Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Newborn takes season limelight

Image from Free Gifs & Animations
AUSTRALIA always loves to find a new star actor, so remember Christmas 2006 as the debut of Elijah Samuel Stone, who appears destined for a big career. Elijah has top billing for a major production this weekend. He will play Jesus in the Christmas story for St Luke’s Catholic Parish, Capalaba. Just three months old, Elijah will be back at the Degen Road church where parish priest Peter McCarthy baptised him a few weeks ago. This time in an outdoor celebration, Elijah, the fourth son of Peter and Anne Stone, of Capalaba, will be under the heavens instead of the holy water. Well, not quite, but the school undercover area may be space challenged in a summer storm. Fr McCarthy must suffer a crisis of conscience because a priest obviously cannot pray for fine weather during a drought.
THE Christmas Eve outdoor mass has become a popular event over the past 11 years since Fr McCarthy started his first parish appointment and decided to celebrate Christmas "right under the Southern Cross". He estimates about 900 people attend the annual mass and Christmas story that he says gives a focus for children and adults who appreciate an event outside the traditional church experience. "People just want to do something of a spiritual nature at Christmas and not everyone is into church," Fr McCarthy says. "This is a balance. It’s a lovely atmosphere."
A "REAL newborn" must be the lead role in any Christmas show but Elijah will compete for the attention of the congregation. The cute cast includes not only the parish children but also animals from Old Macdonald’s Travelling Farms, all in the setting of a specially built stable.
The time, 6pm Sunday; BYO chair.
"FATHER Pete" has been especially busy for the past few years at Christmas, which he calls "the boss’s birthday". He has also been in charge of St Anthony’s, Alexandra Hills, since the retirement of Fr Paul Rooney in 2004. The added responsibilities were necessary because of the shortage of priests, Fr McCarthy says.
(On Tuesday, December 19, church notices took almost a whole page in the Bayside Bulletin, Cleveland, Redland Bay, Queensland, Australia. Classie Corner will resume in the Bulletin’s sister paper, the Redland Times, on Friday, January 3).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

For sale: The smallest back yard

Image by Jenny Rumney

(This column has appeared in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia)

ONE of the cheapest plots of Redlands property has featured in our for-sale column but it does not offer space to swing a dead cat.
It is the smallest back yard anyone is likely to occupy – a burial plot.
More later about the "Cleveland single cemetery plot" that was sandwiched between "cheap scooters" and "computer desk".
FIRST, a warning about the catchcry, "You’ll get an answer to that on the internet." After clicking on countless quotations websites for the origin of the "swing a dead cat" adage I felt almost ready to place a deposit on that advertised plot.
When I found myself checking "The Farmer’s Cookbook" for "dead cat" I knew it was time to deal with the "deadline".
This sort of black hole is probably why so many readers still prefer the "classies" they can hold and feel – those in their local paper.
BACK to the plot, advertised by a Cleveland woman: Her husband said she had acquired the site about 25 years ago during her first marriage and could not remember the cost at the time.
The woman now wanted to be cremated so they decided to test the market, after suggestions the site could bring $5000. Two callers had asked for the price but had not called back.
A Redland Shire Council statement showed why Cleveland cemetery is, indeed, hot property.
It said the cemetery had reached capacity but extra grave spaces had been created in areas that originally had not been burial areas.
Just 15 unreserved grave spaces remained. Perhaps an extra 40 sites could be created if an older pathway was used for burials but extra graves might alter the "feel" or aesthetics of the cemetery, and any such action was undecided.
ON prices, it said: "Since 1998 Council has not sold outright burial rights but has accepted only a $250 deposit if the grave was not for immediate use.
"The last time it was possible to fully purchase the burial rights would have been June 1998 and the cost was … a total of $1195. On top, there was a burial fee for that year – if it was used that year – of $600.
"Today the burial fee is $1606, including maintenance. The total cost of a grave for immediate use is $2866 so, when the burial fee is removed, the burial rights today cost $1260."
We hope that helps.
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Collector, 79, 'disposes' of some advice

A LIFETIME of collecting antiques and art objects is behind this tip from a Wellington Point woman: Beswick appears to be coming into prominence among the collectable ceramics.
The English brand is already known to many collectors, thanks partly to the Beatrix Potter figures it started making half a century ago.
However, the firm of potter John Beswick had its origins in the late 1800s and has created a mountain of limited edition collectibles.
Our antique adviser, 79, has been advertising the "disposal" of some of her collection after moving to a smaller home.
Obviously, she is not selling Beswicks this time and only the direct inquiries get her list.
She is, however, free with advice that demand is rising and those wanting to start collections of something may look to Beswick's sculptures of animals and humorous characters from literature, film and television.
The site,, in a 2005 post, said John Sinclair, a Yorkshire business man, had bought the Beswick brand from Royal Doulton to save it from extinction.
Mr Sinclair planned not only top-range pieces made in England but editions of animals in the style of the originals and made overseas.
"Commercially, I recognise the pressures existing within UK manufacture today and, therefore, a second highly affordable range, intended as impulse buys or gift purchases ... will be made overseas," he said.
Novices should be wary of possible future confusion over old and new Beswicks.
Our adviser says: "Do your homework, read as much as you can, think long and hard before you buy and only buy things you like.
"If you buy something you don't really like, the chances are that others won't like it either, when you come to sell.
"Accept that, apart from the rare cases, you won't make money out of collecting. Very few things will realise more than what you paid for them, in comparative terms, even after about 60-odd years but the value is in the enjoyment they give you."

"TASSIE" has kayoed "Silky" in a title bout at Victoria Point where a retiree advertised his old desk for sale.
The two words "silky oak", when in fashion, are enough to make a prizefighter coo like a baby. But apparently not this year.
The ex-businessman wanted $250 for his silky desk, which he was told came from a school principal, but no one called, indicating the fashion-conscious crowds, prefer the look and feel of tassie oak, too.
(This column has appeared in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Queensland, Australia. Picture courtesy