Hello Farina Supporters
Following is a letter from our new President, Tim Paine, which outlines what has been achieved during the volunteer period at Farina this year
I am sure you will be as impressed as I am!
This is my first newsletter as Chairman of the Farina Restoration Group having taken over from Tom in December.
Firstly, I would like to thank Tom for his leadership over the last 10 years.
Who would have thought that so much could come from so little?
We now have a model and a plan to move forward to keep in front of demand.
Tom has left me some big shoes to fill and I hope to have your continued support as volunteers into the future.
This year started off with a bang when our bakery supplies arrived in Farina at 10.30pm on the Friday with the Bakery due to open at 8am the next morning. Kerry Storer (our head baker) and Laurie started baking straight away, working all night to be ready.
The first days takings set a new record for day 1 trade and also set a precedent for every day to follow.
Kerry was producing over 300 pies some days! Biscuits were the big sellers this year which kept our biscuit ladies busy every morning. There wasn’t much left most days and quite often sold out!
It amazes me how these men and women can squeeze so much product out of the submarine (caravan), well done to you all . The catch phrase in the caravan was “suck in your guts, here come the pies “
The oven was busy all day with bread and this was reflected by our mulga consumption. We need to source some more mulga as time goes on – the old fence line will only last so long.
Merchandise sales were outstanding this year with serviette holders and bottle openers selling out early. Breadboards, breadknives, stickers, magnets, hats and the Farina Bags were a big hit. 370 bags were made by the “Bag Ladies” and we sold all but 30 of them
Well done to all the seamstresses.
Ernie and Cath Sharman require a special mention here as they work all year on this merchandise.
We hosted many buses this year as they headed to Lake Eyre, sometimes 3 a day!
The RFDS Outback Trek called in for afternoon smoko, all 250 of them in 120 cars. We had carpark attendants that day!
A Helicopter from Melbourne called in for a pie, an ultralight plane landed on the cricket pitch on his way from Steep Point to Byron Bay and a group of cyclists from Kurri Kurri in NSW (with an average age of 65) called in for breakfast on their way from Lyndhurst Pub to the Betoota Pub.
The Exchange Hotel received most of the “Stonies” attention this year. We were able to open up the “North Wing” with the the help of the excavator which saved many hours of manual labour. This enabled the crews to concentrate more on pointing. Ron and Peter spent many hours up on the scaffold working on the capping and the chimneys.
The footprint of this building is massive and is now quite clearly defined.
We were able to find a slate mine on Mt Freeling Station up the Strzelecki Track. With a 350km round trip we sourced 3 tandem trailers of slate. This gave us enough slate to complete the northern verandah and outside the back door of Patterson’s House. It looks great.
Patterson’s House moved into top gear this year. Thanks to Steve Harding, we were able to secure two more grants. One of $5000 for tables and chairs and the other of $20000, for appliances for the new kitchen. These grants have enabled us to complete Stage 3 which will enable us to trade from Patterson’s House from day 1 next year.
We have a few more items to to purchase to fulfil the obligations of the grant and we will have a fully functional debt free facility we can be proud of.
Well done to all, it is a credit to you.
I am pleased to report that we had an impromptu dinner dance in Patterson’s House on the Monday night after we closed the bakery for the year. This was the first dance in Farina for many years. What a privilege to have been a part of that.
Tom’s shed has had the lean-to extended across the southern wall with enough material left over to enclose the eastern wall. This will offer much more protection to our equipment and increase our rain water catchment Now, 20mm of rain will produce 38,000 litres of precious water just off the shed.
The skillion on the western side has been enclosed and will become a timber/steel store.
Stairs have been let in to the first aid room which has alleviated the headroom problem.
The Farina sign on our entrance walls has been lifted up on top now and stands out in silhouette. This was no easy feat but looks great.
Outside Patterson’s the old rusty tank has been replaced by a 48,000 litre iron tank. Five tables have been installed in front and alongside the house. The next job will be to attach some seating. It was great to see people using these tables straight away.
The surrounding area was levelled and sheeted with blue metal. Car parks were extended in front of the bakery tent and caravan bays have been created in front of the Transcontinental Hotel. Some days the cars were lined up waiting to get a park!
The rails on the cattle ramp were attached and we will install some sliding gates next year.
Our new generator arrived to replace the old blue generator and trailers were built for them which makes it much easier to set up.
A new 100 metre long power supply was installed between the generator and the bakery and we are returning to Farina in late August to install a power distribution network in our campground which will make things much safer and more reliable.
The annual cricket match was held between Farina and the rest of the world resulting in Farina winning. Approximately 50 people attended.
The Napier / Bell memorial was held the next day.
Our Essential Service Officers and cleaning ladies did a great job behind the scenes. We can’t survive without them – thanks again..
We didn’t have to do any weeding or mowing along our streetscape this year. Kevin and Anne of Farina Station have not received any rain worth talking about for 2 1/2 years. Hopefully it will rain soon.
We thank them both for their ongoing support.
In closing, I would like to thank every one of you for your help in making our 2019 season run smoothly. Farina welcomed 2000-2500 visitors a week this year and every one of them saw the green vests hard at work. You should wear them with pride.
All the comments in the visitors book and on Facebook praise your efforts after seeing all you do.
My catch phrase this year: “Keep up the good work “
Cheers Tim Paine