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Ultimate pro steps down

GETTING long-time Devonport Golf Club professional Ron Garwood to talk about his own exploits on the golf course is like getting blood out of a stone.
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He is a long way from being a self- promoter, even on the eve of his retiring after 28 years as the resident professional at Woodrising.

However, even he can raise a grin when he is reminded of the time he was the leader of the 1979 Australian Open at the Royal Melbourne composite course.

The then young Garwood was lucky enough to birdie the par four first and then managed an eagle on the par five second.

A glance at the leader board showed he was in front, but by the end of the four rounds young Garwood did not even figure.

Then there was the time when he was just 13 and was drawn to play with a fairly competent lady player in a mixed foursomes event at Seabrook (he was living at Burnie at the time).

The snooty lady scoffed at the idea and suggested that Ron, on a handicap of 13, was not a good enough partner.

But the next year Ron had reduced his handicap to just four and this lady quickly changed her attitude. She reckoned Ron would be an ideal partner.

And the youngster had great pleasure in informing her that perhaps she was not good enough to play with him.

Ron Garwood started his career, under the guidance of his father, when he was growing up in Westbury.

He turned professional at the tender age of 16, under the wing of the renowned Bill Husband at the Launceston Golf Club.

He later spent about five years in Melbourne where he followed the Australian tour with, in his words, limited success.

However, he did compete in a couple of PGA championships and four Australian Opens competing against golfers of the calibre of Hale Irwin, Greg Norman and David Good.

He was also a member of the Australian PGA Board for six years.

Back in Tasmania as professional at Woodrising, Ron has managed to win about 30 Tasmanian PG pro- ams, but does not set great store in those achievements.

However, he and then Kingston Beach pro, Rod Mills, captured the Tasmanian foursomes title seven times.

In fact, Ron has the record of having won every event on the Tasmanian calendar with the exception of the Tasmanian PGA.

Tony Fox, a single figure member of the Devonport Golf Club, who has caddied for Ron, is convinced that he could hold his own with any of the top-flight players if he could only putt.

He recalls one Tasmanian PGA, which Ron should have won with something in hand, but in which he finished only second to the late Doug Murray.

“From tee to green, he was superb,” recalls Tony.

“But he let himself down with his putting.”

And it is a weakness in his game that Ron Garwood freely admits.

Of the players he has seen at Devonport, he suggests that multiple club championship winner, Kevin Brain, was one of the best.

He also had great respect for the ability of Adam Holden, who was apprenticed to Ron and who is now a professional in Canada.

But he has despaired of some of the better golfers, who did not realise their full potential.

Outstanding among these, said Ron, was former Woodrising green keeper, Stewie Mathewson.

He could have been anything and held his own anywhere, but he was not sufficiently dedicated.

Ron Garwood has indicated to Devonport that he will retire at the end of June. But he is fearful for the future of golf club professionals in Tasmania.

“With the prices for golfing gear offered by the likes of Ray Drummond and on the Internet, I can see the time when Tasmanian professionals will do what they are doing in America and merely provide golfing lessons and selling clothing and logos. We just cannot compete,” he said.

Devonport Golf Club president Bev Holman said Garwood had certainly been the longest-serving Professional, following in the steps of Gerry Bailey and John Furze.

“Ron has served the club extremely well and has started and improved the golfing careers of many members,” she said.

“He has also been helpful to the board offering advice and ideas on golf, tournaments and club business.

“He has given an extraordinary amount of time coaching juniors over many years and assisted some such as Sarah Johnstone into the elite area. Sarah now represents the state and plays off a handicap of one.

“Ron has also given pennant players valuable lessons prior to many seasons which, I am sure, has contributed to the success the club has achieved during his tenure.”

She added that he had been a very generous sponsor for club tournaments and for the ladies, mens, veterans and junior competitions and had initiated the Corporate Cup event for our sponsors now a keenly contested annual fixture.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Hawks ready to fly,with trio back for clash

CHRIS Clarke’s South Burnie Hawks will be back at full strength when they take on Queechy Penguins at the St Leonards Hockey Centre Launceston, in their Greater Northern League Hockey clash.
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The Hawks have three inclusions this week that Clarke is hoping will be a boost for them, with Jordan Dart, Evan Davies and Patrick Todd all back from under 18 state duties.

The juniors were a thorn in the side of most teams last year and with the added experience of state duties they could be match winners.

Queechy coach Kahn Riley said the Hawks have always been tough opposition and with wins going both ways, he doesn’t expect to find them any different this year.

Queechy started strongly last week with all goals being a team effort when secondary touches finished the job, a play that the team has been practising.

Queechy devastated many defences last year with a formidable corner barrage and with the new style introduced by Riley they now have another weapon.

This game should be a willing affair and worth the gate admission.

The late game in Launceston is cross-town rivals Tamar Churinga and South Launceston.

Tamar was unlucky to be beaten in the dying stages by Launceston City last week and will be out to make amends and post its first points for the year.

Coach David Budgeon will be relying on Shane Ewart and Siebe Vanoorschot to get the front line firing and find a chink in the Blues defence.

Tim Reece, Nick Williams and Gene Purcell combined well last week for the Blues, their speed on the forward line should serve them well in what should be another close local encounter.

The Smithton Saints have three additions to their line up when they meet the Subbies at Meercroft Park Devonport.

Saints’ coach Kris Birtwhistle wasn’t keen to make any predictions, only to say the games between the teams have always been close and this should be no different.

The Subbies will add Mike Williams to their line up and with no injuries to report their coach will hoping to change their fortunes.

Burnie’s City Marians had a day out last week with a comfortable victory and on home turf Launceston City will need to dig deep to take the points.

The Bloods spokesman Kerry Davies didn’t think there would be any changes to their starting line-up.

Dave Towsend, Clinton Upchurch and Eddie Gates led the way last week and should trouble the Launceston defence.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Rawlings bullish about Johnnyace’s chances

IF THE pressure of having the only local runner in tomorrow night’s Maxfield Drilling Raider Stakes Final is getting to Andrew Rawlings, he’s not letting on.
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The Burnie trainer was cool, calm and collected yesterday when asked about his colt Johnnyace’s chance of taking out the $30,000 race.

“His preparation has not been too bad and he’s coming along nicely at the right time,” Rawlings said.

“He ran fourth in the heat after drawing wide so with a bit of luck he will have a good run.”

Johnnyace will start from barrier seven, on the second row, for tomorrow night’s 2665m mobile start race.

With regular driver Rohan Hadley on board, Rawlings said the draw would suit his horse.

“He should be able to work in good from there,” he said.

“The two favourites (Quastor Centurion and Beautide) are starting from (barriers) one and two, so if he can hold their backs he should have every chance.”

While Johnnyace has had seven wins from his 35 starts, Rawlings had no doubts about where victory in the Raider Stakes, one of the state’s premier four-year-old races, would sit.

“It would be the biggest by a fair way,” he said.

“It would be one of the biggest of my career as well.”

The Barrie Rattray- trained Beautide, who has won all three of his starts this campaign, looms as Johnnyace’s major challenger.

In tomorrow night’s other feature race, the Adam Brooks Group Granny Smith Final, the Scottsdale-trained Hilda Su, the winner of her last two starts, will go head to head with class six mare Klebnikova Leis and class seven mare Benediction.

Azarenka Leis, trained at Sassafras by Shelley Barnes, will carry Coastal hopes in the 2665m race.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Rates cut would not be a win-win situation for all

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CHANGES in interest rates create winners and losers.

One commenter on a story at www.theadvocate杭州夜网.au headed “Rate cut hopes grow” on Tuesday wrote:

“Hope? Why should I hope that I get less interest on my savings?

“Like the majority of Australians, I do not have a loan, so why does the paper assume that a rate cut is positive for the average Australian?”

Here goes –


In 2011, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 36.2% of Australian households were home owners with a mortgage.

That covered about 7.95million Australians who would stand to benefit directly from rates cuts through lower mortgage payments or paying off their mortgages more quickly.

(This assumes fixed rates would also come down in time in response to any cuts the Reserve Bank may make on Tuesday and beyond).

A further 32.6% of Australian households were owners without a mortgage, covering about 7.2million Australians.

The third significant group, renters, made up 27.6% of households (about 6.1million Australians).

A number of those would be keen to get into the housing market, and lower rates would make it easier for them to do so.


The high Aussie dollar has been a mixed bag.

It has led to lower import costs, but has also put great pressure on much of the manufacturing sector and on tourism.

In 2010, according to the ABS, 983,500 Aussies worked in manufacturing.

It would probably be conservative to assume the high dollar would be putting pressure on the employers of three quarters of those.

If so, that would be a ballpark 740,000 Australians whose manufacturing jobs were being affected or were in danger from the high dollar.

A further 752,800 Australians were employed in the accommodation and food services sector.

Assuming a quarter of those jobs were affected or threatened by the high dollar, that is a further 190,000-odd people.

Part of the reason for the high dollar is our interest rates, which are extraordinarily high by current developed world standards.

While that is a sign of relative economic strength, interest rates coming down closer to those of other developed countries would help bring the dollar down over time and ease stress on manufacturers and tourism.


Retail employed 1.24million Australians in 2010.

Retailers widely believe cuts to interest rates help lift public confidence and public spending.

Australians have become increasingly frugal in recent years.


Construction is another key sector regularly calling for rate cuts.

It employed 1.04million Australians in 2010.

Like retail, it is having a challenging period, with many firms under pressure.


Cuts to interest rates tend to help many businesses by lowering their costs.

This can lead to increased profitability, support or grow job numbers and improve share prices over time.


Most Australians own shares these days, either directly or through superannuation funds.

A rates cut would broadly be good for the share market and super balances.


These people are some of Australia’s unsung heroes.

They reduce the burden on taxpayers by funding their own retirements and this will become increasingly important as the population ages.

They certainly have a point when they worry about rates cuts eroding incomes.

There are believed to be more than 280,000 of them in Australia.

Even so, those are relatively small numbers compared to some of the groups mentioned above.


While a rates cut would be an overall win for consumers, a lower dollar would push up import prices.

Those keen on plasma screens and other electronic doodads may do well to get in soon.


It seems clear many more Australians would benefit from a rates cut than would be significantly hurt by one.

The “greater good” argument, therefore, supports rates cuts.

So do recent economic developments.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Photographers’ perspectives

AN INSPIRING quote from Australian photographer Max Dupain has been reflected on in the exhibition In Response.
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Opened last night at the Burnie Regional Art Gallery (BRAG), it showcases the perspectives of local photographers Lisa Garland, Rick Eaves and Peter Lord on the following quote: “I find that my whole life, if it’s going to be of any consequence in photography, has to be devoted to that place where I have been born, reared and worked, thought, philosophised and made pictures to

the best of my ability. And that’s all I need.”

Lisa Garland focuses on North- West Coast people in their own environments.

“I love the intimate spaces and how we create them,” she said.

“The clutter, the character and the serenity of them.”

Rick Eaves is fascinated with the diversity of Tasmanian landscapes.

“My photos have a real textural unity and are quite evocative images,” he said.

“I love Bass Strait, the highlands, rural and coastlands, and the power of the West Coast.”

Peter Lord has gathered a selection of images including some from his 35 years as a news photographer.

“They capture the energies of my home, and my home was The Examiner at the time,” Mr Lord said.

“They are from my time of running through town roads, beaches, villages.”

In Response will run until June3.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Memory of war still lingers for Coast’s veteran diggers

LIKE so many other young men from the Coast, the three Hanson brothers, of Spreyton, were just teenagers when they enlisted in Word War 2.
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As each brother went overseas, their family knew none might come home.

Their father served in World War 1 before them.

His sons said on Anzac Day this week that their father didn’t ever want to talk about his own war service until they were going.

“He didn’t want us to go through what he went through. He wouldn’t let us enlist in the army,” Henry Hanson, now 91, said.

The Hansons served in the navy, two on the same boat, which was not permissible but happened.

Thankfully all managed to survive, but they lost mates.

Des Hanson, 94, and Henry sat together at the Devonport Anzac Day service, their many service medals glistening in the autumn sun.

Younger brother, 86-year-old Peter Hanson, was not well enough to attend.

Next to the Hansons was World War 2 veteran George Doran, 89.

“Look at those medals – I’ve never seen anyone wearing as many as Henry,” George said.

“This is our day of remembrance – it’s a time for us to remember our lost mates.” George served in the Pacific in World War 2.

The haunting Last Post still hung in the air as the diggers observed the minute of silence.

Thoughts were with fallen comrades who did not get to grow old as they have.

Also among the distinguished World War 2 foursome was 97-year-old Don Fenton, the oldest veteran at the Anzac march who had served at El Alamein in the Western Desert Campaign and Syria.

Mr Fenton’s hearing is not as good as it used to be.

He struggled to articulate how much Anzac Day meant to him but didn’t really need to speak as his eyes brimmed with tears.

Mr Fenton squeezed his daughter’s hand tightly as she explained what he told her.

“It’s a big day for Dad. All his brothers, all his mates are gone and he’s the one left,” she said.

Later it was time for memories to be recalled at the Devonport RSL Club – and there were plenty of stories told.

Hundreds went back after the march to share a few beers during the catch-up that ran well into the afternoon.

Games of two-up were played on the only day it is legal.

George and Henry hinted at some of the mischief that went on during the war to help the Australians get through, but the men wouldn’t reveal details.

“That’s what we’ll talk about today – all the good times we had. We don’t talk about war on Anzac Day,” Henry said.

George let slip a little more.

“I was a bit of a villain,” he laughed.

“I used to have a few beers while on shore leave; actually I enjoyed myself quite a lot. You never knew when the next torpedo would arrive – it was a good idea to have a good time while I could.”

The Hanson brothers nod.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

A heart for underprivileged

WHAT began as a poverty awareness pilgrimage to Zambia led to the birth of a promising future.
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The Renewed Hope Children’s Home is in its last stage of development and eight Zambian orphans are set to move in.

The Micah Challenge Group, from the Devonport Baptist Church, is the humble creator of this orphanage, making it a reality through extensive fundraising and organisation.

It all began when the group had a collective feeling it was to visit Africa and was to help create a building there.

“It was just a feeling we had, as part of our Christian faith,” member Keren Jago said.

The group embarked on a trip to Zambia where it met up with Mobile Mission Maintenance – an organisation that takes people on poverty awareness tours off the beaten track.

What transpired was a confronting insight into the devastation of poverty.

Of the many horrific scenes witnessed, the one that stood out in the minds of the group was the feeding programs.

These provide underprivileged children with a nutritious meal once a week.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking as you would see them wrap up that meal that is intended for them and take it home to share with their family,” Mrs Jago said.

The defining moment for the group came a short while later when it was introduced to Annie Sheba.

“Annie lives in Zambia and her heart is for the poor of the country and the children,” Mrs Jago said.

Annie took the group to a compound and it was at that point the group knew it had to help.

“That is when we realised what poverty is all about, they live on absolutely nothing,” Mrs Jago said.

The group decided it would build an orphanage.

It was Annie’s dream to build one, so the group gave her the role of orphanage manager.

“We made a commitment to build a house in a children’s village, one of six houses in total,” Mrs Jago said.

“We are hoping that other groups will come forward and finish the other five buildings.”

When the group arrived back in Devonport, it completed extensive fundraising to build the home.

It is now fundraising to build a fence around the home, and the space for the five others, which will allow the home to be self- sufficient.

“They will be able to keep animals and grow their own food,” Mrs Jago said.

“There is no point creating this home for them if they can’t look after themselves.”

The group needs to raise another $6000 in nine weeks before the fence is booked in to be built.

To make a donation to the Renewed Hope Children’s Home contact the Devonport Baptist church on 64243389.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

CMW’s alert to residents `half-baked’

FAULTY electrical wiring at the Pardoe Waste Water Treatment Plant has been blamed for a minor pump failing and a pool of sewage sludge being left near the John Palmer walking track at East Devonport’s Pardoe beach.
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Resident Leanne Bovill noticed the sewage on April 18.

Mrs Bovill said Cradle Mountain Water’s attempts to alert residents to the sewage, including the use of a portion of orange plastic fencing and two signs, was “half-baked”.

Mrs Bovill said the smell was offensive and the pool of stagnant sewage should be flushed out.

Chief operating officer Doug Doherty said late last week, corroded electrical wiring caused a minor pump at the Pardoe Waste Water Treatment Plant to fail, resulting in sludge spillage within the treatment plant compound.

Mr Doherty said the Environmental Protection Authority and the Environmental Health Officer from the Devonport City Council were contacted immediately.

“The surcharge into the stormwater drain is being monitored and has caused no threat to public health or the environment,” he said.

Environmental Protection Agency director Alex Schaap said on Thursday Cradle Mountain Water had advised that while it appeared the spill was mainly contained inside the Pardoe Waste Water Treatment Plant compound, further precautionary measures had been taken in relation to the stormwater drain outside the plant with the erection of the temporary fencing and warning signage.

“Cradle Mountain Water will request the Devonport City Council Environmental Health Officer to inspect the site this week to see if any more action is required,” Mr Schaap said.

Mr Doherty said Cradle Mountain Water would continue to monitor the situation to ensure no further issues arose from the spill.

“We understand there have been some concerns raised by people using the walking track close by and we can confirm that the sludge has been collected and reprocessed through the plant,” he said.

Mr Doherty said if the community continued to have concerns to contact CMW on 13MYWATER (136992), place a post on the Facebook site or email: [email protected]杭州夜网.au

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Attempted robbery count not guilty plea

A MAN present at a foiled attempt to steal cannabis plants from the property of an elderly couple has pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated armed robbery.
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Ulverstone’s Robin John Jago appeared before Chief Justice Ewan Crawford in the Supreme Court in Burnie yesterday.

On April 4 last year, Jago, the principle offender Zachary Swan and three others were drinking at a property at Ulverstone when they decided to drive to the home of Thomas and Beverley Chapman in Burnie, the court was told.

The plan was to steal cannabis plants that the group knew were on the property, Crown Prosecutor Stephen Karpeles said.

Mr Karpeles told the jury it might surprise some of them to hear the law said people could own cannabis plants.

Upon arrival Jago, along with Swan and one other, left the vehicle, hopping a neighbour’s fence and into the backyard of the Chapmans’ residence, Mr Karpeles said.

Swan was armed with a tomahawk, and upon entering the property Jago armed himself with a wooden pole, the court heard.

When the trio were disturbed by Thomas Chapman, Swan demanded repayment of debt he claimed was owed to him by Mr Chapman’s son, before then telling him to open the shed which contained cannabis plants.

Police arrived, after a neighbour noticed the men and called the police.

They captured Swan but Jago and the other man scattered.

The real issue was what Jago believed was going to happen when he entered the backyard, was he intending to “encourage and assist” the crime being committed, Mr Karpeles said.

Jago has said he was there for a lawful purpose, to collect a debt from the house, the court was told.

“You can judge a man’s intention not only by what he says, but also by his actions,” Mr Karpeles said.

Defence counsel Greg Richardson suggested when and why Jago and the other man armed themselves would be an issue.

The trial continues.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Project opening good news for Coast cyclists

*(1/3)THE official opening of the Devonport to Quoiba walk and cycleway interrupted a 50km ride from Forth for social cyclists Kevin Goodwin and Graham Hart yesterday morning.
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The pair didn’t mind hopping off their bikes and ducking under the ceremonial ribbon.

Mr Goodwin said it was their first trip on the recently completed cycleway.

“We thought we had better come and check it out,” he said.

Mr Goodwin and Mr Hart are part of the 63% increase in cyclists using tracks like the Devonport to Quoiba pathway for cycling since 2001.

Devonport City Council Mayor Steve Martin said the completion of the project, which was made possible through a $498,000 grant from Sport and Recreation Tasmania’s trails and bikeways program and a $373,000 Devonport City Council contribution, had seen 2.2km of track complete as part of the 11km continuous track around Devonport from Coles Beach along the waterfront at Victoria Pde through to Quoiba and on to Spreyton.

The project, which has been two years in the making, was part of the Devonport City Council’s Cycling Network Strategy.

Ald Martin said Quoiba Progress Association’s Keith Burley had been vocal about connecting the CBD with Quoiba and Spreyton since 1983, to alleviate the need for residents to negotiate the busy traffic bridge at Horsehead Creek.

Chair of Safer Roads For Cyclists Keith Price said the plan to join all the Coastal cycleways was still in the making and as funding was made available, councils could take the opportunity to apply for assistance.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.