March Issue of the Stratford Town Crier

Page 1




MARCH 2021 Volume 28—No 3

ABN 61 052 673 443 ISSN 1836-3830

Facebook: Stratford Town Crier

REG No: A0052373W


Editor: Leanne Dugan

Co-Editor: Shakira Dugan


2.2 Community News





The recent sudden withdrawal by Facebook of access to a multitude of news sites has given many of us cause to seriously consider the value and vulnerability of online social media as a source of news and other information. On the one hand, perhaps we have taken such sources too much for granted and their removal left a vacuum that we scurried to fill. For other users, it didn’t overly concern them or was in fact a welcome respite from a constant bombardment and distraction of 24/7 “news”, the worth of which was often questionable and often unreliable. Importantly too, it highlighted the value of alternative and often more traditional news sources. A news consumer does not need to rely on Facebook, Twitter or other popular social media online. The major respected news outlets have independent online presence through their own websites. Many readers of this paper have internet access and skills but choose not to be on Facebook. The withdrawal perhaps is also a reminder of the value of traditional newspaper sources of information, such as this community newspaper, noting that we also provide a direct online electronic version too, at no cost, with easy access to past issues, via stratfordtowncrier. Last year many rural newspapers, for economic reasons, were forced to at the very least scale down, and in very many cases, close down entirely, even after having been in existence for many decades. Meanwhile, in all the flurry of media change and controversy, your Stratford Town Crier, while not so much a hard “news” paper but a monthly gathering together of news, information and support of local businesses as originally intended, is still going strong and steady, and will continue to do so, with the support of the community of readers, contributors and advertisers that we exist to serve.

Offenders cut a lock and entered a shed on Bengworden Road. Nothing appears to have been stolen. A Stratford man was assaulted in Stratford after an apparent road rage incident on the Princes Highway at Montgomery. Police are seeking assistance from anyone who may have witnessed the incident at the corner of Tyers St and Blackburn Street at about 5.45am on 1/2/2021. A search warrant was executed at a house in McFarlane Street. Drugs and other contraband were seized. A Stratford man was arrested and remanded in custody. Fuel and a coffee were stolen from the service station. The owners of the vehicle involved are assisting police with enquiries. A search warrant was executed at a house in Raymond Street and a stolen chainsaw was recovered. A Stratford man is assisting police with enquiries. Richard Chrisp

Judy Donoghue

The Neighbourhood Watch meeting held on 9 February was better attended than for some time, which was very pleasing. Area Coordinator Leanne Dugan advised that Stratford is now one of only two remaining Neighbourhood Watch groups in the region, so having an active committee and general community support is essential to retaining this important resource. Stratford’s Police Officer Richard Chrisp provided an overview of recent activity in the area, including thefts from vehicles, premises and properties and a drug seizure, and addressed a number of questions and concerns from attendees. Issues discussed included deterrents such as signage and CCTV, speeding in Tyers Street, hoon driving, underuse of the dedicated pedestrian crossing (if a crossing is within 30 metres, it is an offence not to use it), gunshots, and fireworks. Richard reinforced how important it is to secure property, including farm sheds and cars and to report suspicious behaviour/activity. Richard assured attendees that Sale, Maffra, Briagolong and Stratford police work together, so if Richard is not on duty, others are covering the area. The numbers to call for any matters of concern are as follows – Police Assistance Line 131 444 Crime Stoppers/Hoon Hotline 1800 333 000 Emergencies 000 Remember that the police can only investigate what is reported to them. They can’t investigate what they don’t know. So don’t assume “someone” has, will or should report a concern. That “someone” is you. And if more than one member of the public reports, that can only be a positive, so don’t hesitate. The next Neighbourhood Watch meeting will be held at Segue Community Hub on Wednesday 28 April at 7.30pm. Judy Donoghue

Random Fact of the Day

There are 377 different phobias, with over 85% of the world’s population suffering from at least one of them. Here are 10 of the most unusual phobias 1. Arachibutyrophobia 6. Hippopotomonstroseesquippedaliophobia a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of a fear of long words! your mouth 2. Optophobia 7. Octophobia the fear of opening one’s eyes a fear of the number eight 3. Phobophobia a fear of phobias 4. Somniphobia a fear of sleep 5. Geniophobia a fear of chins

8. Xanthophobia A fear of the colour yellow 9. Arithmophobia A fear of numbers 10. Omphalophobia a fear of belly buttons Sharni Aldridge

Stratford on the River

Tourist Park

Resident Owners—Shaun & Louise Perrett 16 McMillan Street, Stratford Victoria 3862

Ph/Fax: 03 5145 6588





























2020 = 822.9

2019 = 368.2

2018 = 361.9

2017 = 436.6

2016 = 592.9

2015 = 593.3

2014 = 647.2

3.3 Community News




It was great to be back meeting face to face after the Christmas break. At the January meeting we commenced making aprons to enter in the North Gippsland Group craft and exhibition being held later in March. Some members recycled unwanted jeans into aprons while others sewed up patterns they’d already cut out. Other ladies brought along their unfinished items or current craft to work on. The junior girls created a bookmark using a technique called Bargello. I had to look up what Bargello is and found it is a type of needlepoint embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to


create motifs. The name originates from a series of chairs found in Bargello palace in Florence, which have a ‘flame stitch’ pattern. Traditionally wool is used and stitched onto canvas. If the juniors can meet in March, they will be doing some cooking and painting. The Junior CWA members meet on the 2nd Saturday of each month between 1.00pm 4.00pm, must be accompanied by an adult and bring a small plate of afternoon tea. There is a small cost involved as they do a craft activity each month. To assist the coordinator to ensure she has enough equipment for everyone, please RSVP by phoning Emma on 0409 865 047. CWA members meet on the 3rd Monday of each month, commencing at 10.00am for a craft activity, lunch (BYO) and a Branch meeting which commences at 1.00pm.


We can all agree that it has been a difficult year for families. We have created this group to offer a supportive community to all parents. As restrictions ease, consider it a place to get in touch, organise walks and coffee chats, see what is happening in our local area for families as Wellington Shire opens up again, and to ask for general advice. Find us on Facebook @stratfordmumsandbubs Charlotte Cheadle



Stratford Victoria Sister Cities Incorporated., will hold their AGM Tuesday 16 March 2021, 7.00pm, at St Andrew’s Uniting Church hall Jones Street, Stratford. (Current Covid rules will apply) Nomination forms are available from Sandra Meredith 0406 983 503 or Membership will be payable prior to the AGM to have voting rights, it is $10 per annum we have extended the due date for membership to match the AGM extension we have been granted by Consumer Affairs. A general meeting will take place after the AGM Sandra Meredeth



Due to the Covid lockdown our advertised book sale had to be postponed. However, with such a great collection of donated books, CD’s and DVD’s for sale, we are excited to advise that the book sale will now be held at the Museum in Hobson Street on Friday 5, Saturday 6, Sunday 7 and Monday 8 March each day from 9.30am to 3.00pm! We are hoping that what was to be our only fundraiser for 2020, will now finally be held and your support would be appreciated. Airly Primary School on the Airly Estate Road, established in 1924, is a small Gippsland school which draws students from neighbouring towns of Sale,


Stratford and Maffra. In 2024 it will be celebrating 100 years since established and we are inviting you to share your photos or historical information about Airly and its Primary School with us. Please call in to the Museum on a Tuesday or email to We have nearly sold out of the book about Airly, however it will be reprinted in time for the 100 year celebrations. Our next meeting will be held at the Museum on Monday 22 March at 7.30pm. Visitors welcome. We are open on Tuesdays between 10.00am - 3.00pm and to keep up with what is happening at the Museum please see our latest posts on our Facebook page “Stratford Museum”. Jane Spice


Hopefully, the adults will be able to meet in March too where we will be learning another craft or sitting enjoying a chat in the company of other like minded women. Entries for the North Gippsland Group craft and exhibition close on 1 March. If you’re thinking of placing an entry ladies please do so. Do you enjoy helping your community? Meeting other women? Baking? Sewing? Learning other crafts? New to the area? Looking for friendship? Then Avon CWA could just be the place you’re looking for. For more information please contact Lyn on 0408 393 338. Further details about Avon CWA can be obtained by following, Friends and Members of CWA Avon Branch Facebook page. Cindy Chrisp


After a year of upheaval and lockdowns the Covid pandemic continues to throw all communities a few curve balls. For the Stratford RSL the year meant that members could not meet for many months and our hall was largely vacant. On the positive side, we were lucky to receive a generous grant from the Latrobe Valley Authority to begin the long overdue upgrade to the ablutions area at the back of the hall. The LVA funding has been a life saver to the members who have tried for twenty years or more to get the appropriate funding through the normal channels to no avail. The Latrobe Valley Authority grant now allows the veteran community and the Stratford extended community to have a valuable, rejuvenated, historic hall. The new refurbishment is crucial to supporting our older members with up to date facilities that are fully health standard compliant, and pleasing on the eye as well. Did you know that the hall was originally a bank, then saddlery and

then a dressmaking business? The hall was purchased through locally raised funds in 1942 for the Returned Service men and women. The new facilities will assist our sub branch in attracting new members from the younger ADF, who have served in the most difficult of operations overseas, in recent times. Our core management team are getting on and are looking to welcome new members who have ideas and drive. We are eager to adapt to the changes that the next decade or so will demand. In the meantime, an iconic, important historic building in the centre of town has had a lift. RAL Constructions have done a great job on this project, and nothing was too much trouble from the consultation and planning stage to job completion. Thanks too to our volunteers who contributed many hours assisting Ian Johns with the paving. Along with that came gate widening, fence reconstruction and clean up. Michael Hutchison

4.4 Community News



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A few more of the Club Championship events have been held. Pictured are our Stratford Men’s and Women’s Champions for this season. Ray Potter defeated his brother David Potter in the final in a very tight game. It came down to the last bowl. Both players are very skilful, and all spectators were impressed with the high standard of the ends. This will be the first time Ray’s name appears as Men’s Singles Champion on the Stratford Honour Board, although his name appears many times in events across the district over his long bowls career. Ray is also Chairperson


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STRATFORD TOWN CRIER INC Stratford Town Crier INC of the Board and is working hard to improve our facilities. Ladies Champion Nola Wheeler is the defending champion and this year she defeated Bev Thatcher in the final. Nola is no stranger to bowls titles with local awards and a State Silver medal in triples on her list of achievements. She too is an all -rounder combining playing and administration roles. As President of the Ladies Section, she went to great lengths to ensure our Christmas Dinner was an evening of good food, celebration, and entertainment. Crackerjack is back on the calendar on Wednesday nights


I have handed over the role of Secretary to Ms Donna Roberts. Donna has the following contact details for the Stratford Cemetery. Postal address P.O.Box 153 Stratford 3862 Mobile 0408 525 991 Email address:



Neil Richard Fleming. World War V265957 (ARMY RESERVE) Neil wrote the following memoir for his family, and Kerry Cartledge, his daughter has shared it with us. “Born 21st of August 1907 having 5 sisters and two brothers, and I was a second youngest in the family of 8. I went to State School Stratford until 14 years of age. The first 6 years of my working life was spent at Bouchers general store. Those days all deliveries were done by horse and cart often leaving at 7 a.m. and getting home at 5:30 p.m. (sometimes wet and cold going as far as the Heart School in one direction and Lake Wellington in the other) I left Bouchers when I was 20 to start at Henry Berries in Melbourne. My father died suddenly so I came home to support my mother on the farm. During the next 18 years I established a milk round in the town. In 1946 I went into partnership with a lifelong friend in Walter Coloe and moved to Nuntin to carry on the two farms for 9 years. I then brought a residence in Hobson Street and built the dairy. In 1976 after about 40 years, I retired. I handed over to my son-in-law Ivan

with a short season programmed to take advantage of the remaining daylight savings. Great to see that Doug Richardson is continuing his sponsorship of this competition under the banner of Sale Caravan and Boat Storage. Crackerjack is a fun night of bowls and introduces many new players to the sport. Friday evenings are still a great way to come and try your hand at bowls. The club can provide a set of bowls, the bar is open from 4.30pm for 3 hours, and there are friendly club members around to assist. Margaret Robbins We still plan to have the Community Day to honour WW2 men and women. At present we are unable to make any definite arrangements as the conditions for these events are changing frequently. Kind regards, and thanks for all your support over the last 8 years. Best wishes to Donna. Margaret Robbins

Cartledge. In sport I won my share of races at school and local picnics. Football has always had a prominent part of my life starting as a captain of the kids at school and also the under 16 team which we organised ourselves. I'm a Life Member of the Stratford football club and have held every position in the club except general Secretary. I have been president, coach, captain, and social secretary, and have represented Stratford in the interleague games including one on the MCG against the Wimmera. I played two years with Maffra - premiers 1935 and 1936. I was lucky to be president of Stratford in 1955 when we won the premiership of the district Gippsland League on the Bairnsdale ground before a record crowd. We went onto win on the St Kilda football ground before a crowd of 12000 by 5 goals to become Champions of Victoria. I made many firm friendships through football both with my own teammates and opposition players. I played a lot of tennis and represented St Patrick's for quite a time and I'm still enjoying a game of bowls. Some of the committees I have served on are the Cemetery Trust, Fire Brigade, Secretary St Patrick's Church,

Swimming Pool, Recreation Reserve committee for 25 years. I have had 15 years with the Traders Association 8 years as president. I still get a lot of satisfaction as being prime mover and president of the back to Stratford celebrations A wonderful success financially and socially and I would like to see the sfc move to a Shakespearean festival. We had our tennis courts at home where the family and young friends spent many happy hours - often 15 or 20 would gather on Sunday. I look back on my life with many happy memories with brothers and sisters around the piano. We were all fond of music. In 1938 I married Caroline Fraser Hunt of Maffra. She is an excellent pianist so up to a few years ago the musical evenings were carried on. We have two daughters, son-in-law and two granddaughters and are a close -knit bunch. I was one of the early members of the Lions Club and hope I'm doing my bit to make it tick.” Neil died on 1 October 1990 and is buried in the Lawn Section of the Stratford Cemetery. He certainly contributed many volunteer hours to the community, and was part of the Army Reserve in WW2. Margaret Robbins

5.5 Community News


TRATFORD S.E.S. Stratford S.E.S. Activities Jan Feb 2021

Early in the morning, just about after midnight late in January, the pagers woke us and invited the members to travel to the highway near Munro. There awaiting us was part of a tree that had fallen and partly blocked the westbound lane. The crew soon had the tree limb cut up and off the road. The members arrived back in Stratford about 1.00am. Later that same day at around 5.00pm members were paged to a road crash north of Dargo. A motorcycle and a car had collided. Sadly the motorcyclist died. It was trips of nearly two hours. The crew were required because lighting might be needed. After about an hour Police decided that they could complete their investigation before dark and the members returned to Dargo where they had an excellent meal arriving back at Stratford



Stratford friends of Red Cross are planning to have a March appeal fundraiser selling raffle tickets on Friday 19 March located Stratford IGA and Woolworths Maffra. Raffle will be drawn at 4.00pm at Stratford on the day. Due to the unprecedented times we were not sure if it was going to be possible to go ahead but fingers crossed we are being



just before midnight. A couple of days later we were paged to a broken tree limb in Stratford. Near the end of January at around 2.00pm there was a high speed two car crash near Dutson. Sale SES was called to this crash, but due to the severity of the collision Stratford was paged also. Our crew assisted in releasing one of the drivers who was trapped. Early in February at about 4.00pm, rescue was called to a car crash on the highway near Fernbank. A car traveling towards Bairnsdale had hit the centre barrier, bounced off and come to a stop on the nearside of the road. The driver was not trapped but had minor injuries. The damage to the car was severe, but if no barrier and the car had crossed the centre into an oncoming vehicle the outcome would have had much more serious consequences. positive to go ahead. Also all going well we will continue to have our meetings 1st Tuesday monthly 12 noon at the Avon hotel . New and old members most welcome to join us. Membership cost is $10.00 per year . Phone Nola 5145 6928 or Jess 5145 6732 to make your booking. Many thanks Dianne Semmens


The Post-Modern Parent Fuelled by anxiety about the future, love for our babies, and cold cups of tea. Remember the 90s? It was a decade full of carefree wonder, novel technologies, and a growing desire for greater convenience in the kitchen. These same kids, who ate microwave mac & cheese along with their meat and three veg, are now in the position to have children of their own. As media became new media became social media, not-so-subtle shifts in our sociocultural world lead to a glut of information for all to consume and process. Everyone became entitled to a public opinion, however divisive, and boy did they exercise this right. But whichever side of this-or-that your beliefs lie, one thing is certain: we create and destroy too much stuff. Our social environments, the fragile ecosystems throughout this world, and the finite resources we drill and mine for are all hurtling toward the desperate need for real decisions to be made by the people we trust to be representative of us. Who would want to bring a child into a world like this, so different from our own childhood and that of our parents? This question plagued me whenever anyone suggested it was


Later in the month Stratford and Maffra units were called to assist Ambulance Victoria to extract a casualty with an injured ankle from near Freestone Creek at Blue Pool. The injured person was transported from the pool to the car park using a wheeled stretcher carrier. David Smith



Do you know how to play HOY? Would you like to learn to play HOY? Ladies you are most welcome to come along to learn and have a go. There is no charge. Monday 8 March at 2.00pm at RSL hall. A lesson in HOY after a short meeting. All welcome. Sonja Young

time for children, kept me up at night throughout my pregnancy, and brought me to tears as I looked into the blameless eyes of my baby. But suddenly, my thinking changed. Our world needs parents of the next generation who will raise children poised to make changes so desperately needed. We have not been perfect, and neither will they, but our children will have empathy and awareness of what needs to be done to secure a future for those to come. They will be loved, and they will need us to be there for them as they navigate an everchanging world. They will be resilient. We need only look back on the year it has been to see how children have responded to the tumultuousness of online learning and rising global anxiety. They will take on careers we cannot even begin to imagine. As parents, we will open as many doors for them as we can by encouraging and developing their creativity, guiding them through new experiences, and giving them agency in their own lives. Who would bring a child into a world like this? Those who are passionate about a brighter future, who have knowledge of past generations to give, and who, above all else, will love and nurture these tiny miracles who have a brighter future to prepare for. Charlotte Cheadle


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6.6 Community News



Live performances back in our little black box theatre Last month saw the Stratford Courthouse Theatre put to its intended use once more. After no live theatre since November 2019 the committee welcomed actors back to the stage and live audiences to our stacked seats. In addition to successful live shows by local actor Aynslie Watson and Traralgon theatre company Here, There & Everywhere, the space became live once more with weekly rehearsals, acting classes and Groundwork Youth Theatre meeting on Thursday nights. It is also wonderful to see local disabilities service provider Overcoming Obstacles now utilising the space during weekdays. This local company provides a wide ranging, skills building program of activities that include - an all ability theatre workshop with Darren McCubbin, opportunities to build social plus employment skills and even large group gaming sessions on the big screen. The committee of management is still negotiating and learning how to manage events during these Covid times. It was disappointing for music lovers to have Danny Spencer cancel his solo show at the last minute but he had the opportunity to tour Tasmania with Jimmy Barnes so had to choose between us and 14 days

STRATFORD TOWN CRIER INC Stratford Town Crier quarantine. Hopefully he can squeeze us into his schedule in the not too distant future. We want to reassure all patrons that refunds through our electronic booking system are straightforward and easy. We will always try to accommodate last minute changes and know that we need to be flexible. So please support us by booking for events and shows, but have the confidence that if restrictions change or you are unwell - tickets will be refunded. We are excited to now announce that in March we have -

Josh Cashman - One Night Only! Friday 19 March 7.30pm Moving from the rural country to the lights of the big city, singer-songwriter and musician Josh Cashman has been turning heads both nationally and internationally with his humble, harmonic and heartfelt to the core artistry. Blending a combination of earnest, soulful roots and haunting melodic folk- rock each song highlights Josh’s enchanting, airy vocal and skills as a songwriter, while also creating a dreamy soundscape that whisks you away to magical paradise. Seated event, restricted capacity - book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets only $35

7.7 Community News



Our student leaders have set themselves some great targets this year to raise funds for some worthy causes. They are very keen to help the students in our school give something back to groups who can help others. One of their first fundraising event is an 80s theme day. Who knew the 80s would still be popular! Funds raised from the theme day and the annual Easter raffle will go towards the Royal Children’s Hospital and Ronald MacDonald House. Grab your tickets in the raffle from any of our school families.

A great day was had at the Stratford Pool when we conducted our House swimming carnival. The support and comradery amongst the students on the day encouraged swimmers to go full steam ahead in the different events. Our younger students could be seen bobbing, splashing and rushing up and down the learner’s pool with lots of laughing and friendly competition. A number of our students will be competing at the District and Zone competitions over the coming weeks.



Students from Airly Primary School have begun the school year swimmingly. While Covid cancelled our Rural Cluster Swimming Carnival and first attempt at swimming trials, we managed to get two students to compete in the 50m competition to try out for the next level. Both Tjiana and Maya did us proud as they competed against other swimmers from Nambrok Denison, Bundy, Seaspray, Cowwarr, Cobains and Loch Sport. Maya succeeded in being selected for the Rural Cluster relay team. Students across the grades have also begun swimming lessons at Aqua Energy and their faces say it all!

Our amazing cleaning lady, Gayle, has spent lots of time volunteering in our kitchen garden to prep the soil for some winter kitchen garden vegetables. We look forward to planting our seeds and seedlings soon and hope to reestablish our weekly kitchen garden lunches that used to be so popular. These kitchen garden lunches support our Resource Smart program, as one day a week, there is no lunchbox rubbish. Students also get to try new flavours and foods and practice their maths and literacy in the harvesting and cooking processes. Our grade 6 students were excited to be awarded their leadership badges this month. We have nine grade six students in our school and each one has been given a leadership badge with the expectation that all are leaders and role models in both our community and across the ADVERTISEMENT

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Swimming is not the only sport at which our students are representing Stratford Primary School. Ebony and Hailey Boyle competed in the Interschool Gymkhana. Ebony rode Spy and Hailey rode BJ. They competed in a range of special activities. Both girls said they had a great day riding their ponies all day and being with their friends. Our students are enjoying a range of specialist subjects this year. Our teachers have each taken on an area and work with all students across the school. As well as being able to offer Indonesian, Science, cooking and gardening, art, health and PE and integrated studies it is an excellent way for all our staff to work with and get to know all our students. Debra Nicholls

school, especially in the direction of younger peers. Our senior students are also part of the design and creation of their year six shirts. No templates are needed for these students! After they each had a go at making their own designs, we went through a democratic process to identify the parts we liked best, then we put that together to make a final design draft. JSM are due to come out to our school shortly to talk us through the next steps we need to take to get these shirts made. Stay tuned to check out our unique design. Geraldine Carter





Gun Violence… Specifically in America, lack of gun control and gun violence is a serious aspect in American citizens’ everyday life. For my first English topic, we had to write a persuasive speech on a topic which had been present in the media. My inspiration for my speech came from the new 12 minute animation on Netflix, “If anything happens I love you” which struck my attention.

This can be a very hard and worrying conversation, but I think it is one that should be had. Yes, it should definitely be a conversation



Continuation of last month’s installment of the narrative by Airly Primary School’s Rickar Fogham Pretending to be dead? No. Idea after idea. She couldn’t think of anything reasonable or something that would actually work. A lightbulb appeared above her head, she had the perfect plan but there are some massive cons about this. She reached for the torn up area of her favourite dress. Next thing she knew her beautiful dress was now a horrible looking shirt and now the cold was worse than ever. Why did it have to be so cold? It’s the middle of Summer. So how was it freezing cold? Danica decided the next best solution was to get up on her feet as quick as possible. Danica tried to stand up, slow and steady, but as soon as she stood up this horrible feeling comes over her. She had the urge to scream until she lost her voice. Sadly, a scream would notify this person of her location. Covering her hands over her mouth, she starts limping down another archway. Her ankle felt as if it had shattered into a million pieces. When she reached the end of the hall, she was huffing and puffing. “Finally!” she


thought to herself. Ping! Ping…! Then suddenly…. BAM! Danica started coughing aggressively. This masked stranger had thrown a smoke grenade into the room. “Oh. Come on. Seriously? What did I do to deserve this? Danica thinks, wondering what she had done. Squinting and tearing up from the amount of smoke in the area while continuously coughing and inhaling smoke, Danica was in trouble. She puts one hand over her mouth. Quickly dropping to the ground, Danica starts crawling across the ice-cold, soaking wet wooden floor. Danica runs into something… or someone. Rickar Forgham


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for Americans to come to their senses, but also a conversation for Australians to recognise that we should be grateful for our citizens who clearly know which laws keep the public safe. I thought I would share a modified version of one of my arguments in my speech to kick start the conversation. A key comparison, and one that is often used in the media, is to compare the US with Australia. This is because Australia used to have far more lenient gun controls. Following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, gun ownership was significantly reduced and far greater gun control was introduced. The impact that this has had on Australian society has been convincing. Eight Australians die every day through suicide, and 75% of those people are male. Shocking, right? And we even have safety measures and laws restricting easy access to firearms. On average in America there are 132 suicides per day. White males accounted for 69% of those deaths in 2018. And firearms were used in 50% of those deaths. Now let's talk

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about being impulsive. Research suggests that specifically in the case of suicide about young males, it's a sudden action which hasn't been thought out. Considerable evidence suggests that many young men who face such thoughts, and do not have the means to carry through with their plan, will go on to lead fulfilling lives. The very fact that many young men in America have access to firearms, as opposed to Australia, where they do not, demonstrates that Australian young men are better protected against this impulsivity than their American counterparts. If you are experiencing feelings of selfharm or suicide, or you know someone that is, reach out and talk to someone. There are many services that are available in our region that can be found with a quick google search. Beyond Blue offer immediate support on 1300 22 4636 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. Ella-Rose Spence

9.9 Community News




Greetings to all in our community and blessings to you as we approach autumn. Through the year that has been, which has tested us like no other, here are some timely words from Michael Leunig about giving thanks. AUTUMN We give thanks for the harvest of the heart’s work; Seeds of faith planted with love. Courage strengthened by courage. We give thanks for the fruits of the struggling soul, The bitter and the sweet; For that which has grown in adversity And for that which has flourished in warmth and grace; For the radiance of the spirit in autumn



One of our parishioners, Dave Smith, received the Citizen of the Year award this year from Stratford Lions presented at the Australia Day ceremony and barbecue. As a parish we were delighted with Dave's award which is thoroughly deserved with his many years of community service to our local community. Well done Dave! Shrove Tuesday: Due to the recent Covid-19 Lockdown the parish’s delivery of pancakes to local businesses and supporters was

And for that which must now fade and die. We are blessed and give thanks. OUR FRIENDS We give thanks for our friends. Our dear friends. We anger each other. We fail each other. We share this sad earth, this tender life, this precious time. Such richness. Such wildness. Together we are blown about. Together we are dragged along. All this delight. All this suffering. All this forgiving life. We hold it together. As we all wish for our community to continue to be safe and to flourish as we come out of the pandemic, we remember those who are still doing it tough, those who have endured

postponed from Shrove Tuesday to the following Tuesday 23 February. Parish fundraiser: On Saturday 13 March starting at 2.00pm at the Anglican Parish Hall in McFarlane Street, we will be holding a Lorraine Lea linen party. All welcome. We hope this will be of interest, and presenter, Jeni Li from Metung, will be displaying the latest range of linen and home furnishing products. The company has a long history of good quality products. It is a given that all the necessary Covid-19 will be in place. Worship Services: Apart from the most recent lockdown, gathered

Parish Diary – March 2021 Thursdays 9.30am - Mainly Music, during school term 1 in Parish Hall Fridays 9.30am - Morning Prayer at Holy Trinity Friday 5 - Ecumenical World Day of Prayer 'Vanuatu'. Stratford UCA Sunday 7 - Lent 3 Harvest Festival at All Saints and All Age Family Worship at Holy Trinity Monday 8 - Labour Day



DESIGNS FINALISED FOR APEX PARK IMPROVEMENTS With trains now travelling at higher speeds over the new Avon River bridge, Stratford’s treasured Apex Park is in the midst of a community-minded makeover. The final design for the new nature-based playground and BMX/pump track has been released, and construction is underway. The playground will feature a climbing ropes course, basket swing, balancing logs and an accessible spinner which will allow wheelchair access for inclusive play. The new additions to Apex Park will be built close to the new bridge and have been designed to complement the park’s existing playground and facilities. Landscaping works are also underway, and the improvements to Apex Park are targeted for completion in the

coming months. The new bridge began operating in December 2020, three months ahead of schedule. The new bridge is part of the Gippsland Line Upgrade, which will enable more frequent and reliable services for passengers by duplicating track, extending the Morwell crossing loop, upgrading level crossings and signalling and adding second platforms at four stations along the line. The project will create jobs and improve train services to and from the region, enabling trains to run every 40 minutes between Traralgon and Melbourne in off-peak periods. It’s all part of the Australian and Victorian governments’ $4 billion investment in the Regional Rail Revival program, which is upgrading every regional passenger rail line in Victoria and creating more than 3,000 jobs and local supplier opportunities. Emma Steele

financial, social or mental burdens. We give thanks for our nurturing bonds with others, our loved ones, our friends and the rich connections within this community. World Day of Prayer Each year many churches hold a worship service that is part of an international ecumenical movement to join in prayer and action for peace and justice. This year the focus country is Vanuatu and you are warmly invited to join us at St Andrew’s at 7.30pm, Friday 5 March. Worship Services Our services have resumed, and we warmly invite you to join us each Sunday for worship at 9.30am. Rev Barbara Strickland can be contacted on 5145 6927. Barbara Strickland

worship has continued in our churches. Streaming of our regular 10am Sunday Service at Holy Trinity continues via Facebook and Zoom as follows: For Facebook search for ‘Anglican Parish of Avon’; services go live 5 minutes before commencement. Please email Priest Dave Perryman (email: for details to join via Zoom. Copies of our Order of Service are available at our parish website http:// and Facebook. Mainly Music: After much deliberation, the mainly music program was able to re-commence

on Thursday 25 February after a long time in recess due to the pandemic. All the necessary COVID-19 measures were put in place and the team was delighted to welcome new families as well as the return of some from the past, to enjoy a time of fun, music, and fellowship. The Men's Breakfast Group has started up again and have been meeting monthly for breakfast and fellowship at Stratford's Avon Valley Food House until the group can return to cooking breakfast at the Parish Hall. Gail Wager

Saturday 13 - Linen Party 2.00pm in Parish Hall Sunday 14 - Lent 4 Mothering Sunday - Harvest Festival at St Mary's and Holy Trinity - 4.00pm Healing Service at Holy Trinity Wednesday 17 - St Patrick's Day Thursday 18 - National Close the Gap Day Friday 19 - Autumn Parish Dinner and raffle 6.30pm at Stratford Hotel. Saturday 20 - Men's Breakfast



Last year, one week before the commencement of the Covid-19 lockdowns, the first meeting of our Women's Fellowship and Craft Group took place in the Anglican Parish Hall at Holy Trinity, Stratford. However, that was to be the one and only meeting for the year! Fortunately, the group was relaunched and met for the first of its monthly meetings for this year on Saturday 30 January. The organizers were pleasantly surprised when a group of ten 'crafty' women walked in at 10 o'clock to settle down for a time of craft and fellowship, albeit with Covid-19 Restrictions in place.

Everyone brought their own morning tea and lunch. Card-making, particularly birthday cards, was a big feature of the day plus knitting, crochet and sewing projects. Acquaintances were renewed and new ones made. The consensus was that it was a fun time and those who attended were looking forward to the next meeting on Saturday 27 February. The group plans to meet on the last Saturday of each month, from 10am onwards, in the Anglican Hall, 26 McFarlane Street, Stratford. BYO lunch and a craft project of whatever kind. Entry is by gold coin donation, tea/coffee is provided. Contact Sandra 0406 983 503. Gail Wager



Community Information

Effective 31 January 2021 Leaving Stratford going to Melbourne Monday - Friday 5.07am (bus) 6.51am 1.32pm 3.55pm (bus) 6.44pm Saturday 6.51am 1.32pm 5.31pm 6.56am Sunday 8.11am 1.34pm (bus) 5.31pm

Arriving from Melbourne in Stratford Monday – Friday

COPY FOR APRIL 2021 ISSUE Deadline for ARTICLES and ADVERTISING WEDNESDAY, 24 MARCH 2021 by 5.00 pm Delivery starts 30 MARCH 2021 Articles and adverts are to be submitted to: Leanne Dugan, Editor at: 1-3 Bolden Street, Stratford Phone: 0419 518 277 Email: Facebook: Stratford Town Crier All articles must have a contact name and phone number. All payments to: The Treasurer Stratford Town Crier: P.O. Box 70, Stratford VIC 3862

10.34am 12.03pm (bus) 4.39pm 8.32pm (bus) 9.49pm Saturday 10.58am 3.38pm 9.37pm Sunday 10.58am 2.20pm (bus) 9.37pm

Stratford Library Opening Hours

Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10.00am - 1.30pm 3.00pm - 6.00pm Saturday: 10.00am - 12.00pm

Phone: 03 5145 6403 Closed Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday

Stratford Men’s Shed Peter Vranek 0401 151 187 Stratford Cemetery Trust Donna Roberts 0408 525 991



11. Community News



So much happening at Segue…….. This month we welcome new volunteers!! Pam, Laurie, Anita and Malcom. They have been busy finding their feet at Segue and we are so very fortunate to have them. We have many volunteer opportunities at Segue and invite anyone interested in sharing their skills or learning some new ones to call in and take a look. Garden for the community A Huge shout out to Lauren who has taken on the huge role of garden team leader, bringing some amazing fresh ideas into the “garden for the community” space here at Segue. Garden groups run on Monday from 2.30pm Thursdays (all day) and Saturdays – produce swap and share stall. I look forward to announcing some of our fantastic garden and sustainability workshops in the next couple of weeks. We would also like to thank the many community members who have brought in produce, seedlings, and plants! This helps us keep going. We are currently on the lookout for succulents and any odd bits of chook wire for our vertical garden project to rejuvenate the alley way garden.



WILL AS A STUDENT IN STRATFORD It had often been argued, even during his lifetime, that Shakespeare could not have written the plays. The argument ran that only writers with a university education could produce works of real literary value Certainly, the University Playwrights themselves believed this. But, could this have been because they were jealous of his success? His works during his own time in London received enormous success. So there were probably plenty of reasons for others to show their resentment. In any case it is not true to say that Will was simply a country yokel. The plays show real knowledge of the environment around his town. And he also experienced, or endured, a typical education for boys living in the country areas of England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Stratford Town Crier INC Gallery Our exhibition space has been buzzing with the – DON’T CALL ME BRAVE – EXHIBITION. Opening night was a huge success, with many people popping in to take a look and meet with Nadia the artist. Steve Hall our ‘curator extraordinaire’ has done an incredible job behind the scenes setting up this must see display. If you are interesting in showcasing your artwork, please get in touch. A snippet from the exhibition – story. The inspiration behind all of Nadia’s creative work has always been her fascination with interesting characters. She studied Drama at Deakin University and graduated in 2018. Nadia focuses on working in both theatre and the visual arts and finds that they often crossover and fuel inspiration for each other. She found oil paint to be her medium of choice six years ago, as it is vibrant, textured and unpredictable in application. Nadia’s aim is for life to jump out of her canvas, to emphasis and exaggerate expression, without smoothing or beautifying in order to share a reality within the subject. When the opportunity arose for Nadia to have her exhibition in Stratford, she asked for people to volunteer themselves as subjects to paint and was overwhelmed by the number of people who offered their support. Almost everyone who volunteered was a woman and when Nadia met

His school days were spent at King Edward V1 Grammar School, a much revered historical site now, of course. He would have begun at the age of seven. School days were long and unvaried, beginning at six or seven from Monday to Saturday and going through to five or six in the evenings. There was a two hour break for lunch. Latin was central to the curriculum. Boys also studied logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, astronomy and music. Tests occurred each week and often physical punishment was inflicted on those who failed. Church was compulsory on Sundays. No official education was offered to girls. Will had to leave at fourteen because of his father’s fall from grace. But, if he had to seek work in the area as a young man, time was not wasted; his later plays his plays show a close understanding of jobs and trades. Bill Cotter


with each of the women to photograph, she had the expectation to simply capture faces, but immediately, she began collecting stories. What inspired Nadia was that so many of these women had experienced such difficult traumas and yet these were the people offering to help a young artist for nothing in return, big smiles on their faces and happy to share a slice of their life. Workshops The artistic workshops at Segue have been a huge hit! Often selling out…. Next term we have watercolour painting / acrylic painting / life drawing / mosaic and clay workshops on offer. At both Segue and Airly Hall. Be sure to pop in and take a look at the program. Our artistic workshops are currently facilitated through The Art Room Gippsland (our manager Jess is the creator / artistic director). We welcome anyone willing to share their artistic / creative skills and knowledge to reach out and host a workshop. Food relief Segue currently has a large amount of frozen meals with thanks to Second Bite. If you or someone you know could benefit, please call in and fill up a bag with meals. In the coming weeks we will be announcing regular food pickups for Thursdays. Jessica Darvill


Two plays, both alike in vocabulary, In fair Stratford, where we lay our scene, From ancient locals to a new generation. The Shakespeare festival performances are back rehearsing with a vengeance in 2021 with two variations of “Julius Caesar” being performed by the local Grade 6 Students and the esteemed Community Players. In a cunning plot where jealous conspirators convince Caesar's friend Brutus to join their assassination plot against Caesar, to stop Caesar from gaining too much power, Brutus and the conspirators kill him on the Ides of March.... Caesars friend Mark Antony, Brutus and his friend Cassius must deal with the aftermath of murder.

The Grade 6 children from Stratford Primary and St Patricks Primary are rehearsing under the guide of Darren McCubbbin to bring a one-hour sword swinging pop infiltrated adaption while the Community players will pull out all the sequins and eyeshadow to drag the night away. With outrageous costumes and sing along tunes, both performances will have you dancing in the aisles while the actors are left dying on the stages. Tickets go on sale for all events and are available online from early March with a full printed program in the next Town Crier and in local shops soon.

Gavin Roberts



12. Community News



The Gunai Kurnai inhabited the Nuntin/Stratford area until Angus McMillan established the “Nuntin Run” in 1840 as an exploration base for his expansion further through Gippsland. However this was short lived as in November 1840 local Gunai Kurnai speared cattle and drove the Europeans off their land, an unknown number of Gunai Kurnai were killed by McMillan's men at Nuntin around this time. General thought is that the “Nuntin Run” on the North side of the Avon River became the “Stratford Run” a couple of years later when William Odell Raymond settled there. During the late 1840s and early 1850s as land was being surveyed a Parish was formed to the South of the Avon River. The parish was named after the original “Nuntin Run” to the North and became the Nuntin Parish. The parish comprised of the Nuntin Plains, Nuntin Forest, Nuntin Creek and the Township of Nuntin which never amounted to much and became Marley Point. The North border is the Avon River from Stratford to Lake Wellington. The Eastern border is the Clyde Bank Morass, Lake Wellington and Marley Point from the Avon River south to Frawley Road. The southern boarder is the Parish of Sale along Frawley Road, Mawley Road and Bengworden Road from Lake Wellington to the Princess Highway. The Western boarder is the Princess Highway from Bengworden Road to Stratford. Several years prior to the formation of the parish in early 1843 Robert Thomson established the “Clydebank Run”. He soon wrote to his nephew William Thomson who arrived in the early 1850s and built a sheep station hut as an outpost of his uncle’s

Stratford Town Crier INC “Clydebank Run”. In 1861 William had established himself and named the outpost “Airly” which he selected. In 1857 William Lett had purchased 1500 Acres at Nuntin, which he named “Williamsvale”, where he bred horses for British army in India. In 1863 the Stratford Nuntin Cemetery was gazetted and the Monumental Cemetery opened in 1865. The following year John Looney held a beer licence for a house at “Nuntin Forest”. In November 1868, along the Airly Road between Stratford and the Nuntin Bridge, local man Daniel Cuddihy shot Sale man John Croft, known as “Bricky”. After shooting Croft, Cuddihy also attempted to kill his wife Bridget, but was unsuccessful, leaving her bleeding on the road. The pair had been separated for about 5 year prior. Daniel Cuddihy then committed suicide, Mounted Constable Feeley of Stratford investigated the crime. Bridget Cuddihy lived near the highway end of the Airly Road. The following year local woman Eleanor Price held a publicans licence at “Nuntin Forest”. During the 1870s Clydebank became a small village, receiving a Wesleyan church in 1873, a School in 1875 and a Post Office in the early 1880s. Clydebank then received a mechanics institute around 1905, the same year Airly received a hall, which has recently had renovations and is still used today. In 1919 Mrs. W. J. Chinn officially opened the bridge over the Avon River at Clydebank, which we now know as “Chinn’s Bridge”. Prior to this the location at Clydebank had been used as an important landing point for cargo and passengers delivered via steamer. A punt in the same location had carried people and goods across the Avon River. In 1921 the remaining land from the original “Airly Run”

Covid has brought change for everyone, for the Singer Songwriters Stratford, we have started live-streaming our events. Regional Arts Victoria and One Good Community have kindly provided us with funding, which has enabled us to purchase the equipment required to live stream our

was divided into 16 allotments for returned soldiers from WW1 under the soldier settler scheme. In 1924 the Airly Primary School was established and the same year a Receiving Office opened nearby, in 1927 the office became an official Post Office. The following year the Cobain’s Primary School opened, both schools are still in operation today. In October 1950 the Airly Post Office closed and in 1972 the lawn Reservation of the Stratford Nuntin Cemetery was opened. Over the years cheese factories operated, as well as dairy farms, produce growers and the Stratford Races, which were held near the cemetery for some time. The Nuntin Parish also comprises of several areas including Lake Melanydra, Lake Kakydra, Clyde Bank Morass (Clyde Bank Reserve), Hill End Pre-Emptive Right, Tanjil Hill Pre-Emptive Right, Diamond Creek and 2 gravel reserves. This is only a drop in the ocean of the history of Nuntin and the Nuntin Parish. Daniel Parker-Estoppey

events. It has been a huge learning curve for us; how do you get a good quality live stream? Use a quality camera, condenser microphone and specialist video equipment. Benn Sargood from Sapphire Lighting and Audio Productions one of the best sound engineers in our area, has been educating us on how to get the best out of live streaming. Live streaming has also increased the amount of people who can attend our events. The 10 year anniversary which was live streamed, had over 6000 views. Suddenly, our audience is unlimited and for those that can’t physically

make it to our events, they can now view our events from anywhere in the world or in the comfort of their home, on a bus or a train. Our next event is 26 March, doors open at 6.30pm, 7.00pm start. Free entry. Wits End bar open and Segue Arts Café will have coffee, tea and food available. Support live music and support our town’s arts venue ‘The Stratford Courthouse.’ Anita Hensen

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