Chopper on a safety mission

AS WELL as being a vital service, the Westpac rescue helicopter is proving its commitment to safety.

COMMITTED: Westpac rescue helicopter senior crewman Trent Owen has welcomed the organisation’s recognition in the NSW WorkSafe Awards. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 021014GOD01

The helicopter service is a finalist in two categories at next week’s NSW SafeWork Awards run by WorkCover NSW.

The Tamworth-based service is in the running for the WorkCover NSW Safety Leadership Award.

Senior crewman Trent Owen said the finalist position had come about because of the safety culture that the organisation provided crew, staff members and the community by being proactive.

“WorkCover put us forward for this leadership award, so we have been recognised by the regulator,” he said.

“It’s a great achievement to even be considered for the award. We take safety very seriously and our ultimate aim is zero injuries.”

Robert Jenkins of Hunter Region SLSA Helicopter Rescue is a finalist in Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety.

Mr Jenkins is the safety quality and human resources manager in Newcastle for the organisation.

“We nominated him for his tireless contribution to achieve a safe work environment and he became a finalist in NSW,” Mr Owen said.

“He was air crew in the late 1990s then went away and got tertiary qualifications in safety management. That means he’s been able to integrate his real-world operational experience with regulatory requirements, so he’s produced safe work outcomes that are relevant to our needs.”

The awards are presented at a ceremony in Sydney on Thursday, October 30.

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Very rare

EARLY 1800s: Gloria Godsell from Bendick Murrell was told her black glass rolling pin, which has been in her family since the early 1800s, is very rare. Photo by Christine SpeelmanLocals dusted off their cherished antiques and family heirlooms on Saturday, packed them in bags, boxes and bubble wrap and headed down to the St Mary’s Parish Centre.

Why? It was the Young and District Family History Group’s first antique and collectables appraisal day.

And such was its success, they’re thinking of making it an annual event.

Organisers, who hosted the day between 10am and 4pm, counted 40 people who registered 132 small items only for appraisal by long-time collector Denis Quinn from Cowra and jewellery expert Heather Davidson from Canowindra.

Rowie Griffiths, who manned the register, said they were worried they were going to run out of time if any more people walked through the door.

Very rare Gloria Godsell from Bendick Murrell also brought in this glass epergne, otherwise known as a table ornament. The epergne comes in five separate pieces that assemble at the base. The photo on the right shows the epergne fully assembled.Gloria said it dates back to the early 1900s. Gloria sat with appraiser Heather Davidson from Canowindra at St Mary’s Parish Centre on Saturday as she analysed the ornament.

ENGLISH SEWING BOX (above): Brenda Cummings of Young brought her great aunt’s old sewing box and her sewing samples from England down to the St Mary’s Parish Centre. The sewing box contains its original needles and hat pins, buttons made from bone, suspenders, manicure set with pearl handles, button hook with a pearl handle used to button ladies boots and an imitation acorn made out of wood to hold a thimble.Brenda wasn’t sure how old the sewing box was but according to the samples made in 1881, she said it was probably around the same time.“I was told the box wasn’t worth much, probably because the dry Australian heat had damaged and cracked it,” she said.“It wouldn’t have cracked in the cold and damp air of England.”Brenda was also told her samples were more valuable.“And that I’d get more worth out of them back in England.”

OLD BITS AND PIECES: Michael Price of Young brought these old treasures from home. The large metal horse was the kind of prize people could win from the sideshow alley games at the show in the 1950s. Michael won this horse at the Cowra Show 62 years ago when he was 15 or 16. Michael’s uncle – who was involved with the trotters – owned the trotter and horse figurine that has a bell inside. His grandmother bought it from a bazaar (markets) in Murringo.“I’d say it’d be over 100 years old,” Michael said.The old tin – with a unique dragon imprint on the side – belongs to his wife, Carmel, who hoped to find out exactly what it was at the appraisal day.“I always thought it was a tea caddy, but I’ve been told it may have been used for tobacco… it might be Chinese, based on the dragon imprint,” Carmel said.

ANTIQUE: Vicki Burstal of Young brought in her family heirloom jug for appraiser Denis Quinn from Cowra to assess. “I’ve been told it used to hold gin,” Vicki said. “I guess it’s probably early 1900s.”

LIGHTHOUSE LAMP: Cheryl Whye of Young showed appraiser Denis Quinn her father’s lighthouse lamp on Saturday. Denis was busy doing some quick research on the item. The lamp is from England in the early 1900s and lights up from the windows on its base to the top.It’s made out of brass and is quite heavy.

EARLY 1800s: Gloria Godsell from Bendick Murrell was told her black glass rolling pin, which has been in her family since the early 1800s, is very rare. Photo by Christine Speelman

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Upgraded eternal flame to keep pledge of remembrance burning

ETERNAL FLAME: (from left) Brian Watts, Jo Thomas, Wagga City Council strategic asset planner for parks and recreation Ben Creighton and Kevin Kerr at the memorial arch in the Victory Memorial Gardens where work has started on upgrading the eternal flame (in background). Picture: Les SmithWAGGA is keeping its pledge to remember men and women who died in military service by creating a new eternal flame in the Victory Memorial Gardens.

Last refurbished in 1983, the memorial is undergoing a $120,000 rejuvenation.

The project is being equally funded by Wagga City Council, the RSL Club and the Wagga sub-branch of the RSL.

Work started this week with removal of the existing eternal flame pond, overhead timber beams and planter boxes.

A new pond six metres in diameter incorporating a new eternal flame will be built.

Other elements include LED lighting and brass cover plates displaying the words Vigilance, Sacrifice and Liberty.

Sub-branch president Kevin Kerr said the new pond would be more like a reflective pool.

He said with the centenary of the Gallipoli landing next year, it was an appropriate time to upgrade the eternal flame.

The project is expected to take eight weeks to complete.

It is hoped the director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, will be part of the eternal flame’s opening ceremony on February 24.

Dr Nelson will be in Wagga the previous day as guest speaker at the Clubs NSW regional conference.

Jo Thomas, of the RSL Club, said it was imperative the eternal flame be upgraded in time for next year’s Anzac centenary celebrations.

“We are very excited about it,” she said.

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Think Pink

HOT PINK: Kylie Clarke brings her Th!nk Pink tribute show to Toronto Workers next Saturday night, November 1.FANS will be tickled pink next week when Kylie Clarke rolls into Toronto Workers Club for her Pink tribute performance.

Clarke was never a Pink fan, she admitted to the Lakes Mail, but demanding audience members soon changed her mind.

“While singing in the Gold Coast, people just kept asking me to sing Pink songs,” she said. “And it was my job so I’d politely agree and sing Pink songs.”

Now she’s co-owner, producer, director and performer in a mind-blowing tribute show, Th!nk Pink – The Ultimate Tribute.

After she moved back to her childhood home of the Central Coast, Clarke said she was driving in Gorokan one day when she pulled over and decided to start the tribute band.

She made some calls and put the band together.

“Three weeks later we were in the rehearsal room,” she said.

That was 2008 and the rest is history.

“It’s been a massive journey and we’re only becoming really successful now,” she said. “I met fantastic performers along the way but not everyone suited the show.

“I had to search over those years to find just the right people, and now we’re a 15-strong cast with three musicians, a backing singer, six dancers, two sound and light technicians and my wife, Emma, co-owner and stage manager.

“I couldn’t do it without Emma,” she said.

Most of the cast are award-winning performers and technicians, and Clarke said she was aware of how much work they put in.

The Clarkes had a baby just six months after Pink, herself, had a baby and the couple are also dedicated foster parents.

“Sometimes I feel like I need to be six people,” she admitted.

The show has always been used to raise funds after they pay their staff and make themselves a modest living.

Their upcoming Toronto show will raise funds for Crisis Care, a charity helping displaced children during transition to a new life.

The show itself is modelled closely on real Pink tours, with the singer’s most recent hits taking centre stage and custom-made costumes to reflect originals. Despite her rocky beginning as a fan, Clarke is now a front-row audience member.

“She’s fit, determined, fearless and she can sing and dance!” she said.

“It’s really difficult to keep up.”

The show is 18+ and will be held at Toronto Workers Club on Saturday, November 1, at 8.30pm.

Tickets cost $5. Phone 4959 2011.

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LETTERS: ‘Buy nothing new’ campaign beyond belief

INSULT: Like Toronto Chamber of Commerce president Gail Ryan (pictured), the writer was floored by the council’s support for Buy Nothing New Month. Picture: Jamieson MurphyTHIS mindless “Buy Nothing New Month” campaign being supported by Lake Macquarie City Council is beyond belief (“Give us a break”, Lakes Mail, October 9).

To add to insult, the council “encourage locals to explore the council-promoted Super Street Sales – co-ordinated garage sales of second-hand items”.

These are cash-only and no-tax operations!

Where does council think its income originates?

It comes from residents who depend on local employment to earn a salary, to support their family, educate their children, and pay rates.

Small business owners still have to pay the weekly overheads, staff wages, superannuation, electricity, cleaning, and so on.

Casual employees would discover there was no work available to them for the period of this ridiculous idea.

The effect goes further: no sales means no GST is payable to the Australian Tax Office, a source of grants to councils and others.

As a thought, how about we as residents mount a “Pay No Council Rates Month” campaign, to allow council to get their act together and fulfil the reasons that they exist, instead of trying to destroy the hand that feeds them? And where do the elected councillors fit into this? Are they advised of these harebrained schemes?

My understanding is that they were elected to represent the ratepayers. Perhaps they need a reminder.

– Trevor Corlett,Brightwaters

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