meander Valley to draw upon in this regard.

Aged Care Deloraine is looking for anybody: “music volunteers, gardening volunteers, or someone just to sit down and play a game of cards with our residents.”

The ultimate aim would be to pair residents and volunteers with mutual interests. To anyone considering volunteering, Charlie says “We are open for business.”

Mr Emmerton also stressed the importance of keeping aged care homes local, rather than in the hands of a few big players. This allows people to remain in the areas they call home and not have to relocate to receive the care they need.

In addition, volunteers are more likely to offer their time when they know and care about the residents and their families.

He is also committed to using local businesses where possible and is willing to pay a small premium for this. “The ultimate goal is to try and make the experience for residents feel as close to home as possible,” he said.

When asked about recent developments in medicinal cannabis, Charlie said he is open to the possibility as long as the science is there.“It is a fantastic opportunity for Tasmania, both medically and economically,” he said.

Pain relief can often be a balancing act, and whilst high doses of morphine can manage pain, it can also decrease the overall quality of life. If medicinal cannabis offers an alternative, then it should definitely be looked at. However, he said it is too early to have a policy on this and any decision on the matter would ultimately lie with the Health Minister.

Photo | Mike Moores

Celebrating farmers

Events, News, RuralJoanne EisemannComment


MEANDER VALLEY is looking forward to hosting this year’s Creative Ageing Festival, showcasing innovative arts and health programs which encourage older adults to participate.

Following the success of last year’s festival, a diverse range of activities will be on offer during Seniors Week.

One of those is the Celebrating Farmers Project, where Meander Valley farmers have told stories and had their photos taken to be included in a special publication that will be launched during Seniors Week at 4.00pm on Wednesday 18th October at the Deloraine Library. Wayne Johnston, President of the TFGA will launch the publication and light refreshments will be served

The project is a collaboration between a number of groups including LINC Tasmania, Aged Care Deloraine, Deloraine Online Access Centre, 26Ten, Kanangra, Grenoch and RAW.

LINC volunteers and staff have gathered the stories, photographer Joanne Gower has taken portraits and book designer Elizabeth Douglass is preparing the publication for print.

Farmers were selected through an expression-of-interest process and all farmers that put their hand up were included in the project.

A copy will be available in the reference section of the Deloraine and Westbury Libraries for those would like to view the publication but are unable to attend the launch.

Also on offer during the festival will be a host of guest creative arts practitioners including ceramic artist Gill Riches, botanical artist Deborah Wace, composer Jimmy Reece and art therapist Megan Booth.

Photo | Joanne Gower

In the garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne EisemannComment

August 2017 | Nell Carr

DELORAINE MARKET is a treasure trove for gardeners.

The accompanying picture illustrates the point.  The two very old copper jardinieres plus one smaller one from the second hand stall, were $20.00 for the three.  On the same stall a washboard was $55.00!  Surely a distortion of true values of these items.

At the plant stall, the pot of miniature Narcissus (pictured in the larger container) was just $5.00, and the unusual Echeveria purpurea in the other one $9.50.  These treasures were all from the July Market.


August is a busy month in the vegetable garden, with the sowing of crops for harvesting from late summer through to winter including: cabbages, carrots, onions, parsnips, silver beet, peas, swedes and turnips.

It could be difficult to find well-drained friable soil after the copious falls over July.

Parsnips and carrots particularly, like a friable, open soil and good drainage.  Carrots will rot if their roots encounter too much moisture in heavy soils, and manure or compost at time of sowing will cause forking.  Parsnips may be sown thickly, as they do not germinate well.  If necessary, they can be thinned out with the first weeding.

Photo | image supplied


NewsJoanne EisemannComment

April 2017

HAVE YOU achieved 150 minutes of exercise this week?

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of both.

Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as improving many other health and well-being aspects.

Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories. This includes things like climbing stairs, playing sports, walking the dog and swimming. Aerobic exercise benefits your heart. Stretching exercises are best for flexibility and lengthening your muscles, and strengthening exercises are beneficial for muscle stamina.

Recently the CSIRO and Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute presented the Diabetes Diet and Lifestyle Plan which is an evidence-based resource covering all aspects of Type 2 Diabetes prevention and control. Their plan incorporates a combination of lower carbohydrate eating and daily aerobic and strength exercises to reduce the amount of medication required with some people managing to reverse their Type 2 diabetes completely.

More than 350 million people worldwide have Type 2 diabetes, an estimated 800,000 Australian adults and many more undiagnosed, with around $490 million spent on related medications in 2008 – 09.

Fitness provider, You & Me PT has assisted many people to get fitter and healthier.  Some have followed training programmes and reversed their Type 2 diabetes. Recent funding cuts from Primary Health Tasmania removed the successful Strength to Strength programme aimed at the chronically ill to improve their mobility and pain management.

Getting started in any exercise programme is often the hardest part.

You & Me PT has several training programmes to accommodate all ages, abilities and income levels. GroupTraining, Open Studio, Personal Training, Aqua, Pilates and Yoga. If you are interested in starting and don’t know where to begin, You & Me PT are introducing a new “Getting Started” exercise programme, aimed at the very beginner. It is a 10 week programme comprised of safe and effective exercises and a guide to healthy eating.

For further information please contact Liza Darrow on 0432 419 355.

Moving pictures

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment
Leandro Palacio Producer, Northern Tasmania ABC OPEN and Mrs Jacqueline Thomson

Leandro Palacio Producer, Northern Tasmania ABC OPEN and Mrs Jacqueline Thomson


THE ABC came to Deloraine in the form of the incredible, tall, Leandro (Leo) Palacio.

Leo is the ‘Open’ producer for Northern Tasmania and his mission is to instruct mere mortals in the art of producing short videos showing how we entertain ourselves.

Some of these videos will be aired on ABC television.

In revealing the basic steps of video production, Leo opens a fascinating insight into the world of television.

He showed how to construct a script, follow it on a story board, and use a variety of camera angles.

Using smart phones, tablets or digital cameras, it is possible to produce acceptable short ‘films’ at little or no cost and highlight the pastimes and hobbies that we find so absorbing in our daily lives.

Leo states that age is no barrier to creativity.

Young school children and people in their eighties have, and are producing, lively and entertaining short films using the techniques shown in this short but intensive workshop.

 The free workshop held at the Deloraine Online Centre has fired the imagination of a dedicated number of enthusiasts.

Telling your story can not only be very fulfilling but might serve as an insight to future generations of your family.

Video is fast becoming the twenty first century preferred mode of communication.

For those interested in attending beginner classes in making short videos (30 seconds) please register your interest with Deloraine Online Centre on 6362 3537 (or drop in). When numbers are sufficient another course will be organised.

Photo | Mike Moores

Emphasis on being the best they can be

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment
Benjamin Frerk Principal Deloraine High School 2015

Benjamin Frerk Principal Deloraine High School 2015


MAKING SURE all students are treated as individuals and leave the school with a clear direction for their future is a priority for new Principal of Deloraine High School, Benjamin Frerk.

This is Benjamin’s first appointment as Principal.

Previously he spent time as acting principal at Exeter High School; Assistant Principal at both Exeter and Scottsdale High Schools; and as a teacher at Queechy and Kings Meadows High Schools.

“I’d heard a lot of good things about the school and thought it would be a great place for me to take on the role of Principal”, comments Benjamin.

He is working to raise literacy  and numeracy levels at Deloraine and has a broader goal, “to raise the aspirations of every single kid we have here at the school and the self belief that they can actually achieve better.”

Strategies used to achieve this include investing in teaching staff.

Benjamin elaborates, “It’s all about building capacity amongst our teachers to be the best possible teachers they can and to make sure that translates into the best possible opportunities for kids in classrooms.”

Data is used to inform how students are performing and to develop intervention plans where needed. Data also highlights the areas where Deloraine High is functioning above average.

“One thing we focus on heavily here is differentiation”, says Benjamin, adding, “we want to make sure that we are providing authentic realistic opportunities for every single learner, so they see the value within their education and their further development.”

Providing a comfortable learning environment is paid careful attention, ensuring temperature and ambience are conducive to learning.

The school is structured differently to many high  schools, in that the teachers change classrooms between lessons rather than the students.

Benjamin says this leads to a more focused learning environment.

The average class size is twenty three, and a range of practical, as well as academic subjects are on offer.

Benjamin says that he has never been to a school where interest in music has been so strong. Many of the 244  students play music, compose their own songs and even make their own instruments.

As Principal, he welcomes parental involvement in the school and encourages parents to join the association, come and speak with teachers, or talk to him to question what is going on.

Benjamin says he notices “very supportive parents here”, further commenting, “education is everyone’s’s not just the teachers here, it’s the parents at home, it’s the people in the community.”

Benjamin intends that when students leave Deloraine High, “they know that they can question what is around them and can look for further avenues to up-skill and be productive members of the community.

Photo | Mike Moores

Volunteering is a way of life for the extraordinary Nell Carr

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment
Mrs Nell Carr Dunorlan Volunteer

Mrs Nell Carr Dunorlan Volunteer


THERE ARE probably not too many people in Meander Valley that have been volunteering as long as Mrs Nell Carr.

Nell started in the 60’s, (she can’t quite remember the year) as secretary of the then Deloraine Film Society. “I was nominated at an annual general meeting, no one would take it on”, says Nell.

When the manager of the Hobart Savings Bank asked her to take over his role of Secretary of the Deloraine Primary School Parents and Friends Association, she took that on, too.

Over the years, Nell’s volunteer positions have been many and varied; she was there for the first delivery of Meals on Wheels in Deloraine and was the Secretary of the Labour Party.

Nell also volunteered as the Adult Education Coordinator for Deloraine. She organised all manner of short courses for locals to attend, including gardening courses with Peter Cundall, who once told Nell that he credited his start to gardening fame from those courses. Being a humble woman, this is a badge that Nell is not too keen to wear.

Many of Nell’s volunteering pursuits have some relationship to gardening, a passion of hers.

Writing gardening articles for the Tasmanian Chapter of the Australian Garden History Association, Western Tiers newspaper and now, the Meander Valley Gazette, she is also a member of the Native Understory Network, tends the garden bed outside the Commonwealth Bank and is an active member of the Deloraine House Community Garden.

Nell says her husband used to complain that he was known as “Mrs Carr’s husband”.

Encouraged by her husband, Nell continued her education quite late in life. She says, “I majored in History and Politics when I did my degree; I finished when I was 60”.

When her husband died suddenly in 1987, Nell took over his volunteer work of recording rainfall statistics of Dunorlan for the Bureau of Meteorology.

Recycling in Deloraine began with Nell’s assistance. “Deloraine Community House was set up in 1989.

The newly formed Deloraine Environment Centre rented an office in the house, and one suggestion was that the big galvanized iron foundry next door could be used as a recycling centre. I got enthusiastic about that and, after getting council permission, contacting various recycling firms in Launceston, and sending out householder mail to residents in the locality, we set it up in October 1989”.

Another position that Nell holds dear is her role as secretary of the Upper Rubicon Landcare Group, which was set up to restore the banks of the Rubicon rivulet. One of the major tributaries rises on her farm. They raised funds to plant shelter belts, install troughs and build fences so that cattle could not access the Rubicon for water; this helps in stopping erosion, stream degradation and pollution.

Currently Nell volunteers for the Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre.

“I don’t do the front desk any more”, she shares, “at 89 I’m getting a bit dithery”.

Instead, Nell greets tourist buses and treats them to tales of Deloraine’s colourful history.

One might think that Nell must have been a lady of leisure to have time to follow all these pursuits; not so, Nell milked cows on the family dairy farm till 2002. She brushes off her enormous contributions with the comment, “If everyone stopped volunteering,the whole community would fall to bits, I’m afraid”.

Photo | Mike Moores