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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.