Graeme Mitchell reports:
The week before this trip, the numbers were low, but a last minute rush to help out was great. A good day was coming together. As always, the meeting place was Gaffney’s Bakery in Heathcote. The bakery has relocated into a new, larger building to cater for a growing trade. While this is good for the bakery, it has lost its old charm.
But not its wide selection of goodies!
We soon got down to business and tucked into our favourites while we had a good chat. The time to depart arrived, but we were one member short. A quick phone call and a few minutes later, we were all present. This highlighted why you should always register for trips – then you won’t get left behind.
Our first attempt to assemble the convoy had to be aborted – the proposed assembly site was closed due to a flooded road. A quick alternative was arranged and we were soon on our way to the Redcastle Cemetery site.
The trip was through the Dargile State Forest. A few years ago, this area was struggling, with the trees stressed from lack of water. Now the trees have lots of new growth and there are many young saplings around. A lot of the native plants have come to life, with the heath and wattle trees in bloom.
As we approached the cemetery, we noticed the paddocks, which were once barren, now have an abundance of young trees. So much so, you can only see a few metres into the paddocks. Finally, we arrived at the Redcastle Cemetery. The guardian angels, a pair of recycled garden gnomes, were still keeping watch at the gate.
After setup, we had a survey of the work which needed to be done. Ian had recently had some “internal adjustments” done and Anne had “secretaries’ knee”.
This meant they were on light duties, so were given the task of creating atmosphere”, i.e., a small fire. The weather was mild, but, for some reason, when you are in the bush, a fire is a must have.
Glenda took on the task of inspecting the perimeter fence for damage and the removal of any branches. Les went cactus hunting, while Gayle, Philip and John were on general clean and weed duties. Rick and I got to work with our whipper snippers.
The area was in good condition, given that it was a year since our last clean-up. A few grave sites have fences around them, which makes it hard to clean them up properly. Later in the year, I will go up again and spray the weeds.
Les was doing well finding cactus hiding in the grass. He had removed about forty, when a few of us decided to give him a hand. We could not find any, but Les kept producing them. Now we know he is the expert. Time came for a rest and lunch.
Lunch was BYO and everyone had a chance to catch up and have a chin wag.
With lunch over, the clean-up resumed.
Glenda reported there were a few spots where the fence needed to be repaired. As much as possible I carried out these repairs.
The work was all done by around 2.30pm so we packed up and made our way back to Heathcote. From there, everyone went their own way,
Thanks to all who attended. The cemetery looks good and should be right for another year.