All news articles
Vandal attack ‘atrocious’
Tuesday, 14th May, 2013
By Erica Visser
Information bays on the outskirts of the city were graffitied overnight Sunday with spray-painted obscenities aimed at City Council.
The signs on the Adelaide, Mildura and Sydney roads were all covered in white spray paint and in one case, a nearby bin also copped it.
Council employees removed what they could yesterday, however the signs would require repainting.
The estimated cost of the damage was $5000, which Council would be forced to fork out.
Broken Hill Mayor Wincen Cuy said that anti-social behaviour in relation to Council had “reared its ugly head” over the past week.
“I just think it’s atrocious, people can have opinions and dislike people but to deface something like our tourism welcome signs is absolutely atrocious,” Mayor Cuy said.
“People are protesting probably a wastage of money and all those types of issues so it’s absolutely ludicrous that they do these things which cost thousands of dollars to repair.
“This mentality seems to have reared its ugly head over the last week or so.
“This outward abuse and vandalism has materialised recently.”
Mayor Cuy challenged anyone who had an issue with him to take it up directly.
“I just really encourage people to have some courage to come up and speak to me first,” he said.
“If they want to have a conversation with me in the correct environment I’m only too happy, my door is open.”
Burton bids farewell
Tuesday, 14th May, 2013
By Kurtis J Eichler
Health advocate Steve Burton is leaving Broken Hill with “mixed feelings”.
The chairman of Active BH and BH Hospital employee has accepted the job of Regional Health Promoter in Albury with the Murrumbidgee Health District.
The district covers one fifth of NSW and includes 14 health facilities - six more than Broken Hill.
Moving to the city with wife Jackie van der Neut in 2002, Mr Burton founded Active BH Inc to promote the city’s many sporting groups.
His passion for the community has stretched further than just physical activity. He’s been a member of the Y’s Men’s Club and could be seen at everything from rodeos to country music festivals in the village of Cockburn.
“I’ve got very mixed feelings,” Mr Burton told the BDT. “I think Broken Hill is an amazing place.
“In my time here ... I think there’s been an increase in the popularity of sport and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“The biggest achievement was probably building a database that in time has given free promotion for every sporting, physical education and activity group in Broken Hill.
“It’s slowed the decline in a lot of those groups.”
With the founder of the health advocacy group leaving the city, questions will be raised about its ability to survive but Mr Burton said sustainability was the key.
“The holy grail with this type of work is sustainability.
“Sustainability is a difficult thing to find.”
Mr Burton has outlined a business plan for BH Active BH for the next 12 months and says he hopes to see a shopfront in Argent Street within 10 years.
“If it doesn’t survive that’s three years and lots of money that’s gone down the drain,” he said.
For now, though, he is looking forward to visiting the gourmet areas around Albury as well as doing some skiing at the Falls Creek snowfields.
Reg restores piece of Aussie history
Tuesday, 14th May, 2013
By Andrew Robertson
A pristine example of post-war Australian ingenuity is about to go on display before its Broken Hill owner gifts it to the Maritime Museum.
Hebbard Street retiree Reg Pedergnana has spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours restoring his latest project - a “Verity” outboard motor.
As Australia’s first offering from what turned out to be a prolific but short-lived outboard motor industry, the Verity’s place in maritime history is assured.
But not much is known about the little motor which was manufactured by Sydney company AV Sale in 1947 using aluminium left in Australia by the American military after the Second World War.
That made restorer and historian Reg’s task of rescuing his Verity - which was given to him by old friend Alan Elder - all the more difficult.
“When Alan delivered it to me, he had removed every bolt, nut, washer, gasket and piston to the extent I had to get a wheelbarrow to bring the dismantled motor into my workshop,” Reg said.
“We’ve got very little history on Australian outboard industry, it was a very short-lived industry.
“Having no drawings or manuals to work from, it was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.”
The internet was no help and when he lodged a request on the Old Machinery Magazine Forum, Reg received two replies from other Verity owners - who wanted his help.
Months spent restoring and piecing back the motor followed for Reg, who hasn’t let a lack of technical knowledge stop him from restoring a number of outboards and stationary motors over the years.
But the Verity is undoubtedly the jewel in his collection.
“Australia did not have an outboard motor until the end of World War Two,” explained Reg, who believes his Verity, number 273, is likely the best example in Australia.
Reg said he couldn’t put a monetary value on the motor which he plans to show - along with another Aussie outboard he has restored, the “Hurricane” - at Wentworth’s Junction Rally in July.
He’s a regular to the rally which is held every three years and features stationary motors, restored trucks, tractors, motorcycles and vintage cars, among other old machines.
But Broken Hill will eventually lose the unique piece of maritime machinery with Reg deciding to donate his Verity to the Australian Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney.
“I believe this motor should not remain in a private collection, as it belongs to the people of Australia, it is our history.”
Lionel loves it
Monday, 13th May, 2013
The BHFL best and fairest medal is named after him, and so are the BHFL meeting rooms, but there’s more to living legend Lionel Johnston than just football, writes Paul Armstrong
Lionel Harry Johnston was born at the Broken Hill District Hospital on December 23, 1922.
He married his sweetheart Patricia and they had children Peter, Jennifer, Christopher and Suzanne. He now has 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Sadly, Patricia passed away in 2004.
Lionel’s family lived in Silverton and his father worked for the Silverton Tramway before moving into Broken Hill during the war years.
His early education was at the Silverton public school before entering the Broken Hill High School and gaining the Intermediate Certificate.
Often he would travel by goods train into school from Silverton and on occasion did not return home until 9 at night due to the train timetable. On other occasions, Lionel would ride his bike over the rutted, dusty road back home.
During his schooling here he would stay with relatives and would later board with them when he gained work.
After school he studied accountancy, typing and shorthand at the Thompkins and Hoskins Business College. At age 17 Lionel gained employment at the North Broken Hill Limited mine and continued his studies at night.
At 19 he joined the RAAF and served for four years during those harrowing times. On joining up he was taken to Adelaide for medical tests (“Please cough, you’re in”) and was moved onto Shepparton for training then to Bradfield Park in Sydney before being posted to Townsville.
After a few months Lionel was posted to the Signals Security Section of 45 Operational Base in Port Moresby when the battle was taking place on the Kokoda Track. He spent his 20th and 21st birthdays in camp. Lionel said wryly, “We flew to Port Moresby by Short Sunderland Flying Boat and we were herded into a stripped out plane like a herd of sheep.”
During his service Lionel was involved with a number of American soldiers and was a cipher assistant who took care of the aircraft secret codes during combat.
Apart from travelling up the Kokoda Track to the Red Cross hut, Lionel was also at the base which was strafed by Japanese bombers on occasions, with his steel hat his only comfort. In one raid more than 100 enemy planes bombed the area, but he was not injured.
“In an effort to supplement our diet we bartered with the Fuzzy Wuzzies to take us out fishing,” he said. “We would catch 15 fish and in return give them tinned fruit.”.
After spending 17 and half months in the tropical heat, Lionel returned home on leave only to strike snow at Orange on the journey. Later he was posted to RAAF Eastern Headquarters in Double Bay, Sydney for a short period. He was then moved to Morotai Island by HMAS Kanimbla.
Lionel was then sent to an island between Borneo and the Philippines called Labuan, with the advanced echelon of the 1st Tactical Air force, in preparation for the invasion of Singapore.
With a faint tremble in his voice, Lionel said “The Atomic bomb was dropped in Japan while I was there. The invasion thus became redundant.”
He was discharged in 1946 and recommenced work at the North mine as a Pay Clerk. Later he was appointed as the Correspondence Clerk. With a smile he added, “I was in charge of the girl typists and was an assistant to the manager’s secretary.”
Lionel later moved to the Personnel Department as Registrar and continued his work until that fateful day in 1982 when he took retirement at age 59. He had worked for the North mine for 43 and half years, an outstanding effort.
Sport played a major part in the Johnston family’s life over many decades and the sound of red ball on willow bat is entrenched through three generations.
“I began playing cricket with my brothers when we were young lads and I played under the captaincy of my father in the Silverton cricket team. In the early days we would play against Cockburn in home and away matches. The travelling was a bit tough.”
After the war, Lionel, Ron and Allen Johnston played with the Austen and Tom Brown brothers in the St Peter’s team. Lionel then joined Central and played in Premierships in 1961-2 and 62-3. In the 1961 season Lionel created a long lasting record of 59 wickets in a season.
Because of his sensational efforts for Central over the years he became a founding member and No1 Life Member.
Through the decades Lionel played in tennis teams in Silverton, Broken Hill and the North mine with premierships resulting. Later he took on table tennis and acquitted himself very well over many years.
He is also a foundation member of the Eagles baseball club which was born from the Sunday morning tennis players. Then there is his passion for the art of golf.
“I love it. I am in the Sunrise Golfers squad but there are only two of us left as the others have passed away. My mate Neil Terrell and I hit off at daybreak and play three times a week over nine holes. It keeps us fit.”
In an outstanding effort, Lionel celebrates 50 years of involvement with the BH Football League this year. He continues to work at the Jubilee Oval and assists where possible at 90 years of age.
In 1964 he was requested to help the League when a secretary was required. “I agreed to help for a couple of weeks; I’ve been there fifty years.”
Also in his tenure he was on the SANFL Affiliated Leagues Council for 10 years.
Today Lionel volunteers his time to a sport much loved by him and for the youngsters coming through the ranks. With a wink, he said “I love driving the ride on lawn mower around the Jubilee Oval.”
The following awards were for meritorious service; SANFL merit award for service to football, National Australian Football council merit award for service to football, Commonwealth Award-Services to sport, BH City Council Australian of the Year 1987, Barrier District Cricket League Life Member, Central District Cricket Club Life Member, BH Football League Life Member, and BH Football Association Life Member.
In 1998 the Middleton medal was renamed the Lionel Johnston Medal for the BHFL’s best and fairest player and last year the BHFL meeting rooms were named Lionel Johnston House.
There are so many superlatives we can use in describing Lionel Johnston and his efforts within the community. I think we can agree that Lionel is an exceptional person and a wonderful Living Legend.
Fuel thefts ‘coincidence’
Monday, 13th May, 2013
Two incidents where petrol was stolen from the Woolworths Petrol Station within half an hour on Friday appear to be unrelated.
According to police, a driver drove off without paying after pumping $45 worth of fuel.
Shortly after, another driver allegedly stole $78 worth from the same station.
The cars were not caught out by CCTV cameras because of the angle they were parked, police said.
A spokesman said that the description of the cars is “extremely vague” and police are not hopeful for witnesses as it was “very busy and people usually mind their own business.”
The spokesman said that while it was unusual for two thefts in such a short space of time, the incidents appeared to be unrelated.
“We don’t usually have a lot of petrol theft here, it is usually more of the accidental type where people forget to pay.
“It’s something that happens more in the capital cities.”
Anyone who takes fuel without paying faces a $250 infringement notice on the spot.
The person could also be charged with stealing.