BAG NEWSLETTER - AUGUST 2020
Updated: Nov 5
A WARM WELCOME BACK TO ALL BAG SUPPORTERS!
Well, what a year 2020 has turned out to be! Checking BAG’s last Newsletter (in January), it finished with the comment “best wishes for a rewarding year ahead”.... and that was after the disastrous bushfires the whole of Australia had just experienced.
We hope you have managed to adjust to the strange times and regulations which now confront us. How blessed are we to be living in South Australia compared with many other parts of Australia – and indeed the rest of the World!
As you know, BAG is a community-minded Volunteer Group, and as such many of our loyal members have continued on unabated with their various pursuits - for which we are extremely grateful.
Speaking of “volunteering” I was reminded of a statement made by a 12y.o. courageous South African boy, Nikosi Johnson, just before he died in his sleep from AIDS in 2001. He said.....
“DO ALL YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
IN THE TIME THAT YOU HAVE
IN THE PLACE THAT YOU ARE”
Seems like an appropriate motto for BAG.
You may recall that the BAG Committee decided to change our Public Meeting format to QUARTERLY this year but even that has required to be reviewed with the COVID-19 uncertainties that still exist. Accordingly this month’s scheduled Meeting has had to be cancelled. We will be sending out a further advice regarding the decision for our November AGM, nearer the date.
Meanwhile, we hope that you will find some items of interest in these pages and would like to extend a warm welcome to any new Members who have joined us the past few months. As always all our local residents (and Traders) are invited to participate in the many events and activities BAG conducts throughout the year. Details can be found in our Newsletters or on our WEBSITE or FACEBOOK sites.
We encourage you to refer to these sites regularly to keep up to speed with what is happening around the Mitcham Hills, in particular.
BAG Secretary and Newsletter Editor
Mob: 0408 117 003
BLACKWOOD RAILWAY STATION
Have you checked out the Blackwood Station lately? Six years ago, in August 2014, BAG Committee members discussed with DPTI Staff the possibility of extending the Station Road northern footpath to connect up with the main platform. We are pleased to advise this has recently been completed, including permeable paving around the “grandfather” gum and improved lighting.
The control boxes and power boxes located near the “Red Hens” enclosure were transformed last week. Thanks to a local Belair Artist, “Nicky Create” all these boxes are now sporting very colourful murals incorporating native flora and fauna images.
We hope this vast improvement will be a deterrent to the graffiti taggers who have targeted these boxes consistently for many years now!
Many thanks to DPTI’s Rail Care Staff for following through with these improvements – adding to the appeal of Blackwood Station.
Upcoming BAG Events
As mentioned in our opening preamble to this Newsletter, BAG has had to adjust its normal programmes to fit in with the COVID-19 restrictions which have been imposed on all of us.
Accordingly there are only a few events which can be locked in at this stage. An invitation is extended to all residents and NEW MEMBERS who would like to join us in these activities. You will be made to feel most welcome. Please make a note in your diaries now.
BLACKWOOD STATION WORKING BEES
We will be spreading a small load of mulch along the garden - next to the new pathway. We meet in the car park – outside the galv. iron stationmaster’s shed. New volunteers always welcome. Join us from 9AM on:
Sunday 9 August
Sunday 4 October from 9 AM
COROMANDEL STATION WORKING BEES
A general clean-up of mainly weeds and trimming a few shrubs and bushes. We meet in the northern car park. All tools, gloves and visi-vests are provided. Join us from 9AM on:
Saturday 5 September
Saturday 7 November
The following COMMUNITY EVENTS have come to our notice. You are encouraged to attend these local events/activities where possible.
CITY OF MITCHAM COUNCIL MEETING - TUESDAY 11 AUGUST | 7PM - Civic Centre 131 Belair Road. Final Decision on 2020/2021 Budget - Including proposed Blackwood Library/Community Centre Hub.
CORO VALLEY ROTARY PLANT SALE - SATURDAY 22 AUGUST | 9AM - Waite Street Reserve
STOBIE POLES MURAL PROJECT
For the past 18 months the BAG Committee has been contemplating the installation of attractive murals on Stobie Poles in our area.
BAG has committed considerable funds to kick-start this project and has been fortunate in securing additional Council Grant funding and generous donations from the Coromandel Valley Rotary Club to purchase paints and associated materials/ equipment. Approval has been granted by S..A. Power Networks for this exciting project to proceed.
Local Art Groups are being approached and there has been much support expressed for this concept. All local artists will be undertaking their work for no remuneration and no out-of-pocket expenses.
Our plan is to commence initially on poles in proximity of Wittunga Botanic Garden and then address the section of SHR bordering the Primary and Secondary Schools, Karinya Reserve and finally Colebrook Reconciliation Reserve.
We are very excited about this project– and hope that you will be too. Watch this space.
‘GREENING BLACKWOOD’ PROJECTS
BLACKWOOD STATION GARDENS
Whilst construction work was being carried out on the Station Road footpath extension onto the main platform, we were denied access to part of the gardens which were screened off with a security fence.
DPTI’s Rail Care staff kindly provided us with a lot of “butterfly-attracting” native plants which we subsequently planted.
COROMANDEL STATION GARDENS
A willing band of volunteers spent a couple of hours spreading mulch along the back fence of the Station’s northern car park in mid- May following the planting of miniature Lilly Pillys and other vegetation along the fence line.
In early July a further Working Bee was held when other garden areas were
weeded and bushes pruned. Many thanks to our dedicated band of volunteers for putting in the hard yards.
Our next Coromandel Station Working Bee is scheduled for Saturday 5th September from 9.00am. All necessary tools will be provided. We would love to catch up with you if you are free to join us.
DRAKES’ SUPERMARKET PLANTER BOX
We were recently approached by Drakes to see if their planter box on the eastern veranda could be upgraded. It was first installed by BAG volunteers in 2012. The Strata Group offered to pay us for the native plants and thanks to our nursery guru. Joan Beech, who willingly took on this job, the planter box has been given a real lift. Check it out next time you are in the vicinity.
This “Pocket Park” in Drakes’ western car park at last appears to be taking off. Created in late 2015 most of the plants were slow to grow. However, with the installation of some irrigation and access to water (thanks to the adjoining Church of Christ) and a couple of working bees spreading cottage mulch, the garden is now well established.
Many thanks to John Kennedy and Libby Moore for their dedicated work – nurturing the plants, picking up all the leaf litter, cleaning and filling the bird bath and scrubbing the aluminium table and seats.
MAIN ROAD PLANTER BOXES
The planter boxes that adorn the area in the vicinity of the pedestrian crossing (outside the Blackwood Pharmacy) have never looked better! Just over two years ago BAG decided to change the content of all these boxes from annuals to mainly native plants. And what a difference that has made.
Our thanks must go again to Joan and Adrian Beech who not only keep an eye on the weather (from a rainfall/watering point of view) but attend to the general maintenance of the plants in all the boxes. The Ficus plants in the centre of the four larger boxes are trimmed beautifully.
Do you remember what that whole area looked like before BAG undertook the upgrade work in 2012?
BAG’s HISTORY GROUP
BUSINESS AS USUAL ......
Despite our change of lifestyle and the number of restrictions imposed on our social activities in 2020, BAG’s energetic History Sub Committee has managed to “soldier on”.
BELAIR RAILWAY STATION STORYBOARD
Following the installation of a History Story Board on the veranda of the Blackwood Station in 2019 the Group worked with local railway historian Ross Hurley and the Friends of the Belair Station to create a similar board for Belair.
This was placed on the wall of the former Ticket Office building (near the entrance to National Park) in April.
We would recommend that you check out both display boards (if you have not already done so). They capture a lot of the early history of the Adelaide – Melbourne rail link. We think you will be impressed.
Many thanks to Rail Care, and Mitcham Council, for financial support and Signs by Knight and Graphic Artist, “Design Girl”, for their professional work.
“WINDOWS TO THE PAST – VIEWS TO THE FUTURE” EXHIBIT
Originally planned as part of the 2020 S.A. History Festival which was subsequently cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the success of the 2018 photographic exhibition of the Woolworths and Magnet Shopping Centre precinct, this second display focussed on changes in the precinct from Edward Street to the shops west of Drakes’ Supermarket and included design plans under construction by Mitcham Council for the future Blackwood Hub development , Waite Street Reserve upgrade, Young Street and a proposed plaza (laneway) access through to the Drakes car park. See attached flyer for more details.
The Blackwood Times
By now of you will be aware that the Coronavirus has had an impact on our main “local news” sources – The Messenger and The Blackwood Times. Do not despair! We received some great news this week from our long-time friend and BAG supporter, Miles Badcock (Owner/Editor of The Blackwood Times). Miles reported the following:
“Remember when everyone wrote letters and posted birthday cards....when all homes and businesses had a landline.... when you used to go to a bank and speak to a teller and do your banking.... how times have changed.
Now there’s text messages - people do their banking online.... pay bills, send emails, take photos, listen to music, read books and ‘Zoom’/’Skype’ each other...all on their phones/tablets/computers.
Well now after 26 years of printing The Blackwood Times, we have been forced into changing our publishing process.
The newspaper will now be available to read online FREE anytime anywhere 24/7.... with no restrictions to the area that the newspaper can now reach - however, there will still be 2,000 copies printed and available for pick up from selected businesses eg. supermarkets and newsagents etc.
The online edition will be made available for reading from the 1st of every month so that readers can become familiar as to when each edition will be online.”