Archive for: ‘September 2018’

Griffith home to many unsung heroes

16/09/2018 Posted by admin

I’VE penned a few opinion pieces over the years – one of my all-time favourite things to do. After all, everyone should be privy to my opinion, right? This piece will serve as my swan song from The Area News.

It serves as a thank you to the businesses, schools, children’s services, council, community organisations and every-day Joes who made my job so enjoyable.

I have had the opportunity to meet an even wider spread of the region’s inhabitants than I had previously. As a result, I can say I am part of a wonderful community.

It is often easy to lose sight of the good things when all you see is the bad. Since I started working here in 2008, there have been a number of journos who have come through as a stepping stone to “greater things” along the career ladder. Most of them came from big cities. There were inevitably grumbles about what Griffith didn’t have – whether it was entertainment opportunities, fashion shops, book stores or health services.

I’ve heard it all.

Yes, there are things that Griffith could gain from. We could do with more specialised health services so that we don’t have to travel so far to get the types of treatments that we need. We could benefit from having more things for our youth to do outside of school. A beach with ocean views would be awesome, stretching things, though, I know.

Then, of course, there are the news stories about break and enters, violent crimes and drug problems. I prefer to look at the flip side, though.

When push comes to shove, the greater community of Griffith pulls together to fill the gap.

What gap? Any gap they find. The money gap for the family with the sick child unable to afford the travel, treatments and associated costs. The company gap for the lonely. The meal gap for the hungry. The practical gap for those unable to do certain things for themselves. The comfort gap for the hurting. Get the drift?

Scattered throughout our fair city are those who give selflessly of their assets, time and abilities to ensure that others’ needs are met. Some of those people are well known because they have been the contact person for the paper, but for every one person featured in the news, there are myriad others doing their part to see to the business behind the scenes.

They cook, they clean, they mow lawns, they fold flyers, they deliver meals, they chat over coffee, they send little encouragement notes through the mail, they visit lonely people, they read letters and books… The list goes on. They don’t look for glory or recognition. In fact, you walk past them every day in the main street none-the-wiser about who they are and what they do what they do.

They are from every nationality, sex, age and socio-economic group. Therein lies the beauty. We don’ t have to be extremely wealth, strong or old. We don’t even need to be a specific colour. We just need a desire to do something to ease the life of another. That’s all.

Think of what our community would be like if we all did something simple to make life better for someone else. Hmmm.

Farewell. Have a blessed Christmas and an awesome New Year.

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Bathurst ace takes Summer Silver tournament

16/09/2018 Posted by admin

CHAMPION: Grace Schumacher took out the Bathurst Summer Silver Junior Tour tournament under 14s title yesterday, winning in straight sets in the final over Bojana Marinkov. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 031014zgrace3

BATHURST tennis ace Grace Schumacher showed yesterday afternoon why she was the number one seed when she took out the girls’ under 14s title at the Bathurst Summer Silver Junior Tour tournament.

Schumacher prevailed over fellow NSW nationals representative and second seed Bojana Marinkov in the final 6-2 6-3 to enjoy some success after a tough Australian Under 14 Championships earlier this month.

It is the first tour win for the Bathurst player since the Orange Indoor Junior Open – and, in doing so, she went one spot better than her result in the Gold level home tournament earlier in the year.

It’s also the second year in a row Schumacher has won at the Silver tournament following her previous success at under 12 level.

After dropping a set on her way to winning a tough semi-final, the Bathurst player found her feet in the final in a more composed performance to claim the title.

Schumacher’s father Rod was really happy to see his daughter stepping up when the pressure was on during her matches.

“It was really even in the final, but she got most of the crucial big points. Both the girls like to give the ball a bit of a ride, so it was a very big-hitting final. It was always a close match and so was the semi, where it went to three sets,” he said.

“In the first round she played a girl who was playing up an age and getting a bit out- hit, so you couldn’t really get an idea of how Grace was playing. She then played really good in the quarter final against the seventh seed, where she served really well.

“In the semi, she didn’t serve quite as well and that went to three sets … but in the final she was very solid all-round.”

Schumacher started her charge in the second round on Saturday, after being given an opening round bye, where she easily accounted for Satsuki Sato 6-0 6-3 in under an hour.

Seventh seed Maya Haidari couldn’t stop the Bathurst player as Schumacher got up 6-3 6-1.

A semi-final against fifth seed Natasha Fragos provided a big challenge, going to a third set tiebreak, but Schumacher prevailed 6-3 4-6 7-6 (2).

“The girl she played in the final was one of the four NSW girls she played with at the nationals, but I don’t think she’s actually played against her before,” Rod Schumacher said.

“All-round, she played great in the final and had her serves working for her most of the time.

“She relies on that first serve to do some work for her, but when its percentage is down she’s able to make up for it with the rest of her game.”

Gabriella Mitton provided the next-best result for Bathurst yesterday in the singles as she made it to the semi-finals phase of the under 16s draw.

Fourth-seed Mitton put up a good fight against second seed Charlotte Littlejohn, forcing a three-set match, eventually going down 6-2 4-6 6-3.

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Letters to the editor, December 23

16/09/2018 Posted by admin

Forever gratefulA traffic accident in Canberra mid-March this year saw me hospitalised in Canberra for some 11 weeks.

This was not an experience I would want to repeat, however, it is one that gave me an opportunity to reflect on many things and which gives me reason to be so very grateful for so much and to so many.

There are not enough similes for that simple phrase “Thank you”, so may I, through these columns say thank you to the following:

To those who came so quickly to my aid; passing motorists and quickly thereafter the professional and compassionate Ambulance paramedics (one of whom was born and grew up in the Bega Valley).

To all of the doctors, nurses, domestic and support services of the Canberra Hospital. They are all the “good guys”.

To the nigh on 200 individual visitors, many of whom made several return visits, who travelled from the coast to visit.

Believe me, there is nothing as uplifting as the sight of a friendly, smiling face and among these visitors I include immediate family, close friends and various priests, clergy and lay people who prayed with and for me and kept me in their prayers during my time in hospital.

To the innumerable people who could not visit, but who asked, and continue to ask, after my well-being and progress.

I am pleased to say I have been home since the end of May and have been back at work for most of the time since.

By necessity, my involvement in the practical, manual aspects of work have been somewhat curtailed.

To those who phoned regularly and kept me abreast of the latest news and to my Facebook friends as well.

And to neighbours and friends who kept a watchful eye over our home.

To my local support services; doctor, physiotherapists, gymnasium and others who supported me while in Canberra and continue to do so now I am home.

We are indeed fortunate to have such dedicated professionals in the Valley.

To my client families who allowed my daughter Melissa and son Nigel to keep the business wheels turning in my absence with the invaluable and loyal support of my staff.

To my industry colleagues who dropped everything at a moment’s notice and travelled quite some distance to provide much-appreciated support and encouragement and to those who phoned and offered whatever support we needed.

To my wife Trish who made a huge sacrifice to remain in Canberra and be with me every day.

There are insufficient words to express my gratitude.

Trish was able to stay in Canberra due in no small way to the availability of family accommodation at Canberra Hospital.

I understand there are plans afoot to provide similar facilities at the new regional hospital and I applaud those involved in raising funds to provide such facilities.

To all of my family, your love and support is so very much appreciated.

And, to Almighty God, I give thanks every day that I have been spared in so many ways and have received so much.

May I close by extending my sincerest Christmas greetings and best wishes to all for a safe and happy festive season.

John R Whyman


Collection dayI read with interest the letter written by Elvie Preo (BDN, 7/11).

I have to agree with most things she stated.

I am sure most of us are careful with the discarding of recyclable items into the correct bins.

I have another thought on the refuse collection of the Bega Valley.

Why, on Christmas Day are we subjected to the collection of the bins on this one day of the year which should be treated with the respect it deserves?

Noisy trucks banging and clanging early on Christmas morning and through the later part of the day is really awful.

Over the years I have lived in busy cities and even they take the day off.

Do we have so much rubbish in this small area that life as we know it will grind to a halt if the bins are not collected on Christmas Day?

I am quite sure the hard working staff who collect the garbage would like the day off to spend with their families and would only be too happy to work extra after this day.

How many of us didn’t realise the bins would be collected last December 25 and didn’t put them out anyhow?

I am quite certain I was not the only one who would have appreciated getting it collected after Christmas so I could get rid of the extra rubbish we all seem to accumulate on this day.

How about council having the good sense to recognise this one day of the year like other councils do, where the only heavy vehicle that should be in our valley would be Santa’s sleigh returning to the North Pole.

Name withheld


Continuing supportThe Bega Valley Parkinson Support Group would like to take this opportunity to thank the editor for his continued support throughout the past year by publishing our monthly reports and special events.

It is important that we keep our work in front of the public and for that we thank you.

Wishing you and your staff a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Bob McDonald


Peace and loveOn Christmas 2014 years ago, God sent Jesus to show us what God is like.

Jesus was the literal expression of divine life and light in human form.

I named my son Blake after William Blake, who wrote The Divine Image.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love

Is God our father dear

And Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love

Is man his child and care

For Mercy has a human heart

Pity a human face

And Love the human form divine

And Peace the human dress

Where Mercy, Love and Pity dwell

Their God is dwelling too.

We all have a God-shaped vacuum which drugs, alcohol and people just cannot fill.

May Jesus, the light of the world, shine brightly in the valley now and always, and may you gladly accept the very first Christmas present – Jesus Christ.

Helen Kelly


Wonderful volunteersAs the festive season approaches and as we reach the end of our centenary year, I am reminded of the wonderful work of our Red Cross volunteers.

Each year our volunteers give hundreds of hours of their time to help people in crisis, not only in our local community but right around the world.

I am also constantly humbled by the generous public support we receive for our everyday work.

Your regular donations to Red Cross help provide a healthy breakfast for kids who might otherwise go to school hungry, allow us to make a phone call every day to check that elderly or isolated people are OK, and help ensure remote communities in the Asia-Pacific have access to clean drinking water.

We also work in communities to help vulnerable families cope with the pressures of life, build pathways out of homelessness and work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Despite our best efforts however, there are always new families that need our help each year, new communities that find themselves in crisis, and a growing number of lonely, elderly people who find themselves cut off from friends and family.

At this time of the year, when the generosity of all Australians shines through I would like to urge everyone to put a little something aside for people and families in crisis.

To give to the Red Cross Festive Appeal go to or phone 1800 811 700.

Your tax-deductible gift to the Red Cross Festive Appeal in our centenary year will make a real difference.

Call 1800 811 700 or visit their website.

Jody Broun, executive director

NSWAustralian Red Cross

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