Park Patrons' Page 2013

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Patrons' Page Index

Page Top
News & Calendar
Happy Hours
Diamond Jim Drive
New Dump Point
Bell Park Icebergs
Three Trivia Nights
Footlight Theatre
Geoff's Birthday
Inter-Park Bowls
Christmas in July
Dry July
Fabulous Quilts
Social Bowls & BBQ
Lunch at The Ferns
Susie's Birthday
Sunset Cruise
Big Barra
The CCCC Rally
Page Bottom

Our News and Mail page is now called Patrons' Page to better reflect its function and to separate it from the rest of the pages which are to spread the news about Australia's best kept secret; Bell Park Caravan Park, Australia's friendliest park. The Mail section that was at the bottom of the page was hardly ever used so it has quietly disappeared.

Park News

Decision Deferred Again.
The Rockhampton Regional Council has deferred a decision on the future of the Bell Park and Beachside Caravan Parks until after de-amalgamation of the Rockhampton and Livingstone Councils at the end of 2013. A decision will then be made by a full meeting of the Livingstone Shire Council in early 2014. Meanwhile Jim's contract to manage both parks has been extended until 31st March 2014.

Bell Park Social Calendar and forthcoming events

Every Thursday
Card Making is taught every Thursday in the C.W.A. Hall (next to the Village Hall) from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The cost is $2 for admission to the hall (includes morning tea) and $2 per card (for materials). Tuition is free.

Every Second saturday ...
Keppel Coast Country Music Club, 61 Millroy Drive, Yeppoon, presents singing, dancing and a barbecue from 6 pm. Entry is free. For dates and more information, click here: Keppel Coast Country Music

October 12/13
Yeppoon Tropical Pinefest will commence with the official opening at 7:30pm on Friday night, 11th October, with Fireworks. The Pinefest Street Fiesta will take place in Beaman Park and its precincts on Sunday, 13th October 2013. For more click here: Yeppoon Pinefest

October 20
The monthly Lions Picnic Markets are held on the third Sunday of each month, just up the pathway at the south end of Bell Park. Go early is good advice. For more click here: Lions Picnic Markets

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Victory Tennis Club, Bell Park, invites social players to join them between 8am and noon. Visitors $5, members $3. To hire the court at other times, apply at the petrol station.

Jim is planning a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia in April 2014 and another trip to China in September/October 2014. If you are interested in either or both trips, please contact Jim.

Happy Hours in 2013 are better than ever.

There was a hugely successful Happy Hour on 18th June with Johnno singing, ably backed by Dougie on his conga drum.

Happy Hour

Johnno and Dougie

Happy Hour

A sample of the happy campers enjoying the music.

Happy Hans

Hans really got carried away!                                                Settle, Hans, settle.          

Thank you sincerely, Johnno and Doug. A fabulous Happy Hour, one of several occurring simultaneously around Bell Park from the sounds of other merriment coming from the darkness. There are no Happy Hours like Bell Park Happy Hours.

Diamond Jim Drive - Stage One

Once upon a time the top road (south side) in the caravan park was nameless. For a long time Phil Bale, Bell Park's champion 'can crusher', had a secret desire to give it a name to recognise the terrific job Jim Waterman does to make Bell Park a place so special that people return year after year. It had previously been known as Millionaire's Row (and another unfortunate name). The second road is named Bindi Street and the lower road, Bagley Street, so why not name the top road? In the back of Phil's mind were names like James Street or Waterman Way. However, it wasn't until Phil was speaking to Jim's brother, Tom, that he discovered that Jim had been known as 'Diamond Jim' in a previous life.

That's it, thought Phil. Diamond Jim Drive. Perfect!

When he and Bev returned to Bell Park, Phil recruited Roger Klose to join the conspiracy in making the necessary road sign. Roger was sworn to secrecy. What they needed was a post, a blade for the text and a clamp to secure the blade to the post. But it wouldn't look authentic without a cap on the top of the post; things were not to be done by halves.

Phil is a resourceful man and he managed to source everything they needed - don't ask how or where. Roger agreed to see to the preparation of the sign blade but suggested that a certain lady who was most proficient in all things arty and crafty should be co-opted and of course, dear Monika was delighted to assist.

How to dig the hole and 'plant' the post was a concern as it needed to be right opposite Jim and Sue's house. The dead of night was one suggestion but that was rejected. In the end, Phil borrowed the necessary tools and he and Eckard set about the job one Saturday morning. It was inevitable that Jim would catch them . . .

Puzzled Jim

. . . but Phil, who has an inventive mind, promised Jim that they wouldn't make a mess, they just wanted a post to mount a Maroons' flag for the second State of Origin match. Did Jim buy this? Probably not but he did turn a blind eye.

Diamond Jim Drive

A job well done. Shouldn't you be wearing hard hats and safety boots, fellas?

Eckard dug the hole and they set the post in concrete. Phil was very careful that the post was exactly vertical, so much so that on later sighting it against other structures he was able to state categorically that the toilet block was spot on ... but Jim's house wasn't!

Meanwhile Roger and Monika had rubbed back the sign's blade until it gleamed. Several mock-up designs were tested out on Roger's computer before they were satisfied. Roger purchased the necessary stick-on letters and Monika completed the sign which was attached to the post on the afternoon of Monday, 24th June, just before Happy Hour. Bev organised some balloons.

Final Preparations

Final preparations. A sleeve - or rather a leg cut from a pair of jeans - was
'adapted' by Bev and used to cover the text until Sue officially unveiled it.


Sue unveiling the road sign to reveal Diamond Jim Drive

The Conspirators

The conspirators with Jim and that sign. Left to right: Monika, Pam, Roger, Eckard, Jim, Phil and Bev.

Why, you may be wondering, is Jim so loved in Bell Park? To ask such a question can only mean you don't know Jim; he and Sue would do anything for you. They always give 200% to ensure that we, the campers who visit the park, have a happy stay. Why else would so many return year after year. They're pretty damned special! (In Jim's case, more special than pretty ;-)

The Sequel

Within a week the following redirected envelope was delivered to the park.


Diamond Jim Drive - Stage Two

Could it be that the Rocky Council were shamed by the patrons of Bell Park into contributing to Diamond Jim Drive? No, I don't think so either but the Council did announce a major upgrade to the road. First came new kerbing.


Bell Park Narrow Gauge Railway? Southbound trains will stop at Emu Park, the Pine Beach Hotel and terminate at the Golf Club. Northbound trains will terminate at the Bowling Club. Well okay, it's really the formwork for the new kerbing passing the office.

Work Crew

The Gang. L to R: Kevin, Kerry, Natalie (the Council Roads Supervisor), Diamond Jim and Simeon.

Natalie and Jim

We persuaded Natalie to come out from behind her hat and sunglasses. Natalie and Jim.

While the concrete was being poured, Jim supplied some solar-powered lights to be set flush in the new kerbing. These lights are fully automatic turning on at dusk, off at dawn and recharging during the day. They were soon to withstand the weight of large trucks without any damage. At night they look spectacular and Diamond Jim Drive's resemblance to an airport runway was quickly noticed ...

Kerb Lights

Diamond Jim Drive by night, the solar lights on the new concrete kerbs clearly delineating the road edges.

Diamond Jim Drive Stage Three

Did anyone come to Bell Park for a peaceful and relaxing break? Well, Monday, August 19th, was not your lucky day. On a positive note, the construction crew had the old surface ripped up and a fresh roadbed laid by early afternoon.

Road Ripper

This German-built Wirtgen W 100 F Cold Milling Machine is tearing up a one metre wide bitumen strip to a depth of 32 cm, grinding it into small pieces and throwing it forward into the tipper truck. Both are moving slowly forward. The truck driver manoeuvres to spread the falling load evenly. The two drivers were in radio contact.

I couldn't believe my eyes when the Milling Machine operator climbed down and walked around his machine to check on something while it was still moving and tearing up the road! The picture shows it with its right tracks on the kerb and its left tracks down the trench. The picture below illustrates that better.

Ripper Tracks

Now is that smart or what?


The Bobcat spreading the new roadbed on Diamond Jim Drive.
Question: Is a man who drives a Bobcat called a Bob Katter?

Asphalt Paver

The following week this Caterpillar AP555E Asphalt Paver made short work
of finishing the job with hot mix and a very nice job they made of it.

Completed Road

Diamond Jim Drive completed. New name, new kerbing, new surface and solar verge lights.
Question: Do you think we need traffic signals at this intersection?

Our new deluxe dump point

DJD Lights

Diamond Jim Drive residents might believe they are s-o-o-o upmarket with their concrete kerbs
and solar lights. But look what we north-siders have got. Our new Dump-Ezy is really swish.

Bell Park Winter Icebergs

Theo, Susan and Friends in sea

A first dip in the sea to start off the season. It was a refreshing swim
with lots of laughter accompanied by lots of oohs and aahs.

Left to right: Laurie, Elwyn, Joan, Hans, Loraine, Anne, Theo and Susan. Sent in by Theo, photo by Susan. (Work it out.)

Trivia Night at the Pines Beach Hotel

Trivia Night

Our trivia team, The Amigos. Left to right: Phil, Bev, Peter, Pam, Margaret, Ray and Roger.

I understand there is another team from Bell Park. In fact, that might be them with their heads cut off in the picture. I'm not sure what their official name is but when Big Al is playing, it might be Dad's Army. (Thanks Roger, I'm not taking the blame for that one!)

How often do we win? Taking part is what's important to us. Others love winning so we are always happy to oblige.

Does the other Bell Park team beat us? It has been known, but it's unfair - they're smarter than us. And Big Al has a phenomenal memory so they should be handicapped.

A trivia night with a difference

Linda, the lady who runs Trivia Night at the Pine Beach Hotel, decreed that this Wednesday all contestants must wear a hat, the sillier the better. Since Linda can be quite ... let's say, assertive ... and since she marks the papers, our team, the Amigos, thought it advisable to obey. Clearly the other Bell Park team, the Jaggers, thought likewise and turned up looking like this:


The Jaggers. L to R: Big Al, BJ, Greg and his wife Di, Jan (from the office),
Jan (not from the office) and Don.

I suppose, to be fair and give credit where it's due, I'd better add that the Jaggers won the competition. We, the Amigos, having come third for several weeks in succession excelled ourselves. We came fourth. However, Linda issued all those that came in hats with numbered tickets. Two numbers were drawn, one for a bottle of wine and one for a six-pack of beer. The Amigos won BOTH! No wonder we're looking so happy below.


The Amigos. Top row: Roger, Pam and Peter. Bottom row: Bev, Margaret, Phil and Ray.

Another Trivia Night

Amigo Animals

The Bell Park Amigos dressed, as required, as animals ... though I couldn't tell you what sort.
Phil, by the way, is not wearing a party frock - those are rabbit ears hanging around his neck.

Nice picture, Phil; was it taken with a Canon? It was 14th August, an evening we remember with pride as we beat the Bell Park Jaggers for the second consecutive week. This week (21st August), however, they thrashed us and came first on the night. Extremely well done, Jaggers.

Richard's Amazing DJI Phantom Quadcopter

Just look at the quality of the picture of Bell Park below. You'd imagine it was a professional photograph taken from an aircraft, wouldn't you? Well, up to a point you'd be right; it was taken from an aircraft but not the sort you might imagine. Scroll down to see pictures of Richard and his absolutely amazing Phantom quadcopter.

Bell Park from the air

Paradise from on high.

Richard from air

The quadcopter's view of its pilot, Richard, on the beach. His shadow betrays the earliness of the hour.

Richard with Quadcopter and controller

Richard Timmer with his amazing Phantom quadcopter.

Richard and his Quadcopter

Richard with the quadcopter airborne.                                           The quadcopter from below.           

The Phantom is a very advanced piece of technology. Before taking to the air its on-board GPS locks on to the satellites. It memorises its take off position so that, in the event that it loses contact with Richard's control unit - seen in his left hand in the pictures - it immediately returns to its take-off co-ordinates, descends to about twenty feet above the ground, stabilises itself then gently touches down, all with no further input from Richard.

But that's not all. When Richard flew it at Bell Park the wind was strong and gusty. The hovering quadcopter identified that it was drifting and automatically increased power to the downwind rotor, tilting the aircraft into the wind, enabling it to hold its position. Richard wasn't touching the controls.

It also carries an (optional) GoPro Hero3 camera which is separately radio controlled. Or it can be programmed to take pictures at predetermined intervals. As you can see from the image of Bell Park, there's nothing poor quality about its output.

Richard and his Aussie girlfriend, Perri, met while backpacking in Thailand. They are now working their way around Australia, staying two nights in Bell Park before heading for Great Keppel Island where work awaits them. Richard has been accepted for permanent residency in Australia so now he faces a hard decision - whether or not to take Australian citizenship because that will mean renouncing his allegiance to Holland, the land of his birth. Good luck with that one, Richard.

Phil's Wacker Packer Piggybacker

A Wacker Packer is a 'plate compactor'. It is a machine with a flat base that vibrates due to its Honda engine rotating an eccentric weight at 5,400 r.p.m. It weighs over 100 kg and its function is to (say) compact sand prior to laying paving stones.

Jim acquired a pre-loved Wacker Packer recently which was in need of some T.L.C. In particular, the base plate needed replacing and that required a good welder. Jim just happened to know a good welder ... none other than Bell Park's champion can crusher, Phil Bale.

Phil found that the job was far more complicated than it initially appeared but he cut away the worn parts then shaped and welded and fabricated a thick steel plate that Jim had acquired with some other bits and pieces until the machine had a strong new base plate. Jim - or was it Stretch? - then painted it.

Wacker Packer Base

The Wacker Packer laid over to show the work carried out by Phil. Looks like a bought one, Phil!

Wacker Packer Piggybacker

With the Wacker Packer operational there remained just one problem. With a weight of over 100 kg and no wheels it was a very difficult piece of equipment to shift around. However good old Phil had a solution in mind. Around the workshop area there was a lot of old scrap steel. Phil cut it up, shaped it and welded it together. Jim found a pair of wheels and Phil made an axle and a handle and, hey presto ...

A World First Totally Unique Wacker Packer Piggybacker!

Phil with Wacker Packer Piggybacker

Phil with 100kg of Wacker Packer riding on its new carriage.
Moving it around is now child's play.

Bev Bale

Don't think for a moment that this is the only job that Phil has done around the park, he's always busy behind the scenes doing something for Jim and he has several jobs waiting for him now the Piggybacker is complete.

I can't mention Phil's contribution without mentioning another quiet achiever. Bev Bale, Phil's lovely wife, spends almost a whole day out of every week walking from caravan to caravan, collecting money for the weekly draw which keeps the Bell Park Social Club solvent. For example, when you board the bus for your visit to the Ferns Hideaway, it'll be money collected by Bev that pays the $500 hire fee for that bus.

Thanks a million, Bev. It's a tiring job as I discovered when I was collecting signatures recently. I did it once; you do it week after week.

Bev also 'feeds' cans into the crushing machine while Phil works the lever, making the operation far faster and more efficient. What a team!

Wanderers visit the Footlight Theatre

A large contingent, mostly from Bell Park South, visited Yeppoon's Footlight Theatre on the evening of Friday, 12th July. It was a fabulous show, rather reminiscent of old time music hall. The cast were well aware of who was in the audience and were well prepared. Several Wanderers were selected as the target of their jokes but it was all good natured and very funny.


Alan and Margaret (hope I've got your names right) received a ribbing and took it in good part.

Phil 'n Roger

Phil and Roger also had a great time. Roger was fortunate enough to be chosen for ...

Roger with lipstick

... a lingering kiss on the cheek from a very attractive young lady.

Judge Judy

Kaye Walpole, one of the stars of the show, made an excellent Judge Judy. Her voice was spot on!


And finally, another hilarious sketch at the Footlights Theatre.

Geoff's Birthday Party

With his birthday fast approaching, Geoff and his wife, Jan, decided they would throw a big party after Happy Hour on Tuesday, 16th July. Was it a special birthday? How old would Geoff be, Jan?


Seventy! Wow, he certainly doesn't look it.


Geoff, the birthday boy. Great party, Geoff.

Right tables

Near table, L to R: Noreen, Suzanne, Lorraine, Jan, Gail, Bev and Pam.
Far table, L to R: Hans, Lionel, Phil and (hidden) Roger.

Left tables

Near table, L to R: Barry, Jock, Peter and BJ.
Far table, L to R: Trevor, John and two ladies hiding - but I'll get them.

Helen and ?

Here they are: Jeanie and Helen. There are still a few missing, though.

Al, Jim and Terry

Three more, Big Al, Diamond Jim and Terry.

I've still missed a few, for which I apologise. Next party, perhaps? Thanks again to Geoff and Jan for a fabulous evening.

Morning Tea in aid of Christ Church Anglican church

At around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday 17th July there was a sudden exodus from the caravan park as twenty eight ladies set forth for morning tea at the Village Hall. Most, if not all, were wearing a flower for it was Morning Tea with a Flower Theme. Was it a desire to help the church that prompted them or the lure of cake? Perhaps some of each.

There was morning tea, raffles, a couple of songs, and excellent entertainment from Frances, a Year 12 student who was so good that Jeanie is trying to arrange for her to attend Happy Hour one afternoon. They played two games based on flowers. The ladies were waited on by girls from a private school.

Photos by Pam

Morning tea montage

Bell Park Lawn Bowlers Triumph Again!

On Thursday, 18th July, the Bell Park team retained the Inter-Park Bowling Championship. Congratulations to all who participated.

Jim at Bowling Tournament

Ken and Diamond Jim watching the bowling tournament. Probably planning tactics.

Winning group with Jim

Who first said Winners are Grinners? Bob, Willy, Jim, Alan and Rob (in Rye Bowling Club colours).

Jim and Marty took the pictures - over two hundred of them - with Jim's Nikon D800. Did you know Jim had a D800? Heard a rumour, did you? I can't possibly accommodate them all so apologies to those I miss out. Here's a selection:

Bowling montage Jim and Susie with the Trophy

Jim and Susie with the plaque and Big Al sharing a joke.

Not only did Bell Park win but ...

Bowls players please skip the blue text. This explanation is for bowls ignoramuses (like me).

Fours is a game between two teams comprised of four players each. Each player has two bowls. The teams alternate so that one bowl is sent down from one team member then the next by a member of the opposing team. The aim is to place your bowls as close to the jack (the small white ball) as possible. As the game progresses all sixteen bowls are dispatched. Some may collide with stationary bowls at the other end, or with the jack, then everything changes. The team with the closest bowl to the jack earns one point for each bowl that is closer to the jack than the nearest opponent's bowl. This is a gross over-simplification but that seems to be the gist of it.

To achieve the maximum possible score of eight a team must have all eight of its bowls closer to the jack than any of the opposing team's bowls. Thus a score of eight, while not impossible, is seldom achieved. Some bowlers play for fifty years without scoring an eight.

During the Capricorn Coast Caravan Challenge one Bell Park team achieved a perfect eight and here they are:

Jim and winning team

With Jim in their centre is the team that scored a perfect eight; Phil, Ken, Louisa and Ian.


Jim presented each with a Certificate of Eight Pin Achievement, an idea that was not only conceived by Roger Klose but the certificates were also designed, beautifully printed and laminated by Roger. You can see a photo of Phil's certificate on the right. The certificates state that Phil, Ken, Louisa and Ian are entitled to great respect and much deference throughout Bell Park for the remainder of winter 2013.

On that unforgettable day Louisa was scoring for the team and after she had carefully measured the distance between the jack and various bowls, and realising that the near-impossible had been achieved, she behaved impeccably. Instead of screaming and yelling that the team had scored a perfect eight while simultaneously doing cartwheels down the rink she calmly held up eight fingers without betraying a hint of emotion.


She wasn't quite so composed the
day we took the photos, however.

Reading certificates

Fantastic achievement Team. Thanks Jim, thanks Roger.

Christmas in July a HUGE Success

What a fabulous night! Christmas in July went with a swing and if anyone didn't have a wonderful evening they hid it well.

Many, many thanks to Bev, Joan and Gail for all the work they put into the preparation and to the volunteer ladies at the Bowling Club for the delicious meal and for all the tedious clearing up afterwards. Of course, none of it would have happened without good old Jim and Sue who put so much behind-the-scenes work into these social occasions, so many thanks to them too. Lovely seating cards, Roger, complete with a picture of Santa. Thank you all.

Christmas in July

Dinner first, then revelry. Oops, can't quite squeeze everybody into one picture.
No worries, there's plenty of room below.

Christmas in July

To see more photos of Christmas in July click here.

Dry July - Pam's Done It!


Explanation: Dry July is an Australian and New Zealand initiative to raise funds to support adult cancer patients and their families. Those taking part seek sponsors to back their attempts to abstain from all alcohol during the month of July and can decide which state's hospitals should benefit from the money raised.

Pam decided to support this scheme and endured a month of Bell Park happy hours and Christmas in July without touching a drop. In doing so she raised over $600 for Queensland hospitals thanks to the generosity of many Bell Park patrons, friends and family.

The picture shows her celebrating at Happy Hour on August 1st, nails colour coordinated to match the wine. Am I proud of her? I'm always proud of her, but especially so now.

End of Dry July Celebrated


Bubble Party

Top: Noreen, Pam, Suzanne. Below, L to R: Bev behind Susan, Pam, Anne, Joan, Helen, Sue, and perhaps Noreen behind BJ. Gail is behind the camera.

Pam in Bubbles

Messing about with software.

Thank You from Pam

I wish to thank the Bell Park patrons for all their support in sponsoring me in the Dry July campaign. Together with family and friends, I raised $638. The total raised in Australia was $4,242,866.79. This money is used to make life a little more comfortable for adult cancer patients.

Will I be doing it again next year? We will have to wait and see.


Maureen's Fabulous Quilt

I was tipped off by Maggie Dawe that Maureen Schadendorff is just completing a five year quilt project and by all accounts it's a work of art. The problem is, Maureen is such an unassuming and modest lady that she doesn't want any fuss over her achievement. Well, too late Maureen, once Patron's Page has the story it goes world wide. Maureen was persuaded to email me some details of her quilt. Here is her email ...

Hi Peter,

A five year project is nearing an end; imagine cutting perfectly good material (approx 13 metres) into approx 10,000 half inch hexagons and then sewing them together again.

I have just completed my hexagon quilt, it has now gone to the quilters to be quilted, I may be entering it into the local quilt show which is on the 17th and 18th August, if it as quilted in time.

My husband does not think I am mad, he knows it, for I have just started doing it all again. I tell him it's not as bad this time as the hexagons are bigger and the quilt is only for a single bed, not a queen size.

I first saw the pattern at my quilting group in Kilmore (Victoria) and thought this might keep me out of mischief for a little while (not thinking it would last 5 years) although I have done other quilts in between.

For all the quilters reading this I used William Morris fabrics (my favourite fabric).



When Maureen's quilt came back from the quilters I was able to photograph it. Lower down I've enlarged one section to illustrate some of the 10,000 half inch hexagons.


Maureen with her superb quilt ... five years of painstaking work.

Quilt Close Up

This picture contains just 35 hexagons. Imagine, Maureen cut out 10,000 of
them then carefully and precisely sewed them all back together. What a feat!

Trixie's Made a Beautiful Quilt Too

Trixie's Quilt

Trixie and her daughter, Denice, with Trixie's quilt.

Trixie's Quilt with call-outs

The same photo with a bee (arrowed in red and yellow) and a strawberry enlarged.

Maggie's Fantastic Quilt

Maggie Dawe's Quilt

What talented people there are in Bell Park. The picture shows Maggie Dawe with a quilt she has just completed. Many thanks to Maureen Schadendorff for sending the photo. Maureen's own quilt is shown higher up on this page.

Maggie's quilt was made in their sewing room (the gazebo next to Maggie's caravan). This quilt was purchased as a kit from a quilting shop. Maureen says they had a lot of problems but they sorted them out and after much aggravation, Maggie has finished it.

It's beautiful, Maggie. On our 'Activities' page we have a photo of Maggie with two huge grunters that she'd caught at Coorooman Creek. A woman of many talents, is Maggie.

A Fabulous Photo

This beautiful picture of Fishermans Beach was taken by Gail. I'll tell you the rest of the story below.

Fisherman's Beach

Fishermans Beach, Emu Park.

Gail had popped round with some photos while Pam was out. A minute later Lorraine knocked on the caravan door.

Go away, yelled Gail, We're having sex.

Lorraine heard the words but didn't recognise the voice. She was about to walk away, apologising, when I opened the door and she saw Gail.

Lorraine, your face was a picture! Gail, you're a wicked woman.

And what did Pam say when she heard the story? I don't mind you having sex while I'm out but at least she could have done the breakfast dishes before she left.

Social Bowls Day

Once again it was a fabulous day with perfect weather. As the mere photographer without any expertise in this sport I have no idea who won and lost. Everyone had a great time and later, back at the Bell Park Home for the Bewildered, a wonderful barbecue was laid on.

Typical Scene

It was a very busy afternoon at the Bowling Club with most of the rinks in use.



While I had about sixty bowling pictures to choose from they were mostly very similar; you know, the hopeful bowler in a genuflecting pose, one hand outstretched in supplication to the great gods of bowls (I think they're called Jack and Kitty). Just in front of the outstretched hand is the departing bowl, totally oblivious to the anguish of its owner.

So I selected three more pictures and here they are ...

Theo, Trixie and Peter

The Bowls Day Barbecue

On approach to the Barbecue

People ... hungry people ... everywhere.

The Cooks

The engine room. Snags, enough for two or three per person.

Ladies' Queue

Ladies first, Jerzy decreed. The men stared aghast; the queue stretched to the horizon.
Surely there couldn't be anything left when all the ladies had been fed? But ... there was.

I have a confession to make. When the awards were given out after the barbecue I didn't record who won what. I'd like to print the awards here but I'm having difficulty obtaining the information; perhaps everyone was tired and a bit over-relaxed by that time. So if anyone can help ...

Man from Iron Bark

The Man From Ironbark by A.B. Banjo Paterson was recited with enormous energy during the evening by this gentleman whose name I don't know. Yes, I know, I'm hopeless.

If you'd like to read the words you can find them here: The Man From Ironbark

The Pregnant Bat Ladies

During the barbecue evening four Pregnant Bat Ladies sang a very funny song they had composed about the rather ridiculous bat situation adjacent to the park. For anybody that doesn't know the story, twice permits have been obtained to move the bats by trimming their roosting trees while they are away feeding. Twice the Rockhampton Council has heeded environmentalist's pleas that the bats either have young or are pregnant ... and cancelled the pruning.

Since the bats are pregnant for six months of every year and suckle their young for the other six months, the environmentalists pretty much have it covered.

Pregnant Bat Ladies

Jim and the very funny Pregnant Bat Ladies. L to R: Dawn Brown, Jan Pugsley, Lyn Ford and Pam Coulston.
The words were composed by Ann Segger who also Produced, Choreographed and Directed the production.

Courtesy of the Pregnant Bat Ladies, here are the lyrics to the song Emu Park Bats sung to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells the bats are here to stay
They can’t get rid of us because we are in the family way

Verse One
Flying thru the dark, down at Emu Park
Pregnant bats what a sight, flying through the night


Verse Two
Making quite a stink, leaving whoopsies in your drink
Us preggo bats are here to stay, now make us go away


Verse Three
We like to mess your fancy cars, it gives us lots of fun
And if we can we will hit you too, while we are on the run


Verse Four
The greenies said enough, the bats are up the duff
They can do just as they please, but they should have crossed their knees


© Ann Segger 2013


An Unforgettable Afternoon at The Ferns

Thanks, Jim, for organising a fabulous afternoon at The Ferns.

About forty of us were picked up by bus and driven to The Ferns in Byfield; you see so much more from the elevated vantage point of a bus seat, especially when you don't have to concentrate on driving, and it really is a beautiful journey.

We arrived in time for a drink before lunch was served. Our large party plus those already there really put the kitchen and bar under stress but the staff coped magnificently. Marto was already singing to his guitar and he continued without a break for four hours; what a repertoire he has! He's truly amazing, and a really nice man.

I wondered why he is known as Marto but when I saw the sign over his door it became clear; his name is John Martin. The nice blonde lady that was serving food and drink is his wife, Genevieve.

Leo Girls

Four Leo Girls, Pam, Cathy, Gail and Suzanne. All had birthdays around the time
we visited The Ferns and Marto sang 'Happy Birthday' to them.

I have many more pictures from The Ferns but this page has become unwieldy and slow to load so I'm going to place those pictures on a new page which you can access by clicking here: Ferns Pictures

A Sunset cruise amongst the islands aboard amazing Grace II

Grace II

Sail Capricornia has a beautiful, new catamaran called Grace II and five Bell Parkers decided to take an evening cruise amongst the islands of Keppel Bay.

Grace II is owned and crewed by Anthony and Vicki Lomasney who looked after us extremely well and provided their twelve passengers with plenty of cheese, crackers, fruit, soft drinks and . . . empty wine glasses. Fortuately we just happened to have some full wine bottles with us. Being true Bell Park Patrons we never leave home without it.

Grace II left the Keppel Marina at 4:45 under power but as soon as we were in clear water the engine was stopped and the sails unfurled. The sea was calm and the breeze light but even so, moving about without holding on was a bit precarious, as was trying to take photographs with a camera in one hand, a glass of red wine in the other and more in the blood stream. However, nobody and nothing was lost overboard and we had a fabulous time which is more than can be said for one poor lady passenger who looked decidedly green.

Crew on Grace

The Fearless Four about to leave Keppel Marina aboard Grace

The sunset was beautiful, though not spectacular, and it was quite dark by the time we re-entered the Marina.

Sunset from Grace II

Heading home after a very enjoyable cruise.

Would we recommend this Sunset Cruise? Too right we would. Find out more at: Sail Capricornia

Jake is a chip off the old block

Jake's Flathead

Jake, 21, is the grandson of Don and Marion. He caught this 67cm flathead in Coorooman Creek.

Jake caught this whopper on the last day of his stay in Emu Park. Tomorrow he'll say goodbye to Marion and Don and leave paradise for cold Melbourne. Tough luck, Jake, but you'll leave behind two very proud grandparents and I'm sure you'll be back before too long.

Farewell Hans and Lorraine

Hans Up Ladder

Hans and Lorraine - don't we all love them?

Theo was worried about cleaning his caravan roof before he and Susan leave Bell Park as bat excrement can be very corrosive. Having hurt his leg in a fall, Theo wasn't too happy about climbing a ladder.

Hans heard about Theo's plight and, despite being midway through his own travel preparations, he dropped everything and gave Theo's roof priority. That's the sort of man Hans is; he has a heart of gold, as has Lorraine. They'd both do anything for you. We're already missing you both, Hans and Lorraine.

Hans cleaning Theo's roof.

Before they left the park, Lorraine banged on our caravan door to say goodbye. It was only 07:45 - well before my wake-up time - and Pam had just stripped for her morning shower. Following on from a previous joke, Lorraine yelled, Are you having sex?
Pam, hurriedly pulling on her robe and dashing to the door, called in reply, I'm coming, I'm coming.

That evening at Happy Hour I had to explain to our rather intrigued neighbour, Cliff, just what all the commotion had really been about.

More Farewells

Among others, Brenda-Jean (a.k.a. B-J) and Peter have left us, sadly to attend a funeral.

Also Suzanne and Leigh departed to return to work. Suzanne really didn't want to go - and who can blame her? Arnold Schwarzenegger might have said it first but Suzanne made the catchphrase I'll be back her own.

Susie's Birthday Celebrations at The Ferns


Lovely Sue on her XXth birthday.

As on the previous Sunday, it was a wonderful afternoon at The Ferns with the fabulous Marto providing four hours of non-stop music. Again Jim had laid on a bus. Sue's parents, sister and brother-in-law came to help her celebrate as did Jim's brother and sister-in-law.

To see more pictures of Sue's birthday, click here: Birthday Pictures

Theo shoots kookaburras

3 Kookaburras

Three Blue Winged Kookaburras 'shot' by Theo. Great picture, Theo.

I've read somewhere that kookaburras often form groups of three - a mating couple and a sort of 'au pair' that assists with the raising of the chicks. Could this be such a situation? Theo noticed the birds frequently flying between two trees.

Talking of mating birds, there's a couple of Tawny Frogmouths getting quite chummy in the park. Their breeding season is August till December, so that fits. Incidentally, according to a website I found, a Tawny Frogmouth is NOT an owl. Click here: The Owl Pages

2 Kookaburras and Pardalote

Two more of Theo's photos.
Left: C'mon, you aren't going eat all that yourself, are you?          Right: A Pardalote in a 'secret location'.

Thanks Theo. I hope you and Susan had a safe journey. See you next year.

What a Whopper!


Dave caught this 1.2 metre barramundi from his kayak close to the beach.


Left: Dave's cap says it all - Gone Fishing                                           Right: One fillet off the barra.        

The Capricorn Caravan and Camper Club's Emu Park Rally

In early November the C.C.C.C. held a rally at Bell Park with a 50s and 60s theme. To clarify, that's the 1950s and 1960s, not the age groups. Eddie and Gail Newton produced a report on the rally for their club and sent a copy to Jim. I'm sure they won't mind if I include it here.


Wow, what a great rally we had. Eighteen vans attended the weekend along with Judy, Pat and Jeannie staying overnight in a cabin. Most arrived on Thursday, but some eager beavers arrived on Wednesday.

The Bell Park Caravan Park was a great venue (thank you Jim and Sue), as we could set up our marquee between the vans which created a more convenient place to gather during the day and to continue festivities at night and not have too far to wander home!

Thursday was a catch up day with everyone meeting for happy hour in the shade of the trees. Friday morning the men worked tirelessly to erect the club marquee in the large space between the caravans which was in the afternoon shade.

The games and competitions were enjoyed by all with all participants noisily and enthusiastically vying for the prizes. Eddie P and Larry won the ‘Find your Matching Piece of String’, Kay Acutt won the Trivia on Friday night, Royleine won the longest length torn from a Mintie paper (such patience) and Yvonne’s team won the Balloon Tunnel Ball. Not one balloon burst, so the team members really held on tightly to that balloon as no one wanted to blow up another balloon and start again! All played fair and there was no sabotage.

At the afternoon meeting on Saturday we were joined by members who were unable to spend the entire weekend with us. Eddie and Marlene were presented with their 75 Rally Badges, well done. The Money Board was drawn with Marlene Payne winning first prize and Harry Wood, second prize.

As the theme of the rally was a Blast from the Past, many members showed enthusiasm and keenness to dress up on the Saturday night. Glenda and George Daley won the prize for the best couple, it was fantastic Glenda, well done, you have missed your calling in life, should have been a costume designer! Others who stood out in the crowd were Kay and Trevor, Classy Judy, Charleston Alison, who could forget Gloria with those lashes, Rock n Rolling Yvonne and Muriel and thank you to the men who made a huge effort to dress up as well. Annika changed several times during the night, seems she had some technical difficulties and resorted to string and safety pins!!

The ‘Shared Meals’ on Saturday night werre very tasty indeed; we have great cooks in the club. Dessert was amazing, we were fed very well. The vinyl records brought along for the night were played on our old record player and really added to the atmosphere, even though sometimes the music slowed down (as it used to in the past!!), it was still great to hear all those old hits. Some of the ‘girls’ did a bit of a jig to the music after dinner. Eddie ran a Hoopla competition after dinner and everyone was eager to win a bottle of wine/beer or soft drink. Alf was first off the rank when he snavelled a bottle of red.

Morning teas were popular, with pikelets, damper, scones and yummy fruit cake (especially the pumpkin) being shared around, no wonder we all go home to work off those extra kg’s.

Unfortunately Ian and Jan Robertson were unable to join us for the weekend (they had their costumes and vinyls ready), as Jan has had a fall and broken her ankle, get well soon Jan!

Most reluctantly packed up on the Sunday to return home, but some of the stayers remained another night to enjoy the relaxing chit chat under the shade of the trees at Bell Park.

Many thanks to all who came to the rally and thank you for the effort you all made. It was great fun.

Your hosts (very tired)

Eddie and Gail Newton

Jim Waterman has sent me a stack of photographs from the rally which I will include on a separate page as this one is already bursting at the seams. Rally Pictures

A letter from Lorraine and Hans

Dear Peter, Pam and Patrons,

Just to let you know that we arrived home safely - lots of road works on the Burnett Highway - and we are missing you guys already. For one thing we brought the beautiful sunshine back from Queensland, it's 21°C today.

On our way home we stopped at an interesting caravan park called Tooraweenah. We were greeted at the gate and shown to our spot. The wife came out with home made scones with homemade jam, then the husband lit the fire (Hans called it a bird cage fire) and we had happy hour. Then the wife came out with fresh herb damper and cheese - we didn't need much tea that night.

I've still got the coughing fits but am getting better. I am preparing for the hospital, all these tests for a knee job.

Enjoy your stay and for those heading south, travel safe.


Lorraine and Hans xx

Thanks, Lorraine, it's good to hear from you and Hans. Tooraweenah sounds a nice park. If anybody is interested, it's about midway between Coonabarabran and Gilgandra, just 3½ kilometres off the Newell Highway and about 7 kilometres south west of the Warrumbungle National Park. $25/night for a powered site, no dump point. To check it out further, click: Tooraweenah Caravan Park

A Message from Pete 'n' Pam

Today is September 1st, Fathers' Day, the first day of spring and Jim and Sue are back from Brisbane. All causes for celebration so why are we sad? Because the small gaps that have been appearing in Bell Park are now widening as more of the lovely people hitch up and head south. Happy Hour attendances are dwindling and still more are preparing to leave.

No more Hans and his antics and unforgettable laugh. No more Helen with her constant sweet smile. No more Gail with her mischievous twinkle. No more Trevor, Collingwood's most faithful supporter ... I could go on and on. Everyone who leaves takes a little of the sparkle with them.

Drive safely, all you wonderful friends. Take care of yourselves for the next nine months then COME BACK TO BELL PARK AND LET'S DO IT ALL AGAIN!

Pete 'n Pam.

Theo and Susan are in Canada

Dear friends,

We’ve now been travelling for 10 days and, apart from the long, cramped economy Canada Air journey, it has been wonderful with many highlights. The hotels have all been first class with great views i.e. over the Niagara Falls and this one in Quebec City over the St Lawrence River. Our tour leader is excellent.

The group consists of 36 Aussies (3 couples from our area in Melbourne) 2 from N.Z. and 2 from Scotland. All are friendly, considerate, well travelled and punctual.

High lights have been Niagara Falls and the boat trip on the “Maid of the Mist” right up to the bottom of the thundering falls. Another high light was a visit to a wild life park where the animals roam free. We saw wolves, many deer, bison, black bears and reindeer close up. The C.N. Tower in Toronto (the tallest free standing structure in the world at 553m) gave us spectacular views.

The autumn leaves are only just beginning to turn red. Apart from some partly rainy days the weather has been lovely. We haven’t needed any of the warm clothes we packed.

The cities visited were varied. Toronto was full of high rise apartments. Ottawa and Quebec City are much nicer and smaller. At present we are in the latter and have 4 days here. We are staying in the famous Fairmont Chateau Frontenac for 2 nights and then move to the cruise ship, which will be staying in port for another 2 days. Quebec City is the only walled city in America. The old town is very picturesque.

We are well and happy and enjoying every minute. Today was a free day which was good because there was an international bicycle race on and all the streets were closed. The riders (including Cadel Evans) had to ride nearly all day a very hilly circuit of 12km x 16 times totalling 200km approx. The town was buzzing and we sat for lunch in a sidewalk restaurant and watched them whizzing past. We felt sorry for our tour leader who had to rearrange the various activities and walks that had been prearranged.

Love to you all

Theo & Susan.

An email from Marion and Don, September 18th

Dear Peter,

Sorry for the delay in saying thank you for the photo. We are staying with one of our daughters in Melbourne as Don starts radiation on Friday, we don't know for how long. He had a blood transfusion yesterday so all should go well.

Hope you both are enjoying the hot weather; it was a shock to the system when we got back here and have had the ducted heating on most of the time.

Pam gave me one of your cards with your phone number and email. I have mislaid it so could you send me your mobile number so we can keep in touch?

Please say hello to Di etc.

Love to you both,

Marion and Don

Lorraine has a new knee

Dear Peter, Pam and Bell Park Patrons,

Thank you for your lovely card with the guardian angel. Also for your good wishes and for thinking of me.

Hans took me to the hospital on the 18th of September. It didn't take long to prep me up and as I walked to the surgery area I thought, There is no turning back, now!

I didn't feel the epidural and I couldn't feel my legs as I was wheeled into the theatre where my surgeon was dressed in his jungle outfit ... nearly seven feet of him! They asked me if I would like music; classical would do. Next thing I was sedated and dozed off. I woke up with a jolt as I heard a saw and hammering but I didn't feel it was part of me.

All went well - a lot of pain after the op like Jim said - but after six days and a very good pain management plan I was out of hospital.

Lorraine with her new knee

There's nothing like your own bed and home surroundings ...

In two weeks I will start six weeks of physio at the Warragul Hospital, twice weekly.

All our daughters have been helping out and, of course, Hans is team leader. Also entertainment from our three year old grandson.

Hope everybody is well and special get well wishes to Don. Hans and I are thinking of you, Don.

Love to all,

Lorraine and Hans xx

Pete 'n' Pam again.

Hi, All,

Pam and I left Bell Park this morning (Sunday 13 October) and are now in Banana on our way south. There probably won't be too many changes to this page after this; there will be a new Patrons' Page for 2014. However, if you have a message to send, just email me and I'll add it below.

Thanks for everything, Jim and Sue. We were very sad to leave and are missing you both already.

Pete 'n' Pam.

Pete 'n' Pam Visit Toora

Greetings everyone,

On the recommendation of Hans and Lorraine - see the first message in this section - we broke our journey south at Tooraweenah Caravan Park. Though the owners were away, our reception was just as warm as that received by Hans and Lorraine including scones, jam and cream brought to our door. Since the temperature had been over 30°C. there was no need for a fire though Hans's 'bird cage' was there if needed. The stand-in receptionist, Lesley, told us all about the park, lent us a folder on the features of the area and invited us to Happy Hour at 5:00 p.m.

This is a small, friendly park. Lesley told us that television reception was terrific and it was. Mobile phone reception, however, was patchy. The closest towers are screened by hills but a connection (Telstra, three bars) could be obtained outside the amenities block. Talking of which, the toilets are very nice with soap and paper towels provided. They are clean, recently painted and passed the 'Pam Test'. There is, however, no 'dump point'. Fees are good value at $25 per night. There are several free gas barbecues and a pool.

Situated about 43 km north of Gilgandra and 55 km south of Coonabarabran, Tooraweenah Caravan Park is 4 km off the Newell Highway on the sealed Coonamble-Tooraweena Road and well signed. It's a cosy little place to stop over while travelling to and from Emu Park. The GPS co-ordinates are S31.43847 E148.91075.

Hey, I'm supposed to be extolling the virtues of Bell Park not Tooraweenah. I'll get fired.

Best wishes to you all, especially those who are not too well.

Pete 'n' Pam.

An update from Lionel and Noreen

Hello All,

Lionel and I are well settled at home now and enjoying the spring weather, although we do complain a bit when it turns cold. We had a lovely visit from Nick and Jean Mason on Friday. They were in Shepparton for a few days and are then on their way home to Tasmania.

For those interested in our changing plans for accommodation next year, here is where we are up to. We have advertised the van and the little car we bought this year at Emu Park but no buyers as yet. The bike and side car are sold and we have a buyer for the truck. Someone is coming today to look at the trailer so hopefully all will soon be sold as at present it is cluttering our front yard!

Love to all our Emu Park friends,


Lorraine's on the mend


Tuesday 29th October. Here's a picture of Lorraine looking very well and - unless I'm mistaken - slimmer than when she left Bell Park. Am I right Lorraine?

She writes:
As you can see, no more crutches, just a walking stick to aid me on uneven ground. It is five weeks since the op and I have to see my surgeon next Wednesday. I do still have a little pain but it's quite tolerable though it plays up in car travel. I'm still at physio, working on the knee bend. They are real killers there and I think they enjoy you going AH! and EEK ! ......

I am use to flashing my leg now, as you can see the knee is still a bit puffy.

Cheers and love to all,

Lorraine and Hans.

Bionic Bev joins the club

A quick hello to all,

Beverley Ann Bale has had a successful total left knee replacement. I, Phillip, was able to visit her twenty four hours after the operation. She is in good spirits and I could get a laugh out of her, however it never stoped her from continuing to give directions for me to follow on what I have to do now and tomorrow!

Her temporary address is Private Room 616, Frazier Ward East, Allamanda Private Hospital, Southport. Bev has her own room and is open for visitors from 10am till 8pm. To speak to her just contact the desk on (07) 5532 6444.

The doctor is very happy with the operation. He said the knee was in a badly worn out condition and really needed replacement. Now for the rehabilitation program (which she is already on, would you believe?) and not really impressed with the hourly ritual involved.

Regards Phillip.

Good luck and a speedy recovery, Bev. Keep bossing Phil about.

A update on Don, from Marion

We are finally home from hospital. Don is very tired due to the radiation. They said it could be a month before he feels okay - he just has to take it very easy. We don't have to go back to Melbourne before the 18th so maybe we'll get back to some normality.

Hope you're all fit and well.

Love Marion.

I'm sure I speak for everybody when I say all our thoughts are with you both, Marion and Don.

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