Park Patrons' Page 2017

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Fisherman's Beach News (in reverse chronological order).

31st December 2017: A Sad Farewell to "Patrons' Page".
For six years I've enjoyed writing Patrons' Page and bringing Emu Park and Bell Park news and photos to you. However, the time for change has come. The new Next Generation web site is now operational and C.E.O. Daniel Tilton is working to enable all Fisherman's Beach patrons to write their own contributions and/or send their own photographs for publication.

So, on this last day of 2017, may I wish Patrons' Page a fond farewell and thank you sincerely for all the support you've given me and this web site over the years. And thank you to "Diamond" Jim Waterman who initiated it way back when.

A very Happy New Year,


23rd December 2017: Oh, What a Night It Was!

Sandrina Without Sandrina (pictured right) it would have been just another Friday Happy Hour. Sandrina is a Swiss singer and as crazy a character as you could find anywhere. With a few drinks inside her and a microphone in her hand there was no stopping her. She was wearing a white bikini with a white lace beach wrap dress over the top, hiding . . . nothing.

A little challenged by the language difference, Sandrina never-the-less gave a terrific performance. The reputation of this park for having exceptional Happy Hours was certainly upheld. Had the roof of the barbecue area not been secured to withstand a cyclone, I swear it would have lifted.

Sandrina was not the only talented singer to perform, there were several others (including Wendy) who gave a very creditable performance. And then there were others who deserve a pat on the back for their enthusiasm.

We all cheered when Sandrina and her husband/partner/whatever decided to forfeit the deposit they'd paid at Noosa and remain with us for another night. However, when we awoke this morning, their site was cold and bare.

Sadly, there always has to be one or two miseries and Friday was no exception, notwithstanding it being only three days to Christmas. Someone complained about the noise and Kellie shut everything down by 7:30 p.m.


Crazy . . . but so much fun.

To whoever complained, the Fisherman's Beach Holiday Park rules state perfectly clearly:

Please be considerate of noise levels whilst staying within our park. Noise travels quite easily, so please keep this in mind and restrict noise between 9.00pm and 6.00am, when other guests may be sleeping."

20th December 2017: New 3 Metre Screen Tested by Andrew.


Inflated by a small compressor, it's quick and easy to erect and remove later.

The new projector screen is inflatable! At least, the framework is; at first glance it looks a bit like a bouncy castle. The screen is suspended in a black, inflated framework which looked quite wrinkly but the screen itself is quite stable and flat and the picture quality very good.


A scene from a kids' Christmas DVD.

Now Andrew has to find a way to exterminate all the rug rats which were drawn to it, waving their favourite DVDs.

More good news, this time from Jolt in Emu Park (formerly Deganis). They are now issuing seniors with Loyalty Cards for meals: Buy nine meals valued over $10 each and get the tenth meal free. Most meals are over $10 so if you're a Jolt regular it won't take long, especially if you are a couple.

And now news of Susan Jean Waterman who has flown to Adelaide for Christmas looking more relaxed than she's looked for a vey long time. Merry Christmas, Sue.
15th December 2017: Next Gen's Fisherman's Beach Web Site is on line.
Click on . . . to view the new, professional Fishermans Beach Holiday Park web site. Expect a much more sophisticated and interactive site than the previous Bell Park site but to make you feel at home, some of the photos have been transitioned across. Good luck.

15th December 2017: New Park Wi-Fi Installed and working


Mounted on the toilet blocks, we had no idea what these devices were for.
Jan (in the office) solved the problem. They're the new, free Wi-Fi and they work fine.

14th December 2017: No Park News, so a bit of fun instead.

Road Sign

We saw this road sign near Victor Harbor in November last year (2016).

8th December 2017: This week in the park.
Last Saturday, Emu Park celebrated its Christmas Bonanza so we went along to see what it was about. The shop frontage along the length of the main street was occupied by tables, stalls and charities, all wanting your money. Entertainment-wise the Belly Dancers were performing and loud music was blasting from the speakers of a local radio station. Later a fire engine arrived carrying Father Christmas, much to the delight of the kids who still believe . . . and those that were prepared to believe if there was a free gift in it. The highlight of my day was the disgraceful indulgence of a large iced coffee with cream and ice cream in the air-conditioned comfort of Jolt.

On Monday we, Pete and Pam, celebrated the thirteenth anniversary of the day we set off from Perth to explore Australia. To this end we had a barbecue with friends from within the park, managers old and new, and friends from without the park. A good time was had by all, I think.

Talking of managers, some parkies will remember Ernie who managed the Park before Jim and Sue. Well, staying in the park at present is Denis who managed it before Ernie!

On Wednesday evening, Trivia came to the park . . .


It was oganised by Fiona (standing) who was here for a few days with Tiffany, both employees of Next Generation. There were only enough participants for two teams but it was huge fun, thanks to Fiona who doesn't have a shy bone in her body. Despite the fact that she had tilted some questions in our team's favour, we still mananged to lose convincingly. Afterwards, Fiona sang us some very funny songs. Hey, Mr Next Gen C.E.O., we want her back on a regular basis and especially for The Big Morning Tea on July 27.

1st December 2017: Winter Bookings, deposits and site fees.
Managers Andrew and Kellie have assured me that all winter bookings, deposits and fees will be honoured by Next Generation. Future fees charged to new customers is not so clear; Next Gen have the right to set their own fees, unlike the previous arrangement where Council set them every July 1st for twelve months.

30 November 2017: Ngaire Newton's house leaves the Park.
Ngaire passed away on 14th August (see 'Vale' on this page). Her family planned to return her remains to her beloved country-of-birth, New Zealand, this month (November).

House on truck

Ngaire's cabin sets off for its new location in Cawarral.

30 November 2017: What about this dinky little 'van?

Baby Caravan

Two people sleep in this little 'van which is on its way to Darwin.

29 November 2017: Fisherman's Beach is getting into the Christmas spirit.

Office lights

Andrew has been busy decorating the Office area.

Tree lights

And not only the office but trees and the barbecue area, too. Nice caravan over there.

27 November 2017: An Afternoon with the Rockhampton Pipe Band .
On the afternoon of Saturday, 18th November, the Rockhampton Pipe Band performed at the Emu Park R.S.L. It was a very pleasant afternoon with the bar open, the weather perfect and a free barbecue lunch. Here are some pictures.

Pipe Band

Pipe band at memorial

Piper at window

Piper on Grassy Knoll

Young piper on segue

One of the younger pipers. Now look at the picture below.

Segue, closer up

Yes, he's simultaneously playing the pipes while zooming around on a segue. And not an ordinary segue but one without a column and hand grips. All balance, speed, braking and direction is controlled by his feet. Remarkable.

22 November 2017: A letter from Sue to all.

Hi everyone,

I would just like you to know that your wonderful support for events such as Christmas in July and the Emu Park Social Bowls Day helped add to funds that were raised over many years by the Bell Park Caravan Park Social Club. As you are aware it was Jim who started the club and many of you were at events where the social club provided drinks, BBQs and entertainment. Jim's vision for the social club was to not only provide patrons with benefits but his larger vision was always to give financial assistance to groups in need and local clubs. In recent years BJ worked tirelessly with others such as Suzanne and Jerzey to create memorable events at the Pine Beach hotel and the Bowls Club and so kept Jim's legacy alive.

Over the years monies raised were used to support the children's hospital in Cambodia run by Dr Beat (Mr Beat Richner), the Emu Park RSL and the Emu Park Men's Shed. Last night I felt very proud to present to the Emu Park Lions club the final amount of $1,952.23. So thank you one and all for your support.

NextGen have approached me about placing another plaque for Jim in the Caravan Park. I was very touched and appreciate the sentiment and their commitment to the Park I however believe it would be more appropriate to create a book/wall or some area to commemorate all the Park Managers including both Kellie and Andrew (the new managers). It would be wonderful if the history of how the Park has developed and grown could also be recorded as the Caravan Park is a very iconic area of Emu Park. I did ask that the street name, Diamond Jim Drive, remain.

I wish you all safe travels and a great many caravanning holidays to come.

Love from


The nerve of some people!
If, like me, you are heartily sick of receiving loads of junk emails, and quite frequently from Woolworths, you'll like the photo (below) of Woolies mail box outside Yeppoon's new Post Office.


19th November: How did our new managers spend their Sunday afternoon?
Some of us love gardening, some hate it, some manage to kill everything they plant. Pam and I slot neatly into the latter categories. However, Andy and Kellie are nothing if not keen.

New Management 1

Andy and Kellie finding the subsoil is like concrete while planting new greenery.

New Management 2

Andy battles on and triumphs. But will the new plant have the same determination?

New Management 3

Kellie has also triumphed (but not without advice from a helper on the kerbstone.)

Andrew and Kellie are keen to re-establish a herb garden on the site of the old one. Good luck, Guys.

17th November: Life Goes On At Fisherman's Beach.
Hello again, everybody. The management change is all over. Andy and Kellie, the new resident managers, are now ensconced in Sue's old house adjacent to the office and are getting into routine. Both are extremely nice. Lorna, Jan and Matthew are still employed, much as before. Yes, they're extremely nice, too.

New Management

The introductory sausage sizzle, courtesy of NextGen. Back row, standing, Next Generation's Alicia with the
new resident managers, Kellie and Andrew on either side. And at the table, some representatives of the
Last Generation whom you'll all know well. Alicia has now returned to head office.

There were many more in attendance than the picture shows, with a majority from the south end of the park, some of whom I've never seen at Happy Hour before. But a big welcome to them, I hope it won't be a once-only occasion.

How do you like the new name, Fisherman's Beach Holiday Park? It goes with the trend here where IGA has reverted to Drakes, Degarni's has changed to Jolt and the Village Pharmacy is now Star Pharmacy. Even so, I think the park's name change might be an error of judgement, but . . . time will tell.

NextGen are taking over the web site but keeping the Patron's Page concept, though in a different form. We will all be able to post articles on the new site. That will clip my wings! It'll be interesting to see the outcome. In the meantime I'll be continuing with Patron's Page in its present form (unless I get sacked for criticising the park's name change).

A lovely letter from a lovely lady

Thank you all for your cards, emails, phone calls and comments in regard to my managerial ship over the past few years. I really do appreciate them all as it touches my heart dearly to know how much you have appreciated the time and effort it has taken to run the Park.
The future of the Park I believe is in great hands with John and Daniel Tilton from Next Gen. Their vision for the Park is to maintain the Park traditions while incorporating change. I wish you all wonderful Emu Park holidays and for Next Gen an exciting future.

Kind regards,


Sue Waterman
Dip.T Ed
Sue Waterman Dip.T, Grad Dip Ed, B.Lit,
B.M.Ed, M.Ed,
Park Manager
Bell Park Caravan Park
Pattison Street
Emu Park Qld 4710

Office 07-4939-6202
Where friends meet

Jim and Sue

Jim and Sue

6 November: The 33rd annual Oktoberfest . . . held in November.
But, hey, who cares? Due to Ma'am being confined to a wheelchair for longer excursions - thanks for the loan, Barbara, the one in the seat really appreciates it - we only stayed for a short time around midday. Did I mention that Eckhard and Monika were there? They stayed in the caravan park for a few days. Great to see them.

At Oktoberfest, there appeared to be a very healthy crowd present even before the official opening at 1:30 pm. We can't vouch for the health of that same crowd by closing time, but by all accounts, there were no serious problems.

Bell Park Caravan Park was full to overflowing but again, no problems. It was good to see the place bulging at the seams, though I must confess that much of our joy came from the knowledge that it would be lovely and peaceful again by Monday. As, indeed, it is.

As the management changeover date approaches, things seem to be falling into place. Other than the future of this website, that is. I still have no idea, after building it and maintaining it for six years, whether the new management wants it or just the domain name, perhaps. Sue has been stressed to the max with selling her house and all the other equipment. By comparison, the website is miniscule in importance and I fully understand; we are 100% behind her. However, with only a week to go, don't be surprised if these pages soon vanish for ever.

31 October: Jim is going up in the world.
Moving occasion

Jim's plaque and rock ready for transport up the hill to Bright Street.
Jim would enjoy riding on the Avant, it was his favourite 'toy'.

Sincere thanks to all who gave their approval for the memorial to be removed from Bell Park. The approval rate was close to 100%.The only query was on perfectly legitimate technical grounds.

30 October: Pam's knee update.
Yes, she should have been home several days ago but severe pain in her leg one night caused the surgeon to offer her a further just in case week in hospital. The problem seems to have been an isolated incident and the new release date is next Friday.

I'm just thankful that there are not too many people here to witness me hanging knickers on the line!

I wish to correct a very embarrassing error I made on the section below (now deleted). If I offended anyone, I'm truly sorry.

25 October: Park and Pam News
With about three weeks to go, Bell Park is very quiet . . . subdued, you might say. Sue has either come to terms with leaving or is putting a very brave face on it. In the lead-up to the 33rd Emu Park Lions Oktoberfest, overnighters and short stays come and go but the park is due to fill up as 4th November approaches.

The new company, NextGen, has selected managers for the park - a couple from Rockhampton (or the Sunshine Coast - depends who you ask). All Sue's staff have been guaranteed their jobs for an initial three months (or six months, depends who you ask). Total caravan bookings for the change-over date (14 November) at present stand at one. That would be Pam and I. (Or two, depends when you ask.)

After all the recent rain, the park is looking spectacular (whoever or whenever you ask).

Pam had her new knee fitted nine days ago and is doing well. Her leg is horribly bruised but that's improving. She has been walking with two crutches almost since leaving the operating theatre and is having rehab every day. She'll be home on Friday if nothing changes. (Ho-hum, holiday over.)

Charlie and Marion's new house is finished and they left the park yesterday. Big Dave and Glenys in their monster 5th wheeler are leaving tomorrow. Future Happy Hours might be held in a phone box.

Monday, 16th October 2017
Friends, there follows what we've all been waiting for - a letter from Sue Waterman to you.

Dear friends,

I wish to inform you that I was unsuccessful in obtaining the lease for Bell Park Caravan Park.

Now I believe is a good time to recap on some of the highs and lows of 17 years at the Park. In 2000 we moved into an old caravan. Jim’s vision was to create ‘a place where friends meet’ and to this end I know that this vision has been achieved. I worked alongside him developing and cleaning up the park.

In 2006 Jim was attacked by a client when he refused to have a beer at 10.00 am. This put him into hospital for a few days but it didn’t stop his love of interacting and helping people.

In December 2012 Jim was told he had pancreatic cancer. Then, on the 8th of January 2013, all prepped and ready for his major surgery, he answered his phone and was asked to manage Beachside as well. He confidently said he would from the 1st of February! Jim then asked Murray and Deb to be managers at Beachside which they have continued to do for the past 4 years.

After surgery had revealed the extent of Jim's tumour he was told he should just go home as he had only 3 - 6 months. The doctors never knew - as we did - what type of personality they were dealing with!

For Jim and his indomitable spirit, the cancer was never going to stop his love of life and people as the wonderful groups of friends who went to China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam on his ‘go see the world tours’ were to bear witness. His illness was never seen as an 'out' and we toured whenever his chemotherapy was ceased for one month each year. His commitment to the Park, his clients and his friends was always based on value for money. Even when offered two free trips he split the value of the trips over the price so everyone received a discount. He proudly wore his Bell Park T-shirt and took every opportunity, both locally and overseas, to promote Bell Park and of course Emu Park. He was an active member of the Bell Park community. Over the years Bell Park patrons donated through fundraising to the Bell Park Caravan Park Social Club and these monies were paid to the Men’s Shed, the R.S.L and to a hospital in Cambodia. On the forthcoming closure of the account, the remaining funds are to be given to the Emu Park Lion’s Club.

I fondly recall many happy hours only on days ending in a ‘y’ around the barbecue at 5pm when patrons come together to swap stories and tell tall tales.

Jim's passing in 2014 left me with a broken heart, which I doubt will ever truly mend and a myriad of questions and doubts about my capabilities in managing the Park. I hadn’t then realised the true power of the indefatigable spirit of the people who loved Jim and who rallied around and supported me.

2015 brought new challenges in my personal life when my parents came to live in Emu Park after Mum broke her arm. Dad was deeply affected by Mum’s fall and his dementia became rapidly worse until he needed to enter the RSL Sunset Ridge home. After Mum’s operation it was then necessary for me to clear and sell their house on the Sunshine Coast. In 2016 I was by Dad’s side when he slipped quietly away on Jim's and my 37th wedding anniversary.

This year, writing a professional lease application and enduring the past seven months of waiting for a result has added to my sense of achievement. Over the years I could not have managed to do anything without the love and support of so many people to whom I would like to pay tribute:

Sue and Jim Over the time the Park has challenged me to my core, the most notable being Cyclone Marcia with all its disruption and Stretch being incapacitated during the recovery. The sudden death of Laurel (a park resident) was also very traumatic and a very emotional time for myself, my niece and Gail (a winter visitor). The very obvious electrical issues which resulted in 8 months of generators and the entire park being disrupted leaving a dust bowl and then the flooding rains were also a huge challenge. And what can I say about the ever constant challenge of the flying foxes and the flooding which occurs during times of torrential rain!

The successful candidates are Next Generation Holiday Parks. They have parks in both Townsville and New Zealand. I wish them the best for they will be very fortunate to have wonderful friends and clients arrive at their door, eager and keen to enjoy the relaxed, village-like features of Bell Park Caravan Park . . . “WHERE FRIENDS MEET”.

With love,


Wednesday, 11th October:
Ronnie and Myrtle

Look who Maureen and 'Shady' Schadendorff lunched with on Monday! Yes, it's Ronnie and Myrtle!
See Maggie Dawe, I TOLD you they weren't dead!

Monday, 9th October: Alan Crooks in hospital.
Al Crooks, who celebrated his 88th birthday last week, has been ill for some time and today was admitted to Yeppoon Hospital. He is due to fly south in a couple of weeks for a minor heart operation but the hospital needs to stabilise him before he can fly. All who wish to send him good wishes, the address is as follows:

Mr Alan Crooks,
Room 7,
Capricorn Coast Hospital and Health Service,
8 Hoskyn Drive,
YEPPOON Qld 4703.

Or ring him on his mobile.

Saturday, 14 October: Al Crooks is home from hospital and feeling much better.

Sunday, 8th October: A note to Sue from Catherine Millar
Click on 'Correspondence' in the menu on the left margin.

Thursday, 5th October: Man dies of stab wounds in Emu Park.
Yesterday, at about 4p.m., a man was found dying of stab wounds on Bright Street, Emu Park. (Bright Street is where Sue's house is situated.) So far there has been very little information released by police.

Sunday, 8 October. Latest from the internet: POLICE have released the name of the man who died from a stab wound to the heart in Emu Park this week. Kevin John Ryan, 40, died in the front yard of a Bright St address about 4pm, Wednesday.

Park Management Update, Monday, 2nd October
The Bell Park management issue is still with Livingstone Shire Council's adminstration people. These people do not have decision-making authority; they can only make recommendations to Council for approval or otherwise. The seven elected councillors will decide.

The matter was supposed to be tabled at the Council Meeting held two weeks ago. It wasn't. The hope was then that it would be tabled at tomorrow's meeting, the agenda of which is on the Council's web site. I have been unable to find any reference to it, so it continues to be a waiting game. Thankfully, Sue is an astonishingly strong woman but it has to be taking a toll.

Pam and I are now the only remaining members of the Winter Mob and after months of sunshine, the sky burst last night and the rain came down with a vengeance. It slackened off soon after dawn but has hardly stopped all day. Good luck to Stan who departed about 7 a.m.

A Ferns Visit with a Difference!
On Sunday, 10th September, a party of twelve left Bell Park for lunch and an afternoon of music at The Ferns Resort, Byfield. The lunch and entertainment were as excellent as always. It was our bus driver that caused quite a stir!

Pam, the organiser of our trip, had been told that Sam, the driver, was a backpacker and might need some help with directions, so she placed me in the front passenger seat to assist. That, I must emphasise, was before she'd met Sam, who was from Liverpool, England. Sam was a first class driver. She was also blonde, about 5' 10" tall, very attractive and beautifully tanned.

Fortunately, I grew up about 35 miles from Liverpool and could still understand a little Scouse. However, it was Sam's attire that caused a great stir amongst the male passengers and consternation amongst some females. Sam wore short, denim shorts which were fashionably torn around the groin area. As the front seat passenger, believe me, there was nothing indecent on display but, oh boy, you had to scrutinise carefully to be certain. But only in order to maintain Bell Park standards, of course.

Peter R. - A Fraud and a Fake.
On Monday 4th September, I received handshakes, hugs and good wishes from all over Bell Park as the next day I was due to have surgery to fix up a hiatus hernia. Due to some confusion it didn't happen and has been rescheduled. However, the handshakes, hugs and good wishes will be just as welcome next time, if there is a next time.

The Opportunity For Which You've All Been Waiting.
The Beach To Beach Fun Run Three-person Relay will take place on Sunday, 10th September starting at 7am at the IGA end of Bell Park with entries accepted from 6am. Entry fee is $5 per participant. One BPCP member took part last year and has volunteered to help the organisers this year so don't be shy. (Bring your own C.P.R. kit.)

For further details contact either Cheryl on 0428 779 240 or Bev on 0437 640 177.

Bell Park is leaking!
Sue Day by day, slowly but surely, the winter family is trickling away. You don't really notice until you arrive at Happy Hour and half the faces belong to strangers - people who fill the empty sites almost as soon as they become vacant. Which is good news as it keeps a smile on Sue's face and their presence at Happy Hour keeps a long Bell Park tradition going.

Besides, they are immediately inducted into the Bell Park nice people category and only the very shy, or those who prefer to keep themselves to themselves, stay loners for long.

Another Successful Ferns Outing.
Another great day was spent at the Ferns Resort on Sunday, 20th August, when two buses were required to transport 39 of us out to Byfield and back.


A front view of the Ferns Restaurant.

Marto in wig

The man himself wearing a sixties wig . . . Marto.


The resort's powerhouse, Marto's wife Genevieve.

Sue's Birthday.
Friday, 18th August was the birthday of a lady we all know and love; the one and only Susie Waterman. In the afternoon a group of about twenty converged on Sue's house on the hill . . .

Cath and Sue

Cathy and Sue, smiling at the camera for Gail.

. . . where Sue had really excelled herself, not only by providing yummy refreshments but by arranging for whales to frolic in the Coral Sea between Great Keppel Island and the mainland. Sue's patio provided a million dollar view.


This whale seems to have been travelling left to right and surfacing as it did so.
Or equally possible, I suppose, it was the other way around and the whale was diving. Ho-hum.

Later, a group of sixteen - including Sue and Barbara (Sue's mother) - decided to give The Jolt Restaurant's Friday music night a visit to compare the cuisine, music and atmosphere with the Bowls Club. While one swallow does not a summer make, all opinions were positive and we booked again for next Friday.

Stan certainly enjoyed his spare ribs.
Photo: Gail.

A Fabulous String Quartet, the String Family.
Australian National Busking Champions AND New Australian Celtic Talent of the Year, 2017

The String Family

Mother and quartet leader, Sarah, introducing son, Heath (14), husband Joel and daughter, Ashleigh (13).

Mum and Dad

Mum (Sarah) and Dad (Joel)

Heath and Ashleigh

Heath (14) and Ashleigh (13).


The Strings Family and a very appreciative audience.

The quartet's music was spellbinding - absolutely superb - and praise for their ability was on everyone's lips. Sue invited them to call back any time they were in this neck of the woods.

Like many Bell Park patrons, the String Family are nomads travelling with a Landcruiser and caravan. It would be great to see them again though with their talent they are probably destined for stardom.

Jock home from hospital in his own private ambulance.
After several days in Yeppoon Base Hospital, Robert Crichton Barr (known to us as Jock) decided he'd had enough. Sure, the hospital was first class, the staff was wonderful and the meals were great, but Jock is a free spirit and lying in bed with a lightly boiled egg for breakfast was just not his style. So he politely thanked the medical staff and informed them that he was leaving. After completing the odd thousand forms, he left the hospital and hired a private ambulance to bring him back to Bell Park, his mates and, of course, happy hours.

Welcome home, Jock, it's great to have you back. It just wasn't the same without you. And forgive my poetic licence.

Jock's ambulance

The private ambulance was remarkably cheap and dropped Jock right at the entrance to Bell Park.
The photo shows it returning to Yeppoon.

A night of music and moonshine and marto. And, oh, what a night it was!

Mr Music

The Man who made it all happen - Mr Music, Lionel Miles.

Music Night

A selection of the musicians. (Who spotted Marto in the background?)

Barbecue gathering

As things got under way the shadows lengthened and the sun touched the horizon.

Gail in the corner

Who could that be in the lower right corner? Is that a plaster on her nose.


Been a long day, Jerz?

Marto n Genivieve

Left: Ozzie (with wig), Marto and err . . . oh, Sue.          Right: Genevieve missing the top of her head. Sorry, Gen.

Bell Park Musicians

Even as the sun set the musicians played on.

Bar Sign

Love the bar sign. Is that Gail on the phone? Accepting take-away orders, perhaps.

Lorraine and Leigh

Left: Enjoying yourselves, ladies?                               Right: Leigh practising the haka.

Mabel Glass (née Garden) passes away
You may not remember her as Mabel Glass, but a slim lady with a rich Scottish accent riding around Bell Park on a golf buggy and cleaning the facilities must surely ring a bell? In fact, the black golf buggy still bears the name, Mabel.

Please click on Vale in the menu in the left margin for more. (Vale, pronounced varlay (origin Latin) means 'farewell' and is frequently used to announce a death in a written publication.)

Back in Harness
Many apologies for the absence of park news updates over the last few weeks. This was due firstly to my own illness and later by the disruption of visiting Pam daily in the Rockhampton Mater Hospital while she had her left knee replaced. (Her right knee will follow suit in October.)

Around that period, park patrons celebrated our own Bell Park's Christmas in July at the Pine Beach Hotel . . . another huge success thanks to BJ Adams (a.k.a. Father Christmas).

Xmas in July

A selection of photos from the Bell Park 'Christmas in July'.

That event was followed by Emu Park Bowls Club's Christmas in July which was well supported by Bell Park patrons, as always.

Then there was the enormously successful Big Morning Tea in the Park which raised $3,255 to help the victims of family violence - and that was despite the rain which tried in vain to spoil the day. Can you believe that? $3,255! This was a Pam initiative though many contributed to make it all go so well. So thank you Pam and all the helpers, especially Phil the auctioneer and Jaclyn (of Emu Park Police) who spoke on the subject of family violence. Here, I must apologise for my own incompetence; having been entrusted with taking photos on the day I managed to corrupt the files so thoroughly that even a professional was unable to resurrect them.

There was also a Social Bowls Day which went very well despite the efforts of the Super Flu which has laid so many low this winter . . . and continues to do so. Thanks once again to BJ for exercising her organising powers and to Sue for supplying photographs . . .



Denice Tinsley, the Winner of the 2017 Trophy for
Most Improved Novice. Congratulations, Denice.

The Ferns trip went off very successfully, the flu failing to spoil the outing. It did, however, result in poor Suzanne Curtis, the organiser in Pam's absence, becoming dizzy trying to keep all the balls in the air as people listed to go to Ferns fell ill and had to pull out while others recovered and stepped back in to rejoin the party. A great job, Suzanne, under near-impossible circumstances, and to Genevieve at Ferns for coping with the continual variations to meal orders and table placings. It all turned out beautifully and those that went had a wonderful meal and afternoon.

The Bell Park Star-Makers, stars themselves.
They're at it again. This year the ladies of Bell Park - and their lovely friends - are using their considerable talents towards making one million stars out of florist's ribbon in a peaceful and silent protest against violence. The idea was formed by Maryann Talia Pau, born in Samoa and currently based in Brisbane, after a neighbour was raped and murdered 2012. The stars they make will be displayed at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Star Ladies

The wonderful ladies (and friends) of Bell Park rallying against violence.

M & M  M & M & M

Left: Those two colourful characters, Maureen & Maggie, (M & M), hard at work making stars.
Right: And here's Senior Support Officer, Marion Smith, refuelling the workers. (M & M & M.)


Maureen Paull (right), yet another 'M', and Sue (left) from Tai Chi classes at the Village Hall on a Friday.


Julie Denham, being left handed, initially had difficulty following right-handed instructions. Assisting her here is
(left-handed) Cultural Development Officer, Judy Couttie, from the Community Centre in Yeppoon.

The first 'official' trip to Ferns for 2017.
At 11:00 on Sunday, 25th June, fifty one happy campers from Bell Park piled into two buses and some cars and headed for Byfield. This was the first group outing organised by Pam for the winter season and by all accounts, it went off very well. Unfortunately there were two late cancellations due to illness. Pam was one and her husband was the other, so a first-hand report is missing. I can tell you that Pam was given a round of applause for all her organising and Marto sang Streets of London, Pam's favourite, in her honour.

Pam says she is very glad everyone had a good time and the next big trip to Ferns will be on 30 July.

Val and John Andrewartha say farewell for another year.
Would you believe that Val and John have been coming to Bell Park for twenty three years (though they had to miss three due to circumstances). In that time they've seen managers come and go but none, they both agree, could hold a candle to Jim and now Sue.

Val and John

Val and John on the eve of their departure from Site 108.
Their home is at Taylors Lake, Melbourne. Their other home, that is.

Safe travelling and come back soon, you two.

After a year and eleven months the Blue House leaves Bell Park.
Click on 'Photographs' in the menu in the left margin to see pictures of the Blue House's final hours.

What do you know about a new emission control device being fitted to diesel vehicles?
It's called AdBlue and it will increase the cost of a new car and its running cost. Click on Correspondence in the left margin for more.

Dispelling Rumours
We, Pete-n-Pam, are NOT house sitting and we have NOT moved out of Bell Park. And before anyone suggests it, we have nothing to do with the world outbreak of Ransomware - we spell our name Ranson.

Now, come on, where are you all? Stan the Man is here, as are Pete and BJ. But it's damned hard drinking enough alcohol at Happy Hour to cover for the rest of you. We have perfect weather but we're using it up fast, so don't whinge if it runs out before you get here.

Don and Eira Thomson achieve their Diamond Wedding Anniversary
Please scroll down.


A nice email from Bill, Trixie and Denice
Hi you two, hope you are both well, as surprised as Trixie and I am, no doubt (about the change of management). We wish Sue all the best in the future, and thank her for the past many years of happy winters we have spent there. We are both well and hope to see all the usual smiling faces next year.

Regards and best wishes

Bill and Trixie XXX

A note to Sue from Catherine Millar.
Catherine writes: After a lovely BBQ in the rotunda of the council park last night it was suggested we send a photo to you. Maybe to put in the newsletter to let others know of an under utilized commodity so close by.

Thanks, Sue. Thanks Catherine. I'll certainly publish the photos (three, actually). Sue spotted Bill and Wendy, and John and Robyn. Can YOU recognise anybody else?
Rotunda BBQ

AdBlue will add a small cost and a little complexity to new diesel cars.
Though few people seem to be aware of it yet, AdBlue is yet another measure introduced by the EU to clean up diesel exhaust. It is a mixture of urea and demineralised water. It isn't added to the engine or fuel, it has its own storage tank of about ten litres capacity and the solution is injected directly into the exhaust system where the urea and water solution combines with mono-nitrogen oxides present in the exhaust gases to produce harmless nitrogen and oxygen.

This technology has been used in diesel buses and trucks for some time so its effectiveness has been well proven. Now it is being introduced to some new European-built diesel passenger cars.

How much AdBlue is consumed? Consumption varies from vehicle to vehicle, but Volkswagen estimates a Passat will consume about 1.5 litres every 1,000 kilometres. Much like fuel consumption, the harder and faster you drive, the more AdBlue you'll use.

Question: What happens if you let the AdBlue tank run dry? The engine cannot be started, is the short answer. However, the car gives you plenty of warning before that happens.

John and Rhonda Gipple, long-time Bell Park patrons, have their 18-month old Passat here in Bell Park today (13 June 2017). It came brand new with the AdBlue apparatus installed. John says it isn't a problem and AdBlue costs them about $1/litre. A tankful (12 litres) lasts for 10,000 kilometres.

Where will you be able to buy AdBlue around Emu Park? The Puma Service Station in Yeppoon has been proactive. An AdBlue pump is already on their forecourt. Also, car accessory shops will sell it in containers for drivers to top up their tanks.

An email from Lorraine to kick off 2017
Dear Pete, Pam and all the Bell Park Family,

G'day and Happy Australia Day.

We have settled in at our camp site at Lakes Haven and we have been having lovely sunny days. Last week was a little hectic when all the family came up and stayed in units to celebrate Hans' 75th birthday. Hans had a great day, with all the family around him.

What a happy family! Belated happy 75th, Hans.

We had happy hour at the caravan park and then we went out for dinner. Helga and I had been to the Reject Shop to buy sticker books to keep the kids occupied while in the restaurant. By the time we left, one end of the table was very colourful with stickers on the table, chairs and carpet. I think the vacuum cleaner will have a lovely time!

After the family went home it was very quiet, so now we have time for our Lakes friends. We had a very quiet Aussie day as some of our group went to their family in Warragul Drouin. We went with Eileen, one of our friends, to the Mechanics Hall for the breaky; we had toast, sausage, egg and bacon on paper plates with very flexible plastic cutlery which made it an Aussie Day challenge to eat the food. There was the raising of the flag, then we went and had a lovely coffee at the Truffles coffee shop.

Hans and I hope you are travelling well and safe wherever you are. Here are some photos of Hans' birthday with the family.

Love Lorraine and Hans xx

News from Brian and Jan Pugsley

29 March 2017. Motor Home Sold. Greetings to all at Bell Park.

Some of you will know we took the decision during our 2016 five month sojourn up north to sell our motor home. It was not an easy choice to make, but as we are both getting a little older and with the (sometimes) long days on the road, we felt it was time. We have enjoyed visiting all parts of our wonderful land for five months of each of the last sixteen years, meeting some great friends and occasionally long lost relatives. After a rather long sales period, a couple from Shell Harbour in NSW visited Mornington last Saturday and collected our motor home.

We have now decided on a rather more laid-back approach and will be doing some more cruising and a few short tours to visit friends. So far this year we are booked on a short cruise to Tasmania and in August a five week trip to Japan, which involves flying to Tokyo for a land-based tour followed by an eighteen-day cruise around Japan which includes one night in Russia.

Over the years it has been great to meet up with each of you. We have enjoyed your welcome and hospitality. We will especially miss our friends at Bell Park Caravan Park with “happy hours” every afternoon, bowls three days a week, dinner outings to local restaurants/hotels and of course the ladies social activities with the Emu Park CWA, RSL and other groups within the small village. We have some lovely memories of “Wanderers” past and present. If you happen to be in the area, please feel free to call in at:

124/107 Bungower Road,

Our best regards to each of you and above all, safe travelling.

Jan and Brian Pugsley.

P - 03 5971 0224
M - 0409 032841
E -

Congratulations Don and Eira!

Don and Eira

Don and Eira Thomson after 60 years of marriage (above) and . . .

Don and Eira

. . . . before 60 years of marriage (left).
April 27th, 1957.

Don and Eira were born and bred in Wonthaggi, Victoria, and grew up in the town. They met at a local dance when Don was home on leave from National Service. Later they both worked in the Wonthaggi Hospital and they still live in the town. Wonthaggi means home in the Bunurong Aborigine dialect.

Over the years the couple have produced two sons and a daughter, David, Gary and Jan, and have six grandchildren.

Well, Don and Eira, it sounds like it's time you two got your skates on and got yourselves up to Bell Park. If sixty years of marriage isn't a great excuse for a party, well, I don't know what is!

What do you say, Folks? Hands up all of our readers who agree that a Diamond Wedding deserves a good party. There you are, Don and Eira, it's unanimous. Both our readers agree.


From the ANZAC Memorial

Part of the wonderful ANZAC Memorial.

Laurel's House

At 08:30 on13th June, Laurel Webb's old home, more recently known as The Blue House,
looked much as it had done since poor Laurel died almost two years ago.

Blue Backhoe

At 09:14 the same morning a backhoe was delivered to the park entrance.

Tyres under Backhoe

Since the backhoe had steel tracks, the crew kept the right track on the grass and the left track on four old tyres. This picture shows the guy at the back retrieving the tyres as they came out and rolling them to the front guy who threw them back under the tracks. There was not a mark on the bitumen.

Giant Crab's Claws

The prime mover that had brought the low loader was unhitched and departed, soon returning with a high-sided trailer behind it. In the meantime, the backhoe had swapped its bucket for a giant claw and it was attacking the Blue House hungrily. The house had no answer.


Crunch! The machine seemed to play with the house like a cat with a mouse, grabbing a clawful of wreckage, picking it up, folding it against the ground, letting go and smashing the claw down on top to compress it.
It sounded like a million empty cans being crushed. Amazingly there was no dust.

Sky House

Three or four truck-loads and the house was gone.

Empty Site

15:55 same day. Blue House? What Blue House? If you scroll back up to the first picture of the Blue House you'll see that it had a tree growing so close on either side that the foliage overhung the house. Know what? They are still there, scarcely touched.

New Turf

Three days later with fresh turf laid, all that's needed is time for the new grass to take
and Site 83 will be a very desirable location.

Ozzie, Charlie and Marto

Ozzie, Charlie and Marto at the Moonshine and Music evening.

Gail and Jean

Squeeze it harder, Gail.
It's no good, Jean, it's empty!

Roger Klose

Another from Moonshine and Music. Roger. Wonder what he's thinking?

Eckard's 80th

May 2017. Eckard, Monika, family and friends celebrate Eckard's 80th birthday.


Ngaire Newton passed away peacefully on 14th August


Ngaire was born in Invercargill, New Zealand, the second of three daughters. On first leaving school she worked in her mother’s dress shop, then later as a 'postie' on her bike which was quite a feat in windy Invercargill.

In December 1967 she moved to Australia with her three children. Living firstly in Rockhampton for a few years then in Wynnum, Margate and Redcliffe. She moved to Emu Park in 2006 after ill health to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law, Andree and Alan.

Ngaire loved to talk about her travels around Australia and New Zealand. Saturdays were her day to listen to, and have a bet on, the horses. Ngaire appreciated a drop of red along with a visit from the park residents and regular visitors. Sitting out the back with the local wildlife (birds) was a special pastime and the birds were always sure of a nibble and fresh water in the birdbath. They will be wondering where she is!

In November Ngaire's family will be taking her back home to New Zealand. She is sadly missed.

Thank you, Andree, for this brief résumé of Ngaire's life. For any who didn't know Ngaire, she lived in a cabin at the south end of Diamond Jim Drive. She was very quiet and was most often encountered on her electric buggy (see photo) heading through Bell Park to, or from, the village. Our sympathies go out to you, Andree and Alan, and to all who grieve for Ngaire.

Dear old Mabel passed away on 13th July 2017 aged 79 years.
Mabel was the third of eight children born to parents Edward and Mabel Garden on 'Cowinch Farm' five miles from Ellon near Aberdeen, Scotland. She was born on 3rd January, 1938. The January climate in Scotland was not for the faint of heart and with World War Two to break out before she turned two, the circumstances of the Garden family were undoubtedly about to get worse.

As she grew up, Mabel and her older sister, Jean, learned to play the bagpipes and joined the Bon-Accord Ladies’ Pipe Band, Aberdeen. When Mabel was fifteen, their oldest brother, George, emigrated to Australia under the Big Brother scheme. Both girls had a yearning to follow George, quite an adventure for two teenage girls. Three years later they spotted an advert in a newspaper, inviting pipers to emigrate to Australia. They replied and a Harold Quirk, head of the local pipe band association in Tumbulgum, 400 kilometres north of Sydney, informed them that though he really wanted male pipers, he was willing to give the girls a place in a band and would find work and lodgings for them.

The girls must have been elated but it was not to last. The Australian immigration authorities raised an objection. The girls, they said, were too young. Mabel and Jean were disappointed but far from beaten. Exploring alternative means they discovered that by travelling under the auspices of the Church of England Welfare Department, they could overcome this difficulty.

The girls settled with George in Katoomba, NSW. Mabel had left a boyfriend (or fiancé?), William Glass, in Scotland. Not only did William travel to Australia to be with her but Mabel's whole family came, too. Mabel and William married in September 1957 and went on to have two sons, Charles and Richard. The family moved to Moree where they remained until 1996 when Mabel and William upped stakes and moved to Kinka Beach near Emu Park in Queensland.

During her long service in Bell Park Caravan Park, Mabel used to ride around in an electric buggy. Good old Jim Waterman had her name written on each side of the buggy and so it remains today, a constant reminder of a lady who became very much a part of life in Bell Park.


The 'golf buggy' used by Mabel with her name circled in yellow and shown (right) in close-up.

Mabel leaves husband William, sons Charles and Richard, five grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. Mabel told her family that when 'the time came', she wanted her funeral service to be like her . . . short and sweet.

Keith 'Digger' Hamer, 82, dies on his way to Emu Park
Digger Hamer and his wife, Pauline, were regular members of the winter family in Bell Park for about ten years. This year, however, Digger collapsed and died from a stroke on his way north from the home in Camden, NSW, that he shared with Pauline.

By all accounts Digger was a very fit man, certainly an outdoor type who loved the beach and would stay there all day. He also used to run and was a keen tennis player - he often played with Lionel Miles. That was outdoor Digger but there was another side to him. He used to build beautiful model ships in intricate detail. His latest was a two-metre long model of the Bismark. And, surprise, he was very keen on cross-stitch.

Pauline, our deepest sympathy from all at Bell Park to you and your family.

Farewell, Pop, and congratulations on so nearly becoming a centenarian.
Another 16 months and Pop would have been one hundred years old - what a wonderful man. Wink and Jen, please accept our deepest and sincerest commiserations. I'm sure I speak on behalf of all who knew him.

Pop at 'The Big Morning Tea, 2016'. The sun was warm and sleep s-o-o-o-o hard to resist.

Pop was fine and had a great Easter. After Easter, however, his health started to deteriorate. Finally, on 6th May, Pop gave up the struggle and succumbed to the inevitable. Goodbye, Old Man. Check out the site fees, amenities and bowls clubs for us; we'll all be checking in within a few years. See you then.

Peaceful Passing of Derek Lilliott at 6:30 on the morning of Tuesday, 28th February 2017
It is with deep regret that I pass on Joyce Lilliott's devastating news that Derek, her beloved husband and the other half of Bell Park's karaoke duo, passed away on the morning of 28th February. I don't think I can improve on the sentiments of Lorraine and Hans who wrote, I rang Joyce to convey our deepest sympathy and told her that everyone at Bell Park will miss Derek and his music. He was a true gentleman who was kindly spoken and well liked by everyone. And so he was!

Joyce and Derek (Dexi), a couple who were always smiling.

Joyce wrote:

Dear friends,
It is so sad to have to tell you my darling, loving husband, Derek, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 6.30am today, he was surrounded by love. A big thank you for all the loving greetings and condolences.
His funeral will be held at Traditional Funerals, Burpengary, on Monday 6th March at 1.30pm. Bring your singing voices.

And later:

Good morning dear friends. Thank you all for your kind words and lovely messages. It means so much to know you all cared for Derek and I so much. I will eventually get around to contacting everyone individually but for now please know you are all loved and appreciated.

After the service on Monday we are having a wake back at our house and would love to see you there. Musicians, please bring guitars, etc., and we can have a singalong and hopefully some of you will sing for us ... that's what Derek would have wanted. Some wine, beer and finger food will be provided so please come and join us even if you don't sing. It will be a party to celebrate Dexi.

Thank you, Hans and Lorraine, for suggesting the use of this picture, and to Eira who took it.

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