Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016


Another busy year for us and our families - involving travel and some important milestone events.

        Philip and Bev
In July Philip and Bev were married. Margaret and Michelle travelled to England to attend the wedding. They had a great time, really enjoyed catching up with our English family, and participating in such an important event.

Marg and Shelly stayed with Bronwyn and really appreciated her hospitality and company. They also enjoyed visiting York, Chester, London and Singapore.

Here is a link to more photographs of the wedding and to Margaret and Michelle's travels.
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        Hayley and Jeremy

Hayley went to Bloemfontein in free state South Africa in August 2016 for 2 weeks.
With a group of other young people she did project work such as helping out in soup kitchens, youth groups, fitting solar lights in townships, visiting a hospice as well as visiting and experiencing different churches and the culture. Hayley is studying at York St Johns University doing Theology and Religious Studies. She has settled in well to her new life, is really enjoying the course and has made plenty of friends. She recently started to work part time at Deliveroo, which is a cycling delivery service for restaurants that wouldn't otherwise do delivery. Hayley and Jeremy 2
Jeremy is half way through year 11 has just finished his mock exams, and is now preparing for GCSE. Also he has joined a badminton club and has become the house captain in his school. He plans to go to Runshaw college and study btec sports level 3

        Catherine and Spencer
As we reported in last year’s letter, Catherine has worked very hard on her treatment for Cancer, and is continuing to recover well. This year’s project has been to improve her fitness. She regularly attends her local gym and runs around her neighbourhood. She recently participated in the Women’s Fun Run for Breast Cancer, as can be seen in the photo.

Cath as Salvation Army Officer, has filled a major role in the reorganization of the "Army's" Social Work department.
Cath run
Spencer has been attending Croxton School, and has enjoyed that caring environment, but next year he will be transferring to Thornbury Secondary College,
which will probably involve traveling on two busses or riding his bike along the local bike track. He also received a performing arts award at the school awards night. The photo shows Spence and Cath at the awards ceremony. He also appears in productions of the Victorian Youth Theatre. We saw him in two plays "Class Act & Euroheart! Forever" last June at the Guild Theatre, Melbourne University, and we were very proud! Just before publishing this letter Cath has told me of some exciting news about Spence and the VYT next year. Keep tuned at this space! Cath and Spence 3

        Jonathan and Nikki
Jonathan has had a busy time recently. He participated in the Murray River Marathon (kyacking from Mulwala to Swan Hill ) and then hurried back to Melbourne with Michelle, to accompany his girl friend, Nikki, at her Deb. I am not biased when I say that they were the best looking couple in the room. Recently Jonathan jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet in a tandem parachute jump - braver than us! Dance

Amanda completed year 9 with an outstanding effort award. She received her PFA (Provide First Aid) certificate from St Johns Ambulance. Amanda was was house captain for Braeside House at her school, Bacchus Marsh Grammar School and has started volunteering at Coopers Animal Rescue where she assists for about 3 hours every Thursday. She also plays softball in the Under 15 and Women's grades. Amanda outstanding effort 2016 v2
        Michelle and David
David has been working in his very well equipped wood working shed for many years now. In the last year Michelle has joined the Werribee "Mens Shed" (well officially the "Community Shed"). Consequently now David and Michelle have two wood working sheds as Michelle has installed wood turning equipment in the garage. She has produced some wonderful pieces, and consequently won the most improved award this year. See photo at right.

Below a pen with a wood covering and a knitting bowl.
Michelle most improved award
Michelle pen Michelle knitting bowl

Josh has completed his four year apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic and will become a qualified tradesman early in the new year. One of the most obvious things about Josh all those years ago when he was a toddler, was that he had very good ball skills. Consequently it is not a surprise that he has played ball sports as he grew up. His current love is golf which he plays at every opportunity . He has played in a number of club tournaments and has worked his handicap down to single digits.
The photo shows Josh with his girlfriend Sarah.

Cameron netball Cameron has completed the first year of his glazier's apprenticeship - "... if you need a new shower of glass splash back; that's my speciality..." . He has been selected to play in the Youth League, Big V for Broadmeadows Broncos basket ball team next year. That is one level below the Men's league. He is very excited, and training hard to keep up his fitness and skills.
The photo though shows Cam's versatility as he is playing netball!

Troy says: "Yay, finished secondary school and have a great part time job at EB Games, which I really enjoy.

I have been selected for the Under 20 Broncos Basketball Team and I am still enjoying reffing.

Looking forward to my next adventure."
        Mark and Beth
The highlight for Beth and Mark this year was the purchase of a speed boat. They have spent plenty of happy and exciting hours speeding around the bay and various local lakes. We spent a fun day on the Bay with them. The weather was perfect and the water flat which enabled some fast driving as can be seen in the video. We had a very pleasant lunch on the water off Black Rock.
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        New Zealand North Island

In February and March we spent a very pleasant six weeks traveling around New Zealand with our friends Les and Jenni.

        Cape Reinga (the most northerly tip of the North Island)

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        Bay of Islands

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        Hobbiton Outdoor Movie Set

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        New Zealand South Island

        TranzAlpine Train

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        Glaciers !

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        Shotover Jet Boat (yes that is us in the front seat!)

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        Mirror Lakes and Milford Sound

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        Dunedin, where we visited Bronwyn's parents Yvonne and John

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        Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

Here is a link to our New Zealand 2016 pictures

        Mansfield and Mulwala

We also did some travelling in Australia.

Thanks to Les's four wheel driving skills we saw lots of attractive Aussie bush, animals ...

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... and iconic locations like Craigs Hut

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Here is a link to our Mansfield and Mulwala pictures

Wishing you a great Christmas, and all the best for 2017, 

                                                from Margaret and Stephen

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