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Truck convoy stops overnight in Wangaratta
- nearly $ 1/2 million of hay bound for Corryong farmers
One of the largest truck convoys seen in the northeast for many years stopped overnight in Wangaratta on Friday 7th Feb
Over the previous few weeks, members of the Lions club of Timboon (About 50Km east of Warrnambool), and other locals, had been arranging donations of hay from around the area. This year the south-west area had one of its best years for hay and silage, in a long time.
Donations from areas like Heywood, Portland and Hamilton, were collected, and loaded onto trucks during the week.
On Friday morning February 7th, a convoy of nearly 80 trucks carrying hay departed from a farm near Timboon. Most drivers had friends or members of their families with them.
The hay was destined for Corryong and surrounding areas, where the recent bushfires had destroyed much of the stock feed that had been availble.
The convoy travelled via Geelong, where it stopped for lunch, before heading north to Wangaratta.
On the way a number of extra trucks joined the convoy, from as far away as Gippsland, and Nhill. After these trucks joined, the number had grown to 82, and it was estimated that the value of the donated hay was well in excess of $400,000.
The Wangaratta showgrounds was the site where most of the trucks were parked overnight, and many interested locals stopped by to see what was happening.
Many members of the convoy mentioned that they were so pleased to be able to participate in such a worthy cause, and appreciated the support of locals who turned up when they stopped, or waved as they passed.
At only a short distance along the river walk to the Faithfull St precinct, many took the opputunity to venture there for an evening meal, and maybe a cold drink.
Some were going to sleep in their trucks, while others made their way to local accommodation. Painters Island caravan park was where many spent the night.
The Lions club of Wangaratta, having been in contact with the Timboon Lions for some time, provided a full breakfast on Saturday morning at the Lions shed at the showgrounds. The convoy departed at about 9AM, after about 150 breakfasts were served.
Pictured above is Timboon Lion's 2nd VP Ray Smith with Wang Lions President John Walker enjoying a light-hearted moment at breakfast on Saturday morning.
Trucks departing Wangaratta showgrounds
Police were on hand to direct traffic at several intersections in Wangaratta, with many locals on hand to view the spectacle.
The trucks arrived into Corryong early on Saturday afternoon. Corryong Lions club had arranged for each truck to be met individually, and guided to the property where that load was allocated for. Some trucks were also sent to Walwa.
A community dinner was held at the Corryong Bowls Club on Saturday night, to formally welcome the convoy, with nearly 200 in attendance.
Congratulations to Timboon Lions, the many drivers who put in several days of their own time, those who donated hay and vehicles, and everyone else who participated. The amount of publicity raised must have been massive.- what a splendid effort.
The Wangaratta Lions club's facebook page has more photos, and also links to other articles, https://www.facebook.com/wangarattalions
Also check out these other links - there are some great stories, pictures, and videos on them.- especially the aerial photo
Australia Day 2020
Lions Dennis Mulcahy, Doug Kneen, Charlie Parkinson, Graham Whitehead, Ray Stamp, Frank Darke, and Clive Pullen preparing some of the 500 sausages, and onions, that were served up for the breakfast.
Once the formaities were over it was time to eat.
Cleaning up, and packing items back into the trailers.
This Austalian White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus), took advantage of someones dropped sausage to get a feed.
One of the most important undertakings of the club is assisting with any local or district emergency and recovery operations- With many bushfires to the east and south in early January, many people had taken up refuge at the Wangaratta showgrounds evacuation centre.
Onsite at times was medical assistance, chaplaincy, Red Cross, Rural city of Wangaratta staff.
There are also members of the Australian Army's 8/7 Royal Victorian Regiment as well as from the 3rd health support battalion on site.
Monetary donations can be made direct to the Lions Club of Wangaratta.
100% of all monies received by the club will be applied to assist people directly affected by the bushfires, in the greater Wangaratta area.
Contact Club President: John Walker: Ph. 0417 391 044 for details.
The next several photos are from the Wangaratta showgrounds evecuation centre, and the Lions shed in use.
Evacuees enjoying Lunch on Monday 6th January
The club received a call for help, from the Wangaratta Council, on the afternoon of Friday 3rd January, to feed possibly 50 evacuees in the Lions shed -at our local show grounds- for dinner that night. - Which we did, with the wonderful assistance of Dominos Australia local store donating boxes, and boxes, of cooked pizza - check out our facebook page for a photo.
Over the weekend, the number of evacuees increased to about 200. While most were local residents, there were a few who had been holidaying in the area.
On Saturday, a group from Australian Sikh Support, out of Melbourne, turned up to provide lunch & dinner for the weekend. They were a hit with everyone.
Also on Saturday, we were then approached by the 3 local Rotary clubs, who also wanted to help as well.
So, it was agreed that Wangaratta Lions would provide lunch and dinner Monday, Wednesday & Friday of this week, and the 3 Rotary clubs combined together doing lunch and dinner on Tuesday & Thursday
Breakfasts were being handled by another club, the Wangaratta kennel club also located at the showgrounds. We all are helping each other with food that is needed for the meals
With the milder weather commencing on Monday, and some roads re-opening, quite a number of people left to see how their properties had fared.
Lunch on Monday was cold roast chicken, and salad.
After the meals it has been interesting to listen to the people talk about what they had been through, and what they wanted / needed as well.
Everybody is happy with the meals and the friendships they are making along the way. Many people know each other, and talk about what they have seen locally, they just love to sit and talk.
People have been fantastic, they just kept coming into our shed to drop off goods for the evacuees, which was gratefully received. It really showed everyone how lucky we are to live in our fantastic community with the generosity that they showed to the evacuees. Some even drove from Melbourne, to both drop off donations, and offer their time to help.
But generally, everyone knows the fires are here for a little while and it is not safe to return home. They are welcome to stay here where they are, some are now joking that the meals are too good to leave.
The Lions shed has remained open from mid morning until about 9pm for tea, coffee, and just as a meeting place.
Some of the campers on site at the showgrounds on Monday 7th
Another shot from inside the Lions shed on Monday
With 3 evacuation warnings notified for areas to the south and east of Wangaratta since Thursday 9th January, there have been more arrivals.
Lunch on Friday was ham and salad, and the next couple of photos show preparations under way for the meal
Lions Lady Rhonda Stamp, Lions Clive Pullen and Paul Tucker, and Lions Lady Isabel Dunstan preparing lunch on Friday 10th
Some of the good donated to assist the evacuees
Lion tamer Owen is trying to figure out how he can get any more food into the coolroom !!!
With the temperature heading towards 40C, everyone is feeling the heat.
At last its time to start tp serve up
.. and eat. At lunch time especially, there is no big rush, they start turning up from soon after 12, and most have eaten by 1:30. Sometimes there have been campers arriving after this, but it doesnt take long to get food back out of the fridge for them
The army brought their own tents - big enough to hold a party in !!!
Members of the army's 3rd health support battalion arrived mid-week to provide help as required,
The 8/7th also brought a fantastic RV with them !!!
People kept arriving all Friday10th, and according to council staff in the Emergency Relief Centre at the showgrounds, there was maybe up to 350 people staying Friday night – they were not going to risk the weather situation that was building.
In Wangaratta at 5:30 pm, with the temperature just below 40, the wind was up to 40Km/h, from the north, with gusts to 60. By 7:30 the wind had swung around to the SW, and there had been gusts up to 70. The temperature had dropped to 26.
Looking at the rainfall throughout the northeast there many have been 2 or 3 mm of rain in most local fire areas, with up to 12 mm around Mt Hotham
Australian Sikh Support returned again for this weekend, accompanied by members of Sikh Sewaks Australia – very nice meals they have been providing. Today was a mild curry on rice with side dish of salad. Their support here in Wangaratta has been much appreciated.
One of the evecuees enjoying his lunch
Members of the army's 3rd health support battalion.
Sunday morning the smoke haze hade re-appeared, although not as bad as it had been.
Lunch served up by the Sikhs for Sunday was ham and salad rolls, and freshly BBQ’d marinated chicken.
Army personnel enjoying lunch
The medical tent
People were leaving gradually during the day, although it is expected that there could still be 50 or 60 on-site for a while longer yet.
The Lions club of Wangaratta also undertakes quite a wide variety of more regular activities in the local community during the year, including
- Meals on Wheels deliveries - weekends and public holidays
- Cakes, puddings, and mini fruit cake sales
- Lion Mints
- Annual carols by candlelight - Usually second Sunday in December
- Operation of the Lions Apex Road Safety School - over 1000 children attendances each year
- Many BBQ's as general fundraisers, or for specific purposes
- Annual Swap Meet - This year on Sunday 24th November 2019
- Membership is open to all people of the community in good standing.
Click here to access our "welcome" brochure, giving a brief outline of our club.
Click here to access our club information booklet, giving a broader picture of our club.
This website is where you can find out about your own local Lions Club.
Some of the participants in the camp quality esCarpade enjoying breakfast on October 20th
Below is one of our regular meetings - held every 2 week at the Wangaratta Club
There is an annual remembrace ceremony held at the memorial in Lions park to pay respect to Lions members who have passed away
On the closest meeting to March 17th each year, the club celebrates the anniversary of receiving its charter. Pictured below are Lion Don Greenwood, Lions Lady Lorna McCormick, Lions Geoff Webster, and Ray Dunstan.
It's not all work - in December, members attend a Christmas function. The location of which varies from year to year. There are also several other social activities arranged during the year, including a camping weekend away in February or March
President John unwrapping his Christmas present - to find..... a Lion
Rob and Keith relaxing after dinner