Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The big two-five. One of the reasons I have started this blog is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Classie Corner, although it worked up a head of steam only in the past 10 years. I will continue for a while to extract columns from my archives until I get to the new ones. The best are yet to come but they are all great stories to me. Here's a flashback to April 2001.

QUEENSLAND has Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter; the NSW north coast now has Greg Heath, the goose catcher.
Greg, of Crabbes Creek, received a tough brief when he advertised for unwanted geese.
A caller from Currumbin dialled an SOS.
"She has 16 geese that have gone feral,'' Greg said.
"They have been roaming around the property eating grass and whatever and are hard to pen up.
"The males can get fierce and protective - they'll go you.
"And geese will make lots of noise - they'll wake you up at all hours of the night.''
As anyone who has confronted an angry gander will understand, Greg needed to think carefully about whether to make the trip.
He already has boosted his gaggle from a similar ad a few months back.
Greg's interest in geese stems from their ability to control pests in his organic banana patch.
"I did commercial bananas but the big change towards organic growing made me change my ways,'' he said.
"When I cut them out I left about two and a half acres partially fenced.
"Organic bananas are a lot more work than commercial bananas because you can't spray them with this and that.
"I haven't had chemicals on the property for six or seven years and by September will be (certified as) fully organic.
"The geese just wander around. He only real problem is the foxes but our dogs, Molly and Millie, take care of them.''
Greg, who also works as a nurse at a Murwillumbah aged care centre, likes the little community of about 500 people at Crabbes Creek, where he moved from Brunswick Heads in the '70s.
But he expects considerable change "after we get the new highway".
For the record, the Department of Lands released the first blocks in the area in 1886, according to the book that marked the public school's centenary in 1998.
It will be interesting, more than a century later, to see if Greg is correct in his prediction of city buyers discovering the area.
A FAREWELL is always sad, especially late in life when ill health often delivers cruel blows.
A simple notice for a moving sale heralded the end of a retirement dream for Julie and Lee Johanson, who came north from Balgowlah district to retire at Greenback, Tweed Heads.
Twelve years later, they were due to leave this week for a nursing home at Warriewood to be nearer their family.
Their daughter, Kerrie, came up to help with the move.
She said the couple had enjoyed the north coast lifestyle and were regular social visitors to the Tweed Heads Bowling Club.
Kerrie said the ad helped the family clear what they wanted in preparation for the move.
THANKS for joining me on week two of Classie Corner to meet the great people who make up our marvellous community of classified advertising.

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