Monday, March 28, 2016

Even nostalgia isn't what it used to be:
Batemans Bay in bygone days


Batemans Bay in the 1920s


The main street in 1921


Annette's General Store in the 1930s


The pool enclosure in the 1940s


The theatre in 1940


The sharkproof baths


The bowling club in 1954


The punt in 1954


The punt next to the new bridge which opened in November 1956;
click here for a history of the bridge


The punt


The hospital in the 1960s


An aerial view in the 1950s


The newly opened Soldiers Club


The Bay's Orient Street in the 1960s

 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A brief look at Nelligen

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Benny's Store is Benny's no more

Chupa Chups, DUREX, and Panadol all on display alongside each other - isn't that stretching it a bit? (pardon the pun)

 

Benny has sold his store! We shall all miss his innovative merchandising of placing DUREX right after Chuppa Chups and before Panadol. At least he's got the chronology right!

And he shall no doubt be pleased to never have his magnanimity tested again by customers quoting "Blue fish blowing bubbles" which, according to his website, entitled them to a free Coke.

Quote the phrase;
"Blue fish blowing bubbles", when you place any takeaway order over $4, to receive a free can of Coke!

I tried it once and was nearly handed over to the authorities for verbal shoplifting ☺

 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Free evening classes for men

 

NWICOE (Nelligen Women In Charge Of Everything)
is proud to announce its one-day seminar for men only,
scheduled for the 1st of April 2014:

 

 

EVENING CLASSES

FOR MEN!
OPEN TO MEN ONLY

ALL ARE WELCOME

Note: due to the complexity and level of difficulty, only a maximum of eight participants will be accepted.

Topics covered in this course include:

HOW TO FILL ICE CUBE TRAYS
Step by step guide with slide presentation

TOILET ROLLS- DO THEY GROW ON THE HOLDERS?
Roundtable discussion

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LAUNDRY BASKET & FLOOR
Practising with hamper (Pictures and graphics)

DISHES & SILVERWARE
DO THEY LEVITATE/FLY TO KITCHEN SINK
OR DISHWASHER BY THEMSELVES?

Debate among a panel of experts.

REMOTE CONTROL
Losing the remote control - Help line and support groups

LEARNING HOW TO FIND THINGS
Starting with looking in the right place instead of turning the house upside down while screaming - Open forum

EMPTY MILK CARTONS
DO THEY BELONG IN THE FRIDGE OR THE BIN?

Group discussion and role play

HEALTH WATCH
BRINGING HER FLOWERS IS NOT HARMFUL
TO YOUR HEALTH

PowerPoint presentation

REAL MEN ASK FOR DIRECTIONS WHEN LOST
Real life testimonial from the one man who did

IS IT GENETICALLY IMPOSSIBLE
TO SIT QUIETLY AS SHE PARALLEL PARKS?

Driving simulation

LIVING WITH ADULTS
BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR WIFE

Online class and role playing

HOW TO BE THE IDEAL SHOPPING COMPANION
Relaxation exercises, meditation and breathing techniques

REMEMBERING IMPORTANT DATES & CALLING
WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO BE LATE

Bring your calendar or PDA to class

GETTING OVER IT
LEARNING HOW TO LIVE WITH
BEING WRONG ALL THE TIME

Individual counsellors available

 

 

At the last moment, Should I mow the lawn or go to Bali? has been suggested as an additional subject and may be incorporated, if time permits.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wishing you all
A very Merry Christmas!

 

We have outsourced this year's Christmas Greetings to keep costs down. Refer to our Christmas card from last year for more details.

This is my 20th Christmas at "Riverbend"! After more than fifty relocations across more than a dozen countries on four continents when the longest I ever stayed in one place was just under a year, I seem to have reached 'Journey's End' - or is old age catching up with me?

Retirement is not what it is cracked up to be. There were times in my high-pressure working life when I wished for nothing more than to be able to sleep in late and spend a day doing nothing. After thirteen years in retirement, I wish I were what I was when I wished I were what I am now (you may have to read this twice to understand what I mean!) However, even nostalgia isn't what it used to be. And why Nelligen? Well, perhaps here the transition from life to death is hardly noticeable (only kidding! read more here).

To all our relatives and friends in Germany a "Frohe Weihnachten und ein Frohes Neues Jahr"; to family and friends in Indonesia "Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru"; to our friends in Papua New Guinea a "Hepi Krismas na Hepi Niu Yia"; to our friends in South and South West Africa a "Geseende Kerfees en in gelukkige nuwe jaar"; and to Bozenna in Greece "Kala Christougenna Ki'eftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos".

Please take some time out from all the merry-making and reflect on the many things you can be grateful for! And ponder again the age-old question,

"Why is a Christmas tree better than a man?"

Here at last is the answer:

It's always erect,
Stays up for 12 days and nights,
Has cute balls,
And even looks good with the lights on!

A very Merry Christmas to you all!


(This Christmas I'm putting Mistletoe in my back-pocket
so all the people who don't like me can kiss my ass!)


 

 

And here's one for all you hopeless romantics out there to get you into the Christmas spirit of things:

A couple were Christmas shopping. The shopping centre was packed, and as the wife walked through one of the malls she was surprised when she looked around to find that her husband was nowhere to be seen. She was quite upset because they had a lot to do and she became so worried that she called him on her mobile phone to ask him where he was.

In a quiet voice he said, "Do you remember the jewellers we went into about five years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we couldn't afford, and I told you that I would get it for you one day?"

The wife choked up and started to cry and said, "Yes, I do remember that shop."

He replied, "Well, I'm in the pub next door."

 

The old Nelligen Post Office

The old Nelligen Post Office was built in 1900 and has been home to some seventeen postmasters and -mistresses. One of the earliest postmistresses mentioned was a Miss Middleton.

The post office prior to 1903 when there was no hall next door yet

The Post Office around 1910

 

Then, in 1950, Alan Collins was appointed postmaster, to be followed by his wife Jess Collins who reminisced about the post office thus:

 

 

Miss Middleton retired from the Post Office and a Postmaster took over who was always drunk, so the PMG sacked him and the house and Post Office became vacant. A family called Coy were given the position; Ray Fitzgerald married Delma Coy, then he resigned, and the position was vacant. Nell and Harry's friend was postmaster at Batemans Bay (Cliff Cary) and he rung up and told Alan to apply for the position. Al had no idea of bookkeeping, ledgers or such, but I had learnt double-entry as part of my schooling, so we thought we would give it a go, not expecting to hear any more about it. Imagine our surprise when we were told that Al had been appointed Postmaster of Nelligen, with a lovely residence as well. We sure celebrated on that occasion.

For several years Al remained Postmaster, but after several inspections from Canberra which were always unexpected, the PMG decided to appoint me as official Postmistress. So this was a lovely time in our life, with many friends and the old hotel near the ferry fairly rocked with singsongs and laughter where all our friends met.

Al was appointed Postmaster in 1950/51; two years later it was transferred to me. It was a money order post office. Those days we dealt with money orders, old age and war pensions, telegrams and almost continuous telephone operations. We were closed from Saturday at noon till Monday morning, but never refused anyone who knocked on the side door seeking mail or urgent phone calls. We were a very close-knit community.

Owing to Alan's illness, we left the Post Office in the care of Judith Donoghue in 1979 and moved to Canberra. Alan's illness worsened and in 1980 we sold the Post Office.

 

 

Jess and Alan Collins on verandah 1963

Nelligen Post Office on 12th Dec 1964, the day the bridge was opened

In 1971, the Collins bought the premises and sold them in December 1980 to Phil and Shirley Eldridge for $40,000.

Phil and Shirley Eldrige in 1982

from left-to-right: lady in blue dress Mary Thorpe, Stan Thorpe, Nelly and Arthur Tieman, Phil and Shirley Eldridge

 

Here is an abridged account given by Phil Eldridge of his time in Nelligen:

 

My wife Shirley and myself purchased the old Post Office building and business from Mr & Mrs Collins on the 3rd of December 1980 for $40,000, with Mr & Mrs Donoghue as rental tenants.

At that stage, Judy Donoghue was not only a rental tenant but she also ran the Post Office while my wife, back in Canberra, trained with Australia Post so that she could become the new post mistress.

These were exciting and scary times as I was getting ready to resign a secure government job after ten years of service to start this new business venture.

My wife Shirley had only just completed her final year of nursing at Woden Valley Hospital in the A.C.T. following a transfer from Lower Hutt in New Zealand and, apart from Post Office training, she was also two months pregnant with our twin daughters Kate and Emily.

We stayed on in Canberra until the girls were born before we moved down to Nelligen after the Donoghues had vacated the premises on 21 July 1981.

Times were difficult and challenging, having suddenly stopped a regular income, raising two five-and-a-half-week old twin daughters, taking on the postal duties, and meeting virtually the entire town who used to come and collect their mail in those days.

We became involved in the history of Nelligen and started by building a new building between the Post Ofice and Mechanics Hall, built to look old. This building was to become like a gallery of historic photographs, hence we named it the 'Past & Post Gallery' for tourists to view. The idea was to grow a business and devonshire tea/coffee shop as well as establish a small architectural drafting service.

Apart from the normal red tape that one expects through Council, we had other very important issues to contend with in trying to get this business off the ground:

You see, the rent Australia Post paid us for the actual Post Office front room and the wages my wife was paid were all based on the amount of use or business the locals gave to the post office and with the advent of easier access to Batemans Bay via the bridge and not the ferry anymore, people tended to take more and more of their business to Batemans Bay which continued to reduce both our rental income and wages until it reached apoint where it was no longer viable for Australia Post or us to remain open, hence the introduction of the home delivery mail service.

Anyway, we battled on with my wife having returned to nursing in the A.C.T. while I raised our two girls on my own, still ran the post office as it had not closed completely at this stage as well as work my architectural drafting service and still tried to develop the gallery next door.

After some time had passed, we realised we were not going to have the resources necessary to put all our business dreams into practice and so we made the decision to sell.

We eventually sold the Post Office and moved to Lower Hutt, New Zealand, in April 1983.

I look back at those Nelligen days which were giant learning curcesof my life through good and badtimes but I would say, on the whole, they were mainly happy times and memories and we still have a soft spot for Nelligen and its residents.

 

 

The post office ceased to operate in March 1982 and the Eldridges sold it sometime after that in a private sale to Douglas & Joan McCarron from Orange for $70,000.

Marion van de Pol bought it in 1990, restored it, turned it into a Bed & Breakfast, and added the Camp Oven Café, leased by Renate, a local German woman.

It was leased out to various managers, including a Russell and Barbara Coburn who passed it on to Seamus O'Kane and Beverly Roy in 1993. In 1996 the new managers Lillian and Bill Hardie celebrated the post office's 96th year with a Guest House Open day.

Marion van der Pol sold it in March 2000 for $400,000 to Peter and Sue Kenyon, who subsequently sold it in July 2004 to Mark and Tamara Korsten for $320,000. Mark and his family lived there without operating it as a B&B until Peter and Alison Kay bought it in February 2008 for $525,000.

 

 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Greetings from Nellingen to Nelligen

Nellingen's Townhall

 

There has been much conjecture over how little Nelligen got is name - click here - and it is just as likely as not that it has a Teutonic origin as there is a big Nellingen in Germany - click here.

And why not? At last count, there are at least five Germans (or ex-Germans) living in or around Nelligen.

'Bürgermeister' Franko Kopp and the good people of Nellingen sent me the above photo of their impressive-looking 'Rathaus' (townhall) together with their greetings to the people of Nelligen.

Nelligen's Community Hall