Weekender: Our Glad on show

The Deli Airport Café sees employment soar

A local restaurant has expanded to open The Deli Airport Café, serving the region’s travellers and offering more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Deli, established on Targo Street in the Bundaberg CBD, successfully applied for the Bundaberg Regional Council tender to operate from the café space at Bundaberg Regional Airport.

The Deli Airport Café managers Hayley Anderson and Ashton Matthews said winning the tender had given them the opportunity to expand their business.

“We have hired 15 new staff, so it's a big opportunity for people of Bundaberg to have a job,” Hayley said.

“We've got four people with disabilities out here as well.”

She said providing work for people with disabilities was a driving force for the pair.

“They are a person and they work just as hard, if not harder than anyone else,” Hayley said.

“People need to know that they are valued, they are a good worker.

“Working with people with disabilities, that's what we love.

“I know for me it fills a hole in my heart, you know, knowing that I've helped someone.”

“Everyone deserves a chance,” Ashton added.

“And it opens people up to [seeing more] people with disabilities at the front line working.”

The Deli Airport Café is open 365 days of the year serving coffee and a range of food from pies, sausage rolls and croissants to toasties, salads and fruit salads.

Hayley said many of the offerings had a unique twist.

“We strive to be different from other people.”

A number of local food and drinks feature on the menu with plans to introduce more.

The Deli Airport Café opened in late November last year and Hayley said, so far, they had received a warm welcome from locals and travellers.

“You hear them walk in and go ‘oh my god it's actually open and it's different’.

“You can see the happiness here and the food presentation.

“It's good to hear, they're thankful that we're here.”

Ashton said he hoped the community would show its support.

“With the keen support of the local people … it can give us a chance to expand to … more businesses, more employment for people with a disabilities.”

The Deli Airport Café is located within the Bundaberg Regional Airport on Airport Drive, Bundaberg.

The Deli Airport Café open hours:
Monday to Friday: 5.30 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 5.30 am to 2 pm
Sundays and public holidays: 8.30 am to 11 am and 2 pm to 5 pm

Hidden Gladys Moncrieff portraits on display

Emma Turnbull

Portraits of Gladys Moncrieff that were hidden for three decades are now proudly on show in the foyer of the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre.

Gladys Moncrieff OBE was the Bundaberg-born Australian singer who was so successful in musical theatre that she became known as “Australia’s Queen of Song” and affectionately referred to as “Our Glad”.

The portrait collection was originally held by Don McPhee, the manager of Her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney, and its fate was up for auction as individual pieces, which would have seen them spread all over Australia.

Our Glad Association president Leonie Egan said when she heard of the auction she was devastated, and she reached out with the hope that she could put a stop to it.

“These portraits have not been seen in public for many years but have been wrapped up and preserved, before being donated to the Our Glad Association by Don’s friend Stuart Greene of The State Theatre in Sydney,” Leonie said. 

“They had been sitting in storage in Stuart’s house for many years until he donated them to us.”

In a tribute to Australia’s Queen of Song, Leonie worked tirelessly to have the collection relocated to the Bundaberg Region.

“Eventually transported up to Bundaberg and kept in our vice-president, and well-known identity, Mrs Nina Higgin’s storage room, wrapped up ever since waiting for a permanent home,” Leonie said.

Restoring some of the frames and cleaning the portraits has now provided the opportunity for the community and guests to view these captured memories of Gladys Moncrieff in the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre until the end of June. 

“This is the culmination of five years of work,” Leonie said.

“Last year her 130th (celebration in honour of her birthday) was spectacular with a full concert of her life, this year her 131st was a special event also with a showing of these portraits at a charming morning tea function in the Moncrieff Theatre’s foyer.

“It marks the fact that the Moncrieff Theatre now has these permanently available to it.”

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said it was pleasing to know the portraits of the theatre’s namesake were kept together to be shown as a collection.

“It really is brilliant to see so many portraits of Gladys all in one location,” Cr Learmonth said.

“Through the portraits you can take in the history and see the details of the life of Gladys Moncrieff.

“A big thank you to the Our Glad Association, which ensured this piece of history would be shared with the community of Gladys’ hometown during special occasions.”

A tribute to Gladys Moncrieff

Gladys Lillian Moncrieff OBE (1892-1976) was born in the Bundaberg Region, the youngest child of Melbourne-born parents Reginald Edward Moncrieff, piano-tuner, and his wife Amy, a professional singer.

Gladys attended school at Maryborough, Bundaberg and Townsville.

She made her stage début aged six at the Queen’s Theatre, Bundaberg, where she sang ‘The Merriest Girl That’s Out,’ her accompanist father had promised to reward her with one shilling if she got an encore – she did!

When she was 19, Gladys auditioned for JC Williamson’s and was given a three-year contract with Dame Nellie Melba’s approval. 

After her marriage, she made her first recordings in London then returned to Australia to tour regularly with Williamson’s and had a stellar career in musical theatre and light operetta.

Gladys Moncrieff had a powerful, wide-ranging, rich soprano voice and excellent diction.

Perhaps her most notable role was as Theresa in The Maid of the Mountains, a role she performed more than 2800 times.

It was also her sense of fun and tender-heartedness that attracted her large following of “gallery girls”, women who queued for standing room and followed her movements with flowers and mail.

She became a legend in Australia in her lifetime, respected by her professional colleagues and loved by her devoted public.

The community is invited to learn more of the history and view the portraits of the Bundaberg-born musical powerhouse at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, from April to June, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and one hour prior to public performances.

Businesses gain insight on working with Council

Natasha Harth

Bundaberg Regional Council will continue to celebrate Small Business Month in May by hosting a free industry workshop for local businesses.

Workshop attendees will hear from Council departments including procurement, governance, major projects and economic development.

The workshops will also give local businesses an opportunity to learn about Vendor Panel, Council’s online marketplace.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said Bundaberg Regional Council was proud to provide support to small businesses in the region.

“Our region is made up of a range of thriving small businesses who continue to make a vital contribution to our economy and our community,” he said.

“This workshop is a fantastic new initiative from Council’s Strategic Procurement and Supply and Economic Development teams.”

Workshop attendees will gain valuable insight into Council procurement processes and glean useful information on how they can proactively engage with Council on future projects.

If you’re interested in attending this free workshop, register here.

Doing Business with Council Workshop

When: Monday 22 May 2023 from 3 pm to 5.30 pm

Where: Bundaberg Multiplex, 1 Civic Avenue

Tickets: Free, register here

This free workshop is hosted by Bundaberg Regional Council as part of Small Business Month.

View the full calendar of events for more ways to take part.

INTERSPORT marks 30 years for local owners


Local business owners are celebrating 30 years of providing sporting goods by bringing the largest sporting retail group in the world to the region.

Locally owned and operated since 1993, INTERSPORT Bundaberg was previously a Sportspower store.

INTERSPORT will still be run by the same familiar faces of Gail and Mick Pimm who local customers have been trusting with their sporting needs for three decades.

They said INTERSPORT was the largest sporting retail group in the world, with the Australian operation opening in 2014 with 37 stores.

The number of stores has grown over the last decade with Bundaberg joining the group as the sixteenth store in Queensland and store number 78 across the country.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the INTERSPORT group, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our business to go from strength to strength in this fantastic community,” Gail said.

“We pride ourselves on being sports experts and joining INTERSPORT will allow us to continue that with access to the latest products from the major sporting brands that customers know and trust.”

INTERSPORT Australia CEO Kevin O’Hanlon said the addition of Bundaberg was an exciting one for the group.

“It’s been a very straightforward process with the team at Bundaberg, they’ve really bought into the INTERSPORT vision and so it was a natural fit for both parties,” he said.

“The next 12 months is an exciting time for the INTERSPORT brand in Australia and we’re looking forward to adding more stores to our network across the country.”

The existing store had been closed for re-fitting and was set to re-open on 5 May 2023.

INTERSPORT Bundaberg is located at 233 Bourbong Street.

Celebrate proud tradition to Welcome Baby

Emma Turnbull

Mums and dads, friends and families are invited to celebrate the newest community members at what has become a proud tradition in Bundaberg Regional Council's Welcome Baby event.

The annual Welcome Baby Celebration is incorporated in the Flourish Family Fun Day and gives new parents the opportunity to officially welcome their baby as a valued member of the local community.

Council's Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said the Welcome Baby Celebration was an annual event that provided Bundaberg Region families an opportunity to formally introduce their newest household member to the community.

Held in conjunction with Flourish Family Fun Day on June 29, the event aims to connect families with services and information about what is available to them in the community.

“This annual family friendly event provides lots of fun and entertainment, along with information stalls and activities for all the family to enjoy,” Cr McPhee said.

“Our Teddy Bears Parade will return, and this popular event provides an additional attraction for our region's smallest community members, with support from their parents, grandparents and family members.”

Flourish Family Fun Day and the Welcome Baby Celebration are all-inclusive events that celebrate and acknowledge the diversity of families in the region.

To celebrate the Welcome Baby event participants will receive a Baby Loves Bundaberg pack including a small gift and a signed certificate from the Mayor of Bundaberg.

“Each year this popular and fun family event attracts families to celebrate the next generation with each other, while providing a central hub to find out more information from community groups,” Cr McPhee said.

“This year we are expecting more than 50 stalls from community, government and business friendly services which will provide a wealth of information about what is available in the community for a range of concerns.

“The stalls will all provide activities for children so that parents may have a chat.

“There will also be entertainment focusing on all ages, on the stage and a morning of fun and laughter.”

Community services, organisations and businesses working with families and babies are invited to attend as stallholders. 

Flourish Family Fun Day and Welcome Baby

When: 9 am to 1 pm on Thursday 29 June
Where: Boreham Park, Avenell Heights

Stall holder registration closes on Friday 16 June. For further information please contact Council's Community Development Unit on 1300 883 699.

Mary Mills still a dancing and driving force at 103

Emma Turnbull

At 103 years old there isn't much stopping Mary Mills who recently celebrated not only her birthday with 140 fellow dancers but the renewal of her driver licence.

Born in Bundaberg, on 26 April 1920, Mary has spent the past 90 years kicking up her heels dancing with old and new friends and she believes this is the secret of keeping young at heart and active in mind.

On Saturday 29 May, to help her celebrate her 103rd birthday in style, 140 ballroom and rock and roll dancers converged at the Avenell Heights Community Hall dressed in their best Hawaiian attire.

Mary’s daughter Fay Gough said it was a sight to see as Just Rock Bundaberg Rock n Roll Dance Club members and Chrome Rockers tapped toes with family members for Mary's 103rd birthday celebration.

Mary said dancing wasn’t just about physical fitness.

“I started dancing around the house when I was just five years old believe it or not,” she said.

“Then I went to classes and once you learn how to dance it just sticks with you.

“I’m sure it has helped me with other things.

“I had no problem getting my licence renewed for another year and I enjoy having my independence.

“I don’t drive at night or out on the highway, just small trips if I need to go out or pop down to the shops to pick up something.

“I don’t know what I would do without being able to drive.”

Growing up on a farm on the outskirts of Bundaberg, Mary said she worked hard which provided her the opportunity to play hard too.

“I had a good life, it was a hard life but a very good life,” she said.

“We didn’t have the conveniences we have now, but I was able to dance quite a bit and I guess I have always just enjoyed it.”

Fay said during Mary’s 103rd birthday celebrations guests danced to music by locals Kenny and the Nitro Rockers and Clem Soppa, and it was a colourful and fun affair.

“Mum’s mother was a Schmeider and she married my grandfather a McGhee, so Mum grew up as Mary McGhee,” Fay said.

“This party is the climax of an exciting week for my mother when she was presented with life membership of the senior cits, of which she was a founding member in 1974.

“However, her most thrilling achievement this week was being awarded her driver’s licence for another 12 months – she is a very responsible driver.”

Queensland residents 75 years of age and over who wish to hold a drivers licence are subject to regular medical assessments, to find out more click here.

Spectacular blooms auctioned for good cause

Natasha Harth

The Endeavour Foundation has raised a record $2,200 for the first bunch of chrysanthemums at their annual Mother’s Day flower auction held locally this week.

The successful bidders were local farmers Kym and John Walsh, who were thrilled to win the auction for the second year running.

“We paid a bit more this year for the flowers, but it was well worth it,” John said.

“Endeavour Foundation does a wonderful job, not just for Bundaberg and the district but throughout Queensland as well.”

Endeavour Foundation Executive General Manager for the Work Division Eric Teed said it was thanks to the generosity of the Walsh family that this year’s auction exceeded last year’s winning bid of $1,600.

“It’s amazing support from the Walsh family,” he said.

Kym’s 100-year-old grandmother was the lucky recipient of the beautiful bouquet.

The Walsh’s daughter Erin has worked at the Endeavour Foundation farm site for six years.

“The flowers are awesome,” she said.

This year marks 31 years of Endeavour Foundation’s Mother’s Day flower event.

Endeavour Foundation rely on a team of volunteers to help the make the Mother’s Day flower season a success.

With a bumper crop of over 70,000 blooms in 40 different colours, Endeavour Foundation this year can produce 7,000 bunches to sell for Mother’s Day.

The market for the Bundaberg-grown flowers stretches from Cairns to Brisbane.

Eric said Endeavour Foundation’s Bundaberg farm site represented the opportunity to provide rewarding and important work to people who might not otherwise get the opportunity.

“It’s about connection with the community,” he said.

“And producing really spectacular blooms for mum!”

What's on

Marijke’s volunteer gallery role celebrated

Natasha Harth

After more than 12 years of volunteering at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, it’s the opportunity to contribute to society that keeps Marijke Fairfull coming back.

With National Volunteers Week nearing, Marijke, along with all Bundaberg Regional Council volunteers, are being celebrated for their commitment to community.

“I love the responsibility of it,” she said.

“As you get older too, it’s just good to know that you’re still useful.”

As she greets visitors at the front desk with a bright and friendly smile, Marijke recalls the warm welcome she received when first becoming a BRAG volunteer.

“You feel very comfortable when you walk into the gallery, and with places that are silent and quiet you don’t always feel that,” she said.

Meeting people and helping them feel at home in the gallery is part of what Marijke enjoys most about volunteering.

From restocking the activity spaces to talking with visitors about the local wares on sale in the Gallery Shop, Marijke finds there is always a variety of tasks to do during her volunteer shift.

The Gallery Shop stocks a wide selection of handmade goods by local artists, and Marijke enjoys discovering new items every week.

She recommends volunteering as a boost for individual health and happiness.

Her advice for those looking to volunteer?

“Choose a place you enjoy working at,” she recommends.

“I’ve been here 12 to 13 years, and I hope to be here for a while yet.”

Marijke is being celebrated for her many years of voluntary service as part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s National Volunteer Week celebrations.

BRAG volunteers also contribute to the successful operation of the gallery by helping to install exhibitions, assisting at official events and undertaking research.

For more information about volunteering at BRAG, look online at https://www.artsbundaberg.com.au/galleries/about/volunteers.

Competition to bring out the best in jam, chutney

Ashley Schipper

Jam lovers and chutney connoisseurs will have a chance to showcase their finest creations at this year’s Taste Bundaberg Festival as part of a new competition aimed at utilising local produce.

The 2023 Jam and Chutney Competition has been introduced to the August festivities to further educate and showcase the abundance of agriculture within the region to residents and visiting guests.

In the lead up to the ten-day festival, which takes place from 4 to 13 August, residents will be invited to submit their jams or chutneys for judging by Taste Bundaberg Festival ambassadors, before winners are announced at the Taste Farmers Market.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the competition had been extended to include chutney after the success of last year’s jam contest.

“Our makers competition is returning with new and exciting categories allowing our competitors to experiment with an abundance of seasonal, fresh local ingredients,” he said.

“With such a large variety of produce available in the Bundaberg Region, this year’s competition will offer an even larger scope of flavours and combinations to be used.

“Contestants are able to enter one or both categories of their choosing and have full creative range on what produce they use and what flavour their entry is.

“There will be great prizes for the finalists, with judging carried out by two of our Taste ambassadors.”

Jam and Chutney Competition information

Expressions of interest for the competition are now open and can be made here.

Registration will officially close on Friday 14 July.

Contestants can only have one entry per category – one in jam and/or one in chutney.

Entrants will be kitted out with a Taste Bundaberg Festival jar pack to help prepare for the competition.

The packs will include jars and labels for entries, an information pack, an ingredient list to fill out, and guides to local produce options and instructions on how to sterilize the jars for use.

Contestants will be required to collect the jar packs from Monday 17 July to Wednesday 19 July.

Judging of the Jam and Chutney Competition will commence on Friday 4 August, the day before the Taste Farmers Markets, where entries will be displayed.

On Saturday 5 August, the placegetters for the competition will be announced on the cooking stage and prizes will be presented to the winners.

Explore Alexandra Park

In Our Group with Bundaberg Orchid Society

Emma Turnbull

The Bundaberg Orchid Society Inc. exists to promote orchid growing in the Bundaberg Region and presenting these orchids for display to our members and the general public of Bundaberg and district at our annual show.

What significant events do you hold each year?

This year is our golden anniversary, being 50 years since inception, and will be celebrated at our annual Mother’s Day Orchid Show at the Bundaberg Civic Centre, Bourbong Street, Bundaberg.

Our golden jubilee show will be open to the public from 8 am to 4 pm on Friday 12 May and Saturday 13 May and on Sunday 14 May from 8 am to noon.

Presentations to the winners of the various orchid competition categories will take place at 12.30 pm on Sunday.

Mid-year we will also be holding golden anniversary luncheon for our members. During the year we participate in other local societies’ orchid shows by entering orchids in the various competition categories at these shows.

In November, we will have our annual end of year Christmas Party at Rowers on the River.

What is the history of the group?

Bundaberg Orchid Society evolved as its own identity back in 1973 from the Bundaberg Bush and Orchid Club, as some members felt that the focus of this club had become more on the foliage aspect rather than orchids.

Because these members were more interested in growing orchids, they decided that they needed to get together to form a club that focused only on orchids.

The first meeting had 30 people in attendance and the annual membership was the princely sum of $5 per year.

We now average 50 members at meetings and the current very reasonable annual fee is $10 per couple or $6 for single membership.

Why is the group important to the Bundaberg Region?

The Bundaberg Orchid Society provides one of the best orchid shows in Queensland and is the sole local source of expertise in growing and propagating orchids and is open, at a very small cost, to all orchid lovers residing in the Bundaberg Region.

The Bundaberg Orchid Society is intimately engaged with the Bundaberg Region community, as our members are drawn from this demographic, and we encourage people from the local community to join our society to learn how to grow and propagate these magnificent flowering plants.

We also engage with members of the local community by putting on one of the best orchid shows in Queensland where the entry fee is a mere $2.

We provide a learning experience for members of the public at our show and at our meetings, where visitors are welcome.

Each year we support several local charities with donations from our annual show proceeds.

How can the community become involved?

We have a general meeting from 7.30 pm at the Avenell Heights Community Hall in Thabeban Street, Avenell Heights, on the third Thursday of each month from February to November. 

We also have a new and interested growers group meeting on the first Sunday of each month from 9 am from February to December.

These are held at various members’ residences and are designed to educate members on orchid growing. For more information visit the website or email: bundabergorchidsociety@gmail.com

How to community directory

Medals galore for local taekwondo athletes


A small team of 14 fighters from ASP Taekwondo headed to the Gold Coast Open recently, coming away with seven golds, two silvers and four bronze medals in the esteemed event.

Head instructor Mitchell Archer said it was a huge success for the group, who were amongst 700 competitors from 69 clubs competing over two days.

“The Gold Coast Open was the biggest Taekwondo competition in Australia in recent years,” he said.

“It was a highly competitive event with big divisions and clubs from every Australian state, plus New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tonga, Nepal and India.”

Mitchell said the local fighters ranged between six to 14 years old with with a couple of seniors also added into the mix.

He said the team showed great strength and tenacity in the competition.

“In our club culture we are all about training hard and holding each other accountable,” Mitchell said.

“We talk a lot about being professional and applying yourself in training and I think that really showed during the competition.”

Mitchell said ASP Taekwondo was looking to expand its members and children especially were welcome to come along and join in on the sport.

“ASP is open to new students, specifically those in the six to 12 years old range,” he said.

“There are plenty of benefits that come with taekwondo including discipline – this sport is built around respect.

“The taekwondo mission is to promote peace and harmony and we are a very friendly club that likes to get the best out of each other.”

To find out more about ASP Taekwondo go to the Facebook page here.