Scottish honour for the wise

OFFICIALLY A SPECIAL MOMENT: Captain Richard Otley, right, presents Laurieton RSL Sub Branch secretary George Wise with honorary life membership.
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Laurieton RSL Sub Branch secretary George Wise is one of those people who quietly goes above and beyond when helping others.

A keen researcher, George’s work through the sub branch recently travelled via Skype across the world to the Royal BritishLegion Scotland (RBLS), Wick branch.

Captain Richard Otley, whose late father William was a member of the Laurieton RSL sub branch, forged links between the Royal BritishLegion Scotland and the local RSL.William served with the Royal Navy during the Normandy Landings in World War 2. He and his wife Joan moved to Laurieton in around 2003.

George, Captain Richard Otley said, showed great care to ex-servicemen and women who immigrated to Australia, in particularhis father.

In December, George addressed the annual general meeting of the RBLS, Wick Branch, via Skype. The legion is similar to the Australian RSL.Following his presentationthe members voted to make George an honorary life member of their branch.

“You are the fourth honorary member ever to be awarded membership, so quite rare,” Captain Otley wrote in his thank-you letter to George.

During his presentation to the RBLS, George highlighted the number of Australian War Graves in Scotland.

“Itwas proposed that we provide details of the Australian War graves that are under our care within the Wick Commonwealth War Cemetery, with photos upon the future annual dates when pipers and our colour party honour your Australian heroes that rest with us,” Capt. Otley wrote.

The members also voted that on Anzac Day 2017 and in perpetuity, in Scotland, a ceremony will be held to honour those soldiers.

“Members of RBLS Wick would like to explore ways in which we can assist Australian members when visiting the UK through practical and network assistance. We are also looking to potential future liaisons between cadet organisations,” Capt. Otley said.

Captain Otley is the chairman of the RBLS and an active serviceman. He travelled to Laurieton to present the life membership in person on February 26.

“It is an unexpected honour,” George said at the Laurieton RSL sub branch meeting where he was presented with the parchment certificate,banner and letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Caithnessin her role as the sovereign’s representative on behalf of RBLS patron Her Majesty the Queen.

“When I was nominated I told Richard that I would only accept it on behalf of the Laurieton RSL sub branch.

“It was a wonderful experience to be able to talk via Skype [to the RBLS Wick] and discuss the Australian effort in World War One.I have a lot more to tell them and I hope to do that in future.”

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‘​30 seconds later, he would have been gone’: Teen recalls dramatic beach rescue

BEACH RESCUE: Emergency services gather at Denhams Beach after the rescue of a father and four children on Sunday (left) and teen rescuer William Nash (right).What was planned as a casual afternoon of surfing turned into a dramatic beach rescue for a Canberrafather and son on Sunday.
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Shortly after arriving at a Eurobodalla beach on the afternoon of March 12, 16-year-old William Nash and his father, Kevin, were alerted to a family of fivestruggling in a rip.

With no time to spare, the quick-thinking Conder teenager handed a surfboard to a beachgoer to assist three of the children and paddled out himself to rescue the father and another child.

“I paddled out to the father and his young daughter …he was under the water and she was screaming, trying to hold him up,” William told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner.

“I grabbed him by the neck and put his head on my board. If it was 30 seconds later, he would havebeen gone.”

Kevin also took part in the rescue.

William said the man, believed to be aged in his thirties, was unconscious when plucked from the rip.

”The whole time we were in the water, he wasn’t good,” William said.

They spent tense minutes trying to get the man to regain consciousness.

“He did get a bit of awareness and almost gave up and wanted to slide back into the water, but we just didn’t let him,” William said.

He said the rip had pulled the man and young girl more than 15m out from the Denhams Beach headland.

“I put him and the little girl on my board, sitting in the rip for a bit,” William said.

“I jumped off and had the nose of the board and swam backwards until the waves were pushing us into shore.

“About 20m off shore, another bloke helped me carry him to shore and we laid him on his side.”

William, Kevin and other beachgoers stayed with the man until paramedics arrived minutes later.

Far South Coast Surf Life Saving spokesman Andrew Edmunds said rescue was one of several during the weekend’s big swells.

“The father responded well to treatment on shore by ambulance and was transported to hospital in a conscious state,” Mr Edmunds said.

A NSW Health spokesperson said the man was taken to Batemans Bay Hospital and later flown to Canberra in a stable condition, where he was discharged on Monday.

Mr Edmunds said the children did not require treatment.

Two days after the rescue, William said he was struggling to come to terms with the near tragedy.

“It was not until after it really hit me,” William said.

“I can’t stop thinking about it.”

The teenager said staying focused on the rescue at hand helped him in those frightening moments.

“I just had to be focused on what was happening,” he said.

“Someone had to be strong and sensible out there. I just took charge of it and grabbed my board.”

Father Kevin Nash said he couldn’t be prouder of his son’s brave act.

“I’m so proud of him and just the way he took charge of the matter,” Kevin said.

“Kids these days cop a lot of flack and don’t get recognition.

“He’s more of a man than I was at 16.”

Despite being an avid watergoer, William saidthe incident washis most traumaticsurf encounter.

“I know how dangerous rips can be, but this was the first experience I’ve had that was that bad in the water,” he said.

The close call severed as a reminder for beachgoers to learn to identify how dangerous rip currents flow.

Eurobodalla surflifesavers during summer ran rip safety demonstrations at shire beaches to prevent drownings.

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In a league of her own

Catholic Women’s League International Officer Margaret McEntee, State President Ann Pereira, Communications Officer Michelle Pedersen, Vice President Lorette Chester, David Gillespie MP, Secretary Irene O’Grady and Treasurer Lisa McPherson.Wauchope local Ann Pereira has been appointed president of the Catholic Women’s League Australia – New South Wales Inc.
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While the organisation holds a strong following of 1,200 members, Ann has goals to keep the organisation relevant and sustainable in to the future.

Last month, the State Council meeting was held in the Timbertown Motel with more than 30 delegates. A packed agenda discussed items such as membership growth, particularly within the younger generations.

“Today’s society imposes increasing challenges on people as the dynamics and acceptance of change in our communities move with the times,” Miss Pereira said.

“The Catholic Women’s League movement offer an inclusive place to meet new people and share our journey together.

“Our key principle is to advocate for the dignity of the human personand support women and their contribution to the community.”

The League runs under the auspices of the Catholic church and has the approval of the NSW bishops.

“We focus on issues like social justice and bioethics.Social justice includes issues that affect people’s lives like government legislation, homelessness and poverty,” she said.

“Bioethics include issuessuch asthe abortion reform bills and themarriage equality bill because we believe they impact on families.

“These issues are often difficult for people to discuss which is why it is so important to have the conversation.

“Members undertake charitable works through the local dioceses, nationally and overseas. One example is the support offered to women who have crisis pregnancies, to provide options beyond abortion.

“Further up the coast, we haveassisted two women – one who gave upher babyfor adoption and another who kept her baby. Both needed clothing, furniture and financial help.”

The organisation was established in England and came to Australia in 1914.Ann says it’s about women supporting women and families.

“Through the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations, we are members of the United Nations,” she said.

“The Catholic Women’s League Australia has amember who is the Board member forthe Asia-Pacific region and another who attends the Council on the Status of Women each year in New York.

“The Catholic Women’s League is a great organisation for women to develop strong friendships and share the ups and downs of life together.”

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New coach confident in 2017

ONLY WAY IS UP: South Warrnambool netballer Melody Keath is predicting blue skies ahead for the Roosters after a tough 2016 season. Picture: Amy Paton
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THERE is a silver lining for every tough season a club has to endure, and South Warrnambool’s open grade netballers have found theirs.

The Roosters went winless through 2016 but, as new coach Mandy Van Rooy points out, their reliance on youth last year has fast-tracked their development.

“Our goal, at the moment, is just to keepgoing from last year,” she said.

“It was a tough year, but we’ve also blooded a lot of young girls who wouldn’t have gotthe opportunity otherwise.

“They’ve got a year of seniors under their belt, they’re a lot more mature and they know what they have to do to handle the open grade.”

Van Rooy, who coached Panmure to a Warrnambool and District league semi-final appearance last year, has injected mature-aged players into the playing group.

Goaler Eliza Dwyer returns to South Warrnambool after a few years in the Central Highlands league, where she won the league A grade best and fairestand a premiership with Skipton in a memorable 2016 season.

Versatile midcourter Liz Byrne has joined the club after stints with Port Fairy and Allansford.

With the majority of last year’s open grade team staying around, Van Rooy said the inclusions had meant some shifting with the playing group.

“(There’s been) a little bit more shuffling around, which is a good thing,” shesaid.

“It means potentially a few more players play division one, which makes our division one team a bit stronger.

“We’re working on just being mature and getting the little things right; just having the confidence in each other.”

Arrivals

Eliza Dwyer (CHFNL; returning), Liz Byrne (Port Fairy)

Departures

None

2016 best and fairest

1st: Annie O’Brien (equal) 1st: Ally O’Connor (equal) 3rd: Aylish Tobin-Salzman

Player to watch

ELIZA DWYER: The former South Warrnambool junior returns to the Friendly Societies’ Park club after a stint in the Central Highlands Football Netball League, where she won the league A grade best and fairest award last season. Described as an “amazing” goaler by her new coach, she will be a potent force in the Roosters’ attack.

Prediction

Susie Giese says: The Roosters were a young group finding their feet last season and showed some good general improvement. But with a full season under their belts and some mature-age recruits coming into the group, along with new coach Mandy Van Rooy, the Roosters will be eyeing off a surge up the ladder after a winless 2016.

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Thirty NRL games a year but only Eels commit

The NSW state government has put forward a development application that anticipates 30 NRL games per year will be played at the new Parramatta stadium despite the Eels being the only club committed to use the venue.
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Fairfax Media understands the Bulldogs, Tigers, Rabbitohs, Panthers and Dragons aren’t keen to take games to the 30,000-seat venue when it opens in 2019 despite the government’s estimation that three NRL clubs would use the new facility.

It’s likely only 11 Eels NRL games will be played at the Western Sydney Stadium when it opens, however there is a possibility ANZ Stadium could be shut down for two years during the redevelopment to turn the Olympic stadium into a permanent rectangular facility.

In the stage two development application for the western Sydney stadium submitted last week, a breakdown of the anticipated use of the venue has the NRL down for 30 games, while Football Federation Australia/A-League (15 games), National Rugby Championship (three games), Super Rugby (one game) were also included.

The government’s plans include three NRL games in the month of October. But given the only NRL match played during that month is the grand final, it raises doubts over the planning for the use of the ground.

The Environmental Impact Statement put forward by JBA Urban planning consultants also has a list of typical event attendances which includes the Eels and Wanderers and two unnamed NRL teams referred to as “NRL team 2” and “NRL team 3” with expected crowds of 17,490 and 12,980 respectively.

The state government did require a 65-game commitment from the NRL to back the investment into major stadiums, however that commitment didn’t specify which venue the clubs would play at.

“The NSW government does not determine where NRL clubs play their matches,” a Venues NSW spokesperson said.

“The stage two planning application assesses the potential impacts to the community and environment during operation of the new stadium including traffic, access and noise amongst other things. The number of event days for the stadium is expected to increase from current stadium operations.”

The South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bulldogs have long-term contracts in place to continue playing out of ANZ Stadium and would likely only consider using the Parramatta venue if their home ground is locked up during reconstruction.

ANZ Stadium had originally been earmarked to be redeveloped in stages over four years that would allow the venue to continue hosting regular season matches.

However there is a suggestion the redevelopment time frame could be halved, forcing clubs to take games to other venues including the new western Sydney stadium.

The Dragons are weighing up their venue strategy which expires at the end of this season, but given their commitment to Kogarah and Wollongong it’s highly unlikely they’ll consider playing out of Parramatta.

The Wests Tigers are in a similar predicament in their commitment to Leichhardt and Campbelltown but are also in discussions over their venue strategy.

The Panthers have no intentions of leaving the foot of the mountains, recently ending a $250,000 deal to play a game in Christchurch to reaffirm their commitment to the region.

“The impact of up to three NRL clubs using the stadium on a regular basis has been assessed to ensure an adequate study of potential impacts to the community and environment. It will also ensure that planning approval for the new stadium is sufficient if other sporting franchises decide to use the stadium.”

ANTICIPATED USE OF NEW WESTERN SYDNEY STADIUM

NRL: 30 gamesA-League: 12 gamesW-League/FFA: 3 gamesSuper Rugby: 1 gameNRC: 3 gamesConcerts: 3 eventsTraining sessions: 49

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