HEATHCOTE Lions Club

District 201V1-4, Victoria, Australia

Members

                                                MEMBER INTERVIEWS & STORIES                               MEMBERS INTERVIEWS & STORIES

                                                                                                               

 

Secretary speech on the presentation to lady Lion members at 2017 Changeover

Lions is celebrating 100 years since its inception on June 7 1917. A fantastic achievement. We are the largest service organisation in the world. Those who wear the Lions badge and there is over 1.4 million of us worldwide can feel proud of the achievements over the past 100 years.
Initially the organisation was ‘male members’ only. In earlier times Ladies formed ‘auxiliary clubs’ raising funds for the clubs that their husbands belonged to. In 1975 the Lioness emblem and name were approved.
Membership was open to any lady over the age of 18, whether or not she was married to a Lion. The first Club to be formed was the Mount Pleasant Club, North Carolina on 24 December 1975. The first Lioness Club in Australia commenced in 1976.
There is now in Australia and Papua New Guinea about 102 Lioness Clubs with 2000 members. In Bendigo there is the Lioness Club of Golden City.
In 1987 the constitution of Lions Clubs International was amended to allow for women to become members. Since then many clubs have admitted women, but some all-male clubs still exist.
In 2003, 8 out of 17 members at the Lions Club in Worcester, England, resigned when a woman joined the club. Despite this setback the club has managed to rebuild and now has 19 members, 7 of whom are women.

You may be sitting there wondering where all this is leading.     Do the words Women & Lions offer a clue.

Normally our club makes individual member presentations which are decided upon by the outgoing President. This year after consultation between President & Secretary this was to change. 
To celebrate the Lions centenary and the roll played by women within Lions, in particular that of the Heathcote club……we have 9 females and 6 males, it was decided to make a special centenary award to each of them.

I call upon the Mayor for the City of Greater Bendigo to come forward to make the presentations.  (Each lady member received a certificate) 

 

Centenary of the ANZACS - WE REMEMBER THEM
by Daryl Dedman

Many of us have had family members who served their country in times of war, my family was no different. My father and mother both served in the RAAF in WW2, however this article relates to my grandfather, James Plumridge DEDMAN and my Great Uncle, Albert Alexander POHLNER, both of whom served in WW1.
 
James was born in Geelong on 08.10.1881. He enlisted at Geelong on 25.01.1916, aged 34 years 3 months. His occupation at the time of enlistment was a Carrier (now known as a Courier). He served in the Australian Imperial Force for 1349 days of which 1241 were overseas. Service number 2618. After enlisting he was stationed at the Broadmeadows Army Camp from 25 January until 4 March 1916. On 5 March he was promoted to Private. James sailed from Melbourne on 14 March 1916 aboard the *HMAT A68 Anchises as a member of the 29th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement unit. He arrived at Port Suez in Egypt on 15 April. Due to a severe case of Influenza he was hospitalised in June until the end of July. On 2 August the unit sailed from Egypt to France, landing at Marseilles.
On 10 November 1916 James was wounded in action but remained on duty. On 21.07.17 James was promoted from Private to T/Shoemaker Sergeant. (The T/ indicating Temporary appointment. The Shoemaker had the task of doing boot repairs. Other Sergeant ranks included Farrier, Bugler & Saddler depending on their allotted task.) In March 1918 he attended the Gas Corps School in France (No actual location shown). On 12.10.18 he was transferred from the 29th Battalion to the 32nd and retained his Sergeant rank. The 32nd fought its last major action of the war between 29 September and 1 October when the 5th and 3rd Australian Divisions and two American divisions attacked the Hindenburg Line across the top of the 6-kilometre-long St Quentin Canal tunnel; the canal was a major obstacle in the German defensive scheme. On 23 April 1919 he embarked at Le Havre in France for England remaining there until 19.06.19. Sergeant James Plumridge DEDMAN departed Plymouth on 20.06.1919 for his return to Australia on the Miltiades, arriving Melbourne on 06.08.1919. His wife Lydia had been advised on 23 July that he was returning home. He was discharged on 28.09.1919, with the rank of Sergeant. He was duly awarded the following medals for service: The British War Medal (No.37769) and the Victory medal (No.37399). Electoral records show that from 1924, James was employed by the Victorian Railways as a Track Repairer and living at Dooen (near Horsham). He moved to Dimboola in 1931. James passed away at Dimboola on 11.01.1958 and is buried at Stawell.

In late 1916 the 29th Battalion War Diary had the following entries:
Oct 1 - Armentieres - Bn holding the line. 2 Coys in front line, 1 Coy in support and 1 Coy in Reserve. The Reserve Coy's work was to supply fatigue and working parties both day and night to Engineers for the work of the upkeep of the trench system.
Oct 14 - Battn relieved by New Zealanders, taken to comfortable billets
Oct 16 - Battn left Strazelle at midnight for route march to Bailleul, to Longpre by evening. 
Oct 17 - Marched to Bussus - a trying march due to lack of sleep and long train journey on previous night. Heavy rain fell during march, making roads heavy. Many men fell out en route.
Oct 21 Arrived Mamatez Wood - bivouaced, very little material available to construct shelters, very shivering night due to frosts, cold wind. Rain had fallen heavily and the roads were in a very bad state, mainly due to extremely heavy traffic of wheeled and mule transport.
Oct 22 - Flers - C and D Coys went into Crest Trench in support, relieving English troops.
Rain continued and the trenches were in awful condition. The Communication Trench, Fish Alley, was knee deep in mud and it took the front line Coys 5 hours to reach the Front Line. Both the enemy's and our artillery were very active at night. The English troops, who had some very heavy fighting, were glad to be relieved.
Oct 23 - Flers - At dawn signs of the recent heavy fighting were plainly to be seen as enemy dead, as well as English, were scattered over the whole area. Rations and water did not arrive. The only water available was from shell holes....Heavy rain continued and conditions were trying indeed.
Oct 25 - Rations and water did not arrive until late in the day. Water almost undrinkable as it was supplied in new petrol tins.
2 November - 29th Battn was located at Flers Trench, in readiness for operation against Bayonet and Lime Trenches.
4 Nov - Battalion relieved by 22nd Battn, moved to a hut at Montauban, then on following day, billets at Buire. After that they were moved by French buses to Vignacourt. They spent 10 days there doing normal and specialist training.
[Although the 29th Battalion spent periods on the front line it played no major offensive role for the rest of the year] 
In April 1917 - At Bancourt, Beugny Line area.

The Dedman Family
 - James left 3 children under the age of 3 to go and serve his country.
 - James own personal tragedy came with the death of his daughter Agnes Ivy, aged 3 years and 11 months, occurring on
   30 June, only 10 days after James set sail for Home after 3 years away, so his homecoming was far from happy.
- James and Lydia had 5 more children after his return.
- After the passing of his wife, Lydia on 25.08.1952, James lived his final years with daughter Ivy Krahe at Wail, near 
  Dimboola.

My Great Uncle, Albert Alexander POHLNER enlisted at Geelong on 12.03.15, aged 21 years 7 months. His occupation at the time of enlistment was a Farm Labourer. He served in the Australian Imperial Force for 1401 days of which 1343 were overseas. After enlisting he was stationed at the Broadmeadows Army Camp prior to embarking on the *HMAT A14 Euripides on 08.05.15 as a member of A company, 24th Battalion with the rank of Private.
On 03.05.16, Albert was transferred to the 2nd Division Trench Mortar Battery still holding the rank of Private. On 16.05.16 he was again transferred, this time to the Y/2A Trench Mortar Battery unit with a promotion to Gunner. From the history of the 24th Battalion, Albert would have seen action at Gallipoli and Lone Pine. On 05.09.19 he was aboard the Troopship ‘Plassy’ as it left England for Australia, arriving Melbourne on 25.10.19. He was discharged on 24.12.1919 with the rank of Gunner. Albert passed away on 19 November 1958 and is buried in the Terang Cemetery.

No-one in this day and age can even begin to imagine the hardships in what must have seemed like hell that the men of Australia and many other nations faced. LEST WE FORGET

*HMAT = His Majesty’s Australian Transports. A fleet of transport ships leased by the Commonwealth Government for the specific purpose of transporting the various AIF formations to their respective overseas destinations.

Editor Note: I would like to thank my cousin, Elizabeth (Liz) Seaton for all the assistance that she provided for this article together with various websites covering WW1 and in particular those of the 24th & 29th Battalions.

 

Focus on Faye 

Witty, Adventurous, Personality Plus and an astute business woman. All of these plus many more describe FAYE MAUDE.

 In 1962, Faye completed her tertiary education with a Certificate of Needlecraft & Dressmaking at the Gordon Institute of Technology in Geelong. Between the years of 1963 -1965, she taught Needlecraft and Dressmaking at the Hermitage Girls School, Geelong. Faye and Jim married in April 1967. From 1968 to 1976 Faye ran a home business in Doncaster in Dressmaking and that of a Piece Work machinist. Faye and Jim moved to Tooborac in 1976 where they ran the General Store or as it was known, 'The Tooborac Shopping Centre'. They moved to Heathcote in 1980 to allow their 2 children, Heidi & Brett, to attend High School in Bendigo. They purchased from Ted Mason the building which housed one Squash Court. In 1981 and over the next 4 years they added a 2nd court, residence, pool and Laundromat. For the first 10 months the family lived in a caravan on the property. The Squash Courts became the 'hub' for young and old to meet, as the Sports Complex at Barrack Reserve was still to be built. Faye did the Lady's Pass school bus run and the Costerfield mail run. In 1989, Jim & Faye purchased the distribution business for 'Poolfab' swimming pools and operated the business under the 'Quintowood P/L' banner. In 1989, having an interest to see the world, Faye and Jim hiked along the Annapurna Range in Nepal. With the hiking bug now firmly entrenched, in 1991, they hiked to the Base Camp of Mt Everest on the Tibetan side. Faye has made numerous trips overseas since. In 1990, they sold the mail run and school bus contracts. Jim who had been suffering from Parkinsons disease sadly passed away in May 1992. Faye decided to continue with both the Squash Courts and Pool businesses, although Squash as a sport was beginning to loose popularity. It was on one of her overseas trips that she awoke one morning with an idea - TURN THE SQUASH COURTS INTO A B&B/HOSTEL TYPE ACCOMMODATION.

"Faye's Fawlty Towers" opened in 1996. With the town market having ceased to operate for some time, it was on 5 July 1997 to again start-up. This was due to the foresight of Trevor Reddin and Faye. The market continues to operate under the control of the Heathcote Lions Club. Further renovations were made to "Fawlty Towers" in 1999 to increase the size of accommodation. It was at this time that Paul Casey painted a mural on the wall in the upstairs dining area. The mural which is 30 feet long by 8 feet high depicts a scene in the lobby area from the television series of "Fawlty Towers" and shows Basil, Sybil and Manuel. In 2000, "Faye's Fawlty Towers" establishment received a Merit in the Goldfields Tourism awards. In 2001, Faye was awarded "Runner-Up" in the "Business Woman of the Year" Also in 2001, the name of the establishment was changed to "Heathcote Country Lodge" to project a better image of the business. You can still find Basil, Sybil and Manuel lurking behind the curtains in the Dining room. In 2001, Faye was awarded the "Judges Award" in the WIN Television Goldfields Tourism Awards. Faye joined Heathcote Lions on 23 April 2004. She has been a willing worker and has ably assisted in organising many of the 5th Wednesday Social Nights. She has also been the Lion Tamer and Tail Twister for the club doing her time. Her contribution to Heathcote Lions will be missed. Faye has been an active member of the Ambulance Auxiliary and Heathcote Tourism and Development. She is highly thought of throughout the local and neighbouring communities. This is one extraordinary woman who will be sadly missed with her move to South Australia to live (in the interim) with her daughter, Heidi, and her 3 grandchildren. 

John & Phyllis Ayres                                                                                                        

(As interviewed by Daryl & Jeanette Dedman)

By 1949 the war years were starting to become a distant memory for John, who at that time was a farm worker in the County Meath in Ireland, after he had served in the Army from 1943 to 1946. He married Phyllis in June 1949. Life was not easy with 12 hour days.
By 1951, and with his brother Bill already living in Australia and extolling the virtues of what a great country it was, Phyllis & John decided to emigrate to this wonderful country. Leaving Ireland, with their first child just 12 months old and paying £60 each and £30 for their daughter they left for England on what was to become a life changing journey. Spending just one night in England before boarding the 'Oronsay' at Tilbury Docks for a record-breaking sea journey of the time. Leaving the UK on 16 May 1951 and arriving in Melbourne on 16 June 1951. On arrival there was to be 'no playing the international tourist'. Next day saw the family in Lake Charm (19 km north of Kerang) living with his brother and had commenced work on the salt pans common to the area. The 12 hour days involved shovelling the salt into tip trucks. In the off-season the stored salt was bagged up and hand sewn. 12 bags to the ton, with payment of 7/6 per ton. He also went fencing and rabbiting, taking the rabbits to Kerang and selling them for 6 pence each. After being in Lake Charm for 2 years the family moved to Mystic Park (10 km north of Lake Charm) where he gained employment with the railways as a Bridge Ganger. After 2 years he went back to farming at Lake Charm moving to Swan Hill 12 months later. Working on a dairy farm looking after 90 cows, ploughing and other jobs common to farm work. 5 years later (1959) they moved to Heathcote after coming to visit, they loved the place so they moved to be near his brother helping him on 'the wood'. At this time the family had grown to 5 children. John re-joined the railways in 1959 as a Bridge Ganger starting at High Camp. They purchased a house in Jacksons Lane, later buying a cottage on railway land at Argyle. He purchased 6 acres of land and had it subdivided. On doing this Ayres Street was so named. In 1973 John & Phyllis returned for a 3 month holiday back to Ireland. In 1979 John was offered an ultimatum by the railways - either move to another location or accept redundancy. He made his decision to accept the redundancy offer.
He had been doing the odd painting job for local residents on weekends and he now became a true 'AMATEUR' (his word) in the profession to make an income to support the growing (in number) Ayres family. Many homes in the district have had his brush strokes applied to them.
Allan Smith was Club President when John joined the Heathcote Lions in 1977. He has been the Club Lion Tamer, but his biggest claim to fame in the club is that he has been the 'Mint Man' for the past 14 years. In this role he is a familiar face in many outlets as he goes about the duty of collecting the money and re-stocking Lions Mint supplies throughout the town.
The Ayres family is well known in the area and this is not surprising given the size of the family - 9 children, 25 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. The youngest family member having been born on 17 August, 2011.
John's favourite drink is 'Murphy's Irish Stout', and there is always a big glass pot in the fridge cooling down just waiting to be filled - He is a real jovial Irishman. No blarney here!

SS Oronsay was the second Orient Line ship built after WWII and was a sister ship to SS Orcades. She was named after the small tidal island called Oronsay in the Scottish Inner Hebrides (west coast of Scotland). The Oronsay operated the UK to Australasia service, via the Suez Canal until 1953. The Oronsay was sold in October 1975 to Nan Feng Steel Enterprises Co Ltd in Taiwan for scrap.


HAROLD FRASER - WHO IS THAT MAN?

As interviewed by Daryl and Jeanette Dedman.
With thanks also to Lion Caroline J and Lion Greg S

Harold Fraser was born in Frankston on 29 April 1932 and went to the Frankston State and High Schools. He has younger twin brothers.
In his words, he was not a good student at High School. At age 15 he left High School to attend Longerenong Agricultural College, near Horsham. He completed a 3 year course in farming, achieving 2nd class honours. He didn't go 'on the land' after completing the course. Following on from this he went to work in a sawmill at Strathewen. [located 10 km southwest Kinglake] Strathewen was substantially destroyed during the Black Saturday bushfires on February 7, 2009.
In the early 1960's, Harold went to help his aunt run the Bundoora General Store, which then grew to a Post Office and a Grocery store. The general store was sold in the mid-1960's, with Harold remaining on to run the licensed Grocery section.
He worked for the Department of Agriculture and was a Stock Inspector at Leongatha. He was with the Quarantine service when he retired in 1995.
He was very much sport-minded, playing football and cricket with Hurstbridge and Greensborough and Lawn Bowls with Heidelberg.
His community spirit really came to the fore, when in 1968, he was enticed by a good friend to join a Lions Club that was being formed in Greensborough. He was a Charter member of the club and remained a member until he transferred to Heathcote in 1995. He held many prominent positions - 1st and 2nd Year Director, Secretary, 1st Vice-President, Tail Twister, Club Greeter, Lion Mint Chairman (look out John Ayres) and Publicity Officer. His two greatest achievements whilst with Greensborough would have had to have been Club President (1972-1977, 1984-1985) and Zone Chairman (1981-1982). In 1993, to give recognition for his dedication to Lions, he was presented with the *Melvin Jones Award. (Only one member of Heathcote holds this award, that being Ray Johnson, 2003).
Harold and his wife Diane retired from the hectic life-style of suburbia to become residents of Heathcote in 1995. His association with Lions was to continue. His vast knowledge of the Lions movement did not go to waste, and he was appointed Secretary in 1996-1997 and President in 1997-1999. He again took the committee position of Secretary in 2002-2003, and 2009-2010. He currently holds the position of Membership Chairman. He is also the 'Cashier' for the Lions Market and Stargazers BBQ's. Diane also played a very active part within Lions, holding the position of Secretary (1999-2001) and was the first female Club President (2004-2005) for the Heathcote Club. Sadly, Diane passed way whilst in this position.
Harold also continued with his Lawn bowls after moving here. He was a member of the Section 3, Division A, 1995-1996 Premiers. (Lion Greg Spiers was also a member of the team). In 2001-2002 he again played a part of a winning team, being a member of the Section 2, Division A Premiers.
His knowledge of how committees worked no doubt helped a lot when he served on the Bowling Club Committee between 1997 and 2007, with 2 terms in the position of President, 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. Since moving to Heathcote, Harold has been a stalwart in the community. He has been 'Master of Ceremonies' for the Australia Day ceremonies and Carols by Candlelight. His devotion and community spirit were recognised in 2007 when he was presented with the McIvor Community Award.

                                                            The township of Heathcote and the Lions Club are much richer for having Harold as part of them.
                                                                            We celebrate Harold Fraser - 43 years a member of Lions.

[*Melvin Jones Fellows - are people who, over many years of service, have upheld the 'Lions Code of Ethics' and given selflessly to their community. The fellowship, which was created in 1973, takes its name from the founder of Lions Clubs International (LCI), Melvin Jones. It is an honour - not an award. The fellowship was established as LCIF's highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual's dedication to humanitarian service.]

THE PASSING OF A FRIEND - by Frank Borrett

You often hear the saying 'What a small world'

In 1947 when I was serving in Germany with the British occupation forces after the second world war, part of my duties was to visit Displaced person camps. While there I would occasionally take and distribute sweets, chocolate and tins of carnation milk to the children who would clamor all over my vehicle.

Four or five years ago at Heathcote, was where Frank Zakrzewski and I first met. We got to know each other well and often had long and interesting conversations. It was then that he told me once, that together with his mother and sister how they fled Poland. During which time he asked me, 'how come you speak such good German?' and I then went on to tell him I'd spent a few years in Germany, after the 2nd world war. Anyway, one thing led to another and the topic of displaced persons and refugee camps came up,

He said 'which camp did you used to visit?' I told him it was Sennelager in West Germany. He became so excited and just could not believe it, he said, 'I haven't met anybody who even knew about refugees in a displace camp in Sennelager', he went on to say that he himself, his mother and sister were in this very same camp. He remembered also that a soldier who came regularly into the camp in an army jeep and gave the children sweets and tins of carnation milk. He was so taken back he shouted with such joy,

'It was you wasn't it Frankie.' Frank would have been about 13 years at the time. From then on we became good mates and very close friends. He will be sadly missed my old friend. Frank often asked me to drive him to various country churches where he had been asked by the Bishop to take a service. This particular visit was at Elmore, Frank was sitting in the car all snug, completely at ease in his clerical collar, his crucifix hanging in front of him and his stole on his lap, and then he remarked. 'Were running late can you speed it up a bit,' Approaching us, was a Police car lights flashing and siren screaming. The Police car then turned around came up behind us and Frank said. 'What are we going to do Frank' and I replied 'put your stole around your neck and get out of the car and you explain', this he did. The officer asked, 'Are you in a hurry father'? To which he answered. 'As a matter of fact we are running late for a church service'. The Police officer was sympathetic, saying 'I'll just let you off with a warning, but drive carefully from now on'. With that he let us go. I said to Frank 'We got away with that,' after which he pointed his finger upwards, and said with a smile on his face, 'God Will Prevail.'

                                                                     God bless you Frank Zakrzewski, till we meet again  -  Frank Borrett, 13 Feb 2012

Allan Stuart Smith
as interviewed by Daryl and Jeanette Dedman

Allan was born 12 April 1929, in Coburg. He moved to Romsey in 1934 where the family had its first shop. Started school at Romsey, then going on to Moreland State School. In 1936 started at Assumption College in Kilmore where he spent the next 8 years. He was the youngest to go to the College and had to go to the Convent for the first year. Coming home at the start of 1944, he had the family farm and business to look after, where he spent the next 10 years mainly living on his own at their Romsey Butcher's shop or in the changing room at Glenroy. At Romsey/Glenroy he often slept with a shot gun overhead due to the large number of robberies.

He and Pat married in 1955 and they shifted into the farm house where he had fun running a Dorset stud with his father for some years. Having trouble with managers at their Heathcote shop, they decided to move. They built a new house where they now still live, although soon to move. Their 3 children were educated at Heathcote and Bendigo. They now have 3 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. At age 39 Allan suffered a heart attack and was given 5 years to live.

The family had 7 stores (Drapery/Haberdashery and anything else you may need) and 2 farms which he had to run after the death of his father. At Romsey the family had the Newsagent/Grocery/Wine and Spirit shop, employing 14 staff. During this time he played cricket and football for Romsey, playing in 3 football grand finals. After selling off and closing down some of these stores, only the Heathcote store remained, which was kept till ill health forced him into retirement.

After attending the 1979 Convention in Perth, Allan and Pat went on to Singapore and were very lucky to have the opportunity to visit Changi Prison [1] whilst it was still operating. In 1988, after entering a local Lions raffle, he won 1st prize for a trip to the World Expo [2] in Brisbane (All 3 prizes being won by Lions members). In April 1983, whilst attending a Cocktail Party at the Victorian Arts Centre with Jock and Ena Granter, Allan had the opportunity to meet and shake the hand of Diana, Princess of Wales - the hand did not get washed for a month.

He has been a member of Heathcote Lions for 39 years, making him the longest serving member of the Club. (other members with longer service, served at Heathcote and elsewhere). He served as Club President for 1976/77 (120 attended his Installation), then taking on the role as Region (now Zone) Chairman (1978/79) and Deputy District Governor (1979/80), all of which he enjoyed very much. He has had many good times at Conventions and on trips and can tell many good stories regarding attendance at these functions. He looked after the Mints/Christmas Cakes for many years. For his efforts selling Lion Mints he was awarded 'The Mint King' Award (August 1987). Allan also holds the 30 Year Chevron Monarch Award [3].

In the days when he was President, the wives, who were members of the Lions Ladies Auxiliary, took up the same positions in the club as their husbands. Usually the wives raised more money than the men. They had Progressive suppers, cake stalls etc. Over the years he has lost 2 very good friends from Lions, Bert Perry and Trevor Campbell. He has been a Committee member for the Lions Estate since its formation.

In coming to Heathcote he became the 1st President of the Football Club, a position he held for 3 years (1967-1969). Also helped with Scouts, the Ambulance, and was on the Hospital Committee.

Allan has been involved with many sporting bodies in Heathcote - he played Golf, Bowls and was in the Speed Boat club. In 1983, he received from the Speed Boat club, a 10 Year award for Outstanding Service to the Victorian Speed Boat Club. He also held the position as Secretary of Romsey Bowling Club.

                                                                 The life and times of Allan Smith is fascinating - a stalwart of the community and Lions.

                                                              ** Our thanks to Pat who kindly provided scones with jam and cream when we visited. **

1. In 2000, the prison was demolished. The Chapel, built by Australian POWs in 1944, was dismantled after the war and shipped to Australia where it was placed in storage. The chapel was reconstructed in 1988, and is now located at the Royal Military College Duntroon, Canberra.
2. World Expo 88, also known as Expo '88, was a World's Fair held in Brisbane, between 30 April 1988 and, 30 October 1988. The theme of the Expo was "Leisure in the Age of Technology", and the mascot for the Expo was an Australian platypus named Expo Oz.
3. The Chevron (Monarch) Award Program recognizes Lions for their long-term service, beginning at 10 years and continuing in five year increments until 75 years of service. There are two different types of chevrons that vary slightly in appearance, the Charter Monarch Chevron, available to founding club members only, and the Monarch Chevron.
 

RAY JOHNSON
As written by Ray, edited by Lion Jeanette Dedman

Born in Melbourne in 1933 toward the end of the great depression, I lived in Collingwood until the age of 8, and then moved to Eltham at the height of the World War II. After primary school, I attended Collingwood Technical School, then onto Melbourne Tech doing numerous engineering courses at my own expense. At 18 years of age I started going steady with the girl down the road (Thelma). I did National Service training - 3 months full time and 5 years part-time. Then I worked for a company that manufactured machine tools for the automotive industry, and munitions industry. I did heat treatment on all the products. When I was 21, I began building a house on a block purchased at just 15 years of age. We then married and moved in as soon as the roof was on 2 rooms. Then I moved on to caravan manufacturing as the chassis maker. I converted an old chook pen into a workshop and started building box trailers after work and at weekends to earn enough to finish building the house.

After a few years I decided to put an extension on the shed and start full time on trailers. Boats were getting very popular, build your own kits were available and fibreglass boats were appearing on the market. I could see the potential with boat trailers, so I decided to specialise. We tried to think of a name for our business and as a child I had lived near a factory called 'Ezywalkin shoes', so we decided on 'Easytow Trailers'. Our son Steve at 12 years of age, came to the shed wanting to do odd jobs for pocket money. He really enjoyed the work very much, and spent most of his spare time there. He then started sub-contracting jobs to his 11 and 12 year old sisters, holding steel as he punched the holes. It wasn’t long before the shed became too small. There were trailer frames and parts everywhere, so we purchased an industrial block in Eltham for $2,000 and built a 6,000 sq ft factory in 1970. Steve came in as a 16 yr old apprentice. We hired a full time welder and lots of casuals. Thelma managed the office and did deliveries all over Melbourne - sometimes 5 trailers high. We started coming to Lake Eppalock, and in 1977 the government introduced a policy to decentralize businesses out of Melbourne. The Officer said they would relocate our business to the country, so we said we will go to Heathcote and he asked where the bloody hell is Heathcote?? We searched for a suitable block and the only one was 85 High Street, which the locals said we would never get a Permit for. The Shire of McIvor welcomed us and in 1978 we moved into our new factory. In 1988, we decided to retire and let Steve take over. I became a registered builder and because I enjoyed it, I spent a lot of time pottering around building 2 new homes for ourselves, 1 for our grand-daughter and 2 for our son.

We were invited to a few Lions functions, one being a BBQ at Bob Hird's woolshed. After watching Lions having fun at Lions Park I took up their offer to join and immediately went on the Estate Committee. Unbeknown to me I was nominated for the highest award in Lions - the Melvin Jones Award. It was one of the greatest highlights of my life. I had the greatest satisfaction seeing the last nail go into units 11 and 12. These were built by young Greg Gilmore and myself at a great financial saving to the Lions club. Thelma and I had good fun sourcing cheaper materials and carpet for the last 7 units at auctions in Melbourne. I have had much pleasure and satisfaction seeing the development over the years and the pleasure of the aged persons when the keys are handed to them. This year I decided not to continue with the President's job and let a younger person take over, knowing the Estate would be in good hands.I wasn't any good at cricket or football, but loved motorbikes. I gave competitive trials away at the age of 73 after 3 Australian Championships and 16 State Championships. I still enjoy touring on my road bike with the Ulysses Club.

GREG SPEIRS

Arriving in Heathcote on 13 February 1979 with his wife Lorraine and two children, Greg took up a six-month contract with the Shire of McIvor as foreman of the Heathcote Sewerage Project. With his son due to start pre-school, Greg thought Heathcote may be a good place to settle. Tired of moving all over Victoria and with the six-month job being extended, he applied to stay on. 
So began an incredible association with the town and its people, which continues today. Apparently Greg had a childhood ambition to be a pilot. Luckily for Heathcote, this never happened. 
Whilst updating his qualifications in the 1980s, Greg was engaged as full-time assistant engineer and fire prevention officer. With the amalgamation of the district shires occurring by 1994 and the Shire of McIvor becoming part of the City of Greater Bendigo, Greg became Office Co-ordinator at the Heathcote Office. One of the biggest projects he was associated with was the design and implementation of the alterations to the main street.

Greg was a keen cricketer, and as Heathcote was in need of players he joined the club and ended up playing for a number of years. He was not only a century-maker, but played in two premierships and was club President for seven years, and now holds a Life Membership. In the early 1990s Greg decided to take up lawn bowls and was club Secretary from 1995 to 2010, followed by President (2011 / 2012), and has been awarded a Life Membership. He was Heathcote Club Champion in 2006. Hence his favourite movie is 'Crackerjack' (naturally). To top off his sporting interests Greg has been a supporter of the Essendon Football Club for many years.

Just prior to retiring in 2009 after 30 years in local government, Greg claimed that he 'had the best job in town, and if he had his time again he wouldn't change a thing'. He became a Justice of the Peace on 2009 just in case he didn't have enough to do.

Greg and Lorraine remain living in the town that has embraced them so well, and to which they have both given so much in return.

LIONS SERVICE HISTORY

Joined: May 1976 in Colac (Sponsored by Mike Tonkin of Colac)

President: 1985 / 86; 1992 / 93; 1993 / 94; Dec 2004 - June 2005 [Total 3.7 years]
Vice President: 1983 / 84; 1984 / 85; 1990 / 91; 1991 / 92; 2003 / 04
Secretary: 1987 / 88; 1997 / 98 [2 year]
Treasurer: 1980 / 81; 1981 / 82; 1995 / 96; 2004 / 05; 2005 / 06; 2007 /08; 2009 / 10 [total 7 years]
Public Relations Officer: 1983 / 84; 1986 / 87; 1994 / 95; 1996 / 97; 1997 / 98
Tail Twister: 1996 / 97; 1999 / 2000; 2000 / 01; 2001 / 02; 2002 / 03; 2004 / 05
Lion Tamer: 1998 / 99
Royal Children's Hospital Appeal Chairman Co-Ordinator: 1988 - Current
Lions Units Secretary: From July 1987 [Total 26 years June 2013]
Lions Units Treasurer: July 1999 to June 2012 [13 years]
Heathcote Show Chairman: 2007-current. [Took over from Allan Smith]
Liaison Officer: 2012 / 13
White Elephant Sale Chairman (Renamed 'Anything Goes Auction'): 2011/12; 2012/13 [No record prior to 2011]
Wood raffle Chairman: 2010 / 11; 2011 / 12 [Took over from Jim Marshall]
Introduced 7 new members including 4 current - Patrick Connally, Lorraine Speirs, Ross Jeavons & Jean Saunders.
Received James Richardson Award in 2003 & 2007 (See Timeline Notes)
First office was as Treasurer (July 1980) for two years. From then on has never been out of an official position.
AWARDED MELVIN JONES ON 19 NOVEMBER, 2014, presented by VDG Maureen Thorpe.

 

Frank and June's Outback Adventure!

It was round about May 2006, my partner and I decided to undertake the Grey Nomads trip around Australia. Having purchased a comfortable mobile home we were ready to go. We took the normal route through Alice Springs and all the way along the Stuart Highway. Having been on the road a few weeks, we ended up in a town called Adelaide River (that's where Crocodile Dundee had his Water Buffalo). While in the Pub I raised the question to some of the locals "what goes on here at the weekend?" Oh! There is a Rodeo and Camp Draft this weekend at the Showgrounds, so to the Showgrounds we went and made camp. The following morning I went over early to actually see what was going on, and met this distinguished looking man all dressed up in his black cowboy outfit and his stockman's hat. I said "Look mate I haven't got a clue about Rodeos and Camp Drafts could you give me an explanation" to my surprise he said, "I'll do better than that mate you can be in the judges box with me and be my scribe". He introduced himself as Ken Stone a cattle station manager; I jumped at this opportunity, overlooking the show and writing down all the scores of each rider. Within two days I felt like a professional, I had learnt a lot. At the conclusion of the show while sitting around a camp fire with the boys, I mentioned to Stone that we would like to go on a cattle station. He immediately said "You can come on mine". He then told us where it was, south west of Katherine, somewhat 1200 km away. I don't know why I asked, but I said, "how long is your drive way?" It came as a bit of a shock when he said 66 km "Don't worry though it's just been graded."

So we undertook this adventure looking for a cattle station in a remote area down south. Eventually we arrived at an Aboriginal settlement called Kalkaringji, and enquired the whereabouts of Ken Stone's property. He was well known and they pointed out the entrance to his driveway. We commenced our journey up this so called graded driveway, and after 20 km I said to June this track is just ridiculous, and impossible to drive on without damaging the motor home. Disappointed, I decided to give up. But on the return journey I noticed another cattle station with a hardtop drive. It was getting late and we needed to camp, so in we went and approached a stockman with a view to staying the night. "You better ask the Boss lady, Rosa," he suggested. This we did. "OK she said. Park your van under that tree and I'll give you power for you van (electric power) and then go up to the cook house for a meal." Rosa was a very hard woman!

Next morning, we went over to thank her for her hospitality and asked if there were any odd jobs she wanted doing. "Yes! Paint the boss's office," she said to me. This I wasn't expecting, it was rather a shock! I gave June a wink, "I'll do it, but what about June? "she can work in the kitchen with me". With nothing more to be said, paint and brushes were provided! What I did say was "it will take me at least a week to do the job," She said, "you'll be bloody fed won't you?" I can say this, she was straight. However it took me only 3 days to finish the job, during which time I got to know all the crew and the boss lady very well. She approached us a few days later, and asked me if I could cook. Thinking she meant things like bacon and eggs, I said "Of course I can cook," (tongue in cheek). With that she marched us off to the food store which was like a supermarket; then butcher's shop, veggie, cool room and the XXXX beer cool stores. All these stores were an eye opener for us. Without another word she gave me the keys, saying. "You're two good people, I trust you, it's all yours, I haven't had a holiday in five years, and this is my chance so, I'm leaving you in charge, which means you're now the boss." As she marched off, I shouted "hey, how many are we cooking for?" It was mustering time, 27 stockman, 2 Jackaroos and 2 Aboriginal stockmen. She went on to say "you better get a move on, the boys will be in for their tucker at 5.30 and they will want their beer, give them two beers each." You could have knocked me down with a feather, what had we let ourselves in for? So we accepted this challenge. She should have been gone for two weeks, but finished up not returning for six. I will say this, June and I are not chefs, but nevertheless we put on a good show.

With this job came promotion. It was a day or two after that, a chopper (helicopter) flew in and landed next to our van stirring up all the dust. This made me so mad I said to June, "I'm going to give this fellow a bit of my mind". However I soon changed my tune when I saw the size of him, (this guy used to fight crocodiles on TV). He came over towards me and said. "My name is Melton Jones, and I own this station, who the hell are you?" Thinking quickly, I said "my name is Frank Borrett and I'm your cook." He then said in a very pleasant voice, "any man who is cooking for my men, is not going to live in a little home like that (its only 7 metres long). You can have my homestead", and what a homestead it was.

Our lives were changing, new living quarters in a massive homestead, plus all the luxuries of living, this was very different from our mobile home. We now had complete control of the kitchen and its eating quarters. June even had her own chicken farm and she loved it. We now became the boss! As for the catering, we had to provide three meals a day i.e. smoko, lunch and dinner; breakfast was self help for all. I was told by the boss, Milton, you will feed my men beef three times a day, if you feed them well they will work well. That was our aim, a supermarket storeroom, with everything one could dream of, from XXXX beers, a butcher's shop with the best cuts of meat, why should I be worried. He had over three hundred thousand head of Brahmam cattle, on one of the biggest cattle stations properties in Australia. The meals were a great success, never was the same recipe served twice, (thanks to cookery books), and a lot of favorable remarks came our way. Once, when I requested some meat to barbeque I was handed a rump steak a full metre long, another time I wanted to give them grilled BBQ spare ribs and without hesitation I was put in a truck, handed a rifle taken out to a paddock and with the head stockman named Jim, we shot this Brahmam steer, skinned it and butchered it on the ground. With the skill of these stockmen, by using the hide as a carpet, there was hardly a drop of sand on the carcass, and gum leave branches to cover the meat as fly protection. We cut all the choice pieces required, and left the remains, for the wild life. I remember saying to Jim, "why leave all the meat on the carcass?" "Come back tomorrow and there won't be any meat, the dingoes will make sure of that." That night the boys had their spare ribs. At the end of each day in the evening, we would all sit around with a beer and just chat over the day's events. We learnt so much about life on a cattle station. Once a year all the cattle would be rounded up, sorted and the young ones separated from the old and put into pens. The young steers were branded and castrated, dehorned and drenched, and then the rest would be loaded into big cattle trucks for the export market.

In addition to cooking, we joined in other activities helping the boys in their jobs as branding and dehorning. Life was never dull. Another job was to collect the mail which only came by plane on Fridays. The pilot flew over the homestead and dipped his wings. That being our signal to get the truck and go out to the station airfield. We got to know the pilot very well, but we didn't get a ride. We used to go on helicopter flights with the boss, Milton.

Our unforgettable experience happened because of my request for a one night stay. It ended after 42 nights, and proved to be the most memorable time for June and myself in our trip around Australia. But it didn't really end there. Mustering had finished, the hard work was over, and we only had a few left to cook for. Milton the boss said, "we should have a party," which would be held at his other cattle station at Montejinni, which was 80 km up the road, 30 km from Top Springs roadhouse, the only pub for hundreds of miles. Anyway the party was in full swing when the manager for Montejinni pulled us aside and said, "I've heard that you two are good cooks, I haven't had a holiday for two years, and I would like to go to Katherine." Here we go again I thought. "How many are we cooking for I asked?" "Twelve all up, including two children and their Nanny, it will only be for two weeks". (I've heard that before, I thought). I gave June a wink, and took the job on, knowing this was going to be interesting, because the children were on school of the air. This I had never seen or had the opportunity to experience. I would even learn to crack a whip.

FRANK DAILEY - 'THE MAN, THE LION'

Frank Dailey was born in 1955 and grew up in Port Fairy, Victoria. In 1976 he was lured to Western Australia by the warm weather. He had intended travelling around Australia, but stumbled into landscape gardening soon after arriving in Perth, a vocation he continues with to this day along with many other duties associated with his position at Heathcote Hospital where he has been the Maintenance Supervisor since January 2008. Frank can lay claim to being responsible for some of the lovely gardens around Perth, including those belonging to several radio personalities of the time and also that of the Perth Mint.
Frank is married to Dianne whom he met when he was 16 and she was only 15. Dianne was visiting Port Fairy on a Guide camp. Frank, who was a Sea Scout at the time was asked to give rowing lessons. As such, they met in a row boat on a river, which was pretty romantic stuff at that age. They have 2 daughters - Shannon & Sarah. They are proud grandparents of grandson, Atlas.
Frank is a Queen Scout and holds the Bronze Medallion as a volunteer Surf Lifesaver. He is also a very loyal Carlton Football Club supporter. For relaxation he likes nothing better than getting out in his Kayak on Lake Eppalock when it has water.
Frank has been heavily involved with Lions over many years. In 1988 he was a Charter member in the forming of the Parkerville & Districts Lions Club in W.A. In 1991 he thought the weather would be even warmer further north. He took a job with Hamersley Iron at Paraburdoo in the Pilbara region and in doing so transferred to the Lions Club there. In 1993 he moved back to Perth and rejoined his original Lions Club, serving 2 terms as the President. In 1997 Frank & Dianne hosted a Canadian Exchange visitor through Lions. In September 2007 he left the warm climate of the west to move to Heathcote, transferring to the Lions club of Heathcote at that time. His knowledge of Lions has been invaluable, serving 2 terms as President as well as working full time. In 2010 he was 1st Vice President. He is currently the President for the Heathcote Lions Estate.
With construction of the Skate Park, and in conjunction with the CoGB he played a role in the landscaping of the area. Two years ago he was instrumental in resurrecting the Carols in the Park at Christmas time.
In December 2015 Frank was given an award as part of International Volunteers Day, which was presented by Lisa Chesters MP At the Heathcote Australia Day ceremony (2016) he received the McIvor Community Award.

FRANK’S LIONS CAREER

1988/89 : Joins group of prospective members in the Eastern Hills district of Perth to form the Lions Club of 
               Parkerville & Districts. He is a Charter member. Club is Chartered on 18 February 1989.
1991-92 :    Transfers to the Lions Club of Paraburdoo in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
1993 :        Transfers back to Perth. The Parkerville club is renamed Mundaring
1993/94 :   Club President
1996/97 :   Club President
1997 :        Hosts a Canadian exchange visitor through Lions
2007 :       Transfers to the Lions Club of Heathcote (Victoria)
2011-13 :   Club President

2013: THE NEW PRESIDENT ~ WHO IS HE???

Daryl Dedman moved to Heathcote with his wife, Jeanette, in July 1999. Daryl had secured a position as a Locomotive Driver with V/Line at Seymour. Jeanette had previously been a Receptionist with the YMCA in Footscray (10+ years). The couple also had a part-time mail order business. This involved importing videos (later DVDs) from England and the USA on transport, but mainly railways, and selling them through an established mailing list. The business started as a partnership with another couple in 1990, with Jeanette and Daryl taking over the business in full in January 1997. The business was sold in 2008 to a Queensland business of similar interest.
Daryl was born at the Sandringham Hospital on 21 July 1946. The family moved to Seddon in the western suburbs in 1950. His father was at that time a mens Hairdresser and the shop/residence was located directly opposite the Seddon railway station. He can only assume that the continual parade of trains led to his interest in railways and the thought of becoming a Locomotive Driver in later life. His school years were spent at Hyde Street Central in Footscray. At age 14 he decided that he had had enough schooling and in the September of 1960 left school to join the Victorian Railways. In 1963 he headed north to Sydney, joining the New South Wales Government Railways. In September 1965 he decided to return to Victoria and this became the start of a 37 year association with the Victorian Railways, later to be V/Line. On passing the required examination, his dream of becoming a Locomotive Driver was realised on 21 November 1972 whilst stationed at Murtoa. In February 2000, a workplace injury to his right shoulder saw him removed from driving duties and he spent 18 months on light duties at Seymour. Being unable to return to a job he loved, he resigned in September 2002, thus ending a 37 year career, with 30 of those in the driving grade.
His outside interests have been many and varied over a period of years. Between May 1973 and March 1976 he was a member of the Citizen Military Force (Army Reserve). In January 1976 he became a member of the Scout Association, as a Group Leader for 1st Sunshine and later 1st North Sunshine. On gaining his Wood Badge he was appointed to the position of Assistant District Commissioner (Administration) for Sunshine Central District. Due to work hours and the time needed to be spent in filling his role as ADC, he left the Scout movement in November 1980. Whilst with 1st North Sunshine he played a pivotal role in having the Scout Hall extended and oversaw the Group celebrate its 21st anniversary.
In May 1985, he became Secretary for the Sunshine VRI* Football Club and held this position until November 1989. In 1986 & 1988 he was awarded 'Best Clubman'. Whilst in this position he was involved extensively with the Club President and Treasurer in having the clubroom, which was located behind the Sunshine VRI* Bowling Club, extended. (*VRI - Victorian Railways Institute)
Since marrying in February 1988, Daryl and Jeanette have travelled extensively around the world and within Australia. From their previous marriages they have 5 children with 12 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Since going into full retirement Daryl has been busy going through his extensive colour slide collection. With a large collection of photos from their various trips plus those on trains from the various states they have visited; has allowed him since January 2009 to have 19 books published by the USA company, Blurb.
After having had many approaches made by Daryl Wallace to become a Lion, Daryl and Jeanette both succumbed and were inducted on 18 August 2010. Daryl is also a member of the Heathcote Bowling Club.