A $20,000 free ‘I do’ for deserving couple

In a dream come true, a brave young couple has won a dream wedding on the Mornington Peninsula.

Childhood sweethearts Charlotte Isherwood and Ian Rawle, both 25, tied the knot on Mt Martha beach last month after winning a wedding package worth about $20,000 in an online competition organised by Seaford’s Wedding Hire by the Bay.

Charlotte is the daughter of Yerong Creek resident Justine Isherwood.

Nearly everything, from the ceremony to the reception at Hastings, was provided for the Cranbourne couple, who were left reeling after their second child, Alexis Kate, died from a genetic metabolic disorder in September 2010.

Fate lent a hand when Charlotte’s sister, Sarah, saw the wedding competition – seeking a deserving couple who were ”doing it tough” – a week after Charlotte had confided that she would love to get married on the peninsula.

Sarah and her mother Justine entered a heartfelt application and Charlotte was chosen from hundreds of would-be brides. Charlotte told the Eastern Riverina Chronicle she couldn’t believe it when she heard she had won a wedding.

”I was very excited. Being a young family, we made it a priority to buy a house but had plans to save for a wedding. I don’t know if we would have got there, to be honest.”

Charlotte chose a purple theme for the nuptials and her daughter Amber-Jade, 6, proudly performed her duties as flower girl.

Wedding Hire by the Bay owner Kylie Vennells, who was invited to the wedding, said she had received entries from as far as America.

”I’m glad I chose Charlotte and Ian. They really did deserve to have something good happen.”

Mrs Vennells, who donated the decorations for the wedding, organised contributions from generous local businesses, ranging from a photography package to the cupcake tower wedding cake.

She was worried about a spate of bad weather leading up to the big day. ”But the weather was perfect. Someone was looking out for them.”

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Duo stirred into Ekka action

HUSBAND-and-wife team Peter and Megan Rodger from Ormiston, hope to cook up a storm and bowl over judges at this year’s Ekka, entering a breath-taking 41 categories. HUSBAND-and-wife team Peter and Megan Rodger from Ormiston, hope to cook up a storm and bowl over judges at this year’s Ekka, entering a breath-taking 41 categories.

HUSBAND-and-wife team Peter and Megan Rodger from Ormiston, hope to cook up a storm and bowl over judges at this year’s Ekka, entering a breath-taking 41 categories.

The pair has devoted their spare time to cooking cakes, bread, pesto, sauces, pottery, cards, origami, wall hangings, photographs and scrapbooking to enter at the show.

Although they don’t have kids, their two dogs, Benson, a South African mastiff, and Dexter, a mastiff cross, keep them busy along with their many hobbies, ranging from pottery to pesto sauce.

Peter, who works with the Queensland Police Service, said both were “novices” at entering Ekka competitions but decided to go “full tilt” this year in Brisbane after being denied the opportunity in Redlands.

Originally, the couple had entered 56 categories but that was dropped back after Peter withdrew from entering 15 preserves classes.

“The first time I was ready to enter a show, they cancelled it in Redlands and there hasn’t been one here since which is one of the reasons the Brisbane show holds a lot of appeal in Redlands,” Mr Rodgers said.

“We went to the Redlands show in 2008 and saw all the produce on display and decided to enter the next year, but then it was cancelled.

“This year, Megan was online and saw entries were closing and we looked at the categories and thought it would be fun to have a go at as many classes as we could handle.

“Originally, I was entered in 25 classes but when I realised the type of jars organisers stipulated to be used in the preserves section, I pulled out.

“The regulated jars are not preserve-suitable because they can’t be boiled in hot water, which is an essential part of the preserve process,” he said.

Peter will take two weeks off work before the Ekka to launch into his busy cooking schedule to make sure all his goodies are ready and fresh for the judges.

The household kitchen will be a flurry of action on Monday, August 5, the day before the cooking and baking sections will be judged.

Peter’s oven will be going all day as he plans to bake loaves of white, brown, wholemeal and grain breads along with a chocolate cake, madeira and banana cake.

The 41-year-old, who has a finger in nearly every pie at the Ekka, will also enter two pesto classes and two sauces and a savoury herb jelly.

He can make the sauces and pestos in advance but the three breads and three cakes will have to be baked the day before judging.

“I’m even considering leaving the breads to the day of the judging just to make sure they are truly fresh but I’ll see how I’m placed the night before,” he said.

“But I’ll be watching the Olympics as well as cooking on my time off – so it just depends on how inventive I get, which will determine when it will all be finished.

“I’m not a chef by profession but I do spent a lot of time in the kitchen experimenting cooking all sorts of foods.

“I have auditioned for Master Chef and a barbecue cooking show but this is the first time I’ve entered anything like this where I will be cooking a range of foods.

“I don’t really expect to win because there will be cooks who have entered every year for years and will have it down pat,” he said.

Although he has a plan and some secret ingredients for his bread, Peter is still unsure about what strategy to take with his herb jelly which he has never made before.

Peter said it was a good thing his wife had decided to enter non-cooking categories – otherwise there may have been “kitchen chaos”.

While Peter is in the kitchen using pots and pans, wife Megan will making pots in their pottery workshop in the garden.

Pottery became a passion for Megan after she finished her diploma in commercial art at Victoria’s Art Training Institute and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in ceramics.

When the couple moved to Ormiston in 2006, she insisted on building a firing kiln and her love of the craft blossomed.

“We bought a wheel and a kiln and then filled in half the carport to make a pottery shed which has been great fun.”

She has entered four pottery sections – a wheel piece, a hand-built piece, a piece with surface decoration and a novice section.

Megan, 42, who works with the state government’s Environment Department, is entering 31 categories ranging from quilling to paper tole, pottery, photography and scrapbooking.

Quilling is gluing long strips of coloured twirled paper into pictures and paper tole is making three-dimensional cards out of paper.

“Whether we win anything remains to be seen but we have entered a lot of categories,” Megan said.

“I never took classes in any of these crafts and all I know about these arts is from going to shows and Google.

“We have four god-children who often visit and they always want to do art and craft and play with the pottery wheel when they visit.

“In high school, I majored in art and when I did a Bachelor of Arts degree, I majored in ceramics and realised then that I wanted to develop my skills.”Hobbies are so important in life, which I believe begins at 40, and they have helped me and given me some form of escapism from reality when I’ve really wanted it,” Megan said.

HUSBAND-and-wife team Peter and Megan Rodger from Ormiston, hope to cook up a storm and bowl over judges at this year’s Ekka, entering a breath-taking 41 categories.

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Ekka role sweet as honey for Ray

Victoria Point’s Ray Goldsworthy is an honorary council steward in the apiculture section at this year’s RNA Show. Photo: Wendy Chung Victoria Point’s Ray Goldsworthy is an honorary council steward in the apiculture section at this year’s RNA Show. Photo: Wendy Chung

TO be or not to be. That is the question RNA honorary council steward Ray Goldsworthy asks about every jar of honey judges put in front of him for scrutiny at the Ekka.

It’s up to Mr Goldsworthy, the head apiary council steward at the show for four years, to check judging results in 25 classes in 13 sections before winners are finalised.

More Ekka action

If there is a discrepancy over an entry or judges can’t decide which jar is the best, Mr Goldsworthy steps in to decide the winner.

This year, he will oversee 90 entries across the 13 sections ranging from extracted honey, creamed honey, comb and liquid, beeswax, sculptured beeswax, queen bees and mead.

He and another honorary council steward John Covey will be in charge of four stewards and there will be two judges and an associate judge at this year’s show.

“Our entry numbers are a little down on last year, when we had 135 exhibitors,” Mr Goldsworthy said.

According to Mr Goldsworthy, who keeps 80 beehives some at Redland Bay, the art of a winning entry is all in the preparation the hardest part.

“It takes a lot of work to produce one bottle of honey so it really is like liquid gold.”

Honey must be filtered to ensure no sediment. But even more time consuming and difficult is perfecting clarity, colour, aroma, taste, density and brightness.

All entries are judged on a point system, scored out of 100.

Winners get $25 in all classes except the dark bush honey class where the first prize is $45. For honey, judges allocate 30 points for flavour, 30 for density, 20 for aroma, 10 for clearness and brightness and 10 for finish.

Mr Goldsworthy, 59, from Victoria Point, said to be a steward in the apiary section, it was imperative to love bees and honey.

“I first got interested in bees 30 years ago and watched my dad’s friend with his beehives,” he said. “But I lived in the inner-city and didn’t have the room to keep hives.

“Eventually, we moved out of town and later to Victoria Point, and now I keep hives on land around Redlands,” he said.

Judging of the apiary section started on Saturday, so results will be ready when the show opens on Thursday at 9am.

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Birkdale’s Coutts hauls most medals 

Dana Vollmer, left, of the United States congratulates Birkdale’s Alicia Coutts after Australia won silver in the 100m medley relay behind the US on Sunday. US swimmer Missy Franklin congratulates Leisel Jones while US’s Allison Schmitt and Emily Seebohm hug after the race. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images Silver medallists, from left, Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Alicia Coutts and Melanie Schlanger celebrate on the podium after the medal ceremony for the 100m medley relay final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Wellington Point gymnast Larrissa Miller puts in a strong performance on the uneven bars in the artistic gymnastics women’s team qualification on Day 2.

BIRKDALE’S Alicia Coutts will bring home five Olympic medals the highest won by a swimmer at the London Games.

Her medal haul also equals the Australian record held by Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould for the most medals at a single Olympics.

After helping Australia win its only gold of the games so far in the 100m freestyle relay, Alicia won bronze in the 100m butterfly, silver in the 200m individual medley and silver in the 200m freestyle relay.

She won her fifth medal, another silver, in the 100m medley relay – the last women’s event in the pool on Sunday morning.

She was swimming with Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, and Melanie Schlanger, and the team was coming fourth at the halfway point but made ground on Alicia’s butterfly leg.

The United States won the gold in a world-record time and Japan claimed the bronze.

The Americans clocked 3:52.05 seconds, eclipsing China’s former record of 3:52.19, with Australia finishing in 3:54.02.

Another Redland athlete who put in an outstanding performance at the Olympics in the first week was Wellington Point’s gymnast Larrissa Miller.

Unfortunately, her dazzling performance on the uneven bars garnering her the best score of 14.025, was not enough to stop her team being eliminated.

The Aussie women’s gymnastics team bowed out from the final round of the teams competition after qualifying 10th on July 30.

The Volleyroos, led by Capalaba’s Thomas Edgar, had to defeat the world No.3 seeds Poland in this morning’s match to keep their quarter-finals alive.

The Aussies, ranked No.22, have won only one of their four matches, losing to Argentina 0-3, Bulgaria 0-3 and Italy 2-3.

Edgar played a leading role in pushing the Volleyroos to beat hosts Great Britain 3-0.

Australia must beat Poland and rely on other results to advance.

Ormiston College’s James Connor will compete in the 10m platform event which starts at 4am on Saturday, August 11.

Also on Saturday, at 6pm, Nathan Deakes, whose parents own the Di Mati Coffee House in Cleveland, will take to the track for the 50m race walk.

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CHFL: Efficient Magpies clean up the Saints

Clunes 22.9 (141)

Carngham Linton 16.10 (106)

CLUNES was able to shake-off a determined early challenge from Carngham-Linton to record a comfortable 35-point win on Saturday.

Both sides kicked six goals apiece in the first term before Simon Calbert and Mark Dorward combined for 10 goals to put the game well and truly beyond the Saints’ reach.

Carngham-Linton entered the second term with the wind at its backs but, despite having the lion’s share of possession, was unable to make any real impact on the scoreboard.

In contrast, Clunes grabbed every opportunity with both hands and had taken the ascendency by half time.

The margin sat at 28 points at three quarter time and Carngham Linton was within striking distance, but four of the first six goals for Clunes in the final term killed the game off.

In the end, it was the efficiency of Clunes and the ill-discipline of Carngham-Linton that separated the two sides.

The most glaring example occurred in the third term; the Saints had one extra man in the centre square and from the resulting free kick ex-Saint Jason Hill converted to quell yet another charge from the men in red, white and black.

Clunes coach Justin Johns, who kicked two goals of his own, was pleased that his sides’ strong play had been rewarded with a convincing victory.

Hill had an exceptional day in the midfield along with Nick Buscombe and Glenn Handley, whilst Jayden Hind booted five majors of his own.

The twin towers of Calbert and Dorward, complimented by Marty Robinson’s strong play in the first half, will cause Skipton and Springbank issues in the coming weeks.

Justin O’Brien kicked four and provided a focal point for the Saints, whilst ex-Lakers trio Tim Miller and the Pring brothers, Nathan and Jake, all threatened to do some damage at one time or another.

Clunes’ Mark Dorward (pictured) combined with Simon Calbert for a 10 goal haul in the second term that put the game out of Carngham Linton’s reach.

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