Every year when I sit down to write the Social Scene for the February edition, I seem to get writers’ block. It’s not that there isn’t anything to write about, because January is an active month; it’s just that I have hardly left Wingham. January is a fabulous month for business, when all the lovely tourists are in town, and we must make hay while the sun shines.
Now here is a little bit of news from Hallidays Point. Yes, some of it is Christmas related, but they do throw a great party down there, so it is worth a mention – it was sent to me by one of our readers.
Each year the Red Head village community partakes in a Christmas light competition, where the streets are beautifully lit up with a display of street lights, helping to keep Essential Energy afloat and giving the village a wonderful festive feel. At the annual Christmas party, the previous year’s winner has the honour of selecting the current year’s winner of the competition.
There was great excitement when Maddison Aiken announced that this year’s winners were Cathy and Grant Whitelaw. More than 100 residents attended the Christmas Party held in the Red Head Reserve, and the highlight was the arrival of the Santa Claus with his endless supply of lollies. He is a hit at every street party, that Santa Claus!
Still at Hallidays Point, the 2012 Head2Head Ocean Classic was held on Monday 2 January 2012 at Black Head Beach, with fantastic conditions, the sun shining and the seas calm after some pretty heavy swells the week before. Numbers were up on last year’s swim, with a successful day for the hardworking team at the surf club. 2012 was the third year for the ocean swims, with 88 finishers in the 700 m race and 161 in the 1500 m race.
Sixteen year old Kurtis Kavanagh from Burleigh Waters in QLD took the honours in both races. In the 1500 m race, last year’s winner, 15 year old Connor Shakespeare from Forster, came in 11 seconds later to claim 2nd place.
In the women’s section, 41 year old Dori Miller from Sydney NSW was the first female home in both races. Last year’s winner of the 1500 m race, 15 year old Maddison Carnegie from Bella Vista in NSW, came in 13 seconds behind Dori to take 2nd placed female.
This year also saw the running of the inaugural 10 km ocean ski race as part of the day’s events. 18 hardy paddlers took part in the race from Black Head Beach to Diamond Beach and return, with the winner being 37 year old Shane Cornish from Forster, while 46 year old Laura Thurtell from Forster was the first female home.
As I said, Bent on Food has been busy with many happenings, including the successful launch of our evening menu, cooking classes and the usual chaos.
At the cookery school, Michael and his daughter Gaby enjoyed conducting a Big Chef, Little Chef class, with participants learning the art of cutting a chicken and turning it into the most wonderful Fricassee; I was on the dishes, so I was given a taste … yum. Not to mention that the dessert was my favourite – vanilla pannacotta, all wobbly, and perfectly formed too!
A private class was also held, with the Cudlin ladies learning some pasta making skills and my next favourite dessert, tiramisu. The ladies had a great time, and they were a pleasure to spend the evening with. They were good sharers too, and their ravioli was restaurant quality.
Michael and I also taught some very well behaved children how to make cupcakes and 3 different types of icing. The children were delightful, and they were all very good students. I felt very special when they all donated a cupcake to me – like I need any more food!
Troy Bayliss was a hit when he visited Taree Motorcycle Club’s annual twilight meet held at Old Bar race track on Saturday 21 January. Troy was competing on the day in a number of classes and was clearly a crowd favourite, with the spectators enjoying seeing their hometown boy race locally. Troy is now retired and living on the Gold Coast with his family. Originally from Taree, he returned to his home track for the first time in 20 years.
I would love to hear from you if you have any social events, weddings, parties, anything!
Send pics and info to Donna Carrier
Every day we use water; it is an essential part of our lives. it’s also a resource most of the population take for granted.
Wingham is the oldest town in the Manning Valley and is well known for its heritage appeal and country town atmosphere. Story by peter lyne.
After taking home a State Award, we find out how Donna from Bent on Food does it!
Welcome again friends
These deadlines sure come around fast. I take my hat off to real journalists, because I am not sure how a girl is supposed to be social with all these time constraints to slow us down. Things just seem to be put on the backburner, like studying, the tourism awards submission, the gym and the dreaded BAS. There will be no wine tonight, that’s for sure, but it’s all good. It means I get to relive some great events … and it is another great excuse for not getting around to that BAS!
Scotland arrived in Wingham on the weekend of the 30th and 31st May, along with shortbread, an Earl and Countess, and lots of men in kilts. The weather was warm and the Scotch whisky was flowing hard and fast, with a full calendar to keep the visitors busy.
We attended our very first Bonnie Scottish Festival Ball at the Wingham Memorial Services Club, where we didn’t quite master the Highland Fling or any of the progressive dancing, but it was fun watching.
The Haggis was OK too, and so were the bagpipes … even though my ears did ring for days afterwards. The concert at the town hall was a highlight on the Sunday and was finished off with a cocktail party for around 30 of the Kantable choir to wind down and enjoy some yummy little morsels of food and a well deserved glass of wine.
Sylvia Cassar from Caffreys Flat recently celebrated her 60th birthday at Tellers Restaurant and function centre in the private dining room. It was a special celebration, as her daughter Karyn arrived by surprise all the way from Oregon USA to celebrate the occasion, along with her Daughter Vanessa from Wollongong and son Robert from the Gold Coast. Husband George enjoyed sharing the special birthday with his family too.
Peter Scott Whitehead and Kelsie Maree Ward, of North Rothbury, were married in front of 100 of their friends and family at the beautiful Green Cathedral in Tiona on Saturday June 6th. Before moving to North Rothbury, the couple lived in Forster and Taree, so they decided to wed at one of their favourite places, with the lake as a perfect backdrop for the beautiful couple to exchange their vows.
The marriage ceremony was conducted by Forster Civil Celebrant, Mr Joseph Court.
The groom is the elder child of Graham and Maree Whitehead, of Muswellbrook; Kelsie is the daughter of Norm Ward, of Nyngan, and Margaret Ward, of Dubbo.
The best man was Emilio Lionetti, of Coffs Harbour; the chief bridesmaid was Sarah Bowman of Sydney. A beautiful wedding cake was made and iced by the bride’s grandmother, Mrs. Judy Lardan, of Dubbo.
Jack Singleton, son of ad man John Singleton, arrived in town on the eve of the Manning Valley Business Awards launch to officially open the awards.
The event was held at the Waterfront Room in the Exchange Hotel at Taree. Guests were entertained by Helen Knight and Hugh Cowley, with Jack Singleton giving us a few healthy business tips.
Jack enjoyed the Manning Valley – in particular the karaoke in the front bar of the hotel. He and committee member, Wendy Thorne are pictured singing with gusto. Jack had a good look around the valley, chased a few cows at Mooral Creek, flew a kite at Artisans Retreat in Mondrook and enjoyed a long breakfast with old friends Alan and Lyn Catt and Paul Mcintrye and family at Bent on Food.
The rain cleared briefly in June to allow us to reschedule our May event with Peter Mullany and Helen Knight, together, alone, at last. The previous event had been fully booked when the rain bucketed down – not uncommon lately – so we were forced to postpone. With a fresh batch of Moroccan lamb shanks in the oven and a few more songs added to the repertoire, the evening was a great success: lots of great ballads and a guest appearance by Helen’s son Harley from local band the Hydrofonics playing a great drum set.
Local hairdressers Jo Stinson and Fiona Coleman travelled to Sydney for the annual gala Keune ball. The theme was White Russian, with all guests arriving in white, complete with lots of feathers, high white boots and beautiful hair, all finished off with Russian Vodka (in moderation, of course).
And speaking of balls, the highlight of my year is the themed ball at the Wingham Town Hall; it is one of those nights that can’t be missed. Travel from where- ever you live, but whatever you do, do not miss it. This year the theme is the Orient Express, and you heard it here first. But do not tell everyone, as it will sell out! The date is the 1st August and tickets will go on sale in a few weeks.
Until next month, enjoy life and get out and about.
Please email me with any events you have attended or organised and send me some pics so that I can include them in the social pages. I can only write about what I am aware of, so be sure to share some information with me.
It is that time of year where life gets back to normal; the kids have gone back to school, the festive season is way over and it is time to kick back, relax and put those New Year’s resolutions to work.
One of mine was to have more fun, relax and exercise more, and I covered all three when I spent a sunny Sunday afternoon in January at Harrigans at Harrington, sipping Rosé and listening to Lisa Hunt performing on the lawn by the river. Lisa is a major diva, and the atmosphere at Harrigans is great.
We all had a brilliant time dancing into the night to the sounds of soul performed with energy. Lisa’s favourite performer is Aretha Franklin, and she does some great versions of her work.
Bent on Food’s theme for the first music night for the year was ‘Dress to Kill’. The theme was chosen for Black Friday 13th February, with James Johnston performing for an intimate crowd of 30 people while they dined.
James is a Wingham High School student who has been fortunate in being able to make his way in a world of professional entertainment from an unusually early beginning. Although now only 18 years of age, his on stage experiences extend back many years, and as a consequence his performances have achieved a level of maturity and expertise beyond his years. James played some of his own tracks along with some old favourites to get the crowd rocking.
I was fortunate and privileged to be invited along to speak as a mentor for the young ambassadors program on the evening of the judging held at Club Taree. I witnessed a group of young individuals who were doing great things for the community, and I was extremely proud to be amongt them. Congratulations to all the young ambassadors for their determination and the courage to enter this great program. Congratulations also to the organisers of the Summer Festival for their great work.
I know that Port Macquarie is not in the Manning Valley or the Great Lakes, but I did see many Manning Valley and Great Lakes residents enjoying a day out at the picturesque Cassegrain Winery on February 7th. It was a great day with many great performers, including the wonderful and talented Ani DiFranco. Thanks to Sand Events for their support of live music and for bringing such great acts to our region, and it’s great to see people travelling to support these concerts.
On Sunday, February 15th the vivacious Kate Blenkin held a luncheon at her place for a large group of women otherwise known as the ‘Wingham Beauties’. The theme of the day was op shop florals, and weren’t there some lovely frocks to be seen? But better still were some of Grandma’s hats. We dined on excellent food courtesy of Kate and shared lots of lovely girl moments, with no gossip allowed!
Donations were made to Dr Catherine Hamlin’s Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia.
A surprise 60th birthday party was held for Jan North in a marquee at Diamond Beach in January, where around 40 guests dined on a selection of canapés. The canapé menu was all cold due to the absence of electricity and included Bloody Mary oyster shots and mini crab cakes with lime mayonnaise. Jan was very pleased with her surprise party, and the family did a fantastic job at keeping it a secret.
Good Beginnings held a fundraiser at Bent on Food on Friday 6th February, with around 25 guests. Rosemary Sinclair gave an update on what is happening in our area with this wonderful charity.
The dinner was attended by our mayor Paul Hogan and his wife Patti, who praised the efforts of Rosemary and her team. The fundraisers will be ongoing, and plans are being made for a wine and food dinner along with Christmas in July.
There are many great events coming up in our region in March, including some important fundraisers, so get out there and have fun and support the community. Please email me with any events you have attended and send me some pics, so that I can include them in the social pages.