FROM THE EDITOR: To share what's on your mind in 2023, upload your message via this link.
One of the joys of walking the breakwall is reading many of the eclectic and original offerings painted on the rocks.
Some are fantastically artistic, others pretty woeful, some funny, some ingenious. And of course, over time, they get replaced and regenerated.
The issue of the memorial ones is tricky. I understand and appreciate why they are made but these do not seem to fit with the others.
Anyone wishing to join in would be loathe to cover over a memorial rock, and eventually the breakwall would become one long memorial, losing much of its current character.
Isn't this why we have cemeteries?
In the late evening of Boxing Day my daughter, who was visiting us, was admitted to the Emergency Department of the Base Hospital by ambulance, suffering severe spasm pains.
The treatment she received in the Emergency Department and also from the paramedics was extremely professional and empathetic. This was very reassuring to her and also to my husband and I.
We are very lucky to have a well equipped facility staffed by such wonderful professionals.
*EDITOR: Barbara tells us her daughter recovered from the episode and will receive ongoing treatment in Wollongong.
Here's a big thank you to the six or seven young ladies (and cute baby) who helped me at the Port Macquarie Panthers Club on Saturday night December 17 in the restaurant.
They were there on a work dinner (I hope you know who you are). I don't know any names.
I asked for their help with a text that a friend had sent me, which had a link in it. The young ladies checked it out and told me they were very suspicious of it. They advised me to not open the link as they suspected it was a scam. I followed their advice.
Two hours later I got a text from my friend telling me she had been hacked and not to open anything. I am so grateful to these "girls" and their wisdom. They were so open and friendly. It really saved me some grief!
I wish you all a lovely Christmas and the very best for the New Year.
Local singing sensation Blokes Notes finished the year with a busy schedule of performances. The all-male acapella ensemble perform by donation only and then pass 100 per cent on to their chosen charity Liberty Services for the local women's refuge.
They proudly have been able to offer Liberty $1050 just as Xmas draws near a time when the the women's refuge services unfortunately may be called upon.
Blokes Notes are an unauditioned choir with a priority of raising eyebrows. They meet weekly during the school term, on Thursday evening, rehearsing at the MacAdams community centre, and take all-comers.
The Blokes will resume their weekly sing, February 2, 2023. For more information contact Julian on 0427938732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Salvation Army has delivered its Christmas Letter to the Editor for 2022. You can find it here.
I have had many discussions with the Transport/Marine Department representatives and have read all their updates, and it is pretty certain that what they originally planned to do will happen, whether the locals and other interested parties approve or not.
So there is no point in complaining any more about part of our history being destroyed and the loss of trees etc.
I am sad, as many others will be, but that's the way it will be.
Port Macquarie Hastings Council deserves a big pat on the back for acting quickly to restore a security fence and remove graffiti from Nobbys Beach.
The security fence, erected after the bad weather event some time ago caused a partial collapse of a pathway, had been removed and panels thrown over the embankment.
Graffiti had been sprayed on the steps, pathway, bollards and retaining wall. The damage was done sometime Monday night early Tuesday morning (September 12 or 13).
It was a pleasant surprise on arrival at the beach at 5:20am Wednesday (September 14) to find a new security fence and the graffiti gone.
Port Macquarie resident Leigh Mansfield sent us a detailed letter in response to the review of environmental factors involved in the upgrade of the southern breakwall. You can find it here:
"Please, please, please can we have a safe pedestrian crossing over Lake Road [at the] industrial end. As someone with a mobility issue which does not allow me to drive, getting across this road is a nightmare.
"We desperately need a traffic light pedestrian crossing either at Blackbutt Road, Uralla Road or somewhere in between. The number of passenger vehicles in Port Macquarie is set to increase by thousands in the not too distant future, so please Port Macquarie Council and other roads and traffic authorities, look into this as a priority."
*EDITOR: We have a response for you Johnathan, from the Director of Community Infrastructure Robert Fish. He says: "The planning and design of Lake Road, in particular the duplication of lanes for remaining sections from the Oxley Highway to Ocean Drive, is currently being undertaken as part of our Delivery Plan (2022-2026). This shall include improvements at key intersections, such as Jindalee Road, including provisions for pedestrian access and safety. As part of this process there will be opportunities for community consultation and we would encourage the resident to participate in this when it is made publicly available."
"Finally, the "Patchwork Treasures" Quilt Show planned for 2021, has happened. And what a show it was. The whole town of Wauchope was abuzz. The bunting made it look festive and the quilts in the windows of the shops added to the party atmosphere.
"We met a lady in the street who stopped us and said that she has lived in Wauchope all her life and it was her 89th birthday in two days' time. She said she had never seen Wauchope so colourful, vibrant and so happy.
"The different venues were very well received. Each venue had its own atmosphere and ambience. Many people spread their visits to the venues over the three days, which made it easier for people with mobility issues. The Christmas Cave was one of the most admired.
"Thank you to the Pipe Band. They looked and played beautifully, adding another layer to the event. The Men's Shed had some beautiful woodwork for sale. Thank you too for coming and for helping us with the preparation of the show. The generosity of the business community of Wauchope and other individuals for our Mega Raffle was astounding. Thank you so much. A grateful thank you must also go to the quilters. We are a group of just over 50 and there were more than 200 quilts on display.
"Staging this show was a mammoth task but so very worthwhile. We, the Show Committee (Clare W., Cathy M., Erica T., Jo S., Pat H., Pauline P. and Elly E.) are delighted with the outcome; we are calling it a rip-roaring success."
It was with great sadness that I attended a memorial service for Sharni Lloyd, former Director of the Port Macquarie Hastings Regional Gallery, at the Flynns Beach Surf Lifesaving Club on Saturday 30th July.
Sharni was the inaugural director of the gallery between 1999 and 2014. In this role she established policies for the acquisition of art works, engaged with the community by establishing Friends of the Gallery, a volunteer group which staffed and raised money; engaged with local artists; organised a schools program; and mentored council staff.
She also helped guide the establishment of the Glasshouse as a performing arts centre and gallery and, in particular, the design of the gallery within this complex. As such it would be appropriate that her work in this respect be recognised by the community and council.
Max Grubb, Former Chairman of Friends of the Port Macquarie Hastings Regional Gallery.
"Well done Vikings and bad luck to the Pirates in the MNC Northern Grand Final in the first fifteens. In the end when will Hollywood be retiring from the Vikings?
"Well done Scott and Angela Marks plus Wendy Hathway for a great effort with getting the Pirates back in contention and hosting the minor semi-final as the executive of the club. The fellows from the team making it a close finale. A big high spirited effort by all. Happy Days."
In late July I enjoyed a week's break in Port Macquarie. It had been some months since I was last there and I do hope to visit again in the future.
I must make an observation that the pothole ridden streets around the city amazed me. It is not a good look for a seaside location that clearly relies on visitors for a not inconsiderable part of its economy. Definitely a B Minus score for road maintenance.
At the Ben Boyd History Centre located in Boydtown on Twofold Bay on the Far South Coast, we are extending our Historical Display to cover more details of the wreck of Ben Boyd's luxury schooner ,the Wanderer, which ran aground when trying to enter Port Macquarie in 1851.
The Research Team of Anne Pope and Lynda Turner have already supplied us with extensive details but we understand that there may be artefacts, photos or records in the wider community. We would very much appreciate receiving details of any such information to add to our display.
Severe drought. 2019 Bushfires. 2021 Floods. Experts tell us we are experiencing the effects of climate change, and we know this because we are living it.
Do any of the current councillors have relevant science degrees? If not, then it is their duty to respond to the facts presented by the scientists. It is deeply concerning that the mayor and several councillors believe that climate action is not their responsibility. It is everyone's responsibility, but more so our elected members because they have willingly taken a role for the masses.
The Australian government National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy 2021 - 2025 states: "Local governments are on the frontline in dealing with the impacts of climate change. They have an essential role to play in ensuring that local circumstances are adequately considered in the overall adaptation response, and local communities are directly involved in adaptation efforts."
The Local Government NSW Policy Platform also outlines the responsibility of local government to act on climate change: "...local government has a responsibility to adopt policies and practices that prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change (adaptation) and minimise the risks to the community through limiting carbon emissions (mitigation)."
A policy on responding to Climate Change underpins action, and enables us to secure state and federal funding. Please do not be a council that wastes money and expertise that went into the Climate Change Response Policy. Get on and start taking action that will win us awards for climate action, not shame of inaction.
I'm profoundly disturbed by the council's actions around climate change. [In particular], the statement made by the councillors who claim climate change is not in council's mandate, [only] basic services like roads, water and sewerage.
The sad irony is that these services are being immediately and severely impacted by the very obvious effects of the climate change happening right now. Just witness the epidemic of pot holes brought about by the endless rain. And last year's flooding caused problems with stormwater; the water filtration plants pumping from the river; and severe damage to local roads, some of which are still waiting for repair. In truth, local government is bearing the main brunt of the effects of extreme weather events.
Climate experts have predicted for decades a higher rate and intensity of extreme weather due to global warming. This is exactly what we are seeing. The last three years have seen the worst drought ever, the worst bushfires ever, record flooding last year and further flooding this year. How council thinks this is none of [its] business is truly mystifying.
Council must cease this pattern and instead place climate change at the centre of [its] policies. Policies to manage the damage it will inevitably cause, for mitigation when events do occur and, of course, to remove the contribution in greenhouse gas emissions [that] are driving the problem.
Council, like all of us, must accept this situation for what it is, an evolving disaster, and act accordingly.
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