Weekender: Bruce on track for Special Olympics

Pensioners League celebrates lease extension

Ashley Schipper

The Bundaberg Pensioners League Inc. will continue to offer a welcoming space for friendship, support and socialisation at its clubhouse in the CBD after a 10 year lease was renewed by Bundaberg Regional Council.

Situated along Post Office Lane in BRAG Park, the group meet daily every Monday to Friday from 7.30 am to 12.30 pm.

President Amanda Stirrat said she was thrilled to hear the lease had been renewed for another decade after Council's Ordinary Meeting last week.

“The organisation has such a long history in the region, especially in this space,” she said.

“This building was officially opened on 5 May 1962 but the league has been going on for a lot longer than that.

“It’s a great location because it is very central, so our members can easily have access to us plus the Post Office and many other facilities.”

Amanda said the organisation had begun making some changes to the building, including the installation of 18 solar panels.

“We went through the government rebate initiative – it will take us about four years to make the money back and then it is all an investment,” she said.

“Solar is important for us as it is cost effective and it is also great for the environment.”

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated members on their green energy efforts and the renewal of the lease.

“It's fantastic to have wonderful community organisations such as the Bundaberg Pensioners League providing so much support to the community,” he said.

“Council is proud to provide a lease renewal so members can continue to offer support, social services and even just a friendly chat from the CBD location.”

The group, made up of more than 100 members, regularly take part in social outings, games, craft days and more.

“We have lots of activities on offer plus a tea room in which we sell some yummy and cheap treats,” Amanda said.

“People are always welcome to come in and have a chat.

“Our members range in age from 60 to in the 90s and we are always looking for more people to join.

“We also encourage people to bring their grandkids along.”

To find out more about the Bundaberg Pensioners League Inc. call 4151 4373 or visit the Facebook page here.

Anderson sisters honour dad in Legacy relay

Natasha Harth

Bundaberg-raised sisters Rachael and Brianna Anderson have both honoured their father Rick as torchbearers in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay in London and Bundaberg earlier this year.

The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay is travelling around the world this year to commemorate 100 years of the organisation.

Established in 1923 Legacy Australia supports partners and children of veterans who gave their lives or health serving the country.

Legacy currently provides support to more than 40,000 families around Australia.

The torch’s journey began in Pozières France on 23 April then travelled to Menin Gate, Belgium and London.

Now in Australia the torch will undertake a six-month journey visiting all Legacy Club locations around the country, before culminating in Melbourne.

Brianna currently lives in the United Kingdom working as a paramedic and carried the torch in the London leg of the relay on 28 April.

Before the relay, Brianna and other torchbearers met with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, making the event all that more special.  

Though occupational therapist Rachael is based on the Sunshine Coast, she applied to be part of last Sunday’s Bundaberg leg of the relay.

Rachael and Brianna’s mother Margaret Anderson said their being part of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay was very special for the whole family.

“Bundaberg is her Legacy home,” she said, describing Rachael electing to participate in the local relay, joining other representatives from the region in honouring local families.  

“I was very proud, thrilled for them, because I knew both would be there honouring their dad.”

Their father Rick Anderson served in the Australian Army for 21 years and passed away in 2014.

The Anderson family became involved with the Bundaberg Legacy branch in 2007 when Rick’s condition declined and he entered a nursing home.

Legacy helped with schooling costs for Rachael and Brianna, who were then in grades 6 and 8, as well as providing opportunities to meet with other children at Legacy’s annual youth camp.

“When the girls would go on the yearly camps, they would be meeting other kids who had also lost their dad's, or their parent’s, health to military service,” Margaret said.

“Being over there with other kids each year, they forged friendships, and it gave them a fun time away.”

Brianna went on to be a Legacy Youth Ambassador while studying at university in Brisbane.

Margaret said having a family member in the military means that significant sacrifices are made.

“It’s nice to have Legacy there to support us,” she said.

“It’s very special, the support they provide is very important, they are all compassionate people.”

“Getting together and having that companionship, we have all lost someone.”

Despite her profound loss, Margaret couldn’t be prouder of her daughters’ ongoing involvement with Legacy.

“I was standing 10 feet taller with pride watching Rachael wearing her dad’s medals, which Brianna wore too, and being part of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay.”

Adventure awaits as recreation plaza opens

Ashley Schipper

Adventure awaits at the new Elliott Heads Recreation Plaza as the site, featuring ramps, rails and plenty of space, opens to the community.

The skate facility, located between the Elliott Heads Kiosk and community hall, has been under development since last year.

It features a range of structures for skate and bike enthusiasts to utilise as well as open spaces to allow for creative play.

Divisional representative Cr Tanya McLoughlin said after extensive community consultation it was highlighted that an area for older youth was much needed.

"The Elliott Heads Recreation Plaza offers just that - a space to bring along skateboards, rollerblades, bikes, scooters and more with the opportunity to enjoy the rest of our beautiful beachside community,” she said.

"It is surrounded by existing facilities such as a toilet block, playground and basketball court."

Specialist company Trinity Skate Park Pty Ltd was engaged to deliver the build after successfully completing the Central Park skate facility last year.

Unlike the Walla Street park, the Elliott Heads development follows a "street-style plaza" design with elements including ledges, rails, banks, hips, stairs, garden gaps and a featured loading dock.

As the Elliott Heads Recreation Plaza opens to the community, Sport and Recreation Portfolio Spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said it was a fantastic addition to the region.

"Bundaberg Regional Council has a commitment to providing community recreational spaces while promoting health and fitness," he said.

"This space can be used by all in the community, no matter your age, ability or skillset and offers even more opportunity for local youth, families and visitors alike to get outside and enjoy our great region."

This project is a joint initiative of Bundaberg Regional Council and the Queensland Government.

Innes Park grateful for Paradise Bakehouse

Emma Turnbull

Award-winning Paradise Bakehouse owners Huyen Nguyen and Lam Khong have been blown away with support from the local community after opening a second bakery located at Innes Park.

The menu at Paradise Bakery Innes Park has all their favourite pies from Moore Park Beach, including the red curry crocodile, buffalo rum and red wine kangaroo pies, with new additions to come in the future.

Huyen said when they saw the Innes Park bakery site vacant they jumped at the opportunity to expand their popular business in a second coastal community.

“It is much bigger here, more space with a bigger kitchen so we can make more,” she said.

“We do all our baking here on site – long days with Lam starting at 2.30 am each day.”

Huyen said they had been run off their feet with support from both the local community and visitors to the region.

“We are so lucky the community, especially local people really support us.

"They are so friendly and welcoming.

“Our shop Innes Park shop is running really well since we opened.

“It was really nice to have returning customers who normally holiday at the caravan park in Moore Park Beach during winter return and find us here at our new shop in Innes Park, they said it was a nice surprise and I really liked that, it made my day too.”

Paradise Bakery Moore Park Beach opened its doors two years ago and has since won an abundance of national baking awards for its tasty baked goods.

In their initial year of operating Lam and Huyen successfully gained the Great Aussie Pie Competition champion title for the best gourmet pie in Australia with their dancing scallop pie, along with the best gourmet poultry pie for their creamy chicken pie and the best gourmet game pie in Australia for their red curry crocodile pie.

Last year the couple brought home gold for a variety of pies including their chicken mango, lamb rosemary and beef stew, in the same competition.

Huyen said they were still working through some teething problems of operating two bakeries, but they looked forward to adding new flavours in the future.

“It is believed that our paradise burger pie is excitement for the community,” Huyen said.

“It is filled with beef mince ... cheese and pickles.”

Expanding with a second store Paradise Bakehouse has also helped employ more locals.

“Currently we have 12 staffs in total, including seven staff in Innes Park,” Huyen said.

“We are also looking for another baker now to help.

“We would love to say thank you everyone, our valued and loyal customers and friends for your kindness and support.

“We look forward to continuing to give the loyal and friendly support to which you have become accustomed.”

Paradise Bakehouse is located at 29 Innes Park Road, Innes Park.

Find them on Facebook here.

Scott serves up happiness at new ice creamery

Ashley Schipper

Happiness is being served up in cones, cups and more as The Bundaberg Icecreamery opens its doors in the region.

Sweet tooths can now visit the space on Princess Street in Bundaberg East to delight in a range of desserts including ice cream, gelato and sorbet as well as bubble waffles, milkshakes and more.

Owner Scott Goodwin said he was excited to introduce his business to the community after he saw a golden opportunity to bring quick and convenient dessert options to the region.

“I am here to sell happiness!” he said.

“We are only limited by your imagination.

“You can come in and get a bubble-gum flavoured ice cream, mix it with freddo frogs, lollies and whatever else your heart desires.”

With doors opening just last week, Scott said business was already going well with plans to expand the dessert range into the future.

In a few weeks, the shop will introduce mini pancakes and churros as well as a mega-mixer which can turn any ice cream flavour into your favourite soft serve concoction.

While this may be Scott's first foray into the world of frozen delights, it certainly isn't his maiden business venture in the Bundaberg Region.

In 2021 he opened the Fish and Chip Factory before selling up six months ago for a new challenge.

With the Bundaberg Icecreamery, Scott said he aimed to create a unique experience for locals and visitors alike.

“The Bundaberg Icecreamery is located in a great space; a bustling little area that is growing rapidly,” he said.

“There is nothing else like this in Bundaberg East.”

The Bundaberg Icecreamery is open seven days a week from 11 am at 2/11 Princess Street.

Stay updated with their latest offerings by following the Facebook page here.

Warm up for school holidays with winter guide

Emma Orford

There is plenty on offer to keep kids busy over the upcoming holidays with Bundaberg Regional Council’s Winter School Holiday Guide.

A particular highlight is the Flourish Family Fun Day and Welcome Baby celebration at Boreham Park on 29 June.

This annual family friendly event provides entertainment, information stalls and activities as well as everyone’s favourite, the Teddy Bear Parade.

Another one not to be missed is Dr Seuss’s The Cat in The Hat live on stage at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre on 29 June.

Young and old will delight in this zany adaptation that brings the beloved book to life before your very eyes.

The perfect thing to do with your Thing One and Thing Two.

Bundaberg Regional Libraries once again has a range of programs on offer from craft activities to virtual reality and gaming sessions and even stop motion animation workshops with Toonworld.

If you want to make the most of the warm winter days, then join in My First Bushwalk where kids of all ages can enjoy a guided stroll down to Splitters Creek on 27 June and 6 July.

Outdoor kids will also be happy to hear that Skills and Drills is back as part of Council’s Eat, Breathe, Move program.

These sessions give primary school aged children the opportunity to practice basic skills and have a go at a variety of sporting activities.

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said there was plenty on offer for a range of ages and interests.

“We have some of our favourite annual events taking place as well as some new activities,” Cr Learmonth said.

“Flourish Family Fun Day always has lots on offer, including celebrating the newest members of our community with Welcome Baby.

“A lot of the events are free but make sure you check the guide for booking details so you don’t miss out.”

You can find the full Winter School Holiday Guide here.

What's on

Chameleon and The No Bang Theory on stage

Emma Turnbull

Inclusive theatre company Indelabilityarts is set to bring double­-bill cabaret Chameleon and The No Bang Theory to Bundaberg.

Chameleon by Karen Lee Roberts and The No Bang Theory by Oliver Hetherington-Page promises to take audiences on a wild ride with an evening of cabaret.

Indelabilityarts is a Brisbane-based theatre company which promotes the original works of disabled and neurodivergent artists.

The company is excited to showcase this double performance of hilarity on stage at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre on 17 June.

Chameleon is a hilarious and emotionally charged cabaret, which provides relatable moments for everyone.

A sweet, yet very real, insight into dating, fitness and the dreaded high school reunion, Chameleon brilliantly portrays a new point of view of the norms of mental illness through heartfelt stories of a woman’s journey to mental wellness.

Karen said she hoped to enlighten audiences about mental health through examples of her own journey to achieving wellness.

 “I want for them to understand my journey and realise the possibilities of overcoming what may seem like insurmountable odds,” she said.

“I hope that they will come away feeling hopeful and refreshed and ready to face the future.”

With original music the show packs a healthy dose of funny for the mind, body and soul.

Chameleon has toured across Australia with performances at Adelaide Fringe, Queensland Cabaret Festival, Anywhere Theatre Festival, Wynnum Fringe and Perth Fringe.

The evening will also showcase The No Bang Theory with autistic performer Oliver who hates the television character Sheldon Cooper.

Oliver is so fed up with ridiculous stereotypes about autism fuelled by television shows such as The Big Bang Theory he has decided to set the record straight.

The musical journey from dating disasters to diagnosis through autistic eyes premiered to rave reviews at the Undercover Artist Festival in September 2021.

Since then, it has delighted audiences at Adelaide Fringe and across Queensland, leading to Oliver winning the Best Emerging Artist award at the 2023 Matilda Awards.

A Double Bill Cabaret – Chameleon and The No Bang Theory

Where: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre
When: 7 pm 17 June
To purchase tickets: Click here

Step back in time with Cemetery Walking Tour

Emma Orford

Uncover the history of Bundy’s bygone eras with Unearthed: Bundaberg’s Cemetery Walking Tour at the Bundaberg General Cemetery on 1 July.

This two-and-a-half-hour tour will offer insights into the people of the past while teaching skills and appreciation for respectfully capturing their stories of remembrance.

The tour will explore historical figures in the cemetery as well as memorial walls, the children’s cemetery, war graves and the vaults.

There will also be specialised information sessions on sacred place photography and grave rubbings, followed by a communal morning tea with refreshments under the trees.

Bundaberg Regional Libraries Information Services Librarian Stephen Harris will lead the tour where he will share interesting stories and answer any questions.

He will be accompanied by professional photographer Sabrina Lauriston who will explain the etiquette around photographing cemeteries and offer expert tips.

Bundaberg Regional Council Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said events like these encouraged people to explore the records the cemetery holds in an artistic way, through photography and grave rubbings.

“The aim of the event is to create community engagement and connection by bringing people together to explore a shared history and heritage,” he said.

“It provides a platform to connect fellow participants, local historians and genealogical researchers.”

Along with photographs, participants will be able to take home their rubbings as a memento of the visit or as a reference for any historical or genealogical research.

“The graves that will be used for rubbing will be ones that have intricate designs and detailed engravings,” Cr Learmonth said, adding that only well-preserved graves would be used along with non-intrusive techniques so that no harm would be caused.

“It’s hoped the tour will inspire a new generation of historical explorers who will discover stories, accomplishments and the impact they had on the local community.”

Unearthed: Bundaberg Cemetery Walking Tour

Where: Bundaberg General Cemetery, 91 Takalvan Street

When: 1 July, 10 am – 12.30 pm

Cost: $5, book here

This tour is not suitable for participants using mobility aids, crutches, moonboots or who cannot walk long distances.

History of the 112-year-old Waterloo Hall

Emma Turnbull

The Waterloo Hall was officially opened 112 years ago on 10 June 1911 with a ball which had 150 people dancing until morning on its Flindersia (yellow wood) wooden floors.

It has witnessed a lot since then – floods and fires, big dances, sporting competitions and meetings.

The hall is located in the district of Waterloo, on land which was originally established as a sugar cane plantation and mill.

During its time the hall has seen young men of the district gathered there to march off to wars and it was the place for families to celebrate the return or mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Listed among Bundaberg Regional Council's Local Heritage Places Waterloo Hall is now utilised for community barbecues, weddings, markets, cultural celebrations and more.

Originally the Waterloo Hall, situated along Waterloo Hall Road, was built on land owned by Waterloo Ltd the owners of the local sugar mill, and leased to the community for 25 years, with an option to renew.

The mill company contributed funds to the construction of the hall and cleared the land with the remainder of the cost raised by the community with the hall committee erecting the building.

Like all community halls, it was a popular venue for dances, as well as a meeting place for the community. The hall even became a school (by correspondence) after the Waterloo School closed in 1955.

Electricity was connected to the hall in 1961. The Gooburrum Shire Council later assumed ownership of the hall.

The hall fell into disrepair and in 1990 plans were mooted to demolish it. However, the community determined to restore the hall.

The hall is a low-set timber structure on concrete stumps, clad with corrugated iron sheeting and features a gable roof also clad with corrugated iron. An annex with skillion roof spans the whole length of the northern elevation.

The hall demonstrates an uncommon aspect of the region's history because it is externally clad in corrugated iron, rather than timber weatherboards which were more common external cladding for halls in the Bundaberg Region constructed in the early twentieth century.

The Waterloo Roll of Honour, commemorating WWI and WWII and consisting of a light-coloured granite cairn on a concrete base with a black tablet attached at the front, is situated next to the tennis court.

Waterloo Hall’s heritage significance

The Waterloo Hall is important in demonstrating the evolution of the region’s history.

The hall reflects the closer settlement of the Waterloo district and its growing population at the time the hall was constructed, as well as the importance of the Waterloo sugar mill to the local community.

It also demonstrates the pattern of the region's history, in particular the establishment of community halls in rural communities as focal point for social and cultural activities.

It shows the principal characteristics of community halls in the region constructed in the early 1900s, primarily consisting of a large internal space used for dances and other social events, as well as a tennis court reflecting the associated use of halls for sporting act.

More recently, the Waterloo Hall remains well utilised and has even featured in the Festival of Small Halls touring event.

In Our Group with
Bundaberg Sportfishing Club

Emma Turnbull

Bundaberg Sportfishing Club’s Tracy Patterson, Peter Mulhaul and Jordan Stoddard are all keen fishos and they invite the community to become involved in the local group.

Tell us about Bundaberg Sportfishing Club?

We are a social club with a passion for fishing, but not just catching fish, we are also big on preservation and conservation of the fish in our waterways, whether it be fresh, estuary or reef.

As a club we are also affiliated with the Queensland branch of the Australian National Sportfishing Association, which is a group of club members and anglers who organise and promote fishing with a motto of sport, conservation, and integrity.

What’s the history of the club?

The Bundaberg Sportfishing Club was founded in 1978 by Doc Murdoch, Darryl Griffith, Bill Anderson and Kev Logan.

Doc had a tackle shop in town and had heard Peter Mulhaul and John Dickfos were trying to start a fishing club, run out of the Bluewater Club, Burnett Heads.

All the men got together, and in Peter’s words, had a “pow wow”, it was this get together when the beginnings of the Bundaberg Sportfishing club was formed.

Once the club was formally up and running, Doc utilised his tackle shop and everyone who came through the doors signed up to be members.

It was at this time that two well-known local fishers, Len Wiltshire and Bill Sawynok, joined the club.

They became a part of 80-plus memberships.

The four blokes stayed with the club for many years and because of this were made life members, they are Bill Anderson, Bill Sawynok, Len Wiltshire and Peter Mulhaul.

Peter still comes to meetings and outings and tells stories about the sportfishing boats back in the day and how you could tell they were sportfishers, because they were the only boats that had rods, as everyone else, back in the day, fished with the old wooden hand lines.

It is certainly different now as everyone has rods of all shapes and sizes and for every type of fishing imaginable. Very few people use handlines anymore.

On the 15 July there is a reunion for past older members, being held at Burnett Heads, for those who were in the club at the beginning.

For more info on that call Peter Mulhaul on 4159 4935.

How does the fishing competition work?

My husband Don and I joined the fishing club, back in 2008, the aim was to fish for a day, the captured fish were brought to the club’s meeting place to be officially weighed and measured.

The club's point system was worked out depending on the “line class” (weight of the line i.e., 4lb) you used and the points your fish, once weighed and measured, would give you.

Each month there would be a winner and at presentation night the person with the most points would be awarded a perpetual trophy.

There were other trophies given out on the night.

We currently have 68 members, made up with adults, juniors and sub juniors.

These days we have changed the way we fish, to help accommodate everyone’s busy lifestyle and better fish preservation methods.

So, the competition is run over a month, it is at the next meeting we find out who won the previous month.

This gives everyone a chance to compete, whether they are here for the meeting or not.

We have a senior division as well as a junior and sub junior division, which are all hotly contested each month, for the yearly trophy.

We still have a presentation night, where we all get together for a day in July, enjoy a lunch, receive some trophies and certificates, have some raffles and fun.

We have also gone away from line class, although it can still be used within ANSA, we also no longer have to bring the fish in to weigh, a photo on a mat will suffice and a witnessed capture if possible.

What significant events does Bundaberg Sportfishing Club hold each year?

Every year we have a couple of fundraising events, our biggest for the club is our three-day food stall at VMR or the community will also see us at Bunnings from time to time.

The money we raise goes towards fish stocking, our monthly catered meetings and to subsidise the cost of presentation.

At any event come and see us, as you will always find someone up for a fishy chat.

We are involved as a club in stocking our local waterways with fingerlings, previously we have purchased the fingerlings from a local fish farm near Childers.

The areas in the Bundaberg Region we stock include Lake Gregory with bass and saratoga and Sandy Hook with barramundi.

These areas are funded by fisheries and with our own funds we have permits to stock the freshwater sections of the Elliott and Splitters.

We have just competed in the May Species Challenge against eight other Qld ANSA Clubs and came first in overall club captures, with members catching a combined 60 species, runners up were Cairns with 48 and Kingaroy with 42 species.

We came third in senior individual male, with Nelson Phillips, also getting on the score board for our club was Don Patterson, Ashley Schiffke, Will McUtchen, Bob Avery and Ken Johnson.

We came first in senior individual female with Helen Johnson and also getting on the board for our club was Krystie Maddern, Terri Hanson and Linda McUtchen.

In the junior division we came second, with Michaela's capture and the sub junior section we very proudly came first by Hudson Schiffke, second by Isaac McUtchen and third by Hugh McUtchen.

The weekend event brings out our club spirit and also the competitive side in us all.

When you are fishing, you may catch a fish that has a pink tag in it.

As part of our conservation efforts, we have a list of certain fish when we capture, we can record where we caught them and how long the fish was, then release it back into the water with a tag in the top of the fish near its dorsal fin.

On this tag is a tag number and if you were to capture one of these fish and it is a legal length, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep the fish, just before you put it in your esky, we would love if you could record the fish’s length and where you caught it and the number on the tag, then when you get home log it on the ANSA QLD website, there you will be able to submit yours and the fish's details.

In doing this for us you will get sent a certificate with where the fish was tagged, how much it has grown and where it travelled. The person who actually tagged the fish will also get the same info.

Within our club we cover a wide diversity of fishing styles and techniques, some of us go out and primarily chase ocean/reef fish, while others target fish in the estuaries.

How can the community become involved?

The club meets once a month, generally the second Sunday of the month at a different fishing location.

Throughout the year we hold tag-a-longs to favourite destinations around the region, spending a night or the weekend fishing, camping and catching up.

A club calendar is formulated each year and put out at the beginning of the financial year.

Some of our members have the expertise in fishing fresh water, it isn’t as easy as you think.

Some of us only bait fish, some mix it up with baits and lures, some only lure fish, we have some members that fly fish.

So, it doesn’t matter what type or style you use, you’ll fit in well with us.

We’d love for anyone to come to one of our meetings, have a fish with us, see what we are about, stay for a delectable lunch and hopefully enjoy yourselves enough to come back and join the club.

In July we have our bream shoot out, it’s 8 and 9 July, the competition is a club member only event, but anyone wishing to come meet us and see what we’re about is more than welcome to come down to Burnett Heads boat ramp area on midday Sunday.

Have a chat and some lunch with us and meet the group, if you are thinking about joining, it’s a great way to size up the competition for the following year.

July is the start of our new fishing season, so if you join then you’ll be in with a good chance for an end of year trophy.

For anyone that wishes for more information on the club, they can contact our secretary at: secretary@bundysportfishing.com.au, pop down to one of our meetings, or follow us on our official Facebook page. We’d love to see you.

How to community directory