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Flinders Ranges and Silo Art Tour

30 members of The Combined Probus Club of Monash Central Inc. gathered at the car park of the Mountain View Hotel Glen Waverley in the early morning cold gloom of Tuesday 21st May, all eager and ready to commence our trip.

The first day was a long one to Sea Lake and Lake Tyrrell via the 200 Km long art-silo trail.  What a magnificent collection of massive art the trail is and a wonderful positive for the surrounding towns. We ended the day with a truly magnificent sight of the sun setting over Lake Tyrrell with obliging clouds augmenting the spectacle.  What a great first day.

The following day we viewed two more groups of silo art and also visited the Mallee Tourist and Heritage Centre which is a superb collection of rural artefacts and historical documents. We were provided with a delicious morning tea to cap it off. We followed this with a lunchtime visit to the historic Pines House and 2000 square metres of garden. From here onto Loxton and the Caudo vineyard and cellar door for tastings on the sunny banks of the Murray, concluding the day at Waikerie.

Day three took us to Wilpena Pound via Burra and Hawker, two interesting and historic towns where we enjoyed sights and displays.  The next day we traversed over dry creek beds in Brachina Gorge with our guide Ian from Wilpena who showed us views over the ranges, the famous Cazneaux tree, yellow footed rock wallabies and aboriginal rock art.

We then travelled via Leigh Creek township to Arkaroola for a two-night stop, without doubt the highlight was the four-wheel drive on the ‘Ridge Top Tour. Magnificent vistas and terrifyingly precarious steep situations; an event not to be missed. In the afternoon some members flew over the ranges and Lake Frome in the beautiful sunshine and many viewed the wonders of the clear night sky through the astronomical observatory.

On our way back towards Port Augusta we enjoyed a sumptuous outback platter at the famous Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, a ride on the Pichi Richi train to Quorn and a visit to the outstanding Wadlata Outback Centre, where we could have spent considerably more time at this informative and excellently presented collection of displays. Our last day, our first that was not warm and sunny, saw us at the historic Bungaree Station which is still in the hands of the family that established it in 1841!! We followed this by visiting Martindale Hall, a Georgian styled mansion complete with original art, decoration and contents. And finally, on to the fascinating Magpie and Stump hotel for lunch in the resurrected 1850 building and a superbly catered lunch, which was in keeping with the fabulous country hospitality at our all our morning tea and lunch stops.

And so, to Adelaide airport and home.Many thanks to Trade Travel and Sue Kennedy for her organisation and tour leading.

ZEST Restaurant High Tea

More than 40 of our members enjoyed "High Tea" at the ZEST Restaurant in Homesglen at TAFE on the 5th of April.  The restaurant is part of the Homesglen TAFE Campus and provides a training ground for students undertaking hospitality courses.

Carole and Albert organised a great event that didn’t disappoint in any sense as the photo shows.  It is believed that these are "before" photos although it is rumoured that there was an enormous amount of delicious food on offer.

No apoligies for all these photos featuring food - lots of it!  Thanks Keith Oliver for sending in the photos.

Getaway and Caravan Trip to Ocean Grove

Our first trip for the year was to the Big 4 Bellarine Holiday Park at Marcus Hill near Queenscliff. We got away to a good start arriving on Sunday the 24th March and departed on Thursday the 28th.

We were favoured to have six new members to our group namely, Graham and Beverley Blackman, Ted and Trish Keene and Jim and Margaret Esmond who from all accounts seemed to have enjoyed themselves and hopefully will become regular participants in future trips.

The first night we enjoyed our usual Nibbles and Sausage Sizzle at the camp kitchen where we chatted and prepared for the days ahead.

The Monday proved to be so challenging for the golfers who braved gale force winds and completed 9 holes of golf at Ocean Grove, absolutely heroes!  As Jim Esmonde reported - The trip to the Bellarine Holiday Park with the Caravan and Getaway Club saw seven dedicated golfers attempt the impossible in gale force conditions. Even the birds were only able to fly in one direction! Graham Blackman was the winner with Ted Keene and Liz Grant just behind. I must say a courageous effort by all just to stand up in the 80km per hour winds.

As for the rest of us, we found our way walking around the park, a 1.2km journey, then off to explore the many attractions this region has to offer. The highlight of the Trip was a visit to the Fort Queenscliff Museum which provided protection to our Colony about the time gold was discovered in the mid-1860s. The Fort provided a battery and is claimed to have fired the first shots of world war 1 across the bow of a German freighter Pfalz.

The Marina at Queenscliff proved very popular as a meeting place for coffees, ice cream and lunch. The tower there gave a wonderful view of the surrounding waterways and historic buildings.

On our final night and before having dinner at the Ocean Grove Hotel, we had a happy hour when Bill and Margaret Mowlam, who were the coordinators for the Getaway/Caravan Group for the previous 8 years.  We recognised them for their time and efforts in making so many of us their guests in organising trips to so many regions of  Victoria. They will be moving to Queensland to be nearer their family and we wish them well on their new venture.  In departing, Bill presented Geoff with his treasured Dim Sim Steamer so as the tradition isn’t lost.  Good on you Bill and Margaret you will always be warmly remembered.

Picasso - 100 etchings of the Vollard Suite

On Thursday 21 March, 22 members made the Vline train journey to the Ballarat Gallery to view Picasso’s 100 etchings of the Vollard Suite.

Fiona, our gallery guide, gave us an in-depth and entertaining ‘Wink Wink – Say No More’ insight into the creation and the content of Picasso’s 100 etchings that make up the collection.  The Vollard Suite is regarded as one of the greatest print suites, and perhaps the most enigmatic and famous of the twentieth century. Comprising 100 intaglio prints it was made by Pablo Picasso between 1930 and 1937 in Paris and at the Château de Boisgeloup — a country property near Paris the artist acquired in 1930.

Modern art dealer and print publisher Ambroise Vollard commissioned Picasso to make the expanded series of 100 plates which were never named or explained by Picasso.  Vollard died in a car accident in 1939.  In the mid-1950s art historian, Hans Bollinger devised an order for arranging the Vollard Suite that continues to influence how the 100 prints are interpreted and exhibited.

By choosing not to follow the strict chronological sequence in which Picasso produced the plates, Bollinger identified seven themes running through the suite, which he grouped under the titles; The Plates, Battle of Love (Rape), Rembrandt, The Sculptor’s Studio, The Minotaur, The Blind Minotaur and Portraits of Ambroise Vollard.

Explored throughout are the enduring themes of history and creativity, ambition and achievement, fear and immortality, moral and physical fallibility, male sexuality and obsession. Illustrated with reference to classicism and Greek mythology, the Matador engaged in the bullfight, the artist and the model. Through these images the Vollard Suite can be viewed as an extraordinary auto-biographic document, reflecting Picasso’s mid-life musings on his own desires and conduct of an affair with his young lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, creativity and his growing stature as the twentieth century’s most celebrated and influential modern artist.

Like many artists, Picasso was a complex individual and his etchings can be seen to reflect his relationships with his wives and mistresses.  Many of these works are viewed as confronting by today's values.  Can we separate the artist from his art?

An enjoyable lunch was had by all at the Galleries Kittelty’s Café before the trip home.

Stokes Exhibition and Forest Glade Gardens

More than 40 members travelled by bus to Macedon for a day trip to The Stokes Exhibition and beautiful Forest Glade Gardens.  Thank you Jill for organising such an interesting day.

In the morning we toured the amazing private collection which can be seen in the photographs below.  The dedication of Cyril Stokes to build and maintain the collection amazed us all. 

Here is a short video of the predecessor to the iPod or MP3 player built in the 19th century with beautiful craftsmanship.  Click here to view the video.

Following the escorted tour of the Stokes exhibition, we boarded our bus and headed for a local Hall where we were treated to a lovely 2-course lunch.  Then it was back to the Stokes property again to view the wonderful and expansive gardens.

We may have been a few weeks early for the full impact of spring but the daffodil fields and magnolias were spectacular.

20 Melbourne Painters exhibition

An enthusiastic group of more than 20 members enjoyed a trip to Glen Eira Gallery to see the 100-year anniversary staging of the 20 Melbourne Painters Society exhibition.  We were treated to some wonderful works which were introduced by our "guide" for the day Maxine Wade.  One of the elite Society herself, she talked about the techniques used in the wide variety of works from watercolours, pastels, acrylics and oils.  She spoke of some of the debates that continue in the artistic word around style and technique.

Lunch afterwards at the London Tavern was very enjoyable.

Clarence River Trip

Our reporter Sue Kennedy provides a run-down on a great adventure.

30 members of Monash Central Combined Probus set off on Sunday 20th May 2018 and flew into Coolangatta where we were met by our coach and driver.  Travelling south over the border into NSW and before arriving at our accommodation at Angourie Resort at Yamba we spent a couple of hours at Tweed Regional Gallery, where the amazing artworks of Margaret Olley, together with eclectic furnishings from her home were much admired.

Over the next five days, we visited many attractions, including the Glen Ian Ostrich Farm which amazed us with not only ostriches and a huge Brahman bull, but a fabulous and valuable display of vintage cars, tools and machinery. Another amazing collection and delicious morning tea was at Ross McLeod Bells, at Lawrence and then on to lovely jacaranda tree-lined Grafton where yet another museum fascinated us.  Afternoon tea...and yes another family museum collection of everything you could the Lanbruk Gunyah Olive Farm gave us insight as to how families have value-added to their properties, providing yet another tourist attraction.

We travelled many kms each day along the Pacific Highway and under the bridge high above, all of which is heavily under construction.  The whole region of the Clarence  Valley floods periodically and the highway is surrounded by fields of sugar cane and several sugar mills.  There were walks through rainforest areas to lookouts along the coast, stories from locals of the history....and shark attacks....and lovely views along the coast.

At Yamba we boarded a ferry for a leisurely 21/2hr lunch cruise along the mighty Clarence River, to be joined by our coach for a visit to nearby MacLean, with its tartan covered power poles and magnificent views of the surrounding river flats from its lookout.

A highlight was a visit to very busy Byron Bay and its magnificent lighthouse which marks the most eastern point of Australia,  where we leisurely wandered the shops and beachfront. Back on the road to Yamba we stopped at New Italy cafe and museum, marvelling at yet another museum display of the Italian families who settled in this region.

We were impressed with our lovely spacious accommodation amongst the rainforest at Angourie Resort, with delicious breakfasts and dinners, albeit a bit early for us at 7 30 each morning (we all arrived on time, fully dressed for the day!).  Yamba Bowls Club and Yamba Tavern also provided lovely dinners, with 2 of our group celebrating birthdays on the same day.

Our final stop before catching our flight home on Friday 25th was to Tropical Fruit World, where we enjoyed morning tea, followed by a display and tasting of many of the tropical fruits grown on this huge plantation.  A safari train ride through the property amazed us with the exotic fruits on the trees, and even a python curled around a large bunch of bananas, just above where we were cracking and eating macadamias!

As always our Probus trips provide a great deal of fun and fellowship and are a wonderful way for members to get to know each better.  Thanks to Trade Travel for a great itinerary!

Thanks Sue for such a great report and organising such a wonderful trip.

Here are some of the great photos taken by Brian Heywood.  Thanks Brian.







Caravan and Getaway Group - Escape to Cobram

Twenty Probians enjoyed several days at the Cobram RACV Resort in March. The grounds are extensive, enclosed within a 2 km walking track with generous sized caravan sites and beautifully appointed cabins and facilities.

The days were warm to hot with cool evenings and many local attractions were visited – historic Byramine Homestead, The Big Strawberry and the Olive farm were popular choices.

Happy Hour each afternoon produced much chatter and lots of laughter and one member even tried to extract $5.00 per vehicle from those who drove through part of his caravan site to get to the Camp Kitchen for Happy Hour and our welcome BBQ – he failed!

A Carvery Dinner in Barooga and the farewell dinner at the Cobram Hotel were enjoyed. The 4 night (+ or -) stay was very successful and a big thank you to Judith and Geoffrey Rothwell for organising it.

Members enjoying the facilities at the Cobram RACV Resort