Meander Valley Gazette

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Back on the Village Green, the pipes, the pipes are calling…

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.   Photo | Mike Moores

Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.

Photo | Mike Moores

WESTBURY AND the Village Green came alive on Saturday 16th March with the town’s revival of the annual St Patrick’s Festival. This iconic event drew big crowds to revel in the sunshine and soak up a wonderful atmosphere of Celtic and community spirit.

There was something for everyone – a street parade led by St Patrick himself, a bustling church market, more craft and food stalls than you could poke a stick at, vintage tractors, classic cars, children’s activities and a packed program of folk music, song and dance.

As always, the Maypole dancing by Westbury Primary School students proved to be a huge hit and in its traditional Village Green setting, created a real sense of history coming alive. John Hickey of the Wheels folk group gave his thanks, “for organising such a charming festival.

The Wheels really enjoyed it, especially as traditional Irish music is so relevant to Westbury’s rich history. “The music in the church was a highlight for me (great acoustic venue). Barry Higgins’ Irish pipes sounded wonderful. “Hope the Steering Group got a chance to enjoy the festival as much as we did.” The Festival’s new committee have been buoyed by the community response and has already started planning for 2020.

Chairman, Phil Steers, said, “the decision to make the Festival entry by donation has been a total success with many more local families able to enjoy celebrating the town’s Irish roots. “Thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen. With the weather with us, we look forward to an even bigger event next year.”

Mending our heritage

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Dave Conway of Launceston, expertly applying new lime mortar to the inner walls of the Folk Museum, assisted by Ben Earle.   Photo | Mike Moores

Dave Conway of Launceston, expertly applying new lime mortar to the inner walls of the Folk Museum, assisted by Ben Earle.

Photo | Mike Moores

April 2019 | Wendy Laing

THE DELORAINE and Districts Folk Museum is being repaired and renovated. As the museum remains open to the public, visitors have found it interesting to watch the work and sometime ask questions about the renovations.

As a listed building urgently in need of repair, the Meander Valley Council has allocated $100,000 for the preservation work. Dave Conway, a contractor experienced in corrective conservation to heritage buildings has begun work.

The aim is to stop the rising damp and repair the damage caused by water that has been trapped in the old walls due to lack of ventilation when the museum was first built. A new ventilation system requiring installation of air drains and sub floor vents will prevent similar problems happening in the future. Old plaster and paint is first removed from the original brickwork. Dampness and mineral salts are then drawn out of the old walls by applying a ‘poultice’ similar to papier mâché.

This is left in place for two weeks and then the poultice is repeated. The walls will be replastered using traditional lime mortar, as used in the original building, made from local materials. Lime from Sibelco at Mole Creek is ‘slaked’ – a process where water is added to create a slurry which needs to be stored for a year or more. Local sand is mixed with the slaked lime to produce the lime mortar.

This is a breathable surface which will prevent dampness from building up again. The mortar would have been mixed with horsehair in the past, but now other fibres are used to add strength. Finally, the walls will be traditionally rendered and painted to further preserve them.

Originally built in 1863 as the Family and Commercial Inn, Mrs Alma Bramich donated the old inn and its grounds to the community of Deloraine in 1972 to help preserve the history of the area. Over 40,000 people visit the Deloraine and District Folk Museum every year.

A great investment in the future

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Telisha Byard of Deloraine is excited to be awarded the inaugural TAFE scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies.   Photo | Mike Moores

Telisha Byard of Deloraine is excited to be awarded the inaugural TAFE scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies.

Photo | Mike Moores

Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s tertiary scholarship.   Photo | Maggie Howe

Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s tertiary scholarship.

Photo | Maggie Howe

April 2019 | Joanne Eisemann

THE DELORAINE & Districts Community Bank® is delighted to again be supporting local young people in furthering their career goals by assisting with education expenses through their scholarship program. For the past nine years the bank has offered scholarships to university students.

This year, the scholarship program was extended to include financial support for students undertaking certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree level studies at TAFE. Telisha Byard of Deloraine was awarded the inaugural scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies. Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch tertiary scholarship.

The tertiary scholarship is awarded to a first-time student whose financial circumstances might mean a university degree is out of reach. Both young women are excited to be receiving scholarships. Talisha will study at TAFE’s Alanvale campus and chose to study Education Support because

“I’ve always wanted to work with children within a school environment.” “I’m so grateful … because I now have a chance to get the qualifications I need to achieve my dream job as a teacher assistant.” Sarah has a similar story to tell. Her dream to become a vet began at age 4, “and now I’m taking the first real step towards that dream. In the fourteen years since telling my parents that I wanted to be a vet, there has not been a single doubt in my mind that it’s what I’m meant to do.

“Getting into Vet Science has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, being both academically and emotionally strenuous. However, with the tremendous amounts of support from those around me, I managed to stay focused on my goal, whilst living a life full of fun and love. “Living away from home for the first time, studying at a university approximately 1000km away from the place I’ve called home my entire life, definitely comes with its challenges.

The stresses of university can be overwhelming; however, this scholarship has lifted an enormous weight off my shoulders,” shares Sarah. Sarah plans to bring her skills back to the Valley when she finishes her studies. “To be able to work within the Meander Valley as a veterinarian is my absolute end goal.

The opportunity to give back to the community which has given me so much is something I truly aspire to.” Simon Rootes, Branch Manager of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch, said that both Sarah and Telisha were deserving winners.

The slippery slope

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

AS THE home brewer progresses from K&K (kit and kilo) through kits and bits (kits with added hops and steeped specialty grains) to full all grain brewing, this transition is quite often referred to as the ‘slippery slope’. But is all grain beer that much better? In a nutshell – Yes! You can customise it to whatever style, outcome, ABV and colour you desire.

You will eventually make a nicer drop than most of the craft breweries that are popping up everywhere, because you won’t have to skimp on any aspect of the brewing process or ingredients. But before we descend the slope, is there a way to actually try the beer before we spend the time and dollars? Well, fortunately, these days there is.

Go to the brew shop and get yourself an FWK. A Fresh Wort Kit is a 100% craft beer where all the time-consuming hard work has been done for you. Just tip it into your fermenter, add 5 litres of water and the yeast, brew it for the normal two weeks, then bottle or keg. This is by far the very best beer that a home brewer can produce without the time and labour of making an all grain beer from scratch.

There is a large range to choose from as well. But as with everything there are trade-offs. The first is that most FWKs only make 20 litres of final product not 23 litres like K&K. The second is price – if you want true craft beer you will have to pay a little extra. A typical lager or pale ale will be around $46.00. Is it worth it? Totally.

You’ll find that a lot of all grain brewers, myself included, do FWKs from time to time, especially when timepoor or if stocks are low. FWKs have good instructions, with dry hopping options as well as a grist ratio. So if you really like the resultant beer, it is quite easy to make a clone in the future. You can try the All Inn Brewery FWK beer at Dan Murphys, but the most inexpensive carton is $108, up to $120 for the IPAs.

You will see the savings if you decide to do your own. You will end up with about 25–26 bottles (750ml). Family and friends will be amazed that you made this beer at home. Northern Home Brewing on Elphin Rd in Launceston has an excellent range of FWKs in store that include a quality yeast when purchased.

Recipe of the month

Here is a New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA) that came second in the IPA category at the state championships last year.

4 kg Golden Promise (79%)

455g flaked oats (11%)

350g wheat (7%)

150g CaraRed malt (3%)

10g Simcoe @ 60 min

15g Simcoe @ 20 min

25g Summer@ 10 min

25g Pacifica @ 10 min

25g Citra @ 5 min

25g Citra Dry hop

50g Cascade Dry hop

50 g Simcoe Dry hop Bitterness 41.1 IBU, colour 7.8 EBC, ABV 5.4%

This recipe has all the style features. The oats and wheat contribute to the hazy appearance. The CaraRed helps with the orange juice colour (although I would use a little more next time). The truck-load of hops give it that breakfast juice taste, without all the relatively high bitterness that IPAs are known for.

Flowers and veg come full circle in Westbury

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
March 2019   The Westbury Garden Club Flower Show was once again a runaway success, attracting an estimated 700 entries. 300 people attended on the day with Lorraine Pasfield and R Mercer taking out the prize for Grand Champion Dahlia. As well as the many beautiful blooms on show there was also a selection of summer vegetables, including this unusually shaped marrow, held by Elena Tweedale 8 yrs of Westbury.   Photo | Mike Moores

March 2019

The Westbury Garden Club Flower Show was once again a runaway success, attracting an estimated 700 entries. 300 people attended on the day with Lorraine Pasfield and R Mercer taking out the prize for Grand Champion Dahlia. As well as the many beautiful blooms on show there was also a selection of summer vegetables, including this unusually shaped marrow, held by Elena Tweedale 8 yrs of Westbury.

Photo | Mike Moores

Tree top adventure

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
9-year-old Jez enjoys exploring the treetops at Hollybank during a retreat at Wonderland.   Photo | supplied

9-year-old Jez enjoys exploring the treetops at Hollybank during a retreat at Wonderland.

Photo | supplied

March 2019

MOLE CREEK is home to a special service for young people with disabilities, ‘Wonderland Retreat’. The Retreat, which has been open now for just over 14 months, provides short-term supported accommodation for younger people (ages 8 to 35 years) with NDIS plans.

Wonderland Retreat provides two programs, one involving recreational weekend activities and leisure, and the other providing a focus on life skills training mid-week. Rob and Toni Mehigan, Psychologist and ex School Principal, and owner/managers of Wonderland, have coined the term ‘adventure retreat’ as young people participate in an active program which includes learning archery at Beers Farm in Red Hills, animal appreciation and grooming with llamas from Llama Farma at Christmas Hills, visiting Trowunna Wildlife Park, fish feeding at 41 Degrees South salmon farm,  grooming horses at Nellie’s in Chudleigh, feeding the chooks on the 2 acre property, petting the therapy cat Sophie as well as innovative physical therapy outings to Air 360, mini golf, Go Karts at Latrobe, Tazmazia and Westbury Mazes, Hollybanks Tree Tops Adventure and caving tours at Mole Creek as well as short walks around the Western Tiers, to name a few.

On the property, young people participate in discos, karaoke, arts and crafts, haircare, makeup, glamour photography, woodwork and horticulture supported by friendly and experienced care workers. “Relationship skills are honed through having fun together,” says Kathryn Campbell – Community Liaison Offcer at Wonderland. “Our largest focus is simply having fun. Learning, growing as a person and having the courage to try new things is a lot easier with peers, especially where activities are supported to ensure no one is left out,” she said. 

“While at the retreat young people also learn to cook pizzas and other meals and learn barista skills at the Pepperberry Café as well as being taught house cleaning and bedmaking skills and other life skills relevant to the participants’ NDIS goals. Parents love us!,” Kathryn commented. Wonderland Retreat is also there for families when there is no other available support. 

Recently, a mum had to go for surgery and her young son spent 9 days at Wonderland with carers who followed an individually designed program over his time. He was particularly interested in making a stool for his sister and a lamp. He was able to create these things from scratch using recycled materials from the Mole Creek tip shop.

One young girl living with Huntington’s, a condition which affects motor and brain function, had lost her confidence in relating to peers. She was able to bring Grandma to the retreat staying in one of the Guesthouse family rooms so she could provide the necessary extra family support for her granddaughter in getting used to the new environment and building her confidence again. “I’ve found my peeps mum,” said one young visitor.

Another young person had lost confidence after being bullied at school. They had previously enjoyed singing and dancing but had become withdrawn and anxious. Her teary mother stated “she’s back” after coming to Wonderland Retreat, as she had found new friends and was able to be herself in the accepting environment. 

Wonderland provides many families in the district and beyond, with a ‘second family’ in a rural environment to back them up in parenting their young person with a disability, which can be a tough job’. Visit www.wonderlandretreat.com.au.

Trash turns into treasure

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

March 2019 | Maeken Danen

THROUGHOUT MY childhood here in Tasmania, my sisters and I would often have small projects around the garden and paddocks that required basic materials such as timber, pipe, bricks, and nails. Having limited funds for new materials, we turned to 2nd hand items and discovered that 80% of our needs where met at the local Deloraine tip. Needless to say, this became our favourite shop and still is for most of us, including me.

Trips to the tip are very fruitful. Not only can goodies be found in the shop area but also amongst the disposal piles.

Lengths of timber in excellent condition can be found in the wood pile as well as pallets which are great for turning into compost bins, keeping things off the ground or pulling apart, producing straight, even boards that can be used in a variety of DIY projects. Existing nails can even be taken out, straightened and reused if required!

The metals pile always has roles of old chicken wire. Whilst most is only good as plant guards or patch jobs, occasionally there is a piece good enough for a fence. We built several poultry pens out of just such wire. Not only was it good enough to keep the ducks and chickens in but also to keep the cows and goats out. Sheet tin was also a common find and there was always enough of different lengths without having to cut them up too much. Sometimes, when building, we would find that there were even holes pre-made in just the right spots!

The paint was another great collection. Many cans are just the remains of a larger project but are still perfect. We used only tip paint for our projects, one sister even scored a can with enough to paint the inside of her room!

Old fridges make great garden beds once the doors have been taken off. Drill a few holes in the bottom, turn it upside down and fill with dirt. Because fridges are so deep, you can fill the bottom half with chunks of woods, old cotton sheets, and weeds. They will be decomposed by the time that space is needed by the roots of plants. Chest freezers make excellent beds if you need an extra tall one but feel free to fill much of the space with inorganic materials as it may never be used by roots.

Bathtubs are also good garden beds but can also be used in hydroponic systems and as stock water troughs. They last a long, long time and best of all, can be fitted with plugs for easy cleaning! A friend of mine used bathtubs on his property in NSW for all his stock. With correct fittings, they are just as good, albeit smaller, than industrial concrete troughs. They are cheaper too!

The tip shop itself contains a wide range of things from an excellent array of ceramic basins - some brand new, clothes, including a great deal of bed linen in good condition which could otherwise be used for rags, picture frames, furniture that may only need a nail or two, doors, solid and fly-screen, toys and much more. The book and magazine section contain literature of many topics, from cookbooks, fishing magazines, health and diet as well as novels. Over the past several years, I have collected the entire Harry Potter series for 50 cents instead of $150+. I have also stocked up on all my folders, plastic sleeves and some lined workbooks for the coming school year.

There are also several shelves of kitchen utensils and appliances as well as nicely sized glass jars with lids that, with a good scrub, shape up nicely. The electrical appliances work more often than not. The teacup and tumbler collection is magnificent with a wide variety of colours and even matching sets to choose from. The glass jars are a favourite of mine because occasionally, there is a very unique and often very old jar with interesting designs on it that may work as part of a decorative piece or put in a wall. Be careful when purchasing plastic or metal with marks or rust as these can be difficult to clean and may contain unwanted germs.

With so many useful things lying around at the tip, it seems a waste to let them be carted off for processing. They can be used in so many creative ways and help cut down on the amount of waste we already have to deal with not only in Tasmania but in the world. And there must be more ways to use tip waste that I have not mentioned or even thought of. So maybe check out the tip next time you are out that way and see for yourself the plethora of goodies that can be found and reused at a great price!

Tip shop assistant Jess Wall of Deloraine with a selection of toilet suites and hand basins starting at $10.00.   Photo | Mike Moores

Tip shop assistant Jess Wall of Deloraine with a selection of toilet suites and hand basins starting at $10.00.

Photo | Mike Moores

Blue Farmer searches the skies

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
A dozen people plus the media gathered in a paddock outside Ashley Youth Detention Centre for the assembly of the Blue Farmer.   Photo | Mike Moores

A dozen people plus the media gathered in a paddock outside Ashley Youth Detention Centre for the assembly of the Blue Farmer.

Photo | Mike Moores

Feburary 2019 | Hayley Manning

TAKE THE old Meander Valley Road toward Ashley Youth Detention Centre and you will see a big Blue Farmer surveying the surrounding landscape. Bruny Island artist, Grietje van Randen, designed the first Blue Farmer in her ‘Sprokkelwood’ open garden to raise awareness about people in the community with depression, after a spate of tragic events in her partner’s farming family.

The third Farmer project began in 2018, when Tasmanian Craft Fair Director, Lesley Dare, invited Grietje to the all-new Community Arts Tent, where 250 locals and visitors took part in knitting garments from recycled blue twine on purpose-built dowel knitting needles. The completed garments were then sewn together and fitted onto a PVC frame, designed and made by the Ashley students.

Grietje stipulates all Blue Farmers must be positioned scanning the landscape to remind people to ‘look out’ for each other when they drive past, and they are to be created by local community volunteers. “The process of sitting together while the hands are busy allows people to open up and work through things.

This is of immense value if you are having a hard time,” Grietje said. “You might only need one conversation to make a difference.”

Bonza brekkies & fair dinkum fun

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

February 2019

WHEN IT comes to Australia Day Breakfasts, Chudleigh certainly brings home the bacon.

With visitors from Melbourne and locals from as far away as Longford, the stalwart volunteers were kept on their toes ferrying huge amounts of tucker for the seemingly endless line of eager and hungry visitors.

At Westbury the old hands set to with a will, up to their elbows in bangers and mushroom.

The previous evening in Prospect Vale saw a few hiccups for Council’s Australia Day Award Ceremonies.

At one stage it seemed unlikely that the event would go ahead when the Highlands fire emergency caused a blackout to Prospect Vale and surrounding suburbs.

Then Councillor Tanya King very bravely sang the national anthem (with some help from the Meander Men) when the scheduled performer didn’t turn up.

Things went smoothly from then on with many wonderful Meander Valleyites being recognised for their extraordinary service to community.

Woody Sampson and daughter Faith recent arrivals from Melbourne enjoy brekky at Chudleigh   Photo | Mike Moores

Woody Sampson and daughter Faith recent arrivals from Melbourne enjoy brekky at Chudleigh

Photo | Mike Moores

From L-R: Sue Poulton, Alison Lee and Dinah Fitzgerald feed the hungry hoards at Westbury.   Photo | Mike Moores

From L-R: Sue Poulton, Alison Lee and Dinah Fitzgerald feed the hungry hoards at Westbury.

Photo | Mike Moores

Carnival at Carrick

Sport, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

February 2019

The Carrick Park Pacing Club’s major event of the season, the Carrick Cup, takes place on Saturday 16th February at twilight. For the first time a sale of yearlings will be held. It is the only sale of standard bred yearlings in Tasmania this year. Other attractions during the evening will include: the Vandenberg Transport Carrick Cup, Fashions on the Field competitions, a double-seated sulky race, celebrity pony race, live music, free children’s jumping castle & face painting, and a Polocrosse demonstration. Tasmanian Polocrosse players from the Midland Spurs and Kentish (green & gold) are pictured above during the polocrosse demonstration match at last years Carrick Cup.

Photo | Mike Moores

Photo | Mike Moores

Melbourne, Melba and Malua

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Deloraine bred Malua was inducted into Australian Racing Museum`s Hall of Fame in 2007.   Photo | Mike Moores

Deloraine bred Malua was inducted into Australian Racing Museum`s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Photo | Mike Moores

Feburary 2019 | Wendy Laing

LOCALS AND visitors alike will have seen the statue of the famous racehorse Malua, gracing the forecourt of the Western Tiers Visitor Centre. Malua was bred at Calstock, near Deloraine, by John Field, purchased as a yearling by Thomas Reibey (former Premier of Tasmania), who sold him to Mr J O Inglis for 500 guineas.

Winning the Newmarket Handicap, the Adelaide Cup, and other races, his performance in the Melbourne Cup in 1884 saw him recognised as the best horse in Australia. The Examiner, on 5 November 1884, reported that ‘in the greatest race of the southern hemisphere, the Melbourne Cup, Tasmania produced the winner in Malua … who covered himself with glory by carrying 9st 9lb in the fast time of 3 minutes, 31seconds’.

Malua was an extraordinary horse – able to carry heavy weights and defeat the best racehorses in both sprint and staying races. He was in the habit of ‘coming from “nowhere” and fairly smothering the leaders’, The Sportsman wrote in May 1884. ‘The class of the field made little difference to him. At one stage he would not be in the picture, but in the next hundred yards he would swoop down and settle the argument.’ In July 1886,

The Examiner noted that Malua had gone to stud and would ‘probably bid adieu to the turf forever’. However, in 1888, Malua was switched to jumping – not so unusual in those days – and ridden by his owner Mr Inglis won the VRC Grand National Hurdle. Combined with his stud career, Malua continued to race, winning the Geelong Gold Cup in 1889, his last race as a ten-year-old. Malua was inducted into Australian Racing Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Malua Street, in the suburb of Ormond in Melbourne was named after this great horse. For a brief period of time, this little street was also home to Dame Nellie Melba.

The Criterium Masters

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Competitors in the Masters Criterium power past the Village Green in Westbury on Boxing Day.

Competitors in the Masters Criterium power past the Village Green in Westbury on Boxing Day.

Kayne 7yrs enjoys the community ride with dad Greig Watson.

Kayne 7yrs enjoys the community ride with dad Greig Watson.

WESTBURY’S TRANQUIL streets bordering the Village Green came alive with cyclists of all ages and abilities on Boxing Day. The green was tinged with gold when the superstars of Australian track cycling descended for the 2018 edition of the Westbury Cycling Criterium, which kick started the 2018-19 Tasmanian Christmas Sports Carnivals.

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallists Sam Welsford, Alex Porter and eventual winner Kelland O’Brien headlined the men’s race, while in the women’s Alexandra Manly was upstaged by local Perth-raised rider Georgia Baker, who was upbeat in praise. “It’s always great to be back in Westbury.”

The day also had a Masters Criterium and a people’s community ride which ensured more than 100 cyclists showcased their talents and the feature events had the largest amount of competitors across all three Criteriums in the series. Meander Valley Council Mayor Wayne Johnston said he was thrilled that carnivals’ criterium racing had returned to Westbury after an absence last year. “It’s fabulous that cyclists of such high calibre graced our streets on one of Tasmania’s most challenging and spectacular criterium courses,” he enthused.

The Mayor also launched the 30-minute community ride which kick-started the criterium festival. Participants had the opportunity to complete as many laps of the 1.3km circuit as possible and new Councillor Susie Bower led the charge. Council and Carnival organisers were very pleased with the great atmosphere for families. Mayor Johnston described Westbury’s Boxing Day criterium festival as a success and one that is sure to grow in coming years.

Photo | Mike Moores

Connecting our community - celebrating 5 years as Meander Valley’s local newspaper!

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

TURNING FIVE may not seem like a big achievement, yet it is a number loaded with significance.

Behind the scenes, ‘5’ adds up to countless hours of volunteering time that has been given by a small army of helpers to create and deliver the paper, month in, month out. Without their vital help, the paper wouldn’t exist. This is because the Gazette is, for all intents and purposes, very much a local, community-driven project.

This story is written to give you a better understanding of the Gazette as an enterprise, and to publicly recognise the valuable contribution made by so many wonderful people who help us out, each and every day.

When our region lost its local newspaper more than five years ago, it quickly became clear that something else went missing too. The valley lost the means to collectively share its stories - its triumphs and tragedies, news and tidbits, joys and friendships.

Equally, local businesses lost a key means to reach out to existing & new customers, and local council lost the ability to broadcast its latest information.

Since the start of the Gazette in 2013 (the first issue went to print in January 2014), all of the above has been made whole again. Five years on, we still regularly receive letters of gratitude and thanks for publishing a local newspaper. We enjoy telling the stories, capturing the valley’s living history and keeping young & old alike in touch with the amazing people and talents that surround us.

People often think that the paper is put out by Meander Valley Council. This is not so. While we are supported by our local council, especially through the inclusion of their Public Notices pages, the newspaper is actually run and published by a small, local not-for- profit organisation called Meander Valley Connect.

As well as the Gazette, Meander Valley Connect manages two Online Access Centres (Deloraine and Mole Creek) as well as Pixels Digital Art Gallery in Deloraine.

Meander Valley Gazette pays a small amount of money to a handful of core staff each month; however, for the most part, the paper is produced by volunteers.

Weekly meetings are held to discuss the paper’s content and direction. The content is predominantly written by volunteer writers who develop stories under direction of the editorial team. We also receive submissions by local community members, politicians and other services/ events visiting Meander Valley.

The stories and advertisements are brought together using industry standard software, two computers and the wonders of ‘cloud computing’, which allows people in a few different locales to access and contribute to the process.

Then, once a month on a Saturday, proofreaders gather in Deloraine to correct any errors. The paper is then converted into finished artwork and sent to the printers.

In line with our ethos of supporting small business, Meander Valley Gazette is printed in Tasmania in Franklin, Huon Valley. It travels to north via 3 different trucks, with Sunrise Trailers in Deloraine lending a final hand in the process by using their forklift to take the pallet of papers off the truck and place them onto the back of a flat tray ute, which is then delivered to the Deloraine Online Centre.

A team of folders get cracking unloading the pallet. Thousands of papers are hand-folded, ready to be delivered by Australia Post and a local contractor. Thousands more are delivered to Salmat in Prospect who organise delivery to residents in Prospect Vale and Hadspen. Yet more volunteers deliver papers to shops and businesses throughout the valley. Once delivered, the whole monthly process starts all over again!

We estimate the paper takes, collectively, around 400 hours per month to put together. Most of these hours are volunteered.

Currently, we are printing 9,500 copies per month. Plus, many people are accessing the paper digitally through our website www.meandervalleygazette.org. (Previous editions of the paper can be downloaded there, too. Just head to the shop and download for free).

During the time we have been printing we have uncovered a wealth of skilled artisans and craftspeople. We’ve also looked into many rurally-based enterprises, and the biggest surprise always comes when we discover another local business that is sending their products all over the globe. Innovation is clearly alive and well in Meander Valley and its our aim, with your help, to promote the area to its best advantage.

All up, we’ve been fortunate to be able to call upon the assistance of many people who have long experience in publishing and communications. In fact, the Gazette provides an ideal vehicle for people to express their creativity and make a meaningful contribution to the welfare of the community.

It also provides a wonderful training ground for those wanting to become journalists, photo journalists or graphic designers and we have mentored many of these over the years.

One of the hallmarks of the Gazette is its wonderful photos. We have been fortunate to have the input of Mike Moores, a photo journalist with some 40 years’ experience in both English and Australian newspapers.

The paper is offered free to all residents and visitors of Meander Valley and is financed by advertisers, sponsors and donations.

The break even costs of producing the paper each month are considerable, and we are very grateful to all of our advertisers for their financial support. Three local businesses have recently taken out 12-month sponsorships, helping to smooth out the ups and downs of monthly advertising income and helping ensure the current 20-page format can continue.

As always, our aim is to keep the residents of Meander Valley informed. To ensure that we can do the job properly we need your input. If we don’t know about an event we can’t tell the story!

If it’s interesting to you then it is probably of interest to other people too. Please email editor@meandervalleygazette.com if you have a story and/or pictures to share, or phone 6286 8212 on a Tuesday or Wednesday to speak with one of the team.

It’s always affirming when we hear the wonderful feedback the paper receives, and it confirms our steadfast belief that there still is a much-needed place in this digitised world for the printed word.

Thanks for reading your very own local paper!

Matthew Bowen lends a steady hand and keen eye to the job of paper folding.

Matthew Bowen lends a steady hand and keen eye to the job of paper folding.

Carol Tracey looks after our advertisers.

Carol Tracey looks after our advertisers.

Never too old to volunteer, 87 year old Victor Smith delivers hundreds of papers to local businesses each month.

Never too old to volunteer, 87 year old Victor Smith delivers hundreds of papers to local businesses each month.

Land sale plan a reprieve for Quamby Parish churches

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

January 2019 | Sharon Webb

THE PROPOSED sale of a church-owned block of land in Carrick has removed three Quamby Parish churches given to the people in perpetuity from the Anglican church and cemetery fire sale.

In December of 2018, Tasmania’s Anglican Bishop, Richard Condie, released a list of church properties to parishioners state-wide, indicating which are to be sold and which reprieved.

St Mary’s Church rectory and cemetery in Hagley, built with donations from the Dry family; St Andrew’s Church in Carrick, given by the Reibey family; and St Andrew’s Church in Westbury, built by the British Government with convict labour, now will not be sold – if the parish can raise $400,000 from the sale of vacant land on the corner of Meander Valley Rd and East St in Carrick.

In addition, Deloraine’s saleyards, church hall and cemetery, and Meander’s St Saviour’s Church appear to be saved from the chopping block.

But according to Reverend Josephine Pyecroft from Quamby Parish, a row is brewing over which real estate agent will sell the Carrick land.

“We had it valued by Harrison Humphreys; Rob Harrison is a descendent of the Reibey family who gave the church to the people. But the Anglican Hobart office wants to arrange the sale with their choice of estate agent.

“However the deeds say the land can’t be sold without the signatures of the priest and two wardens and we need to go to the Reibey family to sell it.

“We want Harrison Humphreys to sell it, then the money must come back to the parish. We will then donate the money to the Anglican’s Child Sexual Abuse National Redress fund.”

Rev Pyecroft said she was amazed at the decision to save the three churches and their cemeteries.

“I thought we might save Hagley because Sir Richard Dry, the first Tasmanian-born premier of this State, is buried beneath the altar there, but all three churches were off the list,” she said.

“In the lead-up to the decision I asked parishioners to pray every day for two minutes at 12 noon and I’m silly enough to think that had a lot to do with it.”

Quamby Parish has raised more than $50,000 to head off the churches’ sale; in addition, new State draft legislation decreeing cemeteries cannot be closed until 100 years after the last burial instead of the current 30 years has damped down Bishop Condie’s sale plan. St Mary’s Church is defined as a cemetery because Sir Richard is buried in it.

Rev. Pyecroft said she could identify with people distressed at the thought of the sale of land containing their relatives’ graves; her parents’ ashes are buried in her husband’s grave in St Mary’s cemetery.

“This has been the emotional and spiritual abuse this year,” she said.

“I haven’t heard of anyone against the sexual abuse redress scheme, but all the while this other abuse has been going on in the background. This is not the Anglican Church I know.”

Rev. Pyecroft was also able to shed light on the rationale for Bishop Condie’s churches and cemetery sale plan.

“The Bishop told us he had to raise $8m for the redress scheme and he proposed to sell 106 properties,” she said.

“Twenty-five per cent of the money raised was to go to the redress scheme and the rest to be used to start a new Tasmanian ministry, where congregations would meet in school halls and people’s houses.

“The former Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen and his brother, Dean Phillip Jensen totally changed the face of the diocese to create an almost nonliturgical church run on Calvinist lines. And Bishop Condie has announced that he’s a Calvinist.”

Rev. Pyecroft, who has not been paid by the Anglican Church for the past 18 years, said clergy were not told what the new Tasmanian ministry would be like, just that the Quamby Parish would need to raise $216,000 for the redress scheme and $200,000 to indicate they could pay the salary of a new priest.

“More than $400,000 is an impossible task so we put in a submission to the Anglican Church Diocesan Council proposing to sell the Carrick land,” she said.

Two thirds of the Anglican properties listed for sale have not been rescued, including the Church of the Good Shepherd in Hadspen, the Fencing Paddock in Carrick, and vacant land in Elizabeth Town.

Photo | Mike Moores

St Andrews Church, in Westbury is one of four Meander Valley churches to escape closure and sale.

St Andrews Church, in Westbury is one of four Meander Valley churches to escape closure and sale.

Over 50 species of birds

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Tara Ulbrich

YOU ARE standing in an excellent place for bird watching. So promises one of the interpretive boards on the Liffey River Reserve.

Read on and you’ll be invited to sit down and seek out varieties of the more than 50 species that have been recorded in the area. This one-hour walk, or two depending on how long you sit, offers bird watching and much more.

As a loop track you will have to make two creek crossings. Therefore, recent observation of rainfall is a must. At first the walking is easy along Pages Creek with its own plumage of rich fernery but then some light climbing is involved.

Every five minutes or so you’ll want to pause. The landscape radically changes and although you might think that your senses are tuned into the scenery, transitions can be missed. A boardwalk across grassland suddenly turns into a rocky path with thicket of musk daisy-bush.

In 1990 Bob Brown donated this 105 acres to the then fledgling organisation Bush Heritage Australia. Now its volunteers manage the site, protecting the place for the fauna and flora, but also for our appreciation. This location of myrtle beech rainforest and dry and wet eucalypt forest is part of a collection of national treasures.

The Liffey River Reserve walk is easily accessed from the lower car-park of the more frequently visited Liffey Falls. Enjoy this track for its opportunity to read about the birdlife, the forest and the rock formations or enjoy it for the chance to sit in a pristine, ornithological utopia.

Fairy Wren spotted at the Liffey Falls Reserve Walk. Photo by Jade Hallam

Fairy Wren spotted at the Liffey Falls Reserve Walk. Photo by Jade Hallam

Cambodian carving

Arts and Reviews, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Sharon Webb

COOL TEMPERATURES during the Tasmanian Craft Fair were a new experience for four visiting Cambodian artists and sculptors demonstrating their skills at the Deloraine event this year.

Accustomed to the 30C-plus temperatures of their homes in Siem Reap in Cambodia’s north, the artists rugged up with scarves and jackets to combat cold November winds.

Their manager, installation artist Svay Sareth, said the four were having an outstanding trip to Tasmania; stone sculptors Rath Phun and Chab Khchao had never been out of Cambodia before he said.

“We are staying in a stone cottage in Dunorlan and loving it,” he said.

“It was arranged for us by the Deloraine Rotarians; we have never stayed in such a place before.

“We are interested to see the support for young artists in Australia; in our country to be an artist is to take a risk.”

Svay, whose large installation art was not being exhibited at the fair but can be seen in Hong Kong, South Korea, Berlin and New York, spoke for the two stone sculptors who have workshops at Artisans D’Angkor in Siem Reap.

There, tourists can see Rath and Chab and other craftspeople at work, using their ancient skills to make replica sculptures to rejuvenate the 9th – 15th century Angkor temple complex on a 162 hectare just outside Siem Reap – temples only uncovered from the jungles in recent decades and which are now Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction.

The fourth Cambodian, Nguon Savann Melea, is communications director at Artisans D’Angkor and showed fair-goers stunning silk scarves and handbags made from fabrics created at Cambodian silkworm farms and their attached weaving mills.

Svay described bringing large slabs of stone to Tasmania, used by Rath and Chab to sculpt an elephant and an ancient Khmer king during the craft fair.

But he also spoke to Rotarians in particular about the precarious political situation in Cambodia and the impact of China on the world economy.

These subjects are embedded in Svay’s contemporary art, some of which has been collected by the National Gallery in Melbourne. Having grown up in a refugee camp in Cambodia during the 1970s and 1980s, a time of the notorious communist government of Pol Pot, the themes of war and resistance are always present in his work.

Announced Contemporary Asian Artist of the Year in 2016, Svay’s message is ultimately positive: “Artists have the possibility of power to change things for the new generation,” he said

Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores

Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores

Rowing for refugees

News, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Sharon Webb

AROUND 20 Meander Valley residents took to the water last month to add their voices to other Australians fighting to get child refugees off‰ Nauru.

Battling a stiff‰ wind on Deloraine’s Meander River in their canoes, kayaks and rowboats, they joined 1000 people in Sydney’s Hyde Park who listened to rock idol Jimmy Barnes, around 500 people in Melbourne and 6000 petitioning Australian doctors to demonstrate their strong objections to keeping children on Nauru.

Local organiser Pip Stanley said on the day: “There are still 80 kids on Nauru and they are having to go through the courts to get to Australia.

“The government is saying all will be off‰ by Christmas but we believe there’s no reason they can’t come now.”

According to Guardian Australia, the Federal Government is spending around $300,000 a year fighting legal cases aimed at getting refugees off‰ Nauru, including “a large number of children, among whom there is a worsening mental health crisis and several cases of resignation syndrome – a rare and potentially fatal condition that is considered a reaction to extreme trauma.”

As Deloraine’s own boat people demonstrated their prowess on the water, complete with wobbly rowing and at least one unexpected dip, Reedy Marsh resident and former Meander Primary School principal Graham Pennicott maintained the Australian Government had created “a humanitarian crisis” on Nauru.

Deloraine resident Andy Dunn coxed an inexperienced rowing crew while Mark Kitteridge said he’d just wanted to turn up and make his voice heard on the issue.

Locals Margaret Tabor and John Phelps sported canoe signs saying “Try being humane” and “Sorry?” with John commenting: “My theory is that the Australian PM in 10 years’ time will be saying sorry to these refugees.

Margaret Tabor and John Phelps added their voices to a protest for refugees held on the Meander River.  Photo by Mike Moores

Margaret Tabor and John Phelps added their voices to a protest for refugees held on the Meander River.

Photo by Mike Moores

Kerry’s king of the crop

Events, Rural, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Kerry the rooster ruƒffled a few feathers when he was awarded Best Bird In Show for the second year running at the Deloraine Show. Being firmly at the top of the pecking order, Kerry the Rhode Island Red, certainly has something to crow about. While the prize money may seem like chickenfeed, the award is the top perch when it comes to prestige. Kerry is pictured here with his proud owner, Tony Sherri‹. Photo by Mike Moores

Kerry the rooster ruƒffled a few feathers when he was awarded Best Bird In Show for the second year running at the Deloraine Show. Being firmly at the top of the pecking order, Kerry the Rhode Island Red, certainly has something to crow about. While the prize money may seem like chickenfeed, the award is the top perch when it comes to prestige. Kerry is pictured here with his proud owner, Tony Sherri‹. Photo by Mike Moores

Rafting the rapids

Business, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Lucy Karafilis is one of the first to take on the rapids with new adventure tourism business, Meander Wilderness Experience.

Lucy Karafilis is one of the first to take on the rapids with new adventure tourism business, Meander Wilderness Experience.

November 2018 | Hayley Manning

A MEANDER resident has just launched an innovative river sled business and he couldn’t be happier! Meander Wilderness Experience owner, Daniel Wickham, moved to Meander with his family seven years ago.

He had been working at the Education Department for the past six and a half years but wanted to return to the small business world in a bid to show his children that there is another way of earning an income, besides working for someone else. “I have always just loved being a business owner. I have fleshed out so many potential ideas from a caravan park to a chicken farm but there were half a million things to do and a lot of money required,” he said.

Dan’s previous small business experience helped him get through the seven months of planning and many obstacles that fell his way. “I met so many amazing people and had the best fun ever.” Dan has conducted several test runs with friends, family and professional river guides, including his friend and mentor Nathan Welch, (who has paddled 6,500 km’s down the Amazon River), to ensure safety and provide a framework for the level of experience his guides should have.

After a test run, Dan received positive feedback from Nathan who said: “I think you have got something here,” and the other guides who were amazed at the “vibe on the river.” And Dan couldn’t agree more. “This is a beautiful part of the world that people would not ordinarily see.”

Photo | Mike Moores

A beautiful secret chasm

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
‘A mantle of green spreads on seemingly every surface’, along the Bastion Cascades walk.

‘A mantle of green spreads on seemingly every surface’, along the Bastion Cascades walk.

November 2018 | Tara Ulbrich

IT’S A SECRET chasm with falls that both plummet and step down vertical cliffs. Plant life reaches high and the creek bed is sliced by vertical trunks, uprooted and wedged by rock. A mantle of green spreads on seemingly every surface and overarching this spectacle are massive, curved rock ledges, reducing the scale of a walker’s presence to minuscule.

People speak about preserving isolation and locking away access to sensitive areas. I want to remind them that humanity is not a blight on nature. We belong to nature. We are part of the web. The sensitivity also belongs to us. My companions and I sit at the base of these falls, sipping a thermos of hot tea, taking photos, shifting between silent awe and sharing spotted details.

A luminescent purple fungus, a twisted tree fern curls around a cheese-wood trunk, birdsong calls to us from high above. We simultaneously experience a sense of humility and the importance of doing no harm. Our responsibility is to exchange the sensory pleasure of passing through this forest with the obligation to leave no trace. Stepping on the carpet fall of pepper scented sassafras I imagine the white flowers continuing to drop, covering our footprints.

Bastion Cascades is a comfortable four-hour return. Although mostly walking in rainforest across a southeast face, good shoes are required and be prepared for some scrambling up wet rock. The route is found on a barely marked sidetrack off of the Meander Falls Road. I am going to trust you to do your own research to find the track and trust you to respect the place while you’re there.

Photo | Jade Hallam