Shavers raise almost $4000

THE generosity of Albany residents shone through at a recent fundraising event to support the Leukaemia Foundation.

A group of staff from Mt Romance formed the Sandalwood Shavers, shaved and coloured their hair and fundraised $3893 for World’s Greatest Shave.

Albany resident Holly Arnold shaved her head at the White Star and raised $3062.

This contributed to the national grand total of more than $9.8 million.

Blood cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in Australia, with an average of 41 people each day being told they have the disease.

Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma can develop in any person at any point in time.

Funds raised from World’s Greatest Shave go towards the organisation’s goal of losing zero lives to blood cancer by 2035.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said funds raised ensured families facing blood cancer have someone to turn to every step of the way, access to the best possible care and treatment and a place to call home during treatment.

Since World’s Greatest Shave started 22 years ago, more than 37,000kg of hair has been removed from people’s heads.

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Toilet paper up for auction

A SINGULAR roll of toilet paper with a $1000 price tag made the list at Albany’s Snowball Auctions last week.

The item, listed as a “rare mint unhinged roll of Kleenex toilet tissue”, was added to the list by the staff to try and lift the spirits of the community.

“It was for a bit of fun,” owner Julia Macaulay said.

“We wanted to give everyone a bit of a laugh.

“Funny enough, no one bid on it.”

However, Ms Macaulay said toilet paper was not the most unusual item to be offered for sale.

“A few years ago, there was a storage container that hadn’t been paid for and it was full of adult material.

“So, if you want to find something unusual, you can come and see us!”

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The power of love

IN THESE dark times, a Denmark couple have shone a beacon of light proving the enduring power of love as they committed their lives to each other on Sunday.

These touching pictures show the moment Fraser Richardson got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend Toni Maree.

But it nearly didn’t happen as part of Mr Richardson’s grand plan had them hiking up Monkey Rock at 5am to capture the sunrise.

“She didn’t really want to go,” he laughed.

“I’m unsure how I managed to even convince her now but I literally dragged her out of bed.”

Once at the peak, he then set up a 10-second timer saying it was for a selfie, but propped his phone against a rock and hit the record button.

Mr Richardson said he originally planned to propose on a holiday booked over Easter but with the COVID-19 impact, he thought ‘stuff it, I’ll bring it forward’.

Mr Richardson is doing it tough being the accommodation manager at Six Degrees but presently could not be happier.

Originally from Newcastle in the UK, he toured around Australia for a year before settling in Albany five years ago.

Ms Maree is a musician with a number of recently cancelled gigs but also has a full-time job as a teacher at Denmark Senior High School.

The happy couple plan on getting married in Denmark next year.

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Probus celebrates 35th birthday

ALBANY Ladies Probus Club celebrated its 35th birthday last week.

The milestone was commemorated with a special catered lunch and a ginger-flavoured birthday cake with passionfruit icing after the group’s annual general meeting.

Nearly 40 people attended the gathering and Kate Hough from the Club said it was a fun affair.

“It’s a really lovely group,” she said.

“We have gorgeous ladies who have wonderful stories to tell.”

The Club was formed in February 1985 and was the first ladies Probus Club in WA.

Inaugural President June Bailey attended last week’s event alongside life member Margaret Dickinson.

Ms Hough said it was common for members to be part of the group for many years.

“My mum was still going to meetings until October last year when she passed away,” she said.

“She was 101 years old and a founding member.”

Ms Hough said Probus Clubs were important in maintaining people’s sociability and friendships.

“It’s a forum for people to get together, especially if they are lonely,” she said.

“We have a welfare officer so if someone hasn’t been attending meetings, we visit them and stay in touch.

“It’s all about contact.”

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Spike in drink driving rates

RATES of drink driving in Denmark have increased in recent years, despite efforts by local organisations.

The implementation of Denmark RoadWise committee’s Sober Superheroes project in 2017 hoped to see drink-driving incidents in the town reduce, but chairman of the committee Roger Seeney said the statistics revealed otherwise.

“Although the incidence of drink driving has lowered over the last decade, in 2018 drink driving still was the cause of 19 per cent of the road fatalities in Western Australia,” he said.

“Sixty-three per cent of these alcohol related fatalities occurred in regional WA.”

Even with the release of these numbers, the Sober Superheroes Scheme will continue in conjunction with the Denmark police.

The Shire of Denmark’s Communication and Engagement Officer Renee Wiggins said additional actions will be put in place to bring the statistics down.

“There will be an increase in police presence to help combat this issue in the future,” she said.

“In addition, investigations will be instigated on how a sustainable taxi service can be provided for Shire of Denmark residents.

“The Shire can also confirm that there will be a marked increase in the delivery of media campaigns which will be driven by the Road Safety Council of Western Australia.”

Concerns over the rates of inebriated drivers also comes at a time where the WA Police have announced the temporary suspension of ‘Breath and Drug Bus’ operations due to worry about the spread of COVID-19.

“The Shire is concerned about the proposed changes due to COVID-19 virus on ‘Breath and Drug Bus’ operations,” Ms Wiggins said.

“However we can confirm that this does not mean that police will not be targeting vehicles leaving licensed premises.”

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Leadership sails in right direction

LEADERSHIP is an attribute most of us have to work at, but for North Albany Senior High School (NASHS) Year 11 student Cheyenne Ashton, being a leader is part of her DNA.

Cheyenne enjoys being at the head of the pack, and it’s a skill that has come to her early in life.

The bubbly 16-year-old received the Outstanding Leadership Award at her primary school graduation and went on to become a student councillor at NASHS, where she received the Citizen of the Year Award in 2017 and the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award in 2019.

Not content with that array of accolades, Cheyenne wanted to grow her leadership skills further and decided to sign up for a Leeuwin Ocean Adventure.

Cheyenne left Albany on Monday afternoon for a Youth Explorer Voyage, where she will travel to Fremantle on a seven-day trip across the Indian Ocean.

During the voyage students work together in teams as they learn the language of tall ship sailing and become masters of ropes and lines, knots and sails.

Catching up with the Weekender before the STS Leeuwin II set sail from Albany, Cheyenne said it was a great opportunity to evolve her leadership skills.

“I like the challenges that come with leadership,” she said.

“I’m the kind of person who likes to help in any way they can.”

Despite little experience with sailing, Cheyenne said the trip combined her love of the ocean with working as part of a team.

“I feel like leadership comes naturally to me, it should be a great week,” she said.

“Apparently, some people throw up for the first three days, so hopefully I’m not one of them.”

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Health Nut in great shape

THE wait is finally over as The Health Nut reopened its doors with a makeover and five new owners.

Albany locals Marie O’Connell, Birdie Hatter, Emma Polette, Rachel Pontin and Anne Sparrow have all put in as a collective of five women to keep the business alive.

Joint owner Anne Sparrow noted the value the store has brought to Albany over its time servicing the community.

“It’s been here for 30 years and has such a good rapport with the community, so when we saw it was about to close down we thought we have to keep it open,” she said.

“There are a lot of long-term customers and it’s become a bit of an institution here in Albany.”

Co-owner and Manager Emma Polette was impressed with the community response once word got out that the business was being saved.

“Our first post on Facebook had over 220 likes because people are just so excited that the shop was going to stay open,” she said.

“We’ve gotten lots of positive comments and shares and all of that sort of stuff.”

While the store will remain mostly the same, the women have made some cosmetic changes to the business to breathe new life into the space.

The idea to buy the business as a collective will continue the longevity of the store, which first opened in 1992.

“It’s a bit more tricky for one person to come in and buy it alone, so coming in with a collective is making it more viable,” Ms Sparrow said.

“We don’t all have to carry the load of one person doing all of the admin, we can all bring different skills to the table and be supportive of each other.”

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Rescue squad self-funds

ALBANY Sea Rescue Squad has unveiled some shiny new equipment that will help the volunteer organisation continue to keep the seas safe from disaster.

Rolling out a state-of-the-art tow truck for its operations, the rescue squad now boasts a vehicle that is capable of towing its boats anywhere, according to President Colin Bairstow.

“We now can have the truck hooked up permanently to the boat, whereas before we had to do all sorts of funny things to get it going in the water,” he said.

Mr Bairstow said the new truck saved his crew about 10 minutes which they could now spend being out on the ocean.

“If we need to go to Denmark or Cheynes Beach, we can launch our boat very quickly,” he said.

According to Mr Bairstow, the new edition is a significant upgrade, with the squad previously using an old cruiser that was getting long on its legs.

“We now know that when we come down and turn the key it will be reliable,” he said.

“In the past there had been a couple of times where the old vehicle had a flat battery or engine failure.”

The volunteer organisation was able to fund the purchase of the new vehicle through its own savings – a feat that Mr Bairstow said was a state first.

“This is something I felt like we needed to do to show the Albany public the money is going into something,” he said.

“It’s great to show we can stand on our own two feet.”

Albany City Motors Financial Director Scott Leary, who helped secure the organisation a good price on the truck, said it was a great reflection on how the organisation operated.

“There was no hand out; these guys have done all the hard work,” he said.

Mr Leary, who will run as the WA Liberal Party candidate for the seat of Albany at next year’s State election, said a self-funded local rescue squad was just about unheard of.

“They’ve stored their own funds and bought a quality product that will service the Albany community,” he said.

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Surf’s on

WHILE countless sporting events around the country were cancelled this week, Boardriders President David Beeck confirmed Albany Boardriders Junior Wavefest would go ahead until Surfing WA said otherwise.

Mr Beeck said any extra precautions would be taken to keep everyone safe on the day, noting that surfers have to keep their distance anyway.

Registration for the grassroots surf comp is now open to those under the age of 18, with a number of age brackets to enter into.

Depending on weather and swell conditions, the event will be held on either April 4 or 5.

To register, visit

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Charity store to close its doors

ALBANY’S Cocoon Store and Studio will permanently shut its doors at the end of next month unless an arts group or individual nominates themselves to take over the operation.

Albany Community Hospice Chairperson Jane Mouritz announced this week that Cocoon – opened in 2018 to raise additional funds for Hospice alongside sister store Butterflies Op Shop – had been “unable to achieve economic sustainability” and would consequently cease operation on April 30.

However, Ms Mouritz said there was an opportunity for someone to keep the doors open.

“We are calling for expressions of interest for creative people or a creative group to keep Cocoon going,” she told the Weekender.

“We would love to see someone take it as it is.”

Ms Mouritz said Cocoon, which offers artists the space to create goods and art from upcycled materials from Butterflies, had not attracted the customers she thought it would.

“I don’t think people realised the quality of the upcycled products,” she said.

“They were all of a much higher quality.

“People just weren’t prepared to pay the money we asked for.”

Money raised from Cocoon is directly transferred to Hospice to cover operational costs, so guests at the palliative care facility do not have to pay to stay.

Ms Mouritz said prospective new managers of Cocoon would be able to have the “modest” building lease transferred to them if they wished to keep the business operating.

“It’s a great workshop space for teaching, or for sewing, or print and card making,” she said.

“We improved the lighting and specialised equipment can fit the space … hopefully, people will see it as a great space.”

People interested in Cocoon are encouraged to contact Ms Mouritz on

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