Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bill and Bub are all Steamed Up and Ready to Party

This weekend there will be celebration a plenty as the National Railway Museum celebrates 21 years of operating the Semaphore Steam Train along the foreshore to Fort Glanville.

Bill and Bub will each be running regular train rides that take about thirty minutes for the round trip. The ride gives you views across the dunes of the Beach and  wonderful panorama of the Gulf St Vincent as the weekend sailors get out and about.

Bill is the bigger engine and pulls a couple more carriages than Bub. Bub is a Tank Engine and put on his face and he looks a lot like the Fat Controller's Number 1 engine Thomas.



The trains start each day at 10:00am and culminate at around 4:30pm with an historical double header along the foreshore for both engines coupled together, towing the all of the carriages.

There are special prices for the weekend at just $5.00 per person or $20 for groups of 5. It is but a small price to pay as it helps The National Railway Museum ( a self-funded not for profit organisation) preserve the history of our rail transportation for generations to come.

This is an interview I did with Ray whom has been giving his time to the Railway for almost as many years as the Railway has operated.



So head on down to the Semaphore Jetty this weekend the 2nd - 3rd November and join the party.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fire Seasons in Australia

I should preface this by saying that I believe that Climate Change is certainly worth taking on board and the Science (albeit still with some scientific naysayers) is telling us we should be doing something about it. So let us understand what we Humans are doing to our Planet.

However, the bushfires being blamed on Climate Change is to a very large degree a nonsense. We have had some very good wet seasons over the last few years particularly on the eastern seaboard of Australia. Reservoirs around Sydney and Brisbane are clear evidence of the large rainfalls experienced.

Therefore the increased availability of fuel for bushfires seems a fairly logical outcome of these wet seasons and no amount of off-season burnoff can beat the early heatwaves that come from time to time. From the day of the early settlers we have been writing about the extremes of this country, none more poignant than Dorothea MacKellar's "My Country".

A quick review of history (and I only went back to 1938 - 1939) we have had years of shocking Bushfires brought on by early heatwaves. In 1938 in NSW fires were devastating as were the Fires In South Australia and Victoria in the January of 1939 - Black Friday. In my own memory 1955/1956 were similar and without documenting each and every year that this has occurred at regular intervals right up to date. Need I remind anyone of Ash Wednesday (it was early that year)

The "earlyish" start to the season in NSW should send the alarm bells to WA, SA and Victoria to be ready for the coming Summer months. The map below highlights very clearly the Bushfire Seasons in Australia.

My heartfelt prayers and concern go out to anyone affected by Bushfire and my absolute respect to the brave firefighters who battle to save property and life.

All I can say Australia is BE PREPARED and ensure that fire emergency plans are in place all of the time.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Love Each Other

Last Thursday Night I went along to SCALA at The Light Hotel in the City of Adelaide.


Performing first were Just Us and The Chocolate Eclairs (David J Cronin, Claire Gurry and Clayton Werner). As is the practice of Thursday Nights at The Light Hotel the group performed around three or four songs. There final song was titled "Love Each Other".
David introduced the song and made the point he worked in Childrens' Hospital's and the words of the Chorus he had been privileged to hear from a terminally ill child's letter to her parents.  As the song unfolded the poignancy of the words became very moving, so simple, but oh so powerful.
A number of years ago I had the opportunity of attending a conference at Petrea King's Quest for Life Foundation at Bundanoon on the Southern Tablelands near Sydney, New South Wales. An extraordinary experience to say the least and to be able to say I have met the beautiful Angel, Petrea King, and to say the experience was life changing is a mere under statement. 
So much of what we had touched on at Bundanoon came flooding back and the words written in one of her books "Sometimes Hearts Have to Break" were there again back on stage in front of me. 
If you want to find out more about Petrea King and Quest for Life you can follow this link - http://www.questforlife.com.au
Well having given myself a little time for the lump in my throat to subside and the group had packed up ready for the next act to come on stage I sought out David J Cronin at the bar. 

David advised me he sometimes works as a Clown Doctor (Dr Hugh Moore) and yes he had heard the words in Hospital. The work these people do is just unbelievable and when you consider the tragedy they must see in bringing just a few moments of humour to unwell Children their commitment and dedication is undoubted.

David works through the organisation http://www.laughline.org and the Humour Foundation (http://www.humourfoundation.com.au) - The Clown Doctors. Can I only commend to you the work that these magnificent people do and the joy they bring to the young in Hospital.

Enough said, time for you to do your bit. Here is the song - tell me as you stop and listen you struggle to stop that little tear appearing in the corner of your eye. Love ya' work David.