Student snapshot of Rochy’s history
OLD Rochester identities were the focus of a historical newspaper penned by students at Rochester Secondary College. The year nine English class finished the 11-page Rochester Express with stories ranging from Military Cross recipient Sir Eugene Gorman to major events including the Rochester Show and issues such as the need for a fire station in 1885. Teacher Peter MacIver said the idea originated after the class read Market Blues, which told the story of a young man who had time travelled back to Melbourne around 1900.
Atley sets sights on his AFL debut
IT HAS been a whirl-wind ride for Joseph Atley who has gone from high school graduate to AFL footballer in a matter of weeks. The Rochester midfielder made the leap from country football into the AFL when he was drafted to the Port Adelaide Football Club in November. Atley has since been in South Australia training with the squad ahead of the 2017 season, but it had taken a lot of perseverance to get there.
We need more police—now
‘‘WE HAVE had enough.’’ That is the message from Rochester as the town and surrounding areas grapple with a crime wave. Twenty frustrated business owners and residents met with Murray Plains MP Peter Walsh on Thursday to launch a petition calling for more police resources in the area. Rochester Business Network president Glenda Nichol said the current level of crime was unprecedented.
Darren to receive top Australia Day honour
DARREN Pain is Rochester’s Australia Day citizen of the year for 2017. The Rochester Sportspower owner was recognised for his extensive community work with the annual Pedal for a Purpose fundraiser, as well as with Rochester Primary School’s council and the Rochester Basketball Association. Mr Pain had a leading role organising the past three Pedal for a Purpose events, which raises awareness and money for research into multiple sclerosis.
Raise a glass, the Criterion’s back
ROCHESTER’s Criterion Hotel was back up and running earlier this year. The historic pub had been closed for a month after the previous tenants were evicted, but owners Bernie and Selena Fox re-opened the watering hole several weeks ago. Meals are being served daily, the beers are flowing as usual and the TAB is also open. The only amenity missing at this stage is the bottle shop, which Mr Fox hopes to re-open soon.
Making a splash for a vital safety message
A ROCHESTER swim school and day care centre joined forces to ram home the importance of teaching children to swim. Splash ‘N’ Learn and Miss Sal’s Family Day Care are urging local parents to educate themselves and their children about the risks associated with swimming. ‘‘It’s just instrumental to a child’s development to learn how to swim — especially with how many children have drowned in the past year alone,’’ Day Care operator Sally McMahon said.
Train passengers were left stranded
PASSENGERS on a train travelling towards Rochester were given a rude jolt when it derailed on Wednesday. The V/Line train, en route from Melbourne to Echuca, was travelling at about 150km/h when it hit a stationary four-wheel drive which had broken down on the tracks at Kangaroo Flat. Passengers were taken from the crash site to Bendigo train station by bus before filing onto another bus to continue on their way.
Great Northern Show
ROCHESTER’S Great Northern Show went off without a hitch this year, the only downside-the one thing organisers couldn’t control. Show secretary Jade Hewlett put entry numbers down due to the cold weather. ‘‘We still had a great turnout but I might have been nicer if the weather had have been a little bit warmer,’’ she said. A gateway to larger shows, Rochester’s event attracted exhibitors from as far as Sydney.
Milking camels’ appeal
ROCHESTER’S Camilk Camel Farm had its first family open day in February. Camilk employee Lily Bryans said the company hoped to see locals as well as those travelling from Melbourne at the event. “Camel Milk is lactose free, high in protein, low in calories, low in sugar and good for people with bad stomachs,” she said. Visitors could enjoy camel rides, a jumping castle and free samples of camel milk made into ice cream and milkshakes and coffee.
When it comes to murals, he’s up there Cazaly
ROCHESTER’S annual mural festival finally arrived and for the first time it opened its doors to a pop-up gallery in the Rotary building. Neighbouring the mural boards, the gallery features paintings from not only all the mural competitors but also local artists in a miniature mural competition. Community members could enter mini murals in primary, secondary and open age categories with a $50 cash prize for the winners.
ROCHESTER Secondary College hosted its annual swimming carnival at Rochester pool on Monday, February 20. It was a day full of fun and excitement for everybody including the teachers, spectators, competitors and all the students. The pool was decorated with house flags and banners and almost all of the students and teachers were dressed up in their house colours supporting their team.
Saviour injured in fire
FIREFIGHTERS were called to a house fire at 5 Johnson St in March. Johnson and Rankin streets were immediately evacuated due to concerns about asbestos in the air from the burning of the outside wall of the building. A friend of the person living in the home tried to put out the fire with a garden hose and was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. A witness said the man had black soot on his lips when he came out of the home.
A flag against all odds
IT REALLY was one of the most miraculous sporting turnarounds you will ever see. Rochester United, chasing Kyabram Fire Brigade’s 129, were 3/2, then 7/67, 8/78 and 9/108. How they kept their cool, remained patient and poised through hours of rain delays and chased down the total with their backs to the wall, only the United tail-enders will ever know. Sean Williams’ gutsy, essentially flawless and unbeaten 45 was, given the situation, quite remarkable.
Bombers call in for brekky
TWO excited brothers got one of the best wake-up calls when three of their beloved Bombers football players arrived at their Rochester home. Michael Hartley, Orazio Fantasia and Paddy Ambrose surprised the two supporters when they stopped by the James residence for some breakfast and a kick out the back. Nominated by Rochester Auskick co-ordinator Craig Williams, the brothers had no clue of the surprise, especially Kale who answered the door.
Heat couldn’t stop Rochy cleanup
VOLUNTEERS braved the Rochester Clean Up Australia Day event despite hot weather on Sunday, March 5 at the Rochester Boat Ramp. Meeting from 9am until 10.30am volunteers cleaned storm water drains of green waste and recyclable debris. About 10 bags of rubbish were collected, weighing 6kg each. Volunteer Janice Wilson has helped at the event for the past six years.
No time to paws in a 100km trek
FOUR brave Rochester women were set to raise money in one of the toughest ways. The group of work colleagues from the Rochester Veterinary Clinic had planned to walk 100km in under 48 hours in support of Oxfam. Kelli Griffin, Anna Nilbett, Merryn Murray and Rebecca Lees were one of 400 teams to attempt the course across the Dandenong and Yarra ranges. Their goal was to complete the task in under 30 hours without any sleep.
The drought ends at Lockington
LOCKINGTON’S long wait for a bowls premiership ended after its division four side took down Moama 76-59. After 18 years without a Campaspe Valley Bowls premiership, Lockington completed its run from fourth on the table to grab the title. Bowler Chris Stewart said the premiership win was for all the club’s members. ‘‘The club has only won three or four premierships in our history, it’s been a lean time and our numbers aren’t great,’’ Stewart said.