Park Patrons' Page 2016

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Bell Park News (in reverse chronological order).

More sad news.

Norm and Margie Oats occupied site 61 in Bell Park for many winter seasons. It is my sad duty to inform you that Margie passed away on Monday, December 12th, after a period of declining health. Norm, our hearts go out to you and your family. My thanks to Brian Pugsley for passing on the news, and to Sue Waterman for forwarding it. Please click on 'Vale' on the menu in the left margin to go to Brian's message.

Pete and Pam to pull up stakes and leave Emu Park.

Yep, the time has come. We'll be leaving Bell Park next Saturday, 22nd October. We're travelling to Adelaide via places like Longreach, Winton, Mount Isa, Three Ways, Alice, Ayers Rock, Coober Pedy, Woomera and Port Augusta. With us we'll have Pam's big sister, Angie, and her husband, Dave. Angie's previously seen Perth, Brisbane and Sydney so our aim is to show them the real Australia.

After visiting Adelaide and surrounds we'll be putting our guests on an aeroplane to New Zealand at the end of November and Pam and I will set off across the Nullarbor yet again to visit Esperence and Perth. Our aim is be back in Emu Park in April, so until then this never-ending tome may slow down. It's up to YOU now to feed me stories and pictures.

D-Day Tomorrow (D is for 'dig')

North end empty
 The north half of Bell Park ready for the start of the electrical upgrade tomorrow.
 Some surface cable and yellow boxes have gone but the 'gennie' is still running.
Fence

The first change was a fence all around the north end. Yes, even along the dunes. It didn't work,
the mosquitoes still got in. Locked inside this 'stockade' were the amenities block, the camp kitchen,
the can crusher and two cabins. The 'gennie' escaped with seconds to spare.

Can recycling

We did think of changing the can crusher's sign.
As you can see in the background, the park looks as if giant moles have taken over.

Trench

Looking through the fence from the north-west corner. I think the electric cable has already been laid and buried
here (in orange conduit). It appears fresh water (blue pipe) and drainage (larger, white pipes) will be next.
Will this be for sewage or sullage, I wonder? There are manholes at intervals, purpose still unknown.

N. Side

Once there was a caravan park here. Once there was grass. The trenches have been backfilled and the ground levelled. Shouldn't be very long now.

Tardis

Oh, look! A Tardis. Can you see the concrete pad with a steel pole and a short water pipe protruding?
These will be the new service points; there are many of them appearing over Bell Park North.

The Singing Ship in Colour

Singing Ship in Pink

October is Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In recognition, the Singing Ship has been floodlit in (sort of) pink for the month.

The floodlights are permanent and will, presumably, be set to white light after October. Or they might change from colour to colour, we'll have to wait and see. The picture below shows the ANZAC boardwalk by night.

Boardwalk by night

Bell Park supports the local R.S.L.

Sue donates $1000 to the RSL

Sunday, 25th September: Sue Waterman, Bell Park Caravan Park's Manager, hands a Social Club cheque
for $1,000 to Ron Robinson, the President of the Emu Park Sub Branch of the R.S.L. Nice one, Susie.



Moonshine and Music
And Now, Ten Photos
from the Camera of Pam . . .
A Night of Moonshine and Music!

What a cool gift!

You will doubtless remember the rusty old black fridge that lived under the bench in the barbecue area. Well, it's gone. It's been replaced by a nice, shiny white one, donated by Paula Rohl. Paula is the lady who helps to keep the facilities and cabins in Bell Park beautifully clean.

Paula and Fridge

Paula and the fridge she gave to the park.

Just to be scrupulously factual, Paula did give the fridge for free but Sue wasn't having a bar of that. She insisted that Paula take some payment. However, Paula's intention was to donate it and she should be given full recognition for that. Thank you Paula, on behalf of everybody that ever uses the fridge.

A New Restaurant Reviewed. Poster2
The Bella Sugo is not so much a new restaurant, rather a previously closed one that has reopened under new management. It used to be known as Coco's; now it's Bella Sugos @ Coco's.

Bella, of course, translates from Italian as 'beautiful' and Sugo translates as juice, gravy, sauce or essence. The restaurant is a family business with Jodi Mills being its public face while her husband, chef Rob Mills, is at the heart of things in the 'engine room'. The couple are not short of ideas; they have introduced a market on the concourse outside the restaurant every other Saturday morning and have live music every Sunday afternoon. There is take-away pizza and pasta available from Thursday to Sunday.

We first visited Bella Sugo for breakfast on Fathers' Day and found the service good and the fare excellent. The ambience was bright and airy and the staff friendly. We again visited for Sunday breakfast more recently and again we were not disappointed. As yet we have not dined in the evening nor attended on a Sunday afternoon for the live music, but both are on our 'to do' list.

The prices are marginally higher than equivalents at Degani's but, in our opinion, worth paying for the improved quality and service.

Recognise Diamond Jim Drive?
Diamond Jim Drive


By Popular Demand, here are two recipes from Janet (the Cauliflower Lady) Kieran

Janet Kieran

Janet is well known at happy hour for arriving with a plate full of hot, deep-fried cauliflower to hand around on cold nights.

Janet, pictured on just such a night.

So many have requested the recipe that Janet decided the best solution would be to print it here for everybody who wants it. So here - breaking new ground for Patrons' Page - is not only that recipe but one for an insect repellent as well. Not, of course, that we need insect repellent here in Bell Park :)

Deep Fried Cauliflower

1 cauliflower cut into florettes
About 250gms (about Half a packet) of Besan (Chick Pea) Flour
1 tsp. Chicken Stock Powder
1 – 2 teaspoons of Cummin
½ - 1 teaspoon of salt

Place all ingredients (not cauliflower) into a bowl and using a whisk, gradually mix in enough water to make a batter about the consistency of a pancake batter.
Heat oil until very hot.
Mix cauliflower pieces in the batter and add to the oil 6 – 8 pieces at a time and fry until golden.

Insect Repellent

500mls of either Sorbelene or Vitamin E Cream (pump bottle is most convenient).
15mls Eucalyptus Oil.
15mls Tea Tree Oil.
15mls Citronella Oil (not the type you burn), purchase from Pharmacy.

Empty about 50mls out of the container of Sorbelene or Vit E Cream.
Add the oils to the bottle and shake well.
NOTE: over time it will thin, but this does not reduce it’s effectiveness.

Thanks for both recipes Janet. Isn't this park just full of lovely, kind people?

Twenty Five 'vans depart; crows arrive.
How are you faring, all you south-bound travellers? Please stay safe. Don't take risks by pushing on too fast. Come back in 2017.

The only news of any importance from Emu Park is that Lorna and Dougie's son, Grant, is sufficiently recovered to leave hospital. He isn't fully out of the woods yet but is very much improved. Lorna and Dougie returned to Emu Park to a special Welcome Home happy hour celebration which saw the barbecue area overflowing and a good time had by all.

This morning, Monday 29th August, when Lorna checked the office computer she was amazed to find that twenty five caravans/cabin occupants were due to leave Bell Park today. Out of a total of 110 sites, that's quite a percentage. There will, of course, be some new arrivals.
Two days later: Following the departure of 25 'vans on Monday, 19 left on Tuesday and 18 on Wednesday. Was is something we said?

Talking of new arrivals, a large number of crows . . . a murder of crows, is it? Okay, a murder of crows has taken over the trees in the park and their cawing sometimes drowns out the sound of the usual inhabitants. They clash with the vicious magpies and usually come second. Spring begins in a few days; could this be the mating season?

Burger Night Raises More Funds For RizeUp.
The last bash of the season raised over $300 more for the charity which aids women and children fleeing domestic violence. This is in addition to the $1,200 raised at the BIG Morning Tea recently.

The evening went very well, in no small part due to the music of Jan, Steve and Libby who seemed undaunted by the cold wind, treating all present to some very pleasant and professional ukulele music. (While checking my spelling of ukulele I discovered the instrument is of Hawaiian origin and the name means 'jumping flea'. Appropriate when the money raised is for 'fleeing' women? O.K., not funny.)

Trio of Ukuleles

Jan White with Steve and Libby Bartlett. The trio gave a most enjoyable
performance with their three ukuleles and voices.

Burgers on the BBQ

Good old Roger and Jerzy cooked up 108 burgers and onions. Well done both and thank you.

Rugged up from the cold

The barbecue area was full with many rugged up against the cold wind.

The bbq area overflow

People overflowed outside the barbecue area but joined in despite the chill.

Olympic scarves

Sue Waterman acquired some Olympic Scarves which were distributed amongst those who had helped out with
the Big Morning Tea fund raiser. After they had been certified drug free, of course. The scarves, that is.

Collage

An attempt to include as many people as possible. Sorry if I missed you.

So a really big 'thank you' to all who gave their time and money to support these fund raisers whether as a helper or a burger eater. And a GIANT 'thank you' to Pam who put in hours of work for each event, both fund raisers, trips to Ferns and all the social occasions with which she's been involved AND to all who supported her. I know it's true to say ...
Bell Park says NO to domestic violence!

Happy Birthday to a remarkable old gentleman.
Colin Pop Pollard will be 98 years of age very soon. He is the father of Arthur Wink Pollard and father-in-law of the lovely Jen.

Colin Pop Pollard

Jen, Pop and Wink Pollard. If you can't guess from the photo,
the celebration is in honour of Pop's 98th birthday

Pop's birthday isn't until 28th August (in about two weeks) but as Bell Park is on the cusp of the mass southerly exodus with some already gone, it was decided to have the party a little early. The weather was a trifle gusty and some comparatively young blokes took serious precautions. Perhaps they mistook the smell of bat pooh for penguin pooh from the Antarctic.

Ray and Roger

Jerzy and Geoff

Others entered the spirit of the occasion with gusto. Geoff White, Sue Osbourne and Jerzy Dubczyk.
Gusto refused to be in the picture.

Pop cutting cake

Pop cutting his cake. As the picture shows, there was no shortage of food for the (estimated) forty who attended.

Pop

Colin Pop Pollard

An Evening with bush poet, Bob Pacey
As you'll have noticed, this item is not in the correct sequence. However, no worries, let's have a look at Bob anyway.

Bob Pacey

There was a little daylight left as Bob began his show.

Bob Pacey

Nobody can say that Bob doesn't put expression into his poetry. Or has he just woken up?

Bob Pacey

Long after the sun had sunk in the west, dragging the last vestiges of daylight down after it, Bob was still going.

Jen and Wink

The temperature was dropping and some began to wrap up. Jen and Wink.

Stop Sign

Bob even had a poem featuring those men we love to hate!

Sue and Bob

And finally, Sue thanking Bob

The BIG morning tea.
It was organised by Pam to raise funds for RizeUp, a Queensland women's organisation which assists victims of domestic violence in a very practical way. When a woman - frequently a mother - escapes an abusive relationship she is often left with nothing and needs all the help she can get to restart a life for herself and any children she has. Other agencies may find her accommodation but RizeUp will fill her larder with food, provide vital furnishings, kitchen utensils, bedding, etc. in order to smooth the start of her new life during this crucial, traumatic period.

Pam worked tirelessly to put together this fund-raiser and the people of Bell Park and, indeed, Emu Park, rallied round and supported her wonderfully. Even the weather was on-side and the BIG Morning Tea succeeded beyond expectations.

The day started on a good note when Pam was visited by a young backpacker called Cate who was just leaving Froggy Hollow with her partner, Mic. Cate wanted to donate to the cause and left a bag full of groceries and an envelope containing thirty dollars. On the back of the envelope Cate had written these words:

For the Survivors
May women reconnect with the worth they bring,
From the small everyday things many take for granted.
Individually we are one drop; together we are an ocean.

Cate and Mic, if you ever read this, THANK YOU. You kicked our day off to a great start.

Sue supplied a gazebo for the day and much fun was had setting it up ... until Sue had the innovative idea of reading the instructions! I guess that's why she's the boss.

Gazebo

The construction team in 'nearly finished' mode. (Photo: Susan Graze)

Start of Big Morning Tea.

The scene as the ten o'clock start time approached.

As the photo above shows, our flag was relocated for the occasion. I carried it vertically around the road to avoid passing under trees and as I walked up past the amenities block, in the opposite direction marched 'M & M' - those two funny ladies, Maggie and Maureen. They passed either side of the flag, smartly performed an 'about turn' and fell into step as an escort for the flag. Unfortunately though, not a camera was to be seen. Ah, well.

The activities were many and varied. We had two poems read aloud - one of which moved BJ to tears. There was a competition to guess the number of 'M & Ms' in a jar (not Maggie and Maureen this time), a raffle with a huge number of prizes, and an auction which was hilarious. There were more refreshments than could be consumed, many lovely cakes and scones being left over at the end.

Celeste

Celeste Spiteri from White Heather in Yeppoon brought a stall full of beautifully scented lotions and soaps.
All the commission she earned from sales was donated to the cause and Celeste threw in another $88.
Thanks Celeste, that was wonderfully generous.

Lillian receives a raffle prize.

There were lots of raffle prizes. Here Lillian Metham receives one of those prizes ... but read on.

After the initial count of the profit earned for RizeUp the total came to $890. Pam was delighted, and even more so when Lillian returned from her caravan with $110 to round off the total to $1,000. Thanks so much, Lillian, and for the beautiful crystal sun-catcher which you donated for the auction. It flashes brilliantly when held in the sunlight. Lillian makes these items as well as necklaces and earrings in her caravan. She sells them in markets, etc.

The star of the show was undoubtedly Phil Parry. In another life he was a stock auctioneer and he's lost none of his technique. Phil sold off a host of donated items and had his audience in fits of laughter as husbands bid against their own wives.

Phil the Auctioneer

Phil sold this bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to me after I outbid Pam.

The most remarkable man present was 'Pop' Pollard. Pop is the father of Arthur 'Wink' Pollard and father-in-law of Jenny Pollard.

Pop and family

Jenny, Pop and Wink. Why is Pop such a remarkable man? Pop will be 98 years old on August 28th.
He travels everywhere with Wink and Jenny who are pretty incredible themselves.
Pop was out clubbing with them in Yeppoon a few nights ago!

How much was raised after the final donations came in? $1,200!!!
Pam wishes to thank everybody for this magnificent achievement, including :
All at Bell Park Caravan Park and the many citizens of Emu Park who supported her,
Sponsors: the Pharmacy, Newsagency, Beauty Shop, 'Unleashed' Hair Dresser, the Bell Park Bakery and Degani's Café.
And last but certainly not least, Susie Waterman, Manager of Bell Park Caravan Park who purchased the gazebo for the occasion in addition to donating several gifts.

Fun in the Sun.
sarcasm •noun the use of irony to mock or convey contempt. [Concise Oxford English Dictionary]

Beach Access

Beach Access! And is that the boat acquired by the new Froggy Hollow Surf Life Savers? This picture was taken by our tame staff photographer the next morning when the wind had dropped and the rain had paused.

Froggy Hollow

Brian Pugsley ventured forth in the height of the storm regardless of the risk to his person and equipment. Good one Brian. Anybody want to book Site 59? For a houseboat, perhaps?

Bell River

Next Morning: Bell Creek, now a mere trickle compared to last night's torrent. It rises in the wetlands of Emu Park, flows beneath the road, surges down what is euphemistically called a 'drain' running past Bell Park then wends its way through pipes and channels to the Coral Sea.

Hans

Hans, dressed sensibly for the occasion, with the drain behind him.

What we don't have is a picture of is Stretch and Jason (from JayZee Electrical) battling in failing light and waist deep in the torrent in order to reposition the main conductors from the two southern generators well above the water.

That was devotion to duty far in excess of what anyone could reasonably expect. Thanks a million, guys. In fact, thanks to both of you for your untiring efforts to track down various electrical faults, often in the dark and/or pouring rain. Stretch has an injured back and injured knee which won't have been helped by getting soaked repeatedly. Stretch, you're a star, mate.

Cable over water

Next morning the water level was well down. Were there not two of those white barriers?

Swept-away barrier

There's the other one, swept away but trapped at the pipe inlets.

Social Bowls - Guess who won the shield for 2016?

Cath Parry

Cath Parry's proud smile says it all as she receives the
Warwick Plunkett Perpetual Shield for Most Improved Novice
from Bell Park Manager, Susie Waterman. Well done Cath.

Cath bowling

Cath demonstrating a perfect dispatch. Bowl already running smoothly, no bounce, arm following through.

This action shot (above) is about all a photographer can capture as the exciting bit at the other end means nothing when frozen on a still photo. Unless a bowler expresses his or her emotions physically, like ....

Jock celebrating

... Jock, leaving no-one in doubt as to his feelings. Trevor, too, in a different way.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY - WHAT A SHOW

Bell Park has Talent!

Isn't she fabulous? Not only did BJ organise the whole evening almost single handed, but she compèred it too. The Pinie was able to cater for ninety diners and every seat was sold. The meal was lovely, the almosphere great and a pretty fantastic time was had by all. Thank you soooo much, B.J.

BJ Adams

The Lovely and Talented Brenda-Jean Adams.

Credit must also go to Mark, the Manager of the Pine Beach Hotel, his staff, those in Bell Park who assisted B.J. - Jeanie, Lyn and John, and Robyn and Jeanette. Thank you all for making this year's celebration the best ever but . . . most of all to B.J.

I'd like to personally thank whoever decided on the black and white theme for the dining setting. My only half-decent pants are black and my only smart(ish) shoes are white. I got it right, albeit by accident! Oh, and thanks to Brian Pugsley for pointing out that I had my finger covering the little lens on the camera that assists the auto-focus and prevents red-eye pictures. No wonder my photos were so poor!

Christmas in July

If one photo could typify the evening, perhaps this would be it.

A Postcard from Bowen
Mike, Marion, Ann and John in Bowen

Hello to Mike, Marion, Ann and John who met up in Bowen.

Hey, Look at our Theo!
Theo Sand Yachting

A new experience on the beach at Mulambin with a group of enthusiasts, including
the world Blokart* champion. One of the many things one can do in the Emu Park area
, says Theo.

If you are not familiar with the location of Mulambin, turn right out of the park and drive 9.4 kilometres taking the coast road. Mulambin is 1 kilometer beyond the Causeway.
*Blokarts are similar to Sand Yachts, Land Yachts and Velocity Karts but steered by hand. They can reach speeds of 100 km/hour.

Sad news.
Please click on 'Vale' or 'Page Bottom' on the left.

Another Quiz
The Icebergs

These people are 'Icebergs'. What are their names?
Number Five, I suppose you could be pulling them up ...

The Icebergs

On the other hand ... Enough, Number Five!

Do You Know This Couple?
Hans and Lorraine

They are in this park. The photo was taken in 1976. Who are they?
Yes, you got it, our favourite friends, Lorraine and Hans. Too easy!

Friday Karaoke ... Pretty Damn Good.

Joyce and Derek

Derek and Joyce, our in-house singers at Bell Park.
Apologies, Joyce for turning you about face - it was better than having you turn your back on Derek.

Duet

A new duet? No, it's a fake. They call it 'photoshopping'.
That's Joyce's hand and microphone taken from another image and superimposed

Bill and Colleen

These two, Bill and Colleen, were fabulous. As far as I know Bill and Colleen were
strangers before Bell Park karaote last Monday. Both are terrific 'singists'.

People, both young and old, flocked to hear them.

Baby and Jock

It's really hard to believe but Jock on the right once looked like this baby.
And one day this beautiful baby might look like ... but let's not go there.

Of course, not everybody went to the karaoke. Some just went about their mundane business.

Phil wheeling potty

Well, somebody has to do it.

Joyce and Derek reintroduce Karaoke to the park. Remember, we're in reverse chronological order.

Karaoke

Joyce and Derek with a much smaller attendance than the quality of the performances warranted.

On Monday, 20th of June, Joyce and Derek Lilliott reintroduced their weekly karaoke session and there was some very professional singing to be heard. The audience was disappointingly small but if this standard is maintained it might be standing room only for future sessions. As Colleen, one of the really good singers, will be leaving at the weekend, another karaoke concert has been arranged for the coming Friday afternoon (24th June). If you can make it you won't be disappointed.

Best Ever Afternoon at the Ferns Hideaway.
Twenty one Bell Parkers visited The Ferns on Sunday, 19th of June for what was proclaimed to be the best visit ever by those who attended. On arrival we were warmly welcomed at the bus door by Marto and members of his staff, all holding ...

Marion and Mike in the rain

Yes, umbrellas! The brollies were shuttled between the bus and restaurant until everyone was safely inside.
Here, Marion and Mike are making the dash, the pouring rain visible on the picture.

Gail became 'photographer of the day' with her Canon and all the photos in this section are from her camera. Thanks, Gail.

Gail and Jerzy

And here she is with husband Jerzy, Miss Personality-Plus of Bell Park, Gail Dubcyzk.

It was a fantastic afternoon (as always) with fantastic food and drink (as always) and fabulous entertainment (as always). Joyce and Derek Lilliot both got up to sing with Marto and were excellent.

Singists

Joyce is in the left picture and Derek, a little blurred, in the right. Okay, a lot blurred.

Suzanna

This lady, Suzanna, was also excellent.

Note: The Ferns stage is illuminated with bright red lights. This is very effective in the restaurant but plays havoc with photos.

Maggie and Sandy Dawe

Maggie and Sandy Dawe in the foreground. Behind, left to right, Pete, Phil, Jerzy and Monika.

Gail and Cath

Two lovely ladies, Gail Dubcyzk and Cath Parry

Marion and Mike

Marion and Mike

Eckard and Monika

Eckard and Monika

Most of the mob

About fourteen of the twenty one visitors to The Ferns are shown
if you count the top of Lorraine's head to the left of Hans.

Folks, there will be two more visits to the Ferns before Marto and Genevieve leave for a well-deserved holiday in Europe. The dates, 24th July and 14th August, will be well advertised so book early if you wish to travel on the bus. Naturally, you can take your own car if you wish.

Ronnie Monohan to have surgery?
Ronnie Rumours abound in the Park that either Ronnie and Myrtle Monohan won't be with us this year, or ... they will. What seems definite is that Ronnie is having surgery near one eye.

It will be sad if they can't get here because Ronnie is such a live wire with his enthusiasm for the Collingwood team and driving folk mad with his recorder.

Ronnie with his recorder.
Photo taken 16th July 2015.

Myrtle, we'll all miss you as well if you are not coming. Tell me, Myrtle, is it true that Ronnie will require one thousand stitches? That's one rumour I've heard! Even Frankenstein's monster didn't have that many.

Our thoughts are with you both. We all send you our best wishes. Get well soon, Ron, and get up here to recuperate.

Jim Waterman remembered
On the evening of June 15th, the second anniversary of Jim's death, the winter faithful of Bell Park gathered in the barbecue area to remember Jim and celebrate his remarkable life. Pam organised a sausage sizzle to follow 'happy hour' and around fifty five people attended which meant that over a hundred sausages were cooked and eaten. Thank you to Pam for all the co-ordinating and shopping, to Jerzy for the loan of a screen to block out the rather gusty wind, to John for being the master chef, to Sue for supplying the balloons and Cathy, Lionel and Joyce for inflating and hanging them up. No thanks to the mischievous Jim for popping so many!

Jim

Jim, as always with that twinkle in his eyes.

Glasses were raised in a toast to Jim for making Bell Park what it is and to Sue for the wonderful way she is managing it. Everyone seemed to have a good time, including Jim who is never far away.

Audi and Gold

A model of Jim's Audi and a can of cold XXXX Gold are placed next to his memorial on special occasions.

The evening raised over $100 for this year's charity which is RizeUp Australia, a community driven organisation dedicated to supporting the brave families leaving domestic and family violence.

The Winter Season Has Started

Al Crooks

Firstly let's start with good old Al Crooks who, of course, never went away.
Al is looking remarkably well and happy these days.


Roger Klose

An early arrival was Roger Klose who travelled from Gippsland with his 'van in just three days.
His son, nicknamed Noddy, did all the driving then flew home. What a guy!


Peter Adams and BJ

Also here early were those two keen bowlers, Peter and BJ Adams.


Stan the Man

Stan the Man. Sorry, Stan, it's a very poor likeness.


Suzanne and Leigh

Suzanne and Leigh are not staying in the park. They are in their new apartment in the Endeavour Motel.


BJ and Phil

BJ (again) and Phil Parry. Where's Cathy? I messed up both photos with you on, sorry Cath.


Marto

If you hadn't guessed, all these pictures were taken at the Ferns Hideaway. Here's Marto.

Monday, 30 May: Winter regulars also in Bell Park, though not on the photos, are Eckard and Monika, Jerzy and Gail, John and Jeanette. Cancelled are Amos and Glenness.

Bell Park Major Electrical Upgrade
It began when a man using the camp kitchen washing-up sink felt a slight electrical tingle. As this wasn't the first time a tingle had been experienced from the water in those facilities, Sue alerted the Council. Electrical engineers arrived and, using sensing equipment, plotted out where the underground wiring lay. A few days later a very clever machine arrived and bored some exploratory holes ...

Water drill

Exploratory bores were sunk to locate the wiring.

The device in the hand of the man in the orange vest directed an extremely powerful jet of water into the ground. The earth in the path of the water jet was churned to a wet slurry which was then sucked up by the large diameter orange pipe, rocks and all, and deposited in the cylindrical tank on the back of the truck. This method was fast, precise and there was no need to remove loose earth from the hole, the machine did it all. Additionally, if the water drill struck a water pipe or electricity conduit it would do no damage, unlike a mechanical auger or other mechanical boring tool. As soon as the cable was exposed and checked, the hole was immediately back-filled with sand.

I believe it was during these tests that one of the electricians also suffered an electric shock. Since Bell Park is a camp site, metal pegs are hammered into the ground as a matter of course to anchor guy ropes. While the risk to patrons was minimal, Sue and the Council were not prepared to accept that risk and immediate action was taken.

The Council decided that ALL the old underground power cables had to be checked and probably replaced ... and this at a time when the peak winter period was fast approaching. There were two options :-
  1. Close the park completely until the work was completed, or
  2. Temporarily replace all the underground electrical cabling with surface cables powered by diesel generators, then disconnect mains power to the underground system.
The Council elected to adopt the second option. On Saturday, 14th May, trucks, utes, a forklift and a large team of workers arrived at dawn. They neatly laid out surface cables, erected floodlights on high poles to replace the park street lighting and caravan power leads were disconnected from the normal outlets and reconnected to the new surface system. Generators hummed away and all went smoothly. The Council employees and electricians worked tirelessly throughout the day and received praise and gratitude from patrons and management alike.

Generators, etc

Larger generators arrived on a truck.

Equipment

For a while there was equipment all over the place. By the next day the carpark area was clear again.

Sue the Boss

Sue, with constant good humour despite the apparent chaos, directed operations from outside the office.
(I doubt if her good humour will last when she sees this photo.)

The next problem was, how do you dig up the park during the peak winter season with every site occupied? The answer ... you don't! So, with the caravan park safe, the winter season will proceed as usual and the digging will wait until it quietens down in the spring. A good compromise.

Thus when you arrive for the season, expect things to be much as usual. Cabling has been bridged so it is mostly out of sight and can be driven over safely. The generators hum away day and night. As Stretch put it, it is like sleeping on a cruise ship. After a while it merges into the background and, like the ticking of an old fashioned clock, you would only notice it if it stopped.

STOP PRESS :- The Council has decided to move the generators right out to the road verge to reduce any noise and to keep exhaust gases away from the park. These Council people have been marvellous, fast, efficient and considerate. How often do you hear Council workers being praised so?

Jerzy and Gail, you always said the voltage was low up in the north corner and it looks as if you were right. So now, as Hans would say, All good!

UPDATE :- The smaller generators have all now been replaced by three large ones, two outside the park on the verge and one back where the shipping containers used to be at the north end. (Yes, the shipping containers have gone.)

Big genie

The low hum from each generator is quite successfully muffled by a wall of straw bales.

Trucks

The cheerfully coloured generators were loaded onto two trucks.
They had each been given a name so it was sad for some to see them leave.

Sue has been very busy notifying members of the Bell Park Winter Family in case they may like to cancel due to the 'noise'. This patron's honest opinion is that if the sound of the sea doesn't bother you, neither will the generators.

Emu Park ANZAC Dawn Service
At 04:45 it was still very dark, yet the road past the caravan park carried a continuous flow of slow-moving cars, all heading into Emu Park. Before we set off on foot there was one last task to perform. We raised our flag and lowered it to the half mast position, there to remain until noon as protocol dictates.

As we walked through the dark park it was decidedly cool and the breeze was gusty. Beneath the trees it was hard to see the path at all but ahead there was light. Bell Park's southern end had become a car park for many dozens of cars and as more arrived we were aided by their lights. Once out of the park the centre of the village was well lit and pedestrians were abundant. Every car park slot was occupied. Once past the brightly lit IGA store the road became dark again, our shadows grew longer and less distinct as we walked until they faded away altogether. By now we were just two of a crowd converging on the RSL building and the ANZAC Memorial. As we drew closer we could see the road was completely blocked by hundreds of people of all ages, each a dark smudge in the moonlight. The Dawn Service had not yet commenced and the crowd waited patiently in near silence.

Cenotaph before dawn

The cenotaph was brightly floodlit but a few rows back it was dark.

Most people were well wrapped up in warm clothing; one couple huddled together with a blanket wrapped around them.

The service commenced with the catafalque party of Army cadets marching out to the cenotaph and taking up position at each corner. Then followed speeches from RSL dignitaries and others and the laying of a single wreath to commemorate the fallen of WW I. This has become the custom at Emu Park ANZAC dawn services, many more wreaths being laid at the later service following the march. A lady sang Eric Bogle's song, And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda so beautifully that, in the already emotion-charged atmosphere, there probably weren't too many dry eyes as we listened.

After the service a volley of shots was fired over the ocean but getting close enough to see anything was impossible so we walked through the new Gatehouse and along the boardwalk to the Singing Ship to watch the sun rise. But the sun wanted to sulk behind a layer of murk on the horizon so we took a few photos anyway. The Ship was in its element with the strong breeze and sang merrily for us, only interrupted by the crackle of gunfire from (I presume) the cadets.

Singing Ship at dawn

All the construction crew's fencing had been removed from around the
Ship and the new walkway extension was open from the Lookout Platform.

Since we were returning at 09:00 for the march and later service we decided to return to the caravan for breakfast.

The march was led by a police car followed by the army contingent, three uniformed veterans on horseback with a further five on foot. Then came a pipe band, the Emu Park RSL contingent, the police, the fire brigade, the SES, the Navy, the RAAF, the Emu Park life savers, the schools, the RSL Ladies Auxiliary and many I can't recall.

Cavalry

SES, Police, etc

Golf Buggies

The Royal Corps of Golf Buggies put on a good display of formation driving, carrying disabled veterans.

A large red fire engine rounded off the parade. Once all were safely back at the RSL it was time to commence the second service of the day, this one thankfully (from the camera's perspective) in bright sunshine. As earlier it commenced with the catafalque party marching smartly out to take up their positions.

Catafalque Party

The second service pretty well followed along the lines of the first except that more wreaths were laid and there were no guns fired.

Wide angle shot of wreath-laying.

Two photos butted together to give a panoramic view of the wreath-laying ceremony.

Al Crooks at wreath-laying.

Representing New Zealand was a very smart Alan Crooks.
Come on, of course you know him. Look again.

Wreaths. The whole day was perfectly organised and went off without a hitch. I expect the newspapers will give their estimate of the attendance but we do know that some came from as far away as Brisbane just for the ANZAC ceremony in Emu Park - they stayed in the caravan park which filled up for the occasion. The new Gatehouse and landscape upgrades to the Singing Ship also attracted a lot of attention, too. Both have been beautifully done.

April 2016 - Look who's in Bell Park.
John and Ann

Yes, it's John and Ann, unfortunately only here for a few days but ... they'll be back in October.

Big Dave

Big Dave is here with Glenys. Where are you, Glenys?

John, Dougie, Lorna and Laurie

A serious discussion? John, Dougie and Lorna paying rapt attention to Laurie.

The Festival of the Wind.
The Emu Park Festival of the Wind was held on Sunday, April 3rd, in Bell Park and on the adjacent beach. The weather was perfect, as was the all-important wind, and little Emu Park was bursting at the seams.

Bell Park

There was a funfair, a very large market, music, singing, dancing and hundreds of kites of all shapes and sizes.

Bell Park

Bell Park

Bell Park

Bell Park

Bell Park

During the afternoon the 'Fighting Kites' took to the air, each endeavouring to cut the string of another competing kite, the winner being the last fighter left airborne. After darkness fell the day was rounded off with an exciting firework display.

The occasion was run by the Lions Club of Emu Park who did an excellent job; they must have been very happy with the outcome.

Look who we found at Rockie airport!

Leigh and Suzanne

Leigh and Suzanne Curtis pay a flying visit to Emu Park.

On Wednesday, February 3rd, Leigh and Suzanne flew in to see us all at Bell Park and to conduct some business. It was wonderful to see them and we joined Sue and Barbara (Sue's mother) at a celebration dinner at the 'Pinie'. Later Sue left to take Barbara home. They had no sooner departed when the skies opened and a violent thunder storm hit the area. There was hardly a pause between lightning flashes and the rain was worse than torrential. We listened to it pounding the road outside as the gutters overflowed and reflected that we didn't have a car, an umbrella or a raincoat between the four of us. The storm was showing no sign of abating - if anything, the opposite.

Just then the door opened and in came good old Susie, her car outside with room for four passengers. How kind was that?

The next evening we had a barbecue in Bell Park, again to the accompaniment of thunder and some heavy rain which failed to spoil the occasion. Stretch, Trish and Al Crooks joined us and a good time was had by all. The next morning Leigh and Suzanne flew out. It was sad to see them leave so soon.

Sorry, what was that? Why had they come? What was this 'business' they had to conduct? Well, it isn't my business to tell you, is it? Oh, all right. Both Leigh and Suzanne love Emu Park - don't we all? - and are considering buying a small property which they can let out when they don't need it themselves. Sorry, no more questions, please.

Stage Two of the wonderful ANZAC Memorial is almost complete.
The section at the start of the existing boardwalk is being upgraded. The row of plaques forming the WW I timeline has been removed as that area is being expanded both out over the slope and back inland to form a large platform on which will stand a gatehouse with new artwork and additional information exhibited. The first picture (below) will remain fixed and the second picture will change to reflect the latest stage of the construction until completion.

Gatehouse 1

Jan 24 2016: Progress on the gatehouse after two weeks. Trenches have been dug and foundations poured.
A retaining wall is under construction on the ocean side. On the left is the cut-off boardwalk which will
continue through the completed gatehouse.

Gatehouse 2

March 28 2016: The new gatehouse is structurally complete though work is still progressing inside.

Mayor and Deputy

April 23 2016: Mayor Ludwig opening the new Gatehouse. Sitting behind him is Deputy Mayor Tom Wyatt and
an unknown cleric with many medals. Would that blue object be a lectern or a wheelie bin?

Crowd at Opening Ceremy

There was a good turnout to hear the politicians and other dignitaries thank all concerned.
It was just a shame the majority said virtually the same thing ... at some length.

Poppy image

The floor of the gatehouse is painted with poppies, crosses and 'blood smears'. There are 61,516 crosses, one for every Australian that died in World War One. A purple poppy recalls the vital work and sacrifice of animals in war.

Poster

WW 1 posters in the entrance to the gatehouse. If the politicians of today promised Britain 50,000 more
Australian men for cannon fodder while they stayed at home, what would they be told?

Gatehouse Interior

The Gatehouse interior has many photographs, explanations, stories and a timeline.

New Work

March 28 2016: The beginning of the next stage of the boardwalk extension connecting the viewing platform to the Singing Ship. Still only earthwork, the white posts mark the new section winding off the right side of the photo then back on higher up.The photo below, taken April 23 2016, shows the path completed. The gradient has been calculated to suit the disabled people. Still to come is more landscaping and floodlights for the Singing Ship.

Boardwalk Extension

Correspondence

Theo and Susan Relaxing in Granada, Spain.

Theo and Susan

The last couple of days of our Spain and Portugal holiday. No more tours, just ambling through the streets doing our own thing.

Looking forward to catching up with you all.

Theo and Susan.





















A missive from Hans and Lorraine.
Hans and Co

Don, Eira, Hans and Lorraine in the spa at Boomi.

Dear All

We are at Boomi for a few days and relaxing in the spa. Eira and Don followed us to Boomi for the first time and loved being here, (they left today). We have our camp fire and we asked everyone to come for happy hour - about twelve people. Boomi is a great place to watch the planets ... Venus, Mercury, Mars, ... a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them all in line.

We will leave Saturday as we are going to the Boomi theatre play which is only on every second year. It is the magpie nesting season and Hans has two beak marks from a magpie in Meandarra. He said he wondered what the hell hit him!!

Cheers, Lorraine and Hans.


An accolade for Bell Park, our patrons and our web site.
Hi Pete,

Thanks for getting the Bell Park website up and running again, I reported it to Lorna last Friday as I was trying to get the park sites map up to print out. This is a great website thanks to your input, so informative, and has to be the best caravan park website that I have ever come across.

Through reading it we found out about Emu Park township and Bell Park CP, and as a result we booked in for a week last year at the end of July, on our way back down the coast from a trip through Outback and Northern Qld. We had such a good time at such a great place, and met terrific people, (we were on site 6), that we have booked in for four weeks in July and early August, to get a feel for more extended periods in following years.

I look forward to shouting you a beer for telling us about such a great Caravan Park.

Best regards,

John and Cathie Millar, Mont Albert, Vic.

Thanks for that, John and Cathie, it's much appreciated. We look forward to meeting you ... and that beer!

Hans and Lorraine write from Lakes Entrance ~ letter delayed by web problem.
Hans and Lorraine Dear Pete, Pam, Sue and Patrons,

We wish all of you a happy Australia Day.

Hans and I have settled into our campsite at Lakes Haven Caravan Park, a nice little park for the 'oldies' that like a quiet time. It's so quiet you can hear Hans all over the park. We have come a little early this year as we had all the family staying in different accommodation around Lakes.

Our grandson, Maxie, started school today. We all went for a coffee morning, eight adults and three littlies. It was mayhem, I'm not thinking to do this again, these little coffee shops don't cater for big families.

After our family packed up and went home we started our holiday with friends. We had one lot of friends from Drouin who we went to dinner with at the Entertainment Centre. The next day I cooked a breakfast for them and then we went out on their yacht, it was perfect sailing weather.

We had a very busy Australia Day, with egg and bacon roll at the local hall and the raising of the flag. For lunch we went to another local friend's where we joined in with a barbecue lunch and played some old Australian games. What Fun!

Yesterday the local R.S.L. had bingo so I went along, the hall was full, very different to the Emu Park bingo. There were about one hundred locals there. It was fun but they read the numbers so fast that you hadn't got time to scratch your bum.

On February 24th we will have Laurie and Alwyn from Sydney staying with us for a week. We will try to catch up with some of the patrons in our area.

Cheers for now,

Love Lorraine and Hans xx

Photo: Hans and Lorraine celebrating Australia Day.


John and Helen John and Helen can't be here in 2016.
John Paul has written to say that he and Helen will not be venturing up to Emu Park in 2016. It would have been their 11th year (minus 2010).

John has found the workload in caring for Helen becoming more demanding, and consequently he feels the long trip up north would be a little difficult to handle. Helen is in excellent health but her dementia has made a slow progression.

John says they will miss their winter holiday and their park friends.

And we'll all miss you, John and Helen. Especially the bocce and mah-jong players. Thanks for the photo - don't you photogenic pair ever take a bad photo?

John, if you do change your mind it would be fabulous to see you both here again ... but we do understand.

May God bless both of you.





Hans and Lorrrrraine
Dear friends,

How is the packing of the 'van going? Hans and I are fine, we started our holiday on the 24th May going up through Yea, a very pretty drive through the hills with all the autumn colours. We stayed on the farm at Strathmerton and then moved up the Newel Highway staying overnight at a place called Mirrool where we paid $10 for power and hot showers next to the pub. We then proceeded to Gun Bend Dam near Condobolin and picked up our Lakes Entrance friends, Joe and Julie, before moving on to Toowareena for the night - a great little caravan park. Like many, it was up for sale. Geoff, the owner, advised us to take the tourist drive through the Warrumbungles. It was a little winding but the views were worth it. The four of us stayed at Boomi where we had one good day before the weather turned bad making it a little mucky underfoot but the lovely spa made up for it. We were just leaving after four days when I tripped on a broken footpath; I was clever, I went sailing through the air and landed on my feet. SHIT, pain, I pulled a calf muscle.There are nine muscles in the calf, so who knows which one I pulled?

We proceeded along to Roma Clay Gun Club where $25 bought us great facilities and the best hot shower since I left home. They also had a happy hour shed where all the travellers meet. I was using an umberella for a walking stick and I got the nickname Mary Poppins! We went shopping downtown and now I have a souvenir from Roma - a walking stick.

As my leg is not good we decided to leave Julie and Joe as they are traveling to Claremont. We took the Roma-Taroom road, a good road. We travelled on to Theodore and had lunch in the park. While there, a caravanner told us, You have no brake lights. We did have brakes but brake lights are separate. Where do you look for an auto electrician in a little outback town? We fueled up and asked the lady attendant and she said, Drive around the next back block and there is a shed there. He may be able to fix the problem. We drove around and there were two old dogs sitting out the front, two large cracks in the window and the shed full of quad bikes. A thin man came out of the small door (our vintage) with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. He was so good he went to the source of the problem where a wire cable had come loose. He did a great job of shrink wrapping each wire for us. It was about 4pm by then so we stayed in the Theodore Show Ground for $15 per night with power and new amenities.

We are presently in Baralaba. We thought we'd use the caravan park to do our washing and stay a night so we pulled in. Nobody was about. We thought, Someone will collect our money. As there is no work for the mines here the whole village has closed down, very dead. We saw one of the ladies and she just told us to use the washing machines and the ensuite. We will be staying till Saturday when we'll move on to Bell Park.

Alwynne and Lawrie are new grandparents, they have a healthy little 3.2kg boy called Noah.

Hope this update finds you all well. Love to all,

Lorraine and Hans

Photographs

Singing Ship

The Singing Ship at 07:30 on January 11th. Imagine the discordant notes from the Ship, the crash of the breakers,
the hiss of the foaming water, the squawking and chatter of the Lorikeets and Gallahs in the trees. Feel nostalgic?
The sundial was spot on a few weeks ago. Now it's 10 minutes slow. Anyone know how to change the battery?

Rocks below Boardwalk

A little more of Paradise.

Vale

Farewell Margie Oats

Brian Pugsley wrote to inform all at Bell Park :-
I had an email from Norm this morning advising that Margie passed away yesterday (Monday December 12th). Many of you will remember Margie and of the happy times we shared over the past few years at Bell Park Caravan Park. Margie had not enjoyed the best of health during the past year or so with several visits to hospital in Adelaide.

A lovely lady at rest in God’s care. Our thoughts are with Norm and his family.

I understand Norm has been in touch with a few Wanderers, so please accept my apologies if this duplicates his call. Norm also advised his new email address as normoats@gmail.com.

My best regards

Brian Pugsley


Sue has let me know that Margie's funeral will be held in Tumby Bay on the 28th of December. Thanks, Sue.

Sue's Father, Albert Watson, Passed away aged ninety-one.

Albert on his 91st

It is with truly deep sorrow that Pam and I have to announce the passing of Albert Watson on 28th October, 2016. Albert slipped away peacefully in Sunset Ridge Respite Home, Zilzie, with his wife, Barbara, and his daughter, Sue, at his bedside.

Pictured: Albert on his 91st birthday with Barbara and Sue.


On a personal note Pam and I wish to add that we had got to know Albert over the last two years and found him both a true gentleman and a gentle man with a most loveable personality. Our hearts go out to Barbara, Sue, Kath and the rest of the family at this most heartbreaking and difficult time. Jim, too, was always genuinely fond of Albert, as indeed Albert was of Jim.

Sue, we feel your loss deeply. Your dad was a lovely man.






A message from Sue Waterman to all:
It is with great sadness that I need to inform you that Jean Kern passed away on the 29th of December. Her funeral was held in Henty on Wednesday, 6th January. If you wish to contact her daughter, Rhonda Hall, the phone number is (02) 6929 3300 (Jean's phone number). Rhonda has said if you wish to donate to a charity in memory of her wonderful mum she would appreciate it. Jean's favourite charity was the Red Cross. I have sent flowers on behalf of all our Bell Park family.

In a month's time Rhonda will return home to Unit 71, 81-89 Tweed Coast Road, Hastings Point 2489. Her home phone number is 6676 1703.


jean and flowers
Jean and the flowers sent on behalf of the Bell Park Family.

Jean's husband, Ron, passed away just ten months before Jean. Now they are together again. Jean and Ron 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. God bless you Jean.


Rest In Peace Warwick Plunkett
Sadly, another of our number has passed away. Warwick Plunkett, who was in his nineties, passed away recently in a nursing home in Geelong. He is survived by his wife, Mayra, and children.

shield

Warwick (left), photographed in 2012, awarding the
Warwick Plunkett Perpetual Shield for the Most Improved Novice to Theo Graze.

Warwick was not only a keen bowls player but gave his time to organising bowling competitions such as the Inter-Park Bowling Competition for caravan parks in the Emu Park area as well as social bowls days.

For many years Warwick and Mayra called Site Two on Diamond Jim Drive home each winter.

Many thanks to Roger Klose for the information and to Susan Graze for the photo.


A Sad Farewell To Johnno Shaw
It is with great sadness that Patrons' Page has again to notify you of the death of one of our friends. Johnno Shaw passed away yesterday, 4th of July, after a short bout of pneumonia. He leaves wife, Janene, and several foster daughters.

Happy Hour

Johnno (left) entertaining us in June of 2013 accompanied by Dougie Rossiter on his conga drum.

Johnno was an extremely good musician and entertained us, as the picture shows, when he was here at Bell Park in 2013 with Janene and his daughters. Johnno wrote a clever song for Jim to commemorate the naming of Diamond Jim Drive, and he sang it for us all.

Farewell Johnno, thank you for the entertainment. It was an honour to have known you. Our deepest sympathy to Janene and the girls.

Many thanks to Monika Dietrich for the information.




If you find errors of any kind on the Bell Park website, please email:
pete@bellparkcaravanpark.com.au
Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.