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No. 12 – Hello Farina Group Supporters,

June 12, 2011… Bob Brownlee

Farina 2011 has come and gone with so much to show. The clearest word picture of our outcomes of the past three programs, was delivered recently by Brenda Honan, Business Services Manager of Outback Communities Authority, Port Augusta.
She states –
“The work completed at the Farina Heritage Site is a credit to all involved. The works have reinvigorated what was an abandoned piece of South Australia’s history, and created a positive symbol for the Lyndhurst Community and surrounding areas to be proud of”
She goes on to say, “On behalf of OCA, I would like to congratulate the Farina Restoration Group for their committed efforts on the Farina Stabilisation Project”.

I say thank you to Brenda for her succinct description of “what we are about”. Up till now, I have had great difficulty in explaining to strangers, in a brief statement, just what we ARE about. The 2011 program in May 2011 allowed us to:-

Complete the War Memorial precinct by installing a handrail and walking path up a rocky escarpment to the monument.

Change 100 hectares of grass and saltbush paddock back to a represent 1880’s and 1950’s narrow and standard gauge Railways Precinct.

Demonstrate through the skills of our S.A Bakery Industry team that bakery products from an 1890’s oven are equal to any similar 21st century gourmet creation.

Rescue one sandstone building that was vulnerable to instant collapse to a heap of rubble, and stabilise against it against further short-term decay.

Commence the preservation of another sandstone building also in a dangerous state; to allow longer term preservation to be implemented on future programs.

Recognize the contribution the role of the Farina Roman Catholic Community by 1) Locating the site of their Church, 2) by a pergola and storyboard describing its history. This was Blessed by Father EJ of the Bulloaroo District Parish on Sunday 22nd of May.

Be hosts to Tourists / Caravanners / campers through our reception centre and bakery café staffs.

Create a warm hospitable campsite environment through the skills of our Shearers Quarters Hostesses, and back up persons, with lunches morning teas and campfires. Even though the facilities were stretched to its limits.

Recognise the need to regularly “Housekeep” the facilities that we have upgraded with “gardening” work around buildings and at the War Memorial and Cemetery. It will be a basic function in our future programs.

Have generated $17,000. Gross (costs still coming to hand) in fundraising through the reception centre, donations, book sales, bakery cafe, Farina festival day proceeds and Lynn’s Quilt raffle. Special note: Daphne Shirley, a daughter of a former Farina Stationmaster, won The “Farina Quilt”. On Monday 16th May, when she visited with her son Mark Shirley (one of the cricket teams coordinators), – with her family inspected the ruins (Rubble) remnants of where she had lived.

Display the level of efficiency of our wood and metalworking teams – assisted by the added resource of the woolshed workshop – in building the various field structures that were needed.

Have had the involvement of work experience students from Marree Aboriginal School; Leigh Creek Area School and Ron Johnsons Aboriginal Adult Trainee Group from Copley, this was helpful and again, a great experience.

Bring together a widely spread outback community for our “Farina Festival” day involving the cricket match (I think we won), communal meal and great entertainment.

Finally thanks are due to Kevin and Anne for their substantial assistance and tolerance for the disruption to Station Life – which had to go on in spite of everything.

Each year we enter new territory, we had several pilot exercises this year. All worked to produce real “outcomes”. Sometimes there were varying opinions on “the process”. These are not lost, and will be considered in “how and what” we do in the next program.

Each and every participant should have a warm and fuzzy feeling about having given input and seen the results to this amazing place Farina.

To all our volunteers, you have the sincere thanks of the FRG committee.

Kind regards, Tom and Joan.

A final note from your news correspondent.

Progressive volunteer attendance and hours for each year of our project were as follows:

2009, 35 persons, 1300 volunteer hours; 2010, 61 persons, 3500 volunteer hours;
2011, 65 persons, 4440 volunteer hours. These totals do not include work experience and trainee groups.

Help!! Has anyone got an Old Ghan cattle wagon, steam train, and 3’6” track in their back yard.
© 2018 Rob Fairweather