Monthly Archives: April 2020

Council services impacted by COVID-19


WITH COVID-19 causing many disruptions to daily life, as we all try to “flatten the curve”, local councils still need to provide important services to the community, albeit at arm’s length.

As the doors closed to visitors at Council run facilities, the Diary asked Manningham and Nillumbik for details of how residents continue to interact with them during these restrictions.

Manningham City Council  

Manningham Council CEO Andrew Day said Council has modified operations to continue to provide core services to the community.

“Local government provides many important services and we understand we have a critical role to play in supporting our community at this time.”

He says Council is doing its part to contain the spread of the virus and reduce the risk to the health of the community, including the implementation of crisis management planning, in collaboration with the Victorian Government.

“Our management team is also meeting daily to direct and monitor our response to the situation as it unfolds, and for future planning.”

Mr Day said Council is continuing to provide as many services to the community as possible.

“To do this safely we are continually adapting our service delivery models and following the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services at all times,” Mr Day said.

For example, he said services like Maternal and Child Health visits are now being conducted over the phone or via video link and essential services for our elderly community, like Meals on Wheels, will continue to run with even stricter safe food handling standards.

“Since mid-March, there have been many impacts to Council events, facilities and services and we understand these impacts are being felt deeply by our community.

“At this time we ask that the community stay safe, practice appropriate social distancing, particularly in Manningham’s beautiful open spaces”

Mr Day urged residents to stay connected with family and friends via phone, email, video link or social media.

“We are all in this together, as a community we will support one another, and as a Council we will do what it takes to look after those who are most vulnerable at this time.”

For the most up to date information about COVID-19 and its impacts to Council services, events and facilities please visit:
manningham.vic.gov.au/coronavirus 

Customer service centres closed

To help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community Council’s customer service centres have closed until further notice.

This change was made following further restrictions on non-essential services and the government advice for the community to stay at home where possible.

Council rates, fees and charges 

Mr Day said Manningham Council is acutely aware of the devastating financial impacts the COVID-19 situation is having on the community.

In response, Council is considering a range of options to assist residents and community members during this difficult time.

He said more information will be made available as details are finalised.

“For those in our community who are already impacted, please contact Council to discuss hardship options,” he said.

Customers can contact Council via:

Website:

manningham.vic.gov.au

Email:

manningham@manningham.vic.gov.au 

Phone: 9840 9333

Nillumbik Shire Council

Nillumbik Communications Officer Natalie Town said Nillumbik Shire Council has closed its Customer Service Counter at the Civic Drive offices in Greensborough.

She told the Diary most Council staff are working from home where possible, and while some services have been significantly impacted, it is business as usual for many departments.

Most Council services can be conducted online including payments for pet registrations, rates, parking fines and other infringements.

If residents are experiencing hardship, they should call the rates team on 9433 3285.

If you are having technical trouble making an online payment, call Customer Service on 9433 3111 and they can talk you through the process or provide other information.

Mayor Karen Egan said the health and wellbeing of the community and Council staff was a priority.

“Council is committed to reducing the risk of the coronavirus spreading and we appreciate your patience during this difficult time.

“We urge residents to stay home and follow the recommendations of the State and Federal Governments.

“At the same time, we encourage you to look out for your neighbours, and others in the community, who are struggling.

“We will continue to monitor and update you as the situation changes over coming days and weeks,” she said.

Essential Council services are continuing, and these include:

  • Kerbside landfill, recycling and
    green waste collections as well
    as booked kerbside hard waste
    collections.
  • Food delivery services for older
    and vulnerable residents.
  • Critical Maternal and Child Health
    visits.
  • Essential call out services.

Council’s Economic Development team are offering support for local businesses.

Council’s Visit Nillumbik Facebook page @visitnillumbik is getting behind Nillumbik businesses with a Stay Home, Shop Local campaign.

Customers can contact Council via:

Website: nillumbik.vic.gov.au

Phone: 9433 3111

Swimming pool and spa registrations 

The Victorian Government has not currently advised councils of any changes to the time frame for the requirement to register swimming pools and spas.

Local Councils roll out governance updates

By JAMES POYNER

MARCH 24 was a big day for Local Government.

As well as the finalisation of a new Local Government Act, local councils also debated measures to enable them to be able to effectively govern as the threat of a worsening pandemic continues to dominate our news feeds.

An updated Local Government Act became law on March 24, 2020.

The Act provides the necessary legislative framework to enable local councils to perform their task of administering their municipality.

The Act replaces the Local Government Act 1989 and over the next 16 months, the Divisions of The Act 2020 will gradually replace The Act 1989.

It has been a long five years waiting for the updated Act to come into effect, the Local Government Bill 2018 fell at the last furlong in November 2018, when it lapsed after the Legislative Council failed to pass the bill.

The Local Government Act 2020 includes six key reforms in the areas of simplified franchise, standardising, electoral structure, training, donation reform, improved conduct and community accountability.

In July 2019, councils across Victoria were submitting responses to these areas of reform with many councils requesting The Act does not require all councils to operate as single member wards.

The proposal was generally rejected by most councils, even councils which already operated with a single member ward structure were not overly supportive of the move to simplify the electoral structure.

In their submission to the Local Government Bill 2019 in July 2019, Nillumbik Shire Council wrote:

“Given that Council already operates under a single member ward structure, the impact on Council as a result of this proposed reform will be minimal.

Council however recognises the diverse nature of councils across the state and that a single ward structure may not be appropriate in all instances.

Council would therefore advocate for the electoral structure for each Council be considered on its merits and not on a one structure for all basis.”

To the relief of many municipalities, the Legislative Council passed an amendment to The Act, which allows for a mixed system of single and multi-member representation.

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) has also been watching and waiting for a determination on whether the October 2020 Local Elections will be Postal or Attendance voting.

The Act specifies that the voting system to be used will be determined by the Minister for Local Government and that the Minister must make a decision on the system to be used within two months of that part of The Act coming into effect.

Documentation outlining the transition from The Act 1989 to The Act 2020 indicates this section comes into effect on April 6, 2020, which means Victorians will know how they can vote in the October 2020 local elections by no later than June 6, 2020.

However, it is worth noting — given our current situation — that the Minister has the power to change the date of an election under circumstances such as the declaration of a State of Emergency.

Council’s preparing for the worst

Manningham and Nillumbik Councils also passed motions to expand the Instrument of Delegation at the March 24 Ordinary Council Meeting.

The Instrument of Delegation means the CEO and other Officers can delegate on their behalf.

The responsibility was expanded as Councillors were concerned the current health situation may result in a scenario where not enough Councillors can attend a meeting to form a quorum.

Presently, there is no policy in place to allow councillors to conduct council meetings using teleconferencing software, which means they need to be physically present, a situation which may become difficult if social distancing restrictions become more severe.

While the vote was very cut-and-dry at Manningham, in Nillumbik, there was fierce debate with opposing councillors arguing they should be discussing supporting an initiative by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), which is calling on State Government to give councils the legislative capability to be able to hold Council Meetings online, with Councillor Perkins standing against Councillor Clarke to argue that this is what they should be discussing.

In a statement from MAV, Cr Coral Ross, MAV President and councillor for Boorondara, said:

“Inflexible council meeting requirements under state legislation are a significant concern for local governments across the country as many council chambers do not allow for appropriate social distancing.

“This is an unprecedented situation which requires collaboration and innovative thinking.

“We have been proactively working alongside the Victorian Government to provide solutions which will ensure the health and safety of councillors, council staff and the community.

“With streaming and virtual meetings now widely available, we call on the Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek and the State Government to make this common sense decision and enable one of these options to be implemented as alternative to meeting face to face.”

Efficient operation by Local Government in the coming months will be integral to keeping a semblance of normality to the bureaucracy of everyday life.

The Diary will continue to report on the actions of local councils and the efforts of MAV to enable them to do their job in this climate of increasing restrictions.

 

Connecting with our artists in a disconnected world


THE ARTISTS of the Nillumbik Artist Open Studios program are taking their studios online.

The artists originally planned to open their studio doors for the weekend of May 2 – 3, but due to the restrictions around COVID-19, the artists will be displaying their works in a special online space.

The online store is open now with a small selection of works, but will be expanded over the coming weeks.

Founders of the program, Ona Henderson and Syd Tunn have been part of the program since 1983.

“We initially thought we could postpone and then we thought, no it has to be a cancellation, because everyone is saying this will go on for months”.

Program Coordinator and potter, Annette Nobe said going online is something that many organisations have been embracing.

“I have worked in the IT industry in the past, and many businesses will be able to survive with the use of digital platforms,” she said.

In light of the recent success of the Artists Open Studios weekends, Bend of Islands artist Tim Read said the cancellation of the studio openings was inescapable.

“Unfortunately, [the open weekend] is the ideal way for the disease to spread, so [the cancellation] is a good move.”

All of the participating artists will be initially submitting three works to the online site, with works available for pickup or delivery from studios.

The website will also incorporate video messages from the artists and a virtual look inside some of the studios.

The program is also cancelling many of the workshops and classes that are normally run by the artists, and most artists have cancelled their private art classes as well.

However, many of the artists say they will be able to use their time in isolation effectively.

Artist Linda MacAuley said her classes being cancelled has allowed for a creative space to open up.

“It gives you space to do whatever you like — it opens you up to other opportunities,” Linda said.

Glass Artist Jacquie Hacansson said that she is enjoying the time in self-isolation in her studio, and has already started to be very prolific.

“It is wonderful to be able to sit and create without interruption from the outside world,” she said.

Metal artist Mel Rayski-Mati said that the Artist Open Studios program has allowed for many collaborations between artists and doesn’t see this changing under the current restrictions.

There are many wonderful works on display on the Nillumbik Artist Open Studios website, and there is likely to be a large outpouring of new works from artists when isolation is lifted.

This will ensure November’s Artist Open Studios will be bigger and better than ever.

 

Stand apart but together for our Anzacs


Photo: Bill McAuley

IN THIS EVER-CHANGING climate of uncertainty, social distancing and working from home I would like to remind you of the importance of looking after those around us.

As the President of the Warrandyte RSL I would like to call on you all as a community to ensure we are caring for our families, friends, veterans, members of Anzac House and the elderly.

The priority of the Warrandyte RSL is to support veterans and their families during the coming months and difficult times ahead.

If you are aware of a veteran or family member who requires assistance, please contact us on (03) 9844 3567.

We will endeavour to do our best to support those in need.

In some cases, you may be required to request additional support from RSL Victoria.

They can be contacted on:
(03) 9655 5555.

Anzac Day

The Warrandyte RSL traditional Anzac Day service will be very different to what most of us are used to.

The community march along the main road to the Memorial RSL grounds has been cancelled.

Warrandyte RSL will hold a Commemorative Service, but we ask our local community to stay at home.

Anzac Day is not cancelled; we are asking families to commemorate the day at home by watching or listening to the Dawn Service on television, the internet, or on the radio.

We are also asking people to participate with a Stand-To gesture.

At the time of the Last Post bugle call, we are asking members of the community to stand to attention at the end of their driveway, or on their veranda, balcony or deck, with their right hand on their heart and then to stay there, with their head bowed for the one minute’s silence which follows.

It would also be great if families and individuals could take a selfie of themselves doing this and share it on social media with the hashtag #STANDTO.

Musicians are being urged to play the Last Post on their lawn at 6am.

Anzac Day can be a deep, meaningful and nearly spiritual experience for everyone.

While it is primarily the recognition of the camaraderie, mateships and sacrifices made by the ANZACs.

Remembering their sacrifice is particularly relevant given the sacrifices we are all being asked to make during this time, as the whole of humanity does what it can to combat the spread of COVID-19.

This year, we are unable to sell Anzac badges locally, at schools, or on the street.

We shall, however have tins (for donations), and Anzac Badges available at the counters at Quinton’s SUPA IGA.

If members of the community would like to buy the limited-edition Anzac biscuit tin, please ring the Warrandyte RSL on (03) 9844 3567.

 

ANZAC: The story of “Turkish” Charlie Ryan

By DON HUGHES

I THOUGHT I knew the ANZAC story well but recently stumbled upon a new insight — the story of Charlie Ryan.

He was born at Killeen Station just north of Melbourne in 1853.

The son of a grazier, Charlie dedicated his life to medicine and the care of others.

He graduated as a surgeon from the University of Edinburgh in 1875.

Seeking adventure, Charlie sought medical experience with the Turkish Army in Constantinople (now Istanbul).

However, the Russo-Turkish war of 1877–1878 broke out and Charlie found himself in the Balkans at the siege of Plevna as a young military doctor.

Despite his brave caring of the wounded, he was eventually captured by the Russians at another front in Eastern Turkey.

After the war, Turkey honoured Charlie’s distinguished service with the Order of Mejidiye (4th class) and the Order of Osmanli, the second highest order in the Ottoman Empire.

A hero to the people of Turkey, he returned home to Melbourne in 1878 to become a successful civilian doctor.

He also was made the representative — similar to an ambassador — of the Ottoman Empire in Australia for some years.

He still liked army life and continued as a Captain in the Volunteer Medical Service.

Charlie was the doctor who tendered the wounded bushranger Ned Kelly, and after his execution — declared him deceased.

At the outbreak of World War 1, Charlie enlisted as the Senior Doctor for the 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force (AIF), and landed in Egypt just after his 61st birthday.

He had enlisted to fight the Germans.

Aboard the troopships bound for the ANZAC landings at a dinner for senior officers Charlie knew more than anyone how hard the Turks would fight to defend their homeland.

It prompted him to state: “If, after 40 years, I am now about to fight them, it is not because of a feeling of enmity, but because of orders I have received as a soldier”.

Clambering up the steep cliffs of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, Charlie and the ANZACs landed on the peninsula to face the Turkish commander, Mustafa Kemal and his troops.

On May 19, the Turks launched a major attack which became a slaughter; over 3,000 Turks lay dead in no man’s land.

Both armies wanted to bury the dead as the putrid smell had become unbearable.

A one-day cease fire was declared on May 24 and on that day, both sides buried their dead in shallow graves.

This was the first time; the Turks and Australians came face to face and talked to each other.

There are diary entries about swapping Turkish tobacco for bully beef.

Respectfully, the seeds of comradeship between two countries were sown on that day — this still thrives today.

Charlie Ryan carefully attached his Ottoman Medals and, armed with only a box camera, proceeded to direct his medical staff tending the wounded.

Some Turks became seething, thinking he had stolen the decorations.

In an unused Turkish voice of 40 years, the distinguished looking doctor was able to placate the situation.

All stopped their gruesome tasks, time seemed suspended, the Turks remembered the “Hero of the battle of 93” — Charles “Plevna” Ryan.

Shortly after this infamous armistice, Charlie contracted dysentery and typhoid.

He recovered and was knighted by the King in 1916 and appointed the senior doctor of the Australian Army until November 11, 1918.

Charlie was the hero of two countries.

Major General Sir Charles Snodgrass Ryan KBE, CB, CMG, VD, died on October 23, 1926.

Turkish Charlie Ryan: Canakkale’s Anzac Hero written by John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher, and beautifully illustrated by Lillian Webb, was published in 2018.

It is a wonderful book straddling this defining story of a little-known hero for both countries and it is a story every Australian should know, and cherish.

A copy of the book, as well as a special package for teachers can be purchased from
www.friendsofgallipoli.org

 

The true meaning of Anzac Day

By DON HUGHES

WHEN ON United Nations Peacekeeping and Demining operations in Africa in 1994/5, I had the unique and pleasant opportunity, to spend a few days on leave at the spectacular Victoria Falls.

Going for a pre-dawn stroll, on Anzac Day in 1995, to pay my respects, I came upon three fellow visitors to this magnificent natural wonder.

The first was a tourist from Japan, we exchanged cordial pleasantries.

Next, was a robust and jovial German on his first trip to Africa — we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.

Finally, I bumped into an outgoing and friendly South African Boer, who was visiting the amazing Victoria Falls for the first time.

It made me reflect deeply — as these men were all former enemies of Australia.

It also made me reflect on the mammoth task of trying to rid a country (Mozambique) of the appalling remnants of war (landmines).

It took 20 years for Mozambique to be the first severely landmine affected country in the world to be declared “landmine free”.

How long does it take to declare ourselves free of the other effects of war?

Just before Sir “Weary” Dunlop, the great Australian Prisoner of War Doctor, passed away in 1993, I had the honour of hearing him speak at a formal regimental dinner at the Oakleigh Army Barracks.

He spoke with reverence and sincerity, of the need to forgive past enemies.

Despite witnessing horrendous atrocities during the latter campaigns of the Second World War, he had come to the understanding — that forgiveness is probably the greatest of human attributes.

War is the result of deep divides in society, and it is in peace, where we heal those divides, that our true spirit lives.

Emotional Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic


AS WE ARE FACED with increasing boundaries in our normal day to day life and as isolation and social distancing are required to flatten the growth rate of COVID-19 many people will find themselves struggling with their emotions.

It is really important that we, as a community, look out for each other; especially the elderly, the vulnerable, those with asthma, compromised lung capacity or auto immune problems.

But it is equally important to be considerate to other members of our community too, those who live alone or have no family.

There are many people out there who already struggle with isolation from their families and friends; especially those who live with depression, anxiety and stress.

If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them; if you know someone who lives on their own, no matter what age, reach out to them; if you need to make a trip to the shops, offer to help do the shopping for them; check in with them, make a phone call or a video call, give them a “virtual” hug, you might be their life saver.

Anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations or perceived threat, and currently Australians and other nationalities around the world are under threat from the COVID-19 virus.

This anxiety ranges from the sense of uneasiness to increased worry or fear, to severe panic.

It is important that if you are feeling heightened feelings of anxiety to seek help; to talk to a friend or a member of your family, ring a counsellor or call a hotline.

These feelings may include “fear of this situation”, that “this situation is really bad” or that you “can’t cope with this”.

In extreme cases your behaviour may become uncharacteristic, like being aggressive, restless or irrational.

We have all seen some of these responses on television where people have been fighting in the supermarkets.

Your counsellor will be able to help you manage your thoughts, assist you with some relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.

Families who find themselves in isolation will inevitably struggle with the close proximity in which they are having to live.

Extended periods within the same four walls will no doubt lead to some form of conflict.

“Effective coping strategies can transform a conflict into a problem that can be solved mutually” (from Learning to cope with conflict and violence: how schools can help youth by Susan Opotow and Morton Deutsch, inLearning to Cope: Developing as a Person in Complex Societies, edited by Erica Frydenberg).

So, it is time to be even more considerate to one another, give each other some space and if possible, come up with constructive systems that promote positive outcomes.

Avoid situations that might increase tensions and anger.

While getting angry is a normal human emotion, so long as it is managed well, it should not cause a problem.

Anger can range from slight annoyance to severe rage, and it is these heightened feelings of anger that need careful consideration especially when having to live in close proximity, confined to your home.

Anger, in extreme cases, can lead to violence and if you are at all concerned about your own anger or that of someone close to you, it is important to reach out and get help.

Isolation can lead to other mental health issues, and prolonged isolation can lead to feelings of being “trapped” or “cabin fever”.

When you are confined to a small space or restricted against your will in your own home it is possible that you can begin to feel irritable and restless.

These are claustrophobic reactions to being confined and may occur if you are faced with self-isolation or if there is a total quarantine lockdown.

Keeping yourself motivated is important, finding constructive things to do is helpful and reading a good book or playing an engaging game will also be advantageous.

Contact a friend for a video chat, or simply pick up the phone and talk to someone; tell them how you feel, that you feel like you are going to go crazy, reach out and share these emotions, once shared, they are halved.

We live in a community that cares, be there for one another, it might be your turn to need help next time.

Stephanie Foxley is a Warrandyte based counsellor who offers face to face and online counselling services. Medibank, Bupa, Police Health Fund and Doctor’s Health fund accredited. Member of ACA and CCAA, Provisional member of PACFA

Mobile: 0407 921 122

Email: newlifehealingspace@gmail.com

 

Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080

Beyondblue Australia: 1300 22 4636

Lifeline: (Crisis Support) 13 11 14

Headspace: (12-25 years) 1800 650 890

Health and Human Services: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

WCC’s Under 18s Grand Final thriller


Photo courtesy Warrandyte Cricket Club Facebook page

THE MIRACLE on Grass had nothing on the ending of the Under 18 Grand Final.

Many in the Warrandyte cricketing fraternity will remember where they were on the final ball of the day, when Halley Simpson’s straight drive brought up the game-winning four and a maiden Under 18s Premiership.

A non-result would see first-placed Nunawading take the title and with rain forecast for day two of the fixture it was win or go home.

The feisty Box Hill Reporter decider had it all.

A screamer from behind the stumps, a smashed car windshield, an extraordinary batting collapse and a nerve-rattled Warrandyte crowd.

The visitors were handed the pink kookaburra in the twilight match to get the game underway.

Giant-killers strike hard with the ball

Warrandyte 7/102 def Nunawading 99
B Haslam 4/8 & 11, B Poole 26 & 2/22, C Rakuscek 22 & 2/17

Co-captains Brady Poole and Chris Rakuscek took the new ball and were faced with locking down Nunawading’s star batsman; a player who, until the Grand Final, had averaged 107 for the season.

Reputations mattered little to Poole.

On the sixth ball of his first over, he had Nunawading’s star player out for a duck, trapped LBW to get the innings off to a flyer.

Valuable wicket would be understating it.

The score-line quickly read 2/11 after Rakuscek joined in to claim his first of the day, caught behind by wicket-keeper Flynn Whetters.

Nunawading recovered with a 58-run partnership in the middle overs, but this would be the bulk of their runs for the innings as Warrandyte’s bowlers began to up the carnage.

Tom Jackson rolled in and ripped the partnership in two, taking the wickets of both batsman very quickly, to wrench back the momentum.

The 22nd Over took full marks for pure bowler devastation, courtesy of Blake Haslam in the first over after drinks, one the home side would never recover from.

Ball one saw Haslam’s delivery clatter into the stumps for an immediate strike.

Three searing dot balls followed as he continued to unsettle the opposition.

Ball five caught the outside edge at pace and looked to be going well past Flynn Whetters behind the stumps — until he stuck out the glove to reel in a one-handed screamer.

Ball six also caught the edge but Whetters was able to easily drag it in for Haslam’s third wicket of the over.

A game-changing one.

Poole returned in the 23rd and claimed a crucial wicket-maiden.

Warrandyte had claimed 4/0 to send Nunawading tumbling to 8/76.

A mini tail-order resistance at the end was disrupted by Rakuscek with a sharp caught and bowled for the ninth wicket.

Blake Haslam took the honour of the 10th, finishing with a marquee performance of 4/8 and helping to bundle out the opposition for 99.

The equation was now deathly simple.

With 13 overs to bat and rain on the horizon for day two, Warrandyte would need 100 runs on the dot for Premiership glory, with their batsman allowed the license to hit.

Ice-man Simpson etches himself into the history books

The message from Warrandyte’s skippers was clear.

Go, and go hard.

Harry Brown and Chris Rakuscek were charged with getting the innings underway and Brown enthusiastically swung the bat with vigour to get Warrandyte off to the perfect start — 11 runs off the first over.

Rakuscek got off the mark with three runs and Brown crunched one to the mid-on boundary before he was forced to depart after being caught.

Blake Haslam took no time settling in with a couple of boundaries before he was caught for 11 and Brady Poole signalled his intentions with a first-ball four.

At the end of the sixth over Warrandyte found themselves 2/50 with the game well and truly in the balance.

The two co-captains went to work and managed to put on a 46-run partnership.

Controversy reigned as Poole was seemingly dismissed on a no-ball and after being re-called proceeded to launch the only six of the match, a towering shot straight over the bowlers head and squarely into the windshield of Bailey Bowyers car.

Poole was eventually dismissed for 26 off 23 deliveries and with three overs to go and 22 needed, the intensity was ramped up to 100.

Max Coutts was sent in to club a few runs and managed a boundary before he was dismissed.

Rakuscek departed for an anchoring 22 off 22.

Tom Jackson received a less than enthusiastic reception to the middle and he was suddenly dismissed to reduce Warrandyte to 6/87.

Tom Heffernan came in and with no hesitation launched a valuable boundary to cow corner, but his subsequent dismissal on the second ball of the final over left the score at 7/92.

Eight runs to win, Halley Simpson and Gus Ramsdale at the crease.

A ghostly Warrandyte crowd couldn’t take it.

Several were on their haunches, but they needn’t have worried.

Simpson’s first ball was dispatched for four runs.

He played the fourth ball of the over for two runs.

Two runs needed for victory.

A dot on the second last ball of the day had the crowd on the edge of their seat.

Two off the final ball would secure the Premiership for Warrandyte.

The bowler placed his delivery on a length and with absolutely no hesitation whatsoever, Simpson pounced on it with a textbook, lofted straight drive over mid-off.

Even before the ball hit the fence, the team and the crowd were in raptures and members of both groups alike rushed to the middle to swarm Warrandyte’s hero.

Warrandyte had secured their inaugural flag by three wickets.

 

A Warrandyte swimming hole odyssey


Photo: BILL SANDEL

AS KIDS, DURING the summer months, back in the 50s and 60s, our life was defined by Warrandyte’s many swimming holes.

Each well-known spot had its own nickname and peculiarities.

Sometimes we would enjoy a monster river swim and visit all of the swimming holes in one day.

We’d leave our towels and belongings at the west end of the town and troop up to The Island behind the stone built Selby Store [now known as The Yarra Store].

We’d hit the water there, beginning our half-swim/half-float with the current journey home.

The first spot we would arrive at was the Diving Rock where we would clamber out and execute a few running dives and bombs from the rock into the swirling current then continue on our way.

The Willows was next situated just on the Ringwood side of the bridge.

We’d often swim past Helen Couch as she conducted her swimming lessons under the willow trees that grew profusely along the northern bank.

Many local kids learnt to swim in the river here under her instruction.

The willows dangled their elegant swaying branches over the water as the current rushed us underneath them and straight towards the bridge.

We rode the rapids right under the bridge, looking up at the newly constructed span that had recently replaced the old wooden bridge.

We’d float down to The Rope situated opposite the wood fired Bakery.

Naturally, we’d stop and have a swing on the rope that was hanging from a tree on the northern bank, flying across the water and letting go as we neared the middle of the river.

Next stop was The Cliffs, one of the most exciting and most dangerous spots along our river odyssey.

We’d climb up the towering cliffs until we were over 35 feet above the water and launch ourselves out from the dangerous cliff wall and land in only eight feet of water.

Some of the more adventurous lads would dive face first from the cliffs but most were only game enough to jump.

But whichever way you got your kicks, it was an exhilarating ride!

After our dose of adrenaline, we’d shoot the rapids below today’s dog beach near the Dairy and float down to Hussey’s Pool.

Here, we’d luxuriate in the natural harbor that was created by a huge rocky barrier that stretched more than halfway across the river.

The pool was a great place to swim without being bothered by the currents.

It was a beautiful place to break our journey under the giant oak tree that presided over this special swimming hole, where I learnt to swim in 1956.

Next stop was at least half a kilometre from Hussey’s, so we’d float and swim along, past the picnic shelter, and enjoy the beautiful bush on both sides of the river.

We felt safe, for it was rare for a giant tree to fall over into the river in those days.

I once saw a local guy, Chris Emery, dive down in this stretch of water and return to the surface with a gold nugget clutched in his hand.

April 2020

Download your copy of April 2020 Warrandyte Diary. Click here