Joining of the Rails 100th Anniversary Update

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 15, 2017 at 17:31
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Hi Everyone

Well work has commenced at the site and we are now getting a few campers arriving to get a good spot.

This is the very first photo of the new memorial to be seen, with one of the organisers, Leon Ashton standing in front of one of the new memorials.

The road up has been graded and in first class condition, so please join us to be part of Australian history.


Cheers


Stephen

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:58

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:58
Well this post is finally back on line........

The weather today was hot out here reaching 41 and a friendly breeze to add to the atmosphere.

There has been a steady crowd gathering all day and now outside, it is just perfect, with not a breath of wind.

The passenger train that came through tonight slowed right down for everyone to get some good photos.

It's been that hot, that no was had a campfire, which is a pitty, as there was a large amount of wood brought in for the event.

The air strip was graded the other day and so far 2 plane have landed. Dick Smith will be flying in mid morning and so will a lot more day trippers.

As hot as it has been, the crowd of people has made the atmosphere just great and there is a complete range of ages, people will into their eighties who once worked out here on the Railways through to younger people that just love the bush and want to be part of this historic event.


More new tomorrow.


Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 08:02

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 08:02
Monday night was topped off with a free concert which added to the atmosphere.

As everyone went to bed there was not a breath of wind, but it sure made up for it during the night, with a very strong wing taking vengeance.

Dawn on the day and people are stirring and the toilets are getting a good work out.





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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 21:52

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 21:52
Tuesday 17th October 2017

Well what a day.

The wind did not let up during the morning and seemed to just get stronger, along with a very fast rising temperature.

My marshalling duties started at 8 am with fellow EO Member Peter G from Tamworth. Our shift finished at just after 11am and during that time, we were now getting a very steady flow of day visitors for the day and the day parking area was filling quickly. the wind was now beyond a joke and many people had one thing on their mind....to pack up and head off after the event.

The time was now fast approaching and so was the temperature.... it was now well over 42° well before 12 noon. The official ceremony was spot on time and after many speeches, it was time for Dick Smith to unveil the official new plaque on the southern memorial.

The crowd was fantastic, with many hundreds of people venturing to this very remote spot on the Nullarbor to witness the 100th Anniversary and the unveiling at the very time when the rails were joined all that time ago.















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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 at 20:40

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 at 20:40
Great photos and story Stephen, nice to meet you there along with Pete & Chris. We're now home in Kalgoorlie after a very interesting trip. Found some nice campsites, saw some interesting things, met some nice people and drove on some terrible tracks!

I do think it would have been much better if the blokes that built the railway 100 years ago had joined the tracks somewhere there wasn't nasty little prickles everywhere and where you could dong pegs into the ground but them's the breaks!

The wind on top of the heat was a bit of a shock to the winter/spring weather we'd been used to but my party of offroad/outback virgins were all stoked to have been there and are extremely grateful to the wonderful people who worked so hard to put the show together.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 07:37

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 07:37
Hi Paul

It was sure great to meet you and your good wife. Thanks for making the big drive over to be part of this special piece of Australian history.

I was only speaking to Leon yesterday morning about the success of the day and what a great turn up of people for such a hot and windy day . When he was speaking to the CFS volunteers that were on site, they told him it was 43 at the time if the ceremony .

Once again, thanks for driving over for the event.



Cheers



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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 09:45

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 09:45
Well what a memorable few days at Ooldea.

A very special thanks to the very dedicated few that persisted in making the special event happen.

It is the quiet ones that made it happen and a very special thanks to Leon Ashton from Quorn and my great friend, Murray Collins from Ceduna that persisted to get it off the ground.

The west coast is always a very special place to visit and if you are very passing through, please take time to visit the many interesting out of the way places to see.

Now to head back home and see more places.

Here are a couple more images of our drive over to the west coast....








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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew L1 (SA) - Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 06:32

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 06:32
The big Comet windmill use to be on the railway line on Coondambo Station east of Kingoonya
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 08:12

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 08:12
Hi Andrew

We knew where it was located, having seen it in a very sad state of repair when Rick still owned Coondambo.

Fiona spoke with Julie yesterday and showed her a photo of it now restored and she was happy to see it like that now.

It looks great Andrew and we were very surprised to see it in the Penong Museum.



Cheers




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Reply By: Grizzle - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:30

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:30
All looks fantastic Stephen!!

Well done to everyone.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 21:36

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 21:36
Hi Graham

You would have had a great time.

We caught up with Fig and his mate.

It was a credit to the very small team that made it come together.

One negetive for the event....neither the state of federal government put any money up for the event, yet they can waste money of other crazy projects.

It was the most greatful support of Dick Smith and Doug Sprigg, plus other small local businesses that mad the event what it was.

Take care.


Cheers


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Follow Up By: Grizzle - Thursday, Oct 19, 2017 at 07:58

Thursday, Oct 19, 2017 at 07:58
Yep I hear you re the Government, but this goes to show that you don’t always need the governments help. Also it wasn’t turned into a political show!!

So again well done to all.

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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 12:03

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 12:03
Well done to all.
Pity the celebrations didn't seem to make it to the general media.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 21:42

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 21:42
Hi Rod

Yes it was a credit to the small team that made it come together and they are now saying that the official head count was 420, which is unreal considering the remote location for this historic event.

From what we can gather, the only guys that were recording the event, seems to be the media guys from ARTAC.

You would have thought that one of the big national news outlets would have been there to cover the event.


Cheers



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Follow Up By: 2 4 T - Friday, Oct 20, 2017 at 09:22

Friday, Oct 20, 2017 at 09:22
I am in Sydney and was listening to the ABC. At midday they gave a good report on the history and unveiling. We heard from Dick Smith and others. I was delighted because I had been following the preparations. Thanks Stephen for keeping us in the loop.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 at 00:05

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 at 00:05
Hi 2 4 T

That is great to hear, as when I spoke with family back home, they said if it was not for me telling them about the event, they would not have know, as they had nothing on the local SA news which is a real pity.



Cheers


Stephen



ps and another first that I forget to mention.....


Dick Smith announced at the event that he was also donating money to help with the restoration of the original Aboriginal Ooldea native well, that the railways ruined, hoping that they could tap into a good source of water for the trains.

Was there any talk of this?


Cheers


Stephen


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Follow Up By: 2 4 T - Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 at 10:55

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 at 10:55
Not that I recall. I was excited when I first heard. It took me a few seconds to realise that it was all happening then and there. Perhaps you could download the new ABC Listening app and have a look for the midday news.
You might be lucky. Thanks again. Linda
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 07:44

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 07:44
Hi Linda

Thanks for that and will give it a go.




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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 08:31

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 08:31
Hi Rod, Linda and others that read this.....

If you go to Google and type in Channel 7 news Adelaide, they had a 4 minute story of the centenary on Saturday nights news.

It stars around the 45 minute mark and give you an idea of what it was like out there on the day.

It is worth having a look.


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 11:39

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 11:39
Thanks Stephen,

Had a bit of trouble finding the story on various sites, ended up finding it by clicking on the 7 Adelaide facebook link.

Many thanks for your continued updates of the event.

Cheers,
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 11:55

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 at 11:55
Hi Allan

Yes it is better late than not at all.

One of our sons saw it on the news last night and thought they better tell us about it.

Those that registered for the event will get a final news update this week I have been told.

It was great to be part of this very historic event.



Cheers



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Reply By: Pete G - Sunday, Oct 29, 2017 at 14:36

Sunday, Oct 29, 2017 at 14:36
Fellow Readers
Thankyou Stephen for your postings. It was great to attend and meet fellow EO members.

As others have said the weather gods had their bit of fun with attendees - still that's the Outback. And those pesky little prickles (note to self - sock savers next time).

For me the event was a culmination of the contribution of my grandfather who worked on the line construction as a ganger and my own various experiences over a 40 yr period. It was poignant to take in the location and consider the wonderful nation building work that took place and the scale of that, without the benefits of mechanization travel and communications we take for granted today. And too boot it was done in the middle of WW1.

Special thanks to all who contributed to make the occasion happen without the benefit of any direct government funding, ARTC for the monuments, Dick Smith and Arkaroola along with the Australian Rail Museum and many other in-named contributes in both finance and time. Special thanks to the "Dunny Man" for the unique experience of odor free Portaloos - it shows it is possible.

The lack of Politicians had an upside in that it allowed an ambience and unfettered enjoyment of the moment to prevail by those who really appreciated the unique opportunity without having press crews and politicians take the limelight. Perhaps there was a lot of washer cutting in the halls of power with pending constitutional matters and the sheer difficulty of actually getting to outback Australia - I mean a small plane landing on a small dirt strip with significant cross winds and no frequent flyer points, limo or Qantas or Virgin Club at the airport - really (being sarcastic LOL) . Anyway we did not have to sit too long in the sun listening to boring speeches.

I attach the following taken at sunrise



Regards

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