Discounted fees for Anzac centre

ALBANY residents have been encouraged to visit the National Anzac Centre with a free membership program and discounted admission fees.

The National Anzac Centre League of Local Legends will be free to join, but only available to community members that reside within the municipal boundary of the City of Albany or to City of Albany ratepayers.

Members of the program will receive a significant discount of 50 per cent on standard admission prices or can enter for free if they are accompanying a paying visitor.

If they do accompany a paying visitor, that paying visitor will also receive a 10 per cent discount.

Albany Heritage Park manager Matt Hammond said a core part of the program will be an increase in events and programming at Albany Heritage Park, with members being the first to be notified about special events and school holiday programs.

“The National Anzac Centre is fast becoming recognised as a cultural pilgrimage of national significance, and we want to provide the local community with every opportunity to experience this and be proud of Albany’s connection to the Anzac legend,” Mr Hammond said.

“The National Anzac Centre precinct and surrounding Albany Heritage Park should be a space for the local community to meet, recreate, socialise and enjoy, just like the role Kings Park plays for local communities in Perth.

“We hope the program will provide a foundation for increasing local engagement with what is fast becoming a national icon.”

Other benefits of the membership program include a 10 per cent discount at the Forts Store Boutique, special offers at Garrison Restaurant and free member events.

Continue Reading

Sausage meet

ALBANY’S Italian community continued its annual sausage- making tradition on the weekend.

People from all walks of life got up to their elbows in diced beef and pork, with some making the journey from Esperance, Gnowangerup, Tambellup and Denmark.

Long-time member of the Albany Italian Club Michael Martelotta said that around 40 people attended the event.

“Everything went really well,” he said.

“We had Italians wanting to make sausages the way their forefathers would have made them, and we had dinky-di Aussies wanting a master class in sausage making.”

Mr Martelotta said the day was all about the community and getting everyone to bond over sausages.

After two days and more than 500kg of meat later, the contributors made chorizo sausages for the resident Spaniards, northern and southern Italian style sausages and Puglia style sausages.

According to Mr Martelotta, there are different processes and ingredients for the humble sausage that usually depend on the region they’re from.

“Northern and southern types of sausage are filled and tied differently,” he said.

“Some can be tied as long as 20cm, and others can be shorter like regular sausages.”

Everyone who rolled up their sleeves to help walked away with their share in the goods, with many returning to buy any leftovers.

“We had people buying anywhere from three kilos of sausages to 15kg,” Mr Martelotta said.

“It’s a dying culture. We need to remember how to make things fresh and from scratch.”

The Albany Italian Club has three major events a year, with their annual Club Ball being held on August 26.

To keep up with any Albany Italian Club events, you can follow them on their Facebook page.

Continue Reading

Bon Accord residents dig in over ‘super pit’

MANYPEAKS farmer Gary Howie said he was disturbed by the number of negative reactions to his plans to extract gravel from his property at Bon Accord Road in Lower King.

Mr Howie said he intended to build a house and establish a garden and orchard on the block but first had to remove the hard surface rock.

“In its present state, it’s near impossible with my ordinary farm machinery to work it,” he said.

“It will only be getting dug four to five hundred millimetres deep to get the rock out and the top soil will be going back.

Mr Howie said he would only be digging in two to three hectare sections at a time and then have the area back into pasture within a year.

He said the couple living next door to his proposed gravel pit had written a letter of support to council even though their house was just 200 metres from where bulldozers would be operating.

Many of the neighbouring property owners and the Lower King and Bayonet Head Progress Association have writ- ten letters of objection to Mr Howie’s proposal.

There are several sand or gravel pits operating in the neighbourhood at pre- sent, and Bon Accord Road residents say they are concerned about the proposal on environmental and safety grounds. Kat Bradford, who lives almost opposite Mr Howie’s block said she had a young family who had recently moved there because they wanted a rural lifestyle.

Ms Bradford said she was concerned about the effect dust would have on her family’s health.

She said her two children attended Great Southern Grammar, but it was not safe for them to ride their bikes to school.

Donald Main, who lives directly opposite Mr Howie’s block, said the noise from the quarry would be “indescribable” and dust and vibrations would be a major problem for him.

“Why would you introduce a quarry into an area which everyone acknowledges is becoming subdivided into dense residential land?”

He said the City of Albany was doing a poor job of policing existing quarry operators’ activities.

“They do an inspection once a year and they refuse to limit the number of trucks,” he said.

“In wet weather, I’ve actually been forced into a ditch.

“There used to be a lot of people who walk up here, kids on bicycles or on horses or with dogs – they’ve all disappeared.”
The City of Albany was contacted for comment on this.

Mr Howie said his land was zoned “agricultural” and he had entered into an agreement with Palmer Earthmoving to remove the rock on his property.

He said he was impressed with the way owner David Palmer had replaced the topsoil on his own property at a separate location to the proposed gravel-pit.

“He’s mined the whole farm and got the gravel out and the end result is magnificent,” Mr Howie said.

Mr Howie’s application for an extractive industry license was open for public comment for a six-week period ending yesterday. A City of Albany spokes- person said councillors would consider the matters raised in the submissions and deal with them as part of the official determination process.

Palmer Earthmoving has been approached for comment.

Continue Reading

Going dry in July for cancer support

TRAVEL with Purpose Albany agent Nilla Spark will participate in next month’s Dry July cancer fundraiser after her diagnosis with breast cancer made her realise the importance of financial support for cancer sufferers in regional areas.

Dry July is an annual fundraiser in which people consume no alcohol for the month of July, to raise money for cancer patients and carers and their families.

Receiving the news of her developing cancer in October 2004, Ms Spark endured countless trips to Perth for radiotherapy and was separated from her family for long periods of time.

“My breast cancer diagnosis should have and could have stopped me from doing, being and achieving,” Ms Spark said.

“However, I knew I had to face my cancer challenge head on and do whatever it took to stay alive.”

Fortunately, Ms Spark was introduced to Solaris Cancer Care, a support organisation for adult cancer patients and their families.

The support of this foundation helped alleviate some of Ms Spark’s stresses caused by the distance she had to cover to and from metropolitan health facilities.

“These volunteers are selfless in giving their time to help with the emotional and physical effects of cancer,” she said.

Later in 2006, Nilla’s successful treatment led to her clear diagnosis.

Ms Spark is preparing to participate in Dry July this year to raise money for the Solaris Cancer Care Great Southern team.

“I implore everyone to sign up or donate to Dry July to keep services like Solaris Cancer Care going,” Ms Spark said.

You can support and donate to Ms Spark’s Dry July cause at dryjuly.com/users/nilla-spark.

Continue Reading

Vintage voilà

By ANTHONY PROBERT

VANCOUVER Street will come alive on Saturday with the buzz of its annual street festival.

Live music, vintage fashion, street performances, gourmet food and plenty of tweed will be on show for this year’s event.

The Vintage Tweed Ride is one of the highlights of the day and includes the Perth chapter of the WA Historical Cycle Club.

It will feature one of the biggest collections of penny farthings and vintage bikes ever assembled in the Great Southern.

Tweed rides, or runs, are a global phenomenon which began in London in 2009.

They feature vintage bicycles and a dazzling display of vintage clothing, with tweed being the preferred option.

Both vintage and non-vintage cycles are welcome to join the ride that departs the University of WA on Stirling Terrace at 12.20pm.

Vintage cycle enthusiast Murray Gomm is a member of the Great Southern chapter of the WA Historical Cycle Club and said there was always a bit of excitement in the air when it was time to “tweed up” for the ride.

He said the club was fortunate to have received a collection of penny farthings that were made by the late Garry Clark, which would be ridden in the event.

The ride makes its way to the Vancouver Street Festival where prizes for best dressed riders will be presented.

The best time to catch the ride is on take-off at the UWA at 12.20pm and on dismount at the festival around 12.30pm.

Riders can register at the start line from 11.50am.

Other highlights of the festival include performances from musicians with Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics headlining the program with a set of funk and soul originals.

Straight from Fairbridge Festival, the band is renowned for its great horn and rhythm sound and the huge sound of their lead vocalist.

The entertainment program also includes the rollicking songs of The Albany Shantymen, the dance beats of David Rastrick’s Electro Swing Thing and the moving sounds of Soulin Wild.

Double bass and piano accordion duo Flamacue will be playing and The Second Hand lead a line-up of roaming street artists.

New to this year’s event is the Manga Milkbar, a creative space for young people with free Wi-Fi, aerial displays, Japanese-inspired craft and space to draw.

Cosplayers are especially welcomed, with the design of the milkbar inspired by vintage anime.

The Vancouver Street Festival will also see the opening of the Story of Wool exhibition which celebrates Albany’s connection to wool production.

In another festival first, a 230m knitted scarf will be wrapped around the front of the Vancouver Arts Centre.

Children are well catered for with activities including clay sheep painting, fleece throwing and a vintage dress-up photobooth.

Festival parking will be available in Foundation Park, Parade Street, and events kick off at 11am.

Continue Reading

Green Skills farewells state manager

GREEN Skills has farewelled state manager Diane Evers and paid tribute to her dedication and hard work.

Ms Evers is leaving her role to pursue a career in politics as the Greens (WA) MLC elect for the South West region.

Green Skills has offices in Perth, Albany and Denmark and has been a leader in environmental and sustainability action, delivering community-based environmental and socially beneficial projects for almost 28 years.

Ms Evers has worked for the organisation since 2009 and for the past four years has held her Albany-based managerial position.

During this time she has nurtured networks across the region and metropolitan areas and encouraged strategic programs to promote sustainability and encourage innovation.

Since joining Green Skills Ms Evers managed the Albany arm of Ecojobs, an environmental personnel service, and secured contracts and tenders from government, community and business, providing many hours of work for regional people.

This included ensuring that skills and funds were directed to hands-on landcare restoration and rehabilitation work, with other grant-funded initiatives supporting community-based interactive environmental programs and opportunities.

Laura Bird has taken on the role of acting state manager  and will carry on where Ms Evers left off.

– Geoff Vivian

Continue Reading

Announcers sent expulsion letter

By GEOFF VIVIAN

ALBANY Community Radio listeners may be surprised to learn that several of its well-known broadcasters and volunteers are due to be expelled from the organisation.

While not all of them are prepared to be interviewed, The Weekender understands as many as 11 members received identical letters last week summoning them to an “expulsion meeting” on May 8.

“The reason for your proposed expulsion is that you acted detrimentally to the interests of Albany Community Radio (ACR),” the letter reads. “ACR Rules of Association expect that you do not bring into disrepute the operations, management, staff or other volunteers of ACR.”

The letter also invites the recipients to explain why they think they should not be expelled.

Foundation member June Humphries said Albany Community Radio made several attempts to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) last year which were not legally constituted.

“After some volunteer members of Albany Community Radio including myself appealed  to State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to demand a  properly constituted AGM we have been summonsed to a meeting on May 8 to be expelled,” she said.

“If we are expelled it means that we are unable to vote (or stand for office or committee) at the AGM.”

According to SAT records the members taking the action are Brian Humphries, Donna Moss, Ian Rayson, June Humphries, Ken Ewers-Verge, Mara Nedela, Marianne Chester, Maxwell Chester, Peter Moss, Sandra Sullivan and Valerie Green.

Continue Reading

Aboriginal artefacts returned

By ANTHONY PROBERT

ARTEFACTS from the landmark Yurlman: Mokare Mia Boodja exhibition were packed up for the long journey back to Britain this week.

The exhibition has been hailed a success with around 23,000 visitors viewing the display of 14 rare artefacts that includes stone axes, spears, spear throwers and knives, which date back to the 1830s.

Lissant Bolton from the British Museum was in Albany to oversee the process of re-packaging and took part in a formal ceremony at the WA Museum of the Great Southern to recognise the departure of objects.

While there were hopes the collection might remain on Country, she said all the parties involved in bringing the display to Albany acknowledged that they were on loan.

Ms Bolton said the British Museum was thrilled with the response from the community and the success of the collaboration.

“We’re pleased to have lent them.

“They’re (the British Museum) absolutely delighted in London,” she said. Ms Bolton said the museum had a history of working with communities to share information and the success of the collaboration strengthened the case for similar projects in future.

The exhibition provided the opportunity for Albany’s Shona Coyne and Lindsay Dean to fulfil the roles of emerging curators where they gained invaluable experience including training at the National Museum in Canberra.

Ms Coyne said while she was grateful for the opportunities that arose from the exhibition, it was the benefit for the community that was most satisfying.

“When you see a few of the local toolmakers come in and compare their work, it really emphasises the craftsmanship and how important the artefacts are,” she said.

“They’re learning from them, so there’s that continual sharing of culture which is beautiful to see.”

Ms Coyne said she had mixed emotions about the artefacts returning to Britain.

“I thought I’d be upset to see them go. They’re not just objects,” she said. “When they come back onto country we feel something for them.

“But the exhibition has put Albany on the map. It has put the Menang people on the map and stirred something really good down here.

“If they go forward and continue to share our story, not just Menang people, but everybody’s shared history, then I’m OK with that.”

Ms Coyne said the challenge was now to keep the story of the artefacts and the Menang people alive and build on the success of the exhibition.

The ceremony at the WA Museum of the Great Southern last Friday featured a moving address from Noongar Elder Avril Dean, as well as Ms Bolton, Ms Coyne and Mr Dean.

The Tidswell Twins and The Deadly Brother Boys also gave stirring performances to mark the significance of the event.

The artefacts will be carried to Britain by a courier for a specialist art handling company, with a member of the British Museum travelling with them for the entire journey.

Continue Reading

Early Albany aviation

OFFICIAL Anzac Day Commemorations occur on April 25 each year, but there is nothing to stop us making the most of our local links to the Anzac legend by visiting the many facets of the Albany Heritage Park.

Apart from spending time at the award winning National Anzac Centre, it is always well worth calling in to The Forts main barracks to check out the museum of military memorabilia, and also discover all sorts of interesting facts and figures about Albany’s role in the two world wars.

The current Warbirds exhibition, in the adjoining main gallery, is due to finish on April 30 and well worth a visit if you haven’t been there yet.

The kids will love it.

The collection of 90 WWII model aircraft were donated to the museum by John Wilson from Kendenup in 2011, each of which took hours to complete and paint.

There is also plenty of interesting information about Albany’s aviation history and links to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which may come as a surprise.

In late 1930, Albany’s first aerodrome was initially set up by a local farmer Mr W Green, with the first five planes landing on February 21, 1931 to a cheering local crowd.

In 1935 Albany’s first airline service was established.

In 1939 at the outbreak of WWII, Albany was high on the list as being vital for the defence of Australia.

Upgrades and extensions to the aerodrome were funded and completed by the Federal Government and in 1940 the RAAF took control.

The Albany aerodrome was used as an Advanced Operational Base supplying fuel and service to heavy and medium bombers and reconnaissance and fighter planes.

Albany was also important in the protection of shipping routes to the East Indian Ocean.

In 1945 after hostilities ceased, the RAAF left and civilian aviation took over the airport. 

– Anne Simpson

Continue Reading

Albany community supports war effort

THE Anzac legend began in Albany when the First Fleet departed en masse on November 1, 1914 for the Middle East.

The mustering of this expeditionary force had a major effect on the Albany community and throughout the war many ships visited Albany for repairs and maintenance.

This provided a steady flow of work for local tradesmen.

From November 1914 to May 1919, 243 Australian and New Zealand troop and hospital ships moored at Albany on their outward and home-bound journeys.

Sick soldiers were treated at Albany Hospital and an unfortunate few were buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Middleton Road.

In September 1915, the Governor’s residence, The Rocks, became an Australian Red Cross convalescent home for returning soldiers before repatriation.

For those left at home there were plenty of opportunities to support their gallant troops, with busy bees held to maintain the Australian Red Cross centre.

Women and schoolchildren knitted socks and made food to include in soldiers’ parcels, and concerts were held to raise funds to cover the costs of personal items and baked goods sent in packages. Although remote from the battlefields of Europe, Albany remained heavily involved in the war effort.

– Anne Simpson

Extract taken from “Albany at the Dawn of the Anzac Legend,” designed and produced by Bonser Design, 2014.

Continue Reading