The End Of An Era – (2)

May 2, 2012

Section 2

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Monday 2nd April

3 caravans pulled in today, so garbage and recycle bins were distributed throughout the park.

Bob and Roger found water bubbling up from underground near the rear door to the kitchen, they dug down to find a broken plastic pipe.  Des had to turn the dam fed water off, which meant there was no water to flush the toilets.  Tony cleaned the three ovens in the kitchen.  The ladies continued cleaning – whew what a lot of crockery pots, pans and eating utensils.  Bob went into town to get some bits to fix the pipe but got back late in the afternoon so it was decided to do the job on Tuesday.  The men also helped with the installation of a sump-pump to pump water out to the fields from a holding tank which collected water from the showers and the kitchen (it overflowed last year).

Tuesday 3rd April

One more van pulled in today.

After a lot of thought it was decided to fix the pipe a different way, BUT that required a couple of extra fittings so Bob shot off into town.  There was a loud bang as he left the property.  On his return we found that he had wiped the side of his Territory against one of Des’s lamp posts.

The men fixed the leaking pipe, then we looked at the ladies shower which was not draining properly – a simple fix, the shower drain grate was blocked.  Great, they got the water back on and all showers draining well.  Then Tony helped Bob dismantled his Territory door, because the electric window was jammed.  After some work with a hammer they pushed the door out so that the window worked properly.  Des was informed that the fittings to fix the leaking pipe were free but the delivery charges would be around $5000.00 (the estimated cost to fix Bobs vehicle).


Today Was Des's 81st Birthday.  Note How Delicately He Cut His Cake

Roger then cleaned the griller and griddle plate (3 hours) while Tony set up the tables and chairs in the dining room.  At the same time, the ladies went into town with Des to pick up a lot of groceries for the meals, on their return they packed all the stuff away and everyone had a cup of coffee and some birthday cake.  The event was getting closer but everyone was confident everything would be ready in time.

Wednesday 4th April

Bob backfilled the hole and dismantled an electric meat slicer he got going to make things a bit easier for Saturdays meal (hundreds of slices cut by hand would be a daunting task). Roger did a final clean and mop of the kitchen floor.  The ladies peeled and cut a bucket load of apples and made 5 apple crumbles for Thursday’s meal.

After lunch everyone helped in the kitchen preparing meat and vegetables for the forthcoming meals (loads of washing up, heaps of vegetables to prepare, and mounds of sausages to cook for curried sausages).

Thursday 5th April

Another two vans pulled in today plus Brian (from Mannum) and Jill dropped in, later Ross and Mark from Victor Harbor SA popped in to say hello.

After some tidying up in the kitchen and a trip to Swan Hill in the morning, everyone gathered in the kitchen at 4.00 PM and started to prepare the evening meal and also prepare some stuff for Saturday’s breakfast and sort out some utensils for Friday’s meal.

The evening meal was ready at 6.30 PM, soup, curried sausages, potato bake and brazed meat in onion gravy.  It was a help yourself affair and the potato bake quickly disappeared.  The ladies then served up apple crumble and cream which they had prepared earlier in the day.  Then the dirty dishes and utensils appeared, but they coped well and had the whole place cleaned up by about 7.30 PM.

The meal raised funds for Des’s charity Beyond Blue.  Heather took a knackered Des home and put him to bed (nice to have an ex nurse on the team), then we all retired to our caravans for a rest

Friday 6th April

This was the 1st dance day on the weekend programme.  Many more caravans and motor homes arrived today and set up camp.  In the morning, spuds were peeled for mashed potato, trays lined for baked fish, and emergency repair work on one of the gas ovens was carried out and the floor was cleaned and mopped.  Later in the afternoon, potatoes were mashed the fish popped into the ovens and the veggies put on to cook.  Cathy (Bruce’s wife) joined the team in the kitchen (she’s a real work horse).

Des's Place Was FULL !

At 6.00 PM, the dining room was buzzing, filled with nearly 100 square dancers resplendent in their regalia.  Dinner was served, including apple strudel slice for dessert.  Then all the dishes were washed up and put away whilst Peter prepared for the evening dance.

At around 7.30, Peter called the 1st tip; the dance floor was full with 10 squares up.  Peter gave all the guest callers a tip – Jaden, Paula, Emily, Ralphie (Baby), Ivan and Silvia.  Everyone enjoyed themselves until 10.30 PM, at which time the dance floor was empty and the dining room was again filled with a noisy bunch, enjoying supper – tea, coffee and hot cross buns.  After helping prepare and serve hot X buns for supper, the kitchen crew cleaned up and went to bed (they had to assemble in the kitchen at 7.15 AM to cook breakfast).  Some dancers remained in the dining room until the wee small hours having a bit of an after party.

1st Night - Dance Floor Full

 Saturday 7th April

The cleaning, maintenance and kitchen crew were up early, the campsite was very still.  The first hot breakfast day saw about 40 dancers front up for service, bacon (Roger) eggs (Helen) tomatoes & toast (Heather & Margaret) dishes – a seemingly continuous flow from start up to shut down (Tony & Bob) an endless flow of empty tummies.  Finally the kitchen was cleaned up benches washed down and the, floor mopped.

Today was the cleaning, maintenance and kitchen crew’s public holiday, after cutting up corned silverside using the cleaned and resurrected meat slicer, Cathy, Bruce, their family and friends took over preparing spuds vegies and pancake mix. At about this time, Des disappeared with Peter down to the Pioneer Village to load the paddle steamer for the river cruise & dance.

The River Cruise

Reprieved the kitchen crew showered, put on warm clothes and drove to the punt campsite, set up table and chairs had nibbles, wine and a good old chin wag to many of the dancers who did not go on the cruise.


 Cathy & Bruce

 Down By The Riverside

Once the cruise dancers had returned the bonfire was lit, Peter put on some music whilst Des, Bruce Cathy, their family and friends served up dinner and pancakes.  Afterwards there was some group therapy dancing aimed specifically at those “young at heart” (Hokey Pokey, Birdie Dance, Madison, Nut Bush City Limits etc).

The bonfire Was Lit

The Pancake Crew 


The Pancake Queue 


Des Still Had Time For A Hug (One Size Fits All) 


Nutbush & Some High energy Dancing

 Good One You Guys !

Then everyone hit the road back to the Barn for some square dancing fun, which went on until the wee small hours of the morning concluding at around 2.00 AM.  The kitchen crew disappeared and went to bed so they could get up to cook next days breakfast, so there are no photos of the marathon square dance.

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