Mildura Weekly : Friday May 8 2015 Vol 9 No 26
NEWS 09 FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2015 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU By ALAN ERSKINE THREE Sunraysia institutions, iconic lifebloods of their re- spective townships over many decades, are under threat of folding unless they get more help, and community sup- port. The three are under threat for different reasons, but in each case, a solution is sim- ple, and for little or no cost. The recently re-opened Wentworth Club simply needs townsfolk and visi- tors to make use of its excel- lent facilities, and the long- established Red Cliffs Settler and Wentworth-based New South-Western Standard newspapers need fresh young ‘blood.’ All three are community assets, held in high regard by their respective townsfolk, and management teams are striving hard to keep their heads above water, but all agree that if things don’t change, some hard decisions will have to be made. It’s no secret that the Wen- tworth Club has been strug- gling ever since it was taken over by the Mildura Working Man’s Club late last year, with an immediate injection of al- most $100,000, including a $28,000 cleaning bill, to get it up and running again. Joint Mildura Workers/ Wentworth Club manager John Harlock, who helped put the Workers firmly back into the black some years ago, is trying everything at Went- worth - improving facilities, putting on good value meals, throwing the club open for conventions, meetings, wed- dings and other functions, attracting top-class entertain- ment, and even offering free introductory membership for Under 21’s. While there is a push for more young members, John says the club caters for every demographic, evidenced by the scheduled appearance on June 6 of former Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock front man Ross Wilson, Australia’s ‘go- to’ man for classic hits of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. “We’ve got fully quali- fied chefs offering a variety of lunch and dinner options, upstairs dining with the best river views in the region, 79 poker machines, a TAB ser- vice, live events on Fox Sports, pool tables and other great fa- cilities,” he said. “We have shown slight im- provement over the months since we re-opened last Sep- tember, but we would love to see more people join up - it’s only $11 a year, and we would also like to see more people try our meals and other facili- ties...just call in and have a look at what we offer.” And John is one of many who wouldn’t like to see the town’s newspaper, or the one at Red Cliffs, fade into the memory books. Both are local institutions, one run as a busi- ness, and the other staffed by dedicated volunteers. The Red Cliffs Settler community newspaper has been published for the past 22 years by Betty Krake. The publication is one that Betty , 87, wants to see continue, but two recent health scares have put the future of The Settler in doubt. It has been in limbo for the past five weeks, ever since Betty had a bad fall at home, fracturing a pelvic bone. “I was chasing a spider of all things,” Betty told the Mil- dura Weekly. “And I wasn’t even standing on anything. It was on the floor. I took off my shoe to give it a smack...it moved away and I went to hit it again, overbalanced and fell awkwardly.” It’s been too hard for Betty to ‘cover’ community events from home while she’s in recovery mode, walking with the help of a frame, so she’s had to put the popular news- letter on hold until she re- covers. Ideally, she says, now might be an opportune time to pass the baton to someone younger. Betty’s commitment to the Red Cliffs community in general, and The Settler in particular, led to her being named the first of the Mil- dura Weekly’s 2014/15 Com- munity Heroes, an award that was richly deserved, and ap- plauded by the community. It was all trial and error when Betty took the reins of The Settler 22 years ago. She had no experience in profes- sional writing, photography or publishing when she took over, but thrown into the deep end, she survived, and The Settler thrived, becoming the voice of the Red Cliffs ir- rigation area. Betty is the first to admit the newspaper faces an uncer- tain future. There’s no quick fix, unfortunately, especially with Betty in recovery mode, and also planning a long- awaited hip replacement, hopefully within the next few months. Like the publishers of the New South-Western Stan- dard, Betty is hoping for some fresh, younger and enthusias- tic new blood to take over the publication and keep it going. • Continued next page The two community newspapers simply need an injection of young, fresh blood to survive, but for the Wentworth Club it’s a case of... Use it or lose it! • MAKING NEWS: Most of the New South Western Standard publishing team, Marj Jolley, front, Jan White, standing, Gaye Lamb and Carmel Chapman, INSET. Between them they have well over 100 years of service to the town’s newspaper. LEFT: The Red Cliffs Settler’s Betty Krake, who has The Settler on hold while she recovers from a bad fall at home. Deakin Avenue, Mildura | Phone 5023 0531 www.milduraworkers.com.au Available at participating stores only. Offers are subject to change BISTRO 121 LUNCH SPECIAL FISH & CHIPS Golden fried butterfish served with crispy chips and garden salad. 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Friday May 1 2015 Vol 9 No 25
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