Park Patrons' Page 2015

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Bell Park News (in reverse chronological order).

A very Merry Christmas to all members of the Bell Park family from Sue, the office ladies, Stretch and Trish, Mabel and the other cleaners, Al Crooks and all who make Bell Park what it is. Bill Stowers has the word for it: Utopia. So everybody, have a really special Christmas and come back again in 2016. We'll have a brand new Patrons' Page to fill.

And guess what, all you hardware lovers? There's a Bunnings in Yeppoon now. It's where the Home Hardware used to be.

Al Crooks is back in Emu Park and firing on all cylinders. What a change in a man! The pacemaker documentation Al was given on his discharge from hospital informs him that he can resume a normal sex life six weeks after having the pacemaker fitted. This has caused great hilarity in the park and we are counting down the days for him.

For anyone that doesn't know Al, he lives alone and celebrated his 86th birthday yesterday. He didn't want any fuss on his birthday but as Sue (who is a vegetarian) won the meat tray at the bowling club on Friday night she decided a celebration barbecue was in order. Sue also bought a beautiful cake that came in a white box with calories leaking everywhere.

Ann and John are back in Bell Park. Remember Ann's beautiful art and her unique jewellery? They are staying for a week so Happy Hour attendances will receive a boost.

Two more of the nice people that are currently in the park are Big Dave and his wife, Glenys. Remember them? They have a huge 5th wheeler.

Yesterday, 25 September, Al had a pacemaker fitted to stabilise his heartbeat. Michele reports that all went well and Al's heart is now pumping at 75 beats per minute and he says he's feeling better already. Michele attributes this to the faster pulse increasing the oxygen supply to his system. She isn't yet sure when he will return to Emu Park.

Incidentally, according to my records Al, will celebrate his 86th birthday on 4th October. Unfortunately I don't know which hospital he's in but he'll hopefully have been discharged into Michele's care before any 'get well' or 'birthday' cards could reach him.

'Our' park is occupied by strangers. Marion left yesterday (25th September), Lionel and Noreen today and Terry and Di plan on leaving on Tuesday. That will only leave Pam and I of the Winter Family and we have three more weeks. It's lonely, people; happy hour only needs one table and sometimes only one side of it. But never mind, it'll soon be June.

Sunrise at Emu Park

The rising sun, still not visible, is lighting the underside of a spectacular cloud formation
and the sea is bouncing back the light reflecting from the clouds.

This beautiful photo was taken on Fisherman's Beach, Emu Park. To achieve such excellent results Theo would have had to be up before dawn. Now that's dedication.


Before take-off

Take-off was booked for around midday. There was time for pilot Lance to take a group photo.

Along the coast

After a quick circuit of Emu Park it was up the coast to look at the real estate, then ...

Rosslyn Marina

... over Rosslyn Marina to check for empty berths large enough for our yacht - if we win lotto.

Flight Crew

The flight crew then headed out over the Coral Sea. Choppers are flown from the right seat and while
the Captain flew the aircraft, the First Officer kept a keen eye out for any sign of MH370 ...

First Officer

... occasionally turning to confer with the Captain. "The head temperatures are a little high again, Captain".
The Vertical Speed Indicator (just visible far right) reads a gradual descent of 100 feet per minute.

Lunch on the beach

Lunch overlooking the beach was very peaceful and pleasant, the island being all but deserted.

Deserted beaches

On the return flight we looked down on deserted beaches and ....

Lone schooner

... a lone gaff rigged schooner, South Passage, making good way in the breeze.

Sue's house

All too soon we were over the houses of Emu Park - I wonder who lives down there? - then back on the ground.

A fantastic day; never let anybody tell you life in Emu Park is boring!

Sunbirds and Turtle

These sunbirds were trying to nest under Theo and Susan's awning but, aware that they would be moving
before any chicks had flown, T. and S. did the kindest thing and made the birds nest elsewhere. Note the
left sunbird; its body is hanging inverted but its head is twisted right way round. And the turtle?
In Theo's words, To my surprise a turtle came past, watched me packing up and waved goodbye!

It was Wednesday, August 19th 2015 and the combination of the newly formed (and as yet unnamed) Bell Park band and Terry's cocktail combinations and concoctions made it perhaps the best evening of the year.


Mr Cocktail; Terry with his taste bud titillating collection of potions.

Lionel's Band

The musicians. Left to right: Amos, Jock, Jan, Ozzie, Lionel, and Greg. That's Greg's wife all rugged up.


What better way to relax than sitting in the sunshine listening to good music with a cocktail in your hand.

Terry and Marion

What's up, Terry? Bottle empty already?                               No problem, Marion is more than happy.

What about that band, folks? Aren't they terrific? Considering the short time they've been together, they're really fabulous. As indeed are Terry's cocktails. What a great caravan park Bell Park is but what a shame the season is ending just as everything is coming together.


Three Leo Girls in this picture. Is that Cathy on the far left ... no, I think you're right Gail; it's Maureen.


Oh, come on Lionel, it wasn't nearly that big!


I have $550 at the back. Do I hear $600 anywhere? 600 anybody? All right, I'll take $580.


I have $580 on my left. Do I hear $600? I will sell at $580. Going once. Going twice. Gone!


Cut it out, Trixie, that's my job.

Sunday August 16th was another glorious, sunny day in Byfield where a busload of Bell Park patrons again visited the Ferns Resort for a top class meal and an afternoon of music. Marto was, as always, in good form.

Laurie and group at the Ferns

       Laurie, Elwyn, Hans and Lorraine at The Ferns.        Photo: Eira

Joyce and Derek

       Joyce and Derek - never happier than where there's music.        Photo: Eira

Eira, Margaret, Kevin and Don

       Eira (back), Margaret, Kevin and Don.        Photo: NOT Eira

When Marion Smith heard that the card-making class would be colouring-in at the next session she decided to wag off, hoping nobody would notice. She reckoned without the other Bell Park girls in her class. The others were not going to tolerate this behaviour from young Marion who was given a detention on Friday morning. Her punishment was supervised by infamous 'Corporal' Cath Parry, a demon with a ruler over the knuckles for any that step out of line.

Marion in detention

Marion, sentenced to crayon for two hours. My God, is she pulling her tongue out at Corporal Cath? Corporal Cath's nickname is nothing to do with a military rank, rather to her predilection for inflicting corporal punishment. (Learning cameras would be present, Cath left her skimpy black leather outfit and whip at home. Pity.)

Marion and Cath

C.C. really has a heart of gold so when young Marion made a good job of her colouring, all was forgiven.

Photos courtesy of Gail Dubczyk

Leo Girls Lunch

All born under the Leo star sign. Standing, L to R: Jan, Gail, Cathy and Sue.
Seated, L to R: Barbara, Pam and Suzanne.

Lunch at the Megalomania Bar and Bistro in Yeppoon was again the venue for this annual celebration. The Leo Girls were accompanied by four of their husbands whose role was simple; drive the car and pay the bill. The meal was excellent and enjoyed by all.

The celebrations, however, were not yet finished. Back in Bell Park, Cathy produced a fabulous black cherry cake made by the local bakery ...


Wow! Count the calories in that! It was helped down by free-flowing champagne.


Sue sliced up the cake, much to Suzanne's delight. Pam, are you drooling?

Model Suzanne

Our very own Suzanne Curtis, smiling as always, wows the audience at the C.W.A. Fashion Show.

Photo: Gail Dubczyk

Pat used to be a regular winter visitor to Bell Park. Susan (Graze) tells me that Pat keeps up to date with goings-on in the park by reading our web site. Susan reeled out a list of people here today that know you, Pat, so here's a big Hello from all of them.

What happens when something unusual happens in a caravan park? A crowd quickly gathers, that's what. Sunday, 2nd August was no exception. Four miniature horses visited Lionel and Noreen in their 'van just before 11:00 a.m. and your fearless correspondent was summoned to report the incident to you, the faithful readers,(regardless of his residual blood/alcohol level).

Miniature horse

The relative height of Lionel and the little horse give perspective to its size.

4 Miniature horses

C'mon, guys, at this rate you'll have Stretch out of work ... Stretch cuts the grass.


Keppel Marina

All set for the big day ... Keppel Marina in the morning. Photo: Rhonda.

Keppel Rock

Looking back at the rock which watches over the Marina. Don't believe that?
Check out the eyes at the top of the rock.

The day was perfect with warm sunshine, little wind, gentle seas and a beautiful boat. Grace II was crewed by her owners, Anthony and Vicky, who were warm, friendly and always obliging. This account is from the Grace II but the experience for the party on the Funtastic (see later) would have been similar.

Leaving the Marina the crew raised the sails and cut the engines. For a while we proceeded on windpower alone but the cat required a wind of about 13 knots to make sufficient headway and the breeze was only blowing around 5 knots. Anthony restarted the engines and we were propelled by a combination of sails and engines.

On the first leg out to Middle Island a large turtle surfaced very briefly close to the boat but was gone before the Captain could call out. A large sea bird flew over the boat and the Captain settled the argument by declaring it was an albatross. A little while later a whale breached a short distance away. The Captain stopped the boat and the whale, which was thought to have a calf with it, showed itself many times. This was, for many, the highlight of the cruise. The sheer size of the mammal was breathtaking.

Whale Blowing

The whale blowing. Photo: Rhonda.


The whale didn't wait around for photographers. Photo: Gail.

Shortly after seeing the whale we anchored off Middle Island and were joined by another catamaran, Funtastic, which anchored about forty metres away. The two boats were booked by Bell Park parties for different dates but delays due to weather resulted in both the Grace II and the Funtastic sailing within a couple of hours of each other. Their itineraries were not identical, though both cats did meet and moor together in this bay off Middle Island.

Two Catamarans(1)

The Funtastic pictured from the Grace II. Not close enough to converse but we could recognise people.

Two Catamarans(2)

The Grace II pictured from the Funtastic. Photo: Di.

Our crew pointed out an eagle's nest on rocks overlooking the sea, not quite close enough to guarantee a good photo but ... worth a try with a 200mm lens.

Eagle's nest.

It was hard to know whether this was a parent bird or a fully grown chick.

Nobody went ashore from either catamaran on Middle Island though the crew of Grace II gave us the option. However, since our next stop was to be in a more sheltered location where we would be able to walk on the island or swim as the boat was making a lunch stop. Those keen to swim were content to wait.

When we anchored for our lunch stop many took advantage of the opportunity to go ashore or snorkel on a nearby coral reef. Those going ashore were ferried in the boat's dinghy.

Ferrying passengers ashore.

A shuttle service was operated by Anthony, left in both photos, to the island.        Both photos: Gail.

Dinghy Ashore.

             The dinghy ashore to ferry passengers to and from the island.             Photo Pam

Others swam from the boat to inspect the reef which appeared to be a disappointment. The crew equipped those going snorkelling with wetsuits, masks, flippers, snorkels, etc.

Jerzy and Gail.

Jerzy's feet were bigger than he thought.                                 Problem Gail? Are you in pain?             

Jerzy and Gail in sea.

It all came together in the end and who could doubt that they are really having a wonderful time?

Others were content to stay dry and relax on the boat with a wine or beer while a fabulous lunch of prawns, ham, sausages (the boat had an on-board barbecue), three different salads, bread rolls and all the condiments was laid out in the cabin. The cherry tomatoes were fresh from Anthony and Vicky's garden. It would be hard to imagine a more perfect place to enjoy lunch than under a sky of blue, warm sunshine and the clear water gently rocking the boat. And not one fly!

Theo and Pete.

Theo found he had inserted his leg into an arm hole.         The fat, lazy photographer stole Gail's bean bag.     

Both photos: Gail

While lounging on the deck I saw a cloud in the sky which resembled a large bird. I know some people are interested in unusual cloud shapes.

Birdshaped cloud.

I think the cloud was triggered by rising heat from a fire down the coast.

Photo's from boat trip.

Left: Captain Anthony taking the dinghy ashore.          Right: Marion and Michael (M & M).

Kevin and Margaret have been together for around fifty years and in all that time, Kev has never, ever, seen Margaret at the bar. Until, that is, schnitzel night at the Pine Beach Hotel ...

Margaret at the bar

Caught bang to rights! Margaret (behind Eira) at the bar.         Photo Elwyn

But wait, just being at the bar is not enough. Did you buy a round of drinks, Margaret?

We haven't seen them for a couple of years but they are healthy, happy and enjoying the odd game of bowls down on the Gold Coast. They emailed Roger Klose who emailed me - thanks, Rog.

Phil and Bev

Phil and Bev are on the right. This picture was taken when the Diamond Jim road sign was unveiled.
Phil was instrumental in naming the road after Jim Waterman (3rd from the right).

Phil was also known as the Baledog, a name affectionately bestowed upon him by Jim. We also knew him as the Boilermaker. Whenever there was a heavy steelwork job to be done around the park, Phil was there. Jim awarded a shield to him for his untiring work crushing beer cans so they could be sold for scrap.

One of the reasons for their absence from Bell Park is the loss of their house sitter. Their son lived with them so their house was secure when they travelled north. Now he's bought his own home and moved out of theirs. Phil noticed that there was a fair amount of maintenance necessary, the sorts of things that creep up on a householder like rusting gutters and downpipes so he's been working hard.

Rumour has it that Phil will turn eighty this year and possibly dragging a caravan up and down the coast is a thing of the past. Nevertheless, the same rumour has it that he and Bev may - just may - come on up and stay for a while in a cabin so they can attend happy hour and catch up with the goss. Phil, Bev, please do, it would be s-o-o-o good to see you.

Ladies, Bev sends her love and wishes you all the best.

Carpet Python?

Was Di perturbed when this python slid under her 'van, climbed onto a wheel and coiled up for a snooze?
No she wasn't, not in the slightest.

Di had another guest - an invited one - and a nice custard tart waiting. All she wanted was to sit down and chat, albeit within a metre of the dozing snake.

However, half the park (exaggeration) had gathered around, many imparting 'expert' opinions on what type the snake was and the best course of action. Di was having none of it.
The snake can stay as long as it wants, she said firmly and unwrapped the custard tart. The snake was out of sight except from within Di's annexe so everyone went home. So too, did the snake. When it was ready.

Many congratulations to Eckard and Monika Dietrich on their fifty second wedding anniversary last Monday (July 27). They celebrated with lunch at the Spinnaker Restaurant in Yeppoon.

Monika and Eckard W.A.

Left: Karl and Elizabeth      Centre: Eckard and Monika      Right: Pete and Pam.

Classes are in the Emu Park Community Hall from 10:00 to 12:30 on the following Monday mornings:
24th August, 7th September, 26th October, 16th November. Bring your PC/iPad and charger. Morning tea supplied.
For bookings call 4913 3840.

It's painted red for danger but that won't help you if Al is approaching from behind. His electric motor is all but silent so stay alert! At the time the picture was taken Al hadn't attempted a speed trial (Michele was watching) but it looks a mean machine. Wanna race, Jock?

Al on his gofer.

Al's opinion of his new transport? Two words: Beats walking. Dead right, Al ...
and quite a few tinnies will fit in that basket.

The cost will be approximately $50 per person which includes transport there and back, a fabulous lunch and great entertainment. This is really good value - trust me (I'm with the Government). All enquiries to Suzanne, the organiser par excellence, on Site 50. Don't miss out and regret it for the rest of your life. Book early before it's all sold out! Er ... did we mention there's a bar?

Is this possible, Ronnie waving a Bulldogs flag? What will his family and friends say? What caused this change of heart, Ronnie? Will the sun rise in the west from now on?

Ronnie with Bulldogs flag.

So you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Or should that be 'a new Dog old tricks'?

Photo Gail                               

Two busloads arrive at The Ferns

Two busloads arriving at The Ferns pause for a group photo.
Princess, you should have gone as soon as the bus stopped!

What a fabulous day! The buses were prompt, the journey pleasant, the weather perfect and the food, drink and service magnificent. All these superlatives apply equally to the wonderful company we had - yes YOU, folks - and what can we say about Suzanne who organised the event? Again, Thank You seems totally inadequate so thanks a million times, Suzanne; everything was perfect.

My personal thanks to Pam for wielding the little Cannon. To view many more individual photos, CLICK HERE.

A dozen of the undead emerge from the deep

I shivered as I watched them emerge from the ocean, arms dangling limply at their sides. The morning was dull and misty and I heard no sound as they approached me. Terror gripped me and I swiped my new sunglasses from my eyes to reveal ...

Bell Park bathers.

... those mad 'icebergs' from the caravan park.

Moral: Don't wear sunglasses when you don't need to. Thanks, Theo, for the photo.

So many people have enquired about Joan and Barry Lang that Susan Graze thought we should use this forum to tell everybody that, due to Barry's ill health, they won't be coming to Bell Park this season. However, Joan assures Susan that they'll be back next winter without fail.

From all at Australia's best caravan park, get well soon Barry. We're thinking of you and the park isn't the same without you two.

It started with a sausage sizzle to commemorate the anniversary of Jim's* passing. The sausage sizzle unintentionally made a profit and there were many uncooked sausages left in the fridge to be frozen for a future event. Then followed a burger night to accompany the screening of the State of Origin decider and it was decided to make that a fund raiser for either cancer research or the Oncology Ward and throw in the earlier profit. Many people gave extra, over and above the cost of the burgers.

Last night, 22 July, there followed another sausage sizzle - this one was definitely a fund raiser - to use up the remaining sausages. Again attendance grew until the frozen sausage supply was totally inadequate and the Emu Park butcher, baker and IGA had to be 'troubled' again. So many supported the event that the barbecue area was bursting at the seams in spite of the weather. Did the people of Bell Park allow the rain to spoil the evening? No way!

The end result is that YOU, the members of this wonderful big family that is Bell Park, made a fantastic $533 for the Oncology Ward. And so many people deserve thanks for their work that naming them all would be impossible; so let our great chef, Leigh Curtis, represent them all and receive our thanks on their behalf. Thanks a million, Leigh.

A cheque will be delivered to the Oncology Ward at the Mater Hospital, Rockhampton, tomorrow and hopefully a photo or two will be added to this text.

Friday, July 24th:-

Pam and Oncology Staff with cheque

On behalf of the Bell Park Patrons, Pam presents a cheque for $533 to Dianne and Angela of the Oncology Department at the Mater Hospital, Rockhampton. Everybody there remembered Jim very fondly.

*For anyone new to Bell Park, Jim Waterman was the much-loved manager of Bell Park for many years. He tragically died from cancer on 15 June 2014 and is still terribly missed in the Park. He developed the social culture that lives on, stronger than ever, under his lovely wife Sue, who is now the manager.

Following a tip-off by a very kind person about a photo opportunity in the north-west corner of Bell Park, investigations uncovered a sextet of musos practising together ...


All were so intent on their instruments that they paid no heed to the camera.

The group doesn't have a name yet though one of them has suggested The Retreads. If you can suggest a better name they may appreciate hearing it ... or they may not. A totally unsubstantiated rumour suggests that if the act comes together successfully, they may perform at Happy Hour one afternoon.


Hans, Lawrie, Kevin, and John preparing to leave on the next stage of the Tour d' Emu Park.
John, looking very relaxed, is currently wearing the yellow jersey. Hans is looking a little tense -
possibly worrying if his choice of front tyre was wise for the mountain section. Photo courtesy of Lorraine.

Theo, Susan and John have planted a Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus Sinuatus) to replace a tree lost during Cyclone Marcia. What a great way to give something back to the park that we all love and which gives us so much pleasure. Good for you, guys.

Tree Planting 1 of 4

Any vehicle cutting the corner could easily crush a sapling, so ...

Tree Planting 2 of 4

... a substantial post was placed to protect it.

Tree Planting 3 of 4

After it had been well watered ...

Tree Planting 4 of 4

... it was time to sit down with a well-earned beer, kept cold in a Bell Park cooler of course, and watch it grow.

Photos courtesy of Theo and Susan

After a previous change in the volunteer kitchen staff at the Bowls Club, standards fell and patronage followed suit. Now, however, all reports on the quality of the meals are glowing and the restaurant is again full on a Friday evening.

Ronnie's Recorder

Ronnie Monohan, well known recorder musician of Bell Park North, plays for his admiring audience
as Maureen Schadendorff holds up his Certificate for the camera. Fame at last, Ronnie.

Bowls Day Organizers

The team that made it happen: Jerzy Dubczyk, BJ Adams and Ian Brown.
A fabulous afternoon, guys. Thank you.


The bowlers on the eastern green.


The bowlers on the western green.

Most Improved Bowler

The winner of the Most Improved Bowler shield, Marion Smith (right).
Congratulations, Marion. Don would be so proud of you.

Al Crooks

And of all the pleasures of the afternoon, one of the greatest was to see Al Crooks there.
Wonderful to see you well enough to come, Al.

This is just a heads-up. The full details are posted on the Park Notice Board.

Beginner Computer and Ipad Session in the Emu Park Community Hall on the morning of Monday, 27 July. Free.
Writing Your Life In Ten Dishes A creative writing class on food by Jeannette Delamoir. Saturday, 1 August and Thursday evening, 6th August. $15. George Street, Yeppoon.

The Women For Knitted Knockers (not Knotted Knickers) were very busy on the afternoon of Monday, 13th July, stuffing filling into the 'boobs' they had knitted.

Knocker Knitters

Looks like the ladies are holding up balls of wool but not so.
These are bra cup fillers for the poor souls that have had a mastectomy.

There are strict rules for those knitting the prostheses. The ladies must wash their hands thoroughly before starting and must not wear make-up, perfume or hand lotion. The knockers - yes, that's what they call them - will come into contact with scar tissue on the user and any risk of infection is serious. You'll notice on the picture that the table in the Camp Kitchen has been covered to keep everything sterile. Also, the knockers are not made from wool but special 8-ply cotton that is low-irritant.

C Cup Filler

This afternoon was devoted to filling the knockers with stuffing. The cleanliness rules still apply.
Monika, who doubles as Quality Controller, is holding a completed 'C' cup filler.

The ladies give their time for nothing and there are plenty of volunteers. Bell Park is so rich in big hearted people.

Lorraine models

Lorraine modelling a knocker. Way too small, Lorraine.

The special cotton and filler are supplied to the volunteers by the Knitted Knockers Australia organisation at no charge. The organisation keeps a close eye on quality control. The completed knockers are given to the recipients free of charge.

Here's an interesting fact: The original pattern for the knockers included a nipple. Australian women prefer not to have the nipple (unlike their American counterparts) so the pattern was modified.

All you knitting ladies, the Guardian Pharmacy is again accepting garments for the Save the Children Fund so go for it. Your blood is worth bottling!

It was Tuesday 7th July when the seemingly endless preparations of Suzanne Curtis and Brenda Jean (BJ) Adams all came together at the Pine Beach Hotel and everything went perfectly.

BJ and Suzanne

Those two wonderful ladies that organised the best Christmas in July ever!
Somehow just saying Thank you both so much to BJ and Suzanne seems totally inadequate.

The 'Pinie' was packed with one hundred Bell Park Patrons and Friends of Bell Park. The meal was served promptly and it was delicious. Thank you also to Mark, the Pine Beach licensee who must also have pulled out all the stops to cope with the numbers at his end. Thanks a million, Mark.

Last but by no means least, many thanks to Sue who was determined, come hell or high water, that this traditional event would not lapse despite her enormous workload. Using her managerial skills she delegated the organisation to two willing, hard-working and trustworthy ladies - Suzanne and BJ. Result: a fantastic evening!

Christmas in July

All photographs courtesy of Pam

The evening following the Christmas in July celebration was another big evening in Bell Park. We extended Happy Hour into a Burger Barbecue to fill the time until the Origin game started. Many thanks are due to Suzanne, Cathy and Pam for organising the burgers so well, to Leigh who excelled at cooking them and to the Emu Park butcher who made the delicious beef fillings.

As an experiment the girls tried selling tickets for the burgers and it worked very well, keeping the money and the food totally separate and ensuring every burger was paid for. There were beef, chicken and vegetarian burgers available and again the ticket system avoided confusion. Cathy took on the role of Chief of the Ticket Police ensuring everyone in the queue had a ticket. Nobody messed with Cath! On ya Cath.

The big match started around 8 pm and Sue loaned us the big screen TV from the park office. Thanks, Sue, it worked beautifully. Also to Colleen for the antenna, one being useless without the other. For a change it was set up over the fridge in the Camp Kitchen where everyone could see and hear it. We were lucky in that the wind was blowing off the ocean so the back wall of the Camp Kitchen blocked most of the chill from the audience.

Although N.S.W. believed they would thrash Queensland, they reckoned without the volume of gratuitous advice directed at Queensland from Bell Park's Camp Kitchen! On ya, Jock! The occasional cries of Go the Blues gradually faded to silence as the match progressed. What an incredible score!

Laurel Webb, the little lady who lived in the house at the north end of the park, passed away on Tuesday 7th July. Very little is known about Laurel's previous life - she was a very private person. Nevertheless, she was part of the rich variety of personalities that make Bell Park what it is and she'll be missed.
Footnote: Laurel had left instructions that, should she collapse under the circumstances in which she did, she was not to be resuscitated. Because nobody except her daughter was aware of this, the paramedics had no choice but to attempt resuscitation. If you have a similar wish it is essential that you leave a document to that effect with Sue, the Park Manager. Word of mouth cannot be accepted by the ambulance crews.

We've never stayed here before but I have to say that this is the friendliest park we've ever stayed in.
Credit must go to Susie (the fabulous Boss Lady), the lovely office ladies and all who came into contact with these first-time visitors. They are very keen to come back again for a longer stay.

Susan, Hans, Leigh on beach.

Hans: Looks c-c-c-cold      Susan:Oh all right, I'll go in first.

Croc biting Susan's bum.

Come on in, it's 18°; there's nothing to be afraid of.

Theo and Susan.

Once Susan had disposed of the croc, she and Theo went swimming
before returning for some delicious, fresh crocodile steaks.

The State of Origin Decider broadcast will be shown in the Camp Kitchen on July 8th.
What screen will be used? That beaut large TV from the park office has been offered by Sue. Thanks, Sue.
As the broadcast doesn't start until around 7:30, those interested in watching the game could delay Happy Hour until 6:00 pm when hamburgers and chickenburgers will be cooked in the BBQ area if there is sufficient interest.
We will need numbers a week in advance so please put your name on the list on the notice board outside the office.

Please Note Burgers in the BBQ area at 6:00 pm, and the screening of the State of Origin in the Camp Kitchen are separate. Come to one, come to both or come to neither. Perhaps bring/wear warm clothing for the rugby.

Joycie, wife of Don Collins, passed away in Cairns after a stroke. See 'Vale' below.

Congratulations to Karl and Elizabeth, 62 years married on 20th June.

There is to be a fun - emphasise FUN - bowling day at 1 pm on Thursday July 16th. This is for everybody whether you bowl or not.

Fancy having a go in a relaxed atmosphere? This is for you.

Want to just relax and socialise with friends? This is for you.

There will be a sausage sizzle if you feel hungry and the bar will be open if you are thirsty.

For those who wish to bowl, the $10 charge includes the sausage sizzle. For those not bowling there is no charge unless you wish to purchase a sausage, in which case there will be an honesty box near the sausage sizzle.

The annual Morning Tea with Entertainment, normally held at the Anglican Church each July, is cancelled this year due to a shortage of volunteers to erect marquees, etc.

Jim's Anniversary

Sorry to those not in this picture, I had to stand on Judy's head to include this many.

Jim's Anniversary

I think the night was a great success, what about you? Financially speaking we covered costs, made $113 perhaps for the hospital ward that looked after Jim and even had half the sausages left over so we can do it all again. Which means that many people added a donation to the sausage price so thank you all for coming, donating and making the evening so much fun.

Finally, thanks Jim for leaving the power on. Hope you enjoyed it too, Mate.

Due to a dispute between the Gardian Pharmacy and Save The Children, no knitware donated to Guardian Angel is being accepted by the Pharmacy. (Nothing to do with the Zilzie Pharmacy) If/when the situation changes I will notify you here. Pam.

June 15th will be the first anniversary of Diamond Jim's passing. In Jim's memory we will be holding an extended Happy Hour and sausage sizzle in the barbecue area next to ...

Memorial Garden

... the Diamond Jim Memorial Garden.

The aim is to make this occasion a happy one, the sort of shindig Jim would have loved. So come on over and bring your bottles and cans. No speeches or formality unless someone wishes to propose a toast to Jim. He'll probably be there anyway so if you're reading this Jim, no power cuts this time, please.*

To cover costs there will be a $2 per sausage charge with any surplus being donated to the Cancer Foundation. See y'all there.

* You won't believe this. Not two hours after posting this article on-line, and right in the middle of Happy Hour, there was a power cut! Go on, say it was just coincidence. Are you trying to tell us something, Jim?

Walking up Emu Street past the Super IGA and to the top of the hill we were confronted by a new development facing us. ANZAC Court wasn't there last year.

Dominating a forecourt of sandstone slabs and pillars surrounded by lawns and gardens is a backdrop of rusty steel plates making up a wall. Across the face of the wall stagger the figures of exhausted troops in battle dress and carrying arms. The troops are also of steel plate, galvanised to a bright silver against the brown of the rust. The montage is not only dramatic but tasteful too. The work so far, including the boardwalk as far as the Singing Ship, marks the end of Stage One; further development will take place over the remaining centenary years of WW I (2014 to 2018).


ANZAC Court, the gateway gallery entry, will be the focal point to
‘The Centenary of ANZAC Memorial Walk' when all stages are completed.

A little to the left of ANZAC Court a new boardwalk has been constructed along the rock face giving spectacular views of the Coral Sea and offshore islands. However, at the start of the boardwalk is a 'window into the past', so placed that as you look through the window towards the horizon, you are faced with a scene of boats landing troops who are storming up the dunes towards you, rifles at the ready.

Window to the Past

Brilliant! What a fabulous idea.

The picture on the glass is taken from part of a painting called The Spirit - Gallipoli Landing 1915 by British painter, David Rowlands. It depicts the second wave of the 10th Battalion (South Australia) scaling Anzac Cove at 5:00 a.m. just 30 minutes after the initial landing by parts of the 9th (Queensland) and 10th and 11th (Western Australia). By noon, 10,000 men were ashore. In order to avoid confusion with the headwear of the Turkish troops, the Australians were ordered to wear field caps, not their usual slouch hats.

As you turn from the 'window' and proceed along the walkway you find information plaques with photographs and details of different stages and theatres of World War I.


Nobody who takes this walk can forget the troops that went and those that didn't come back.

The plaques form a timeline, the first one being for 1914 and the subsequent plaques consecutively cover each year to 1918.


As the boardwalk followed the shoreline towards the Singing Ship, the wind nearly blew us over.


At the completion of Stage One the boardwalk terminates at a viewing deck below the Singing Ship and
the wind was giving the ship's pipes a good workout. It also made for a bad hair day ... for those with hair.

In future stages the boardwalk will be extended from the viewing platform towards Fisherman's Beach. In the other direction, a new boardwalk will commence at ANZAC Court at the top of Emu Street and descend to Main Beach. There is a lot more artwork to come, some in the form of sculptures. The overhead power cables presently suspended above Emu Street will be re-routed underground. Cabling for boardwalk lighting has been laid and the bases for the lights (presently marked by red and white cones) are ready to receive them .

The brains behind the design and construction of this wonderful work deserve congratulations. It adds greatly to the many existing attractions of Emu Park and will undoubtedly attract tourists if the present excellent quality is maintained.


Rosemary plants, which grow wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula, are much in evidence.

The Happy Hours of the 7th and 9th of June were pleasantly different here in Bell Park due to a young and very musical family who perform under the name of The Family Tree. The Imeson family are from Yamba and consist of, Dad, Mum and their three lovely and talented children. They sang and played like angels.

Family Tree

L to R: Molly, Joel (sitting), Amy (behind), Charlie and Rob.

The Family Tree gave a wonderful concert with plenty of variety. Rob (Dad) not only sang and played very well, but mixed old favourites with songs he had composed himself. Amy (Mum) sang and played a flute, a penny whistle and a guitar. Joel played a guitar, a ukelele and a 'drum' - that's his drum he's sitting on in the picture. Molly played a violin and little Charlie sang very sweetly.

The family played and sang out of the kindness of their hearts. They were grateful to anyone who bought a CD from them but there was no fee or collection. Rob, Amy, kids, if you read this please come back to Bell Park soon - we'd all love to see you again.

Bell Park Caravan Park was evacuated yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. Sue Waterman is staying with Janet and Bill Kneebone; Al Crooks is staying with Lorna and Dougie Rossiter. Others are scattered around the area. All touring 'vans have left and the park is closed, as are are all other parks along the coast. At the moment, as you probably know from the television coverage, the eye of the cyclone is over Yeppoon and they are anticipating a flood tide of 2 - 2½ metres.

Total silence from Emu Park. The weather report for the area indicates all has settled down. Absence of communication is probably due to ongoing power problems - no power to mobile phone towers (or no upright mobile phone towers).

Brief text message regarding Bell Park from Sue: Trees down, no power, Marcia has refurbished the park. Need to conserve phone battery; can't recharge.
Good to hear from you, Sue.

Message from Glenness and Amos Task: We feel for you guys and hope that you are all safe, Bell Park will rise again. All the best, Glenness and Amos Trask xx

Thanks Glenness and Amos, all safe as far as I know. And you're right, not even Marcia's Hissy Fit will keep Bell Park down. P.

Thanks, Sue, for the update and the photos. Emu Park (the town) has had power restored but the main power line feeding the caravan park was brought down by a tree. At the time of writing, Sue was waiting for an electrician and looking forward to again having cold drinks and working fans.

What about this woman, folks? After the year she's had she's still in there battling and sounds as cheerful as ever. Isn't she terrific? (That should be worth a good site discount.) Thankfully her house is okay. Go Susie!

Storm Damage

The speed limit's TEN, Marcia. Can't ya read?

Fallen Tree

Thanks to Hans Schulte for information regarding the temporary closure of Keppel Bay Sailing Club's three venues, The Clubhouse, The Spinnaker and Krackers Bowls Club. As the reopening dates vary and are not yet fixed, perhaps phone 0437 708 063 for more information if needed.

Thanks, Noreen and Lionel, for your kind words. It's great that your caravan came through the cyclone undamaged.

And YES, folks, the television mast and antenna still stand.

The following article appeared in the 'Morning Bulletin' of Saturday, 27th of December.

Newspaper Article


Santa's Hat on Beach
Told ya that sand was too soft to take the weight of your fat belly, Santa!
This photo was sent to Pam by Sue. Did you take it, Sue? We love it.

Emu Park from a helicopter

Emu Park from a helicopter flying at 1,000 feet.

Rosslyn Marina from a helicopter

Rosslyn Marina from the helicopter. The island tours depart from here. Photo: Pam

House on the rocks

Location, location, location.


From Pete and Pam:
Hi, everybody. On Friday, 16th January, we called to see John and Helen Paul at their beautiful Dolphin Point home overlooking the ocean. We found them both well and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours with them.

Helen, Pam and John

Pam with Helen and John at their Dolphin Point home by the sea.

Another From Pete and Pam:
Hans, Lorraine and Pam at Windmill

Pam again, this time with Hans and Lorraine at Tamberrah Cottages, Tambo. This idyllic setting is perfect
for a break from everyday hustle and bustle, for a wedding, to spend your honeymoon or just to pop in
for a pizza or even a full meal in their licensed restaurant. Check out their website:

Tamberrah Cottages is just 25 kilometres from Lakes Entrance, slightly less from Bairnsdale. We enjoyed a really nice pizza there. And speaking of food, we found a pretty good spot to have a barbecue. The staff did more than a fair job of cooking it for us!

Pam and Lorraine BBQ

They did a sterling job; thank you ladies.

And Yet Another From Pete and Pam:
Leaving Lorraine and Hans in Lakes Entrance we journeyed on west to visit Roger Klose. We stayed in Traralgon, about 20 kilometres from Roger's home in Churchill.

Pam and Roger

Roger and Pam in Walhalla - not surrendering, waving. Hello, Rog.

As had Lorraine and Hans, Roger treated us like royalty, giving us conducted tours of Traralgon, Morwell, Churchill and much of the Latrobe Valley region.

Roger's son, Adrian (a.k.a. Noddy), arranged for me to have a fabulous flight over the area with a work colleague who owned a Jabiru microlight aircraft.

We met Roger's friend, Dawn, and visited Morwell Bowling Club (where Roger is a member) for meals on two occasions.

We went to the little town of Walhalla (population less than 20) and rode the restored train to Thomson and back along the bottom of Stringer's Gorge, criss-crossing the creek on rickety-looking bridges.

We had a barbecue at the Park Lane Holiday Park (where we stayed), went to Roger's house for a lovely dinner and Rog came to the Park for breakfast. Phew! What a busy week. Thanks Rog, and it was lovely to meet Dawn at last.

And Even More From Pete and Pam:
We might be in big trouble here. On Sunday, 26th October, while on Bribie Island, we were invited to a beautiful lunch at the home of Doddsie and Michele. We spent a wonderfully relaxing afternoon at their beautiful home. We entered our visit onto our own website but FORGOT TO MENTION IT HERE. Sincerest apologies, Alan and Michele.

Eight Meet at the Greyhound Bistro
It started with just two couples, then gradually expanded to five couples and finally settled at four. And here we all are:

Belfry-ites at Bistro

Left to Right: Eckard, Monika, Hans, Susan, Theo, Lorraine, Pam and Pete.
Photo: A composite of one by Theo and another by Pete.

Pete and Pam catch up with Jerzy and Gail
Jerzy and Gail

Hello to Everybody From Jerzy and Gail at a Wonderful Evening at Santini's Restaurant, Werribee.

Gail and Pam

The Girls

Guess who these three are?

Crossing road

You probably got it right, but just in case ...

Crossing road

Cathy and Phil Parry with Pam on the bank of the Murray River at Barham during a fabulous day out.

Phil and Kath looked after us wonderfully during our four-day stay at Swan Hill, a town we'd visited previously but never seen properly. It's a lovely place, we were very impressed. Thanks, Phil and Cath, for your generous hospitality, I hope we can repay you one day.

A Lovely Picture of a Lovely Lady in a lovely setting.

Helen John Paul sent me this beautiful picture of his lovely wife, Helen, so that I could share it here with you. It was taken last year at Monet's Cottage in Paris.

As you doubtless know, Helen has been ill for some time and is now totally dependant on John to the extent that he has decided that a winter stay in Bell Park with their caravan is no longer an option. The good news is that John and Helen may call in and say 'Hello' at some point. Please do, John, if it is possible.

Pam and Susan will certainly miss making up a threesome for mah-jong with Helen and I'll miss Helen's excited laughter from outside the 'van when she'd win a game.

Theo and Susan had a fabulous time in Japan.
Theo and Sue in Japan

Theo, Susan and the Cherry Blossom. Susan, I've never seen you looking more relaxed, pretty and ... young!

Theo, Sue and ladies in Japan

Hey, Theo, you old rogue. Which one did you choose?

Theo, Sue and ladies in Japan

Well done Theo, the Bell Park stubby holder has exposure in Japan. Worth a 15% discount this year, Susie?

Theo writes, we have just returned from three weeks in Japan. It was one of the best trips we have ever done. We were lucky to have had masses of cherry blossoms every day. It is such a clean, friendly place. In two weeks we will be meeting the Melbourne Bell Park campers for lunch before we all head off north again. BEWARE QUEENSLAND!


The Sad Passing of a Bell Park Patron

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Ron Kern on 28th February 2015. Ron leaves his wife, Jean, and children to whom we all extend our deepest sympathy.

Ron Kern and Jean

Ron and Jean in happier times.

Ron and Jean had been coming to Bell Park for around twenty years until ill health intervened in the last few years. During the winters they called Site 3 on Diamond Jim Drive home.

Ron and Jim were firm friends, both being keen bowlers. In fact, Ron was a well-respected player and umpire at the Emu Park Bowls Club.

Though Ron was of Scottish ancestry, he served Australia for many years in the Australian Army, including service in New Guinea. On retuning from overseas, Sergeant Major Kern was posted to Western Australia.

Ron's health began to trouble him in his later years and six months ago he was hospitalised with pneumonia.

Ron's funeral took place on Friday, 6th March 2015.

God bless you Ron. Say hello to Jim and other Bell Park friends who have gone before.

Condolences to Roger Klose on his sad bereavement

Our hearts go out to Roger after the passing of his close friend of many years, Dawn Bond, who had been ill for some time. Dawn finally succumbed to an unexpected and severe stroke in the early hours of the morning of Monday, 16th March 2015, in the Latrobe Regional Hospital. Her funeral will be on Monday, 23 March.

Dawn and Roger

Dawn with Roger in February of this year.

Dawn never came to Bell Park but many will recall Roger referring to her as 'My friend'. She had been an accomplished athlete in her younger years and excelled at bowls. It was on the bowling green that Roger and she met.

Dawn leaves three daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren and a nephew. She will be sadly missed.

Devastating News

Dodds Family

With a heavy heart it is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of Alan Dodds, affectionately known to all as 'Doddsy', at four o'clock this morning (Saturday, 2nd May 2015). Doddsy battled cancer for many years but this morning the fight was over.

We send all our love and deepest sympathy to Michele who suffered alongside Doddsy throughout and was painfully aware in recent days that there were only hours left. Shell, you are not alone, everyone who ever knew Doddsy will deeply mourn his passing, their sorrow tempered by the relief that his suffering is over; he is at peace.

Doddsy is pictured right with wife Michele and sons Leigh and Glen on the occasion of Michele's sixtieth birthday.

Our thoughts are with the whole family, especially Leigh and wife Kirsten, Glen and wife Vicki and their children who have lost their grandpa. We also send our sincere sympathy to 'Old Al' Crooks, Michele's father, who lives in Bell Park.

Alan's funeral is to be held on Thursday, 7th May, at 10:30 a.m. at:

The Bribie Sports Club,
54 Toorbul Street,
Bribie Island.
GPS S27.08697° E153.16121°
If you plan to attend, please let Michele know as soon as possible (for catering purposes).

If Shell wishes me to pass on any further information you will find it here.

More distressing News

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Joycie Collins on June 20th, 2015.

Joycie was part of our Tassie Wanderers for many years at Bell Park Caravan Park. She was an accomplished bowler and an integral part of the Southerners' Happy Hour Group.

Many will remember with a smile her cameo performance in Sleeping Beauty staged at the Emu Park Bowling Club in 2014. Joycie and husband Don arranged many social outings. Both were popular and contributing members of the Deloraine (Tasmania) community where Joycie had held the position of Ladies' President of the Deloraine Bowls Club.

Joycie was a devoted support for Don in both business and private life. She will be remembered for her generousity to the group and her quiet and gentle nature.

Joycie suffered a major stroke and was initially taken to Mareeba Hospital but later moved to Cairns for better treatment. However, it was all in vain. Our hearts go out to husband Don, daughter Anne and sons Paul and Mark at this most distressing time. Also, of course, to Joycie's grandchildren.

Rest in Peace, Joycie.

The Sad Passing of a Long Term Park Resident

On the morning of Tuesday, 7th of July 2015, Laurel Webb stepped out of her house into the warm sunshine, collapsed and was dead before the paramedics arrived. All attempts to resuscitate her were in vain.

Laurel had lived in her house at the north end of Bell Park since 10th November 2007. Never one to socialise much, she withdrew into herself after her sister died, becoming almost a recluse. Her occasional visits to happy hour ceased and her health deteriorated. The picture shows Laurel with Phil Bale.        

Laurel was a widow; she leaves a daughter Kerry, sons and grandchildren. It is believed she hailed from New South Wales, possibly Goulburn.

Farewell, Laurel.

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