Fay Walkley answered the call to serve: Fay Walkley is a real-life, flesh-and-blood hero. Although she insists that’s not true. This 94-year-old is just one of the million Australians, men and women, who served in World War II. Most of them voluntarily; with the full knowledge it could cost them their lives even if they never admitted it to themselves at the time. But, as Fay now puts it, with that almost dismissive tone so many veterans use, “that was just what you did”. Looking back, Fay can still remember when the war started. A bright-eyed teen, she immediately threw herself into helping her country. Joining a ‘neighbourhood watch’ group at 16, she learnt Morse code and first aid and patrolled the streets to keep them safe, helping neighbours wherever she could.
It’s all fun and games: Andrew Sharp has gone from Rochester to the world. And he is at the head of a global company delivering major events. Including the current Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. But despite having a passport as full as most people could only dream of, he still loves to come home.
‘‘There’s no better place I’d rather be than at Moon Oval in the winter watching the mighty Rochy Tigers,’’ Andrew told the Campaspe News.
Andrew’s passion for the Olympic Games began in Sydney in 2000.
We’re all speaking the language of friendship: East Timor’s Lucy Xavier has literally crossed oceans to reunite with the teachers who taught her English. And they live right here, in Rochester. Locals Heather Watson and Robyn Lucas, who taught Lucy in her town of Ainaro in 2014 and 2015 respectively, were over the moon to have Lucy on Rochester soil.
‘‘We’ve taken her for a tour around Rochester and Echuca and allowed her to meet other people involved in projects in Timor,’’ Robyn said.
‘‘And she’s been able to reunite with others who visited her town in the past.’’
Heather and Robyn first travelled to East Timor in 2012 with Teachers for Timor, an English support program run out of Ballarat.
Scaring up some bucolic competition: You may have noticed some unusual looking characters popping up around Lockington recently. They’re part of the inaugural Lockington Scarecrow Competition and Display organised by the Youth Action Group and Lockington District Business Centre, with funding from the Campaspe Shire. Individuals and community groups are encouraged to create a scarecrow and submit it for display at Lockington Heritage Rally on April 21 and 22. Business Centre co-ordinator Jennie Keele said the competition was created when someone saw it overseas and thought it could work in Lockington.
“It’s a great way to build some community spirit and get people talking about our town,” she said.
Handy orange reminder: Don’t forget to whip out an orange pen and mark May 18 in the diary. It’s the day Rochester turns orange. On Wear Orange Day, all businesses and organisations across town are encouraged to wear orange to raise funds for an important cause — to encourage people to value all walks of life and abilities and embrace ‘inclusion’ for all. All funds raised will go towards the One & All Inclusion Project. And the orange doesn’t stop there. On May 25, all Rochester schools will also celebrate the event, which has raised more than $20,000 in the region in the past five years.
We’re joining Silo Art Trail: Our silos are getting a facelift. The Rochester Business Network (RBN) and Graincorp have enlisted the services of renowned artist Dvate to transform the structure into a tourist attraction. Dvate is a Melbourne-based artist and graphic designer whose position in the street art scene is well established and his work can be seen on walls, canvas and in magazines both locally and internationally. He is known for his striking renditions of endangered animals from across Australia, and as part of the Benalla 2018 Wall to Wall festival he painted the Goorambat silos. While the final design is still in the works, painting is set to begin at the end of the month. The project is the result of more than nine months of work by the RBN and Graincorp to get approval and find a way to fund the project.
“We are very excited,’’ RBN president Glenda Nichol said.
Back from the dead: Steve Clarke has died and come back to life. Literally. When his heart stopped for 37 minutes after a surgery went drastically wrong on March 23, doctors thought they’d lost a patient. And Nadine Clarke thought she’d lost her husband. But Steve wasn’t done with life yet. Defying the odds, he has not only survived, but also made a complete recovery, astonishing doctors in what they’ve hailed a ‘‘complete miracle’’. But when Steve and Nadine drove from Rochester to Epworth Richmond the Friday morning before the surgery, they were blissfully unaware of what lay ahead.
Bank on these bags to put plastic in past: Amanda Logie wants to see Rochester go plastic bag-free. And thanks to a sponsorship from Elmore Lockington Rochester Community Bank, our town may be one step closer to that goal. The bank has provided the town with 3000 Bendigo Bank cloth bags. And Amanda, coordinator at Rochester Community House, is encouraging local businesses to take advantage of this donation and switch from plastic bags to more environmentally friendly options. And you barely have to do anything to get the ball rolling.
‘‘Our aim is to visit businesses and take just five minutes of your time to show you an example of free, sustainable alternatives to plastic bags,’’ Amanda said.
Major recognition for committed Emily: Emily Major’s commitment to community service with the Rochester Leos Club was recognised at a ceremony last week. Emily, 17, received the International President’s Leadership Award for her service to the Rochester and district community. Leo clubs are a sponsored affiliation of Lions Clubs International and encourage young people to serve others in their community and around the world. Club activities include regular meetings, service projects and social functions.
Bob wins big for bringing sports museum to life: Bob Knight was supposed to retire in 2003. But the 77-year-old admits he puts in more hours now than he did when he had a full-time job.
“There’s a limit to how much sitting around you can do. You have to get out and do something,” Bob said.
And with 30 years of service to the Rochester Lions Club under his belt, it’s a philosophy that’s served him well. Bob’s service was recognised last week when he was awarded the Lions International Presidents Centennial Community Legacy Award.
Marathon journey to do Brisbane marathon: Mel Haines has never been a runner. But for the past four months she has armed herself with her dachshund, Twinkle Star, and Kelpie cross Border Collie, Tucker, and run the back roads of Lockington. As she put it, she simply ‘‘made herself run’’. And she will now run 42.195km in Brisbane next Sunday in the name of Monique Squires. Mel is one of the biggest supporters of Team Moni who are aiming to raise $20,000 for The Cure Starts Now. Monique was just five when she lost her 13-month battle with the aggressive and incredibly rare paediatric tumour, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Mel has been a part of Team Moni since the beginning and has done two 15km Run Melbourne events in the past two years.
Tegan handed over the scissors — and her hair: Zaidee Turner had a choice to be an organ donor when she died. She saved seven lives. Tegan Williams made a different choice on Friday when she handed the scissors to her friend Jai. She let him cut 36cm off her hair to raise awareness and money for Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation. Jai has already had a kidney transplant and will need another one not too far away.
“I have known Jai my whole life so if we can help save other kids that would be great,” Tegan said.
Annette continues her achievements: Annette Waters’ contribution to the Rochester and district community was recognised last month when she reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards. Annette, 17, received a certificate from Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos in front of 600 people at a ceremony in Flemington. Among her many achievements, one of Annette’s proudest is helping to charter the Rochester Leo Club (a youth affiliation of Lions Clubs International) five years ago. She has been involved in a variety of service projects and fundraising activities, as well as club administration. Annette has represented her club at district, state and international level, and this year she was appointed to serve as the first ever Leo liaison officer on the district cabinet.
“I got involved because I wanted to help out the local community and give back,” Annette said.