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The News Headlines

Wednesday October 19, 2016

Letters to the Editor

From The Mirror,
October 9, 1996

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Sporting greats given a warm Foster welcome

• On behalf of Foster Football Netball Club, Brad Angwin, holding daughter Mylah, presents a cheque for the Cure for MND Foundation to Neale Daniher AM and Col Gibbons, a member of Daniher’s Drive.

FOSTER has lived up to its reputation as a friendly town, treating the Daniher brothers and the other sporting greats who turned up with ‘Daniher’s Drive’ to a warm welcome last Saturday.
Foster was Day Three of ‘Daniher’s Drive,’ the four-day road trip extravaganza (Melbourne to the high country and back via Gippsland) designed to raise awareness and much-needed funds to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), with which footy legend Neale Daniher was diagnosed in 2013.
The group set out on October 13 from Bulleen in Melbourne’s north-east, heading for the high country of Mansfield, Bright and Mt Hotham and a fundraising dinner at Dinner Plain. Day Two saw them at Omeo, Bruthen and Lakes Entrance, followed by a fundraising dinner in Sale. After Foster, Daniher’s Drive was headed for lunch at Inverloch, then Wonthaggi, San Remo and Cowes, and home to Melbourne. By Monday, over $1 million had been raised, “and we’re still counting!” reported a delighted Jan Daniher.
Numbering 200 plus, Daniher’s Drive rolled into Foster, in specially marked cars and one big coach, just before 11 on Saturday, in time for morning tea in Foster’s main hall.
‘Friendly Foster’ is the tagline promoted by the Foster Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the chamber made certain it was that on Saturday. The superb cooks from the South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary were roped in to provide a scrumptious morning tea for the Daniher’s Drive contingent, and a big crowd of locals turned up to meet the Daniher brothers (Neale, Anthony, Terry and Chris) and other sporting greats, including cricketer Shane Watson, who was accompanied by his dad, Bob.
They were a very obliging lot, happy to stop for a friendly chat with the locals, sign posters and pose for photographs.
John Davies, from the Chamber of Commerce, said later that Shane, a New South Welshman, had told him he was visiting regional Victoria for the first time and loved the opportunity to meet the locals and get a taste of community life.
“Foster was fantastic!” said Jan Daniher. “We really appreciated the morning tea and it was great to have a look at the farmers’ market next to the hall. I was even given a tomato plant to take home and plant in my garden!”
The Daniher’s Drive contingent rattled tins while they were in Foster, and many of the locals gave generously. The hospital auxiliary ladies sold some of their home-made biscuits and donated the proceeds to the Cure for MND Foundation, and representatives of the Foster Football Netball Club made a cheque presentation to Neale Daniher.
Among the crowd were members of David Richards’ family. The long-time local sadly succumbed to MND, and Neale acknowledged the family and their loss – and at their request posed for photos with them.
In the packed foyer of the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre, Neale gave a brief speech, thanking the hospital auxiliary ladies for the morning tea and thanking Foster at large for the warm welcome given to Daniher’s Drive.
“There’s lots of love in Foster,” he smiled. “We take it all! Thank you very much.”
For anyone wanting a slice of regional community life, Saturday was a good day to be in Foster. As well as the Prom Country Farmers’ Market in the grounds of the FWMAC, the Corner Inlet Anglican Parish fete was in full swing a little way up Station Road (see photos page 17), with a garage sale on at Manna Gum Community House across the road. There was more going on at the hall. The Hospital Auxiliary ladies had to confine their morning tea for the Daniher’s Drive contingent to the supper rooms and foyer, because the main hall was set up for the current FAMDA production, ‘Australia Day’. Certainly, it was all happening in Foster!








Good cheer again at Toora's own pub

TOORA is all smiles this week, with news that the local pub is once again serving alcohol.
Word came through mid-afternoon last Wednesday that the liquor licence had been endorsed, and the news spread like wildfire around the town.
“We rang around our regulars and the news spread on social media, so we had ten or so people through the door in the first hour keen to have a celebratory drink,” said bar manager Anthea Busuttil.
“It felt a bit weird pulling beers again and remembering what our regulars liked to drink,” she admitted. “But it was good to get it through just in time for Happy Hour the next afternoon (5.30 Thursday).”
“It’s awesome!” declared one happy regular drinker.
“It’s so good to see drinks being served again,” said another, explaining that the pub is quite a social hub for the district, with a number of locals meeting there regularly for a catch-up.
The historic Royal Standard Hotel was unable to serve alcohol for almost three weeks after the sudden departure of the former licensee.
The building’s owner, Melbourne businessman Adrian Darby, and his father, Kerry, stepped in to right matters, and the pub has soldiered on, thanks to a large part to a supportive community. All the staff kept their jobs and meals continued to be served, albeit washed down with lemonade rather than wine.
“The pub remained open the whole time and we served quite a few meals, especially at weekends,” said Anthea. “We’ve had so much support from the community.”
Now life at the pub is back in full swing – and in fact is on the improve, with the owners organising some much-needed renovations to the 127-year-old building.
Work has begun on the refurbishment of the verandah, the floor has been measured up for a new carpet which should arrive shortly, and there are new PlayStations in the kids’ room and a whizz-bang new EFTPOS facility. Some maintenance work is also going on behind the scenes.
The building’s owners are determined to return the pub to its former glory, and the community will be glad of the renovations. For now, though, most are just pleased to have the beer flowing again.


Foster Primary campaigns for school rebuild

THE Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien is spearheading a community campaign calling for the State Government to fund a rebuild of Foster Primary School.
Mr O’Brien was part of the campaign which resulted in the delivery of $4 million from the State Budget for a new Yarram Primary School. He said that the school community and wider Yarram population had worked tirelessly to ensure that their fight for a new school was front and centre of State Budget deliberations.
“This is a great outcome for Yarram and I am proud to have been part of this campaign,” Mr O’Brien said.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday October 12, Mr O’Brien said the current Foster Primary School, which was built in 1965, is in a poor state of repair and plans to rebuild must be included in next year’s budget.
“I visited the school for the first time last year and it was clear that this school needed to be on the list for an upgrade,” Mr O’Brien said.
Foster Primary School principal Lorraine Gurnett said that Foster and Yarram primary schools are of the same vintage and that she believes the Foster Primary School to be in a worse condition than that of its Yarram counterpart.
Mr O’Brien visited Foster PS again last week at the invitation of school council president Matt Wallis and with Mrs Gurnett examined the issues that are of most concern to the school community.
Mrs Gurnett described the school as old and dated, but explained that thanks to the regular maintenance that is carried out, it would appear at first glance to be holding its age well. She added, however, that there are many problems including leaking roofs, and a great deal of money is routinely spent on maintenance and resealing between the bricks - not just for aesthetic value, but also to ensure that the asbestos between them is safely contained.
Explaining that it has to be painted and sealed to be safe, Mrs Gurnett pointed out that this severely limits any works which need to be done - even very minor improvements which may involve cutting or drilling into the buildings.
Mrs Gurnett said that a full audit by the Department of Education would fully determine the condition of the school buildings.
“It’s hard to maintain - it’s an old building. It’s a great school with great people and we have to keep it going, but the buildings are outdated; they are old and it is costing too much money to continue indefinitely to keep them up to safety standards,” she said.
“There’s no doubt that the school is in need of a rebuild and I will now be campaigning with the local community to have funding included in next year’s State Budget,” said Mr O’Brien.
“From what I have seen of schools in my electorate - and there are about 45 - it is probably the primary school after Yarram that is in the poorest state of repair. It needs funding and the government should begin planning for that now,” Mr O’Brien said.



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