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Day 3 – Monday 1st May 2017

While not actually raining, the sky was somewhat overcast and it didn’t improve as the day progressed.

Jewellery, gift cards, knee rugs, scarves, photographs, woodwork, patchwork, condiments and lots more items were available for sale at the A.van Markets.    What a clever bunch of  A’vanners!  Me - I am just “an appreciator”.   Apologies for the names I don’t know and can’t decipher in the photographs.

Photo 1 – Wendy and Gerald Dimmock

Photo 2 – Lots of goodies!


Photo 3 – Liz Newman, ?  and Jan Hodgson at the Markets

Photo 4 – Rhonda Stootman, Grahame and Jill Peck, Jill Smith and Glynis Alcantara at the Markets




Sincere thanks to Cliff Hicks for the following report.


                                    TALK – USA ALINER OWNER CLUB


On Monday morning we were entertained with a very interesting talk by our USA visitors – Dave and Heather Michaels who are members (and Directors) of the US Aliner Owners Club (a “sister” organisation to our A’van Club).  Both are touring Australia on their vacation and they made sure that they were here to attend our National Gathering and AGM as our guests.  Dave outlined the structure and organisation of their club and told us about the regional rallies and the national rally which is the equivalent to our National Gathering and AGM.   The Aliner Campers are very similar to our A’vans (with the exception of the placement of the door!) but most do not have an awning fixture on their van - however some do have a shower and a toilet on-board.  There are currently about six different manufacturers of the Aliners – with the Columbia North West Company being the original and main manufacturer.


Their rallies are planned ahead and are organised along the lines which we have our gatherings – with one main or national Rally per annum (you may recall that June and I attended their national rally in North Carolina in 2015).  There are 12 regional areas which cover several adjacent states in the USA and in Canada, with a Director responsible for each region. 


Dave then demonstrated and discussed their website (www.alinerownersclub.org) which contains the member’s database, reports of the rallies; future rally information and application to attend;  photos of rally events; a calendar of planned events; regional events and information; membership renewal; DIY projects; van maintenance and modification details; and the Operations Council structure and members, etc.


Many questions were asked of Dave including one about the security of their website – Dave assured us that they have a very high security level which has prevented any successful hacking of their system.  The security of their website is paramount (as it is for our website.)


Members were very happy with the presentation which concluded with a vote of thanks (by Les) and a small gift of appreciation.



Photo 5 – Martin Hodgson, Ron Stootman, Dave Michaels (USA) and Cliff Hicks discussing A’van Websites and comparing notes – Courtesy of June Hicks


A new model A’van which is parked near the camp kitchen is open for inspection.

Photo 6 – New A’van with Bev Smith of Albany on the steps with ?

The Camp Kitchen was a “hive of CRAFTy activity” when I wandered in.  I never fail to be impressed by the skill of our A’vanners.  Of special interest was the “Uthando Project” whereby dolls are made for the children of Kwazulu-Natal.  (www.uthandoproject.com.au)   There are groups all over Australia and the Albany group sent 1500 dolls to Africa last year.  Trish Travers on site 54 still has a couple of kits with her and she’ll be happy to discuss the project with you if you are interested. 


Photo 7 - Trish Travers and samples of the Uthando Dolls

Photo 8 - Sherry Mashman of Coff’s Harbour

Photo 9 - Success at last – Pom Pom with Patricia Harris

Photo 10 – Ruth Bourne and her pets – Courtesy of June Hicks




My sincere thanks to Graeme Daw of WA for the report of the Dragon Boat Paddling.

Our National Rally planned and held a “Fun Day” on the beautiful paperbark lined river in Denmark.  Positions were quickly filled with 60 people eager to try Dragon Boat paddling, many for the first time.

We were addressed by Maureen, prior to embarking for our gentle introduction to synchronised paddling.  As we progressed, we ventured further down river, with Maureen talking to us about the various birds and local history.

Our A’van group was split into 3 crews, each of 20 with a good workout ensured.  Some paddlers were accidentally splashed and lots of laughter broke out. 

We were very impressed with the level of professionalism, we all felt very safe. We thanked our hosts for their efforts.   Many A’vanners said afterwards that they enjoyed the experience and couldn’t wait to tell their grandchildren.

A’van Australia again thanks all involved.

Photographs later

Well, I was wrong.  It wasn’t a two-legged creature but a “real live mouse” which had taken up residence in the glove box of one of our A’vanners.  The mouse has now been caught but it begs the following questions.  How did it get through the Quarantine Station?   And furthermore, did the mouse have any friends?  If so, where are they?  Stay tuned for the next episode. 

There is no truth in the rumour that a certain group of ACT’ive A’vanners were so noisy on Sunday night that their neighbour packed up and left the park early next morning.  (He said that he had to go to work).

Which esteemed committee member who, renowned for thinking on his feet, was momentarily stuck for words when confronted by a young woman who was wearing an itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, black (not yellow and not polka dot) bikini at the First Timer’s Happy Hour? 

He was extremely concerned that there was nowhere to pin a name tag on the young woman whom he assumed was a First Time A’vanner.  Thankfully this unnamed member rapidly recovered his equilibrium when the young lady in question left the car park on a bicycle after another committee member had refilled her water bottle. 

Apparently the young lady was cycling around our great country and not an A’vanner after all.     

A Brief History of Denmark continued

By 1902 the forests were being harvested at a tremendous rate and within a year all the easily accessible and millable trees had been cut down.   Families and workers were without a livelihood. Millars closed the Denmark mills, the school and the company town in 1903.   (7) denmarkwesternaustralia.com/denmark-wa-history.html

When Millars were about to demolish the buildings in 1904, a local resident, Alfred Randall, petitioned the Government to protect the town and in 1907 after intense negotiation, the WA Government bought the town which included the land, buildings, mills and the railway for £5000. (8) denmarkwesternaustralia.com/denmark-wa-history.html

The population which had declined dramatically was only revived in the 1920s by the introduction of Group Settlement Scheme whereby small farms of 40 ha were created for dairies and orchards.  (9) https:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark._Western_Australia

A Brief History of Denmark continues on Day 4



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