BAG NEWSLETTER - November
A MERRY CHRISTMAS to all friends of BAG. This will be our final Newsletter for 2022. Can you believe where the year has gone? And looking out the windows in all directions it just adds to one’s disbelief! This Spring has been the wettest for 6 years in Blackwood and the new growth on our trees and shrubs (and abundance of green weeds everywhere) bears testament to this!
The mini-cyclone which came through Blackwood and many other Hill’s areas on Saturday afternoon had to be one of the scariest weather events long-time local residents have ever experienced. We hope you managed to escape any serious damage although imagine just about every resident would have evidence of broken branches or fallen trees around their properties – and loss of power!
Whilst some people are unfortunately still without power, one positive thing this event seems to have produced is the spirit of goodwill which has come to the fore in our great community. We have seen and heard of many examples of neighbours, and volunteers, helping each other, providing cups of tea, coffee and meals.
As you can see from the items covered in this Newsletter, considerable activity has been happening on the BAG scene in recent months - and more plans are on the drawing board.
On behalf of the BAG President, Brian Ferris, and Committee Members, I would like to pass on our very best wishes to you all for a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and rewarding 2023.
BAG Secretary and Newsletter Editor
NEXT BAG MEETING
Wednesday 23 November from
7.30pm @ Blackwood Memorial Hall - 21 Coromandel Parade Blackwood
GUEST SPEAKERS: NEWLY-ELECTED MEMBERS for CRAIGBURN WARD and THE PARK WARD: Crs. Karen Hockley, Darren Kruse, Crs. Corin McCarthy, Tom Morrison and our Mayor, Dr. Heather Holmes-Ross
It will also be our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING featuring:
Our President's Annual 2022 Report
Treasure’s Financial Report
Election of BAG office bearers for 2023 (Click for Nomination Form)
Christmas Craft Fair - Saturday 19 November - Blackwood Uniting Church | Handmade crafts, plants and Christmas gifts, Community Café and much more!
Climate Action Resources Expo - Saturday 26 November - Blackwood Uniting Church | Mini-expo of information, resources to educate the community on easy ways to take small actions on climate change
Blackwood Christmas Pageant - Friday 2 December (info below)
Blackwood Station Working Bee and Brunch - Sunday 4 December (info below)
BAG's Christmas Dinner - Wednesday 14 December - (info below)
Blackwood's Got Talent - Thursday 15 December | Closing for Registrations of Interest by interested performers in “Blackwood's Got Talent” – A series of concerts planned to showcase our local district’s talent.
2022 COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS
CONGRATULATIONS to the following Candidates who were successful at the recent Council Elections in the City of Mitcham.
Mayor - Dr. Heather Holmes-Ross
Craigburn - Karen Hockley and Darren Kruse
The Park - Tom Morrison and Corin McCarthy
Babbage - Yvonne Todd and Aidan Greenshields
Overton - Kamal Bhagat and Jane Bange
Boorman - Joanna Wells and Andrew Tilley
Gault - Rod Moss and Pia George
BAG’s CHRISTMAS DINNER - END OF YEAR BREAK-UP
WHEN: Wednesday 14th December at 6.45 pm
WHERE: Blackwood Memorial Hall Studio Room 21 Coromandel Parade Blackwood
COST: Only $20.00 p.p. covers a variety of sumptuous foods, including a yummy Christmas Cake and ALL drinks
You are cordially invited to join us for a great social night of chit-chat and reflections on another very successful year for BAG and our great Community
PLEASE NOTE: NUMBERS WILL BE STRICTLY LIMITED! To avoid disappointment, we request that you RSVP by MONDAY 5th December
CHRISTMAS RED BOWS
THIS year marks the 20th Anniversary of BAG’s Red Bows project when the streets of Blackwood come alive with the colourful bows instilling some Christmas spirit around our town. Special thanks are extended to all residents and local Traders who contribute to this unique project by purchasing a pack from the outlets detailed below.
The good news is that the price will remain the same – just $5.00 per pack which provides enough material to make TWO large bows to tie around your letterboxes, verandah posts, car ports, small trees, shop verandahs etc.
RED BOW packs are now available for purchase in the following locations:
HABITAT Blackwood (Drakes’ Supermarket S/C)
FAIRLEYS’ SHOEX (Woolies S/C) and
CATHERINE HUTCHESSON, MP’s Office (Young Street)
Each pack comes with bow-tying instructions, courtesy of Catherine’s Office.
We encourage you to brighten up Blackwood’s streets this Christmas – and buy one or two packs. All proceeds will go towards Community projects undertaken by BAG volunteers. Thank you in anticipation.
BLACKWOOD’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT
THE good news to brighten up our Festive Season is that the Blackwood Lions’ Christmas Pageant (cancelled for the past two years due to the dreaded virus) is all set to go on Friday 2nd December commencing 6.30pm - from the usual starting point in Gulfview Road.
The Parade route unfortunately has had to be shortened, due to the inability to use Waite Street Reserve which is part of the new Library/Community Centre construction works, but there will still be plenty of viewing opportunities along Main Road.
The Coromandel Valley Rotary Club’s traditional Christmas Fair, which would normally be held after the Pageant in Waite Street Reserve, has again had to be abandoned. It was just not practical for the Club to come up with a suitable alternate location to link in with the Parade.
However, BAG has been asked to run a Sausage Sizzle - to be set up in the front car park of the Karkoo Nursery from around 5.00pm, so if you are looking for a tasty snag with onions and your favourite sauce plus a cool drink, we would love to see you at our stall before, during or after the Parade.
OUR TWO STATIONS’ GARDENS WORKING BEES
COROMANDEL STATION – AS mentioned in our August Edition, ARTC (Australian Rail Track Corporation) finally confirmed that BAG would be permitted to undertake working bees in the platform gardens at Coro Station – under strict supervision. Accordingly, on the special Public Holiday in late September, to commemorate Her Majesty’s passing, we arranged for a big turn-out of volunteers to start cleaning up that side of the rail corridor - for the first time in 25 years! In addition to trimming shrubs and small trees about 50 native bushes were planted and fertilized. The welcome rains have been most timely – and beneficial.
Then, on the first Saturday in November, at our regular Coro Working Bee, a large amount of bush and tree pruning material was amassed - from both sides of the tracks. The appearance of the Station was enhanced greatly (only to be tarnished somewhat by the mini-cyclone which hit the Hills last Saturday!)
Our grateful thanks again to all our willing volunteers, for your contribution over the past 12 months. Please note: The first 2023 Working Bee for Coro Station is scheduled for SATURDAY 4th MARCH.
BLACKWOOD STATION – Following our increasing concerns about the ever-expanding growth of the “Tecoma stans” (a North American Native shrub) in the garden bank adjacent to the “Red Hens” enclosure, our Rail Care contact, Scott Bailey, organised for this troublesome species to be removed. Thank you, Scott. The bush measured about 15 to 20 metres long by about 4 to 5 metres tall comprising multiple trunks. All the roots were removed (hopefully) and we intend to plant many colourful Australian natives there early in the new year - and may even create a “bee and butterfly” garden.
Our final Working Bee for 2022 will be held on SUNDAY 4TH December commencing at approx. 9.00am to be followed by an end-of-year celebration brunch in the Stationmaster’s rear yard (around 11.00am). All volunteers from both Coromandel and Blackwood Stations are invited to attend this FREE event – comprising a delicious BBQ, sweets, soft drinks, tea and coffee. We look forward to seeing you there.
THE NEW BLACKWOOD LIBRARY/COMMUNITY CENTRE
Since our last Newsletter there has been considerable progress made on the exciting new Library and Community Centre, as these photos indicate. The concrete ground floor was poured and the two lift wells were constructed in September and the steel framework is now being erected (despite all the wet weather interruptions). The Hub is fast-taking shape.
If you would like to get a greater appreciation of how the new facility will look on completion we suggest you visit the existing Blackwood Library which is able to provide you with a “Blackwood Community Hub fly through” or click here to watch a video.
REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE IN BLACKWOOD
A crowd of about 70 local residents and schoolchildren gathered in the sunshine at the Blackwood Soldiers’ Memorial on 11th November for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at 11.00am. The Service was conducted by RSL President, Jack McGuire who invited schoolchildren from local schools; State, Federal and Local Government Representatives and people from local Service Organisations to lay their wreaths at the base of the Memorial decked out with many red poppies. The service finished with a professional rendition of the Last Post through the loudspeaker system followed by singing of the Australian National Anthem – well led by Jack McGuire.
The well-placed Blackwood Soldiers’ Memorial which takes pride of place at the roundabout, has been greatly enhanced by the introduction of 5 new flagpoles in front of the soldier. The installation of two new ANZAC DAY Commemorative seats, installed at the rear of the statue, which were donated to the Community by the Blackwood Action Group through a Federal Government Grant, add further appeal to this significant site.