Park Patrons' Page 2014

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Patrons' Page Index

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Park News; Jim Passes
Jim's Funeral and Wake
Jim's Plaque Design
Memorial Unveiled
Piney Honours Jim
Park Social Events
Don Smith's Passing
Bill Whenn's Passing
Mabel ... Aged 18
Jim and Sue Home
Social Calendar
More Photos
Ann Learmonth's Art
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Patrons' Page 2012
Patrons' Page 2013

This page content changes frequently. Click to ensure you see the latest version.

Warning: Naturally the sad passing of Diamond Jim Waterman, Manager of Bell Park Caravan Park and much loved friend to so many, has taken priority on this page, as have memorial events relating to Jim. Thus other articles lower down the page are out of sequence; some were written before Jim's death which could cause confusion.

Bell Park News

Bell Park devastated by the death of Jim Waterman


'Diamond' Jim Waterman, the man who made Bell Park what it is, sadly passed away just before midnight on Sunday, 15th June 2014. Jim's wife, Sue, and his two daughters, Lisa and Nicole, were at his bedside in the Mater Hospital, Rockhampton.

All at Bell Park were devastated by Jim's death and our hearts go out to his family. Jim was a larger-than-life figure who commanded love and respect from those who knew him. 'Ten feet tall and bulletproof' was a phrase sometimes used to describe Jim; unfortunately cancer is no respecter of people no matter how strong. Nobody ever fought this evil disease harder than Jim who, right until the end, still believed he would beat it.

Last year some of Jim's greatest friends and admirers named the top road in Bell Park 'Diamond Jim Drive' in his honour and erected a street sign bearing that name. The sign is the first thing that meets the eye of all who enter the Park. It has become a small monument to a very big man.

Farewell Jim, you leave a huge gap in all our hearts.

Jim was cremated at Rockhampton on Monday, 23rd June. That afternoon his life was celebrated at the Pine Beach Hotel.

Jim's Farewell Service ...
Jim's funeral service was very well attended. The chapel, which has a capacity of about one hundred and sixty, was packed, with more mourners standing outside the open doors.

The service, which commenced with 'Oh Very Young' by Cat Stevens, was conducted by Sister Maria whom Jim had met many times during his stays in the Mater Hospital. After her welcome, Sister Maria invited Jim and Sue's granddaughters to each place a symbol of Jim's life on the coffin:
Lorna Rossiter then read some heart-rending words from Sue about her beloved Jim. Lionel Miles read the eulogy and Jim and Sue's daughter, Lisa, delivered a tribute to her father. She was supported at the rostrum by her sister, Nicole. Lisa, considered by many to be the epitome of Jim, managed to inject a little humour into her dissertation, the light relief appreciated by all.

Towards the end of the service, photos of Jim at different times of his life were projected onto the wall.

To finish, the congregation was invited to take a drink-can ring-pull from a bag provided and place it on Jim's coffin in place of the more traditional rose petal. As Sister Maria explained, it was a fitting token as Jim and Sue had collected thousands of ring-pulls over the years to be melted down and used in the construction of wheel chairs. Additionally, of course, Jim was not averse to opening the odd can of beer himself on occasions.

... and his wake at the Pine Beach Hotel
Jim's wake was held during the afternoon and, like the earlier service, was well attended. Lionel Miles read out tributes from Jim's lifetime of friends and those that were present were invited to take the microphone. Several did and the tales they told of Jim's past were many and varied, some going back to his schooldays when he was a prefect. The overall effect on those present was one of amazement; how could one man fit so much into one lifetime? How did Jim manage to engender such affection and admiration in those around him?

It is normal for friends and associates of a deceased person to speak kindly of them, emphasising their good points and downplaying their bad. This was very clearly not the case at Jim's wake! Certainly Jim could be a rogue, but always a lovable one. He was an athlete in his younger days, coming second in cycling in the whole of South Australia, his birth state. He was obviously a very clever man; he designed and built his own racing yacht that triumphed in races despite the level of intoxication of its crew. His collection of 'toys' and gadgets has become legendary, as have the overseas travels and tours that he organised.

And so the afternoon faded into evening, sadness and laughter mixing comfortably as the buffet was washed down by some convivial drinks.

A Thank you from Sue.
At Jim's cremation, donations to the Mater Hospital Oncology Unit were requested in lieu of flowers. $725 was collected but that figure does not include donations placed in the envelopes provided and forwarded directly to the Oncology Unit. Sincere thanks to all who donated.

A Plaque from park patrons to commemorate Jim
Every regular park patron that was asked was in favour of some sort of commemorative memorial to Jim. After much thought, a design and wording were decided upon ...


The diamond shape reflects Jim's nickname.

The plaque is bronze and Jim's picture, taken by Roger Klose, is in ceramic. It was financed almost entirely by Bell Park patrons because they loved and respected Jim and wanted to be part of his memorial. Many assisted in its mounting and positioning. It stands near the barbecue area where Jim used to socialise with his guests during Happy Hour, a time he made special. Now he'll always be with us.

An Unsolicited Contribution From The Staff of Leading Edge, Yeppoon
Yes, a donation from the staff, not the company, towards the plaque. If I might quote from an email from Jaime Takagaki, the Store Manager: Customers like Jim and Sue are the reason we here at LET, Yeppoon, enjoy our jobs so much. They make it a pleasure for us to come to work every day. Thank you for allowing us to show our appreciation.

Jaime and friends, we here at Bell Park are very touched by your kind contribution. Thank you sincerely.

Diamond Jim's Memorial Unveiled
On 19th August the long-awaited memorial to Diamond Jim was completed. Sue Waterman pulled away a Port Power A.F.L. flag (Jim's team) to unveil the plaque mounted on a large rock before a substantial number of Bell Park patrons and guests. Lionel Miles, M.C. for the evening, had sensibly decreed the occasion was not to be treated as a wake, rather a celebration of Jim's life; the mood of the evening was to be kept light and so it was.

Keeping it light

Keeping it light.

The Gathering

Park patrons and guests at the unveiling.

The Unveiling

As dusk descended, Sue unveiled the memorial plaque. Either side of the plaque
she had placed a model of Jim's Audi and a can of his favourite beer, XXXX Gold.

The Floodlit Plaque

The floodlit plaque.

In jest, Jim had been blamed for several, sometimes inexplicable, things that had gone wrong with the plaque mounting. It was as if his spirit was still present and causing mischief, perhaps because he was bored. If so, he certainly wasn't going to miss an opportunity like that Tuesday evening! The unveiling and speeches over, a huge amount of food was being prepared on the barbecue when, without warning, the lights went out. Torches were produced but only gave minimal light. A car was placed at the back of the barbecue area with headlights and fog lights shining into the shelter. The power remained off for about an hour. Good one, Jim. The power failure, if anything, added to the occasion.

The Carlit Shelter

Dining by Car Light - a photo through the windscreen.

During the evening, Barbara, Sue's mother, thanked all in Bell Park for looking after Sue since Jim's passing. It was a great comfort to herself and Albert, Sue's father, to know that Sue had plenty of support when they were not at Bell Park.


Worry not, Barbara. Sue has more support here than she'll ever need.
That daughter of yours is one tough lady!

'Piney' Honours Diamond Jim


For the two or three weeks prior to Sunday 31st August, A3-sized posters (see left) appeared all over Emu Park. The Pine Beach Hotel was to hold the inaugural 'Jim Waterman Memorial Bowls Day' at the Emu Park Bowls Club.

The big day provided perfect weather for the event and a great time was had by all. The bowling took place in the morning. In the afternoon players and spectators congregated at the Pine Beach Hotel for the awards and shield to be presented.

The Jim Waterman Memorial Shield was presented by Sue Waterman to an Emu Park team consisting of H. and M. Kelly, A. Butler and Barry Abraham (Barry is the President of the Emu Park Bowling Club.) A separate prize was awarded to Merv Bird, the player with the highest score. There was also a prize for the player with the lowest score.

During the presentations, M.C. for the afternoon, Murray McLay from the Beachside Caravan Park, said a few words about Jim. Quote ...

Jim Waterman was the sort of man who would give you the shirt off his back. Then, realising that you only had one shirt, he would go out and buy you another.

And that describes Jim to perfection. Perhaps stop by the Piney on the way back, eh Jim?
Sue Bowling

Sue bowling. Nice hat.

Though Eckard Dietrich bowled this beautiful ball (pictured below), the prize for the highest score was awarded elsewhere. Never mind, Eckard, I doubt if anyone else could possibly have placed a bowl any closer to the jack. It remained thus until the end of that game.

Eckard's Bowl

What a beauty, and no fluke either. The ball had a clear run until coming to rest two millimetres from the jack.

The opposition's attempts to scatter the bowls to every point of the compass failed badly, both bowls rocketed past well wide to the sounds of expletives from the far end. Good one, Eckard.

Terry watching his bowl go

What d'ya think, Terry? Will it do?

Colleen watching her bowl go

Bell Park's Colleen supporting the event.


The shield being awarded to the 'lady in white' (left) and Barry Abraham (right).
In the centre, presenting the shield, is Sue Waterman and standing behind her, Mark Hurst, the Piney's licensee.
Mark did a magnificent job on the shield, the posters and the organisation of the day.

Social Events - The Interpark Bowling Competition

What a great success! Congratulations to those who won awards. My apologies but I'm not a bowler and was fairly tied up with the camera so if you need to know who won what, please ask someone like Jerzy who knows about these things.

Sue and Eckard

Sue and Eckard with the Capricorn Coast Caravan Challenge shield which again came to Bell Park.

Sue and Leigh

Sue with Leigh holding the Most Improved Novice shield. Well done Leigh, and wonderful to see you there, Sue.

'Christmas in July' a fabulous evening.

The celebration at the Emu Park Bowls Club on the evening of Saturday, 26th July was a total success with everybody having a wonderful time. Many thanks are due to Sue Waterman and the volunteer ladies from Bell Park who organised the evening, prepared the tables and served the meals. Also, of course, to the volunteers from the Bowls Club for the magnificent meal they prepared and cleared away afterwards.

Many photos were taken but I can't bring you my favourite for fear of G.B.H. (or worse) from Gail.


Four lovely 'acting waitresses', Rhonda, Gail, Cathy and Joan. They did a sterling job.

Suzanne and Leigh

Suzanne and husband Leigh Curtis; don't they make a handsome couple?

Tom and Anne

Anne and Tom Waterman (Jim's brother). They are staying at Bell Park for a few days.

Another fantastic afternoon at the Ferns Hideaway.

On Sunday, 3rd August, two buses left Bell Park for a fabulous meal and musical afternoon at The Ferns Hideaway Resort in Byfield. This trip had been proposed by Terry Crumpton for an afternoon in July but took on a life of its own. Instead of just one busload going in July, a further two buses were required for a second trip in August. Some people enjoyed the July outing so much that they booked again in August ... and nobody was disappointed.

Lion and Tiger

Lion and Tiger dancing. Pam is one of the several Leo Girls who celebrate their August birthdays in style.
On the drum is Dougie; his accompaniment took the entertainment to another level.

John 'Marto' Martin, proprietor of The Ferns has a remarkable ability to sing for hours on end, accompanying himself, and able to oblige everyone who made a request from his seemingly unlimited repertoire. Is there any song Marto doesn't know? He sang all the old favourites without a break and everyone had a great time. He was accompanied on the conga drum by Dougie and on the ukulele by Steve. Later his little dog, Josie, joined him on stage to help out.

John 'Marto' Martin

Marto and Josie

Marto's wife, Genevieve, and the Ferns staff did a sterling job in looking after the food and wine supply. So it's a big thank you to all at the Ferns Hideaway, the two bus drivers from the Backpackers, Terry who worked so hard putting it all together and Marty for the pictures.

Two Bell Park Patrons Pass Away

Don and Marion

It is with deep sorrow that Jim and Sue Waterman wish to inform all Bell Park patrons that Don Smith finally succumbed to the cancer against which he battled so bravely. Don passed away on Monday 17th March. Farewell, Don, you'll be greatly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to Marion and the family.

The funeral service to celebrate the life of Don was held on Friday, March 21st and was very well attended. A number of Bell Park patrons were present and were very moved by the ceremony. A private cremation followed.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone for the support, love and kindness that was shown throughout Don's illness, also for the many cards and condolences to me and my family on his passing.
It is unbelievable to know that I have so many friends that care and support me.

Will see you all very soon

Love Marion

Yet More Sad News

Vale Bill Whenn
During the early hours of Tuesday 12th August, Bell Park patron Bill Whenn suffered a massive heart attack in his motorhome and passed away before the paramedics could reach him. Extensive efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Bill, who was seventy one, leaves a wife, Anne, and two daughters. Our hearts go out to Anne and the family at this most heartbreaking time.

Bill came to Australia from Scotland when he was about twelve years of age. He lived in remote Tarraleah in the Tasmanian Highlands, a village servicing the hydroelectric industry. He attended boarding school in Hobart prior to spending much of his working life as a draughtsman. For his final ten years of employment, Bill travelled far and wide inspecting bridges for the Department of Main Roads.

On retirement, Bill and Anne purchased a motorhome and travelled Australia extensively. He was a keen fisherman and golfer who later took up bowls here in Emu Park, a game he enjoyed immensely.

Bill and Anne's two daughters have travelled to Emu Park to be with their mother. Following a post mortem in Brisbane, Bill will be flown home to Tasmania for a cremation service.

Rest in peace, Bill.

Bell Park has earned CRVA Accreditation

Did you notice the Caravan, R.V. and Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA) Logo on the left of our Home Page and the Tick of Approval on the right? They are displayed big and bold because they are not easy to obtain and they mean a lot; Jim worked hard to earn them and is justifiably proud of them. Well done, Diamond Jim.

You can learn more about the CRVA on their web site but here is a short excerpt:

Caravan Park Accreditation
Accreditation provides caravan parks with a framework of quality business practices in the areas of Business Planning, Risk Management, Environmental Management, Human Resources Management, Marketing and Customer Service. Accreditation assures park visitors that they are dealing with a business committed to quality in business practice and customer service.

By becoming accredited, parks strive to improve their overall performance and proudly display the Accreditation tick of approval.

Livingstone Shire Council Lives Again
Bell Park Caravan Park now falls under the administrative sphere of the reborn Livingstone Shire Council in Yeppoon. As most will be aware, the decision on the future of Bell Park (and Beachside Caravan Park in Yeppoon) was to have been made by the Council at the end of March, however the Council has postponed the decision again. Until the matter is resolved, both parks remain under the management of Jim who has applied to take both over against some stiff competition.

Jim, I don't know of anyone who is not 100% behind you. Good luck, Mate.

Incidentally, one of the first decisions made by the new Council was to allocate funding for the remaining roads in Bell Park to be brought up to the standard of Diamond Jim Drive. A good start!

SCAN - the latest acronym in Bell Park.
In the afternoon many Bell Park patrons may go for a scan. Senior Citizens' Afternoon Nap.

Special Feature! Look, It's Our Mabel aged 18.

From The Weekly Journal, (Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland). Dated Thursday, February 2, 1956


They Plan To Join A Pipe Band In New South Wales

Off on a journey to the other side of the world this week are two Ellon sisters. They are going to join a pipe band in Australia. The sisters are Jean and Mabel Garden, Cowinch Farm, five miles from Ellon, former pupils of Ellon Academy and members for the last three years of the Bon-Accord Ladies’ Pipe Band, Aberdeen. Jean is nineteen and Mabel eighteen.


With Jean went a set of bagpipes given to her be her father, Mr. Edward Garden, himself a piper, and her Highland dress, the jacket of which was made by her mother.

With Mabel went a promise from her father that he will present her with bagpipes later.

Their Chance

The girls saw an advertisement inviting pipers to emigrate to Australia. They had always wanted to follow their brother, Edward, who went to Australia several years ago under the Big Brother scheme. So here was their chance.

They replied to the advertiser and received a letter from Mr. Harold Quirk, head of the local pipe band association in the township of Tumbulgum, 400 miles north of Sydney, New South Wales. He said that although he really wanted to engage male pipers, he was willing to give the girls a place in a band and would find work and lodgings for them.

Photo: Jean (left) and Mabel seen packing their bagpipes.

An Objection

Jean and Mabel accepted but the Australian immigration authorities raised an objection. The girls, they said, were too young. By going out under the auspices of the Church of England welfare department, however, the girls overcame this difficulty. Now Mr. and Mrs. Garden are considering emigrating to Australia with the rest of their family of three girls and a boy.

End of quote from The Weekly Journal dated Thursday, February 2, 1956

Jim, Sue and Party are home

After a fantastic tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Jim Waterman has brought his tour members safely home. While away Jim seems to have mixed in some very exalted company ...

Jim with HRH and Obama

                Please Jim, Just Call Me Liz.                              Want To Chat To Vladimir Putin On The Hot Line, Jim?

China party with temple
The tour party in front of Pha That Luang - the gold covered Great Stupa in Vientiane, Laos.

Originally built in the 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions due to foreign invasions of the area. It is the most important national monument in Laos - a national symbol. Below is a larger picture of the tour group.

China party

See anyone you know? Sue and Jan are there; others in the group have stayed at Bell Park.

One of Jim's party, a lady called Val Wex, has a remarkable story to tell about a Swiss doctor who has done the most amazing work in Cambodia. This isn't the forum for a lengthy dissertation on the work of Dr. Beat Richner but a mention is a must as Jim and his group visited one of Dr. Richner's hospitals and made a generous donation.

Working off his own initiative, Beat Richner took on the task of saving thousands of children from permanent disablement or death. He raised funds, mainly from Swiss benefactors, for several hospitals to be built, equipped and staffed. He opened a maternity hospital for HIV+ mothers and in 2012 a cardiac extension performing interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery. All treatment in Dr. Richner's hospitals is free!

Val Wex was there. To read her story click HERE.

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.

Mah Jong
Mah Jong is played from 1:00 p.m. (no longer 1:30 p.m.) until 4:30 p.m. every Thursday afternoon in the R.S.L Hall. All skill levels from raw beginner to expert are welcome.

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 more information, click here: Keppel Coast Country Music

3rd Sunday of Every Month
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.


Thanks, Helen and John, for this email received on 26th January.

As a few were aware, Helen's daughter was to be married in January and I'm pleased to say that the event was held at the Melbourne botanical gardens in 42 degree temp. and was a beautiful and enjoyable day despite the trying conditions.

Again I contacted Joan and Barry whilst I was on the highway to see if they were good for a cuppa but again they are never at home, however we have managed to catch up with Sue and Theo at Mallacoota for a few days.

Looking forward to the Vietnam trip with Jim.

Warmest regards,

Helen and John

And thanks to Hans and Lorraine for this email sent on January 29th

Dear Pete, Pam and All,

Happy Australia Day for 2014. We have settled in the Lakes Haven C.P. - only three of us here now but next week the whole twelve sites will be booked.

Hans and I went to the Mechanic’s Hall at Lakes Entrance for the breakfast of bacon, egg, bread roll and fresh fruit salad. Also the raising of the flag and who was Citizen of Lakes for the year. Then we went to a friend’s place for an Aussie barbecue lunch. Everyone had to bring a gift made in Australia and we had a raffle. I won some home made chutney and Hans a bottle of wine, it was all in fun. Then we played quoits – long time since I have played, a little rusty....

We have our daughter Helga, son-in-law Ross and Maxie up at Lakes, also staying in Amberlee flats for another week. We also had our other daughter and partner staying on an Aldi blow-up mattress in our annex. I tried to keep Hans quiet with his snoring. Our next door neighbour is noisy at six in the morning. They said they have decided to stay a few more days. I said, Well, you can have a sleep-in because I don't get up till 7.30am. She said, I will yell at the window. Bitch.......

Very hot yesterday so Hans and I went to the movies, nice air con. We saw The Railwayman, a bit sad but a very good movie. We were sitting waiting for the movie to start and there was an elderly couple in front of us. The husband said, What movie are we seeing, dear? Hope we don't get that bad in years to come......

Well, hope all is well your end at Temora and hope the weather is not too hot. Hope you have a nice shady tree with a cold beer to sit under.

Barry, Joan's husband, had his op and is coming along nicely, staying in their van at Rosebud till the end of the month.

Talk to all you lovely people soon.


Lorraine and Hans xx

Good to hear from you Lorraine. We are now in Goulburn after a stay in Yass. Fear not, no shortage of shade or cold beer.
Love, P's.

Now the ball is rolling. Does anybody recognise any of these jolly miscreants?

Theo's photo

Helen, John, Susan and Theo at Mallacoota

Theo wrote on January 30th:

Hi Peter, Pam and Everybody,

We are safely back home again - to more 42°C heat! Before we left Mallacoota a photo opportunity presented itself and I made use of the self-timer setting on the camera. So Hi from all of us until we meet again at Emu Park.


Theo and Susan

Hi to you four, too. Rock on winter and Emu Park!
Love, P's.

Congratulations to Ngaire Newton on her 80th Birthday
Thank you, Sue (Waterman), for sending this picture and for the correct pronunciation of Gnaire's name which is N-ar-ree.

Ngaire's 80th

Ngaire with her birthday cake. If that didn't trigger the smoke alarms, check the batteries Sue.

Ngaire, for anybody that doesn't know, lives on Diamond Jim Drive. In the picture with Ngaire are Jan Milic next to Robyn Anderson on the sofa. To the right of Ngaire are Cheryl James with Trisha Murphy next to her. Colleen Williams is at the table and Ngaire's daughter is unfortunately out of the picture.

Many congratulations, Ngaire. Only twenty more to that telegram - or is Her Majesty on Facebook these days?

Gleness and Amos will be Back in July.
Gleness writes: Well here we are, another year happening, big last 12 months or so. Hopefully will start to slow down from July when we get to see our family again at Emu Park.

Safe travel everyone,

Gleness and Amos xx

Hi G and A, looking forward to seeing you.

Roger Klose has arrived.
Roger Klose, Captain of the 'Amigos' trivia team, is back at Bell Park and recruiting to replace Phil and Bev Bale who are unable to come this year. Roger was quite tired after his marathon trek from Victoria but is recovering fast and looking forward to bowling. Good to see you, Rog.

Marion Smith is here.
It is wonderful to see Marion back and looking very well. She is planning to play Mah Jong this winter but will brush up on her game before attending the R.S.L. where the big guns play. Marion, it's fabulous to see you.

John and Ann are Here.
Lovely to see you again, John and Ann. John's been very busy helping Marion with her television and a dripping tap, and was invaluable in rigging Roger's annexe.

John and Jeanette arrived today - May 20.
Welcome back J. and J. - I haven't seen you yet but news travels fast.

Monika and Eckard are expected tomorrow.
We're looking forward to your arrival, both.

Hey, I'm going to have to stop this. Word from the office is that many more arrivals are expected in the next few days. I'll develop R.S.I. in my typing pinkie if I welcome everyone individually. So welcome EVERYBODY, especially Jim and Sue who arrived home on Sunday, May 25.

And look who else is here ...


Bell Park's very own pair of Tawny Frogmouths.

A Note From Pam To Mah Jong Players.
The Mah Jong sessions at the R.S.L. every Thursday now commence at 1:00 p.m., thirty minutes earlier than last year. They still finish at 4:30 p.m.

Inge and Christian.
Dear Pete and Pam,

Please say Thanks to all our friends at the Park for the nice card with all the good wishes! We miss you all very much and hope to see you all next year, well and in good spirits. I had my last Chemo, Thursday, with a Cystoscopy and three more treatments early September. Hope they catch it all, and I will be 100% for next year! Thank God, Inge is well and still doing a little bit of craft and enjoying her garden. The camellias are flowering vigorously this year, but we have never been home at this time!

Fond regards

Inge and Christian

Roger Klose
Roger is safely home and sends his best wishes to all of us forced to remain here in Bell Park. He has been giving his new central heating system a thorough testing and finds it's up to the job. He is busy reacquainting himself with all his friends and relatives at home. We miss you, Rog.

Hans and Lorraine are home.
Dear Peter, Pam and Patrons, Marty with Balloon

Just to let you all know we made it safely home. We followed the big bus with Laurie and Alwyn to Woodgate near Bundaberg for two days; a nice place but because we were in the back of the park you had to plan your trip to the toilet.

When we left Laurie and Alwyn they went down the Bruce Highway to friends and family in Tweed while we went via the Isis Highway and Brisbane Valley Highway to our friends in Browns Plains, Forestdale.

After we left we spent Fathers’ Day in Boomi so I shouted Hans tickets to The Bats, a theatre show only on once every two years. It was funny; I hope to get a DVD of the show.

We then pulled into Tooraweena Caravan Park and – big surprise – we met Maureen and Merv. When the owners said we were in the park they couldn't believe it!

We progressed down the Newell and met Maureen and Merv again in Jerilderie. We walked to the Chinese for tea, it was a great meal, we had just finished when the lights went out. Maureen said, I think we better leave as there looks like a storm coming. We just made it back to the ’van and down came the rain. Thunder and lightning shook the ’van.

Yesterday was Marty’s 70th birthday and, along with family and friends, we celebrated at the Cuckoo Restaurant in the Dandenong Ranges. We had a great day – see pictures.

Hope your ankle is okay Pam and that you are off the crutches and walking with ease. There should be a lot more room now, with all us lot gone.

Till next time,

Love Lorraine and Hans. xx

Marty and Hans

Way down at the far end of the table are Marty and Hans (centre and right, standing).
One balloon for every year of your life, Marty?

Marty, Lorraine and Hans

Marty, Lorraine and Hans. Happy birthday, Marty

Theo and Susan Graze are having a wonderful time in England.

Dear friends,
It is Thursday 25th September and we are in Bath for four days and have not stopped walking since we arrived here two days ago! We've done the scenic bus tour and the hop on hop off bus tour, visited Jane Austen's museum, the Roman Baths, evensong at Bath Abbey, seen the Circus, the Guildhall, Royal Crescent, walked along the Avon River etc etc. Today we took a local bus one hour through the countryside and small villages to Devizes, where the famous twenty nine staircase of locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal, built in 1810 by John Rennie, is situated. We walked along them and also visited two museums in the town, the Canal Museum and the Historical Museum going back 4,ooo years in the area.

The five day narrowboat on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal from north of Birmingham to Worcester was fantastic. We were lucky to be the only passengers with two crew members steering the boat, working the thirty four locks we passed through and serving us three delicious meals a day. We sat out the front and enjoyed the view and whenever possible hopped off and walked along the tow path. It was a wonderfully relaxing and gracious way to travel.

We are well and happy and enjoying every minute. Next stop London for nine nights.

With best wishes to you all,

Theo and Susan.

P.S. We have discovered mild ale and, despite all our walking, are going to come home looking like beer barrels. Talking about beer, Sue W, your stubbie holders are having a great holiday. We'll send photos separately. Theo

John and Helen Paul had a wonderful time in Paris.

John, Helen etc

John and Helen in Paris with Helen's Daughter and Her Husband

Hi Pam & Peter,
As a number of our park friends knew, we went to Paris to celebrate Helen's daughter's 50th birthday. We had some lovely moments with them and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Paris as well as our cruise home from Singapore. We are now back at Dolphin Point and hopefully we will catch up with everybody in 2015.
Helen & John

Theo and Susan are home.
Theo and Susan are back from a wonderful trip to England and France.

Theo and Susan

Welcome home Theo and Susan. Where was this taken? No sun, no sand, no surf. Must be England.

Pete 'n' Pam visit Doddsy and Michele
During a short stay on Bribie Island we were invited for lunch with Alan and Michele Dodds at their beautiful home. The lunch was delicious and Al and Michele were such welcoming hosts that we felt totally relaxed and didn't notice how the time was flying by. Thank you both for a lovely afternoon.

Heads up if your caravan is registered in NSW
If your caravan is registered in NSW, weighs over 2 tonnes and has electric brakes with a breakaway switch you are obliged by law to have a monitor for the breakaway battery in your car, visible from the driving position. Click HERE for more information.

This isn't new but I received information that the NSW Police will be taking an interest in this battery monitor. To keep this in perspective, the warning came from an organisation selling these battery monitors.

Hans and Lorraine are grandparents again
Hans and Granddaughter Emerald Aurelia (known as Emme) was sixteen days overdue but mother, Natalie, had a natural birth. Not-so-little Emme weighed in at 3.7 kg. She is Hans and Lorraine's first granddaughter.

No idea how heavy 3.7 kg is? Nor had I so I got Google to convert it for me. Emme weighed in at 8 lbs 2½ oz. That's quite big, isn't it?

Hans and Ms. Emerald Aurelia.

Natalie, Emme, Lorraine and Hans are all doing well. Congratulations to all concerned.

Lorraine goes on to say: Hans and I are both fine, being busy with getting ready for Christmas. We changed our car, still a Pathfinder but not the petrol one. It is two years old.

On the 20th of November we met up with some of the Emu Park gang including Marion, Joan and Barry, Theo and Susan, Myrtle and Ron and some oldies that don't come up any more. We all had a nice luncheon in Mornington.

Sounds like a lot of fun, Lorraine.

Pete and Pam receive a visit from Leigh and Suzanne.
Pam and I are back at the Governor's Hill Carapark, Goulburn, until January. The park manager, also Peter, told us that somebody had phoned the park to enquire whether we were still here. He hinted we might receive visitors but wouldn't say another word. The wondering drove Pam mad, then one morning Leigh and Suzanne rolled in with their 5th wheeler and parked next to us. It was fabulous to see them and naturally happy hour was very enjoyable.

The second night the four of us were invited to spend happy hour with our hosts, Peter and Karen. I have no recollection of how much alcohol we consumed but the table was covered with bottles of all shapes and sizes. Pam and I were not too bright next morning; Leigh and Suzanne had to drive back to Canberra. It was well past 10 o'clock when they got away but nobody minded.

More Photos

The Bell Bathing Beauties are back.

Bathers and Cockatoo

Lorraine, Hans and Susan in the sea. Who's afraid of a croc? Not these three!
And on the way home, photographer Theo pictured this cockatoo. Nice one, Theo.

Irish Carport

Al's car, snuggly parked in his new Irish carport.

Jock's Harley

Ready guys? Hold tight. Subjecting Jock's 'Harley' to a road load test.

Overloaded bike

But we're mere amateurs compared with these nine - possibly ten if there's another
'bucket seat' on the other side. Thanks to Theo for this picture.

Lionel and Co

On July 23rd Lionel and friends held a sing-a-long outside his 'van.


What do you call ladies that are attracted to musicians? Groupies, is it?


An obliging Ibis overflew the recent bowling while the camera settings were right.


Jake, aged 21 in the left picture, is the grandson of Don and Marion Smith. Last year he caught a
67cm flathead in Coorooman Creek. This year - right picture - he's done it again. Good one, Jake.


Thirty years ago! Taken near Bell Park's office and sent to the Park by Norma and Neil Mason.
The emus used to walk up the road from the Causeway. The building in the upper picture is the
old railway shed. See any caravans? The original pictures are in a frame in the Park office.


A large python was seen sunning himself in the other half of Bell Park. (Why, I wonder, are snakes, crocodiles, etc. always presumed to be male?) Deciding not to wait for the camera, he had returned home to a hollow tree stump and was all but out of sight. Theo Graze obtained this excellent photo by lowering his camera into the stump after the snake. On ya, Theo.

Python ... close up

The very next day, this apparently shy python decided to sunbake right in the caravan park.
Totally unphased he, or SHE, posed for the cameras on the fence alongside Ray and Robyn Anderson's house.

Python ... full length

Whether a he or a she, this baby was BIG. Pictures sent to revealed it to be a Coastal Carpet Snake. It is not venomous; it may bite if handled roughly causing puncture wounds or skin abrasions but hell, who wouldn't? I wonder if its intentions are entirely platonic as it snuggles up to Ray and Robyn's plumbing?

Python doing a U-turn

When some daring person stroked the python's tail the creature began a laborious U-turn so its head could travel back and see what was happening back there. When the stroking promptly stopped, the head turned back and the critter straightened up.

Leo Girls

The Leo Girls celebrating their August birthdays with birthday cake and champagne.
Cathy, Pam, Sue, Gail, Suzanne and Jan.


The sun rising over the Coral Sea. A really beautiful photo by Theo Graze.


These boat people were photographed by Theo Graze after coming ashore at Emu Park. The people-smuggler is believed to speak with a German accent and is easily recognisable by his long legs and loud laugh. The refugees left Victoria in June braving many icebergs on their voyage through the Bass Strait. They are being held in a nearby detention camp until they can be returned to Victoria.

Marion's Sunrise

Another beautiful sunrise taken by Marion Smith. Left: Any second now. Right: Here it comes!

Ann Learmonth's Incredible Art

Ann's Charcoal Work Ann Learmonth began taking watercolour lessons a year ago. Then, about three months ago, she tried her hand at charcoal drawing. Yes, only three months ago and already she has produced work of the quality that you see on the left. Isn't she fantastic?

Do you remember Ann and John? They park their 'van in the north-west corner of Bell Park. Ann was recognised for the jewellery she makes out of shells and glass recovered from the beach. They were here last year and again earlier this year. Coming back to you now? Good. Well, they've dropped in again for a few days and John showed us the drawing at happy hour. It's much larger than the reproduction on the screen. Ann hasn't yet settled on a name for the work.

If you wish to contact Ann, she is happy for me to publish her mobile number: 0417 502 035.

Ann's Bear One evening Ann began a picture of a bear. John fell asleep and when he awoke two hours later, Ann had finished. The result you see on the right. My photograph fails to do justice to Ann's picture but I'm sure you can recognise the talent required to produce such a work in two hours.

Ann already has such a large portfolio of her art that she and John have to leave a lot of it in storage with friends as they travel the continent. They have now been on the road for five years and love it.

Sad Boy with Cap

Pam fell in love with Ann's watercolour of the sad little boy on the left and the lovely, generous Ann gave it to her.

Ann and John will be back in Bell Park next April and again in September.

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