Dining at Asian Lily in Graceville

It has become a tradition for Sherwood Probus Club’s dinner group to hold its January event at the Asian Lily Chinese Restaurant in Graceville Avenue in Graceville.

The restaurant is conveniently located in Riverside Shopping Village, with ample parking. The restaurant has dine-in and take-away options and our group had selected a banquet with numerous courses.

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Our banquet started with Spring Rolls, Curry Puffs and Dim Sims – we had just finished these when the photo was taken, so the table still looked quite neat and tidy. We then worked our way through Crab meat  sweet corn soup; Combination Satay Sauce; Pan Fried chicken in Phoenix nest; Honey King Prawns, Sizzling Mongolian Beef; sweet & sour pork – all accompanied by special fried rice. We topped off our meal with ice-cream. The majority of us chose plain ice-cream with a chocolate or caramel sauce rather than deep fried ice-cream.

The servings were very generous and there wasn’t much space left in our stomachs by the time we got to the sweet & sour pork.  The service was attentive and each course followed seamlessly from the previous one.

The dinners are a great way for club members to chat over a meal and a glass, or two, of wine. It’s through our various events that there’s time for us to get to know one another better. As far as the Dinner Group is concerned, the monthly outing is organised by a different member each time. We therefore get to experience a wide range of local eateries.

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Sherwood Probus learns about Madame Mallalieu/Willmore

At our January meeting, Dorothy Eyears introduced our Guest Speaker – Professor Peter Roennfeldt, previously Director of the Qld Conservatorium at Griffith University and now a staff member, with a special interest in Musical Heritage and significant buildings.

Professor Roennfeldt  shared with us the story of Madame Henrietta Mallalieu/Mrs Willmore (1842-1938), one of Queensland’s first colonial musicians.

He covered the life of this remarkable woman which was documented in his book. He recounted the story of her three marriages, the three houses where she lived in Brisbane, and most importantly her contribution to musical life of early Brisbane.

Born in London, she and her sisters were all self taught musicians. In 1862 she unknowingly married a bigamist by whom she had a son before she became aware of her situation. She moved to Cheshire, married Alfred Mallalieu, and migrated to Brisbane in 1864. Henrietta and Alfred had 3 daughters but their marriage broke down when Alfred went to Sydney in 1875. Throughout this time, Henrietta continued with her musical endeavours. In 1884 she married W.G. Willmore who appeared more interested in her daughter Beatrice than her. He left for Canada, she sued for a judicial separation, won and obtained all his property including their house at Toowong. This house subsequently became a CWA Hostel for Country Woman Students for over 35 years.

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Madame Mallalieu was a highly skilled pianiste and her first solo performance was in 1866. In 1872 with violinist R.J. Jefferies and other members of his family, she travelled extensively in Southern Queensland, giving numerous concerts, either as a soloist or with members of the Jefferies family.

It was through her husband, Walter Willmore, that Henrietta was introduced to the organ, not a typical instrument for a woman to play. She became the first woman theatre organist. A highlight of her career was performing at the opening of the Melbourne Exhibition Building in 1881. She was organist for the Brisbane Presbyterian Church on Sunday mornings, and gave concerts in Brisbane Exhibition Building on Sunday afternoons. Her husband had been instrumental in the purchase and installation of the organ in the Brisbane Exhibition Building, which Henrietta was the first to play on. This organ was later installed in the City Hall. As well as concerts, Henrietta had an active teaching schedule.

Henrietta was active in Women’s Electoral League and was rewarded with a medal from the King of Belgium for her assistance in World War I. She was associated with the Women’s College at The University of Queensland, where a Memorial Chair remains in her honour.

Although Henrietta may not have been particularly successful in her personal life, she was highly successful in her musical career. Several members purchased a copy of Peter’s book to find out more about this inspiring woman.

Brian Stevens, a classical music lover appreciated the talk and moved a vote of thanks and also presented a Certificate of Appreciation and gift.

Sherwood Probus Club has a varied and interesting suite of guest speakers at its monthly meetings, thanks to Dorothy Eyears, who organises our meeting program.

Sherwood Probus has a great start to 2018

It’s hard to believe that we are almost at the end of January. Sherwood Probus Club has had a great and varied start to 2018.

On 5 January, over 30 members got up early to enjoy a New Year champagne breakfast at the Oxley Creek Common on Sherwood Road at Rocklea. Oxley Creek Common covers 115 hectares, although most of this is not accessible to the general public. According to Mustdobrisbane.com, the Common is “a serene patch of bird-inhabited wetland in the midst of an agricultural and industrial area.” There are two easy paved walking trails as well as picnic facilities and amenities. One trail leads from the picnic area and Red Shed and splits into two before ending at two different bird habitats. 180 plus species of birds have been recorded there.

Our group, however, didn’t venture on the walking or birdwatching trails – we were too busy catching up after the Christmas/New Year break. The weather was kind and we relaxed in the shade of the pavilion adjoining the Red Shed while breakfasting and chatting. Our traditional fare included bacon, sausages, eggs, baked beans, tomatoes, bread rolls, and a wide variety of fresh fruit: mangoes, strawberries, apricots, watermelon. We had whetted our appetite with champagne and juice and finished off with tea and coffee.  It was a really enjoyable and relaxed way to start the New Year.

Our next adventure was to a Greek Island, transplanted into the middle of QPAC’s Lyric Theatre, where we sang along to the music of ABBA.  I’m talking about the musical Mamma Mia, of course. This was vibrant, high energy and fast-paced entertainment.  The costumes, lighting effects and music were excellent. The production included the majority of ABBAs famous songs; the words were so well-known that the audience joined in, especially in the encore. Audience members stood up, clapped and sang along. We all left feeling uplifted with the music ringing in our ears.

Mamma Mia_edOur guest speaker at our January meeting was Professor Peter Roennfeldt, who shared with us the story of Madame Mallalieu/Mrs Willmore.  This was a really interesting talk and is the subject of a separate post.

Club activities move into full swing from February. Meetings for the book group, scrabble, mahjong, and the gardens group have already been scheduled.  Our first tour for the year is to the Mao’s Last Dancer exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane.

Sherwood Probus Club has been going strong since it was established in 2000: many lifelong friendships have been developed over that time.  If you’re retired or semi-retired and looking to join a welcoming and active group, come along to one of our meetings. We look forward to meeting you!

Sherwood Probus celebrates a successful year

Sherwood Probus Club members celebrated the end of a successful 2017 with a  Christmas lunch at our regular meeting venue, the Magpies AFL Club in Chelmer. Committee members met a few days before the event for the final meeting for the year, as well as to finalise and wrap the gift hampers, and enjoy a shared lunch.

The Magpies AFL Club hall had been decked out with Christmas trees and other decorations and we felt quite special walking the red carpet to reach the beautifully laid tables. Our special guest was Councillor Nicole Johnston who is a great supporter of the Club. A complimentary drink and nibbles helped everyone to get in the mood for the lunch. Anyone who thought they would go hungry would have been disappointed. Entrees were either Thai Beef Salad or Prawn Cocktail; our main course was traditional turkey, pork and ham with vegetables. Our caterer supreme, Joan Coghlan, had made the Christmas cake as well as lots of other sweet treats. Tea and coffee were available to finish off the meal, together with ample quantities of chocolates.

Many lucky members left with hampers overflowing with the Christmas goodies that had been donated by members. Photos of all our activities during the year were screened, which demonstrated what a busy group of people we’ve been.

Each birthday and Christmas lunch President Paul Coghlan comes up with quizzes and challenges to test our knowledge and brainpower. This time he came up with some Christmas Trivia, Jumbled Carols and Christmas Cryptics. The Cryptics proved the most challenging. What do you think the answers to these are? 1. Not absent plural. 2. Saint with an extra L; 3. Enclosing the news; 4. Foggy French digit; 5. Bad weather love. For those of you who can’t work these out, the answers are at the bottom!

The highlight of the event had to be our resident Barbershop Quartet. Who knew that our four barbers had fine singing voices. We did feel sorry for one of our group who volunteered to have a haircut and shave, although it all worked out well in the end.

This event epitomised the Probus mantra of Fun, Friendship, and Fellowship. We look forward to another successful year in 2018. In the meantime Sherwood Probus extends its best wishes to all its members for a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

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Christmas Cryptic answers: 1. presents; 2. holly; 3. wrapping paper; 4. mistletoe; 5. reindeer.

Sherwood Probus Theatre Group finishes the year with a bang!

The final outing for the Sherwood Probus Theatre Group in 2017 was on Wednesday 29 November to see the West End production of Wizard of Oz. The forecast brief showers were much heavier than anticipated, so theatregoers were crowded into the cafes on the ground floor of QPAC trying to get something to eat as well as stay dry. I enjoyed the fish and chips, but decided to forgo coffee due to the long queue! Fortunately, the rain had dissipated by the time we left.

Wizard of OzThe weather did not mar the excellent production once we were inside. Anthony Warlow as the Wizard was a real presence on the stage as usual; the witches – Lucy Durack and Gemma Rix were outstanding, especially Gemma who was able to give full expression to her role as the Wicked Witch of the West.

The special effects were amazing, especially when the tornado swept its way through Kansas. Whoever trained the little dog, Toto, did a fantastic job and he had obviously bonded well with Samantha Dodemaide who played Dorothy. This was Samantha’s breakthrough role and no doubt she will gain greatly from the experience.

Sherwood Probus Theatre Group has had an incredibly varied set of experiences in 2017. Big productions have included: Matilda; My Fair Lady; The Bodyguard the Musical; Kinky Boots and finally Wizard of Oz. Smaller groups of members enjoyed the Royal Ballet: A Winter’s Tale and The Pearlfishers. We also enjoyed community theatre at the Centenary Theatre Group which performs in Chelmer.

2018 gets off to a good start with Mamma Mia in January and Disney’s Aladdin in March. We then go to see Beautiful: the Carol King Musical in August. We’re waiting for the release of 2018 programs before making other bookings. The Theatre Group at Sherwood Probus Club always welcomes new members. The Club offers many other activities during the year as well as Theatre outings.  Why not come and join us?

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Sherwood Probus members on the ball

After travelling to Bribie Island in October, Sherwood Probus members stayed local in November, visiting the Queensland Tennis Centre at Tennyson. We were guided on a behind the scenes tour of the Centre and later enjoyed a sumptuous morning tea in the cafe.

It’s amazing to think that the site of the Tennis Centre was formerly the Tennyson Power Station. Opened in 2009, it now comprises the main court named in honour of Queensland tennis champion Pat Rafter and a large number of outside courts  with either a clay or grass surface.

Chris, our guide, took us through the precinct by firstly visiting the VIP viewing area, then down the champions’ corridors into the dressing rooms. The Centre hosts the Brisbane International tournament in January each year and it was a privilege to walk along the corridor which the players tread from their locker rooms to the main Pat Rafter Arena, focussing on the match ahead.  This is also where post-match interviews are conducted and is not normally open to the public. As well as the Brisbane International Tournament, the Centre has also hosted Davis Cup and Federation Cup matches.  As a point of interest, Rafael Nadal has an entourage of 2; Roger Federer, on the other hand, travels with an entourage of 26!

Chris was incredibly knowledgeable and overwhelmed us with inside information about the players, the tournaments and the technology involved.  The Pat Rafter Arena is full of amazing technology, with the Hawkeye system providing an independent view on whether a ball is ‘in’ or ‘out’. The clay courts are resurfaced every year with the same clay used at Roland Garros; grass courts have the same turf and standard as Wimbledon. Having these playing surfaces available in Brisbane gives our players a distinct advantage when they travel internationally.

Completely inundated the day after the 2011 Brisbane International final, the Centre had to be completely refurbished. To re-open in time for the 2012 Brisbane International tournament was an incredible achievement.

The Tennis Centre is just on our doorstep and was well worth a visit.  Further developments are planned at the Centre and there is also a significant level of activity in the surrounding Yeerongpilly precinct, which should turn this into an exciting place to be.

 

 

Cruising

10 intrepid travellers from Sherwood Probus recently enjoyed a lunchtime cruise around the Bay aboard The Lady Brisbane, operated by Brisbane Cruises. Our departure point was Bongaree Jetty on Bribie Island at 12.30pm, but we had earlier enjoyed morning tea in the park at Bribie and visited some local spots before fronting up for the cruise.

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The Lady Brisbane – image from Brisbane Cruises website

There were so many people waiting to board the boat, that we were afraid we wouldn’t all fit on. But we needn’t have worried. While we enjoyed the cruise from the upper deck, the crew prepared a delicious BBQ lunch.

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The cruise took us around Bribie Island, Skirmish Point, Gilligan’s Island and Deception Bay. The weather was kind, with only an occasional shower, cool and comfortable, even though the view from the window looks a bit grey.

Our numbers on the trip were lower than expected due to a number of factors, so instead of travelling by bus, we car-pooled in 3 cars. This meant that we had ample opportunity to chat on the way to Bribie and on the way home.  Many thanks to those who volunteered to get us safely to Bribie and deliver us back to our cars. An enjoyable day was had by all.

 

Dining local with Sherwood Probus Club

A highlight of Sherwood Probus Club’s calendar of events is the monthly dinner outing. Organisation of the monthly outing rotates among members of the group, so we have a different experience each time. The suburbs around Sherwood, especially Graceville, are now well provided for in terms of the variety of local eateries. As a club, we aim to support them to help ensure that places such as these continue to operate.

Our recent dining experiences have included KRs Restaurant at the Sherwood Services Club, Siam Sunset at Graceville (http://www.siamsunsetgraceville.com.au/) and Stasera Ristorante (http://staseraristorante.com.au/) also at Graceville. In the space of three months, therefore we have travelled the world from Australia to Thailand to Italy in our dining experiences.  For our October dinner we’re venturing to Greece, the newly-opened Kafe Meze in Graceville.

The dinners provide a great opportunity for members to connect in a less formal environment. Where possible we choose banquet options at a reasonable cost from the respective menus so that there are a variety of options to eat. We always welcome new members to our group, so if you enjoy chatting with fellow diners over an enjoyable meal, and a glass, or maybe two, of wine do come and join our club.

 

Sherwood Probus kicks up its boot-heels

On Wednesday 4 October we attended the performance of Kinky Boots. Together with family and friends, there were well over 30 Probians from Sherwood and Kenmore Village Probus Clubs, enjoying the bright and bubbly show at QPAC.

It’s a simple story of a son trying to keep his family shoe factory viable after the death of his father. After a chance meeting with a man who was in the entertainment business, the solution was a simple one “we will make Boots for Drag Queens”.

20170327_115017Along the way many life lessons were subtly taught such as love in its many forms and acceptance of those who may seem to be different from you.

Callum Francis, who played the main role of Lola the Drag Queen was without doubt the star of the show.

Overall, the story, music and comedy were delightful. We left the theatre feeling we had spent a few hours just having a wonderful time. I hope everyone still had a smile on their faces for quite a long time. A really feel-good show with some underlying life lessons.

Sherwood Probus Theatre Group members have attended some wonderful productions during the year. Our program for the next few months includes Wizard of Oz, Mamma Mia, Disney’s Aladdin, as well as community theatre at the Centenary Theatre Company. In 2018 we will have an eclectic mix of box-office musicals, opera, ballet and community theatre.  Group booking prices for seniors are often a significant saving on box-office prices.

Do contact us if you would like to join our club; membership of the theatre group is open to all Sherwood Probus Club members.

For the love of plants

A popular activity in the Sherwood Probus Club is the monthly meeting of our Garden Group. Many Sherwood Probus members are avid gardeners who enjoy passing on their expertise to others and, of course, learning something new themselves.

We tend to mix meetings at a member’s house with excursions to other garden related places. Strolling around a lovely private garden and listening to the owner explain why certain plants are doing well or, maybe, not so well, is an educational experience. A plant swap often takes place during morning tea.

Recently the group enjoyed a visit to the Brookfield Garden Centre (http://www.brookfieldgardencentre.com.au). The colourful range of plants was a sight to behold and it was an ideal opportunity to stock up on new plants to brighten up our gardens. The obligatory sit down over morning tea gave an opportunity to learn what plans members have for their gardens over the next few months and how they are coping, in particular, with the lack of rain. Thanks to Dorothy Eyears who organises our gardening activities.

 

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