RAAF Point Cook

A group of Beaumaris Probians visited the RAAF Museum at Point Cook on 3 May. We were welcomed to the Museum by our two volunteer guides who made sure we were comfortable before we started our tour.
In two groups we were taken through the static displays that showed the history of the RAAF from its inception to the present day.
We then moved into the aircraft displays in a series of connected hangers where every type of aircraft used by the RAAF was to be seen.
The superb condition of each aircraft was remarkable, and the amount of information shown was most informative. The knowledge of our guides and their willingness to share with us many stories about air warfare in the two World Wars and subsequently was much appreciated.
Finally, we were able to watch a flying display given by an RAAF pilot who demonstrated the acrobatic abilities of a small single engine trainer aircraft.

 

Immigration Museum – April 2018

Photos by Alan Stevens

The Immigration Museum is in a beautiful building that was was originally a Customs House. The main business dealings were conducted on the 1st floor in the Long Room with stock (in bond) stored on the ground floor.
There are theatrettes detailing the stories of “Leaving Home” for so many different people. There were many different immigration stories across the timeline of our short history. The names of immigrant families are listed in the pool and its surrounding walls.
During our visit there was a special Exhibition about Ghandi in the Long Room with it’s beautiful tessellated tile floor. There is also a courtyard at the rear of the Museum.

It was good to see Margaret Howe out and about again.

After the visit we went and had a good lunch!

 

3 day Bike ride – Bairnsdale to Orbost -November 2017

 

B24-Liberator – October 2017

REPORT ON LIBERATOR VISIT –By Andy Coogan

Our visit to B-24 Liberator went very well.  All twenty members found the hanger easily and were welcomed with morning tea and cakes.
Divided into three groups, excellent commentary was provided by very enthusiastic volunteers who fielded our many questions.
The sheer size of the aircraft impressed with gun turrets and bombing details the most eagerly asked about.
Over lunch it was evident we appreciated the opportunity to see up close this amazing plane which had so significantly contributed to Australia’s, and world freedom.
We acknowledge and thank the wonderful volunteers who made us so welcome and encourage any other Probus clubs to visit.
We saw something very special today,  certainly worth the drive to Werribee.

Chinese Museum – July 2017

We had an excellent Tour Leader. He described the horrendous 8-week journey from Hong Kong to Melbourne with a third of them dying enroute, mainly from scurvy. In addition to this hardship they had a 10-pound tax imposed, equivalent to $10,000 today. Many opted to travel to Robe in South Australia and then take a 3-week trek to the diggings carrying up to 120 Kg of goods. The museum had a simulated area of ships quarters: shocking conditions!

The set up their own temples with upside down characters on the door to ward off evil spirits.

The diggings were very difficult and often the tunnels were just big enough for 1 person. Ingestion of quartz dust led to a horrible death of drowning in your own blood. Living past 50 years was rare. The miners needed some respite and it wasn’t long before Chinese theatre companies came to the diggings, however, at that time all performers were men.

We were shown the traditional dragon (Dai Loong) which retired in 2003. These dragons all come from Foshan. 

Melbourne has a particular link to the renewed manufacture of dragons in Foshan. 

The current dragon was purchased in 2000. It took 6 months to make and is expected to last approximately 30 years.

The dragon is permanently housed at the museum and at 63 metres it is not easy to store other than in a spiralling ramp in the basement.

It is of course brought out every Chinese New Year and needs 68 fit and able men to carry it.

We were very lucky with our timing as a Private Collection of the Han Dynasty was on show. This will be on show for only another 10 months and I urge people to go and see it for themselves. They had a brilliant man named Hang Zheng. He invented a seismograph for determining where an earthquake occurred. This enabled the Emperor to send troops to the affected area and provide assistance.

 

 

New Zealand Cruise – March 2017

Our party of 19 departed from Station Pier, Port Melbourne on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon but really that was the end of the good weather. It rained every day up to the Tuesday of the second week and by Wednesday we were steaming back to Melbourne.      

However, in relation to the cruise I believe it was as good as you might expect. The ship has a passenger capacity of 2600.The staff were very well presented, very attentive to detail and nothing was too much trouble. The entertainment on board was very good but because of the weather, some outdoor activities had to be curtailed

Alan Nash celebrated his 80 birthdays and that was enjoyed by all.

Our shore excursions were restricted to Wellington and Dunedin and both were certainly worthy of a visit. Because of the weather, we did not have an opportunity to visit either Auckland or Christchurch. Despite the weather,

I am sure that all who travelled thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

John Green

 

Visit to Victorian Parliament

2017 kecked off with s superb visit to the Parliament building where we had a guided tour. We then had an excellent lunch in the parliamentary Café. Excellent value for $30.00. If you haven’t been…Go. Thanks to Alan Stevens for the commentary below plus photos.

“After passing through airport type security we collected in “The Vestibule” (see previous email for floor detail) then on to the “Legislative Assembly Chamber”. I like the look of the new front bench! Whilst most materials used when making this building from 1856 to 1930 were local, it’s understandable that way back then they imported the chandelier from Waterford in Ireland.
The Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Chambers are separated by the Queen’s Hall, completed in 1879 and has the statue of Queen Victoria. The walls are lined with pictures of former premiers. The room was set up for a financial group’s Australia Day luncheon.
Then on to the Legislative Council Chamber. We used the staircase to get up into the public gallery area.
The use of gold leaf everywhere reflects the desire to show off the wealth and power of Victoria straight after the gold rush (and of course it’s push to be the seat of power rather than the colony of New South Wales). On top of the Corinthian style columns were statues each demonstrating a certain aspect of governance or philosophy e.g. the scales of justice shown.
The Legislative Council Chamber was a no-go zone as it was undergoing a refurbishment (hence the chairs in disarray and backs of microphone boxes removed etc.). However, as no one was working there our guide took us through.
We then entered the Central Reading Room of the library with it’s beautiful spiral staircases on either side taking members up to a gallery above.
After the tour, we went to the 2nd floor for lunch in the Stranger’s Corridor Restaurant which is open to the public. Overall a very successful outing.”

Castlemaine – October 2016

Steam Train ride and lunch at a One Hat restaurant

This was one of our best trips ever for the lucky 41 travellers who came on the trip

The train line to Castlemaine was closed so we had our very own luxury V Line Bus to and from Castlemaine.

At Castlemaine, we boarded the historic Goldfields Railway and chugged the 45 minutes to the quaint little town of Maldon. Another coach was waiting for us to take us back to Castlemaine where we enjoyed a sumptuous two course lunch with cider and wine at the Public Inn, a One Hat restaurant. It lived up to it’s reputation as you see below!

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 

Click here to see the lunch menu

Very nice indeed!

 

 

MCG Trip – August 2016

 

Marilyn Munroe Expo, Bendigo – June 2016