The News Headlines
Wednesday October 19, 2016
Letters to the Editor
From The Mirror,
October 9, 1996
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
“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
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
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
“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
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
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
“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
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
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
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.