COMPUTERPALS SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Saturday 1st May 2021 – Car Observation Run
Starting point was McDonald Jones Stadium, with a route taking us through Broadmeadow, Islington, Carrington, Mayfield North, Kooragang Island and finishing in Stockton where we lunched at the Boatrowers hotel.The weather was kind to us and we all enjoyed a great day out.
Monday 19th April 2021 – NSW Seniors Festival event – Learn & Lunch (in the Islington School Hall)
We had an excellent turn out of participants (best we’ve had for years). Everyone appeared to enjoy the program and were very active in their participation. The BeConnected presentation from Carolyn Keane & Mitzi Gordon on Smart Home devices was well received. The photos taken at our last social day out were displayed on the big screen in a slideshow and smaller versions were printed and posted on boards around the room for judging by those in attendance.
The sandwich lunch went down well also.
The major lucky door prize went to Ian Watson
Saturday 6th March 2021 – SOCIAL DAY OUT – A WALK
With the Bureau of Meteorology report promising???? a cloudy day with a possible morning shower, 20 intrepid photographers gathered in Carrington for a photographic walkabout.
Cards were handed out showing 8 topics to capture, all within a marked territory on the participant’s maps, covering parts of Carrington, Maryville, and Wickham. With one of the topics being Exercise, a few shooters grabbed an early lead by snapping a short 4-legged canine chasing after his athletic master around the adjoining park – quite a laugh for all to see. The wide range of topics to cover saw the field quickly scatter in all directions, hoping to capture those special shots. With 4 ‘eateries/drinkies’ located throughout the target area, there was ample opportunity to call in for a pit stop refresher. With their mission accomplished, the shooters then dispersed in all directions to fill in the rest of the day, no doubt a little weary in the legs, but hopefully satisfied with the result of their efforts. Participants were invited to submit 2 entries in each category to be judged in a popular vote at the upcoming Seniors Festival Learn & Lunch in April.
(The winning entries are shown below – thank you to all who voted on 19/4 and the Tally people)
Christmas Picnic Lunch
On Monday 30th November under somewhat grey skies, 39 members were present to celebrate a ComputerPals Christmas Lunch with a difference, held this time as a picnic in Speers Point Park due mainly to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Fearing a Summer heatwave or storm, a decision was made to hire the large, level shelter at the park, enabling members to dodge the possibilities of a hot sun or rain. This decision was vindicated, as an exercise group were occupying the shelter on our arrival and shortly after, a ladies Probus group had intended using it also. A couple of showers added to the justification for this move.
Possession settled, members rolled up with all the usual picnic fare, those forgetting their tables able to dine comfortably thanks to Fred Neal supplying 4 long ones. The shelter provided enough room for those present to sit or move around and mingle while adhering to socially distancing rules. Barry Keen then presented certificates to members who gained awards for the recent ASCCA Photography competition, and for all families an informative publication regarding online safety for grandparents and carers.
With tummies satisfied and conversations slowing, it was time to pack up after what had been a happy occasion for those present. Beryl and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all members a very Safe and Happy Christmas and New Year – it must surely be better than 2020.
Saturday 7th November 2020 –
Car Observation Run
Under skies that threatened showers after lunch, all participating vehicles and their crews managed a successful departure with a correct left turn out of the stadium. However, the scrutineers (Beryl and I) had a ‘hand in mouth’ moment when one of the participating vehicles headed off from the carpark in the opposite direction, only to correctly turn left from another exit from the stadium precinct – whew!, a clean and successful start.
With the scrutineers heading off to the finish line to secure a COVID-safe finish line-cum-picnic lunch area, participants were cut loose, armed with their list of instructions, directions, and questions to complete. With an estimated completion time of approx.. 2 hours, an anxious wait began for the safe arrival of the cars. Under somewhat clearing skies and a douse of sunshine, the first rally participants arrived, with the rest turning up over the next little while. As is usually the case in similar events, there are stragglers, and ours was no exception with one crew having an unscheduled pitstop at Warners Bay. However, a full muster was counted, some real-life socialising and lunch commenced while the scores were tallied. With a mixture of excellent and respectable scores, one crew had to be first and one crew had to bring up the rear (the Bradman prize for most incorrect answers), and these two were the lucky recipients of a bottle of wine, kindly donated by our own Barry Keen.
With the opportunity to socially mingle in person rather by Zooming, everyone present appreciated the change in what has been a rather trying and tedious year – a positive sign for 2021 we trust. After an enjoyable outing (no serious driver/navigator ‘blues’), a southerly buster dropped the temperature considerably, signalling the start of the exodus home before the weather became too unpleasant.
As this was our last excursion for 2020, Beryl and I would like to sincerely thank those members (and especially the regulars) who supported the few outings over the past troublesome year that we managed to hold, and look forward to more next year.
We had 25 participants in the car run and two others joined us later at Speers Point Park for the picnic. A really fun day out.
21 members ventured to Savannah’s Cafe and then on to the Morpeth Museum on Saturday 8/3/2020. Great company and an excellent day out.
The time for ‘official talk’ over, members then happily selected their favourite dishes from the Buffet and enjoyed each other’s company over lunch. With the Christmas/New Year break upon us, it was time for many to wish each other all the best for the forthcoming Festive Season.
From the ‘Social Department’, both Beryl and I would like to especially thank those members who supported our various activities throughout the year and wish all members a Safe and Merry Christmas/New Year period and look forward to catching up in 2020.
Brenton Elsey (Social Secretary)
Friday 6th September, 2019 – All of our volunteers received an invitation from Sharon Claydon MP to receive recognition in the 2019 Newcastle Volunteers Awards.
Congratulations everyone – well deserved!
Saturday 24th August, 2019 – Social Day Out – to Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Twelve members and partners enjoyed morning tea before viewing the excellent current exhibition in the refurbished historic building.
Most stayed on for lunch at the very popular Gallery Restaurant.
Friday 16th August, 2019 – AGM & lunch
Was held at Cardiff RSL Club.
Monday 3rd June, 2019 – Members Morning Tea
Olivia Paterson & Elizabeth Curran from Service NSW, Wallsend were our guest speakers at our Members Morning Tea.
They informed us about the Service NSW website and what you can do online. How you can access NSW Government services. (e.g. Vehicle Registration, Drivers Licence, Cost of Living savings …. the list of services goes on). There were many questions from the floor and it was all very informative.
Social Day Out – Saturday 18th May – Rail Motor Society at Paterson
A fine day beckoned on Saturday 18th as 16 members paid a visit to The Rail Motor Society, Paterson.
After a scenic drive through the rolling countryside, members met up at the old Station Master’s Cottage which today houses some railway memorabilia and doubles as the Society’s headquarters. First up was a ride in the historic CPH Rail Motors out to Wallarobba and return. These units were built in the 1920’s for use on the NSW branch lines and provided sterling service for over 60 years before being retired from active service. Given the age of these trains, their condition and running was a tribute to the expertise and dedication of the volunteer workforce entrusted with preserving this area of railway heritage.
Back on the ground, it was up to the Cottage where tea, coffee and hot dogs provided much needed sustenance before a tour of the depot. Inspection of additional Rail Motors, the workshop area and some old railway carriages being meticulously restored rounded out a very interesting and enjoyable day. Several members showed further interest in the operations of The Society, as they operate numerous shuttles, trips and tours throughout the year – well worth consideration.
My sincere thanks to Lindsay Threadgate for supervising our group, as being a member of The Rail Motor Society, I was on duty there on the day.
Morning TeaMonday 18th March dawned grey and drizzly for our Morning Tea, held as usual in the school hall adjacent to our premises.
With a pleasing roll-up of some 50 odd members, President Sandra Keen commenced proceedings with an update of Club news and information, highlighting our upcoming classes and courses especially for new members. Special mention was made of the Be-Connected online assistance available for members to participate in rather than just listen, and also the importance of signing in when commencing a ‘lesson’. Next, our special guest speaker was Wendy Birrell from Roads & Maritime Services, who gave an excellent presentation of Road Safety for Seniors and the Light Rail. The last trams in Newcastle were withdrawn from service in 1950, so only a handful of us who lived in the area then would have seen them. Wendy highlighted the need to learn and understand the rules and safety measures taken to ensure a smooth transition to the integration of the light rail with motor vehicles and pedestrians. With these shiny new red and white trams running silently, it is most important to stay alert and keep a lookout when in the area and be aware of the additional traffic signals enabling safe crossing for pedestrians, not forgetting the 40 kph speed limit throughout the length of the tramway. Judging by the numerous questions asked showed this presentation was well received and timely for those in attendance.
With a ‘caffeine fix’ needed, morning tea was then called, enabling members to share a cuppa and a yarn with those present.
NSW Art Gallery in Sydney on Saturday 23rd February 2019
A small contingent of members travelled to Sydney for a visit to the NSW Art Gallery.
Following the train trip to Central, we were met by Elaine Butler (ex C’Pals President and now Sydney resident) and current member Barbara Bartlett who was down there visiting her daughter and family. Following the obligatory comfort stop, we adjourned to the brand new Eternity café at Central Station where one and all marvelled at the transformation and improvements to a ‘foodie stop’ at this location. Next, we proceeded by train and a walk to the Art Gallery.
This magnificent structure has stood the test of time, and the grandeur of the façade is matched by the impressive display halls, while the static and travelling exhibits offer something for all tastes in art. One of the main attractions was the travelling exhibit ‘Masters of Modern Art’ which was recommended to us by one of our members who had seen it while overseas. Organised tours were conducted for this and a few other exhibits, while some chose to wander around at their leisure to study the various art pieces on display. Culturally nourished, we then met up at the Art Gallery café for lunch, with much discussion on the merits (or otherwise?) of the various displays.
At this point, some members chose to stay on a while, while the majority mustered the energy for the trip home, farewelling Elaine and Barbara at the station prior to our return train trip.