Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Letter 2017

When Margaret starts putting up the Christmas Decorations I know that I have to begin planning the Christmas Letter. Margaret's latest craft work is a certain reminder of the fast approaching season:

There is plenty to report on the activities of members of our family.

The Grand Kids

Three of our grandchildren have completed secondary education this year. Jeremy, in England, has started College studying Law, accounting and 3D graphics. Troy, has enrolled in an Certificate III as a pre-apprenticeship course, with the aim of taking up an electrician’s apprenticeship later. He is a keen basketball player, and also is a referee. Jonathan is waiting for his VCE results, before making decisions on his future and has recently returned from traveling in Tasmania with his girlfriend, Nikki. He is also active in St Johns Ambulance.   Jeremy all dressed up
Jonathan with St John's awards Troy at his 18th birthday party

Hayley is in her second year of the theology degree at the University of York. Amanda has completed year 10 at Bacchus Marsh Grammar and Spencer year 9 at Thornbury Secondary College. The photo shows Hayley with her boyfriend Richard, in snowy England.

Most of the grand kids have active sporting lives. Cameron and Troy play competitive basketball, with Troy also a referee. Josh is an excellent golfer with a handicap of 4! Amanda plays Softball and Spencer Cricket. Amanda also attends CircusFit where she is learning skills of circus activities, and works at a Roller Skating rink. Joshua continues to work as a Diesel mechanic, and Spencer regularly appears in plays with his drama group.   Cameron with Nanna at one of his basketball games

Spencer in costume at one of his plays
Joshua Teeing off

  Amanda on a ring at Circus Fit

The Kids

Catherine completed her Masters in Theology this year, and she will be taking up an appointment as Salvation Army officer in charge of Richmond corps in the New Year. She will be living within walking distance of Lygon St Melbourne, with its restaurants, bookshops, clothing shops and one of Melbourne’s best Cinemas, the Nova. She also continues to enjoy live theatre. The photo shows Cath and Spence at the Pop Up Globe
Michelle continues to excel at her wood turning. Many of our friends in the Village with a woodworking background are amazed at how quickly she has mastered working with wood. She attends the Werribee Community shed, which includes passing on her skills to a regular class of women. The photo shows one of her recent projects - a bowl
Beth continues to work in an important role in the Victorian Civil Service. She is delighted with the renovation of her kitchen and family room. Cameron, used the skills he is learning in his apprenticeship to install the flash backs. Beth and Mark celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary in November. That makes us feel old! The photo is of them at Crown for their anniversary celebration.
Philip continues to live in Preston, England, with Bev who he married last year. He has left his work with Airbus, but is still working in the aviation industry, leading a team that designs galleys for planes. Bev continues to work in the challenging field of social work. Living in England means that they can travel regularly to Europe. Lucky Ducks! The photo is at a lunch stop near the Alps
David is working on the computer systems of Australia Post, and Mark is a chaplain at Heidelberg court. They both recently updated their transport, David with a Harley and Mark with a Commodore SS, which you can see in the photo.

Margaret and Stephen

We did not go overseas this year, instead spent six weeks travelling Queensland. We travelled as far west as Winton and as far north as Cook Town. Between Charlieville and Barcaldine, driving on a long straight road, with little traffic, Margaret was chased, and fined by a policemen for driving 7 kms over the limit. She was not happy!
At Longreach we visited the Qantas Founders Museum, where many planes are displayed, see photo above.
In Barcaldine we visited the Tree of Knowledge, which has strong connections to the Trade Union movement and the Australian Labor Party (photo at left).
The bones of many large dinosaurs have been found near Winton. The Age of Dinosaurs museum, near Winton, houses, displays and prepares many of the skeletons. The photo shows bones from one of the largest dinosaurs found.
One of our overnight stops was at Paronella Park.

A photographer's paradise!

We stayed a week in Port Douglas exploring the local area.

This included a visit to an off shore island, where we saw the coral in a flat bottomed boat. Stephen also snorkelled on the reef.

We naturally visited the Daintree Forest, which included a cruise on the Daintree River, (photo below left) where we saw three crocodiles, though our best views of crocs were at Hartley's Crocodile Adventure (photo below right) near Cairns.

We did some visiting while in Queensland. Michelle, the daughter of our friends Les and Jenni, lives in Airlie Beach. We spent a very pleasant afternoon with her. As well friends from the Village, Pam and Don were staying in Maroochydore, and we had dinner with them in their swish apartment. Our longstanding friend, Jill has moved from Minyip in Victoria to a lovely house in beautiful Yeppoon. We spent three days with her and met her new partner, Edward. The photo shows Margaret and Jill's greeting on our arrival

On the way back to Victoria we visited Lightening ridge which included exploring a former opal mine as you can see in the picture.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas,  
                                and all the best for 2018,  
                                                                from Margaret and Stephen

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