The End Of An Era – (4)

May 2, 2012

Section 4

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Sunday ........ I forgot

Bruce & Cathy's kids did a fantastic job helping out arround the campsite.  they also loved using Des's quad bike to do the work with their friends as in the photo below..

The Bin Crew 

There was time on Sunday for "Happy Hour" as there had been on many of the other days Des's campground was occupied.


 Happy Hour - A Speewa (And Many Other Places) Tradition

Monday 9th April

One of the dancers brought along some Speewa commemorative badges which have two sad stories.  The first sad story relates to one of the badges made for a memorial dance held for Des’s wife Fay.  The other sad story is that the maker of the badges died in a road crash whilst he and his family were on their way to Speewa to deliver some of the badges.  His wife requested that the badges be distributed but, understandably, no more were ever made.

Speewa Dance Badges 

The cleaning, maintenance and kitchen crew arrived at the kitchen just after 7.00 AM to find Norm cooking his own bacon so he could make an early start on the road before the usual Easter traffic chaos.  A few people dribbled in for breakfast at 8.00 AM then the rush started at about 8.45 resulting in a seemingly endless queue waiting for their bacon eggs and tomatoes.  This has always traditionally been the heaviest day for breakfast, more than 60 were served.  By 9.30 AM it was all over, and the crew ate their own breakfasts and started cleaning up, whilst Des and Cathy cooked up some road kill for the traditional (impromptu?) evening meal.  Everything was cleaned packed away and the floors mopped by 11.15 AM.

Helen & Heather Cooked Breakfast


While Bob And Tony Washed The Dishes / Dishes / More dishes

Margaret Still Smiling After Making So Much Toast

In the morning about half of the happy campers departed.  In the evening most of the reaming campers gathered in the dining room for drinks and road kill.  Everyone went to bed early after a bloody good weekend.

Tuesday 10th April

We slept in until around 9.00 AM to find more info

most of the remaining campers had left.  Paula and hubby then departed followed by Alex, Paul and Bev.  The three vans of the cleaning, maintenance and kitchen crew were all that remained.

The dining room tables and chairs were packed away (except for one table).  We then all then did some final cooking in the Barn’s kitchen and had a communal meal in the dining room, with Des and his four legged companion Minty.  We took one last group photo then cleaned up and were back in our vans and had crashed by 8.30 PM

Des's And His Happy Helpers
Back Row L - R:  Tony, Roger, Helen, Des, Heather, Bob & Margaret 
Front Row L - R:  Pixie, Mitty & Minty

Wednesday 11th April

Today a final clean up of Des’s yard in the morning, emptying and putting away the garbage bins around the campground and in the kitchen.  Clearing away all the firewood that the campers had left unused (they planned a camp fire on Monday night, but no one wanted to leave the warm dining room and go out into the cold).  All the small sticks were placed on top of the garbage bags in an adjacent paddock and the rubbish was burned.

Roger Also Loved The Quad Bike, It Sure Made It Easy To Clean Up 

Tony, Bob and Roger messed around with Des’s tractors trying to improve their ignition timing and fuel mixtures so that they ran better.  Des went to a funeral, and we started to dismantle and pack away our vans ready for our departure

It took hours to dismantle and pack away.  We all then did some cooking in our caravans and had one final last communal meal in the dining room with Des.

Thursday  12th April

Helen and Roger got up just before 6.00 AM (Vic time) and sadly left Des’s place at 7.30 AM arriving at Ouyen for breakfast at 9.00 AM.  Leaving Ouyen at 9.30, they filled up with petrol at Pinnaroo and had reached Tailem Bent for lunch by 12.45 PM (SA Time).  They arrived home about 3.00 PM.  Tony and Heather left Des’s place later in the morning, Bob and Margaret left the following Saturday.

What a fantastic experience, what great people. Though Speewa’s Easter Hoedown will be sadly missed it will surely be fondly remembered for many years to come.  Speewa had the quintessential square dance element which is sadly disappearing worldwide.

Well done to everyone involved – you know who you are.

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