Drought Affected Women of the Land
For too long our hardworking ladies of the land have put their families first.

BONE DRY HAY RUN CHARITY APPEAL Committee wish to put together “pamper packs” for these ladies.

The “pamper Packs “ will be delivered on our next FORGOTTEN FARMERS hay run to Brewarrina on the 16/02/2019.

Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Can be dropped at ERIC’s tender Meats – Galston Village, Galston or phone Shelley 0400 558 696

The Magnificence of Trees
Trees are such a giving life force. They provide shade and shelter, freshen our air, bring beauty in array of myriad forms, some bear fruit for our sustenance, provide us with the raw materials to improve our lives, provide habitats for wildlife, trees enhance and enrich our lives.

As a celebrant I take great joy from marrying couples under an ancient tree which has stood witness to so much and I do believe that the blessings from the wedding ceremony embed into the natural history of that tree.

Trees can become silent champions in our lives and when they are removed or destroyed unexpectedly it can have a profound effect on us.

During the recent devastating storms so many trees were destroyed, a new landscape appeared and spaces left to lament.

Christine Stockman, a very active contributor to Heartbeats has written a reflection about a special tree.

A ‘Sudden End’ to a more than 70 Year Old Tree
Whilst walking in our paddock today, I was shocked and saddened to see that last Saturday’s storm (21/12/18) had brought down our more than 70 year old China Pear Tree.

That tree was so, so special to my older brother and I when we were young children. In summertime we loved going down to our back fence, climbing the tree, picking China Pears and then selling them on the roadside. We sold them for 5 pence each and often had customers come back year after year to buy them. China Pears are rock hard fruit but when stewed are delicious. Mum always had extra in the freezer for us during summer.

Over the last 40 years we haven’t picked the pears. The main tree trunk became more and more precariously tilted over the back fence, so we couldn’t climb the tree and it appeared it had stopped bearing fruit. It was such a HUGE TREE! For us it seemed that had been there forever as it was a big tree in 1950, when my parents bought the land.

What amazed me too, apart from it being ‘downed’ was that it had small fruit again. How lovely is that! – it’s final parting gift to us and we’ll be able to enjoy some stewed China Pears again , after all those years.

Having your own fruit trees is wonderful! Christine Stockman.

New Business in Galston
We welcome Richard Poilly and his shop ‘Men at Work’ to the Galston Village. Richard has taken over the premises, located next to The Steamyard Cafe, which was previously occupied by Anne and her ladies boutique. With a novel twist the store has evolved from a ladies boutique to a men’s wear shop which caters for men at work, men at play and men dressed for occasion. For those missing the stylings of Anne, she has relocated her boutique to Round Corner Dural behind Ray White Real Estate and opposite Billi & Gus Giftware.

What I found interesting
This projection is based on the estimated resident population at 31 December 2017 and assumes growth since then of:

• one birth every 1 minute and 42 seconds,
• one death every 3 minutes and 16 seconds,
• one person arriving to live in Australia every 1 minute and 1 second,
• one Australian resident leaving Australia to live overseas every 1 minute and 51 seconds, leading to
• an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 23 seconds.

These assumptions are consistent with figures released in Australian Demographic Statistics, December Quarter 2017 (cat. no. 3101.0).

My Stormy Wedding
On the 15th of December our area was hit with a violent and aggressive storm. While the morning was fine the afternoon began to angrily brew a potent storm. I had a wedding to perform at my home at 3pm but an hour before this time I was asked if we could do the ceremony at a local park as they were planning to have a picnic celebration feast there after the ceremony. For some reason the couple were over an hour late and the storm clouds began to turn that ominous shade of ‘get ready, batten down the hatches’ green. I suggested that we seek shelter under a structure because of imminent rain. Finally at 4.15pm, everyone was in place just as the storm hit with full ferocity. The couple suggested that I begin but how could I as my glasses were dripping, my ceremony script was dripping, I was dripping. All we could do was wait it out. The noise was overwhelming with the rain beating across and down on the roof and the wind was soaring around us, all we could do was huddled together…. everyone was saturated. I told the couple that rain is symbolic of fertility so watch and wait to receive those blessing. It was the most severe weather I can remember and to be outside enveloped in it was crazy,,,, add the extra layer of it being a couple’s important day and trying to get the ceremony performed….. truly a moment that all present will remember vividly.

My New Zealand Christmas
While I am sure others had a great Christmas celebration, our family had a most delightful treat.

On this page I often tell of my experiences but there was one eventful happening that I neglected to share. With the benefit of time, a truly happy story can now be revealed. My eldest son had always wanted a family and, at 33, he was searching in earnest for his ideal partner. Sometimes in life decisions can be made for you and this was the case for him; after only 3 dates with his now partner they had a surprise pregnancy. They decided to continue together and grab this blessing with both hands. My grand baby girl was born in June 201? much to the delight of everyone. As Amber’s (my son’s now fiancé) parents live in New Zealand, we as a family travelled there to celebrate and acknowledge our newly acquired family.

I did struggle to know what gifts I should take especially given the luggage restrictions. Inspiration struck…..but did I have enough time with 10 days to go before take off. This is where I need to thank Richard from Men at Work for his help in making my crazy idea a reality. In a quick turnaround Richard organised the delivery of various coloured caps each one printed with a different name so that on Christmas Day instead of paper crowns we all wore celebration caps with names which reflected the personality of each person present. Thanks Richard for being so switched on to my idea, being professional and invested.

We were having too much fun to take any pictures with all of us in our caps but this picture was taken in NZ and amusingly Indi is showing her admiration for my new shoes,,,,,,it’s a girl thing…haha!

Winners Celebrate
This week I had the great pleasure of meeting a couple celebrating 71 years of marriage. 71 years – that’s more years than some people have for their entire life!

From the moment they arrived, he treated her with great tenderness and affection, I thought to myself “what a beautiful couple”. They were the recipients of a voucher prize from the Galston High Twilight Markets. When I said congratulations and called him a winner, he responded ever so kindly with “love, I was a winner 71 years ago when this lady married me”. My heart melted. This came immediately after I received a most beautiful and heartfelt card from two very special customers who wanted to express their appreciation. Needless to say, tissues were required that day.

This is a very special community that I feel privileged to be a part of.