Wellcamp Airport and Highfields Pioneer Village

At 8:30am on Wednesday 21 June twenty two Probians boarded a bus in Chelmer and set off on a much anticipated day trip to the new airport at Toowoomba and the Pioneer Heritage Village nearby.  Jeff, our driver, kept us entertained as we drove westward on the Darren Lockyer Highway and climbed the steep approach to Toowoomba.  After stopping for morning tea at Picnic Point we skirted the city and headed further west for 15 kilometers to Australia’s newest major airport capable of handling large jet passenger aircraft.  As we arrived at the modern terminal building a QantasLink aircraft was taking off on a scheduled service to Sydney.  Other airlines service destinations such as Cairns, Melbourne and Western Queensland cities.

Officially known as the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport it has an associated aviation and business park.  Its most unique features are that it is privately owned and developed by the Wagner family, and that it was completed in record time.  From acceptance of plans to the first scheduled passenger service was only 19 months. It’s no wonder that many have suggested that the Wagner brothers be contracted to build Sydney’s long awaited second airport!

At HighfieldsAfter leaving the airport we drove to Highfields Pioneer Village north of Toowoomba city where we were served lunch and enjoyed the sunshine.  The Village has a number of interesting attractions which include the Heritage Chapel (built in 1909) and a restored slab hut from 1900.  A number of us were keen to see the car museum as well as the amazing collection of bicycles and historic farm machinery.  All in all it was a good day out!

Joan, our Tours Organiser, arranges a number of interesting outings during the year, so why not join Sherwood Probus and see what we have to offer.


Click go the tiles at Mahjong

Sherwood Probus Club’s Mahjong Group meets twice a month. Some of us are fairly new at playing whereas others have many years of experience. The “old hands” help to teach the “newbies”.


As a “newbie” I find Mahjong fascinating. It’s a mix of strategy and luck; knowing a variety of games helps you to make a quick decision on what to do with the tiles that you have drawn. Then it’s down to luck whether you draw the tiles required to declare “Mahjong”. Despite the looks of concentration on everyone’s faces, it can get quite animated as players name the tiles they discard and bemoan the fact that they can’t pick up a tile discarded by someone else or, yet again, have picked up a tile which they don’t want!

Our visual guide to many common games is The Mahjong Player’s Companion, by Patricia A. Thompson and Betty Maloney. It’s the advice and guidance from experienced players, however, that really helps you to improve your game. I learn something new every time I play.

The Mahjong Group meets on the first and fourth Thursdays of each month, from 12.45pm to 2.45pm at the Croll Memorial Centre, opposite the Sherwood Services Club in Clewley Street, Corinda. Cost is $3 to cover room hire, but includes tea/coffee.  We welcome new members: contact Agnes Cuddihy 0400 804 153 or Angela Norris 37160102.


Bizet’s The Pearlfishers


Our group thoroughly enjoyed their outing to The Pearlfishers. What wonderful singing from Emma Matthews, tenor Aldo Di Toro, baritone Grant Doyle and bass Andrew Collis. Thanks so much to Bizet and the Queensland Opera. How could anyone not be moved by that beautiful duet In the depths of the temple and the other wonderful songs.



Animal Welfare League of Queensland

Our Guest Speaker for May 2017 was Jacquie Kennedy, whose early career was in television in Australia and then 10 years in Los Angeles. Through her young son’s love of animals, she shared his passion, and on returning to Australia she joined Animal Welfare League, Queensland (AWLQ).

Jacquie spoke with warmth and passion about the work of the League. It was founded after 1959 when the local government practice of routinely putting down stray animals was stopped.

The League was formed to take in stray animals. While based mainly on the Gold Coast, it does have centres in Brisbane including acreage at Beenleigh (for all kinds of animals) and at Willawong. When given a stray animal they (i) try to reunite it with its owner; (ii) if not possible, bring it to optimum health, microchip, then (iii) find a new owner. There is no time or age limit in housing an animal.

Since foundation the League has found homes for over 130,000 animals. On any day they would have 1000 animals in their care. Jacquie was instrumental in developing a unique program called Golden Hearts Seniors Pet Support Program. A world first, it ensures pets of Senior Citizens are looked after in emergency situations. It is free to join. Whereas other Welfare Agencies charge large sums to care for an animal left in their care by a will, AWLQ does it for free.

Inner city tour of Brisbane

May has proved to be a very busy month for our active club. On Friday 5 May 16 Sherwood Probus members and friends toured Brisbane’s inner city. Sherwood Probus at Anzac Square.JPG

Here we are at Anzac Square enjoying a cuppa and Anzac biscuits to start our tour. Graham Clark, a Brisbane Greeter and fellow Probian, was our guide for the day. He was a fount of knowledge about early Brisbane especially. He explained the significance of the trees, scupltures and memorials in the square.

Our first stop was the refurbished Anzac Square Memorial itself, which is well worth a visit.  There are memorials to many who had fallen in various battles. We then followed a well-worn path through Post Office Square, and St Stephen’s Cathedral, gradually making our way towards the river. However, we took a short detour to admire the garden and indigenous artwork at 380 Queen Street. To rest our weary legs we caught the free ‘red’ bus to QUT and Old Government House. At QUT we were able to play with the interactive feature called The Cube. Images are projected onto various touch screens.

By this time our Anzac biscuit and cup of tea were a pleasant but faint memory, so we headed to one of the cafes on the QUT campus for a delightful lunch full of friendship and fellowship. Thanks to Joan for organising the tour and especially to Graham. We realised that there are many other places to discover in Brisbane so will have to organise another tour at some stage.

For the Love of Gardens

Our May 2017 excursion For the Love of Gardens group was to the gardens and Herbarium (scientific collection of dried plants) at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mt Coot-tha. Dorothy Eyears, the leader of our group, did a great job in arranging this really interesting visit where we met the people responsible for identifying plants for the community. Most of the Herbarium that we were privileged to see is not normally open to the public  (they have on occasions opened to the public during Open House week.)  Up in the main library of samples (850,000 of them), all catalogued in their species,013 we were privileged to see plants that had been catalogued by Sir Joseph Banks when on the Endeavour in the time of Captain Cook.  That’s something that was 240 year old and the quality was quite amazing.

Sherwood Probus learns Australian English

Professor Roly Sussex of the Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovation at The University of Queensland was our guest speaker at our April meeting. His topic was “Australian English and where it is going”. Roly is well known through his weekly broadcast on the ABC and his column in the Courier Mail Weekend Magazine.

He is an entertaining speaker and throughout his talk he gave examples of Australian English, which has increasingly become more acceptable. An early written example was the Sentimental Bloke by C.J. Dennis published in 1915. He was able to drop into a wide range of accents and colloquialisms to demonstrate his points and show the many regional differences.

What are the common features? A preference for using first names instead of titles and surnames; use of Americanisms in some spellings and words; and especially the use of diminutives, such as Rocky for Rockhampton, Bundy for Bundaberg. Other well-known diminutives, which don’t need explanation, are cab sav and barbie (not the doll). I find though that we tend to lengthen short words and shorten long ones! Apparently women are more responsible than men for changes in the way we speak, such as the high rise tone at the end of sentences.

Neil Page thanked Roly for his interesting talk and presented him with a “Certificate of Appreciation” and a Probus Pen.

Rolly & Neil

My Fair Lady – Sherwood Probus members sing along

MFL logo

A group of Sherwood Probus members, relatives and friends attended the excellent production of My Fair Lady at QPAC on 11 April. The cast, costumes, sets and music were wonderful. Reg Livermore as Eliza’s father, Alfred P Doolittle put in an incredibly energetic performance – who could forget his swansong ‘I’m getting married in the morning’. I’m sure many in the audience sang along with the other equally well-known songs. It was well worth going to see.

The Sherwood Probus Theatre Group has a wide ranging program of musicals, opera, and community theatre throughout the year. More details are available from Theatre Group Convenor, Pauline Williams, on (07)3278 4151.

Sherwood Probus Club offers regular tours and travel experiences and has many other interest groups as well as theatre. These include mahjong; scrabble; lunch and dinner groups which meet at local venues; outings for those interested in gardens; book club. We welcome new members to the Club which meets on the third Friday of each month. Contact Secretary Pat on 3372 7525 for more information.


First blog post

Combined Probus Club of Sherwood, Brisbane

aka Sherwood Probus Club

Fun, friendship and fellowship are at the heart of club activities. Together with shared outings and trips, our special interest groups build friendships between like-minded retired and semi-retired people. Our special interest groups include:

  • books,
  • theatre,
  • garden,
  • travel,
  • Scrabble and
  • meals with friends.

For more information contact Secretary Pat (phurney@iprimus.com.au)