Monday, December 22, 2008

Phones run hot 'for free'

ONE four-letter word rates as the hottest in the marvellous community of classified advertising. "Free" seems guaranteed to get phones ringing.
Snipping at its heels in the attention-grabbers’ hot list is "giveaway". Both give extra value to the experience of grabbing a cuppa and sitting down with "the classies" -- you just never know what you’ll find.
Three such notices appeared last Friday. Here are the results:

SALLY and Daniel Smith, of Alexandra Hills, have a new mattress and dining table so advertised their old queen-size mattress and table with six chairs in "alright" condition.
Sally said the twin-giveaway strategy stemmed from their fears a 13-year-old mattress might be difficult to sell and a disposal problem but could still be handy for someone in need.
The idea was: "If you want the dining table, you have to take the mattress."
It worked, helping them free up space in the festive season crush. They received about six calls.

THE other notices came from Victoria Point couples in the community of "seniors".
Couple No. 1 received about eight calls after they advertised a single-bed and mattress – complete with two sets of sheets and bedspread.
"We are elderly with no children and we don’t need the bed any more so we just thought we could give it away," the wife said.
An "elderly lady" recived this Christmas gift, which was about 12 years old.

THIS giveaway post-mortem could have been all smiles but Couple No. 2, who advertised the giveaway of a leather lounge suite and a fridge for $200 had reasons to frown.
They received about 50 calls on each item so wearied of saying "sorry", but their main beef was the many callers who failed to keep appointments to inspect the fridge.
The husband also told how his wife had helped a Russell Island woman – picking her up at the waterbus jetty, driving her to their home to see the fridge, then taking her back to the jetty.
"She needed to check measurements in her home but she didn’t call back," the husband said. "When we called her that night she said it wasn’t suitable. We had to do the calling."

A WOMAN, possibly in her fifties, was first caller about the lounge suite – at 7am on Friday – and arrived at 8am to take it.
She told the couple she had just found a matching chair sitting beside a street and labelled "take me".
Out of all this, it seems in order to remind users of classified advertising everywhere that the phone numbers belong to real people with real feelings and they deserve courtesy and respect.

THANKS to all who have contributed to this column in 2008. Enjoy the company of your loved ones at this very special time of year.

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

Monday, December 15, 2008

'Just call me Kiwi' rides into new future in business

This column appeared in The Redland Times on Friday, December 12, 2008. Image of Waikato River from wikipedia.

A NEW future on two wheels will start to roll tomorrow, Saturday, for John ("just call me Kiwi") Smith, who migrated from New Zealand looking for opportunities and has certainly found one at Capalaba.
John grew up in the Waikato district, developed a career in hotel management in the Bay of Plenty, then crossed the ditch almost a decade ago to take up a Capabala address.
Customers of the Capalaba Hotel bottle shops are familiar with John’s lively personality and he says he’s grateful for the work that helped set him up in Australia.

FOR about the past three years, John’s cheerful voice has been very familiar to clients of his gardening firm, Johnny Appleseed Home and Garden, and he is pleased to keep his vocal cords moving on notable commercial clients including the Port of Brisbane Authority and a Gold Coast car yard, as well as many residential clients.
Now, the business community on New Cleveland Road, Capabala, is hearing John’s cheerful voice as he has been working on a former motorcycle shop as the base for his new venture, Sunshine State Motorbike Hire.
After the doors open at 10am tomorrow for an open day, John will fire up the barbecue to celebrate. He plans to open at 6am every Saturday and Sunday for riders who need an early start.

JOHN has invited dads and mums to take their youngsters and even pets on leads along to see the "fun machines" that are available for hire.
He makes no promises about sparing them time to meditate over the machines. "I can keep talking under water," he says.
And he has lots to talk about. The motorbikes, scooters and recreational vehicles represent just one of John’s many interests in life.
"Dogs are my passion," he says. "I train dogs and I’m going to do it for free from the shop. On the last Sunday in January anyone with puppies aged 15 months and under can bring them along for training.
"I trained gun dogs and looked after guide dogs in New Zealand."

A MORE formal "opening" is set for Thursday, December 18, after tomorrow’s family day.
One thing that won’t be neglected is John’s great love of Redland City. He says people anywhere in the world "would kill" for such an urban lifestyle on the shores of Moreton Bay.
But he says the friendliness of the people here – more than anything else – has made his move to Australia a great success.

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

Friday, December 05, 2008

Plate-spinners set style for job hunt

Image of plate spinners from wikipedia.

LESSONS learnt during a career as a recruitment consultant reflected in Vicki Clifford’s own search for a part-time job.
Formerly the proprietor of her own agency in Milton Keynes, north of London, Vicki has been among users of the Jobs Board in the Times and Bulletin Classifieds.
After Vicki’s notice highlighted her search for two to three days’ work a week, she received a call from tax accountancy James Baker and Co, and now works on administrative support at the Sheldon business.
Vicki uses the analogy of a circus performer to sum up the main message from her 25 years in the recruitment industry.
"You (job seeker) have to keep as many plates spinning as possible and keep trying," she says. "You need to try lots of different avenues, particularly when (economic) times are difficult and you want something that is not easy to find."

VICKI’s notice cited not only her recruitment background but also sales experience she has had in the four years since she and husband Gary Beach migrated from the UK -- bringing their two beloved west highland terriers, Hettie and Holly -- to live at Wellington Point.
"My dad (Keith Frewin) is Australian and he migrated back here 13 years ago after Mum died," Vicki says.
"My elder brother, Keith, and his family then came here, and my younger brother, Sean, followed them so we decided to come too."
The Redlands now claims the entire family among its residents.
Vicki says life here is "absolutely fantastic", with the climate, the beautiful Redland environment and the friendliness of the local people all winning their hearts.

LAST year Classie Corner received some flak for publishing advice on managing the festive season just when Santa was about to leave the North Pole.
"You are simply too late," my true love said to me. So this year I’m determined not to sit like a partridge in a pear tree.
Time-management analyst and personal concierge Louise Denisenko, of Redland firm Running Errands, each year refines her analyses of "what you can do now to make Christmas less stressful". Her 2008 tips:
Ensure all appointments such as car service, hairdresser, beauty therapist and doctor, and restaurant reservations, are booked.
Decide Christmas menus and stock up on non-perishable items so you need to get only fresh ingredients on busy days before Christmas.
Send cards in the first week of December or consider e-cards.
Have a few extra gifts on hand in case of unexpected guests.
Value time with family and friends more than the gifts.

  • Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, REdland City, Queensland, Australia - on the shores of beautiful Moreton Bay.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

'Bayside Rugby' makes hot topic this summer

Redlands rugby club chief Tony Machin will pay a tribute to "all our elected members" when he addresses the club's AGM. These "members" are the civic and parliamentary representatives he says are working hard to secure funding for a clubhouse and change-room upgrade. More about that later. First, here's the latest on another development as the club makes its mark on rugby in one of Australia's fastest growing regions, South East Queensland ...

Image courtesy of from Redlands Rugby Union and Recreation Club website.

AN exciting plan to take the great sport of rugby union to a new level in the Bayside district is on the agenda for Redlands Rugby Union and Recreation Club’s annual general meeting on Sunday, December 7.
Spirits are high in the club after its senior side took the 2008 minor premiership in the Brisbane division-one second grade competition.
The Redlanders suffered a shock defeat in the semi-final to finish the year third in the competition.
With the achievement bringing a promotion to division-one first grade, club officials plan to field the 2009 senior side as "Bayside Rugby" in conjunction with the Southern Bay club.

REDLANDS chairman Tony Machin will tell the AGM that negotiations to clinch the move are progressing well, with the first matches set for March.
"The new senior entity will provide a pathway for all junior rugby players from the bayside to play at the highest level without leaving our region," he says.
The bayside plan ends a big year for the Redlands club, which Tony says has reached the milestone of full Queensland Rugby Union voting rights for the first time, showing the club’s development and strength.
He says player numbers have reached more than 400 and much talent has emerged.
Redlands backrower Edward Quirk was man of the match in the Australian Schoolboys’ 15-11 "thrashing" of New Zealand Schoolboys.

THE victory was Australia’s first on New Zealand soil in that competition’s history, Tony says.
He describes Edward as "hard, tough but fair".
"The harder the game the better he likes it," Tony says.
Other achievers in 2008 have included fullback David Harle, who represented with the QJRU under-18s against NSW and three seniors who helped Queensland Suburban gain a rare victory over their NSW counterparts.
The trio was: half Gary Blank, who was the man of the match; fly half Brendan Dales; and lock Mitch O’Hara, who is club captain.
The club’s Golden Oldies toured to Scotland this year for their world championships – "and caused much havoc on and off the field".

WHILE the administrators work toward Bayside Rugby, the club is promoting its seniors’ pre-season training on Tuesdays at 6.30pm and is also recruiting for senior and colts sides.
Head coach is Damian Watt and senior manager Nigel Brown.
Tony will tell the AGM a lot of work is going into making 2009 another great year.

  • Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Redland development: new city turns grey

VISITOR traffic to Redland City Council’s website must be heavy this week as word spreads of the availability of a key report on the district’s economy.
The Redland City Economic Snapshot 2008 contains a wealth of facts and figures, mainly from the 2006 Census but with some key updates and "no nonsense" analysis by the report’s authors.
The Queensland Treasury’s Office of Economic and Statistical Research (OESR) has compiled the snapshot, which will be a tool for business and social planning.
Such a report gives a form to changes we may see every day and accept with a shrug. The Redland’s transition over decades from a rural-based to a service-based economy may not be hard-hitting news but now we can see the change in an understandable form.
The snapshot says only 464 Redlanders worked in agriculture, forestry and fishing at the last Census; 10 years earlier, in 1996, the figure was 851.

LOCAL employment was one of the snapshot’s focuses. The OESR notes 2006 labour demand figures for Redland indicate the retail industry was the largest employer -- with 5540 people, or 17.3pc of total labour demand.
Such trends reflect in every edition of the Classifieds, with an ever-growing Positions Vacant section giving its own snapshot of the labour market.
It is no accident that the Classifieds’ innovative Positions Wanted board has a slogan with the key words "live", "work" and "local", summing up what many would consider the ideal – a job near home.
But getting back to statistics: the OESR indicates a terrier pup is growing into a Great Dane and will soon snap at the heels of the local employment giant, retail.

HEALTH care and social assistance, which employed 3821 people, or 11.9pc of labour demand in 2006, is No.2 on the list for local job creation.
This would not surprise anyone who scans the Positions Vacant column, which always seems to have ads seeking aged care specialists including nurses and assistants, diversional therapists, cooks and cleaners.
Redland will see a lot more of such local employment opportunities, if the analysts are correct.
The snapshot says the Redland's greatest population rise is expected in the 65 years and over group. The forecast rise is from 12.7pc (16,608) in 2006 to 29.4pc (55,568) in 2031.

OPPORTUNITIES will not be limited to employment in the caring fields. Many retirees will live independently, so business and employment niches will keep flowing on.
The official analyses make great reading but they come out only from time to time. Anyone can get a good idea of what’s happening by checking the Classifieds anytime.

  • Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Art honours true believer in Classifieds' community

A SON of Moreton Bay was returning to his roots when Ipswich publican Gordon Field decided to sell his hotel and take his young family back to the island where he grew up.
When the Fields’ jam-packed truck rolled off the barge in 1968, Gordon and the Mackay-born barmaid he married, Phoebe, were dedicating their lives to his family’s half-century-long tradition of farming the rich soil of Russell Island.
Raising two young children, Victor and Cindy, the couple grew papaws, bananas and small crops including tomatoes, which a trucking contractor picked up twice a week to catch the mainland barge for the trip to Brisbane markets.

JUST four years into the idyllic lifestyle, Gordon was killed in a car accident on the mainland.
Phoebe must have overcome many tough obstacles as she kept working the land, which she says produced avocados commercially until 1998.
But she kept everything together. In 1980, she married Erik Dupont, who had migrated from Holland in 1956, found work on a Wellington Point farm, branched out into farm work through the bayside region and, in 1967, bought his own Russell Island farmland.
Phoebe reflects on her family history this week as she prepares for a happy annual event that springs from a tragedy in her life – Cindy’s death from a brain tumor in 2003, aged 36.
EVERY November since 2004, Phoebe has organised the Cindy Field Memorial Exhibition of Arts to celebrate her daughter’s life. Cindy’s birthday was November 28.
Known in the island community as a cheerful deckie on the passenger ferries, Cindy joined the Bulletin and Times in the mid-1990s and was a consultant for the Classifieds when she received a grim diagnosis in 2001.
Phoebe says the diagnosis came just as building on Cindy’s dream home on Karragarra began, but the house was finished quickly and was Cindy’s refuge as she battled on, with radiotherapy giving hope for a time.
THE exhibition venue for the first three years was Colours Art Gallery on Macleay and last year about 90 artworks featured at Karragarra fire shed.
The continuing growth is evident this year, with about 120 paintings, priced from $15 to $4800, to go on show at Russell Island Recreation Hall.
The exhibition will open on Thursday night, November 20, and daily until Monday morning. Cindy’s portrait by Lamb Island painter Joan Seal features at each annual exhibition, which raises funds for Queensland Institute of Medical Research.
Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

'Flair for hair' meets 'passion for fashion'

THE publishing trade has found a great use for at least one of the elements of its four-colour production system after sister and brother Mimma and Frank Fazio this year decided to go into a business partnership.
Stocks of magenta ink must have shrunk to make all the pink that the Fazios have splashed around in relation to their venture, Sassy B Hair and Fashion, at Birkdale.

THE pair even helped brighten up the Classifieds with a big burst of pink when recruiting a hairdresser for their "Funky New Salon", which catches eyes at Aquatic Paradise Shopping Centre.
Mimma says she and Frank are proud of the salon’s focus on "young colours and crazy hair styles" and its success since opening on July 1.
"I have been working in state and federal government departments for about 25 years and Frank is a sales manager in the construction industry," she says.
"We talked about going into a business partnership and had a busy couple of months after finally deciding upon a salon.
"We had to fit out the premises for the use, and a lot of the family gave us a lot of help."

MIMMA and Frank grew up at Annerley. She now lives at Mt Gravatt and Frank with his wife Joanne at Birkdale.
"Joanne is a hairdresser and gave us the inspiration for the salon," Mimma says. "We are lucky that she still has time to help out although she is involved in other things.’’
The "face of the Sassy B" is Frank and Joanne’s niece, Tarr-a Cowsell, as senior hairdresser and manager. Mimma says that after the recruitment campaign Tarr-a now has the company of another young and lively hairdresser, Talia.

THE fashion side of the business uses the effort that Mimma put into building connections in the jewellery industry while she was on leave from the public service.
She says she sources ‘everyday’, stirling silver and gemstone jewellery from "all over the country" to meet the demand from those wanting "something a little bit different".
"It comes from Indonesia, India, Peru and a bunch of other places," Mimma says. "When someone (a customer) sees something they like I can tell them it’s highly unlikely they could ever find another piece exactly the same."
Mimma emphasises, however, that fashion retail will always come second to hair at Sassy B.

DAPHNE Parnell, of Victoria Point, says her husband Ed’s century-old workbench (Classie Corner, October 24) did not sell for the advertised $40 but found a new home, still in their family. Her son-in-law, Paul Tuckwood, has collected the bench, which originally was a gift to Ed from his grandfather.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

'Rat of Tobruk' celebrates 90th birthday

Image of the Rats of Tobruk from wikipedia.

ONE word stands out in the sea of type that washes up people’s hopes, dreams and memories from each edition of the Classifieds.
"Thanks", as a listing category, keeps its purity despite the Classifieds’ general focus on buying and selling, and it draws at least as many eyes as the best commercial sales pitches.
With German in a "very complicated" family tree, Ian Busst could almost have said "danke" in his notice thanking the Coochiemudlo Island community for "a wonderful afternoon party … in the Recreation Hall".
The party celebrated his 90th birthday, October 3.
Ian well knows the German word for "thanks". He says his surname is the maiden name of his German-born grandmother.
However, his family did not embrace her national culture. He grew up during the Great Depression on Sydney’s North Shore and as a teenager found work on the Victorian hay, wheat and oats fields.

IN October 1939, Ian registered to enlist in the army. "I was five foot five and a half (166 centimetres, tall); you had to be five foot six," he says.
"They said to me, ‘You finish the harvest and come back.’ The hay was important. I was working 12 hours a day. We did it all with forks and horses and carts.
"When I went back at the end of February, he (enlisting officer) said, ‘You are so fit and you’ve grown that half an inch."
Sapper Busst served in the 6th Division as one of the Rats of Tobruk.
"Danke" became part of his vocabulary when he spent about four years as a prisoner of war in Italy and Germany.
It was often heard as he used cigarettes to barter with his captors for extras such as white bread and sugar and privileges.
Ian’s five escapes between April 1941 and May ’45 have been documented in his book, My Experiences as a Prisoner of War, and were summarised in The Redland Times preview of the birthday bash.

THE experiences undoubtedly rated at least a mention here and there as about 75 guests celebrated his life.
Ian has become a pillar of the island community and has received commendations for voluntary work.
After the war, he devoted his life to farm work in Victoria, despite a troublesome injury in 1952, when a bale fell from a trailer and hit his back.
He moved north to the island about seven years ago.
Ian’s experience tells him that fear is the greatest enemy and his lively personality certainly looks that demon straight in the eye.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seniors prepare for major move

SURPRISINGLY little work has occurred on the old workbench that featured in the Classifieds for just $40.
The vendor, Edgar Parnell, 77, of Victoria Point, estimated the bench was about 100 years old.
He said he had used it "only once or twice" in the half century since his granddad, Coorparoo stone mason Ted Batstone, had given it to him.
At the time of the gift, Edgar and his bride, Daphne, had been making their first home.
"I can remember it (the bench) when I was a little kid but I never saw my grandfather use it," Ed said.
"I would have asked him for it. We bought a new place at Mount Gravatt and I wanted to build a kitchen."

AFTER growing up at Camp Hill, Ed became a fitter and turner. When he married, he had already started a teaching career in 1955 and was guiding manual arts students of Brisbane Industrial High School.
The home workbench played a minor role as Ed’s love of teaching took him to Yeronga TAFE, where he was a technical teacher until he retired in 1988.
"I built the kitchen and that was about it – the bench was used only to put all the rubbish on since," he said.
The bench went through several changes of address. The couple lived at Cleveland for about 10 years before moving to Victoria Point in 1997.
Ed said the sale was part of their preparation to move to a retirement village.

THEIR mates at Cleveland Probus Club need not worry about losing them to another area. The Redlands has a stake in Ed’s heart. He came here often during his childhood -- his dad, Arthur, was a proud son of a prominent Wellington Point family.
Ed and Daphne have had a busy week. They went to a Cleveland High School music night on Wednesday to see performances by their grandson and granddaughter, Daniel and Jillian Tuckwood.
Daphne is proud of their musical ability. Six decades ago, when she was just eight years old, she debuted on church organ during Sunday school at St Luke’s, Ekibin, and she was the organist at St Bartholomew’s, Mt Gravatt, before the couple moved to Cleveland and Daphne became the organist at St Paul’s.

NOWADAYS at St Paul’s, Daphne’s daughter, Gayle Tuckwood, joins her on the flute.
"My son, David, is a professional drummer and his son, Matthew, also was a professional drummer but he’s more into movie production now," Daphne said.
"David and Carol’s daughter, Emma, played clarinet at high school. She is now working for a government minister."
Daphne said recent family highlights had included the first wedding anniversary for Emma and their new grandson-in-law, Mark. But yesterday was special – it was Ed and Daphne’s 49th wedding anniversary.

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

Friday, October 17, 2008

Music keeps family on move

Image of Christine Burke from Folk Redlands.

THE musical term "allegro" – meaning a brisk and lively tempo – applies right through the lives of Victoria Point couple Christine and Patrick Burke.
The Burkes, who are about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, keep reaching new highs as mainstays of the Redlands’ musical community.
Christine was a student of Our Lady’s College at Annerley and Patrick attended St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane, when they met in the mid-1980s.
They soon formed a top-40 band, Soft Edges, and kept the teamwork going through the years in a string of bands including Late Edition and Thornlands, taking the name of the suburb where the couple settled on acreage.
In the mid-90s they set up a recording studio in a shed on their property -- beginning a Redlands music institution.

THE name, The Sound Shed, moved in 2000 to Capalaba, where the Burkes opened a much-needed music shop, supplying instruments, amplifiers, sheet music and all the equipment that professional and amateur musicians need to pursue their consuming interests.
The couple has just ended a highly successful sale to mark the shop’s eighth anniversary, which they promoted in the Classifieds.
Maton, Takamine and Tanglewood guitars, as well as Jordin student electric guitars and Lag acoustics, and Mapex drums were among the bargains during the six-week-long sale, Christine says.
But the retail "face" of The Sound Shed represents a diverse business, which also employs as many as nine music teachers, has about 500 registered students, conducts programs in schools and offers a wide range of sound production services.

CHRISTINE says Patrick has had a hectic spring with the business providing sound systems, lighting and engineering support for five venues during the Redlands Spring Festival.
Patrick’s schedule has also included operating the Redland Bay turf farm and landscaping business, SOS Turf, which he formerly ran in partnership with his dad, John, now retired.
Despite all the pressures of business, Christine and Patrick continue to make appearances with "Thornlands", which kept its name despite their move a few kilometres south.

THE couple is happy both their children now play instruments, although "we never pushed them", Christine says.
Kathryn, 12, a Year 7 student at St Rita’s College, plays guitar; her brother, Sean, 11, plays trombone in the band of Iona College, where he is in Year 6.
The family’s musical involvement also includes Folk Redlands, with Christine and Patrick involved in organisation as well as performance.

Christine Burke verified this account on October 15, 2008. This column appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

Tina Turner party tune a standout, says DJ

Image of Tina Turner from wikipedia.

IT’S fun to wonder just how many feet Gavin Hewitt has got tappin’ during his long career as a DJ in Brisbane CBD and the Redlands.
Gavin was a drummer in a rock band in his home city of Wellington in New Zealand but then joined the army and had a break from music until after he migrated to Australia in 1978.
"I have always loved music but I didn’t really want to get back into drumming, so working as a DJ was ideal for me," he says.
He says his first assignment was at a city nightclub, where he took up a permanent posting that rocked and rolled for seven years. He also won nine awards for wedding presentations with a private company.

THE success gave him confidence to "go it alone", Gavin says. He has operated Gavin’s DJ Services mainly on the bayside for more than 10 years.
Classified advertising has been a major part of his business strategy and he still runs his ads to keep an "upfront" image although he says most of his jobs now come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Many around the construction sites know Gavin through his day job. After operating his own transport company for some years, he still drives a 10-metre tipper on a wage.
But at nights and weekends, he lets the DJ take over because he loves helping people have a good time and get up dancing.
He says "retro" is now the buzz word. "Only probably half the songs these days are good party music, so retro is really coming into its own," he says.
"I play songs that will appeal to a broad range of people and I am happy to accept requests."
Gavin’s "retro" era includes rock ’n’ roll of the ’60s, disco of the ’70s and Aussie rock of the ’80s but he also has "all the latest music".

TINA Turner’s Nutbush City Limits (recorded in 1973) is probably the standout party tune, he says.
Gavin looks forward to several coming assignments at 40th birthday parties because the age group spans a lot of good eras of party music.
"They were born in the ‘60s and they’ve gone through the popularity of Abba and the Bee Gees and that sort of stuff," he says. "They’ll also probably like Midnight Oil and Mental as Anything, and a bit of top-40 too."
Gavin says he is also preparing for a wedding reception at the Grand View Hotel, where he regularly entertains.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Furniture reflects dedication to quality

SIGHS of relief may have echoed around Enterprise Street, Cleveland, when Les McAndrew arrived for his first day’s work with Furniture Traders Australia.
Les has just taken an important position with the firm, which is one of Queensland’s major importers of Indonesian-made furniture.
Manager Joel Towner says the firm’s joiner/cabinetmaker ensures the top quality of the products it sends south Canberra and north to Cairns for retail.
He says Les replaces Peter Todd, who had the job for almost six years.
"Peter attempted to retire a few times and we finally had to let him get away for some rest," Joel says, admitting he was at least a little anxious about finding the right replacement before our Positions Vacant column came to the rescue.

DEDICATION to quality and highly developed skills are necessary for the position, working on a "wide range of fix-up jobs on items mainly of mahogany, teak, pine and oak.
However, Furniture Traders Australia also imports woven products of rattan and other cane, seagrass and bananaleaf, as well as sculptural lines including terracotta.
Joel says the containers of the imports sometimes suffer "a rough trip", leaving minor blemishes on the finishes where the pieces have made contact and breaking glass panels in display cabinets.
He made sure Les could also correct any manufacturing imperfections and even take on locksmith duties if, for instance, a key broke off in a lock.

MOST of the firm’s retail supply goes to the Bazaar Furniture Traders group, with outlets in Coffs Harbour, Logan, Carindale, Morayfield, Bundaberg, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns, Joel says.
However, Furniture Traders Australia also deals directly with customers, meeting all orders through the Enterprise Street head office and warehouse, employing about 10.
Joel says Furniture Traders Australia had its orgins with the Decorators Emporium in the Redlands but the owners sold that retail arm about seven years ago and based a new enterprise in an appropriately named street.
Bazaar Furniture Traders at Carindale sums up the attraction of South East Asian and India
furniture well, saying it has "twists and flavours" and is "a means of inviting the exotic into your home".

IT also reflects the range of imports, promising decorators "everything for the home and garden from water fountains to vases and urns, from romantic teak day beds to sequin-sprinkled cushions and table runners, from mahogany antique reproduction bookcases to one-off ethnic carvings".
Joel says Les is yet to sew on a sequin but has been enjoying his new role.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column appeared in The Redland Times in August.

Butcher's block represents chunk of maker's heart

Image of Kangaroo Island from wikipedia.

THE young couple who bought the butcher’s block that Misha Zivkovic made from Moreton Bay fig loaded a big chunk of his heart into their car and drove away.
The block was a labour of love for Misha, who is a retired plumber and sheetmetal worker and had not previously made "anything out of wood".
More than a decade ago, a friend gave Misha a rounded slab that he says was about "3 feet long, 2 feet wide and 6 inches thick". In centimetres, the measurements are about 90 by 60 by 15.
"It was a beautiful piece of wood," he says. "Suddenly, it came to my mind what I could make. I take about six months to perfect it. I make it with my heart of love."

WHEN Misha, near his 73rd birthday, talks of love, he needs also to refer to his birthplace – "I am from Serbia but I deeply love my home of Yugoslavia" – and how he came to Australia "for a visit" almost 50 years ago.
More on love: He and his US-born wife of 30 years, Kay, met on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. They have lived at Redland Bay for 25 years.
Twenty years ago, Misha slipped from a Byron Bay roof and fell almost 20 metres on to concrete.
Doctors said he would be "about 85 per cent disabled". He was determined to prove them wrong.
A physiotherapist told Misha he could rehabilitate if he could "take unbearable pain" from therapy and he went ahead with it.
"The doctor who see me after three years could not believe it (Misha's recovery)," he says.

HE has made two more butcher’s blocks. One is in their kitchen; he gave the other to a friend. The first stayed in the garage for about 10 years. An irregular shape, it had a steel frame with a tray, handles that doubled as towel racks and wheels. "It was very unusual – nobody love it like me," he says. "It come time to get rid of things that build up in garage. We put ad in paper. A young couple come and fall in love with it straight away." Misha told the buyers he hoped the piece would give them as much joy as it had given him. He designed the block for dismantling into three pieces and it fitted into their hatchback. Kay says the couple needed the handy unit for a tiny kitchen after they bought a house and were unable to "make ends meet", so they built a flat for themselves under their high-set house to get rent on the top. "What a sensible young couple," she says.

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

Overalls symbolise life of hard work

Image of the city of Brest from wikipedia. This column appeared in The Redland Times in August.

THE overalls that featured in our for-sale column at a bargain price may have been a symbolic offering from Cleveland’s Taddeusz "Ted" Lewandowski.
Ted is happy he doesn’t need them any more after his life of hard work.
The overalls were a relic of Ted’s last 11-year stint as a boilermaker. He is 80 years old and looks back on a lot of hard work in many jobs since he migrated from Germany after his discharge from the allied occupation force.
August 19 will be the 59th anniversary of his arrival in Queensland for a new life in 1949 after the suffering of World War II.
He was born in a small Polish town that went under Russian control and he grew up in the city of Brest, on the Polish side of the border.
His dad was Bolesaw Lewandowski, the city’s police commissioner.

TED says he was only 11 years old in 1939 when the Russians arrested his father.
"All the police and the army were trying to get somewhere else and they were caught by the Russians," he says.
"I think my father was in Romania."
He says his dad was among 12,000 Polish prisoners – "all the top people … doctors, teachers …" – whom the Russians massacred in a camp near Moscow about two years later, as the Germans advanced on the capital.
In 1947, Ted enlisted in a British army transport company. The reward was an offer to migrate to "England, America, Canada, you name it -- I chose Australia".
His first work here came through a two-year contract with the Federal Government. He made boxing, mixed concrete and helped fill a dam wall near Dimbulah in Far North Queensland.

TED then had a Sydney holiday. "I went single and came back married," he says.
On January 1, 1953, Ted married his Polish-born wife, Helen.
Ted and Helen have lived in Queensland since then and moved to the Redlands 20 years ago.
They had two children, Victoria and Richard.
The son has work clothes that are quite different from those boilermaker’s overalls.
Dr Richard Lewandowski, a plastic surgeon, is the founder of the Australian arm of Operation Smile, which focuses on developing countries to help children with severe facial deformities "become a normal face in the crowd".
Ted and Helen are now keenly awaiting the Olympic Games opening, where Victoria’s daughter, Dana Hendley, 13, will play cymbals with a contingent from her Sheldon College band.
The grandparents expect a visit from Dana this morning, before she leaves for Beijing.

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

Senior gent enjoys long holiday

Image from wikipedia.

A SENIOR gentleman from Cleveland has settled back in his bayside home after a long holiday at a special place.
The luxurious "resort-style accommodation" at Margaret Uhr’s acreage property has become popular in the past three years.
But instead of touting a star rating like most resort proprietors, Margaret must meet the "five-feather" standard.
Margaret is known as "the bird lady". Her Cleveland guest on a stay of more than three months was a sulphur-crested cockatoo, Sonny Boy.
The bird stayed at the Samford address while his owners had their own holiday, "as grey nomads heading off around Australia", Margaret says.

"WHEN he saw his old mates again he went up for a scratch," she says. "He certainly isn’t a young bird."
Margaret’s advertisement as Beak’s Bird Minding features in our Fast Find classifieds.
She has had a bird’s-eye view of the ornithology of south-east Queensland since she set up the business in October 2006, after a "brain wave" while she received hypnosis for chronic pain.
Almost two years later, Margaret still suffers from the pain and is now trying acupuncture, but she has received much joy hosting birds from throughout Brisbane and adjacent areas.
Margaret has spotted interesting cultural trends among bird lovers.
"Many are young males aged up to their early thirties," she says. "They often live on their own and they really love their bird.

"YOUNG couples in their twenties are another of the main groups of bird lovers. Their birds are like children to them.
"I also mind the birds of a lot of elderly people, who do like the sulphur-crested cockatoos."
She says rainbow lorikeets are one of the most popular breeds with young people.
The "average" bird lover is likely to be UK-born, like Margaret, who says she developed her love of feathered creatures after migrating to Australia in 1979.
She grew up at Wimbledon. "Most of the birds over there, with the exception of the robin, of course, are very dull -- boring black, white and brown," she says.
"But Australia has such a fantastic mix of colours that appeal to English people, while the Australians seem to be ‘ho hum’ about it."

DESPITE the onerous duties of looking after other people’s much-loved pets, Margaret still finds time for her 16-year-old galah, Aussie, and four-month-old cockatiel, Babe, who sits on her shoulder, tries to drink her beer and enjoys playing on the computer keyboard.
Margaret says all her observations back up scientific research showing birds are more intelligent than most people realise.
She suggests bird owners keep in mind that a cockatoo’s IQ is about that of a four-year-old child and treat their pet respectfully.
Her primary advice for bird owners is to ensure the cage for a larger breed such as cockatoo should be at least between two and three metres square and for a budgie at least 500 millimetres high and wide.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people and other creatures in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

Tiny soldiers farewell their general

Image from

THE language of classified advertising gives a snapshot view of an intriguing cultural mix that surrounds us all, while most may blunder on in blissful ignorance of the depth of passions reflected in just a few words of small type.
Coupled with this cross-cultural smorgasbord, the abbreviations and the jargon may excite curiosity. A scan of the classifieds can be a more absorbing mind game than a cryptic crossword.
A recent notice offering Warhammer warriors for sale offered a collection of terms that begged explaining. "LOTR", "tau", "rua", "minis", "tirith"?
The definition from the website, games-workshop: "Warhammer is a miniatures wargame, where players command vast armies of model soldiers … on a tabletop battlefield … set amid a fantasy world like no other, where sorcery and monsters are common on the field of battle."

THOSE cryptic terms are no longer such a puzzle. They are Lord of the Rings army names, losing any proper noun status and melding into the language of the world as phonetic expressions of generic fact.
Thornlands mother Susan Neil has come to know the words very well for the past three years while her son James joined the Warhammer culture and waged wars against other similarly interested and obsessed teenagers.
Susan is sighing with relief that James, now 15, has not only drifted away from Warhammer but also gained a little speed on his BMX bike.
Nowadays, James is more likely to be riding at the Thornlands and Victoria Point skate parks, playing tennis at Cleveland or competing with Coochiemudlo Surf Life Saving Club than plotting the massacre of a few dozen troops.

SUSAN says she has seen the ability of Warhammer to keep some of its generals presiding over their armies until well into their twenties and she is grateful for her son’s early discharge.
"It’s a hobby and a good indoor activity," she says.
"It suits some children and it’s better than watching television but, as harmless as it is, it’s not as good as kicking a football.
"It’s better they get out there doing things."
Mum says it’s worth nursing a few minor BMX-related injuries to see those little characters march out of the household, a pleasure when James clinches a sale for the collection he advertised at $140.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

Great game gains even more colour

Image from This column has appeared in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

THE bright enthusiasm that reflects from Sheldon Tennis Centre goes a lot deeper than the high-tech purple court surface and the colour scheme it inspired.
The centre has become a vibrant hub dedicated to a great game during the three years since Dean and Sophia Toparis put the covers on their racquets in Sydney and headed north to make a new life in the Redlands.
The couple’s daughters, Barbra and Regina, were only toddlers when Dean and Sophia bought the then two-court Duncan Road centre after managing public courts, mainly in the St George district, for about a decade.
A lot of serves have gone over the nets – including some from Barbra, now aged 7, and Regina, 6 -- as the couple has worked hard to put their stamp on the Redlands tennis community.

WITH backing from Tennis Australia, the centre now has four "grand-slam standard" courts with the purple Laykold surface of Sports Technology, which Sophia proudly says provided playing fields for the Beijing Olympics.
"The company wanted a centre in Australia to display its product and asked us, ‘How about trying purple?’ so we were the first to have that colour," Sophia says.
"Now we have the purple theme right through, with purple feature walls and our newsletter is ‘The Purple Patch’."
She says her husband simply loves playing and coaching on the high-quality surface, about 30 years after he took up the game.
Dean had his A-grade debut while in his teens but in recent years, with a level-two qualification, has been busy helping others.
However, Sophia says he looks forward to rejoining the player ranks in a Tennis Brisbane project to create a stronger community of interest among about a dozen privately owned centres.

THE couple, through our Public Notices, has invited players of all grades to "be part of Brisbane’s largest tennis comp".
Sophia says the rounds will rotate around centres to enhance the experience of representing a community on the courts and the associated social interaction.
The coach doesn’t have to look far for someone to coach him – Sophia has qualified at level one since they came here.
The Sheldon centre is the base for one of the best known names of tennis in the Redlands, Ryan Agar, who earned the tag, "the Mars Bar Kid" after he appeared in a television commerical with former tennis "bad boy" John McEnroe.

SOPHIA has sadly announced Ryan has ended his professional team-tennis campaign in Germany.
"He is coming home after he injured his lower back while training," she says. "He had physio and treatment but felt a niggle when he resumed competition so he didn’t want to risk continuing and expects to back next year."
The good news is that Ryan expects to join his coach, Dean, in guiding the Sheldon players. And even better – Sophia says Ryan is due home before his 21st birthday next month.

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

From sport to music: the following was among the winter 2008 highlights of Classie Corner:

Star trumpeter starts new era
A MILESTONE has occurred this week in the career of a talented young Redland musician.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008, marked the start of a new era for Josh Sinclair, 19, of Thornlands.
The Bayside Bulletin’s Training and Tuition Classifieds featured Sinclair’s first ad offering trumpet lessons.
It described Sinclair as "an experienced local player", rather understating the credits that the former Sheldon College student has notched up in his first decade on the instrument many regard as the star of the brass family.
Josh, who is taking a break from his Bachelor of Music studies at Queensland Conservatorium of Music, must be the envy of many young musos because he has already played with the great James Morrison, not just once but three times.

THE pair first met at a South Australian jazz festival in 2003, when Morrison picked Sinclair from the Sheldon College Jazz Orchestra to be part of his festival ‘superband’ line-up.
Sinclair kept in touch with Morrison, mainly by email, and the reward came the next year, when Morrison invited him from the audience to go on stage at Twin Towns and play the jazz standard 12-bar Route 66.
"I didn’t have any gear with me, so I played his trumpet and my mate, Mitchell McLennan (also then a Sheldon student), played a borrowed trombone and James played flugelhorn," Sinclair says.
"They did a variation in D and modulated to F in the solos."
Next time, Sinclair was more prepared and took his mouthpiece to a Morrison gig on the Sunshine Coast. Again, the world-revered trumpeter invited the teenager to join him on Route 66.

AT the Dingo Creek festival on the North Coast in 2005, Morrison yet again called Sinclair to the stage then they launched into another standard, Mack the Knife.
Sinclair, who won the A-grade trumpet award at a major Brisbane music festival in 2002 and topped the premier grade in 2003 and 05, has already played in the US with the Brisbane All Star Youth Big Band.
The band won a spot at the 2005 International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in California.
Sinclair has been in a latin and salsa groove for a few years, playing with the Gold Coast-based Latinfire.
This week has marked another milestone – his first professional level trumpet, which he has played for the past seven years, finally broke down on Monday.
The broken-hearted muso has had to put a deposit on a new Austrian-made Schagerl trumpet, which has some discerning ears – and lips – to please.
"The trumpet is fun," says Sinclair. "It’s loud and just a bit obnoxious at times. It’s great. I love it."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fine ambassador represents city's volunteers

THE 19 years since the few seconds that changed the life of a Royal Australian Air Force corporal in a highway town near his base may help to prove that time indeed is the greatest healer.
But without Daryl Henbery’s determination the much-quoted philosophy for "moving forward" after a proverbial kick in the guts would have led nowhere.
He remembers his motorcycle skidding on a wet road but he does not dwell on the hazy memory of the accident that damaged his spinal cord and made him a quadriplegic.

THE skid one rainy day in 1989 in the Hunter Valley town of Raymond Terrace, near the Williamtown airbase, ended Daryl’s career as an RAAF storeman and left him with only threads of hope.
He regained some arm movement, despite having no hand functions. He could tap a "querty" keyboard and use a "track ball" controller to play computer games because the paralysis left one finger straight.
After a rehabilitation program at Royal North Shore Hospital, Daryl moved to Mackay in 1990 with his parents, Lyn and Alan Henbery.
On a visit to the Princess Alexandra Hospital spinal clinic, Daryl met a nurse, Marian Doherty. The couple married in 1992 and made their home in Cleveland about 15 years ago.

WITH computer knowledge from his initial rehabilitation, graduation from several courses and lots of practice, Daryl specialised in desktop publishing.
After joining the Redland Community Centre team on publishing and administrative support, Daryl was elected to the management committee six years ago.
He is now in his fourth term as president, earning respect as a fine ambassador for the Redland’s helping sector.
Daryl’s military and administrative experience undoubtedly helped set him up to head one of the city’s major volunteer organisations.
He says he is proud to represent an organisation that contributes to the community through many programs and activities, and a volunteer gains the reward of personal satisfaction.

"LAST year our volunteers put in over 6000 hours of unpaid work," he says. "It is these people who are the backbone of our organisation.
"At last count we have approximately 40 volunteer staff who work with only six paid staff. We had 616 client visits for counselling which was taken up by only two family support workers and we provided over 1700 visits for emergency relief.
"We try to promote ourselves not only as a "welfare" service but also a positive place where people can meet or learn new skills."
All the community centre’s office bearers were re-elected unopposed at the recent annual general meeting.

Daryl Henbery verified this account on October 7, 2008, and it has appeared in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia. Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Here’s a flashback to May in Classie Corner:

Disability services find new voice
THE lime green T-shirts that turned heads and made eyes pop on streets and in shopping precincts late last year could have been the fashion statement of the century for an often-overlooked community sector.
Such an in-your-face tactic worked well for a new movement that aims to increase funding for disability services.
The message flashed from chests, backs and shoulders during the federal election campaign after the Disability Alliance formed.
The national alliance of more than 30 organisations included Carers Queensland, Spinal Injuries Association, Queensland Advocacy, Brain Injury Association, Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland, Queensland Alliance and the Endeavour Foundation.

QUOTING official figures that almost eight million Australians are affected directly or indirectly by disability, the alliance pleaded with political leaders to "give people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in life like the majority of Australians expect".
Alliance spokesman John Mayo was blunt in his summary: "Government should be pro-active rather than crisis driven. Disability funding is a national disgrace."
Out on the streets, Spinal Injuries Association information officer Marion Webb was surprised at the number of people who commented on her T-shirt and took time to read the fine print.
Marion, who has worked with the association for 13 years, says she has long had a passion for helping those with disabilities and their families.
The interest extends past her work jurisdictions and to effects of psychiatric and intellectual disabilities on families.

SHE was delighted that a sector that "has not had a lot of political clout" finally found a voice and she is excited that the alliance is regrouping with an expanded brief.
Mr Mayo, who is Spinal Injuries Association community relations manager and advocate, says the movement has been encouraged by its election campaign result, with all the seats it targeted now having a new federal member.
He says the new brief takes the case of disability support funding to all levels of Australian government, not just federal.
Carers Australia has estimated the nation has 2.6 million carers, he says.
The number is soon to grow just slightly after the SIA adevrtised for part-time carers in Wellington Point, Birkdale and Wynnum.
The headline, "Want to make a difference to someone’s life?" certainly sums up the new vigour in the helping sector.

Art reflects journey of hope

This column has appeared in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

A JOURNEY of hope begins every day from Redland Bay, only to end just a few kilometres away in disappointment. Norm Lutton, 84, carefully times the daily mission to the Victoria Point nursing home that cares for his wife of 42 years, Margaret. The drive takes only about five minutes, then Norm sits with Margaret at lunch time. "She doesn’t recognise me any longer," he says. "At this time of day when she is most alert there is a better chance she will recognise me."

NORM lives in desperate hope that for even a second or two Alzheimer’s disease will release its grip on his wife’s memory. He says the experience of becoming a stranger to her, as the disease progressed during the past five years since the diagnosis, has been devastating. But Norm obviously has a lot of inner strength to help him get through. Born in Hurstville, he trained three and a half years as an aircraft engineer with the Royal Australian Air Force, before working in civil aviation with TAA then Qantas at Mascot. "There were too many strikes – I needed to get on with other things," he says.

THE couple bred Charolais cattle at Dorrigo on the NSW north coast before moving to Queensland 35 years ago, with Norm blaming the Whitlam Government for "buggering up" the beef export market. "My latest job was professional punter but I have had a lot of jobs," he says. "I sold real estate for some years." Norm says he was able to look after Margaret at home until about five years ago. As she became more difficult to live with he found a refuge far enough to give him some isolation but close enough to allow a quick return when necessary. "I used to sit up in the back shed to get out of her road," he says.

DURING the respite, inspiration dawned. Norm had a vision of mosaic patterns giving colour to gardens, "in some cases taking the place of flowers" and using tiles that usually become landfill after building projects. He "pottered around", creating patterns on terracotta pots and other surfaces around his Penzance Drive home. Some of his favourites have been giant "mushrooms" in bright colours. "I have done all sorts of things," Norm says. "I have so many around the place my daughters have said, ‘Don’t make any more’."

THAT is why Norm Lutton advertised "Mosaic designs to add colour to your garden, affordably priced. Ph 3829 1092." He says he simply wants to recoup the cost of materials. Such art from the heart has been a great place for this column’s return after my own recent medical issues. I thank the Redland Times, particularly Kylie Hogan and Brian Hurst, for supporting my talks with the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising and promise readers to keep up to date with the posts at

Now, an attack on the backlog of Classie Corner stories that have featured this year:

Fairtime favourite full of surprises
THE "lucky dip" -- a fairtime favourite for as long as apples have had sticky skins - has found its way on to the garage sale scene. Sellers rather than buyers get the surprises, however, at one annual garage sale. Excitement certainly must be building among the dedicated band of professional women in the Zonta Club of Wynnum Redland before its "monster" sale tomorrow at Cleveland State High School community hall.

LATE this afternoon as the students rush off for weekend fun the Zontians will arrive in maybe half a dozen cars, packed with bags of mystery. The women, since last year under the direction of the club's chair of fundraising and services, Marilyn Steenland, will have the duty of opening bags of donated sale items, setting the prices and putting everything on display.The bags have mounted up in club members' homes for almost 12 months.

MARILYN promises a huge collection of clothing, bric a brac and household items "all at bargain prices" when the doors open at 7am tomorrow.The set-up today certainly will be a "lucky dip" for Zonta's charitable causes. The club's fundraising emphasis is on helping women in distress and children, Marilyn says. Beneficiaries of its fundraising include two providers of accommodation for victims of domestic violence in the bayside districts. However, it also awards bursaries for university students, helps women with work-related training and supports Redlands Hospital psychiatric unit, and also backs international aid programs, such as that after the 2004 tsunami.

THE club, which formed almost 30 years ago, has 24 members, whose ages range from the mid-30s to over 80, Marilyn says. Its active membership has fallen by half a dozen in the past year, through illness, retirement and other commitments. The age span means the younger group is still bringing up their children, while the seniors may decrease their involvement in their latter years, she says.The garage sale will be one of the club's few major public events in 2008 but Saturday, May 31, shoppers can expect to see the Zonta banner at the Bunnings Victoria Point sausage sizzle. Marilyn says the club raised about $4000 for its causes last year, when an art show was also on the program.

This column appeared in the Redland Times in May 2008.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Deep passion or passion for the deep?

A BIG and bold headline simply saying "wanted" reflected the deep passion of bayside building inspector Roger "Bud" Kellow for certain creatures of the sea.
Bud started collecting shells about 40 years ago. The Raby Bay house he shares with partner Tracy is like a shell museum with thousands of specimens from around the world.
As Bud proudly proclaims, they are "everywhere" – from the garage to the dining room and featuring on just about every flat surface, vertical as well as horizontal.
The walls have not been immune from shell mania, as Bud uses shells in sculptures, paintings and huge "blown up" photographs.

THE artwork is one of the reasons he always needs more shells – so he advertised in our Classifieds, offering top prices for good specimens.
Four words sum up the way he feels: "I just love them."
While many blokes run into trouble with "the better half" over their hobbies and interests, Bud luckily does not have to deal with a "shell widow".
He says Tracy also has a shell collection.
All this stems from Bud’s first job as an apprentice carpenter at age 18, after he grew up at Wynnum.
"About 40 years ago one of my workmates, a brickie, asked if I wanted to help him build a mission church in Fiji, so I went with him," Bud says.
"We got friendly with the people and there were a lot of shells lying around.
"I brought a couple of triton shells back and it went from there."

BUD still has the original shells. He enjoys talking about how the triton is the only predator of the crown of thorns starfish, which threatened the Great Barrier Reef.
Pride of place in the Raby Bay shell museum – size wise at least -- goes to a giant trumpet shell, about 800 millimetres long. But Bud reckons they are all fantastic, big and small.
He has travelled to the Philippines and Fiji in search of specimens.
Although he has been back in the building industry about 10 years, a "long and varied" working life has financed Bud’s shell obsession.
Living at Capalaba and Cleveland, he operated service stations and bait and tackle shops. He also describes himself as a "mad fisherman".

BUD was delighted with the response to his ad. The callers included a Cleveland woman who also had a collection of several thousand shells in cabinets.
"She said I had to take the cabinet too, or there was no deal, so I ended up with it as well," he says.

THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia – the new city on the banks of beautiful Moreton Bay.

2008: First half in review
SHOCKING neglect of this blog means I must catch up with some of the great stories that have been published on paper this year but not posted. Here's a flashback to autumn:

Treasured army badge on casualty list
ONE week after Anzac Day 2008 commemorated the wartime service of Australians, their suffering is still on the mind of Redland City Council labourer Mick Musielak. Mick, 33, of Capalaba, says he observes Anzac Day because his granddad, Richard Alcock,and their family suffered much because of World War II service. Sapper Alcock's discharge papers on December 20, 1945, recorded his active service as 538 days in Australia and 809 days outside Australia, Mick says. "Granddad left grandma (the late Ester Alcock, of Kangaroo Point) and their seven kids when he went into the army," Mick says. "It must have been pretty hard being away from his family for those years and having the experience of war. "He had a lot of troubles and he died an alcoholic in 1974."I never got to meet him. He was a blacksmith."

MICK believes some of his granddad's service was in New Guinea with the 51st Australian Infantry Battalion but exact details are sketchy. Mr Alcock apparently did not talk a lot about his war service. Anzac Day has been important to Mick to honour the granddad he never knew. "For most of my life I have attended the dawn service - I am quite a staunch Anzac Day supporter," he says. Mick recalls travelling to the Brisbane dawn service when he attended Morningside State Primary School, then the Cleveland service when he was a student of Vienna Woods Primary and Alexandra Hills High Schools.

LONG before Mrs Alcock died two years ago, she recognised her grandson's special respect by entrusting him with her husband's army badge. Mick has treasured the badge. Last Thursday night he polished it in preparation for the big day.In the pre-dawn, he pinned the "rising sun" badge to his vest and rode his motorcycle to Cleveland, passing along Redland Bay, Windemere and Finucane Roads to Shore Street West. When he arrived at the Cleveland service, the badge was missing.

MICK still has slim hopes the finder will read his notice in our Lost and Found column. "It's not the largest of badges but maybe a schoolkid riding his bike would see it on the roadway - it could be anywhere," Mick says. "Grandma gave me all his memorabilia from the war years - things he made out of bomb shells and bullet shells and some other medals -- but the badge means more to me."

Cricket club honours 'integrity' and 'camaraderie'
THE traditions and heritage of a great game will be in the spotlight next month when Wellington Point Cricket Club holds its annual general meeting.
The club, which formed more than a century ago, is fiercely proud of its status as one of the Brisbane district’s oldest cricket clubs.
"Integrity" and "camaraderie" are the words club secretary Peter Walden uses to sum up the code that bridges social barriers and brings together people from many walks of life.
He regards the spirit of fairness and sticking with the rules as principles that have travelled off the pitch and into the fabric of society.

"WHEN someone does something wrong they say, ‘That’s not cricket’," Peter says. "Unfortunately, the integrity does get eaten away by some of the bad boys but you’ll get that with anything."
He is quick to explain, however, that very few "bad boys" have found their way into the Wellington Point club in the nine years he has been involved as a player, a father of a player and administrator.
"We have had some hot heads from time to time," he says. "But fortunately there have always been some old fellows around to remind them, ‘You are not bigger than the game’."

PETER looks forward to the AGM at Mooroondu Sports and Recreational Club at Thorneside on June 18, as a chance to experience the cameraderie in the community of interest.
Membership has grown from about 150 to more than 200 in the past five years, he says.
Peter says he always enjoyed cricket but apart from a few indoor games he did not have any deep involvement until the late 1990s.
His son, Joshua, joined the under-12s. Dad became interested in administration and had just qualified to join the masters, over-40s, side.

THREE seasons later the son "moved on" but his dad stayed – and Peter shows no sign of reducing his involvement.
Peter says the executive committee is grateful for the support of committed people, such as Trish Franklin.
At the AGM, he will officially thank Trish for her "superhuman effort" as acting president and note the "huge contribution" to the club from her family, with husband Maurie and their three sons Nick, Justin and Matthew all in club sides.

THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified
advertising. This stiory has appeared in The Redland Times.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Business bounces along

THE "jumping castle" has been a phenomenon as it has bulged and bounced its way into the Australian culture over the past few decades.
A big percentage of adult Australians, however, have never experienced the weightless atmosphere.
The jumping castle arrived too late for many to experience the thrills and spills during their childhood. But a growing number of the deprived are trying to catch up.

JUMPING castles now are on the list for adult occasions, especially 40th birthday parties, says Victoria Point’s Judy Folster, who with her husband Mark operates Redlands Jumping Castles.
The amazing social trend of 40-something ‘jumpaholics’ could be a good one for Mel and Kochie to debate on Sunrise but the breweries have no need yet to worry about their core business.
The ‘born-again jumpers’ have good, clean fun foremost in their minds -- jumping castles are mandatory alcohol-free zones.
Judy and Mark’s 10-castle firm, which has featured in the Redland Times Fast Find Services, dates from 2000.

JUDY says the inspiration for the venture came from her daughter, Lauren, who was born in 1997, just before the family moved to the Redlands.
Mum saw the great joy that her baby daughter gained from toys -- and promptly set up Victoria Point Toy Library as a small business she could operate from home, importing a range of exciting toys.
Lauren’s interest in jumping castles then prompted Judy to look at a new business theme.
She says she sold the toy library, which now operates in South Australia, and graduated into a new field.

REDLANDS Jumping Castles has a website, is a member of the Australian Amusement Association and meets the highest standards of safety and work with children, Judy says.
It services a wide area of south-east Queensland, with regular appearances at club and church fundraisers and community events at prestigious venues including Brisbane Convention Centre.
Judy is proud to have supported the Redlands police Citizens Youth Club blue-light discos since the firm started with just one 4m by 4m castle. The next disco will be on April 18 at 6pm.
The firm commissioned the manufacture in Sydney of a gigantic 7m by 7m castle especially for the big kids but Judy says it will keep its motto, "An active child is a healthy and happy child".

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Redland City, Queensland, Australia

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tales of an eight-paw, four-ear and two-tail package

Image of a Jack Russell terrier from wikipedia.

WHEN Wellington Point couple Anne and Chris Finnegan were preparing late last year to move to acreage at Sheldon, their family members wanted to mark the occasion with a special gift.
The Finnegans had long commiserated over having to leave their beloved Jack Russell terriers behind in South Africa about six years ago.
"It really broke my heart that they were too old to come with us," Anne says. "I felt that at nine and 11 years old they would not do well spending a long time in quarantine.
"We found homes for them but they had to be split up."
The ‘logical’ gift last Christmas was an eight-paw, four-ear and two-tail package that could deserve the term, Jack Russell Twin Pack.

TWO-year-old Pippa and her three-year-old boyfriend, Jack, however, have been a bit like Bonnie and Clyde since they settled at Sheldon.
Jack is good at busting out of jail and, with his loyal companion in tow, heading into the bush. They have kept their noses clean of major trouble but Anne, a gentle grandmother of three lovely little girls living at Capalaba, admits she is no Elliott Ness when it comes to chasing escapees.
"The dogs just like exploring but they are so independent and such loving little creatures," Anne says.
The tension became too much this month, and Anne advertised the dogs in our Classifieds.
While Anne and Chris waited for the response they thought they should improve security around their patio so the dogs would be at home to receive visitors.

IF this was a classic "second thought", the third was "Let’s fence the property" and the fourth, "We’ll keep the dogs because they are such great buddies."
The couple now has started obedience training with the dogs.
Anne and Chris fell in love with Jack Russells during their 12 years in South Africa together. Anne grew up in the Cape Town district, with a life in horses, and qualified as a riding instructor. After she met Irish-born Chris they bred show and hunting horses in Ireland.
Anne has another reason, apart from the terrific terriers, for fencing at Sheldon.
The acreage has brought the opportunity for her to introduce her granddaughters to horses.
So while you are reading this, the Finnegans may be scanning the fencing and livestock columns in our Classifieds.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people and other creatures in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Business helps shire earn new city status

THE growing prominence of Capalaba in the Redland economy reflects strongly in every edition of the Classifieds.
A scan of the Positions Vacant columns always shows Capalaba is indeed a hub of opportunity. The shire population can be grateful to the commercial sector for creating such a vibrant business community with excellent transport options.
Capalaba is moving with the times - and the area continues to underscore the shire's transition over decades from a rural economy to an urban, service-oriented base that truly deserves Redland's new city status.
The best part is that a lot of the business names that laid the foundation for the evolution continue to feature and look like staying for quite a while.
Such names include blinds, awnings and security products manufacturer Franklyn, now in its 21st year of operation.

FRANKLYN which Frank and Lynne Galea established in 1987, stood out in a recent edition with three advertisements as part of a recruiting drive.
The firm needs a junior factory hand, awning and security screen assemblers and a fabric cutter.
Production manager Michael Ford said about 30 people applied in just a few days. He said the recruitment was part of a reorganisation of Franklyn, which is preparing to expand to a new site in New Cleveland Road, Capalaba West.
The new plant, due to open before mid year, would accommodate the awning and timber venetian divisions. The company's well-known Moreton Bay Road premises would still operate and its Hook St property, now with roles including venetian production, would provide warehousing.
Michael, with a background in manufacturing and three years with Franklyn, said the firm's steady growth through increasing sales created the need for the new site.
"We simply ran out of space and now we are shuffling the departments a bit before the new factory is ready - that will be about three months from now," he said.

FRANKLYN'S custom-made blinds, awnings and security products feature in both the domestic and commercial markets.It manufactures its range "using only the highest quality components, supplying you with the very best products at competitive prices and earning the reputation for providing exceptional service, from the initial consultation to the final installation".
Michael said the structure as a genuine Galea family business had also played a major role in the Franklyn success story.

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of clasified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.