Hallett News with Brenda

News for the month of March

by Brenda Villis


The Mad Month of March is here:  2015 is already whizzing by, with the summer months gone and autumn already here. Autumn is such a picturesque time of the year when the deciduous trees gradually take on a hue of beautiful reds, oranges, yellows & browns, before shedding their leaves. The days are usually balmy – not too hot and not too cold, thus often very enjoyable. So much seems to be happening – School Sport’s Days, the Adelaide Cup Holiday, Elders SA Stud Merino Expo On-Property Inspections and Field Day event at the Burra Oval, plus the Dinner & Film evening, commemorating the Centenary of Anzac at Mt. Bryan……………….

Good Luck to our four local Hallett Merino Studs, Collinsville, East Bungaree, Greenfields and Old Ashrose for your On-Property Inspections on Monday, 16th March and at the Burra Oval on Tuesday, 17th March. Your participation immediately puts Hallett, on the map. The Elders SA Stud Merino Expo is a two day event which show cases some of South Australia’s top studs. The On-property inspections are from 9.30am and at the Burra Oval from 9 am.

Unfortunately many of the local studs that were in our district have been disbanded. Some of the studs that come to mind were – Robyn Jones’, Ron Smiths, Georgie Meier’s, Peter and Bill Wilsons, Max Rayners, Al Murrays, Lachie Gosse’s, Don Gares, Roll & Geoff Dares, Howard Griffens, Brian Brooks,(Banbury) Willogoleche (Nitschke’s,) Ray McInnis and Kitch and Wes Millers.

The clock keeps ticking away and things change. Years ago, Hallett, Mt. Bryan and Booborowie all hosted Field Day Luncheons at their respective halls. One year the Hallett ladies catered for 1200 visitors – who enjoyed a variety of cold meats and salads plus sweets. The participating studs sponsored these luncheons for years for FREE, but then a small charge was made.   Naturally catering for such large numbers was a huge undertaking, but the loyal locals always banded together, and provided a two course meal for the hungry visitors. Catering for field days also meant great fundraisers for those organisations that participated.

A Former Primary School Principal, Tony Colbatch has died: Many readers will be saddened to hear that a former, popular Principal of the Hallett Primary School has passed on.   Tony Colbatch – Born 11/9/1940 – 15/2/2015 – was the Principal of the school from 1983-1985 and lived here with his wife Sonya and daughter Naomi. Locals may remember the Joey that Sonya reared so successfully which became part of their family.  Many wondered what she would do with it when they moved back to the city but word has it that this loved pet lived for some time in an enclosure in their yard. Unfortunately Sonya lost her battle with cancer, far too young.

The Staff members who worked at the Hallett Primary School with Tony: were Carmel Hall, Joan Page, Michael Fitzgerald, Jane Toop and Annette Every.

Many local families had children enrolled at the school when Tony was the Principal: In the 1983 school photo the following children were enrolled:   Dianne Jones, Rebecca Riggs, Sheree Jones, Petrice Messenger, Christine Swift, Fiona Thompson, Justin Fahey, Naomie Colbatch, Louise Murphy, Tamara Aylesbury, Sally Richardson,  Diane Fahey, Denise McDowell, Thomas Rayner, Mark Gosse, Simon Every, Troy Mason, James Gosse, Craig Marlow, Darren Leibhardt, Simon Richardson, Andrew Mason, Troy Hall, Jeremy Aylesbury, William Rayner, Christopher Hanlin, Jamie Murphy, Jessica Sullivan, Adrian Marlow, James Duance, Eric Swift, James Fahey, Stephen Cockrum, Jeffery Duance, James Sullivan, John Villis, Ian Swift, Bernadine Fahey, Ian Fahey, Karl Bridger, Adrian Fahey, Kate Ashby, Caroline Ashby, Jane Villis, Christie Richards, Melissa Richardson, Lisa Bridger, Marie Beinke, Craig Jones and Darren Fahey.

Tony Colbatch was instrumental in making changes to the Hallett Community Newsletter structure. The following Hallett News article written for the ‘1988 Bicentennial Special Edition of the Hallett News’ was titled, ‘Birth of a Community Newsletter’.

‘For some years the Hallett Primary School produced a weekly school newsletter which was also available to interested people not involved with the school. Then gradually organizations were using it to notify about meetings, functions and so on, which in turn increased the demand for it. Thus over 100 copies a week were being printed. The School Principal at that time, Mr Tony Colbatch felt it was not fair that 20 school families had to financially support the community with a facility that it obviously needed, as well as the fact that it was becoming too time consuming for staff to handle. Therefore, he called a public meeting for the 28th November, 1984 and from that meeting, the Hallett News Incorporated, was born.

Since that time it has been entirely a community newsletter, controlled by a Management Committee, duly elected at an Annual General Meeting held in April each year, which relies on donations from the community to fund the running costs. All work is done by volunteers and, although it now has no connection with the school, is run in close liaison with the school, as it is through this medium that the school also publishes its news and from time to time children’s stories are printed.

The aim of the paper was not to replace local newspapers but to act as a link in our community and it is through this medium that we all become aware of what is happening within our sporting and service groups and the “Grapevine” section shares personal celebrations, achievements, sadness’s and illnesses with our readers.

We have a volunteer team of 19 local “girls” of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds who work on a roster system of three each week to either type, photocopy or assemble the 145 weekly copies produced and distributed to various outlet points.

We hope you enjoy reading this souvenir edition of the Hallett News and trust it will give you some insight as to what this small community has achieved and lost in the past few years.’

Volunteers are certainly wonderful people to have in our midst: At the recent Peterborough Rodeo, an urgent call came over the amplifying system – “Is there a doctor in the house as someone has been bitten by a snake behind the yards?” Naturally a sudden hush came over the large crowd of about 1000 spectators as we all sat there taking in this plea for medical assistance. SA Ambulance officers were suddenly running through the crowd, battling with their heavy medical bags and the Ambulance was immediately roaring around the outskirts of the crowd, to where the victim was. Evidently a small child had been up behind the yards playing, without shoes on, when a snake bit the child, on the toe. This story had a happy ending fortunately and the services of the local ambulance officers no doubt, aided this outcome.  Imagine how much sicker this child would have become if it wasn’t for these trained officers who undertake weekly training and attend events to help others!

Be Aware:  Recently I witnessed a drama unfolding in front of my eyes as I was looking for a shady park, on a very hot day, in a nearby town. I noticed a young mum frantically running from door to door of her car, desperately trying to open the doors, but to no avail!  I immediately knew that her small child was locked in the vehicle. I ran to help and tried to keep the child entertained whilst her mum ran to a nearby shop to raise the alarm. Luckily the small child was at that stage sipping away on a cold drink and was quite oblivious to the situation she was in.   A mechanic from a local garage was called immediately, but in the meantime a local guy, tried desperately to open a door with packing tape, but to no avail. When a mechanic arrived he frantically tried to get a door to unlock but after numerous, desperate attempts, the door remained locked. The situation was serious – by then the frightened child, was screaming! The frantic mum insisted that a window be smashed so that her child could be removed from the car that had quickly turned into a sauna.   This story, fortunately, also had a happy ending, as the very hot little one, was cuddled by her relieved mum and came out of the ordeal with no long term effects. As a witness to this whole drama, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of always taking the keys with you when alighting from a vehicle.  Door locks do malfunction and then dramas such as the above happen.   Even sharing this story with you is bringing goose bumps on my arms as I relive the drama!


Cricket News:  In the Northern Areas Cricket Association (NACA) news, it was great to read the names of two local cricketers. Casey French, eldest son of Barbie and Anthony (Digger) plays cricket for Belalie-Mannanarie and in the NACA bowling aggregate results, had achieved 12 wickets at 15.25.   Will Brooks, son of Lisa and Mark, had achieved 11 wickets at 13.00.




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