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BAG Newsletter - May 2021

Updated: Feb 15

Greetings friends of BAG - as we fast approach the middle of another year!

It is hard to believe that this time last week we were reveling in the balmy conditions of late Autumn days in Adelaide. How quickly times change, but we shouldn’t complain – the inch of rain was most welcome!

Junior footballers on Blackwood Hill Oval in the fog

Apologies for the delay in getting this Newsletter out to you but as many of you be aware, my computer was hacked last week and as a result I could not send (or receive) any emails. Most frustrating! Many thanks to our IT guru, Tom Morrison, for not only arranging to send out a reminder notice to you all concerning our General Meeting this week, but he also spent considerable time sorting out my problems with Microsoft. Once again, please accept my apologies for any inconvenience. At the bottom of this Newsletter are some tips by RAA Cyber Security Manager, Drew Ames, explaining how to spot a phishing attack.

The last three months have been quite busy for BAG’s many volunteers in a range of activities. The History Sub Committee contributed again to the May History Festival; the Railway Station Garden Groups have been busy, as usual, the Stobie pole murals along Shepherds Hill Road are progressing slowly with positive feedback and the Windy Point display boards project is nearing completion. Reports on these aspects of BAG’s work and other local items of interest are covered in the following pages.

As always, we extend an invitation to anyone who appreciates the work BAG does and would like to volunteer, to get in touch. In so doing, you will be richly rewarded by contributing to our great community.

Please check out the BAG WEBSITE or follow us on Facebook for relevant contact details. You will be made to feel most welcome.

Kind regards

Geoff Bartlett

BAG Secretary and Newsletter Editor


Final approval paves way for Blackwood Community Hub. At this week’s Full Council Meeting Councillors voted to progress the much-anticipated build stage of the $12 million Community Hub on Young Street. Construction is set to begin in December. The 1,900 m2 two-storey building will offer a public library on the Ground Floor. Community facilities on the First Floor and will include north and south access points that open onto the Waite Street Reserve.


On the 26th May BAG held its 100th Public Meeting on Wednesday night in the Blackwood Memorial Hall Studio Room on Coromandel Parade. It is now eleven and a half years since the Group was founded (in November 2009) at a Meeting convened in the Blackwood RSL Community Clubrooms.

As a final wrap-up of BAG’s contribution to this year’s South Australian History Festival we were highly entertained by two well-known local identities, Anne Hazell, OAM and Rhys Roberts, OAM.

Anne provided us with a reflective “menu” of how her family coped with their day-to-day meals. Rhys, who also attended the Blackwood Primary School in the same years as Anne, related some of his interesting life’s experiences growing up in this beautiful part of Adelaide (and Australia)

Thank you, Anne and Rhys, for your great presentations – appreciated by all attendees.

PLEASE NOTE: BAG’s next Public Meeting is scheduled for WEDNESDAY 25th AUGUST.


The annual State-wide History Festival was again celebrated in style in our District – thanks to the “Dream Team”(otherwise known as the BAG History Sub-committee). Participants in the “Blackwood Church Crawl” on 6th May visited the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Churches – the Uniting Church visit was virtual owing to a funeral service being held at that time – and ended at the Church of Christ on Shepherds Hill Road. Our thanks to the parishioners at each site who welcomed us to their community: Peter Donovan, Ray Pittman, Jacqui Harrison, Bob Lyon (who provided the Guide to the Uniting Church), Andrew Tidswell and Greg Ratcliff.


Careful planning was essential to ensure the success of the two historic train trips on May 2nd and 16th. Participants joined the train at Blackwood Station, travelled to Eden (Hills), then onto Belair and eventually back to Blackwood- exploring the story boards developed by BAG at each station along the way. Liz Sawyer, a BAG Member, set the scene by describing the impact of the arrival of the railway in 1883 on the then small rural community, and local train buff Ross Hurley, spoke about the challenges of building and maintaining a railway in the Adelaide Hills. A highlight of the trips was a visit to the restored signal box at Belair and the demonstration of the various levers by Friends of the Belair Station.


Unfortunately, the serious illness of the Group’s ‘Walk leader’ led to the cancellation of the Belair Walk this week. Since the Train Trips and the Belair Walk were oversubscribed, these events may be repeated later in the year.

As always, a highlight of each event was the Devonshire Tea at the end of the activity, which gave the participants an opportunity to reminisce about their experience – and memories. Many thanks to our dedicated History Group members and Dawn Hurley for all their support.

~ Anne Hazell


It was brought to our attention recently that some people (generally of the younger demographic) were unaware of why our power line poles are called “STOBIE poles”? They are uniquely South Australian, made from two steel joists held apart by a slab of concrete.

An engineering solution to the State’s lack of tall, termite-resistant hardwood for poles to carry power lines and telephone wires, the pole was designed by James Cyril Stobie, who joined the Adelaide Electric Supply Company in 1916 at the age of 21 years.

Geckos by Carolyn Harrington

Whilst the poles are not the most attractive addition to our streetscapes BAG is endeavouring to add some colour and vibrancy to the approach roads to Blackwood Centre by attaching artwork to them.

In total there are approximately 50 different local artists contributing to the project and, as Rhys Roberts proclaimed at our Meeting this week, in his view they are the best thing that has happened around Blackwood since the garden gnomes mysteriously appeared on the roof tops of many shops quite a few years ago. Thank you, Rhys.

WE WANT YOU! If you dabble in art and would like to contribute to the Stobie Pole Mural project we would love to hear from you. BAG will supply you with the cement boards (cut to size) and will paint them in the base colour of your choice. ALL acrylic paint colours you choose for your artwork will be provided – FREE to you.

On completion we will arrange to pick up your boards, coat them with an anti-graffiti material and erect them on the designated Stobie pole. INTERESTED? Please contact either Brian M. 0423 125 269 or Geoff M. 0408 117 003 for more details.


As mentioned in our February Newsletter, work on the 3 proposed Display Boards is in the final stages of development. Funded by a Federal Government Grant and supported by the City of Mitcham (Lessees of the Windy Point Reserve), we are now waiting on the final approval from the Federal Department of Infrastructure in Canberra.

Our special thanks to Justin Miles, (Restaurant CEO) and Ross Hurley for their valuable input to the History Display Board.

Panoramic photo from Windy Point looking toward the coast

It is now 12 months since the panoramic photo display boards were first considered and thanks to Irene Carrig (BAG Member), Karen Powell (Photographer) and Mitcham Mayor, Dr. Heather Holmes-Ross and various Council Staff Members, it is now “all systems go”.

Rock wall under repair

A couple of setbacks were encountered along the way however, including some intrusive trees in the foreground, (which required trimming to enhance the views), and quite major repair work on the rock-retaining wall, which had been vandalised in recent years!

In addition to the 3 display boards, we will be installing a table and two-seats setting on the former “dance floor’ on the lower level which should prove quite popular.

We will provide a full Report on the completion of this exciting project in our next Newsletter.



Following the good rains over the past few days (and the potential for a bit more next week) the soil should be perfect for some new plantings. We will concentrate on adding some more plants to the bee and butterfly garden (adjacent to the new pathway to the platform) and check out the progress of the 1300-odd plants we helped install on the west bank, some 18 months ago. We should now be able to remove some of the green protective sleeves.

NOTE: A light morning tea will be provided in the Station Ticket Office at approx. 11.00 am. We would love to have your company on the 6th around 9.00am.

>> Our next Blackwood Station Working Bee is for SUNDAY 6th JUNE @ 9.00am


Morning Tea under the station platform shelter

On Saturday 27th March a special Working Bee at Coro. Station was arranged - primarily to create a Rail Care promotional video clip encouraging residents living near other Adelaide Metro stations to start up similar volunteer garden groups. We were joined by the General Manager of Keolis Downer, Robert Tatton-Jones and family, who worked along with our

Group to get the job done. Quite a heavy shower fell as we finished cleaning up, so we instituted “Plan B” for our Morning Tea and all moved to the platform shelter - which proved quite adequate for the large number of helpers who turned up.

>> The next Coro Station Working Bee will be on Saturday 3rd JULY

NEW VOLUNTEERS are always welcome – just rock up! (All garden tools, safety vests, gloves etc. are provided)


On Friday 21st MAY to celebrate Volunteers’ Week, Rail Care’s Roger Agius organised a Morning Tea in the Adelaide Convention Centre to say “thank you” to all the dedicated Members of volunteer groups who look after suburban train stations. Approx. 140 people attended, and BAG had a particularly good roll-up with 14 volunteers from both the Coromandel and Blackwood Station groups.

BAG group walking along the Riverbank

It was a most enjoyable outing - catching the train, down and back, and walking along the most attractive Riverbank in the sunshine to the Convention Centre, via the recently opened lovely walkway from the railway station concourse which leads straight onto the Oval Bridge.

Roger showed the video clip of Coromandel Station he had produced, with Marilyn Bey doing an excellent job of the voiceover. Official speeches by the Transport Minister, Cory Wingard, M.P. and the Chief Executive of Dept Infrastructure and Transport Tony Braxton-Smith, highlighted the importance of volunteers in adding to the appeal of railway stations to commuters.


Have you noticed the number of people attending the Wittunga Botanic Garden lately? The exciting new nature-themed playspace (officially opened by Environment Minister, David Speirs, MP on 13th April) is the reason.

The official opening was a bit wet!

Designed in collaboration with students from the adjacent Blackwood Primary School, the playground embraces the botanical world and celebrates Aboriginal culture and provides wonderful experiences for children that will naturally convert into educational learning opportunities – whether it is through the bespoke climbing frames that represent a protea, bottlebrush and gum nut, the ribbed musical frog, the traditional wodii (house) or the many other immersive play areas.

Incorporated into the design are also 500 new plants which showcase the similarities between flora found in Australia and South Africa – neighbouring countries when Gondwanaland was one huge landmass.

A long-range view of the playground and surrounds

You are encouraged to take your little “explorers” to have fun, enjoy the attractive botanical surroundings which Wittunga affords, and nurture their physical and mental wellbeing.

The “young at heart” are encouraged to try out the super-sized park bench and playspace too!



The following article was included in the most recent Winter edition of the RAA’s SAMOTOR magazine. The full article can be read online at or for more information, visit


“When we were kids, we were told to beware of intruders and not open the door to strangers. But in an increasingly digital world, how do we know if we’re being contacted by someone ominous in cyberspace? Emails are part of everyday life, so it’s important to know what we’re opening, and what we should report as phishing.

“A phishing email is a type of cyber or internet attack where the attacker sends a number of fake emails out to a range of recipients. Essentially, they’re casting out an email net, in the hope that at least one recipient might be trapped.

“But how does one fall into the net, or bite the bait? Well, there are several ways attackers hope you may respond. These include clicking a link, opening an attachment or even replying to the email.

“Any of these activities could give an attacker access to your computer or email system. This could lead to negative consequences, such as your data being stolen or identity theft.

“Here are some tell-tale signs of a phishing email:

1. The email is unexpected. For instance, it may be unrelated to other conversation threads or regular emails you receive.

2. The sender is someone you don’t know. If you don’t recognise the sender, its best to question the email, and check the address in full. This can usually be done by hovering your mouse over the sender’s name.

3. The content of the email is impersonal. The sender may not address you by name or may send content that doesn’t fit your interests.

4. Sentence structure and grammar is poor, as the sender will have put in little effort and will have completed the task in as little time as possible.

5. The source of the links in the email looks suspicious. Its important you check the source of any links within an email before you decide whether to click it or not. Hovering your mouse over the linked test will usually allow you to see the full link before you click on it. If it doesn’t look like a company or website you recognise, its best not to click.

6. An attachment isn’t a file type you’re expecting. Make sure to think twice before downloading it.

“As with most things in life, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, if you notice any of the above, we recommend you avoid replying, clicking links, or opening attachments.

“The best course of action is to report your email as phishing or spam and ensure its deleted from your account. “



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