May 29, 2011
Suncoasters are located at the Dance Centre, 260 Dixon Road, Buderim (near the motorway end) on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, and are lucky to have the use of a well-lit large hall for their dances, lessons and workshops. There is no need for a partner, we welcome solos as well as couples. Our regular caller is Nev McLachlan, and his wife Bev cues round dancing and clogging. We are very fortunate to have Gary Petersen (Rebel with a cause from CHAOS) as our co-caller, so our dances are never dull. We dance Rounds and Mainstream on the first and third Saturday nights of the month, and when a fifth Saturday is available, have a themed dance. Plus dances are held on Monday evenings, and A on the weekends during the daytimes, while lessons and workshops are held on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. We have a small caravan park attached to our spacious grounds and this is often utilised by travelling square dancers. Enquiries should be directed to (07) 5445 1238 or email to NevBevMcLachlan@bigpond.com. Our website is www.suncoasters.com.au
4 June – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
After the Darwin convention
18 June – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
2 July – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
15 July – Old Time Ball. Bookings are essential, so get in early. The Sunshine Swing Band will play until midnight and you can dance to all of your old favourites or sit back and enjoy the music. Comlementary welcome drinks of wine and non-alcoholic drinks and nibbles will be served from 7pm until the music and dancing starts at 8pm. There will be Lucky Door, Monte Carlo and Spot Dance prizes. A delicious supper with tea and coffee is provided, and dress is “After five”. Cost is $20 and reservations or enquiries can be made with Cath on 5448 4829 or 0403963313, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds from this ball will be used for the maintenance of the Dance Centre.
16 July – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
July - August
Square Dance Lessons
Tuesdays, 19th and 26th July and 2nd August, 7.15pm
No partner is required. The first time you attend is free. Don't say no, give it a go. For more details, please phone 07-5445 1238
30 July – starting at 7pm. Round dancing and Mainstream. The theme for this evening is “Black and White” and members and visitors are encouraged to dress up and make this a fun night of dancing. Paul Green will be calling the round dances this evening.
August 5 – 7 – this is the 26th Anniversary weekend of the Dance Centre and a full-on weekend of dancing is planned. Guest callers will include the Mills Brothers, and there are sessions at all levels to please everyone. The caravan park is available for travellers, and we have plenty of parking as well. If you want to join us for this exciting weekend, or obtain further details please call (07) 5445 1238 or email NevBevMcLachlan@bigpond.com. Information about this event has been published in the Bugle.
20 August – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
3 September – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
17 September – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
1 October – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
15 October – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
29 October – starting at 7pm. Round dancing and Mainstream. Theme for this evening is “Hawaiian” and members and visitors are encouraged to dress up and make this a fun night of dancing.
5 November – Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free.
19 November – Annual General Meeting commencing t 2pm, followed by a Combined Planning meeting for 2012, socialising before Round dancing commences at 7pm and Mainstream at 7.30pm. The cost for the evening is $6 per dancer, spectators free. Members are encouraged to come along to either/both of these meetings and give us your input.
December 3 – Our Christmas Party for members and regular dancers. This event is subsidised by the Club and we always have a great time and it’s always booked out in advance. The buffet-style meal is a winner and spot prizes, a bit of old time and even a little bush dancing mixed in with the square and round dancing makes this an evening to remember.
May 2, 2011
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The Barn, venue for the Speewa Easter Hoedown
Sunday 17th April 2011
Because some Queensland visitors over to sample the new SA Aquatics centre were occupying our house, we spent a pleasant night in a caravan park at Tailem Bend in SA.
Tailem Bend Caravan Park
Monday 18th April 2011
Tony and Heather joined us with their caravan and we followed them on out journey towards Speewa. We stopped for the night at a nice community caravan park at Murrayville, only $9.90 per night with very clean ablutions.
Murrayville Caravan Park
Tuesday 19th April 2011
We hit the road at 10.00AM and after stopping for lunch at Manangatang, reached the Barn at 2.30 PM. Des came out to greet us and said he was sorry but there was no room left, the site was full. When he saw our dogs he said he was sorry, no pets allowed, Then he remembered Helen and Heather and after some hugging he was persuaded to let us in. There was only one van on the site, Bob and Margaret from NSW had arrived that morning. Des’s mate Alex and his wife were also on the property and were set up in the only surviving “chalet”, the others had been demolished, suffering the ravages of white ants. After setting up our caravans and annex, a reconnoitre of the ablutions and the barn and a chat with Alex determined that next day we would clean the toilets and the barn and set up the dining room for the visitors.
Wednesday 20th April 2011
We got up early, had breakfast, then went in to Swan Hill to pick up disinfectant, bleach and other cleaning stuff. On returning Bob was found pushing a broom, he had jumped the gun and had a head start on all of us. He had removed the Red Back and huge Orb spiders (he did contemplate leaving the very large orb spider nestling in the shower curtain in the ladies amenities but decided he had better remove it. So Margaret, Heather and Helen got stuck into toilet cleaning, whilst Roger removed the dangling stuff from the ceilings and Bob and Tony dismantled and repaired one of the ladies loos which was leaking.
After a lot of hard work, the toilets and external wash up area plus the pathways and access areas thereto were swept, mopped, disinfectanted sanitised and spotless but we could not get the gas hot water heaters or urinal flush system working, so Des left a message on the local plumbers phone. In short, - no bloody plumber, so Roger arranged a novel manually operated urinal flush system.
After morning tea and some hot cross buns we had a bit of a rest and then had lunch. After lunch, the team reconvened and were back into it, sorting out the dining room and dance floor. The team now comprised Heather, Helen, Margaret, Paula (the caller), Bob, Tony and Roger, supervised towards the end of the job by a weary Alex who had been slaving away with Des cleaning up the grounds. Much sweeping, mopping, wiping, cleaning and lifting/moving of tables and chairs had the dance and dining areas clean and tidy with the tables set ready for the hungry mob.
Broken flush so use the tap
Nice clean dance floor
The team then all sat down for a cupper joined by Des, Alex and his wife. Roger than managed to get the gas hot water system working in the men’s and lady’s ablutions and after accompanying Helen and her two dogs for a walk to the ferry and back (during which it poured with rain and they all got soaked) managed to get the second gas hot water heater working in the “executive” disabled toilet/shower room and then helped Alex get the gas hot water working to the kitchen (its marvellous what can be achieved by jamming bits of wood and heavy weights onto buttons and other safety devices).
All in all a satisfying days work. Work! That’s a horrible four letter word I thought I would never ever say now that I am retired. At least we were prepared for the arrival of the other caravans, we could now sit in our chairs and laugh at their antics as they parked their caravans.
Thursday 21st April 2011
Groan………Who volunteered to clean the griddle plate in the kitchen – you guessed it my big mouth. After two hours of scraping and scrubbing we got the job done. We used all sorts, including bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, vim, eventually the run off went from brown gravy to consommé then eventually clear water, we ended up sterilizing the final job with salt and water. Helen and I were joined by Heather and Tony, us blokes were left to clean the griddle whilst the ladies busied themselves with the work surfaces, sinks, utensils etc. We rounded of the job by mopping the floor (to remove all the spilt gravy).
Seriously we enjoyed the experience. Giving makes you feel good!
And so we sat down fro a rest, when some square dancer roared into the campsite at 100 mph and ripped up the water system. At that very instant, Tony was pouring a glass of water and commented someone is using all the water, the pressure is very low. Panic! There was a fountain right in the middle of our camp. Eventually we isolated the tanks and switched the pump off. Whilst one group dug up the concrete covering the broken pipe, we scoured Des’s shed to find appropriate pipe fittings to fix the leak. Oh the fickle finger of fate! Prior to leaving Adelaide, Roger lost a screwed plug to his water tank, so had to buy another one. When leaving for Speewa there it was on the ground about 10 metres from where he dropped it. Guess what? That plug was needed to finally complete the repair job to the broken pipe. Amazing! Whilst we were doing all this work, the culprit calmly parked and set up his camper seemingly oblivious of the commotion he had caused!
Bob and I were trying to work out all the trades we would need for all the jobs we had done and reckon we would have needed a: plumber, gas fitter, electrician, pest control officer, cleaner, kitchen hand, irrigation specialist , hospitality / function worker, furniture removalist, gardener and psychiatrist.
That night Des put on dinner for those who had arrived, including our principal caller Peter Humphreys who made it early this year. The dinner comprised soup, followed by rabbit venison and bacon hot pot with potatoes and veggies (very nice). The proceeds of that dinner went to Des’s special charity “Beyond Blue”. If you missed the dinner, you can go to the following web site and make a donation: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=104.1283 just click on the blue link to find out more.
Des’s Beyond Blue Meal (Looks like Peter preaching to his flock)
Friday 22nd April 2011
I awoke in the morning; eureka! I had an idea how to fix the hot water to the men’s and ladies ablutions (it was lukewarm). When getting the heaters started there was a funny spindle/knob, I wondered if twiddling this would make the gas burner work harder, so I got up and twiddled, hey presto problem solved, hot showers for everyone.
Then it was time for breakfast as I pushed down the electric toaster, a shower of sparks shot out of it and yells emerged from adjacent vans that lost power because I tripped out the main circuit breaker. Solution: throw toaster in the rubbish bin; use the gas grill. Today more and more caravans arrived and they got packed in tighter and tighter until the site was fair bursting, by 6.00PM dinner time we had 22 caravans /motor-homes/campervans tea.
We had caravans two deep (right of photo)
Finding power points and water connections was a problem. Our caravan drew water from another caravan and a third caravan drew water from ours, then later an Avan plugged into the third van.
The dining room was also well patronised for the traditional Good Friday fish dinner, beautiful steamed fish, vegetables and potato-bake, followed by chocolate pudding or bread and butter pudding; very nice, a good country style home cooked meal. After the meal we had our first dance, not bad, 8 squares on the floor for most of the night, even more surprising, we had just over 3 squares from South Australia; 12 dancers from Wild Frontier (click on http://wildfrontiersquaredanceclubinc.com/blog/?p=1239), 5 from Goolwa Paddle Steamers, 4 from Adelaide Outlaws, 2 from Pine City Twirlers (Naracoorte) and 2 from Kanella Squares . Des said he had over 100 registered for this years dance. Peter did most of the calling except we danced to three other guest callers, Ivan, Ralphy Baby and young Jayden.
Friday Night Dance
Alex and “his manager” - Alex put in an incredible work effort the whole week
FOR CONTINUATION OF THIS STORY GO TO PAGE TWO
May 2, 2011
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Saturday 23rd April 2011
A rest day (for some) - poor old Norm, after cooking God knows how many eggs and bacon for breakfast, there he was unblocking the septic tank (thank goodness he did things in that order), then he tried in vain to unblock a second grey water tank overflow which was creating a damp patch in the middle of the caravan site.
We took our dogs for a walk to the ferry and had a long chat with Mr Butcher the ferryman who has been operating the ferry for umpteen years; nice bloke! Des had already set up the marquee next to the ferry in preparation for the evenings activities. What a thoughtful Des, thinking how hungry our two dogs are, we found on our return that he had left them a bone. Mind you he is a bit mean, he only gave them one bone to share rather than one each (see picture below).
I think we will need a bit of help to bury this one
By 4.00PM, most of the vehicles had left our campsite and gone in to Swan Hill for the boat dance. Each year when the boat goes past the riverside caravan park, Peter puts on a bit of a show, urging dancers to be sprightly and happy (who knows we could attract dome newcomers). Last year we danced to Proud Mary as we passed the caravaner’s lined up along the fence watching our antics. This year Peter planned to do Old Man River but……..as the caravan park hove into view…phuttt… perclunk. The generator on the boat cut out and they motored past the caravan park in silence. The fickle finger of fate struck once again.
So we arrived at the area next to the ferry early and set up our tables and chairs in preparation for our meal. What a great job Des had done, the area was totally flooded a few months ago, and no doubt the area was covered in debris. Des had cleaned up, scraped and levelled the whole area. Well done Des you’re worth your weight in cockies chaff!
We had a magnificent roast beef dinner (in the usual country fashion 1kg of sliced roast beef per person with some cauliflower cheese, mashed pumpkin, mixed vegies and a potato as a garnish). It was most pleasant sitting outside (rugged up of course because the temperature must have been down around the 10C mark) sipping our wine and listening to the country music playing over Peters sound system. Then they lit the bonfire and anyone who was still cold could get warm next to it and those who wished toasted marshmallows.
Next came the endless pancake session, and they are not them city slicker pikelets either, they a r the size of dinner plates with loads of maple syrup of lemon juice and sugar (I admit I managed 3).
Whilst the endless pancakes continued, Peter put on some music for the children including the birdie dance, nutbush city limits, twist and shout, monster mash and that song where yo-all, clap your hands, do two steps to the left, jump, cha cha… etc, to that hip American negro rapper …. I don’t know his name. As can be seen in the photos some of the children were a tad over 60 years old. The photos next are from the riverside banquet.
Cheese sauce on your cauliflower sir?
Not bad this restaurant- let’s come back next year
Our demure chef
Kids just love sparklers
Norm “pancake el supremo” – just look at the size of those pancakes!
He must be doing something right they queued and queued.
Then it was back to the Barn where we commenced dancing at around 10.30PM. The first tip had three singing calls, the next tip four calls and so on. Helen and I bailed out after a tip of 6 calls, but the stalwarts remained until around 3.00 AM completing a final tip of 9 calls making a total of 42 singing calls for that night. Peter did threaten to do a half hour hoedown – thankfully he did not prevail. No photos of that event, I was tucked up in my warm bed.
FOR CONTINUATION OF THIS STORY GO TO PART THREE
May 2, 2011
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Sunday 24th April 2011
A few bedraggled and weary dancers appeared with bleary eyes for their sausages egg and tomatoes and as time passed, more and more dancers dragged themselves in for a heart starter (coffee) and their breakfast. Most had just about revived from the night before when at 2.00 PM, Peter put on his torture session (sorry workshop). At one stage I counted 5 squares up, however, the weary bodies could not keep up and we ended up with three squares at around 5.00 PM.
Peter started of with zoom and cast off three quarters; sounds simple, just try them from all the positions we had to do them from (thankfully Peter forgot the standing on ones head position). We then looked at left hand spin the top which yours truly stuffed up the night before spin chain through and then looked at ping pong circulate with right and left hand waves and in left and right positions. Finally Peter did his “with agony” thing, which means you do the move, do a u-turn back and repeat the move. Knowing the definitions and being precise regarding placement and facing direction does help a bit. I noticed that spin chain through with agony gives the caller time for a cup of tea and a smoke. A great workshop Peter, but why is it that those who really need to be there are those who don’t go?
I missed the kids Easter egg hunt which took place whilst the workshop was on. Then it was a mad rush to get showered and ready for the evening dance. We sat down to another magnificent meal prepared by Des’s team. A poultry meal, it was positively fowl, the chicken was stuffed (with a rosemary sprig for garnish in recognition of the forthcoming Anzac day). The main course was followed by some delicious cheese cake and pastry desserts, then after a very brief wait we were all back on the floor from 7.30 PM until 11.00PM.
The dance was well attended with 8 squares up for most of the night and many more sitting out around the perimeter of the dance floor or in the adjoining dining room. Once again we had quite a few guest callers (4) but I can’t name them all, so I won’t name any. By 11.00 PM we were really weary, they certainly pack a lot of dancing into the three days. If you count the hours available to square dance and divide by the usual length of a club’s weekly dance, we did 6 - 7 weeks dancing in 3 days. These days that’s easily $37.00 worth of dancing! For the other $35.00 you get a boat cruise two evening meals and a bonfire banquet by the river - that’s extremely good value!
At the end of the dance, Des got up and thanked his team of volunteers and Peter for their support and said that putting on the event was getting to be too much for him (I know he had a hard time this year when some of the helpers did not turn up). Des confirmed that next year would be on, but, 2012 WILL BE THE LAST SPEEWA EASTER HOEDOWN and he wants the event to be a BIG success and to go out with a BANG! Then, trestle tables were pulled out onto the dance floor and loaded with hot and cold food for a sumptuous supper. Once again, content, we dragged ourselves off to bed in the early hours of the morning.
Monday 25th April 2011
Anzac Day; Helen, Heather and I were up very early and left at 5.30 AM for the dawn service in Swan Hill. At 6.00AM a group of military personnel marched up to the shrine of remembrance in the main street of Swan Hill, where three soldiers silently stood in the traditional eyed down stance. It was a succinct and moving service which allowed us to reflect on the sacrifice made by our past diggers and to put into perspective why we live in a society where we can have a day off work. The last post played by a single bugler always brings a lump in my throat. We all laid a single poppy at the shrine to the mournful strains of a Scottish piper.
Then it was back to our caravan for a cup of tea and a bit of shuteye, before hauling ourselves into the dining room for our last group breakfast. Lots of farewells were said with many more see you next year. About half the caravans left that day, others decided to stay on for one more night.
And so it was that evening that about 30 people gathered with Des, Bruce and his family round an open fire for some road kill and a glass of alcoholic beverage or two (or three or four or “say no more”) a bit of a chin wag and other frivolities. Road kill is a term used by Des to describe the leftovers which were made into a bit of a bubble and squeak thing (or rumbledy-thump if your Scottish) with chicken pieces mixed in. This was accompanied by salads and other delicacies prepared by the campers from their leftovers, plus, jacket potatoes cooked on the open fire with damper, hot roasted chestnuts, toasted hot cross buns and the compulsory toasted marshmallows. We all had a wonderfully entertaining evening, much of the entertainment provided free gratis by Paul v Des.
Tuesday 26th April 2011
There was some early morning crashing and banging as people packed up there caravans. After many hugs kisses and farewells, the remaining caravans started to depart at around 9.00AM. Bob and Margaret who were the first to arrive were also the last to depart just after us at around 10.30 AM. Des vowed he was going to lie down and rest for a couple of days … after he had had breakfast.
The Speewa Easter Dance is indeed a very special Australian event and it will be sad to see it go. Square dancing owes a lot to Des Devereaux so let’s give him something back. Let us make Des’s wish come true and make his last dance a real humdinger, come along and have one hell of a Farewell Speewa party. Des’s last Speewa Easter Hoedown will commence on Friday 6th April, thru to and including Sunday 8th April 2012. If you think you would like to come along, register you interest now by using the contact form at the top of Square-dance Magazine home page. I will make sure your information is passed on to Des & Bruce.
Peter you must now work on a SLOW call to the song “Save the Last Dance for Me” and get weary legs Des and his trusty team up on the floor for a symbolic final square (a bit like a bridal waltz). Then we can all show them the appreciation they truly deserve.