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Visit to Sea Electric April 2021

A  highly informative visit to the Dandenong factory of SEA Electric at which lithium-ion electric battery powered commercial vehicles are assembled. A presentation was given by Glen Walker, Facility Manager and Warren Fairweather, Technical Director on the intricacies of high-tech manufacturing was followed by a works tour.

Archibald Exhibition 2019 at Tarrawarra

A great day out. Excellent lunch at Zonzos.
Portraits viewed by (1) Margie Beadle and Muis van Ruyven and (2) by George Montgomery. Convivial lunch with all 16 of us at a very large round table for an Italian feast. Group photo l to r David Seedsman, Dick Kirby, Nova Ball, Janice Kirby, Gilda Griffiths, Jennie Bowles, Muis van Ruyven, Graham Ball, George Montgomery, Marlene Byass, Norm Griffiths, Margie Beadle, Gail Seedsman. Tony Bowles Ken Beadle

Terracotta Warriors at the NGV - August 2019

 The Terracotta Warriors are, of course, amazing but so too is the Art Exhibition and the “mumuration” of ceramic birds

This exhibition was for The Terracotta Warriors and the artwork of Cai Guo-Qiang. The first part of the tour highlighted some of his artwork but also the artefacts from different dynasties in China’s history. He produces these large canvasses using pen, ink, paint and timed gunpowder explosions (he was also responsible for the fireworks at the Beijing Olympics).

Only 10 Terracotta Warriors are allowed out of China at any one time. Eight of them were on display at the NGV. Ken Beadle remarked that in China, whilst you can see all the diggings and enormity of the field of warriors it is difficult to get a close look. It was quite the opposite at the NGV.

There were also half scale replicas of chariots and regal wagons. 

One of the most amazing parts of the exhibition was the “murmuration” of ceramic birds. Each one was suspended by 2 wires to ensure correct direction and angle. There were 10,000 of them (this being a significant number in Chinese culture). The NGV has bought this collection.

Visit to Steamrail workshops - April 2019

Bob Wigg is one of a team of 160 volunteers who resore these wonderful old trains. Some 30 are on site at any one time at Steamrail Victoria

Day trip to Portalington, wine tasting at Scotchman's Hill Vineyard and lunch at Jack Rabbit - 2018

This was an outstanding day trip.
We took the ferry to Portarlington where a bust picked us up and drove us for a superb wine tasting at Scotchman’s Hill Vineyard. They gave us a very detailed and interesting talk about their wines. We then drove to Jack Rabbit restaurant at the vineyard, and had an outstanding lunch.

Well fed we returned to Portarlington to board the ferry then home.

Visit to HMAS Cerberus October 2018

Visit to RAAF Point Cook 2017

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.

Visit to Immigration Museum 2017

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

After the visit we went and had a good lunch

Photos by Alan Stevens

Visit to B-24 Liberator -2017

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.

By Andy Coogan

Visit to Chinese Museum -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

Visit to Parliament -2017

2017 kicked 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!

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

Visit to Castlemaine - 2016 Lunch at "One Hat Restaurant and Steam Train Ride

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!

Visit to MCG -2016

Visit Marilyn Munroe Expo - Bendigo 2016

We used our Vic Rail travel passes to go by train to Bendigo. We had a good lunch in the cafe by the Art Gallery and visited the exhibition. 

It was a most enjoyable day

Visit to Eastern Water Treatment Plant 2014

15 members and partners enjoyed a beautiful spring morning at Melbourne Water’s local facilities. At the Edithvale Wetlands Centre – an outstanding bird education centre — Sharon gave us an overview of wetlands inhabitants including life-sized displays of different types of migratory and local birds and their calls, and excellent viewing of resident birds in the wetlands. At the Eastern Treatment Plant, the many facets of sewage treatment processes were explained by Yvonne, using excellent interactive displays before we toured the facility in our minibus.