MILDURA - CARAVAN & CABIN TRIP
The 31st of March saw many of our Probus Club members setting off on the road to Mildura. Some took the opportunity to leave earlier in the week and take in stopovers in towns along the way. It was an early start for Lyn, Susan and I as we were hoping to go through the small town of Lascelles to see the Silo paintings. Lyn was our competant driver, who knows Victoria better than most. The day was overcast, but our spirits were bright with the anticipation of a week of fun and friendship.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the banks of the Goulburn River. We shared our lunch with a variety of birds which gathered quickly. We were on the road again, soon, to Lascelles to check out the silo art. Truly gifted artists have transformed these otherwise ugly structures on the landscape into worthwhile attractions. Onwards we went, the next stop Mildura. The Boronga camp site was idyllically located on the banks of the Murray River. A hasty entrance to our allotted cabins and we were in the camp kitchen with thirty other noisy arrivals enjoying our first "happy hour". The nibbles and wine soon disappeared and we queued for our chicken dinner. The salads were varied and delicious; kudos to the salad makers who provided gourmet variety to go with the chicken.
The visit and tour of "Orange World" the next day was interesting and our guide kept us amused and entertained! The tour ended with an orange drink of course, and many purchases were made in the sales room. This tour is highly recommended to support the Australian Orchard industry.
There were daily excursions to various places of interest or historical significance. We cruised down the Murray, and enjoyed a packed lunch, marvelling at the Locks which enable boats to cruise the river.
The Murray River has been a life line for Northern Victoria and much of the history of Mildura is tied up ith the development of the town on the banks of the river. We heard of the Canadian Chaffey brothers who were invited to Australia by Alfred Deakin to set up an irrigation system along the Murray river. This system of canals saw the genesis of the orchards, vineyards, and farms along the banks, which brought prosperity to the people of Mildura, which is named after an aboriginal word. Unfortunately the drought in the late 19th century sparked off a series of bankruptcies, as the produce could not be moved down the river which was seriously depleted. Farmers lost their farms and orchards, the Canadian brothers suffered the same fate and George Chaffey returned to California to cut his losses. The arrival of the railway in 1903 started the slow recovery of this fertile area, which has since grown as a producer, thanks to the river. Ben Chaffey who remained in Australia, prospered and made the town an important river port. We visited his manor house called Rio Vista (river View) which has been restored to its former glory. Ben Chaffey lived there till his death in 1926. There are several roads, buildings, and monuments in Mildura named after the Chaffey brothers.
Who would think that a small town nearby polished and sold gemstones. Well, we stopped by for lunch and spent time browsing around the many displays of gem stones from all around the world. Some of us even made purchases of earrings, pendants, and other 'objets d'art'. An amazing discovery.
Lunch at Yering Meadows in the Yarra Valley
Our visit to the former Wentworth Gaol was an opportunity for fun! Some of us donned prisoner outfits for a photo shoot! These photos will no doubt pop up on the web site! There were numerous historic homesteads and farm machinery which grabbed the imagination. Perhaps another visit is warranted.
Our last evening was a farewell dinner at the local pub. There was clinking of wine glasses, as we bade farewell and Godspeed to the travellers who would be dispersing the next day. There was so much to remember; the daily "happy hours" which were never dull, the after dinner board games, the afternoon teas we sometimnes enjoyed on the porch of our cabin, the absolutely gorgeous location on the banks of the river, the pelicans, wild geese, swans and ducks which visited us every morning hoping for a few crumbs! An unforgettable holiday. Thank you again to Jan and Lyn for making all this possible and for the planning and organisation of our daily excursions. I look forward to the next one.
Sue's Walk Report
May 9th shaped up as a bad weather day, but apart from being overcast with a chilly wind, it wasn't a bad day for a walk. Even though there were only two of us, Lyn & myself for the Plenty River walk, we had a very pleasant and chatty morning. We were meant to have our "cuppa" halfway at "Generations Patisserie" which I only checked out recently and had been at the location for a long time. But, when we arrived the place had closed down!! Scratch that off the list. Not to worry, we just headed back to our car and drove up to Were St where we had a very nice coffee at Cafe 3094.
Our next walk is Nortons Park to Jells Park, Glen Waverley and I hope a few more of our walkers are able to join in.
Sue's Coffee thought for the day: "I just bought a Medical bracelet that says "Probably needs Coffee"
And for our tea lovers: "Perhaps it is while drinking tea that I most of all enjoy the sense of leisure".
Ten Pin Bowling
Wow!!! How's this for great bowling. What a champion !!!!
Donvale Central Probus 13th Birthday Lunch
Many thanks to Ian, Robin, Wilma and Judy for organising the Club's 13th Birthday Lunch.
We all had a very enjoyable afternoon.
The meals were good, starting off with an entree and while waiting for our second course we were told to look under our seats. One chair on each table had a lucky sticker entitling that person to a bottle of wine.
We enjoyed extra time to chat and enjoy the company of our good friends. Luckily there was a bowl of chocolates on the table to keep us occupied while the main meal took extra time to arrive.
Thank you to Carole for the beautiful birthday cake that we enjoyed with our coffee to finish off a most enjoyable outing.
A good time was had by everyone.
Happy 13 th Birthday
13th Birthday Celebrations
Sue's Walk Report:
Well, it seems that winter is here! I had thoughts that I may have to cancel our walk to Jell's Park on the 28th May, or possibly head straight to the coffee shop, but, although it was windy and very chilly, the rain held off and we had 6 walkers head off to Madeline's Cafe in Jell's Park where a nice "cuppa" warmed us ready for the trip back. These are the photos of the Dandenong Creek which runs through the area. I had checked the walk out 2 weeks before and the creek running through Shepherds Bush was "yellow" in parts. Two weeks later it was back to "creek"colour. There was a pretty green section too which was covered in a small plant, Jack knows the name, but it looked lovely. It is interesting to see how nature gives us so much variety in a small space of time.
Jack was suffering from a sore neck, and while having our "cuppa" Susan kindly gave him some gentle but professional manipulation. See what you are missing out on! We all have our needs covered when you join in with the walks. On our way back we passed a paddock with a horse and donkey in. The donkey, who I will name "Small One" was very pleased to see us. After much braying she made her way over to see us. As we had nothing to offer her and the fence was electrified, we said our quick hellos, then tried to discourage her.
Our next walk is around Banksia Park, Bulleen on the 13th June. Hope you can make it.
Sue's Coffee thought for the day: "Not all who wander are lost. Most are just looking for coffee".
And for tea lovers : "There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean and just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. Then there are those who do both, and they drink tea."
Trivia in the Hall:
On the night before Winter, 19 trivialists met in friendly combat, striving to win the chocolates.
Thanks go to Geoff, who was the quizmaster, and Carole was the timekeeper, a new introduction that worked well.
All attendees will forever remember that the floral emblem of Victoria is the Common Heath (Pink form) - Epacris Impressa.
It is probably a trivial point to note it is a plant now rarely seen in suburban gardens.
Carole has just advised - my time is up!
THE WINNERS - Dale, Judy, Graeme, Michael
Sue's Walk Report:
Winter is here, but on what seemed like a beautiful autumn morning, we had 7 walkers - 6 lady members and 1 visitor, Brian, my hubby, enjoy a delightful walk around Banksia Park on 13th June. It was nice to welcome "back" a couple of our ladies who had been missing because of some health issues, but all good now and wonderful to see them back walking. We missed you ladies!! No matter what time of the year, Banksia Park is always a lovely spot to go and is highly recommended. We had our cuppa and chat at "Cafe Vue" before making our way back. There are some beautiful Cherry Blossom trees which were relocated from Jell's Park to Banksia in 1988. I am not sure if the wording will come up on the photo I took, so here is what is written on the "new sign".
"Welcome to the Japanese Cherry Grove of Banksia Park"
A gift of flowering cherry trees to the people of Victoria.
In February of 1990, the Japanese Government donated 100 flowering cherry trees to the people of Victoria to mark the visit of the then Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. M. Ohira. The trees were originally planted in Jells Park in the Dandenong Valley Parklands, however were relocated here to Banksia Park in 1988. The trees are now thriving and continually nurtured by Parks Victoria and the Cherry Friends volunteer group.
The species of donated trees is the Japanese Flowering Cherry Prunus Serrulata, a cherry native to China, Japan, Korea and India. The Japanese Flowering Cherry is the dominating species within the Grove with white to pale pink clustered flowers. You will also find other varieties of ornamental trees, including species of Weeping Cherries and Crab Apples which have been planted by the volunteer group over the years.
Throughout October, visitors flock to the Banksia Park Cherry Grove to participate in Hanami or "flower viewing". Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of the Sakura or cherry blossoms. Modern day Hanami mostly consists of having picnics beneath the trees with family and friends. The cherry blossoms however, are short lived, flowering for only a few weeks throughout Spring.
Parks Victoria and Cherry friends continue to carry out maintenance works to help preserve and enhance the Grove. You can join the Cherry friends volunteer group in regular working bees undertaking a variety of activities, including weeding, watering, mulching and fertilising. For more information on how to get involved visit:
The Park also hosts some very "interesting and strange" looking modern sculptures. I wonder what Michelangelo would make of some of these.
Our next walk is the Koonung Trail, Doncaster East, having our coffee break near the end at 'Open Dialogue Cafe'. Hope to see you then.
Sue's Coffee thought for the day: "I don't need an inspirational quote, I need Coffee".
And for our tea lovers: "If you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you".
June Crazy Whist:
Although it was cold outside. we had 12 sturdy souls turn up to Crazy Whist. It's good to exercise the brain cells while chatting and laughing with friends. Lyn romped home as an easy winner and Alan, after winning last time, was a worthy tail ender this game.
Banquet Lunch at High Tea Inn:
On a sunny June day, 22 of us turned up for a delicious Chinese banquet lunch at the High Tea Inn at Tunstall Square. The staff was very attentive, the food was well received and excellent value for money, and it's worth going back for the sesame prawn toasts alone, they were so good.
Thank you, Wilma and Judy for your excellent organisation and your choice of location.
Lots of chatter among friends made for a very enjoyable lunch.
A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY
Our wonderful birthday lady EVA has turned 90. The members of Donvale Central Probus Club all wish her a very Happy Birthday.
"Congratulations Eva on this amazing milestone!
Wishing you all of life's best as you celebrate your 90th."
" Congratulations! We hope that your 90th birthday is filled with laughter, love and happiness!"
"Congratulations to Mavis" - also celebrating her 90th birthday.
"Don't get all weird about getting older. Our age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying us.
Sue's Walk Report:
We have been very lucky with the weather for our walks, fine but chilly seems to be the trend, and on the 25th June, we had 8 walkers on a "fine but chilly" morning for the Koonung Trail, Doncaster East. For the first time in a long time, we had 4 ladies and 4 gentlemen (Wimbledon talk), It was nice to welcome one of our newer members, Rod, and we hope to see a few more coming along as the weather warms up maybe. This is a pretty walk, but we came across a section of the Koonung Creek that was just absolutely full of rubbish, including someone's old doona - sadly, not a good look.
We enjoyed a nice "cuppa" and chat at the "Open Dialogue" Cafe near the end of our walk.
Our next walk is the Koonung Trail, North Balwyn having our coffee break halfway at "Hahndorf Cafe" in Bulleen Road. I will be missing in action on this day, babysitting duties at Rosebud, but Ros will be leading the way. It is one of our regular walks, so everyone will know the route. I'll be thinking of you all.
Sue's Coffee thought for the day: "1. Smell the coffee. 2. Drink the coffee. 3. Wake up!!
And , for our tea lovers: " Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world".
On Tuesday Yvonne, Margaret, Lucy, Lorelle, Eileen and Mary got together for their Craft afternoon.
We were thrilled by all the squares that have been knitted to make rugs for the Olivia Newton John Project.
After the Movies:
Watching movies with Probus friends is a most enjoyable outing. Following the film lunch is always a fun occasion at one of the restaurants close to the theatre. Take note of the happy smiles.
Many thanks to Lauris for the organisation of these outings.
July Crazy Whist:
We had a good turn up of 18 players for our Crazy Whist and it didn't take long for us to be cozy and warm and settle into the game. This time Geoff was the clear winner with a great score of 107 from the runner-up June W. with 101. Ralph was vying for the Tail Enders prize, but was beaten by Graeme with a score of 71. We all enjoyed the chocolates during the game.
Sue's Walk Report:
On Tuesday, 23rd July our group of eight plus Geoff and June's dog set off from Beasley's Nursery along the river to Petty's Orchard and return. The weather looked threatening at the start so umbrellas were taken but the sun soon broke through and made for a very pleasant walk. Sue was away on a well deserved holiday in Queensland so Bernie took over as leader for the day. The walk was alongside the Yarra River and a rest was taken along the way for Lucy's photo stop at a river outlook point at the confluence of the Mullum Mullum Creek and the Yarra. A very picturesque spot. The usual kangaroos were seen at a distance and a kookaburra was spotted close to the track on the return. Coffee at the Beasley's Tea House was very welcome at the end of the 6km walk.