Iconic pub changes hands

Rachel Parsons outside the Post Office Hotel, which will be under new management by the end of the week.It has been a dramatic few days for the publicans of the iconic Post Office Hotel.
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Yesterday morning, Craig and Rachel Parsons had shut the doors of the Lachlan Street hotel, having reached a stalemate with the pub’s owner over the terms of their lease.

As an open letter to patrons advised, they were unsure when or if the historic ‘Postie’ would reopen.

The only thing they knew for certain was that they wouldn’t be in charge.

However, the pub’s future became much clearer yesterday with the arrival of new licensee, Vonnie Newcombe.

After negotiations failed with Craig and Rachel Parsons, the hotel’s owner had organised for Ms Newcombe’s takeover.

With the help of Ms Parsons and long-standing Postie barmaid, Kerry Acheson, Ms Newcombe hoped to reopen the hotel before the end of the week, possibly as early as today.

Ms Newcombe said she planned to continue operating the Post Office Hotel as usual, and Ms Parsons encouraged all patrons to call in and meet the new publican once the doors reopened.

Footy tippers and punters club members have been assured that both competitions will continue as normal if they wish to remain involved, otherwise they can request a refund from Ms Parsons.

Craig and Rachel Parsons made the shock decision to close their hotel on Monday night.

As outlined in the letter to patrons, it remained closed on Tuesday and yesterday and the Parsons family are now in the process of packing up their belongings and moving out.

In the letter to patrons and the Forbes community, Rachel Parsons said she and her husband felt they had no choice but to close the hotel.

“This is due to the current financial climate and a very unreasonable landlord,” she said.

“Our financial situation is one that our landlord refuses to negotiate the current lease with us, and has been unreasonable in any discussions.”

“Craig and I have enjoyed our time getting to know you all and running this business. We feel as though we have failed you all, and we apologise immensely for that,” Rachel Parsons said.

Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Lachlan delegate, Jim Clyburn, said that the economic climate was increasingly tough for publicans.

Mr Clyburn, who operates a pub in West Wyalong and owns another in Condobolin, said hotels face stiff competition from supermarkets and other liquor retailers.

“You can go down to any supermarket today and a can of Coke is dearer than a can of beer,” Mr Clyburn said.

He said the AHA’s recommended beer price is now $5.30 a schooner, but most pubs are reluctant to charge that much, fearing that customers will leave and drink at home instead.

Mr Clyburn said the introduction of poker machines to hotels in the late 1990s had allowed publicans to compete with clubs but now hotels faced competition from elsewhere.

“The same thing was happening then as it is now,” he said.

“Things are pretty tough [for pubs] now but I think when you go into this business, you have to realise that the good old days are over.”

Vonnie Newcombe said she and her husband operated one of Ballina’s biggest pubs for nearly a decade.

She invited anyone who has been a patron of the Post Office Hotel to call in and meet her.

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Nominate incredible local women

It’s time to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary local women with entries now open for the Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards.
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Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for Riverina Murray, Loretta Willaton, urged the local community to make 2012 the year they nominate local business women for the prestigious national Awards.

“Innovative business women can come from anywhere and we certainly have many in the Riverina Murray region who inspire others by their courage and leadership,” Ms Willaton said.

“We strongly encourage women who are nominated to enter the Awards. For finalists and winners, they offer significant benefits from the increased public profile, networking opportunities and a share in more than $200,000 in cash and prizes,” she added.

There are three qualifying categories in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards:

* Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award – Open to owners with a 50 per cent share or more in a business with responsibility for key management decision making.

* Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award – Open to employees in the private and corporate sectors, or owners with less than a 50 per cent share in a business.

* White Pages(r) Community and Government Award – Open to employees in government departments, statutory bodies or not-for-profit organisations.

There are two specialist categories:

* Nokia Business Innovation Award – Recognising innovation across a number of areas including sales and marketing, process, product or service.

* marie claire Young Business Women’s Award – Open to entrants in one of the qualifying categories aged 34 years or under as at 30 June 2012.

Awards are offered in each category in every state and territory and winners will be announced at public events held between September 18 and October 16, 2012.

State and territory winners are eligible for the national Awards which will be announced at the 2012 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards in Sydney on 21 November.

Entries are open until midnight on 19 June.

To nominate business women or for further information about the Awards, visit: www.telstrabusinesswomensawards南京夜网 or call 1800 817 536 between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday.

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Lockhart’s Community Hero

Rose Lehmann’s dedication to giving back has endeared her to the Lockhart community who have nominated her for the NSW Woman of the Year Award – Community Hero category.Lockhart’s Rose Lehmann is one of just six finalists in the NSW Woman of the Year Awards in the People’s Choice – Community Hero category.
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Rose was chosen from over 200 entrants by a judging panel led by the NSW Minister for Women, Pru Goward who said it was a tough task for the judging panel to select a shortlist.

“We had a very difficult job in selecting finalists because the calibre of nominations was so high.

“It was inspirational to read these extraordinary women’s stories and find out about the great work that they are doing throughout the state,” said Minister Goward.

Rose’s dedication to giving back has endeared her to the people of the Lockhart community who nominated her for this award.

Rose has volunteered for more than 60 years for various causes that make her beloved hometown of Lockhart a better place to be.

Born and raised in Lockhart, Rose is an enthusiastic and unassuming volunteer who has quietly worked for her community for six decades.

Described as a highly respected role model, Rose always honours her volunteering commitments with a smile, positive outlook and lots of energy.

She had a pivotal role in Lockhart’s success when it was voted winner in the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Award for 2009/10.

When Lockhart played host to the 2010 awards Rose organised the spectacular street parade with a wool and wheat theme to showcase the town’s proud heritage.

As well as her proven track record in working on big projects for the town, Rose also takes care of the details. Not only was she the driving force behind the parade, she also made all of the table settings and gifts for the evening reception – not an easy task for more than 300 people.

As well as the planned events, Rose is also at the front of the queue to help people during unexpected circumstances – during the devastating floods earlier this year, Rose opened up her own home to a family who had lost everything, giving them food and shelter for a number of weeks until they were able to get back on their feet.

Always unassuming, Rose describes her help during the floods as “really just giving a family a warm bed and dry spot, something to eat, a shower and a bit of companionship. Helping in this way is what community spirit is all about.”

Her hard work and persistence has brought many visible improvements to the town. She helped with the background information for the funding applications for the Lockhart Grandstand and restoration of the main street and Men’s Shed.

The embodiment of community spirit, Rose has been involved in almost every Lockhart organisation at one time or another; from the CWA to the local school, the museum to the Arts Council.

Whether she’s organising Christmas calendars or recipe books to raise money, serving food in the school canteen or preserving Lockhart history, Rose is busy making things better for her community.

She was nominated for NSW Volunteer of the Year 2009/10 and Citizen of the Year in 2011.

The People’s Choice – Community Hero is chosen by the public and the community is urged to get behind this worthy nomination by voting for Rose online at www.womenoftheyear.nsw.gov.au One vote per email address.

Voting closes at midnight on Monday 14 May 2012. The winner will be announced by the Premier of NSW at a special reception on Thursday 24 May 2012.

The other five finalists in the Community Hero category are:

Jenny Armstrong from Marsfield – dedicated volunteer with Riding for the Disabled NSW.

Elsie Gordon from Dubbo – Murrawarri woman, teacher and advocate for domestic violence victims and women’s health.

Yvonne Keane from Kellyville – dedicated volunteer with Hear the Children and founder of Reach for the Rainbow.

Shirley Nelson from Byron Bay – founder of Feros Care Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation providing aged care.

Sheila Turnbull from Cessnock – advocate for women’s equality, passionate about helping women and girls to fulfil their potential.

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Cancelled sale raises questions

President of the Forbes Associated Agents Geoff Rice has questioned council over their decision to cancel a weekly sheep sale during the floods.
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Local agents John Martin and Bill Dunn believe it is the first time in history a livestock sale has been cancelled in Forbes.

At around 11.30am on Monday, March 5, council suggested to Mr Rice that the sheep sale should be cancelled due to flood water.

An hour later it was confirmed.

“From the point of view of the vendors it was hard,” Mr Rice said of the decision.

“I’m well aware that Forbes was pretty drastic but we had people along the river that were really desperate to get stock out of their [place] before the river came up,” Mr Rice said.

Mr Rice said Forbes is one of three top selling centres in the state and cancelling the sale put pressure on the rest of the state.

“We have a lot of people, not only along the Lachlan, that are trying to get stock out,” he said.

Mr Rice said it was imperative the sales returned to normal as quickly as possible.

“If we don’t open these yards and even the flow of stock out, when we do enter the market there will be a downward pressure system,” he said.

Wagga Wagga and Cowra both cancelled prime cattle sales due to flooding, with Wagga also cancelling their prime sheep sale.

With so many selling centres closing due to floods, Mr Rice expressed concerns about a market glut.

“We are well aware of council’s obligations but we would have liked to be in the decision making process a little bit more,” Mr Rice said.

Mr Rice said he believed council’s decision to cancel the sheep sale was based on information received from the SES and police.

Past president of the Forbes Associated Agents Bill Dunn also questioned the cancellation.

“Yes the southern side was affected but the northern and western side was not,” Mr Dunn said.

He said the cancellation compounded last week’s yarding.

Without the cancellation of the March 6 sale, agents estimated the yarding for last Tuesday week would have been around 10,000 lambs.

Instead, Mr Dunn said, 24,000 lambs were yarded.

The swollen numbers caused the market to drop $10 to 12.

“If we’d had that sale that wouldn’t have had quite so hard a drop,” Mr Dunn said.

Mr Martin said the drop has cost the local region an estimated $200,000.

Mayor of Forbes Shire Council, Phyllis Miller, said the decision to cancel the sale was brought up at an Emergency Operations Centre meeting and the decision was made by organisations who had representatives at the meeting.

Representatives included the SES, police, Department of Community Services, Rural Fire Service and Forbes Shire Council.

“[It was decided] it was in the best interest of our shire to not have people travel to the sale,” Cr Miller said.

The opening of the new pig yards was also cancelled.

The opening will now be held on Friday, April 20.

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Doherty’s double: Reinsman joys on-track success

JINDERA reinsman Tim Doherty enjoyed one of his finest days at the track in years when he steered home a winning double at Wagga last Thursday.
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Doherty is slowly increasing his involvement in the sport after time away and he proved he’s still got it with a race-to-race double to open the Wagga program yesterday.

His first winner came on his pacer, Diliart ($5.50), then got home on Trewin Road ($2.90) for his father John Doherty to give him a 100 per cent strike rate for the day.

Doherty moved to Victoria in 2003 to take up harness racing training and driving full-time and enjoyed 30 winners in his first season.

He then gradually decreased his involvement as he undertook university studies and then ultimately decided on a move back to Riverina in 2008.

His father John followed and purchased a farm at Jindera six months ago and the pair are at it together now with a team of seven working on their own track.

Doherty is enjoying his time back in Albury and was happy to claim a double yesterday.

“It’s been a really good day,” Doherty said.

“I didn’t drive for a couple of years so this would have to be my first double for four or five years. I wouldn’t have a clue.”

Doherty only got Diliart a month ago and she came to the Jindera stables winless from almost 20 starts.

She broke through at start number 21 yesterday and Doherty likes the four-year-old mare.

“I only got her three or four weeks ago and didn’t know anything about her,” Doherty said.

“I didn’t think she would go as good as she did.

“She was a really nice two-year-old but hits her knee badly and lost confidence I think.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if she runs through the grades. I really like her.”

Diliart led and ran away for a dominant 16-metre victory.

Trewin Road also led, and held on to score by seven metres. It was the five-year-old’s second win to go along with eight placings from 15 starts.

“He’s a good little racehorse,” Doherty said.

“He’s no star but he does his job by keep getting a cheque.”

Doherty is manager of Albury’s Equestrian Centre and is happy with a team of seven to work with his father John.

Doherty admits he is enjoying being back in the sport here in Riverina.

“I love it now,” he said.

“Having our own place and own track and it’s just good to get back to the Riverina where I’m from.

“It’s so much more social here and laid back. It’s good to be apart of.”

Meantime, experienced Wagga trainer Norm Jerrick produced a gem of a drive to steer Modern Slippa ($6.90) to victory in the Workout Wagga C2-C5 Pace (2165m).

Jerrick rarely drives but has got back in the sulky a couple of times recently and he produced a masterclass in the final event to get the talented four-year-old to victory.

Jerrick put Modern Slippa to sleep three back along the pegs and brought him through with a charmed run to grab the lead in the final 50 metres.

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Scottish perspective on waste

Waste Management Officer Amanda Ingram (centre) toured Forbes Scrap Metal with LandCare ­representative Len Reade and Forbes Scrap Metal owner Les Little on Thursday last week as part of the vocational component of Group Study ­Exchange.A passion for waste management led Scotland’s Amanda Ingram to Forbes last week as part of Rotary District 1010 Group Study Exchange team.
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Ms Ingram arrived in Forbes last Tuesday week as part of the five person inbound GSE team from Northern Scotland.

Last Thursday week Ms Ingram joined local Landcare enthusiast Len Reade on a tour of Forbes environmental projects, focussing on waste management.

Ms Ingram visited Twin City Recyclers, Forbes Scrap Metal and the Forbes Shire Council Daroobalgie landfill site.

During the four week exchange Ms Ingram said she hopes to learn more about Australia’s campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness of and participation in recycling.

In Scotland around 40 per cent of waste is recycled, Ms Ingram said.

“It has been great to find out more about the way waste is managed in this part of Australia and how it compares to Scotland and I have gained some really useful ideas and contacts.

“I think a lot of the legislation we have in place [in Scotland] are imminent for Australia so it’s good to talk about that too,” she said.

Between vocational visits Ms Ingram visited the proposed community garden, White Bend and constructed wetlands sites.

“I’m trying to show the achievements of Landcare towards improving and restoring the environment in the urban area,” Mr Reade said.

During Thursday’s tour Ms Ingham also gained an insight into revegetation, salinity, water tables and wildlife corridors.

“We are trying to show what we have achieved and how we achieved it and the results before and after and finding a two-way interaction,” Mr Reade said.

Mr Reade said although there would be a number of differences between Australian land and Scottish land, he believed there are also a number of similar environmental issues.

“As a representative of Landcare on the environment committee we are very interested in her knowledge and ability of waste management and how it can be utilised in our area,” Mr Reade said.

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Walla’s Troy Taylor gives chase to Murray Magpies’ Patrick Robinson in Walla’s 21.16 (142) to 13.5 (83) win over the Magpies on Saturday.Henty has continued its brilliant start to the Hume FL 2012 season, by easily accounting for last year’s runner up Holbrook at Henty on Saturday.
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The Swampies were superbly led by Coach and former Ovens and Murray star Brent Piltz, who is returning to his home town after a stellar career in the O and M.

Piltz was almost impossible to pass across half back with his long penetrative and precision kicking being a highlight of a very impressive Henty performance.

Holbrook are now in real danger of missing a finals spot and will need to re discover some passion and form or the season could quickly fade away after such a wonderful 2011 season.

Jimmy Ellis, Simon Hillier and Shannon Terlich continued on from there great cricket form with excellent games to be amongst the Swampies best.

Mikal Bloom, Andrew Taylor and Brent Hibberson tried hard for Holbrook, but to many passengers and out of form players left the Brookers a long way off the pace.

Howlong remained unbeaten after three rounds, but had to contend with a withering finish by Culcairn and a severe injury to ace Darren Bradshaw.

Culcairn fell just six points short of causing an upset, with seven straight last quarter behinds costing the Lions big time, following on from last weeks one point loss to Lockhart.

Howlong’s victory came at a huge price with Darren Bradshaw injuring his elbow and likely to miss over a month, while former skipper Troy Cooper broke his hand.

In his brothers absence Daniel Bradshaw showed the class that made him a two time premiership player with Brisbane, by kicking seven goals, including six in the first half.

Brent Barber returning from injury was best for the Lions, winning plenty of ball across half back, Leigh Baker was in excellent touch in the midfield, along with Shannon Gilson.

Culcairn face a blockbuster game at home this Saturday, when they clash with rivals Henty, in a game that could shape both sides season. A huge crowd is anticipated.

Walla has made it two wins in a row with Troy Taylor turning in a scintillating ten goal performance that catapulted the Grasshoppers to a ten goal win over Magpies.

After collecting its first ever wooden spoon in its 106 year history in 2011, the Hoppers are now sitting in sixth place on the ladder with only one loss to Osborne.

Harry Tresize, Guy Coleman and former coach Jason Murray were explosive and fed the ball superbly to the high marking and spring heeled Taylor.

Osborne has taken up a fairly familiar position on top of the ladder after three rounds, following a comprehensive 118 point win over Billabong Crows at Urana.

Trent Perczyk proved he is as good as any other forward in the competition with an eleven goal haul. Coach Dan McAlister continued his good form kicking five goals.

Matt Clarke, Nick O’Connell and Hayden Gleeson controlled the stoppages and clearances, while the back line led by Andrew Clarke were outstanding.

Osborne now face up to near neighbours and fierce rivals Lockhart this Saturday, with both teams unbeaten and in sparkling early season form.

Rand-Walbundrie Tigers bounced back to winning form with a solid four quarter effort that would have pleased Coach Clint Gilson, beating CDHBU by 72 points at Coreen.

Marc Kreutzberger, Guy Telford and Brendan Simmons led the charge with solid games, while Mark Wilde kicked four goals in a classy effort.

The Tigers have regained its place in the top six and should stabilise this further with a home game against Billabong Crows this week.

Lockhart proved too strong for the out of form BB Saints winning easily by 85 points at Lockhart, to remain in third place and unbeaten.

Sam Day showed his value by kicking five goals, after Tom Marlow was kept to just three goals by Saints defender Dean Murphy.

Thirty four scoring shots to nine was a good indication of the Demons dominance. Lockhart continue to gain admirers and a win at Osborne this Saturday would not surprise.

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Dragon boat club receive grant

Forbes Dragon Boat Club secretary Wendy Muffet and president Wendy Green accept a cheque for over $5000 from Member for Dubbo Troy Grant.Members of the Forbes Dragon Boat Club are fired up – but in a good way thanks to the announcement of over $5000 worth of funding for the newly established sports group.
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The announcement of the $5770 grant was made earlier this month as part of the State Government’s 2011-12 Sport and Recreation Participation Program.

State member for Dubbo Troy Grant visited members of the dragon boat club late last week to officially recognise the club’s achievement in securing the grant.

During a special meeting with President Wendy Green and Secretary Wendy Muffet, Mr Grant congratulated the club on securing the funding which is set to help the club and its members develop.

President of the Forbes Dragon Boat Club Wendy Green and secretary Wendy Muffet said the funding was good news.

The women said the bulk of the grant will be used for skills development.

“They are not the kind of skills that you grow up with.

“It is a completely new sport that has a new skill set and the grant will let us develop these through courses run by Dragon Boats NSW,” Mrs Muffet said.

The rest of the funds will be used to pay for coaching clinics and life jackets, purchase a first aid kit and team uniforms.

Wooden paddles currently used by members will also be paid for by the grant.

It is hoped developing the skills of current club members will help establish the club within the community and encourage others to join.

“[We want] to grow the sport and grow the size of the club in town and eventually have a regatta here, even if it was just Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo that come,” president Wendy Green said.

The Forbes Dragon Boat Club became the state’s 52nd club when it was established in October last year.

Although the club only took to Lake Forbes for the first time during the Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival in September, members have already competed in four regattas.

The club also recently received a grant from Westpac Bank for $500.

These funds will be used in conjunction with the Sport and Recreation Participation Program.

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2012 ANZAC Day Commemorations

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5.45am: Dawn Service at Monument Hill. Assemble at 5.30am.

7.50am: ANZAC Service, and Border Vietnam Veterans Commemoration Service at the SS&A Club Memorial Wall. Assemble at 7.40am.

8.30am: ANZAC Service at the War Memorial in Waugh Rd.

9.00am: March from the corner Dean and Spencer Streets to Elizabeth Street .Form up at 8.45am.

10.00am: ANZAC Commemoration Service at Monument Hill.

11.00am: Wreath laying at the Commercial Club for Albury’s 2/23rd Infantry Battalion and Vietnam Veterans.


2.30pm: Boree Creek Cemetery

3.00pm: Boree Creek Hall


6.30am: Dawn Service commences at Wymah Recreation Reserve Contact details: June Sutherland Ph: 02 6020 2027


9.30am: March forms up and steps off to the War Memorial at the Brocklesby Hall for ANZAC Commemoration Service. Morning tea afterwards.


12.30pm: ANZAC Service at the Memorial at the hall followed by a gathering at the Burrumbuttock Hotel.


5.50am: Dawn Service and Wreath Laying at Corowa Monument. Assemble at 5.45am. Catafalque Party to mount guard. 6.30am: Gunfire breakfast at the RSL Club. Admission by free ticket and gold coin donation.

8.30am: Assemble at the Flag Court outside the RSL Club. Wreath Laying by guest of honour and Sub­branch President. Visit to each of the three Corowa cemeteries to lay wreaths will follow.

9.45am: Assemble at School of Arts, Wahgunyah, prior to march to Wahgunyah Monument.

10.00am:Wahgunyah ANZAC Service .10.45am: Assemble in Corowa (cnr Sanger and Church Sts) for march to Corowa Monument. Catafalque Party to mount guard at start of parade.

11.00am: ANZAC Commemoration Service at the Monument.

11.45am: Visit Karinya Nursing Home for a short service with the residents.

12.30pm: ANZAC Day luncheon at the RSLClub (admission by ticket only).


10.30am: March from the coach terminal in Railway Parade to the new Commemoration Wall. Form up at 10.15am. ANZAC Ceremony and Wreath Laying at the Wall with service to continue inside the Memorial Hall. Refreshments and luncheon to follow with collection to be taken for Legacy.


9.00am: Service at Pleasant Hills Hall.

10.45am: March steps off in Ivor Street to the Cenotaph. Form up at 10.30am.

11.00am: Wreath Laying Service at the Cenotaph then to the Henty Community Civic Centre for the ANZAC Commemoration Service. Luncheon to follow for RSL members and their guests.


5.45am: Dawn Service at the Cenotaph in Ten Mile Creek Gardens. A $5 breakfast afterwards at the RSL Club is available with proceeds to Legacy.

10.30am: March assembles outside the Uniting Church and steps off at 10.45 am for the Cenotaph.

11.00am: ANZAC Commemoration Service at the Cenotaph. Luncheon for Ex­service and serving personnel, and invited guests of the RSL Sub­branch, afterwards at the RSL Club. In the event of inclement weather the Service will be held in the Shire Hall.


6.00am: Dawn Service at Lowe Square in Hawkins Street. Gunfire breakfast for those attending to follow at Howlong Country Golf Club.

11.30am: March at Lowe Square followed by ANZAC Commemoration Service. Luncheon for invited guests will be held after the ceremony.


10.30am: Commemoration Service and Wreath Laying at Memorial Park.


10.30am: March steps off from Corryong Post Office to the Memorial Hall. A Wreath Laying Service will take place in the Memorial Gardens before the main service. March forms up at 10.15am.

11.00am: ANZAC Commemoration Service at Memorial Hall. Sausage sizzle afterwards and two­up at the RSL hall.


9.50am: March, assemble at the Paladium, 9.40am


11.00am:March from the Post Office to the War Memorial for Commemoration Service and afterwards at the Oaklands RSL and Bowling Club.


6.00am: Dawn Service at the Cenotaph.

11.30am: March steps off to the Cenotaph for the ANZAC Service and Wreath Laying. Guest speaker at the luncheon at the Rand Bowling Club afterwards. Small donation.


10.45am: March begins. Assemble for march at Walla Walla Hair And Beauty at 10.30am.

11.00am: ANZAC Service at Bicentennial Park.

12.00pm and following: Sausage sizzle outside the Walla Walla Transaction Centre.

The soldiers from Bandiana and pipers from the Scots School Band will again be present on the day. For information contact 60292349.


11am: March, assemble 10.30am Macknight Park


6.00am: Dawn Service at the Woodland Grove Cenotaph. Assembly at 5.40am. Breakfast to follow at Wodonga RSL.

10.45am: March steps off from outside Wodonga Court House to the Cenotaph. Form up at 10.20am.

11.15am: ANZAC Commemoration Service and Wreath Laying at the Cenotaph. Luncheon and traditional ANZAC activities at the RSL.

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Squash open about to begin

The annual Forbes Shire Council Squash Open will get underway tomorrow night, featuring a mix of local and visiting players.
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The open tournament will be played over three days, with most of the action on Saturday and Sunday, however with a full roster of players expected, some games have been scheduled for Friday night.

Fifty players from areas including Sydney, Canberra, Orange, Bathurst, Parkes and Grenfell had already nominated earlier this week, but organiser and Forbes Squash president Garry Dempsey hoped for a final field of about 70.

The open, in its third year, has attracted major sponsorship from Forbes Shire Council and has drawn most of the field from last year, including men’s open winner, Michael Bolton.

Two locals who will be confident in the lower divisions of the tournament are Jack Tobin and Isabelle Cowhan, who both won their divisions at the recent Western Junior Tournament, held in Dubbo.

Jack Tobin won the boys under 17 B grade trophy at the March 3-4 tournament, defeating Chris Driver in the final, while Isabelle Cowhan also won her under 15s division.

Tobin, who will still qualify for under 17s next year, won all his matches in the B-grade event, 3-0, including the final.

The 17s A-grade pool featured high ranking juniors including Rohan Toole and Jeff Salmon, who are both expected to be leading competitors at this weekend’s Forbes Open.

Last week’s floods caused the cancellation of the fifth round of the Wednesday and Thursday night competitions, but the water has receded from the Golf Club carpark and play was expected to resume last night and again tonight.

Spectators are welcome to attend the Squash Open at the courts all this weekend and also to enjoy dinner and entertainment at the Golf Club this Saturday night.

More in Saturday’s Advocate.

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