Team Leaders report for weeks 5 & 6 at Farina

Leaders Shirley Murray, Bob Murray and Bob Brownlee.

The leaders took on the roles of Site Supervisor (BM), Café, Bakery and camp duties (SM) and project management (BB).

Of course there was overlap in these roles and the cooperation of the three leaders enabled the smooth running of the programs.

Volunteers

We had 48 volunteers for week 5 and 28 for week 6. We had an extremely harmonious and hardworking team. All members volunteered when needed for the roistered duties at the café, cleaning and cooking duties including the camp roasts. The volunteers had the skills needed for building, metal and woodwork, and painting (Michelangelo) as required. We had a great team of bakers who did a magnificent job. The groups that organized and prepared the two camp roasts were particularly appreciated.

Programs

Cemetery maintenance and weeding the graves

Police station: building up the corner stonework, building a dry stone wall, cleaning up and delineating the site with posts and wire boundary markers

Cleaning out and pointing the garage, stables and cells near the Police Station

Cattle wagon painting

Finished making and positioning the flooring in the sheep wagon.

Placing the ramps in the wagon

Strengthening the walkway on the sheep ramp

Cleaning up fallen rubble in the Transcontinental Hotel

Paving the entrance of the Marquee

Cleaning up the shearing shed, moving equipment to the shed and a stock take.

Providing maintenance and service to all of the equipment and generators.

We believe that the projects undertaken or completed in weeks 5 and 6 greatly enhance the attractiveness of Farina as a tourist destination and were a testament to the history of the town. The Cemetery looks fantastic. The cattle wagon stands out on the landscape. The works undertaken on the Police Station have enhanced the building greatly.

We have discovered and uncovered new buildings next to the police station. The cleaning up around the Transcontinental Hotel greatly enhances the appearance of that building. The new storyboards in the town and near the Farina Creek enable extra involvement of the visitors. The bakery has added a whole new dimension to Farina.

The bakery, café and information area was an outstanding success through the moneys raised, the enthusiasm of the bakery assistants, the serving personel and the operation of the information table. This would have not been possible without the professional bakers and the great new bakery van.

Of particular note was the volunteer imprisoned in the dungeon who did a fantastic job of entertaining the tourists with her stories and anecdotes. Well done!!!!!!

The bakery program would not have been possible without the support of the team leader (SM) and the rostered groups who did a fantastic job.

Celebrations

We continued the theme started last year of having final drinks and toasts at the Transcontinental Hotel as the sun set on the last Friday of the program. We all then moved to the marquee where the bakers prepared pizzas and the celebrations continued. Much fun was had by all.

Acknowledgements

The leaders of these weeks would like to acknowledge the fantastic work of this group of fantastic volunteers and the continued enthusiastic support of Kevin and Anne Dawes.
Volunteer activity weeks 7 AND 8; from July 5 to 19, 2014

Introduction

As a first, and as a trial, a two week extra period of activity at Farina was programmed to coincide with school holiday times for several states. After the 6-week work period and a 3-week gap, a group of volunteers, fewer in number than usual, established camp with the express purpose of supporting bakers, selling from the café and providing information services. This was pre-planned and managed by David and Liz Linn, with Martin MacLennan as the master baker for the whole period. Tom Harding returned to manage the close down of the site for 2014.

Activities

The main focus of the volunteers was to maintain a camp for two weeks that would enable the bakery to function smoothly, support bakery and souvenir sales, and provide information services. It was intended to undertake maintenance that was observed that could be handled as labour availability allowed.

Results

If the results are based on numbers of tourists during the period then the trial can be deemed a great success.

There were lots of travellers over the period, and especially during Week 7. The camping ground reflected the numbers travelling with over 40 rigs in camp one night, many with children.

On Saturday 05 July, while preparations were being made to open next day, many people arrived ready to buy; the result was a queue at the door at 8.00am the next morning. This represented the start of several days of almost frantic activity in the café, highlighted by a “Sold Out” sign being put up at 1 pm one day, and being sold out about the same time on another. Stock was all sold on many days, with almost nothing left on the others.

One special deal was with the backpackers working at the Marree Hotel who bought 3 large orders, two of which were delivered on visits to Maree by off-duty volunteers.

Margaret expressed the view that the old bakery must remain the focus for visitors (Weeks 7 and 8 would not have happened if the bakery did not exist) and so continued her role as “guide to Farina and its historic oven”. With the large number of visitors arriving, she was often kept continuously busy for up to 6 hours a day. A great job Margaret.

The range of products varied from day-to-day including changing colour of icing on the finger buns. One delight for the team was to have fresh (fabulous) croissants hand-delivered by a Frenchman in time for breakfast – who says we go without when camping?

Maintenance

While Bill and Jan were enjoying the walking tracks (and they walked everywhere), they observed holes, depressions and other potential tripping hazards. During Week 8, ALL the walking tracks were inspected and repaired to a “deemed safe” condition.

Bill and Jan also noted the presence of the plant known as “Deadly night shade” – a plant which is so dangerous that it can be fatal to humans and some stock. Bill recommended that it be removed from the walking track area and with help from Theo began the process of pulling out the plants (Bill says the weed should not be poisoned). Bill would propose that more pulling needs to be done ASAP – it can be done outside of work periods.

Bill is a horticulturalist, and considers the walking track area of significance to the area. He has undertaken to write a report on the area for FRG to consider.

Work parties collected wood for the bakery and, with Kevin, collected sleepers.

Martin secured an interview on ABC SA/western NSW Radio 639 talking on the phone from his favourite high spot. It was a very good session and effective as some customers referred to hearing it.

We thank Kevin and Anne for their welcome and great support

David and Liz Linn

Note:
See more related images by Bob Brownlee Here in the Final Weeks page.
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