NON Awas Salan

PERSONALITY OF THE WEEK - Caz Williams

Friday, March 14, 2014


Caroline „Caz‟ Williams is known to most people on Norfolk as the cook behind The Golden Orb‟s fresh and appetising food. With her partner, Jack Marges, she is busy from Tuesday to Sunday bustling around the popular café/bookshop‟s kitchen.


Caz grew up in Llandudno in Wales. She was one of nine children and they were a very close, happy family. Her dad was a builder and “…we’d sit around the fire and listen to my dad’s stories, especially the one about when he decided to marry mum.” She and her twin sister Veronica celebrated their birthday on Christmas Eve, and Caz remembers this as a magical time. Although they didn‟t have much money her parents made the festive season very memorable – “…like Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” Caz feels she was always “…the gypsy of the family…”and, at 17, she decided to go to Australia. She ended up in NSW, met an Australian bloke called Chris, and stayed. They were together for about 10 years. They travelled, picked fruit, and worked in the hospitality industry. He was a chef, and Caz was a waitress, but it was Chris who encouraged Caz to become more interested in food, cooking and catering.

From the late 70s and into the 80s Caz was a cook at Pappy‟s Seafood Restaurant in Parramatta. She enjoyed living, and working, in Australia and, though she went home, was never tempted to return to Wales for good. She missed her family but they were supportive of her choice. Through the years Caz has worked in different areas – childcare and looking after the elderly – but somehow she's always come back to cooking: “...I enjoy it so much – nothing’s hard.” She prefers to create savoury dishes and has prepared a lot of seafood and a la carte meals.

Caz loves to learn and really got into books, and reading, when she was in her 20s. She has been doing a correspondence course on Aged Care for the last 18 months and is enjoying the challenge. She came to Norfolk seven years ago for a holiday and then, ready for a change, decided to come back and live here for a while.

After stints in various cafes Caz began cooking at The Golden Orb with Margy Sampson. She liked working with her and misses “…the great chats and smiles.” Caz met Jack shortly after arriving on the Island and they were good friends from the beginning. They‟ve now been running The Orb together for almost two years. Caz feels that respect and care are the key elements in having a successful café. They aim to create a welcoming, pleasant dining experience for the Orb‟s patrons. Caz believes that Jack is well suited to the front of house responsibilities while she, the shyer one, can prepare the meals and stay in the background.

Norfolk gives Caz a sense of home – it‟s not Wales, but it‟s “…my home, inside me.” She appreciates the amazingly strong community on Norfolk, as well as its peace and beauty, and it‟s the spirit of the Island that holds Caz here. One of her favourite places is Hundred Acres, but she is happy to walk, or ride a bike, anywhere on Norfolk. She and Jack often take their dogs, Zoe and Tippi, down to Cemetery Beach for a swim. Caz still loves to cook for people, but also strives to make time for herself. 

She has recently given up smoking and is determined to get out and enjoy nature as much as possible. She and Jack enjoy their Mondays together because, as Caz has come to realise, “…the older you get – time really does fly.” 

So, if you‟re looking for a hearty meal, in relaxed surroundings, „pop‟ in to The Golden Orb. Caz is a warm and spiritual lady, with a big heart, and her chicken pies are hard to beat!

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EULOGY - Clare Edwards

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Carolyn Clare Edward (nee Quintal) was born on the 17th August 1944 to May and Cam Quintal.


Clare is survived by her husband Paul, her sons Vince and Glenn, her beloved grandchildren James, Anna May, Amy, William, Ben, Brooke and Claudia and her brothers and sisters Cam, Robbi Ann, Ruth and Larry.


Rheumatic fever as a child damaged Clare’s heart and this stayed with her throughout her life.  She’s had open heart surgery a couple of times and had just returned to Norfolk from having a new pacemaker inserted. 


Clare would often tell you she was a sickly child but this did not get in the way of living.  Just ask Aunty Putt who joined her in parachuting out of the big old pine at the Methodist tennis courts using “umbrellas” as their parachute or, doubling with Phyllis Tricky too fast down Charley Fisher Hill and when turning into Shortridge misjudging her speed and putting her and Phyllis straight through a barb wire fence and into lantana bushes.  They both came out with just a scratch on their arms.


Affectionately known as Bubba Clare, Aunty Bub, Ma and of course “Clara” to Paul.

 Clare was loved by everyone that knew her and she will be fondly remembered for her laugh, which could be heard wherever she went, her love of music which she showed us with her piano playing, ukulele playing and the hundreds of CDs in the back room at home and her love for her family.


To Vince and Glenn, she was so proud of you both and loved you dearly.  To James,

Anna May, Amy, William, Ben, Brooke and Claudia she loved you with all her heart and you bought her the greatest joy she has ever known and this can be seen in all the photos she has around the house.


Clare loved to have a chat and could be seen at many morning teas at Latitude 29, having morning tea with the Tuesday ladies group and joining the Thursday ladies lunches.  Paul often said she would go to Foodlands early in the morning to get them some bread for lunch and by the time she got home the bread was stale!!!


Clare was a member of the Bumbora Yuuk group, the RSL Ladies Auxiliary and every year she loved to help teach the children ballroom dancing for the Bounty Ball.  Her and Rick often cut a fine figure on the dance floor themselves.


Friday nights at the RSL was always a regular outing with Shorty and it was a standing joke with Tet and Miss Norfolk, Lesley Edward, that she could never win the raffle but she always bought her 7 tickets.  Always the optimist!!!!.


As a long standing member of the Uniting Church Clare could always be relied on to decorate the church with flowers and whenever there were wreaths to be made she was always one of the first in attendance. 


She often commented that “for all the years I bin do dem wreath I nawar get pass maken dem base!!!”


The one time Eddie let her do the flowers her wreath was too hewy fe we pick up!!!!!

Clare will be greatly missed by each and every one of us here today and by those of us that could not be here but she will remain in our hearts forever.


She is now catching up with Rick, Brittany, her mum and everyone else that was waiting for her.


I have also been asked to speak on behalf of her grandchildren:-


To our dearest Ma,

You took us by surprise last Tuesday and we wish we could have said goodbye.  Your kindness, humour, loud laugh and bright beautiful smile flood us with special memories that will be with us all forever.


We will miss your sprung regular visits and the “tooting” of that horn of yours Ma!

Our Sunday dinners, our card games and the playing of the ukes.  Driving through town with “George Strait” playing real loud whilst on the way dropping us home – don’t be offended Dennis!!


Cause we got our fair share of Grandpa playing the piano as well!!


We loved how you knew everything and where it was even if we forgot to tell you!


There are so many things we would love to say but can’t fit it all on paper, but as we say our goodbyes here today we want you to remember that “Goodbyes are not forever, Goodbyes are not the end it simply means we will miss you until we meet again – Rest in Peace Ma.


Love always and forever, James, Anna, Amy, Will, Ben, Brooke and Claudia.

Thank you all.

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PERSONALLY OF THE WEEK

Friday, February 28, 2014


Pip was born in Cloncurry, Qld, and came to Norfolk when she was two. Her dad, Bruce Griffiths, was transferred here with the Australian Weather Bureau and the whole family – her mum (Aileen) and older siblings (Barbara and John) – quickly adapted to Island life. Pip had “... an incredibly free childhood...” and, by the age of four, she was Bruce‟s small shadow on their Palm Glen property. Bruce had „green fingers‟ and “…he turned absolute scrub into a garden of Eden.” His ideas on permaculture and farming were, she believes, ahead of his time.


Pip was always outdoors and, as a tiny tot, hated wearing shoes. On one occasion she buried her „good shoes‟ in the veggie patch, to avoid putting them on for Church, and they had to dig up most of the garden to find them! At school Moira Evans was her best friend and they “…ran wild through Music Valley.” „Bubby‟, Moira‟s dad, has always been an important, „larger than life‟ figure for Pip. She also feels both her parents gave her a love of culture through their interest in reading, art and music. Aileen was the local librarian and a talented, classical pianist. 

The family went to Sydney for Bruce‟s work when she was 10 ½ and spent two years there. Her parents returned to Norfolk and Pip went to St Cuthbert‟s College in Auckland, NZ, to complete her education. She made lots of friends and enjoyed holidaying with some of them in various parts of the North and South Island. At times Pip was quite the junior entrepreneur and had a nice sideline in selling Norfolk‟s duty free goods, like watches, to her classmates.

After leaving school Pip moved to Sydney and did a secretarial course. A petite girl, fond of horses, she had a hankering to be a jockey, and worked for a short while as a strapper with Gaye Waterhouse‟s dad, Tommy Smith. She settled on a different career path and became a personal assistant to Laurie Carmichael, then head of Australia‟s Communist Party. Pip enjoyed being involved in the political arena and got to meet people like Bob Hawke, leading the ACTU at that time. 

Pip headed back to Norfolk to work at the Commonwealth Bank before opening a dress shop called Reckless. She again moved on to spend a season as a „ski hostess‟ (tour guide) in Queenstown, NZ. During that period she was involved in a helicopter crash but, fortunately, was unhurt – although her expensive skis were beyond repair. Pip went on to Sydney and ended up working at the Coogee Bay Hotel, one of Australia‟s major rock venues. She began as a receptionist and, five years later, was the hotel manager and the youngest female licensee in Australia. It was a hectic and exciting lifestyle, dealing with international acts and big crowds, but the high-pressure lifestyle was sometimes tiring. At 30 Pip decided to get out of the „rat race‟ and come home to Norfolk. 

She did a variety of jobs and enjoyed catching up with friends and family. She married and had two daughters, Nicola and Tori. While working at The House of Perfumery she came up with a plan for a tourist business – a shuttle bus for visitors. This quickly turned into the Farm and Industry Tour when some passengers were idly wondering aloud about seeing Norfolk‟s farmers and businesses first hand. Within four months Pip had developed a very popular tour and this encouraged her to come up with even more ideas. Pip enjoyed the challenges of the tourism industry, and found the flexible hours perfect for a mum with young children. 

In 2005, shortly after her dad passed away, Pip needed to try something new and went, with her girls, to Sydney. She joined the Commonwealth Bank and did some travelling. Two years later she had the chance to return, with the bank, to Norfolk and this meant the girls could be closer to their grandparents and dad, Matt. Although Pip is keen for Nic and Tori to see the world, and would like to travel again, she really appreciates the Island‟s safety and security. Pip‟s favourite places are Second Sands, Anson Bay and Cemetery Beach at dawn and she cherishes Norfolk‟s unique atmosphere - “…it’s great waking up to beauty every day.”

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EULOGY - Peggy Evans

Friday, February 21, 2014


Peggy was born on 15th March 1922. Her mother was Hannah, nee Buffett, her father, Charles Patrick Lynch. Peggy married Charles Leopold Evans, and they had eight children. Peggy was a strong and able participant within our Island community, throughout her lifetime, and I would love to tell you about her lifetime of doings, but her instructions were clear – not even at her funeral were we to go there.


But it must be identified that her greatest and principal devotion was to her children, and subsequently her grand children, and more recently her great grand children. She loved them all, cared for them, provided for them, exhibited an example of living - through difficult times and good times – which made them strong for the rigours of this earthly world.


The 90 years from 1922, have seen many challenges in this small Isle. The flow on of the Depression years; a subsistence economy; agricultural industry coming and going; no air services in Norfolk Island for the first 20 years of Peggy’s life; the demands of the Second World War (Peggy was a Returned Servicewoman of World War II) and the RSL paid their tribute to her), and then the advent of the principal industry of tourism. At the outset, not an easy climate to raise a family. But she and Charlie did, and she proudly knew that her efforts; her careful providing; her devotion; bore fruit in the next two generations. Peggy would have reached 92 years on the 15th of next month.


For this we give grateful thanks to the Lord for his sustenance and strength to Peggy throughout her life which she faithfully and regularly acknowledged and which she herself gave thanks. Her faith in the Lord was tenacious.


Peggy has lived amongst us for a while, has blessed our hearts, made life sweeter and better, then has gone out to be with the Lord, and to await our coming. Our Christian belief, is that those who live in the Lord and who die in the Lord, share eternal life with him.


Upon his coming again, the Scriptures tell us, those who die in him, will come again with him, and if we too believe, we will be reunited with those who have gone before.


What an example Peggy Evans has provided to us all, so that a place may be gained in God’s Kingdom.


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LEAVING ON A JET PLANE FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

Friday, February 14, 2014


Historian Cathy Dunn, is doing it again – she coming to Norfolk Island. And this time it’s for the launch of her new historical publication Norfolk Island Rev. Fulton Baptisms, Burials and Marriages 1801 – 1806 and to host the Norfolk Island History Lovers Tour.

 

On her last visit to Norfolk Island in April 2013, it was decided to take on the task for indexing and researching all people and their families from the Rev. Fulton Baptisms, burials and marriages 1801–1806 and setting a publication date of March 2014

 

The new publication includes details of the people and their next generation of families whose antecedents are listed in Rev. Fulton Baptism, marriages and burials notebook, as well as cross-references to names mentioned in other primary records, such as victualling books, population returns, land grants and shipping records along with journals and diaries, letters, musters, church records, population returns and much more. Includes many children born between 1796 and 1800, a period in Norfolk Island's history from which few records survive.

 

Many convicts, free settlers, marines and member on the NSW Corps who lived on Norfolk Island during its first settlement 1788 – 1814 are featured in the new publication.

 

Cathy Dunn who is a member of the Professional Historian Association NSW, historical research on Norfolk Island’s 1st Settlement started many years ago with her husband’s family members of Andrew Hamilton Hume, William Broughton, plus Cornelius Burrows and Elizabeth Cole.

 

Everyone is welcome to attend the launch on Tuesday 18 March at 6.00pm at the Norfolk island Brewery.

The research into landholdings of people mentioned in Rev. Fulton Baptism, burial and marriage records from Norfolk Island, has brought attention to the number of women who owned land on Norfolk Island in their own name, such as Mary Potter, Elizabeth Gregory, Rachel Hoddy, Martha Burchett/Burkett, Elizabeth Cole, Hannah Fisher, Catherine Keirnan, Mary Barrisford and Elizabeth Bradshaw and others.

 

Whilst reaching for the publication a new unique drawing of Norfolk Island was discovered at the Mitchell Library in Sydney that had never been used before, and this is now proudly the cover of Cathy’s new work.

 

Also included in the publication are photos of the surviving headstones of Rev Fulton’s burials. This follows on from Cathy’s earlier publication Norfolk Island Deaths and Burials 1788-1814.

 

Norfolk Island Rev. Fulton Baptisms, Burials and Marriages 1801 – 1806 will also be having a launch in Australia at the Kiama Family History Centre 25th anniversary expo on Saturday April 12.

 

The new publication is available on CDrom can be ordered online at www.australianhistoryresearch.info

And after the launch on Norfolk Island will also be available as an ebook from Harbour Publishing House http://www.harbourpublishing.com.au

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CONGRATULATIONS

Friday, February 07, 2014


Congratulations to Peter John Garde Wilson and Ashley Pereira on your recent wedding in Sri Lanka. 

We wish you all the best

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EULOGY - Marianne Joy Ryan

Friday, January 17, 2014


Marianne Joy Ryan – affectionately known as Ma was born in Melbourne on 12th September 1942.  The only child of Thomas and Eileen Cheasley. 

Her father, known to most as ‘Pop’, loved Norfolk and was to spend the latter years of his life here, living with Garry and Marianne in their home in J.E. Road.


Marianne and Garry were child hood sweethearts and they were married in St. Mary’s Church – Thornbury – Melbourne in 1964. 

They raised three children:

De-Anne, born in Melbourne.

Jason and Kylie, born on Norfolk Island

Marianne also loved her two granddaughters, Teajana and Kaiulani. 


Ma was an accomplished hairdresser both in Melbourne and here on Norfolk Island and in 1957 was awarded a Diploma in Dressmaking, Cutting and Design.


 Hairdressing was her passion and she was able to pass on her skills to both her two daughters De-Anne and Kylie.

 

Marianne, Garry and De-Anne moved to Norfolk Island with the Department of Civil Aviation in 1970 and took up residence in the DCA Circle.  Over the next 2 years Jason and Kylie were to come along and as a family they enjoyed a wonderful lifestyle filled with fun and laughter with many humorous stories, probably not funny at the time, but certainly we remember them with affection!


In 1979 a lifelong dream to own their own home came true, they moved from DCA Circle to their lovely new home in J.E. Road.  It was to become Ma’s pride and joy and she loved to share her pleasure.  Marianne loved children and was to become a second mother to many of Norfolk’s young people.


 Marianne not only cared for the children in  “Vegemite Village” but it became a haven for the children to grow and foster..


Many of Norfolk’s youth and young adults will remember the happy hours spent at “Ma’s” – I’ve been told some children couldn’t wait to get there and complained when they had to leave – so strong was their adoration of Ma..


Marianne was always interested in the welfare and care of others and volunteered her services where ever possible, always with enthusiasm to be involved, making sure everyone had a Costume, a Bounty Ball Dress or Multi-Cultural Outfit the list is endless, in particular, the Norfolk Island Hospital Auxiliary to which she served with great dedication, including President for many years and was responsible for organizing many of the Hospital improvements we have today. 


Marianne was recognized for services to the community of Norfolk Island with a National Australia Day Council Certificate of Achievement Award presented on 26th January 1996.


This acknowledgement was to be complemented further with a Citizen of the Year Award presented to Marianne at Government House on 26th January 2013.

Marianne was proud and extremely honoured to have been selected and these awards she displayed with pride in her home.


Marianne has many friends, some which span over 43 years.  Her laughter, humour and positive outlook will always be remembered, even after years of illness she remained strong, positive and determined to enjoy life to the very end.


Marianne will be sadly missed by all who knew her and I am sure many of you are remembering your own funny stories and fond memories……


Thank you Mum for everything you have done for us…we love you


READING BY JENNY BARNES

I was about 7 years old when I first met Marianne and I remember thinking back then that she was really clever. Well as time went on, Marianne was more than clever; she was a lady of many talents.


For some years she worked in partnership with Maxine at a hairdressing salon in Clifton Hill where she was in high demand with the appointment book always full. Dressmaking was another skill that Marianne excelled in: from beautiful lace evening wear to children’s clothes. Nothing was too much for Marianne.


Christmas time brings many happy memories of visiting Marianne’s family and seeing the most exquisitely decorated tree. There was a gift under the tree for everyone who came to visit and Marianne (being Marianne) would invite all the neighbourhood children in to receive a present!


There were lots of laughs with Marianne. A gardening story comes to mind. Marianne was expecting Deanne at the time, and after our family Wednesday night roast dinner, she would want to go for a walk “to keep the weight down”! This night, we began walking down the street and as we passed by each garden, of course Marianne had to take a cutting from here and a cutting from there. Well, not having a pocket, she tucked the cuttings down the front of her dress. When we finally arrived home we all looked at Marianne as a stream of ants marched up her neck.


When Alan and I first started going out together I would stay at Marianne’s and she would deliberately not look at the clock  when I got home so when Mum asked her what time I got home she would say “I’m not sure.” – Thanks Marianne (from Alan).


We all remember all the good times with Marianne and the kind hospitality that she always showed us. Alan and I first visited Norfolk Island when Jason was 6 weeks old and we will forever treasure all the great times we shared together. On our last visit to Norfolk in April 2012, although Marianne was not well at the time, we spent many happy hours laughing and recalling the memories we had shared over the years.


Thank you Marianne for all you did for us and we are very proud to have had you as our sister-in-law and aunty. You will be sadly missed.


Love you always –Jenny, Alan and Glenn.



WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH

 

I would sincerely like to thank Dr Jenny Sexton, the wonderful hospital staff and nurses who gave mum that extra special care and attention when required ( you all know who you are ).

To Tardy, Gavin, Shane and the boys who dug mums grave, to Gordie, Edie and the ladies that made the beautiful wreaths and also the people who donated flowers.


To David Buffett for the lovely service and adhering to mum's wishes !!!   To Lisle for having the strength to deliver the eulogy of a very dear friend , to the pallbearers James, Les, Paul, Kissard, Damien and George, the ushers that handed out the service sheets and the "Vegemite Village" Guard of Honour , to Terence also to Simone and Milton for the music and to George Douran for mum's "bubbles", to Di, Sheryl and Sue for the decorating of the mound, to Jackie and Les for organizing chairs incase someone needed a seat!!


To the wonderful friends that have provided food and to Sue Kissard for organizing the photo board at Governor's Lodge.


To the girls at Burnt Pine Travel and to Wendy and the team at Governor's Lodge, to Borry's Rental Cars, Toni for the lovely service sheet and the wonderful anynonomus person, thank you so very much.


I'd also like to thank Lorraine and Barry Hale and Heather and Trevor Cheasley-Higgins who were able to be here, and to the many people who have sent flowers and cards, it is very overwhelming....to Lesley and Liane, to all of the close friends and children that called in on mum in those latter weeks, to Kylie, Jason, Belinda and Garry and to my amazing friends Miriam, Moochie and  Aaron who have given me endless support especially to Pauline, who never left my side....and to Morgan for your love and ongoing support... I couldn't have done it without you all...


It is truly a privilege to call Norfolk my home and to be surrounded by so many special people that just seem to get things done!!! 

 

many thanks

 

De-Anne Ryan


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AN INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN – LIESL TESCH

Friday, January 10, 2014


A friend of mine on the island contacted me on Monday morning and asked me if I would like to interview her friend who was visiting Norfolk for five days. I didn’t realise the inspirational woman I would meet then would be Liesl Tesch.


This woman is phenomenal as she has overcome the obstacles and hardships placed before her in life and keeps a vibrant spirit about her, as she strives to help others. At the age of nineteen, when pedalling home from a friend’s house on her mountain bike, Liesl hit a gutter which caused her to summersault over the handle bars, leaving her unconscious on the ground. The fall caused her L1 vertebra to shatter and a piece of bone to cut into her Spinal cord. The lady who found Liesl had a daughter living in the immediate area that was a nurse and took precaution not to move her until the paramedics arrived as she suspected a spinal injury. This perhaps is what allows her to walk today, combined with sheer determination and will.


Liesl woke in hospital two weeks later to find that her life had been altered forever, in perhaps one of the most devastating ways as she was informed she would never walk again. The accident happened two days after her last exam in her second year of University and so she spent her whole summer in hospital, lying flat on her back. After three months she chose to remove herself from hospital and underwent rehab whilst beginning University again. For six weeks the doctors pricked her legs with pins until one day the numbness had faded and she felt the pins. After reading an article about her in the Australian grandstand I found a quote from her that describes the painful process of learning to walk again. It’s like “being like a baby, trying to learn to walk – but you’re an adult, and it was as if you bought someone else’s legs and stapled them to your own body. They didn’t behave the way you expected them to.” Liesl told me it took her ten months to learn to walk again and she has special orthotics in her shoes and braces for her lower legs that help her. The term for her condition is an incomplete paraplegic and she uses it to her every advantage, however finds it difficult to walk long distances and then uses her wheel chair.


During rehab, her physiotherapist noticed Liesl’s constant shooting of hoops from her bed with a foam basketball and introduced her to wheelchair basketball which she went on to compete in in the Paralympics at Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 (both as co-captain and winning two silvers) and in Beijing in 2008 (as Captain, winning Bronze). She also competed in the world championships in 1990 which led her to the Paralympics. Through basketball Liesl was able to travel to Madrid and became the first woman in the world to play wheel chair basketball as a professional. From Spain she went onto Italy and then France. She was able to form the first second division women’s basketball team in France which was one of her many acts to work towards equal opportunity for women.


Liesl found a way to use Sport as she endeavoured to help others and unite them as one.  With her friend, Jackie Lauff, she set up the NFP Organisation, “Sport Matters” which they had a vision of “a world where everyone is active, included, healthy, empowered and free from poverty.”[i]  As she worked for this goal, Liesl was presented with another opportunity of being invited to sail in the 2009 Sydney to Hobart race with Sailors with Disabilities. She had a background in sailing, growing up on Lake Macquarie as a kid and spending many years on the water. A documentary was made of this event and from this Liesl found herself contacted by Daniel Fitzgibbon, a Paralympic Sailor. Together they sailed for eighteen months, using every spare moment on weekends and holidays they had and in turn qualified for the 2012 Paralympics. This brought Liesl to her first gold medal at the age of 43, after she had competed in six Paralympic Games.


As a career, Liesl Tesch is a geography and business studies teacher. In her spare time she applies herself to helping others. She is an inspirational example of how people may endeavour to achieve their goals no matter what their circumstances are and that positivity and hard work are the materials needed for success. I hope that this amazing woman’s story may encourage many more to strive forward in life and overcome their personal obstacles and to live a full life and give your all every day.


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FMX COMES TO TOWN ... by Nicola Reeves

Friday, January 03, 2014




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LINDA RYAN ... by Nicola Reeves

Friday, December 13, 2013


Yesterday I had the privilege of interview Linda Ryan from Korumburra, Victoria. She is here for the Norfolk Island Pistol Shooting Championships that have been ongoing this week. Linda is a very accomplished athlete and has represented Australia at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Through Pistol, she has been able to travel abroad and says she absolutely loved it. “It was a great way to see the world and experience all different sorts of cultures and learn the languages.”


I asked her what some of the highlights were of her career and was amazed as she told me about winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2002. She also told me about the World Championships which are held every four years, on the same year as the Commonwealth Games. She was in the Australian team at the 2010 World Championships and they currently are the World Champions after winning Air Pistol.


Linda Ryan on far left.


Now for those of you who know as little about shooting as me; Women shoot two types of Pistol events. The first being 25 metre Pistol Women, which is shot with a twenty two calibre gun over a 25 metre range. She said it makes a large BANG! And that hearing protection is needed. The second of the two is ten metre Air Pistol Women which is shot with an air gun. The gun uses compressed air to propel the pellet. It is shot indoor over ten metres.


Linda has been shooting pistol since she was fourteen which now makes it thirty three years of experience that she has up her sleeve. It was a family sport she told me. Both her mum and dad shoot. Her dad has represented Australia in the World Championships and also won silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games. Her mother has represented Victoria at the Australian Nationals as well and apparently competes against Linda’s father as he now represents Queensland.  Linda’s step-mother is also a shooter, as is her partner and her partner’s father. So we can see that it really does run through the family.


We got chatting about accuracy and my inability to aim. Linda explained that she has a correction on her lens for her eyewear. Apparently even I could hit the target if I had the right tools. I wondered about the adrenaline rush for the event as it is unlike a race where you have one burst of energy. “At times it gets the adrenaline pumping and hearts pounding. You have ti try and calm yourself and almost be clinical about how you execute your routine to get the best performance.”


Some will be aware, and I only know this because I watch Castle, that Snipers shoot between heart beats as when they are lying down they can find a pulse point on their elbow which gives them time to steady themselves. Linda informs me that the only shooting sport that uses this is Rifle shooting, as their positions is the most similar to a sniper’s. In Pistol you only hold the gun in one hand and are standing side on as you aim for your target so the heart beat is not relevant.


I asked Linda about the places she has visited and what her favourites were. She marvelled about the World cup that is held every four years in Milan in Italy. She reckons that they have the best food and language and great people. She has also loved Singapore and Brazil. However in a low profile sport you end up being a very poor athlete. But she tells me it doesn’t matter when you have a love for something. It’s not a chore when you love what you are doing.


Linda LOVES Norfolk. “Oh My God! I am so coming back next year! I love how with each corner you turn you have such an amazing view!” She loved how everyone was so friendly and especially loved the ‘Norfolk Wave’. “The Norfolk Island Pistol Club has been so fantastic, it very well run and has seventeen member in the club – such a wonderful facility.”


Linda heard about this event through Dee Ryan, who currently lives on Norfolk and owns a hair dressing salon. They are cousins through Gary Ryan. Linda had previously met a few member of the pistol club at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and said she had known Gary Milton for a long time.

She bragged about the fish fry and how much she loved it. They had one on their welcoming night, also for lunch the next day and one yesterday. Last night was their prize giving and unfortunately, she returns home this afternoon. Her and Dee have spent as much time as possible ticki-touring about the island and grabbing every day they could. “I think I’ve lucked out with the weather!” That she has. Norfolk has had beautiful sunshine for the past week.


A bit of an extract of one of Linda’s shooting performances:

“Fantastic performances by Linda Ryan and Lalita Yauhleuskaya in Stage 2 of the women’s 25m pistol event saw them progress to the final on Day five of the ISSF World Cup at Sydney’s International Shooting Centre.

 

Stage 1 of the event saw Tuesday’s Silver medal winner, Dina Aspandiyarova set the pace for the Australian’s with a score of 291 out of 300. Linda Ryan shot 290 to progress in fifth position….


The final would be Ryan’s first at World Cup level since winning Silver at the same venue back in 
2002. Sydney Olympic Bronze medallist, Yauhleuskaya, secured Silver in this event at last year’s World Cup in Beijing…

As the final progressed, Yauhleuskaya continued her strong performance with a string of high scores. Ryan recovered her slow start, however two 8 point shots in her latter string would end her medal hopes…

Following the final, Ryan was delighted with her performance, saying it was good to be involved in finals once again.

 

“It’s been eight years since I’ve been in a World Cup final so today was a great sense of relief,” Ryan said. “I’ve been in a slump for a while but I felt very good in my action and the result showed for itself,”

 

“This is such a confidence boost for the upcoming National titles and the next World Cup event in Beijing; hopefully the good form continues.” Ryan said.”

It was great to interview an awesome Athlete!

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