Charleville – Days 4,5,6 … take 2

Hi

If our first few days here in Charleville didn’t fully alert us to life in inland/outback Australia, the last three certainly have!

Monday morning saw us at the Visitors Centre at the Royal Flying Doctor Service base, with a short video and enlightening displays sharing various aspects of the (now) RFDS’ work – not only the pioneering contributions of Reverends John Flynn and Fred McKay, but those also of visionary pilots, doctors and nurses. I came away quite moved by the reminders of this work – all part of achieving Flynn’s mantle of safety across inland Australia.

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Free afternoon, and then dinner at the nearby Fat Freddy’s snack bar – somewhat more salubrious than its name suggests. Unfortunately, due to cloudy weather our visit to the much-heralded Cosmos Centre was cancelled due to cloudy skies.

Tuesday morning and we’re off to Augathella to Buckey’s Creek station. We were met by Sue on our arrival, having travelled by much kangaroo road kill along Suicide Alley north of Charleville.
Our time on the property was wonderful. Sue offered gracious hospitality with morning tea after which we got into our 4-wheel drives and headed out firstly to an area where a host of dorper sheep were fed. A few of our group enjoyed accompanying Sue in her vehicle as they did a complete loop, feed pellets shoveled off along the way. Sheep emerged out of nowhere to nibble at the goodies. Quite fascinating. I really enjoyed driving John Case’s 4-wheel drive in this off-road setting. Back on our vehicles, we drove a further kilometer to where a whole group of mixed-breed cattle were enjoying a feed.

Dale discovered that Sue was a Somerville House “old girl”. You could not ask for more gracious hospitality by Sue, as we finished our time there with a shared lunch, during which Sue was able to fill us in on her trips helping at an orphanage in Tanzania.

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We headed home, with storm clouds threatening, in time to get ready to entertain 50 Caravan patrons enjoying a lamb roast dinner. Gayle, Steph, Dale, Ursula and I provided the music – a mix of old & new Aussie folk songs, some of Steph’s Aussie animal songs, a couple of bush dance pieces and my Cross this land tonight . Ivan provided some humour with a couple of well-spun yarns. It was all a lot of fun with good response from caravan park folk as they enjoyed their tucker. Unfortunately, due to cloudy weather our visit to the much-heralded Cosmos Centre was yet-again cancelled due to cloudy skies. Hopefully Wednesday night.

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Today we visited the Frontier Services’ base for Outback Links and Remote Area Family Services for morning tea. I found this time immensely gratifying, as I considered the RAFS working area of 1/2 million square kilometers; Robyn the family day care coordinator’s working area ranging from theTrophic of Capricorn to the Qld/NSW border. I sensed many there praying how they or we as church could offer particular support for these programs. Dale and I certainly did!

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A nice lunch at the RSL and Dale & I got back to the Bailey Bar just in time for Constable Rick’s talk about police work in the west.

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Off soon for a ‘special’ Camp Oven dinner provided by theBailey Bar people. Delicious beef stew & veges with mash potato. The highlight though was not the meal, but the much-anticipated Yabbie (think small black crayfish) Races. Each couple or family paid $5 for their yabbie. Three of them were auctioned pre-race. All of this goes – half to the Rural Fire Service. Half to the winner.

Well, imagine about 15 yabbies tipped into the middle of a circle painted on a large white canvas. The first to beyond the circle wins. And so it was that the winner came from our group; Harry & Jan’s yabbie: Red Shelley. Our specimen Hardly Moving lived up to its name, but managed to get something like 4th. Harry & Jan on behalf of our group will be donating the $114.50 winnings to Frontier Services. Frontier Services work is the whole reason we’re here this week.

Yes, we did finally make it to the CosmosCentre. I as much enjoyed marvelling skywards at the wonder of God’s creation at the universe above me … as trying to look glasses off through high-tech telescopes.

A great day

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Cheers,
David

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