We are always excited to hear from our fundraisers and how their Great Outback BBQ went. Our thanks to Elaine Nitschke for sending in these great photos and story:
Sunday, 20th September 2015 was a beautiful spring day in the mallee area of NW Victoria and members of the Southern Mallee Co-operative Parish, Hopetoun and Rainbow congregations, took full advantage of it to travel by bus to O’Sullivan’s Pine Plains lodge for a parish BBQ and fun day. The day out was also part of Frontier Services Great Outback BBQ fundraiser. We were joined by members from Speed and a Patchewollock visitor.
Pine Plains lodge is on the eastern fringe of Wyperfeld National Park some 30 kms west of the small mallee township of Patchewollock. Many of us had never been to this oasis in the desert – what a magnificent facility set in the beautiful surrounds of sand ridges featuring pines and the open country dotted with pine, bulloak and stunted mallee trees.
Our group of 50 ranged from 2 year olds Adelyn and Harry to 90+ year olds Bill and Muff and all age groups in between. On the bus trip up one of our members shared some of the history of Pine Plains and the early families who made it their home. We also had people along who had lived in the Patche area and they enjoyed sharing their stories with us.
We were made very welcome by Adrian, a current proprietor of the lodge. Pastor Paul led worship in this lovely setting and then we shared a BBQ lunch together – not many flies.
There was time to explore around the lodge – visit the camels and walk across to the cemetery – or just sit on the veranda in the shade talking and admire the view from all sides.
Of course, a trip to Pine Plains is not complete unless you tackle the Snowdrift – a huge sandhill just made for climbing and sliding down; the view from the top makes the climb worthwhile. Naturally the kids were out of the bus and up the top in a flash but they didn’t have it on their own – many others of all ages accepted the challenge and came home with sand in their shoes as well as their undies.
Many thanks to our patient bus driver Graham who got us out to the snowdrift – he even arranged the odd kangaroo and emus on the way. We had a wonderful day of fellowship together sharing in God’s creation. The O’Sullivan family have had a connection with Pine Plains since 1915 and their passion for this unique part of NW Victoria is continuing today.