Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Wasp Man haunts artist

Before the next post returns to the primary focus on the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising, this image may interest art lovers.

A MAN sacrifices his identity for the sake of one of the most feared and despised insects – the wasp. How’s that for the plot of a horror thriller?
The surreal image of The Wasp Man sprang from collaboration between human and nature as sculptor Jenny Rumney modelled a clay character study for possible casting in bronze.
While the clay was drying in Jenny’s studio before the next production stage, wasps took a liking to the surface and quickly smothered the face with mud nests.
"The wasps started work when the clay dried and it must have been a day’s work for them -- one day I looked at the sculpture and saw the results of their industry," Jenny says.
Jenny first considered the insects had damaged her work but then recognised their contribution to her creative process.

SHE fired and glazed the clay, wasp nests and all, to create her latest work, The Wasp Man, bearing a slight resemblance to the Invisible Man, an Egyptian mummy or the star of a classic horror movie but destined to be a signature piece for the artist from Russell Island in southern Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia.
Jenny has made a mould of The Wasp Man to allow its affordable reproduction in the material of choice, whether metal, resin or other appropriate medium.
She can supply a wax of the sculpture to allow cheap and easy transport of the design to the buyer’s choice of foundry, anywhere in the world.

JENNY is also happy to manage the production process and ship the final casting (in whatever medium) if that is preferred. POA. Inquiries to More about Jenny’s sculptures on

FOOTNOTE: Thinking about the ‘write-off ‘ in the introduction to this article, I realised that Jenny, married to me, has her place in the marvellous community just as the many connections you’ll see in any story I have found in the Classies over decades. Browse through more than 100 posts to date -- I hope you enjoy the read as much as I have enjoyed the discovery and writing. More interesting stories are waiting to be told!

Friday, August 24, 2007

From HMAS Melbourne to dinner table

This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image of the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne ahead of the USS Midway in the background, courtesy wikipedia. History of the Melbourne available on Navy site.

SOME interesting conversation has floated over the dinner table in the Passage Street, Cleveland, duplex that has been home to retired fire safety officer Ross Cameron for the past eight years.
Born in the south-west Queensland town of Dirranbandi, where his dad managed the Telegraph Hotel, Ross made a significant contribution to fire safety training during his career that spanned more than 30 years.
Ross was 17 when he joined the Navy in 1953.
He was a leading-hand stoker when assigned to the massive engine room on the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne during the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

ROSS will never forget the night an aircraft crashed during pilot training.
"We were going full ahead into the wind for the aircraft but it landed in the water and we had to go from full ahead to full astern, basically into reverse," he says.
"When you do that all the pipes expand and just about blow up. They got the pilot out but the aircraft sank pretty quickly."
After his discharge from the Navy in 1962, Ross worked as engine driver on a barge dredging the Brisbane River at Bulwer Island before a 19-year stint with the airport fire service at Brisbane.
He spent four years based in Papua New Guinea on secondment to its civil aviation authority to train indigenous airport fire officers and was the last of the foreign support contingent to leave Port Moresby in 1972 on completion of the task.

PRIVATE companies headhunted most of the newly trained officers and in 1974 Ross was again seconded for another two years to train more.
Another of the major entries on Ross’s CV was that of fire safety inspector during construction of Tarong power station in the early 1980s. He also was the power station’s fire safety officer during its early operational years.
He later worked with a national emergency training company, First 5 Minutes, for eight years and was general manager before he opted for an early retirement 13 years ago. But then he went back to work after buying a convenience store opposite Toombul rail station.

ROSS says he was exhausted after five years in the shop so sold up and moved to Cleveland to be closer to family at Capalaba.
He received a free for-sale notice in our Classifieds for a 1.2-metre round dining table and four chairs ($60) and 52cm colour television with remote ($50).
Ross says the duplex he rents is on the market and he is preparing to rent "something smaller".
THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Clients receive VIP treatment

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image: The rebranded VIP trailers.

A BLOKE from Redcliffe landed the star role in the recent image revamp of national property maintenance gang VIP Home Services.
However, Redlanders should not feel left out of the company’s push, even though a face from the other side of the bay flashes the VIP message from its trailers and promotional material.
Six of more than 100 VIP Queensland franchisees service the southern bayside region including the Redlands.
If you haven’t seen them toiling away around houses, unit blocks and businesses in your area, you probably have noticed their distinctive bright green "rebranded" trailers in the burgeoning traffic of the shire that apparently is about to become a "city".

AT least two VIP vehicles don’t have far to travel far for their Redland jobs. Two franchises are based at Victoria Point; the operators are Geoff Carter and Kevin and Merryn Holden.
They are part of a regional team that also includes Graeme and Sharon O’Donnel, Marcello Gordano and Rodney West.
When launching the new corporate image in June, VIP chairman Bill Vis said the group was "so much more than a collection of little businesses".
"It is a company founded on the simple principle of real people delivering real solutions aimed at enhancing the quality of life of our customers," he said.
"In rethinking our visual identity, we realised the most important thing to us is our commitment to developing and maintaining strong relationships with the people who use VIP -- we wanted to put a human face on the business," he said.

ADVERTISERS should note this tip from a business that started with a small suburban lawnmowing round in 1972 and developed into one of the most successful franchises in Australia and New Zealand, claiming a turnover of more than $70 million a year.
Bill says turnover is rising an average of 10 percent a year.
Last year, this column reported on the successful advertising strategy of Mount Cotton painter Tim Thompson who used a highly personal approach to his Trade Services notice, making five promises -- to beat any written quote; be on time, every time; treat furniture and fixtures with the utmost care and respect; leave your home spotless; and guarantee the highest quality work.
Honesty in saying something from the heart as well as the head seems to work for businesses at all levels and most times it comes with recognition a customer is a very important person (VIP).

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

Sunday, August 12, 2007

'Air con' man turns on heat for cousins' arrival

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

A SPECIAL prize awaited Birkdale new dad Dave Neal after the recent birth of a son, Cody.
It was a "bottle of grappa" from Dave’s father-in-law, Nev Wright. Here’s the story behind the bottle:
Dave and Karryn, the elder daughter of Nev and his wife, Robyn, married in April 2006.
The Cleveland wedding came just five months after the North Stradbroke marriage of Nev and Robyn’s younger daughter Leanne to Damian Stewart.
Last spring Nev called his sons-in-law together for a "heart to heart".
Nev laid down the law, saying he and Robyn had suffered a long wait -- through 37 years of their own marriage – to have the joy of grandparenthood. The father of the first grandchild would get a suitable reward, a bottle of genuine Italian grappa.

ROBYN says she was shocked at how seriously the "boys" took up the challenge. After pregnacies were confirmed down the track, it seems the first conception occurred just five days after Nev’s talk.
Who wanted the grappa the most? It’s enough here to know that, when the little hearts started beating, the speculation of who would arrive first was a consuming focus for the extended family that centres on Nev and Robyn’s Barron Road home.
Cody Neal eased the tension when he was born on July 6, before Haydan Stewart followed up on July 12. Both were born in the Mater Private Hospital.
The Wright home certainly is quite a hub, with Karryn and Leanne now having their own families living in Birkdale right near where they grew up together.

NEV and Robyn’s property has another role, as the base for their firm, Lemine Pty Ltd, which supplies, installs, services and maintains air-conditioning systems.
The Wrights have been great supporters of classified advertising – with weekly notices running in our Trade Services section for 15 years.
The competition for the bottle of wine has been a distraction while the firm, which employs 10 people, has been "flat out".
A lot of joy was evident when Robyn announced in The Redland Times’ Birth Notices: "Our first grandchildren".
Nev and Robyn, by the way, were childhood sweethearts, who grew up in Belmont and moved just a few kilometres across the council border to build their family in the Redlands.
Robyn says they have no plans to move. With Cody and Haydan so close, we can understand that!

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

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Hay comes north for bayside stock

This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Picture (RJ Burling 1999), courtesy of, shows the Carroll village.

A SMALL advertisement under the heading, Livestock, reflects the rich rural heritage of the Redlands where the focus is now mainly on providing housing and business opportunities for the population boom.
The ad offers "hay for sale … Capalaba area".
Alan Myers admits he hasn’t been besieged with buyers for the truckload of prime lucerne hay he is offering at $30 a bale.
"It comes from New South Wales," he says. "There’s a surplus down there and a shortage up here so I thought I’d see if I could sell some for my cousin.
"Well, he’s my cousin by marriage; he’s a good bloke.
"This is the first load."

ALAN says the grower is Noel Swain, running the family cattle property at Carroll, between Tamworth and Gunnedah.
After a lifetime of working on farms, Alan, 58, heads down to the property at every opportunity to help Noel with the hard tasks of cattle and crop production.
Alan spent his first 12 years in the Tamworth district before his parents, Ray and Gladys Myers, bought five acres (two hectares) in Russell Street, Cleveland, "right next to where the high school is now".
The couple had nine children, five of whom came north to the bayside in 1961, Alan says.
He went to work on small crop farms after his education at Cleveland – "the primary and high schools used to be in one back then".
The farms included the Long Street property of Doug and Eddie Burns.
Alan says his dad, who was a foreman on the council for many years, died last year at 80 years old and his mum now lives at Yarraman in the South Burnett.
All these years down the track, Alan works as a firefighter at Cleveland station but obviously is still a country boy at heart.

THE Redlands was "all farmland" when he came here almost a half century ago, and the load of hay would have been gobbled up in a hurry.
Nowadays, it may be slower to move but Alan’s confident the wait will be worth it.
"It’s prime lucerne hay – it’s good feed for any stock," he says.

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