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Honouring a local hero: Colin Rathbone awarded OAM
Honouring a local hero: Colin Rathbone awarded OAM

12 June 2024, 2:30 AM

The community of Kiama is celebrating Colin Roy Rathbone, who was recently awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) during the 2024 King's Birthday Honours. This prestigious award acknowledges his exceptional service to the local community, particularly through his extensive involvement with local organisations.Colin’s contributions to the Australian Red Cross are notable; he served as Treasurer from 2016 to 2022 and has been an active member since 2010. His dedication extends to the Friends of Blue Haven Aged Care Facility, where he was Secretary from 2012 to 2022, having joined the group in 2011.Colin’s commitment to the Kiama community spans several decades. Since the 1970s, he has held numerous leadership roles, including President of the Kiama District Sports Association from 1976 to 2021. He also served as Secretary of the Kiama Friends of Vision Australia from 2010 to 2022 and became a Foundation Troop Member of the Kiama Light Horse Brigade in 2014.Throughout his years of service, Colin has received multiple accolades. In 2017, he was honoured as Kiama's Australia Day Citizen of the Year. He was also named the Kiama Council Sports Star of the Year in 2010 and holds life memberships with both the Kiama Junior Football Club and the Kiama District Sports Association.Colin is humble about his achievements: “I could not have done the work for the organisations that I was involved in without the support of all of the committee members of those groups, it has been a joint effort all the way.”The local community has expressed immense pride in Colin’s achievements. Karon Dawson posted on Facebook, “Huge congratulations to another Kiama legend, Col Rathbone OAM, on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award. We are all so proud of you and grateful for everything you have done for our community!” Gordon Bell added, “Col has contributed hugely to our community.”Colin Rathbone's OAM is a testament to his lifelong dedication to service and the significant impact he has made on the Kiama community.

Gerroa author releases new smash-hit novel
Gerroa author releases new smash-hit novel

11 June 2024, 11:00 PM

The debutThe old idiom ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ hit home for accomplished Gerroa author Lisa Darcy when her first book was published fifteen years ago.Lisa sheepishly admits she cried when she first saw the cover image of her long-awaited novel; and they were not tears of joy. The cover, emailed to her by her publisher, looked nothing like she imagined while squeezing thousands of hours of blood, sweat and tears onto the 384 pages of her debut, ‘Lucy Springer Gets Even’. “Then I got over myself,” laughs Lisa. “I thought ‘okay this is what the marketing and publicity department has decided, I’ll just run with it’. Gratitude soon kicked in after the initial shock and, when Lisa saw her novel for the first time in a bookshop, she thought ‘wow, this is fantastic, I am an author’.”That was back in January 2009 and Lisa’s debut novel was so successful, it was rebranded after her publisher admitted the original cover was a mistake. Sales spiked (with a new cover and title - ‘Lucy Bounces Back’) and the book was sold as a wrapped bundle alongside best-selling author Jodi Picoult. Lisa now has nine hit novels under her belt, yet she remains humble; self-deprecation is her default position. Perhaps because, like all good artists, the journey to becoming a published author was long, and not without rejection. Writing the Great Australian NovelIn a previous life Lisa was a journalist in Sydney, working for Australian Consolidated Press - Kerry Packer’s stable of magazines - on publications including ‘Bride To Be’ and ‘Practical Parenting.’ It was in 2000, after Lisa had just given birth to her daughter and had two sons aged two and four, that she decided to pursue every writer’s dream – create the Great Australian Novel. “I thought it would be the perfect time to quit my day job and write a book, I thought it would be easy, I was so naive!” laughs Lisa. The internet was fairly recent back then but there were plenty of tips on how to write a novel, so Lisa followed a formula, set out by the publisher of blockbuster ‘Mills & Boon’ novels, and wrote a 60,000-word bodice ripper set in Venice. She’d never been there but thought ‘hey, how hard can this be?’ After months of toil, she sent her manuscript to acquisitions teams in Vancouver, London and New York (Australia had none at that stage) and waited for the offers to come in.“God, I was so arrogant - it got soundly rejected. The feedback was something like ‘great first line all downhill from there’,” says Lisa, who can laugh about it now that she is a successful author. At the time, it was a definitive blow to her ego during an already tough time in her life. Three lessons learnedShe was a new mum, pumping out thousands of words each day, while also in the midst of breastfeeding and toilet training. Despite the rejection, Lisa got back on the proverbial horse - this time taking on the lessons she had learned - to be successful you need to write from the heart, about things you know, and for genres you love. “I had that naivety, to actually send it off and think that it would get a good reception,” admits Lisa. “But that initial manuscript was so clunky. I don't regret doing it. It showed me that I could actually write a story that stretched to manuscript length. I knew I could write, I knew I could put a story together and I knew I could complete a task. But what I had to do next was actually write about something I cared about.”“So I went away and looked at my bookshelves and the novels I loved reading. It was the 2000s, so books like ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ (Helen Fielding) and ‘Watermelon’ (Marian Keyes). Those books are all written in first-person, they’re conversational, the author is talking to me as their best friend, confiding in me. When I looked at that first manuscript, it was in a third person point of view, distant. I was telling a story, but I wasn't involved in the story, so it wasn't coming from the heart.”Lisa believes her latest novel - ‘The Pact’ - is one of her best, written from the heart about complex family relationships and the unbreakable bond between sisters. But it has been almost a decade in the making, and she had to fight hard to get it published.Not a sports book, but one about familiesRewind to 2015. By this stage Lisa had published five books with Allen & Unwin (“the covers got progressively better”) before deciding to take a break from writing. Her kids were navigating the tricky teenage years and Lisa was the quintessential mother of adolescents; unpaid Uber driver, accidental counselor and round-the-clock chef. Once she had survived “teaching kids to drive,” Lisa rediscovered her love for writing and returned with a self-published book which “sold three copies on Amazon.” Unhappy with the final version, Lisa pulled it from the platform but knew that ‘the skeleton’ for a great story was there. “I just needed the heart and the muscle,” she says. “I really wanted to take my time with it and either self-publish again or find a publisher who actually believed in it.”That book became her latest novel, ‘The Pact,’ a compassionate dissection of the love-hate relationship between two sisters, who lost their mother as teenagers. The book explores how this traumatic event impacted their lives, and loves as they climb their way up the ladder as doubles partners on the international tennis circuit. “Samantha and Annie are professional tennis players and while I’ve played social tennis; badly, I am by no means an expert on the subject,” says Lisa. “Publishers would say, ‘oh if it was cricket or swimming maybe … but not tennis. For me, it was never about writing a sports book, I wanted to write a book about sisters, families, mothers. Tennis was a good way to highlight sibling rivalry, but essentially, the book is about exploring the psychological impact of losing your mother at a young age, how this creates a fear of abandonment for Samantha and a need to be loved for Annie.”Lisa threw herself into research for the book, reading biographies by Ash Barty, Andre Agassi, the Williams sisters, Rafael Nadal, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd. But it is the human relationships and connections around her that she draws on for inspiration, admitting that her own relationship with her sister is the typical, love-hate, sibling rivalry archetype. But at the end of the day love wins out. “In most of my novels, but not this latest one, there's also the older mum, or grandmother, who is always based on my mother, but I don’t think she’s even read any of my books,” laughs Lisa. “And my kids have only just twigged to this, but for all their high school years I was forever just passing by their room when they had friends over, basically eavesdropping. I was absolutely stealing their conversations for material and I have no regrets!” “I don’t think my kids have read my books either, in my acknowledgments I always mention them. That was a little test to see if they came back to me. But I do know the boys have given copies to girlfriends, which they say they really enjoyed and laughed at, because they can see my sons in those stories. Without destroying any illusions, I think it's really important to talk about real life experiences, real relationships.” Becoming Lisa DarcyBack in the early noughties rural romance was ‘going gangbusters’ off the back of shows like McLeod’s Daughters. Lisa’s publishers reached out to her saying, ‘this is going to be the next big thing, can you write something like that?’ “I said ‘well, I’m a suburban mother, living in Sydney, yes I’ve seen a sheep and I’ve patted a cow but there’s no way I can do that’,” she chuckles. But what she could do was write coastal romance, with Gerringong the setting for her 2021 novel ‘Lily’s Little Flower Shop..“I’ve had a property in Gerroa for 25 years,” says Lisa. “I moved here permanently in 2021, when the kids had finished uni. I really should have written ‘Lily’s Little Flower Shop’ years earlier but when I finally started writing it, I knew I could do it justice because I know the fictional, but real, township I’m writing about.” The book has since been published in several languages, including French and Italian, and marked the beginning of Lisa’s success as a renowned international author when she signed with UK-based publisher Bloodhound Books in 2020. However, there was a catch. Her new publisher wanted to “completely rebrand” her. Lisa had always published her work under her maiden name, Heidke. By now Lisa knew the drill, publishers have the final say on covers, titles and even with authors’ names. “After I got over myself again, I thought okay I’m in charge here,” she says. She chose a name that she liked, one that resonated. Darcy was reminiscent of Jane Austen. Marketing research shows authors whose last names start with C or D do well in the line-up on bookshops shelves, explains Lisa. She wrote ‘Lily’s Little Flower Shop,’ ‘My Big Greek Holiday’ and ‘Should You Keep A Secret?’ under the pen name Lisa Darcy for Bloodhound Books.“Other than when I am talking to my friends and family and I’m Lisa Heidke, I became Lisa Darcy on all my new novels and socials,” she says.’ Lily’s Little Flower Shop’ has a special palace in her heart and is one of her most beloved novels. But ‘The Pact’ is the one she is most proud of. She fought hard to have it published on her terms.“This book has been so well-received by readers, and I’m really happy with the end result,” says Lisa. “And I love the cover!”

Fern Street Gallery goes online
Fern Street Gallery goes online

11 June 2024, 12:00 AM

On Thursday, 6 June, Fern Street Gallery informed their following that they are making a significant transition and shifting their focus towards becoming a predominantly online gallery. The gallery will be offering viewing of artworks by appointment, either in your home with the selected pieces of interest or in their private studio in Kiama. It will also be, “curating exclusive regional pop-up exhibitions and participating in art fairs.”“Choosing art is personalised and effortless with us at Fern Street Gallery. My specialised in-home consultation process is created to improve your experience, increase your confidence and save you time and stress,” says director Kerry Bruce. Bruce assures, “we are not closing our doors; rather, we are reinventing our approach and redefining our accessibility.”Collectors and visitors can stay connected by signing up to the Fern Street Gallery newsletter, or to the exclusive VIP ART Lovers newsletter, which will inform subscribersabout their future endeavours.Bruce says, “While our physical location may be undergoing changes, we remain steadfast in representing a curated group of talented Artists whose art will be consistently available online. Keep an eye out for featured collections each month.”“Our time spent in Gerringong has been filled with fond memories, and we deeply appreciate the support from the local community and our collectors worldwide.”For the latest news regarding new artworks, exhibitions, pop-ups, and Art Fairs, go to: fernstreetgallery.com.au.Note: The current “June Stockroom Exhibition” remains open until June 30 from 10am – 4pm daily at 2/131 Fern Street, Gerringong.

Kiama’s Greg Crofts Receives OAM for dedicated scouting leadership
Kiama’s Greg Crofts Receives OAM for dedicated scouting leadership

09 June 2024, 11:40 PM

Gregory Leigh Crofts, a resident of Kiama, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) during the 2024 King's Birthday Honours for Australia. The announcement was made on 10 June, by Governor-General David Hurley.The King's Birthday Honours celebrate the achievements and service of extraordinary individuals across the 15 Commonwealth realms of King Charles III, recognising their significant contributions to society.Greg, as he prefers to be known, was honoured for his remarkable service to scouting. His involvement with the Kiama Scout Group spans 16 years, reflecting a long-standing commitment to the scouting community. In that time, he has accumulated 14 scout awards.Known by his scouting name, “Wonga”, Greg began his scouting journey in 1976. He started as the '1st Peakhurst Cub Leader' and progressed to '1st Peakhurst Scout Leader' in 1980, and to '1st Sylvania Heights Cub Leader' in 1987.In 1996, Greg moved to Nowra and joined the '1st Illaroo Cub Pack.' Two years later, he became the Regional Leader of Cub Scouts for the South Coast and Tablelands Region. His leadership skills were further recognised when he was appointed District Cub Leader for Shoalhaven in 2003 and District Commissioner a year later.Greg's leadership prowess continued to be acknowledged, leading to his promotion as Assistant District Commissioner in the Illawarra South District in 2006. In 2009, he took on the role of '1st Kiama Scout Group Leader,' a position he held for 11 years before becoming the Group Advisor in 2020. When Greg assumed leadership of Kiama Scouts, the group was nearly bankrupt. Through his tireless efforts in fundraising, including organising sausage sizzles, he revitalised the group, making it financially robust and vibrant.A hands-on leader, Greg is actively involved in maintaining the Scout Hall, managing cleaning, maintenance, and liaising with service personnel and contractors. He continues to attend weekly scout meetings and is an integral part of the committee.Greg has secured grants for solar electricity, air conditioning, and plumbing improvements for the hall, benefitting not only Kiama Scouts but also other scouting groups, who use the hall for camps and activities, utilising the scenic Kiama harbour as a backdrop.He has been a staunch advocate for keeping the Kiama Scout Hall under the ownership of Scouting Australia. Amid pressure from developers and the Kiama Council, who have shown interest in redeveloping the harbour area, Greg has tirelessly worked to ensure the hall remains a community asset. Greg has meticulously documented that the land is Crown land with a 100-year perpetual lease, underscoring his commitment to preserving the hall for future generations of local children and families.

Kiama Winter Street Festival – 13 & 14 July
Kiama Winter Street Festival – 13 & 14 July

09 June 2024, 10:30 PM

Building on past successes with an exciting twist, Destination Kiama is set to host the Kiama Winter Street Festival during the July school holidays. This vibrant event will transform downtown Kiama into a winter wonderland on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, 2024.Terralong Street will close to vehicles, becoming a pedestrian paradise, filled with dining options, live music, interactive workshops, dancing, and street entertainment. As night falls, magical light installations will illuminate the sky, creating a festive atmosphere.Community spirit and local supportCouncillor Matt Brown, Chair of Destination Kiama, shared his enthusiasm: “We are excited to create a fun, engaging, and vibrant festival that captures our famous community spirit while supporting local businesses. This event offers expanded dining and shopping opportunities during the typically quieter winter months.”“We invite everyone to immerse themselves in the festivities, enjoy the diverse dining options, and revel in the entertainment that extends into the night (well, 9pm is late for us!).”Cameron Thomas, owner of Central Perk Cafe, expressed his support: “This is a fantastic initiative, and we welcome all community activations that bring everyone together to enjoy our beautiful town, especially during the winter months.”Entertainment extravaganzaEntertainment giants Junkyard Beats will energise the crowd with their dynamic drumming and dancing, creating an electric atmosphere. Local talent, including dance troupes, community groups, solo artists, and bands such as Bronte Alva, Rolling Holy, Prodikal-1, and The Groove, will showcase their skills.The Laughter House will present top national talent on the ‘Kiama Little Big Stage,’ while DJs will keep the party going with lively music. Highlights include a laser show by Flying Pictures, a glow zone, and light installations featuring local art by R & R Production Services.Family fun and interactive installationsKids and families can enjoy illuminated giant puppets by Curious Legends, a giant snow globe, and roving performances by CirqueUm Navigate, including a magic and fire show. Local flavours and extended trading hoursLocal licensed venues are encouraged to stock Destination Kiama’s branded Pale Ale, Kiama Winter Brew, crafted by local favourite Stoic Brewing. Retailers, cafés, and restaurants will extend their hours, offering an eclectic range of fare to tantalize taste buds and join in the winter festivities.Event detailsWhat: Kiama Winter Street FestivalWhen: Saturday, July 13 (12 PM to 9 PM) & Sunday, July 14 (10 AM to 2 PM)Where: Terralong St, KiamaWebsite: Kiama Winter Street FestivalThe Kiama Winter Street Festival is funded by the NSW Government, with support from i98fm.Join in for a weekend of winter magic, community spirit, and unforgettable entertainment in the heart of Kiama!

Ivy Miller: Swimming towards the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics
Ivy Miller: Swimming towards the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics

09 June 2024, 5:20 AM

Local swimmer 17-year-old Ivy Miller, whose long-term goal is the 2032 Summer Games in Brisbane, will swim her first Olympic swimming trials at – that’s right, Brisbane Aquatic Centre –10-15 June.In between school and her daily swim practice, Miller spoke to The Bugle about how growing up on the South Coast has influenced her swimming career, why her role model is Wollongong native and fellow swimmer Emma McKeon and making the Junior Australian Dolphin team.At the 2024 Australian Swimming Trials, which is the most prestigious domestic event on the national swimming calendar and where the Australian Olympic swimming squad will be selected, Miller will compete in the women’s 100 meter, and 200 meter, backstroke.“I’m going into the meet with the main goal of gaining more experience swimming as an open athlete rather than an age group swimmer alongside Australia's world class athletes,” she says.It will also give her an opportunity not just to compete alongside but also to learn from the best swimmers in the country.“While at the trials, I hope to be able to race the best I possibly can, with hopefully swimming some personal bests and making it into a final,” she says.Miller is as home-grown a swimmer as they come. She learned to swim at the Kiama Leisure Centre, and began to swim competitively at the Friday nights’ Kiama Swim Club from around the age of eight.A major influence in her decision to start racing has been the community of swim lovers within, and around, Kiama, she explains.“The South Coast and the Illawarra area has a lot of talented swimmers. I’ve been lucky enough through my competitive career to meet and interact with so many other individuals, who also share the same passion of swimming.”Ivy Miller, an Olympic swimmer in the making. Photo credit: WinkiPoP media.One could also say that watersports run into her blood. Miller’s aunt, Lily Gladstone, and uncle, Greg Miller, are both ex-IronWoman and IronMan respectively, who competed in the Uncle Toby’s Super Series. Her grandma, Geraldine Miller, was an ex-Australian Surf Life Saving (SLS) coach and her dad, Grahame Miller, was a bodyboarder on the world tour.“This naturally led me to be brought into both swimming and SLS as a young girl, but also my parents exposed me to these sports so I would be able to safely enjoy the beautiful coastline of our area,” she says. “Even while just having fun participating in these activities, trying to pursue them competitively was a natural progression for me since I’m a competitive person.”Miller currently swims for the Wests Illawarra Aquatic Swim Club at the University of Wollongong Pool under coach Pat Stellino.She finds her swimming squad to be a major motivator, with everyone working off each other in pursuing their goals.To be committed to her goals is actually one of her main strengths as a swimmer, Miller says, along with being very  driven.“I’m able to get myself up and out of bed in the early hours, get into the cold outdoor pool and put all my energy into having the best possible session I can have, at that point.”Someone who’s shown her that it’s definitely worth putting in the work and effort is Emma McKeon, who made history by winning seven gold medals at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. That is the most medals won by any woman in any sport.“She’s a Wollongong girl that’s now one of Australia’s most decorated swimmers, which is an amazing achievement. She’s also a very kind and humble person, who I’ve been lucky to meet a few times.“It’s also inspiring that she's a local girl, who also started out at Wests Illawarra Aquatic, showing that hopefully I can also do this, too,” says Miller. As she looks to the future, her goals are making the Junior Australian Dolphins Team and/or the Australian Dolphins Team and qualifying for the LA 2028 Summer Olympics or the 2032 Brisbane Summer Olympics. We look forward to seeing her at both.

Biggest starting field ever as the Kiama Red Cross Fun Run celebrates its 10th anniversary
Biggest starting field ever as the Kiama Red Cross Fun Run celebrates its 10th anniversary

09 June 2024, 1:50 AM

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”About 60 runners join Judi O’Brien, president of the Kiama Red Cross and organiser of the Kiama Red Cross Fun Run, as she counts down towards the start of the half-marathon.It’s 7am on Sunday, June 9, and just like that, the race is off.A couple of minutes earlier, Lokesh (Loki) Thondauada had been standing by Surf Beach, taking in the sweetness of the morning.“If I can do a time of less than 2,5 hrs, I think I’ll be a happy champ,” he says and laughs. Thondauada’s come down from Sydney to do the race as he prepares to do the full Sydney Marathon on 15 September, ahead of his 50th birthday next year. The marathon is literally just 100 days off, although he’s done a couple of half-marathons before. About 25-30 of them.But it’s his first time running the Kiama Red Cross Fun Run.Loki Thondauada enjoying the Kiama sunrise ahead of the half-marathon.“I came for two reasons,” he says, “The coast - just to feel the magic of nature. The sunrise makes you feel alive.”“And I wanted to make a contribution to the Red Cross. This is small, not as commercialised as up in Sydney where I’ve run a lot.”The Kiama Red Cross Fun Run, now in its tenth year, offers three distances: the half-marathon (21 km), 8km and 5km.A total of 341 runners/walkers participated in the race. That’s the biggest starting field they’ve ever had, says Judi O’Brien.“It’s a nice community event that raises money for the Red Cross and gets our name out there.”The event is a brainchild of hers.Judi O'Brien and some of the top finishers in the half-marathon by Surf Beach.“A fun run to celebrate the 100 years of the Australian Red Cross and this was our way of celebrating that milestone,” she says. “It has continued on each year, and it’s gotten bigger and better. Sadly, it had to stop in 2021 due to covid but every other year, it’s been run.”Over the ten years, the Kiama Red Cross has raised over $50,000, and for this year’s edition, they made over $10,000.“It’s been a very good fund-raiser for Kiama Red Cross,” notes O’Brien.As the half-marathon runners sprint across the finishing line, she’s there to greet them, medals in hand. Everyone gets one with the top finishers receiving the anniversary edition.“Check off your name, you could have won a spot price,” she urges them.There are one to two spot prices for each distance. Then, there’re extra prizes for people who booked early, ice-cream for the kids and a dog prize.The medal commemorating the tenth anniversary.“It’s for the first dog that crosses the finishing line,” she says. “One year, we had a dog who ran the whole 21 km. Wow.”But there’s still some time before the four-legged racers will show.Around 9:16 am, Loki Thondauada crosses the finishing line. He’s done it, finishing the half-marathon in 2:16 hrs – well below his goal time.RESULTS21,1 kmMenFirst place: Dan PiercySecond place: Blair JonesThird place: Dan RedmanWomenFirst place: Emma LyonsSecond place: Kelly-Anne HinchcliffeThird place: Jackie Lyons8 kmMenWinner: James BurroughsSecond place: Jonathon HellmundWomenWinner: Jett WarnerSecond place: Amy LoxleyBoysWinner: Finn McNeilageSecond place: Lincoln BuddenGirlsWinner: Makyla Haddad5 kmMenWinner: Nick WooleySecond place: Anthony MurellWomenWinner: Georgia WinkcupSecond place: Emily CrumpBoysWinner: Dash KinsSecond place: Josh ReitzeGirlsWinner: Ava SloanSecond place: Elsie CrumpSpot prize winnersPaul Convey, Evie Berriman, Kevin Foreman, Judith Bibo, Hannah Clarke, Rory O’Sullivan, Debbie Jones, Tim Roff, Amanda Jones, Heather White, Alicia Doolan, Isabella Boniel, Lara Morgan, Kelly Berriman, Navine Koehler and Brenton Wilson.Early Bird prizesChristian Mawhinney, Bronwyn Wiseman, Amanjit Dhonsey and Caitlin Elsley.

Memories of Foxground long ago
Memories of Foxground long ago

09 June 2024, 12:00 AM

It is clearly understood that early settlers, both men and women lived a hard life. Something that is often lost forever is the folklore of the times. In order to retain some of this, we print the following anecdotes that epitomise the character and comradeship of the Foxground folk. Cedar-cutting was an early industry. Logs were felled and drawn over a deep pit or gully, where one man, Harry Stokes, as ‘bottom dog’ could saw all day, and then leap out of the 180 cm deep pit in a standing jump!    Another strong man, Frank Herbert, had been known to put two half-grown pigs in bags, and walk out of the Valley over Saddleback Mountain without putting them to the ground.            Pat O’Keeffe spent the whole of his long working life testing milk at the factory, smelling and /or tasting hundreds of thousands of cans of untreated milk. Let it not be said that milk is harmful - he lived to be 98.Pat knew his job, and once rejected a supplier's milk for two days in a row for a foreign odour until it was discovered one cow in the herd was grazing a patch of garlic.    One farmer who hailed from South Africa used to cool his can of cream in a well overnight, raising the lid for ventilation. During the night his greyhound pup knocked the lid off and fell into the cream.The farmer had to rush to rescue said pup. It came out covered in cream. Telling his story, he was asked what he did with the cream. ‘Well, I scraped him down and put the lid on and sent the cream to the factory, of course.’ It was hoped Pat didn’t taste that one! Nearly every wedding in those times was celebrated with a tin-kettling. Neighbours and friends would foregather at the home of the newly-weds and serenade them by banging tins and billies and other objects that could generate noise. On one occasion the newly-weds would not open the door to them, so a wet bag was placed over the chimney to smoke them out! Jokes of all kinds were attempted, and on one occasion a young calf was put to sleep under the young couple’s bed. Like all young calves he woke up for a feed early in the morning, with a hair-raising result!      One early settler was known to have walked over Saddleback Mountain each Saturday night, to court his girlfriend and back home to do his milking the next morning. He should have brought her with him!         Foxground in flood. Date UnknownEntertainment was simple in the early days; corn-husking parties were held on nights with dances on the verandas or in the barns, to the tunes of an accordion. Card-playing was popular with the older folk.Bill Cullen was a proud breeder of red Illawarra cattle, and when one of his best cows calved one night, a joker took the red calf and replaced it with a white one, probably a jersey, to the shock of the owner when he came to inspect the newly born!A true story is told of a farmer who used to balance his one keg of butter with a bag of stones on the packhorse on the trip to the Kiama wharf. When his production required an extra keg, he borrowed another horse to carry the second keg and more stones! Surely it would have been easier..if..?    Late one summer’s night during the war an aeroplane crashed on Bong-Bong Mountain, on the rim of the Valley. In the rush to be first there in the pea-soup fog many got hopelessly lost. Close to one hundred men rushed to the scene. Len Flint and his party reckoned they climbed over the same log three times during the night! Doug Blow and his party arrived home late for the morning’s milking. They all wished the plane had landed on Cullen’s flat!Sly grog was made in the early days, in a still located in a mountain cave. One man used to take along a second can of grog with his can of cream to the factory. One day on being confronted by the police, he took off for the bush with one of the cans in hand - hotly pursued by the Law. In the hurry he had grasped the can of cream, and the can of grog was disposed of by persons unknown!A girl from the same still traded the brew to a Kiama Hotel and for years was never caught. She rode a horse side-saddle with a hooped skirt, with the bottles wrapped in a blanket inside the hoop of the skirt!         Stan Leaney was a great axeman, and followed the profession to the show-ring. It was said his wife chopped the wood at home!   When we were kids at the Foxground school, one of our favourite sports was to see who could be first to tease a funnel-web spider out of his hole in the ground with a grass stem. I still shudder to think about them. Kids were cheap in ‘those good old days!’  

Music, Mud, and Memories: Winter Wine Festival Concert at Crooked River Wines
Music, Mud, and Memories: Winter Wine Festival Concert at Crooked River Wines

08 June 2024, 11:15 PM

The Bugle attended the highly anticipated “Winter Wine Festival” weekend concert at Crooked River Wines yesterday. Saturday’s headliner was Icehouse, the iconic band that dominated the 80s music scene. As a former fan from that era, it was a nostalgic treat to review this legendary band three decades later. Their enduring talent and energy, even in their late sixties, were evident as they rocked the crowd with timeless hits like "Great Southern Land."After many days of driving rain leading up to the event, the weather gods finally blessed the festival with clear skies and mild temperatures. Though the ground was pretty muddy and many a pair of white sneakers were sacrificed, no one seemed to care. The crowd was clearly enjoying the live music and the ambience of the setting – a phenomenal backdrop of green hills and grapevines.The concert commenced at midday with the supporting acts The Hollywood Waltz, Olivia Coggan, Pallas Haze, Marvell, Ash Grunwald, and Alex Lloyd. Olivia Coggan, a talented performer, was joined on stage by her father, also a musician, who was clearly a proud dad. Pallas Haze got the crowd dancing with a funky rendition of “Staying Alive”. Marvell were an upbeat rock and roll band that enticed many more to the mosh pit. The crowd particularly responded to electric guitar soloist Ash Grunwald who has a big personality and played music that kept the crowd dancing – or toe-tapping if they were over 60! Alex Lloyd kept the crowd engaged, particularly with his rendition of “Hallelujah” and “Amazing”. He also covered ‘Crowded House’ favourite “You better be home soon”, which was well received.Music, as always, serves as a powerful motivator, evoking precise memories and emotions. Many of the ‘oldies’, like this reporter, felt 18 again! It was clear that older audience members relished their favourite classic songs, while younger attendees discovered the magic of Icehouse for the first time. Picnic blankets and foldable chairs dotted the venue, with many enjoying the concert seated, singing along. Those eager to dance found their way to the mosh pit, creating a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere.As expected, the demographic skewed older, reflecting the band’s peak era in the 80s. To gain a fresh perspective, The Bugle asked several young concertgoers about their experience and familiarity with Icehouse's music. Most didn’t know much but were enthusiastic about live music generally and happy to join in.Amid a remarkable lightshow, Icehouse delivered an impressive setlist, starting with “Icehouse,” then “Walls,” “Electric Blue,” “Hey Little Girl,” “Crazy,” “No Promises,” and “Don’t Believe Anymore,” among other smash hits, which received a great response from the audience. There will undoubtedly be a few new younger fans afterward.Reviving live music concerts in the vineyard is a major part of owner Roger Lloyd’s vision. He has ambitious plans for the future of Crooked River Wines, including a wedding and functions centre currently under construction, as well as more concerts of course. However, organising these events involves considerable effort, including fencing the whole concert area, hiring around 20 security guards, ensuring police presence, and providing extra hospitality staff for the VIP area, which, by the way, sold out very quickly! Food vans and a large bar for the general area offered a selection of Crooked River estate wines, beers, and soft drinks.Today’s (Sunday 9th) line up features headliner The Rubens, supported by Daisy Pring, Darling Street, James Burton, Pacific Avenue, and Jack River. Tickets are still available at Crooked River Wines website. You’ll have a great time - but wear your gumboots.

Chronic Inflammation: a vital health concern
Chronic Inflammation: a vital health concern

08 June 2024, 11:00 PM

Scientific research highlights the danger of chronic, low-grade inflammation, which contributes to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and various other health conditions. With three out of five deaths attributed to inflammation-related diseases globally, the urgency to address this issue cannot be overstated.When the body detects foreign elements like invading microbes, plant pollen, or chemicals, the immune system springs into action, initiating a process known as inflammation. While intermittent bouts of inflammation serve to protect against threats, persistent inflammation -occurring even in the absence of imminent danger -poses a significant risk. Chronic inflammation is increasingly linked to many prevalent diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer's.Medical experts advocate for an anti-inflammatory diet as an effective strategy to effectively combat inflammation. Choosing foods with anti-inflammatory properties can potentially reduce the risk of illness. Conversely, consistently consuming inflammatory foods may exacerbate the disease process.Dr. Frank Hu, from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, emphasises the pivotal role of dietary choices in inflammation management. He asserts, "Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects."To minimise inflammation, it is advisable to reduce or avoid certain foods known to trigger inflammatory responses, such as refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sugary beverages, red and processed meats, and unhealthy fats. Not surprisingly, these same foods are generally considered bad for our health. Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. Yet in several studies, even after researchers took obesity into account, the link between foods and inflammation remained, which suggests weight gain isn't the sole driver. "Some of the food components or ingredients may have independent effects on inflammation over and above increased caloric intake," Dr Hu says.So what foods should we be eating? An anti-inflammatory diet should prioritise foods rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, such as tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fatty fish, and select fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. These dietary components have been linked to reduced inflammation markers and lower risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.Incorporating coffee, which contains anti-inflammatory compounds, into one's diet may also provide protective benefits against inflammation.For overall inflammation reduction, adopting a healthy diet is paramount. The Mediterranean diet, characterised by its emphasis on fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils, aligns closely with the principles of anti-inflammatory eating.In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health. “A healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but also for improving mood and overall quality of life," Dr. Hu says.Photo source: Harvard Health

Kiama MP pens letter to NSW Premier, reminding him of election promises
Kiama MP pens letter to NSW Premier, reminding him of election promises

08 June 2024, 1:00 AM

On Wednesday, 5 June, Kiama MP Gareth Ward, wrote to the Premier of New South Wales, Chris Minns MP and Treasurer Daniel Mookhey MLC regarding the upcoming 2024-25 State Budget, which is being delivered by the NSW Treasurer in Parliament on Tuesday, 18 June.Ward highlighted in his letter several local projects, promises which the Minns Labor Government made to the local community and other key budget priorities for the Kiama electorate.According to Ward, the 2024-25 State Budget should address the following:Commit NSW Government funding to the Nowra Bypass and release a start date.Commit to reinstating the Regional Seniors Travel Card, and restoring the full funding for the Active Kids Rebate, the Creative Kids Rebate and the First Lap voucher.Commit NSW Government funding to the East Nowra Sub Arterial Road Project, which Labor promised.Commit to a full suite of maternity services, and a helipad, at Shellharbour Hospital.Deliver funding to upgrade Bomaderry High School.Deliver on Labor’s promise of ‘an additional’ $20 million for the Tripoli Way Bypass.Commit funding to start construction on Calderwood Public School.Commit NSW Government funding to deliver the Toolijooa Passing Loop, the upgrade of the South Coast Line, new carriages on the South Coast line and the complete roll-out of Wi-Fi services on the South Coast Line from Bomaderry to Kiama.Deliver a detailed progress update and a completion of works timetable for the finalisation of road works on Cambewarra Mountain on Moss Vale Road.Commit NSW Government funding to adequately fund and support homelessness service providers across the region, including Salt Care and Safe Shelter Shoalhaven to ensure crisis overnight accommodation services are adequately staffed and funded.Commit to removing bureaucratic red tape and supporting the over 5,000 small and family-owned businesses in the Kiama electorate by cutting the payroll tax.Commit to installing defibrillators in all public buildings and on all forms of public transport.Deliver funding that supports the aims and programs delivered by our local Landcare and Bushcare and other environmental conservation groups to help ensure a sustainable environment for future generations; andDeliver a commitment to maintaining public open green spaces to help preserve the heritage and unique character of our towns and villages.

Australia Post's grants empower communities to enhance mental health and well-being
Australia Post's grants empower communities to enhance mental health and well-being

07 June 2024, 5:15 AM

Australia Post's Community Grants program, offering up to $10,000 for local, community-led projects across Australia, is now open for applications. Eligible not-for-profit groups can apply for these grants to fund initiatives focused on improving mental health and well-being in their local areas.Last year, over $500,000 was distributed to 72 projects, supporting a variety of community initiatives. These projects included art and well-being workshops for Aboriginal communities, family sports days to boost social connections and physical activity, an eight-week psycho-educational program for women impacted by domestic violence, Mental Health First Aid training, and a Young Teens mentoring program. Notably, half of the successful applications came from rural and remote locations.Nicky Tracey, Australia Post's General Manager of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, highlighted the diversity and impact of past projects: “Each year, there is a great diversity of mental health support projects across our Community Grants applications. From groups that keep elderly Australians connected to supporting workers with mental health, first aid-training and even surf therapy, we encourage applications from all local communities.”She added, “We know that when we connect, we feel better, which is why projects supported by Australia Post share a common thread of improving mental health and well-being through the power of connection.”Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Professor and Director of the Centre for Wellbeing Science at the University of Melbourne, emphasised the importance of such initiatives. “The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that more than 1 in 5 Australians aged 16-85 years experienced a mental health disorder in the past year, with anxiety and depression being the most common. These statistics underscore the urgent need for initiatives like the Community Grants to provide support at a community level.”She continued, “This program empowers local groups to develop initiatives tailored to their specific needs – fostering ownership, motivation, and collaboration. When communities design and implement their own projects, they build local skills and competencies, which strengthens social bonds and overall well-being.”This is a crucial opportunity for community groups delivering mental health and well-being initiatives to apply for additional funding, especially in a time when community connection and social bonds are more important than ever.Australia Post is accepting applications until 1 July. Interested organisations are encouraged to review the Community Grant guidelines carefully to check eligibility requirements.Australia Post's commitment to mental health also includes a partnership with Beyond Blue, which has delivered mental health resources to more than 16 million letterboxes across Australia. Additionally, Australia Post is a founding member of Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, supporting mental health and well-being in the transport and logistics industries.

NSW Police launch operation for King’s Birthday Long Weekend
NSW Police launch operation for King’s Birthday Long Weekend

07 June 2024, 1:32 AM

The NSW Police Force and Transport NSW are launching ‘Operation King’s Birthday 2024’ to enhance road safety over the upcoming long weekend. Double demerit points will begin from 12:01 am on Friday, 7 June, until 11:59 pm on Monday, 10 June.Police will patrol statewide, targeting speeding, alcohol and drug driving, fatigue and distracted driving. The Minister for Police, Yasmin Catley, stressed a zero tolerance for dangerous driving, urging everyone to drive safely and rest if tired. “Our message to drivers this long weekend is to be safe and drive to the conditions so you can return home to your loved ones,” said Catley. Assistant Commissioner, Brett McFadden, expressed concern over the expected high volume of traffic on the roads, noting a number of recent fatal crashes, and is encouraging passengers to speak up against dangerous driving in the car. Bernald Carlon from Transport for NSW reminded drivers that speeding, seatbelt, helmet, and mobile phone offences will also attract double demerits. With plenty of heavy rain expected over the weekend, Carlon also warned drivers to take care on slippery roads, urging drivers to reduce speeds, maintain safe distances, use car lights and avoid driving through floodwaters. To plan your journey over the long weekend, either use the Live Traffic NSW app or visit livetraffic.com. Report dangerous driving to Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.

Alisdair Tarbert naming of the Green
Alisdair Tarbert naming of the Green

06 June 2024, 11:00 PM

Kiama Bowling and Recreation Club held a special presentation and ceremony for the naming of the Alisdair Tarbert Green on Sunday, 19 May. The number 2 green is the original club green, and is now named after life member and longest serving member Alisdair Tarbert, 90-years-old.Many close friends and family joined Alisdair and wife Jan Tarbert in celebration. Current members and players were in attendance, and Zone 16 representative Peter Ryan extended his congratulations on behalf of the Illawarra Zone. Kiama Bowling Club president Wayne Richardson spoke of Alisdair Tarbert’s achievements throughout his long career. Those include seven club Pairs, nine club Triples titles, five club Fours wins and as a member of two number 1 Pennant Flag winning teams, 1974 and 2002 respectively. Life member Trevor Jones spoke of Tarbert’s outstanding service to the club over many years, attending every working bee in support of all club works, most notably his hard work during the transformation of the number 2 green from synthetic to turf in 1994.Alisdair Tarbert’s association with Kiama Bowling and Recreation Club began many years ago when his father Peter Tarbert served as the club treasurer from 1946-66. He began filling in games at an early age, and made his mark as a talented bowler joining his brother Cameron to win the South Coast District Bowls Association Pairs in 1967. Tarbert won his first club Singles title in 1975, in a very close game 31-30 against his brother Cameron. This game was marked by his father Peter. His bowling records aside, Alisdair has been a consistent supporter of every initiative undertaken at the club and was awarded life membership in 1995. Alisdair Tarbert has now been honoured with the number 2 green bearing his name. 

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