Weekender: Deems share secret to lifelong love

Anzac Day services around the region

Georgia Neville

Residents of the Bundaberg Region will be able to come together to commemorate Anzac Day with a number of services being held on Monday 25 April.

A range of locations throughout the region will host services, from dawn services commencing at 4 am to memorial and civic services later in the day.

Bundaberg Regional Council Acting Mayor Bill Trevor said these services provided a chance for the community to pay its respects and honour those who fought for the freedom of this country.

“Anzac Day is a special day, providing us the opportunity to pay our respects and honour those who have fought for our country,” Acting Mayor Trevor said.

“I look forward to seeing our community come out to these services and pay their respects on Monday.”

Details on the services being held throughout the region can be found in the online version of the Anzac Day 2022 booklet here.

Photo: Anzac Day parade, 1967- Nash, R. W. donor, bun01440, Picture Bundaberg

M.V Oranje model a passion project for Jacobus

Ashley Schipper

When Jacobus Sulsters was a young shipwright working in Amsterdam he was acquainted with what would become known as the fastest hospital vessel in the world.

The Bundaberg man worked on the construction of the M.V Oranje in the 1930s before it set sail across the world, transforming from a passenger liner to a hospital ship when it reached Great Britain, then Australia.

In 2010, more than 70 years later, Jacobus donated a 1:100 exact-scale model replica of the ship to the Bundaberg RSL.

Today, the 103 year old tells his story about the vessel that captured his heart.

M.V Oranje part of woodworking hobby for Jacobus

Creating wooden masterpieces has been a passion for Jacobus his whole life and his M.V Oranje is just one of many replica war models he has built over time.

“The ship was actually a passenger ship and during World War Two it got converted to a hospital ship,” he said.

“Captain Potjer was master of the ship. He has been decorated a few times by King George.”

According to Passengers in History, M.V Oranje was originally built by Netherlands Shipbuilding Company and set about on its maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Djakarta before being handed over to the British in 1940.

The following year it arrived at Sydney where it was converted to a hospital ship, performing 41 voyages during the war.

After the war it was transformed into a cruise ship before finally being destroyed by fire in 1979.

Jacobus said the M.V Oranje was special to him due to his connection with the build.

“I worked for a few years at the shipyard in Amsterdam, Holland,” he said.

“That's when I saw the real ship.”

With his skillset for woodwork still strong and the vessel imprinted in his memory, Jacobus went about creating a model replica which is currently on display at the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch Veterans Support Centre.

Welfare officer Eddie Stockill said the model ship was often admired by those who visited the centre.

“This is a purpose built support centre where vets can seek assistance, relax and unwind,” he said.

“The ship gives us connection back to service and provides our ex-service people with pride and place within the centre.”

Eddie said he was amazed by the craftmanship of the model and the skill that Jacobus possessed.

“The detail and the fact that it is a working model – the lighting has been all wired in – it gives it such realism,” he said.

“I believe everything on the ship was handcrafted by Jacobus.

“When you look at pictures of the Oranje originally and then the model, well there are no faults to find.”

To this day and at 103 years old Jacobus still loves to visit the ship and marvel at its glory.

“It's all timber except for the props, I got some brass pieces of plate and I cut the propellers out and shaped them and polished them,” he said.

“When I've been thinking of building something I already know what's coming…it's in my memory.

“It was very enjoyable to build it, I always like looking at it because it gives me satisfaction.”

Local OT encourages acceptance of autism

Georgia Neville

A Bundaberg occupational therapist is working to help spread a message of support and acceptance as part of Autism Awareness Month.

Gemma Osborne from Bundaberg Occupational Therapy is passionate about ensuring community members have access to a range of programs, no matter their abilities.

Gemma said she understood there were some common misconceptions about the challenges of living with autism which could be addressed by raising awareness.

She encouraged residents to take the time to learn from and connect with people who have autism and creating a culture of acceptance.

“I think there is still a lot of misinformation about autism along with a stigma and instances of exclusion in the community which really affects autistic people and their families when they interact with the community,” she said.

“I think it is easy for everybody to make assumptions and stereotypes based on their own individual experience with autism, with common misconceptions including autism being an illness or condition or an intellectual impairment, which is not the case at all.

“It is a different way of processing and viewing the world.”

Gemma said through her work she saw a number of children day to day with autism who all needed differing levels of support.

“I see a range of different children here, of varying ages and abilities and being an OT is all about helping people of all abilities to participate in everyday activities that they find meaningful,” Gemma said.

“For many of them therapy is based on their NDIS plans, from which we have built specific meaningful goals together with the child and their family.

“Therapy looks like getting to know the individual and their abilities, tapping into their interests and motivation and engaging them in skill building activities or adapting or changing the environment to support their engagement across home, school and community.”

Group formed to work towards autism acceptance

Groups within the community, such as the newly formed All Abilities Alliance group which was established at the start of April, also provide a number of benefits for the community.

Gemma said breaking down the stigma and misconceptions takes time, but groups such as the All Abilities Alliance were an important aspect of moving forward.

“Often it takes a lot of small changes over time to break that down, so increasing awareness is important because that leads to acceptance,” she said.

“Groups like the All Abilities Alliance can really help to build a culture of acceptance, not just awareness.”

“They can teach the community how to really celebrate differences as it is so important for everyone to feel included and accepted within a community, that is what a community should be and that starts with small changes.”

You can find out more about the All Abilities Alliance here.

Local products to shine at new store The Kollective

Georgia Neville

New boutique gift store The Kollective will showcase a wide range of local handmade products when it opens in the CBD next week.

Business owner Emma Haack-Metcalf will open the doors to the store at 37 Woongarra Street next Saturday, providing a one-stop-shop for jewellery, art, candles, health and beauty products and other handmade and local goods.

Emma said The Kollective was an idea born from wanting to create one space for artisans and makers to sell their goods for shoppers to browse and enjoy.

“Once I got the idea of this store in my head, I knew that it was something Bundaberg needed as sometimes it is hard to access these amazing locally handmade products, unless you attend markets or buy online,” she said.

“By having a one-stop-shop for locally handmade goodies, it allows these products to be exposed to more people and easily accessible to our community.

“There is something so nice about knowing the product you have just purchased was handmade.”

Emma is looking forward to her business venture and supporting a number of other local makers who may not otherwise have the opportunity to have their products in a store.

“I am really proud of all our local makers and the professionalism of the products they produce,” she said.

“We have such talented people in our community that produce products of such a professional standard which I think this needs to be celebrated.

“A lot of these businesses are run by busy mums or are a side hustle while people are working another job or two, yet the products in-store are so well-made and professionally presented.”

More than just a gift shop, the space also lends itself to the opportunity to host workshops, with the CBD location the perfect sport for all of Emma’s needs.

“The Kollective Bundaberg also has a really cool workshop space where I am hoping to host a range of creative workshops,” she said.

“Having the store and workshop in the CBD is a more accessible area, with lots of different amenities within walking distance such as local cafes.”

Looking forward to opening her store next weekend, Emma said the shop design was very unique, with an in-store mural completing the space.

“The store is such a unique space, which is really welcoming, simple and bright, and has such a fun feel,” she said.

“A huge shout out to Kate Victoria Creative who has done all of our signage and murals in-store – these artworks are what really make the space unique and gives the store such a fun atmosphere.

“There really is nothing else like this in Bundaberg, which I think is what makes it super exciting.”

You can find out more about The Kollective here.

Art of tea experience part of gallery exhibition tour

Georgia Neville

Art lovers will have the opportunity to tour current Childers Arts Space exhibition Unlemon before enjoying a classic morning tea at an upcoming art walk event.

The event, on Thursday 28 April, will include a tour of the exhibition before guests are invited to enjoy a morning tea with sweet delights and cucumber sandwiches all while sipping tea served from the gallery's collection of China cups and saucers.

The morning tea will be hosted by gallery volunteer and tea connoisseur Pauline Brittain and will include a demonstration on how to ‘take tea’ in traditional English style.

“Guests can expect to enjoy the beautiful Unlemon exhibition, which definitely has wow factor, before meeting like-minded people and discussing the art over a cuppa served in China teacups,” Pauline said.

According to Pauline, the event provided the chance for people to understand and value the art of drinking tea.

“How often do you hear let’s go for a coffee?” she said.

“From my own experience a lot of people, including younger people, do not know how to make tea.

“It takes more than a cup of hot water with a tea bag on the side.

“My knowledge of tea has come from the London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea, and I look forward to hosting the event where people can try a few types of tea, or just enjoy a usual morning tea.”

Pauline said she hoped the event would provide the chance for people to gain further knowledge about the art of tea making.

“I always look forward to meeting new people,” she said.

“Rather than just having the normal ‘morning cuppa' I am hoping that by imparting a little knowledge about the art of tea making should make this event interesting especially for those who are not tea drinkers.”

Those attending are encouraged to dress up, with the art of taking tea once known as a social event.

“Years ago, taking tea was more of a social event than what it is today, and ladies used to dress for the occasion so as part of this event, myself and the other volunteers will be dressing up,” Pauline said.

“I encourage others who are interested in attending the event to also take part.”

You can find out more information about this free event here.

Event details:
What: Art Walk – Unlemon exhibition
When: Thursday 28 April
Where: Childers Arts Space – 72 Churchill Street
Time: 10 am

Artisan Twilight Markets to light up BRAG park

Georgia Neville

Whether you are looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present or just wanting to browse wonderful local creations, the Artisan Twilight Markets at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery are for you.

With a number of market stalls popping up in the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery Park on Friday 29 April, the gallery will also be opening its doors to provide the opportunity for the community to enjoy the exhibitions on display.

With live music from local musicians Amy Daniel and Stella Hutchins, the evening invites everyone to enjoy the laid-back vibe of the gallery.

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the Twilight Markets provided a great opportunity for the community to support local businesses while enjoying a night out.

“Showcasing some of the best artisans from our region, these markets are filled with hand-crafted products that exemplify why we should ‘buy local',” Cr Learmonth said.

“These are great events, hosted by the Galleries team, that allow local businesses to connect with our community, while also providing an out of hours chance to view the exhibitions at BRAG.”

Local stallholder Kate Neal of Kate Victoria Creative said the opportunity to attend the Artisan Twilight Markets was fantastic for Bundaberg artists and business owners.

“These events at the gallery provide such amazing support for local artists and creators as they create a space for local artisans to put their work on display and give the community a place to come and show their support,” Kate said.

“It’s such a great vibe when you’re surrounded by people doing what they love and showcasing their work.

“I love being able to meet people face to face, have a chat and thank them for their support and it is a great place to form connections not only with customers but with other small business owners.”

This event is free, and you can find out more about it here.

Event details:
What: Twilight Markets
Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery Park
When: Friday, 29 April
Time: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Bundy Jam Session promotes local talent

Ashley Schipper

A new event aimed at bringing local musicians together will be launched this weekend and those with a passion for performing are invited on to the stage.

Jay Furnish and Rodney Wheat have teamed up to present The Bundy Jam Session and said the idea came about after wanting to create a space for current and up-and-coming musicians to play.

“The Bundy Jam Session is an event to encourage like-minded people to venture on a stage and jam – from testing a new or old songs out to jamming with others and creating grooves,” Jay said.

“It's a great way of catching up with everyone, no matter what level of musical experience they have.

“It's about getting together for a jam and see where the music will go.”

Jay said The Bundy Jam Session would launch this Sunday and be rolled out every month at The Club Hotel, which was supporting the event by providing the venue, stage and PA systems.

Well-known guitarist Jay Furnish from Smooth Velvet band said he knew firsthand how important it was to create a community of passionate musos and those who love listening.

“The Bundy Jam Session hopes to bring another musical outlet for local musicians in the Bundaberg area by offering a stable platform to play and jam at an established venue,” Jay said.

“With a strong support for The Bundy Jam Session, The Club Hotel beer garden has the best place to hold this type of event with a relaxed atmosphere – it’s about getting Bundaberg locals together.

“It will also encourage everyone who loves a Sunday session to chill out with a coldie and check out and support some live music.”

Jay said everyone was invited to the first event this Sunday from 1pm at The Club Hotel.

““New and regular musos can come along to play some tunes, whether you are an acoustic guitarist, a band or any other variation, bring your voice or instrument” he said.

You can find out more about The Bundy Jam Session on the Facebook page here.

Anzac Day a time of reflection for Ula

Ashley Schipper

Anzac Day is a special time for local resident Ula Agnew, who is one of Bundaberg's remaining World War II veterans.

Mrs Agnew enrolled in the Australian Women’s Army Service in 1941 when she was just 21 years old.

She recalls catching the train from Bundaberg to Brisbane with only a suitcase in tow.

“It was a big thing for a country girl – I was sworn in at the showgrounds, and then I was off to the rookie course, it was hard work, but everyone was in the same boat,” she said.

“You learnt just to keep your nose clean and that was it.

“I went in as a Private and came out a Warrant Officer and I am proud of that – I am proud to have served.”

Mrs Agnew said Anzac Day was a significant time of year and it was important for the community to remember the sacrifices made.

“I say never lose the thoughts for the Anzacs, no matter what is happening around us,” Mrs Agnew said.

“Australia is unique and unlike anywhere else in the world; it’s important to love Australia, our home, our country.”

As part of the 2022 Anzac Day commemorations, Mrs Agnew's story was featured in the regional ceremonies booklet.

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Book review

In Our Garage: Paul Surmon’s XB Falcon John Goss Special

Paul Donaldson

Paul and Carol Surmon’s XB Falcon is a John Goss Special which has even been signed by the motor racing legend himself.

Q. Tell us about the car your car you have here:

A. It's an XB Falcon, John Goss Special and I’ve had it for roughly eight years, had it done up for the last three years and you don't want to know how much I spend on it.

It was after John Goss won Bathurst and this was Ford’s way of saying ‘good job, John’.

There is only 800 of them made with roughly equal numbers of the green and the blue.

This one's got the green inlay that was done at the Ford dealer where it came from, not the factory, but the Ford dealer put the green into the seats.

When they came out, as much as they look very nice, they didn't even come out standard with a radio in them.

That was an optional extra, air con, power steering and that's all extras.

Q. Why did you decide to buy this car?

A. Well, this car was not intended to be bought.

I spoke to a bloke at Gosford, he had another car, I was going to buy that one.

He said, if you buy that one, you've got to take the other one, it’s only been used as spares, but you can have it as well, and I'm glad he threw it in.

It had been sitting down in his shed and he sort of snatched bits off it every now and then.

Q. What was the car like when you first got it, and what have you done to restore it?

A. Apart from the running gear it was still pretty complete, which was good.

Still had original paint, everything on it was original.

It had been sitting in the shed for the last 20 years.

Previous to that, it had been stolen by somebody and still had the police powder all over, where they get the fingerprints from.

I’ve done a complete restoration by taking it back to bare metal, new motor, new gearbox, new diff, everything's brand new.

It came out with what they call a 302 motor, I've beefed it up to a 351 motor, put a stronger gearbox in it, put a stronger diff in it.

The spoiler, that came off the dealer, he threw those on, he thought they would look good, I do like it.

The car has been signed by John Goss himself.

We were at a function on the Gold Coast a few years ago, and I'm very proud that he got to sign it.

Q. What do you love about the car?

A. just look at it, I mean, what's not to love about it?

They're just an iconic Aussie car and I just love them.

You get that many looks and it's just people's reactions to it, everyone that sees it really likes it.

This is my wife's car, she loves this one.

My favourite is probably the one I’ve got at home, but don't get me wrong, I love this.

Carol loves driving it.

Having a car like this, you meet a lot of likeminded people.

I mean, it doesn't matter if it's Ford or Holden, everyone puts a lot of effort into their cars.

I just tinker here and tinker there, there's always something that you got to do to them.

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Hannah Mountford a role model in local rugby league

Emma Reid

Growing up in Bundaberg Hannah Mountford has always had a smile on her face and a football in her hand, and now her positive attitude and hard work has secured a place in the Queensland Sapphires.

Playing for Wide Bay Bulls, Hannah was the only local player selected in one of two Under 19 squads to compete at this year’s Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships.

The 2022 championships will run from 9 – 12 June and will provide players with an opportunity to push for selection in the Harvey Norman Queensland Under 19 team to play New South Wales.

Bundaberg Junior Rugby League chairman Wayne Bender said they were extremely proud to hear of the selection of one of their own players for the Queensland Sapphires

“This is an amazing effort for a local Bundaberg girl to make this squad. She is the only one from the Wide Bay who has been selected,” Wayne said.

“Hannah loves the game, it’s nothing new for her, she is passionate and a good ambassador for the game in Bundy.

“Hannah came through the ranks with us, so it definitely shows there is a pathway for any young girl wanting to go on. This pathway can definitely lead to representative rugby.”

Wayne said Hannah was a great example for young Bundaberg rugby league players and she showed what a future in the sport could become.

More under-14 female rugby league players needed

In the lead up to the start of the 2022 Bundaberg Junior Rugby League season, Wayne said there was a pressing need for the recruitment of under-14 girls for the Bundaberg competition.

“There is a chance to move to the next step, like Hannah,” he said.

“The girls didn’t play through the Covid-19 period and we are needing to build up the under-14s again.

“There could be a girl that picks up the ball now for the first time at 13 or 14, who goes on to play representative rugby in the future.”

He said currently the team was a little short on numbers and they hoped to see them grow before the season kicked off on 14 May.

Anyone interested in finding out more about joining the under-14 team or Bundaberg Junior Rugby League can click here.