Friday, July 20, 2007

Golf club gets its rules right

This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image from

IMPORTANT paperwork capped off a busy financial year for Redland Bay Golf Club treasurer Peter Tucker and a small team that updated the club’s constitution.
A public notice in our Classifieds announced the special general meeting that adopted the draft on June 26 for submission to the Office of Fair Trading for official approval.
Peter chaired the committee with the brief to modernise the document, which Peter says was first written about 30 years ago and gathered "band-aids" over the years.
Club member and lawyer John Stoner donated his time to prepare the draft update, considering the Queensland model rules and the club’s individual circumstances.

"NOW we will have a constitution that you can actually read – sectionalised and indexed," Peter says.
"Bits were added and taken out over the years but related items were not changed and some of the references, such as to caddies and loose-leaf ledgers, needed a good tidy up.
"We haven’t changed it but have made it clearer and easy to read."
Club constitutional updates sometimes relate to internal politics but Peter says no specific issues were involved.
"The lack of controversy made it difficult to get the required numbers at the special general meeting," he says.
"This wasn’t something that fired people up.
"We had to adjourn the first attempt because we didn’t get a quorum and we only had about 30 members at the second, which isn’t a lot from a total of about 1500 members."

NEVERTHELESS, Peter hopes the approval will take effect before the club’s annual general meeting late next month because "now we will have a document that can actually be updated if anyone wants to do that."
Concurrent with the attention to such detail, the club has celebrated another major update, he says. "In the past year we have spent $200,000 modernising the clubhouse – now we have a fully operational function room for about 120 guests.
"Previously, a portion of the clubhouse had to close during functions so we have now given the clubhouse back to the membership and have additional poker machines."

THANKS for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

'Mile high' means on the nose in airforce speak

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.

THE Redlands must have seemed like a quiet backwater when Stephen and Karen Graham moved here 14 years ago after Stephen’s discharge from the air force.
He had been in uniform for 22 years and had flown around the world. Time for a rest? Not quiet.
Since their arrival at Alexandra Hills in 1994, the Grahams have been busy with their business, Always Professional Catering and Party Hire.
Stephen completed an apprenticeship under some classy Brisbane chefs before he joined the air force. He went on to be a warrant officer and head chef for nine years at the air force catering training school at Wagga Wagga, NSW.
Along the way, he even taught the air force stewardesses how to cook fresh fish for dignitaries in a VIP jet – without any permeating stench.

ON the ground, Stephen probably made his biggest contribution to the air force’s reputation for fine food.
"I said we can beat any chef in the world and started the air force in competition work," he says.
A three-time Salon Culinaire chef of the year, Stephen also received other awards including Australia’s best three-course main meal, ice sculpture, sugar centrepiece and chocolate carving.
His specialties now include weddings. Stephen gets excited talking about the special assignments.
"I have carved half-tonne ice sculptures in two hours but you should see the sugar centrepieces, like the basket of roses – it’s all made of toffee and it’s 150 degrees when you work with it."

NOW you know why life has not been all that quiet for the Grahams in recent years. Always Professional keeps busy with freelance catering for weddings, corporate functions and sit-down dinners.
Stephen refuses to use "anything that’s frozen". He reckons other chefs have told him he is a nutcase but he takes pride in his obsession with using the best ingredients, properly prepared, in everything the business serves.
He credits his grounding with a Danish master pastry chef, Carlo Marlo, and other chefs from Germany, France, Switzerland and Holland for forming his career.
"They were very tough with me but to this day I have the greatest respect for those guys," Stephen says.
THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pool bliss on way to end blizzard blues

This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image from

THE winter chill has frozen the thought of swimming out of most minds but the bliss of the freedom from weighty everyday ground-based hassles drives many of us through to spring.
A ‘lap zombie’ is tickling the keyboard right here this winter. And the respect for the health benefits of swimming led me this week to a Victoria Point couple with pool water in their veins.
Jill Morrison advertised in our Fast Find Services when the mercury was certainly up a few notches. Canadian-born Jill spent the warmer months giving private and group swimming lessons "at your home".
The venture has helped keep her busy while husband Jason Scofield worked as the Royal Life Saving Society’s State training and development officer, based at Gumdale.
The couple arrived in the Redlands last winter after five years in Toyko, where they met in 2002 while both were swimming instructors.

THAT same year, Jason, who grew up on the NSW south coast, and Jill, hailing from Edmonton, married in the Toshoji Buddhist temple.
They established their own swim school, teaching mainly the "ex-pats" of 17 nationalities. After having a few trips to Australia, the couple decided to move here and picked south-east Queensland mainly because
Jason’s cousins live in the region.
After renting for a few months in the Redlands, they bought at Victoria Point
Jason says he has a tough battle sticking to the Buddhist principles in contemporary bayside suburbia but Jill is having better success at this, having refreshed her understanding by visiting Japan.

SO there! All those who think lap swimming is a mindless pastime can note where it has led me – deep into
a community of interest enriched by experience in cultures far from our chilly winter.
Jill and Jason, of course, are a cut above the average obsessed freestyle "splashers".
Jason is now developing a business including livesaving, first aid and CPR for corporations and any private individuals who need the skills.
"A lot of companies require their employees to have these skills so it is a hot business at the moment,’ he says.

NOW 32, Jason was a Shellharbour City Council lifeguard before his Japan stint. Also in the surf club scene, he trained and competed with Coledale on the Wollongong northern beach strip.
Jason is yet to decide a business name but he reckons the announcement could be close and opportunities are arising for his skill set.

THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.