Charleville – Day 3

OK, you’re wondering what happened to Days 1 and 2. It’s only today I feel I’m back in Australia. You know you’re down under when you get to here … so I blog this on Day 3.

A small group of us from Oxley-Darra Uniting Church (Brisbane, Australia) have travelled to Charleville – approx 700 km west of Brisbane so as to connect with the work of Frontier Services in SW Qld, especially of Rev John Case and the Burke and Wills Patrol. John’s area is about 300,000 square km. Huge!

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Nothing blogged on Days 1 and 2. Dale and I had no sooner arrived back in Australia than I and five other Oxley folk were OnBoard the ‘Westlander’ rail service to Charleville. I was pleasantly surprised with the efficiency & cleanliness of the train; though I must admit Amtrak’s Coast Starlight’s dining & viewing cars left QR’s service for dead overall. Mind you my sleeper on this trip was much better. We got into Charleville midday Friday.

Before long we were at the Bailey Bar Caravan Park. It’s a nice park – surprisingly green, landscaped and tree-ee.

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I confessed to being still a bit jet lagged and sleep- deprived as we set out for a 3-hour walk around ‘downtown’ Charleville yesterday morning – but plenty of historical insight gained as we walked including a sight of part of Charleville’s levee banks for the Warrego River – a reminder of the floods that have prevailed in the course of the town’s history.

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Yesterday’s highlight for me – and our first structured interface with local folk was a lovely visit to the home of local legend and real character, Dr Chester Wilson and his wife Loie – both Uniting Church folk. Chester entertained us with some of his distinctive folk singing while Loie, a devoted animal cater brought out two young kangaroos in her care. They won everyone’s hearts. Steph Rankin, Chester and I jammed for a while too – that was nice. I sensed they appreciated our visit. We were certainly blessed by them.

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I’m just back from a visit with our whole group to Glenbrook Station, 40 km south of Charleville, where we shared in worship led by John Case and hosted by Rick & Jeannete Somerville. Lovely brother & sister in law. I preached – bit rusty & drew on NT Wright for insight but went well. Gayle & Steph Rankin and I were the musos. A really nice time bookended by morning tea and lunch. Nice to be on a property like this and hear of some of the challenges & realities first hand. I decided to go back into town with John; needed an extra hour down time. The rest have stayed on to check out the property.

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Dale arrives by plane tomorrow morning – that’ll be nice. She’s been hosting some of her US family members on their first-ever visit to Australia.

A nice touch – they’re travelling through the outback for 4 weeks; as we spend time at Charkeville. Common ground is always nice.

Cheers,
David

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