Baxter rail project back on line

Frankston Mayor Brian Cunial has welcomed the State and Federal governments’ decision to prepare a business case for the electrification and duplication of the Frankston railway line to Baxter.

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Cr Cunial said he hoped the decision would prompt the State Government to reconsider moving train stabling facilities to Baxter rather than Kananook, “a decision which would save over 200 local jobs”.

“Council has been advocating to both levels of government for many decades on the benefits of electrifying the Frankston train line to Baxter,” he said.  “It is great to hear that both levels of government have come on board with this vital project.”

Cr Cunial said the project would help connect businesses, education facilities, institutions and health centres, create 4000 jobs, cut unemployment in the region by up to 1 per cent and reduce youth disengagement by up to 2 per cent. It would also ease transport congestion and establish a demand for reverse commuting. Public Transport Victoria data in 2009 and 2012 showed 58 per cent of Frankston station commuters travelled more than 20 minutes to the station and 22 per cent travelled more than 40 minutes.

Cr Cunial said electrification and duplication of the line would boost Peninsula tourism, increase demand for up to 2500 more Bachelor-level student places at Monash University Peninsula Campus and Chisholm TAFE Frankston, and free up 32,000sq m of land in the Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre for employment use.

The announcement was made at Baxter station last month by federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher, accompanied by Dunkley federal Liberal MP Chris Crewther, Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Bev Colomb, Cr Cunial and other key stakeholders.

Peninsula muso drops new single By Andrea Kellett

October is a significant month for Simon Imrei.  The Peninsula-born and bred acoustic guitarist/vocalist is set to launch a new single, titled Let Go, and he will perform it live at the Main Street Mornington Festival on October 15.

Let Go is the first single off Simon’s forthcoming album The Sum of Scenes, a double-disc collection of songs amassed over the four years since his debut album Branching Inward (2012).  He’s also just finished a bunch of gigs around Melbourne, including a September residency at The Retreat Hotel in Brunswick.

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The official launch of Let Go is on Sunday, October 29, at Bar Open in Fitzroy and Simon willplay with a full band line-up, along with special guests Delsinki Records, Brooke Taylor and Millington. Tickets are available now for pre-sale ($10+bf) at bit.ly/SimonImrei

The Frankston-born, Mount Eliza-raised muso has been writing, recording and performing music since 2005. He has played live at venues large and small, including Queenscliff and Port Fairy. He splits his time between the city and ‘home’ on the Peninsula, with gigs here at Brass Razu in Main St, Mornington, the Somerville Hotel and more.

The Sum of Scenes (due for release early next year) was, he explains, initially meant to be an EP, but it became much more. There’s also, he adds, a music video on the way.

Let Go is available online via iTunes, Spotify & Google Play. More on Simon Imrei on Facebook (/simonimrei), Instagram (/simonimrei) and at simonimrei.com

 

Bring on the dancing Rubies by Kate Sears

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Splashes of vibrant colour swirl around the room as the Ruby Red Dancers put their heart and soul into their weekly practice. Sparkles catch your eye as the group of mature ladies twirl around, captivating you as they give it their all. Their joy of dancing and bringing happiness to others is evident in the enthusiasm given to a dress rehearsal.

The Ruby Red Dancers consist of women aged 55 to 83 - impressive, right? Their passion stems from contributing to the community, and of course the desire to keep fit. This volunteer group performs for free, only asking for donations of any size for Motor Neurone Disease Victoria.

“We practise and treat each performance like we’re being paid $1000 – and we get an amazing response in return,” says Diane, the organiser.  “We’re all friends, some of us for over 16 years. We’ve been dancing together for six years and we began rehearsals at my home.”

Joining Diane in the conga line are Christina, Wendy, Lynn, Dimitra, Audrey, Gail and Lyn, all of whom are from the Mornington Peninsula and the Greater Frankston area. They are an example of how dancing, music, choreography and friendship can assist in healthy and positive ageing.

Ruby gemstones are the queens of the stone world, and so are these ladies. They look the part and thrive on dressing up in their own costume creations filled with bright colours and jewels. Funding all their own expenses like hall hire, transport, administration costs, costume supplies, music and props is most impressive. They also hand out tambourines, shakers, streamers and coin belts (think belly dancing) for audience participation throughout the show to get everyone involved and wanting to boogie.

“The looks on our audience’s faces are priceless,” Diane says.  “They love the colours and the fabrics. We really believe that the more sparkles, the better.”

These dancing divas perform for various groups, organisations and functions including nursing homes, retirement villages, fundraising events, multicultural programs and Christmas parties. The energy that the ladies exude is so contagious that even staff at the events get up and join the Macarena. Given this, it’s not surprising that they’re steadily getting booked out for their season.

“We all agree that as a volunteer group we feel contributing to the community - in particular older people - is most important for health and happiness - ours and the audience’s - and we’ll continue to dance and bring pleasure to many for years to come.  Our beliefs are about bringing happiness to others who have helped to build our community and country during their lifetime.  Maybe it’s a little patriotic, but we are committed to the joy and colour that we bring to the audiences.”

If your group is in the market for entertainment, make sure to get the dazzling Ruby Red Dancers to jazz up your event.  For booking inquiries, call Diane on 5977 1766 or 0429 884 561.

Blessing of the fleet

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Once again, Coast Guard Frankston is proud to host the annual Blessing of the Fleet and extends an invitation for you to join it in celebrating the work of our marine emergency services. These include but are not limited to the SES, Surf Life Saving Victoria, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, Volunteer Marine Rescue and Water Police.

This year the blessing will be held on Frankston Pier at 11.15am on Sunday, November 12, and the public is welcome to come along to what is sure to be an amazing event that brings together our hard-working marine emergency services in the one location and gives you the chance to step into their world.

Coast Guard Frankston will have light refreshments available at its headquarters next to the playground to the south of the pier after the event.

Before the blessing, however, the community is also invited to attend a service at St Paul’s Church, Bay Street South, Frankston, at 10am.

Here’s a great opportunity for you to bring the kids for a close-up look at the boats that patrol our waters and meet the men and women who help to protect our community.

You can’t miss seeing the biggest gathering of emergency service vessels in one location.

2BMe helps you to be you by Kate Sears

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The 2BMe Foundation is dedicated to providing solutions to Australian women and children who lack the support or resources to achieve their personal potential and life goals.  Its board is made up of Peninsula business owners who donate their time and services; among them is Beckie White, from Miss Velvet Styling boutique in Frankston. Over the past few years Beckie has run an event to raise money for the 2BMe Foundation called the Circle of Life.

2BMe was formed in early 2015, and by leveraging community networks and fundraising capabilities it supports those women and children who are ready to realise their potential. Their support can either be direct or via a service provider. 2BMe also focuses on helping those who are ready to help themselves and lack the resources to do so, financially, physically or mentally.

2BMe follows the mantra “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. 2BMe works with kids who want to better themselves, yet due to their circumstances find themselves constantly being pulled back from reaching their potential. “We work with children who are A-grade students in E-grade situations; to offer support, resources and guide,” says Beckie.

Recently, 2BMe organised a cooking course with a school and helped 20 children in the high-need category to learn the basics of cooking and expand their knowledge. Some of these children were as young as seven and in charge of cooking for their younger siblings.

2BMe has worked with a half-way house and at Fusion Mornington, where it paid for bedroom upgrades and programs for the teenagers. Recently the foundation assisted a group of girls from Fusion to achieve their dream of attending their school formal, something they thought was financially out of their reach. The girls were given a budget and had to plan how they were going to spend it to create the outfit of their choice. They worked with a stylist and got to experience shopping at Southland – something they had never done before. 

Providing training for women in high-risk situations is another of 2BMe’s initiatives. It focuses on putting the women through personal development sessions with motivational speakers who inspire them and give them strategies on how to deal with their current situations.

“We are a money-collecting foundation; it’s a side passion to our full-time jobs,” Beckie says. “We will help anyone or any organisation that’s aligned with our philosophy.”

2BMe’s vision statement says it aims to expand, enrich and empower, and that’s what it does. It expands the hope and choices of those it supports and it uses quality services, resources and programs to enrich others’ lives. 2BMe also seeks to empower its clients through education in personal or professional development.

The Circle of Life Spring Fling lunch, the next event 2BMe is involved with, is at The Publican Mornington on Sunday, October 22, from 11.30am-4.30pm.  The guest speaker is Stacey Currie, as seen on 60 Minutes. There will also be a fashion parade, Darren Watson DJ, singer Kim McGuiness, silent auctions, grazing lunch and alcohol and $300 gift boxes for every guest to take home.  “It’s an event of ‘reciprocity’ where its attendees will walk away inspired, having given and received to a worthy cause.”

The dress code is ‘a splash of pink’. To book your $149 ticket, phone Miss Velvet on 9783 8358. To find out more about 2BMe, visit 2bmefoundation.org.au or visit Facebook.

Let’s salute our top citizens

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Do you know someone who deserves some recognition? Do they go above and beyond for others? Do they support the community in their own time?

It’s your time to give them the recognition they deserve by nominating them for the 2018 Frankston City Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards. You can nominate your favourite volunteer or community event in one of four categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year.

“If you know of a local citizen who has made an outstanding contribution to our community, please take the time to nominate them so that we can recognise and reward these exceptional local community members,” said Frankston City Mayor Brian Cunial.

The winners will be announced at a special citizenship ceremony at the Frankston Arts Centre on Australia Day.

With the aim of honouring the outstanding members of our community, please make sure you take the opportunity to get an award in their hands. These Australia Day awards are to recognise people who have selflessly committed their time to others, inspiring spirit and dedication to volunteering.

Who’s eligible, you ask? All Frankston City residents who are Australian citizens can be eligible; however, they need to be nominated for their great efforts by someone other than themselves.

Our 2017 winners were the Rev Angel and Pastor Ulli Roldan (Citizens of the Year), Roy Giesemann (Senior Citizen of the Year), Louise Holtzinger (Young Citizen of the Year) and The Voice of Frankston (Community Event of the Year).

Nominations close at 5pm on Friday, November 17. For more information and to nominate, visit frankston.vic.gov.au/Citizen_of_the_Year

 

Micro donkeys, mighty hearts by Kate Sears

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Who’s your favourite donkey? There’s Eeyore, the lovable but forever sad donkey whose spirit is uplifted by his friends Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. There’s Donkey, Shrek’s chatterbox sidekick who has amazing one-liners. Well, prepare yourself - we’ve got a new donkey for you to fall in love with.

Meet Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys. These super-friendly memorable micros prove that good things do come in small packages. Even if you’re stubborn as a mule, your favourite donkey will be bumped for these babies.

At less than 81cm, micro donkeys are the smallest of the miniature donkey breed, which also includes mammoth, standard, small standard and miniature.  Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys has been operating for two years in Langwarrin, and with Kris at the helm it has created quite a fuss. The breed is difficult to find and in high demand. Kris endeavours to make sure the family that purchases one of her foals is suitable and that the home is appropriate for her beloved cherubs.

“They don’t want to be just in a paddock; they must have a companion like a sheep, cow or a pony,” Kris says.  “It’s important that they have their own herd, so to speak, as they can’t be lonely and they love to play. That’s why we have a screening process.”

The gestation period varies from 11 to 13 months, and they aren’t weaned off their mothers for six months. Given this, Kris is only just now preparing to sell her second foal and is seeking expressions of interest for this five-month-old named Elenor.
The males are called jacks and the females are jennys; furthermore, all of Kris’s donkeys are named after cars. Enzo is the smallest registered jack in Australia at 66cm - he’s tiny but full of character. There’s also Shelby, who is pregnant, and Lola, who gave birth to Elenor this year.

These donkeys don’t reach their fully-grown state until they are three years old. They all play together and are naturally very curious animals. With adorable floppy ears, fluffy winter coats, and full of individual characteristics, they don’t horse around. They are confident as they know how “awwww” worthy they are.

“They go straight up to you and will follow you. They want to know what you’re doing at all times. Ultimately, they are like little dogs; they’ll even go inside. They’re really smart - sometimes too smart! They can work out how to open things and love ball games.”

These loving and low-maintenance pets are great around kids because they’re an ideal height and don’t shy like horses do. They’re raised by people and love attention from their human friends. Micro donkeys are an expensive purchase but their upkeep is relatively cheap. They’ll happily live off grass and hay but they’ll need to have their hoofs trimmed every four months and be wormed regularly.

If the image of these little treasures has you wanting more, there are plenty of videos on Kris’s Facebook page to get you going “Awwwww!” Follow their adventures at @Marions-Bounty-Micro-Donkeys.

 

Twenty-five years of helping others by Kate Sears

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Life-Gate is celebrating a remarkable and well deserved 25th birthday to acknowledge its years of service to the community. It was founded in 1992 as a Christian Public Benevolent Institution by the Rev Angel Roldán and his wife, Pastor Ulli Rothstein de Roldán. From the beginning their vision was to powerfully influence troubled individuals to reach their potential.

Life-Gate’s mantra is that “life-controlling problems, addictions and emotional disorders can be overcome through meeting the needs of the whole person”. “Our heart and passion is to see people fully restored and to equip others to do the same,” said Angel.

To get in touch with a greater number of vulnerable people across the state, the group established several initiatives complete with volunteers trained by Life-Gate, including the Street Outreach Team and Prison Team.  It also carried out nursing home visits, helped Aboriginal youth and families in the Lake Tyre area; offered counselling; set up a rehabilitation centre and an op-shop; provided court assistance; conducted inductions to rehabilitation centres; operated a drop-in-centre and coffee shop; established sexual abuse therapy groups and hosted seminars on important topics in Victoria and interstate.

Life-Gate is run solely by volunteers and depends on donations with the support of individuals, business, philanthropic trusts, and Frankston Council.  The late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was one of its main sponsors and even supported Life-Gate financially for more than 20 years. “We have faith, and we rely on donations – it’s how we bought Life-Gate,” Angel said.

Over the 25 years, Life-Gate has been assisted by some 750 unpaid volunteers. Angel and Ulli are extremely grateful to those who have dedicated their time and effort over the years to assist them in their goal to help the needy in our community.  “Our vision is to expand our services, especially to obtain a property in the surroundings of Frankston to help people in need of restoration on a full-time basis.”

Marking the anniversary will be politicians, council members, supporters, members and of course friends and family. Guests will be taken back in time as they learn the history of the charity through videos and photographs.   The celebrations will be held at 1A Olsen St on Saturday, October 28, from 5.30pm.  “It will be held at our building in the heart of Frankston,” Angel said.  “It’s really a wonderful blessing to be located where we are.”

The couple, who this year were awarded Frankston’s Citizens of the Year, remain down to earth despite their amazing achievements.  “We thank God for the wonderful experience.  It’s been tough at times, but exciting and rewarding all the same.”

So be an angel and join Life-Gate’s celebrations - and perhaps consider making a donation so it can continue its mission.

 

From new year to boo scare By Yazmine Lomax

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While many people think Halloween is an American tradition, it’s actually a Celtic celebration dating back almost 2000 years. What began as a way to ring in the New Year on November 1 has now evolved into a night of dressing up, trick-or-treating, and scoffing the entire contents of a jack-o’-lantern. Australia has been slow to adopt Halloween but it seems like it’s finally found a home Down Under – so, what’s it like on the Peninsula and Frankston?

It’s all aboard Mornington Railway’s Halloween Spook Train! Each October, the famous traditional steam train undergoes a ghoulish transformation to celebrate the scary season.

“We have a resident ghost or spook who rides the trains, music, platform decorations, train decorations, and face painting on the platform,” says Mornington Railway event co-ordinator Marg Ffrench. “We encourage our volunteers and passengers to dress up in Halloween outfits.”

Marg says more and more passengers are flocking to the spook train every year, reflecting the growing popularity of Halloween on the Peninsula. And for those seeking an extra thrill, there’s even talk of adding a twilight or night train in the future.

Abracadabra Fancy Dress Hire in Frankston is also a big fan of Halloween and has noticed a rise in customers each year. So what are the most popular costumes for those dressing up around the Peninsula?  “Vampires, devils and witches,” says shop owner Tanya. Year 12 dress-up days, which fall around Halloween each year, mean there’s more than one opportunity for many trick-or-treaters to wear a costume.

Abracadabra is also involved in the Frankston Spooky Adventure Path, a trick-or-treating trail of Frankston businesses for children, proving just how popular Halloween has become in our neck of the woods.

Frankly Speaking with Caitlin Goding By Yasmine Lomax

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Caitlin Goding is a former elite swimmer who's now ready to dive into the world of paramedicine. Currently studying at Monash University's Frankston campus, this Somerville resident chats to Frankly Frankston about her passion for helping the community.

Where did your interest in health and paramedicine begin?

I didn’t always have my heart set on paramedicine but knew that helping others and being a part of a community that looked out for others was something I wanted to do. I think I learnt this from my mother, who is a social worker, and I always saw how fulfilling her job is. Plus, I’ve always loved learning and discovering new things, and in school I was most interested in science-based subjects, especially biology.

What have you found to be the most challenging part of your studies?

That no matter how much study and hard work you put into the degree, nothing can fully prepare you for the things you will see and will have to deal with while on the road. It both terrifies and excites but it's what attracted me to the job.

What are you most excited about in the field?

I’m probably most excited about feeling as though I'm giving someone a small positive experience on possibly one of the worst days of their life.

Why do you love where you live and how does it inspire your work?

I have always been attracted to a healthy, active lifestyle and living on the Mornington Peninsula I am extremely fortunate to have an amazing backyard of beaches, parks and walking tracks. I think growing up going camping with my family or spending days at the beach with friends has really made me appreciate the outdoors and the privileges that we have here in Australia. I think this has influenced me to become a paramedic as I would rather have a job that allows me to be outdoors instead of sitting in an office all day. I also love travel and paramedics are needed all over the world, so I'll be able to travel and work at the same time.

 

Now we are here with Xanadu by Kate Sears

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The only man working out of the Frankly Frankston office has everyone wrapped around his tiny paws. Xanadu has wooed the delivery drivers, clients and many passers-by. He’s owning his name and making his mark despite people assuming it’s a girl’s name – poor baby!

Meet Xanadu, or Xanny to his adoring fans - us! Yes, we know what you’re thinking and you’re right. His name is inspired by the song made famous by Olivia Newton-John for the movie Xanadu. Chendelle, our sun-loving sales representative, bought this little man from a breeder in June at 10 weeks old and he’s provided warm cuddles all winter long.

Xanadu means an idyllic place that is of great beauty, luxury and contentment. Oh yes, that suits this little prince just perfectly. He refuses to walk if the cold wind messes up his freshly brushed fur, or if the ground is too wet on his delicate paws. Xanny is chauffeur-driven to the dog park to avoid exhausting himself on the journey before playtime and watches intently out the window as he plans which luxury car to buy next (with the sun roof remaining closed to keep his fur looking perfect). He insists on being spoilt for choice with his toys, needing a rotation of at least three favourite toys because he loses focus every two minutes. Xanny’s meals are no exception to his prince-like behaviour. If he’s devoured chicken for dinner (sometimes hand-fed because bowls are just too scary), he will not under any circumstances eat chicken again tomorrow for lunch.  Who likes leftovers anyway?

Frequently, Chendelle and Xanny get stopped in the street to be told, “You’re the most handsome dog I’ve ever seen!”, which is ideal for his self-esteem. Chendelle replies “Oh, thank you”, which she admits is quite awkward since she can’t actually take any credit for him - except his new tricks.

Xanny loves helping his mummy with her business cards – they’re more memorable chewed, right? And he keeps the office lively with his squeaky toys.

He is very polite, and can keep himself entertained for hours and hold his pee in all day until his mum lets him outside. His bark, which is loud for a delicate little puppy, can be heard as he protects his girls from any male that comes into the office. Or he’s barking to mark his territory because the office girls are of course his pack, and no one is taking them away from him at any cost.

This intuitive puppy is a sensitive soul and gets hiccups when he gets too excited!

In true Xanadu fashion, this little Xanny channels his inner dancer and loves a little bum and tail wiggle. To quote the song, “It came to Xanadu, a million lights are dancing.”

 

All abilities hooked on Mates Day By Cameron Howe

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The love affair with snapper fishing is accessible to everyone thanks to the annual Mates Day on the Bay, which gives people with restrictions or disabilities the opportunity to enjoy Port Philip Bay.

More than 200 guests and carers were expected to take part in this year’s Mates Day on Sunday, October 15, boarding about 75 boats provided by volunteers who also donated equipment and their time on the day to trawl hotspots for snapper, flathead and salmon before wrapping up the event with a barbecue lunch. 

Patterson River is a mecca for snapper fishing. Each spring keen recreational fishermen joined by charter boats queue up in the early hours of the morning to launch at Carrum’s boat ramps. Large schools of snapper in search of food flood the bay to spawn with the rise in the water’s temperature, with some reaching up to 10kg.

Futurefish director David Kramer described the event as the “chance of a lifetime for people with disabilities to go out fishing for Melbourne’s iconic snapper”, and said volunteers were equally thrilled about the experience. “They feel like they are giving back to society to fish such a beautiful, pristine bay,” Mr Kramer said.

The Mates Day on the Bay was hosted by Futurefish Foundation, which was founded by radio and TV presenter Rex Hunt.

 

An interview with Vince La Rocca

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Thirty years is rare for a small business these days. What is the key to your success?

It really isn’t rocket science - our business is based on trust and professionalism, never offering gimmicks.  Our commitment is to provide our patients with optimum vision in eyewear that suits their lifestyle, image and budget. Our ethos is not to chase one big sale, but to build relationships and offer service that is second to none. Fortunately we love meeting people and are also privileged to have a wonderful, dedicated team working with us.  We are one big happy family!

Eyewear is now almost a fashion accessory and we offer a vast array of fashion frames. Our independency allows us to cater to the needs of our clientele and after 30 years we really do know what our customers expect from us.

 

You must have seen many changes in Frankston over 30 years

Frankston has changed dramatically as 30 years ago Bayside Shopping Centre didn’t even exist.  The shopping was much more condensed but the CBD is now sprawled across a larger area so it can be challenging for many businesses.

 

What’s it like working alongside your wife, Andrea?

We both have different skill sets - mine are focused on the technical side of the business and Andrea controls the marketing and administration as well as dispensing eyewear, and she has a great flair for fashion.

 

What are most proud of?

We have built wonderful relationships with our customers, many of whom we consider friends. People who have moved away from the area, many from interstate, still come to us for their eyewear when they are visiting family.  That is something we are most proud of and it has been a privilege to work in Frankston for 30 years. 

 

VINCE LA ROCCA

A: 34 Wells St, Frankston

T: 9783 9920

W: vincelarocca.com.au

 

Serving Melbourne for over 75 years

Being faced with making choices for a funeral can be a difficult time.  Mannings Funerals understands that people can be confused by what can appear to be a maze of arrangements, both wanted and required. Arranging this final farewell does not have to be a daunting prospect.  Mannings’ caring staff will guide you through all decisions with care and experience. 

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They can help families make pre-arrangements or pre-pay for a funeral, or when a death is near or has occurred.  As funeral directors, they consider their role to be listeners and advisers to families. The compassionate staff are dedicated to providing helpful and clear information. There are options not only for burial or cremation to consider, but for private or public, elaborate or simple funerals, religious or civil services, or no formal funeral service at all. They can provide tailored services where all items are selected individually. However, they also offer funeral packages to fit with budgetary requirements.

With a new office in Frankston to complement their Cranbourne office, the team are well-equipped to assist you in your time of need.

MANNINGS FUNERALS
A: 3 Hastings St, Frankston

A: 155 Sladen St, Cranbourne
W: manningsfunerals.com.au
T: 8781 1400 (Frankston); 9562 1855 (Cranbourne)

 

With the sun out, it’s time to rediscover Frankston’s city centre

With outdoor markets, a large number of events and the chance to win one of three $500 shopping sprees, there’s hundreds of reasons to visit Frankston this spring.

On Saturday, October 28, pop down between 10am and 3pm to the Little Beauty Market in Beauty Park. Brought to you by the founder of the popular Emu Plains Market and Stringybark Cinema, Little Beauty will showcase 140 of Melbourne’s very best stallholders, handpicked for their uniqueness, creativity and ethos. It will also feature a children’s precinct, live music, food trucks, fresh produce and mouthwatering gourmet food.

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On Saturday, November 25, 5-10pm, the festive season comes to Frankston for the city’s annual Christmas Festival of Lights.  One of the most popular events in Victoria, the festival features live entertainment, rides, market stalls, children’s entertainers and the annual lighting of the tree and fireworks display.

If you’re ready to start shopping for the festive season, Frankston’s city centre has something for the whole family.  Spend $10 at any participating Frankston city business before November 19 to go into the running to win one of three $500 local shopping sprees, or a $150 hamper.

And if you like to discover unique treasures, head to the Frankston Sunday Market. It’s on every week at the Young St carpark rain, hail or shine. Take a wander to find fresh produce, bric-a-brac, flowers, plants and crafts.

Pick up a copy of the Business As Usual brochure to find what Frankston’s local traders have to offer, or follow facebook.com/frankstonbau. 

For more ideas of what to do in Frankston as Christmas and summer approaches or to purchase your early bird tickets to the annual Sand Sculpting Australia Exhibition at the Frankston Waterfront (available from November 1), go to visitfrankston.com. 

 

Magic, circus play and more

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Families from across Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula are invited to join in the magic and fun at the Community Kinders Plus Family Fun Day.

Proudly presented by Telstra Business Centre, Frankston, it will be held on Sunday, October 29, from 11am-2pm at Overport Park in Somerset Rd and promises to be a fun day out for families with young children.

Children will be able to enjoy interactive and educational activities such as magic shows, circus play, a giant bubble workshop, kids’ soccer, giant block building and more. Local heroes from the CFA and SES will also be there, along with an animal farm, live music, singing, dancing and face painting.

Parents will be able to enjoy a cup of coffee as they meander around the event and meet staff from local CKP-managed kindergartens who will be hosting interactive craft and activity stations throughout the day.

“We continue to grow this event every year,” said CKP chief executive Jane Spencer. “It’s all about getting local families together and showcasing our kindergartens and the importance of early childhood education.”

 

Micro donkeys, mighty hearts by Kate Sears

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Who’s your favourite donkey? There’s Eeyore, the lovable but forever sad donkey whose spirit is uplifted by his friends Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. There’s Donkey, Shrek’s chatterbox sidekick who has amazing one-liners. Well, prepare yourself - we’ve got a new donkey for you to fall in love with.

Meet Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys. These super-friendly memorable micros prove that good things do come in small packages. Even if you’re stubborn as a mule, your favourite donkey will be bumped for these babies.

At less than 81cm, micro donkeys are the smallest of the miniature donkey breed, which also includes mammoth, standard, small standard and miniature.  Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys has been operating for two years in Langwarrin, and with Kris at the helm it has created quite a fuss. The breed is difficult to find and in high demand. Kris endeavours to make sure the family that purchases one of her foals is suitable and that the home is appropriate for her beloved cherubs.

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“They don’t want to be just in a paddock; they must have a companion like a sheep, cow or a pony,” Kris says.  “It’s important that they have their own herd, so to speak, as they can’t be lonely and they love to play. That’s why we have a screening process.”

The gestation period varies from 11 to 13 months, and they aren’t weaned off their mothers for six months. Given this, Kris is only just now preparing to sell her second foal and is seeking expressions of interest for this five-month-old named Elenor.
The males are called jacks and the females are jennys; furthermore, all of Kris’s donkeys are named after cars. Enzo is the smallest registered jack in Australia at 66cm - he’s tiny but full of character. There’s also Shelby, who is pregnant, and Lola, who gave birth to Elenor this year.

These donkeys don’t reach their fully-grown state until they are three years old. They all play together and are naturally very curious animals. With adorable floppy ears, fluffy winter coats, and full of individual characteristics, they don’t horse around. They are confident as they know how “awwww” worthy they are.

“They go straight up to you and will follow you. They want to know what you’re doing at all times. Ultimately, they are like little dogs; they’ll even go inside. They’re really smart - sometimes too smart! They can work out how to open things and love ball games.”

These loving and low-maintenance pets are great around kids because they’re an ideal height and don’t shy like horses do. They’re raised by people and love attention from their human friends. Micro donkeys are an expensive purchase but their upkeep is relatively cheap. They’ll happily live off grass and hay but they’ll need to have their hoofs trimmed every four months and be wormed regularly.

If the image of these little treasures has you wanting more, there are plenty of videos on Kris’s Facebook page to get you going “Awwwww!” Follow their adventures at @Marions-Bounty-Micro-Donkeys.

Triathlon a test of welders’ mettle

Victoria’s top welders descended on Chisholm in Frankston this month for the second annual WTIA Welding Triathlon.

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The event was run by the Welding Technology Institute of Australia for members and non-members of the WTIA in Victoria, with the 12 competitors ranging in experience from welding apprentices (Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication) to welders and welding instructors.  Jesse Smolenaars was crowned best welder in Victoria and was awarded a special prize from Kemppi Australia. Cameron Runacres was second, Ben Hoareau third and Jake Adie fourth.

Competitors demonstrated exceptional welding skills across three timed events - a horizontal fillet using the gas tungsten arc process on aluminium; a single “V” vertical butt weld 10mm plate using flux core arc welding; and a pipe inclined on a 45-degree angle with a GTAW root weld capped by hydrogen controlled arc electrodes.

Event organiser and Chisholm teacher Rodney Bentvelzen said: “The event promotes welding as an attractive career choice, allowing participants to network with inspectors, fellow welders and industry leaders, and for the general public to check out our training facility here at Chisholm.”

Anyone interested in taking part in next year’s welding triathlon can call Rodney on 9238 8233 or Robert Vernon on 0487 400 002. For information on Chisholm’s 400 courses, visit chisholm.edu.au

Picnic at Mulberry Hill by Kate Sears

Mulberry Hill, the home of Sir Daryl and Lady Joan Lindsay, has reopened after its two-month hiatus.

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Sir Daryl, a successful printmaker and painter, was director of the National Gallery of Victoria from 1941 to 1956 and helped establish the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in 1956, becoming its first president.  Lady Joan, a writer and artist best known for the classic novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, also wrote Time Without Clocks, which focused on the couple’s life together at Mulberry Hill.  It’s no surprise, given their dedication to the arts, that the Lindsays bequeathed the house and its contents to the National Trust.

In 1925, Sir Daryl and Lady Joan added an American Colonial-style house to the pre-existing four-room 1880s weatherboard cottage on the property and transformed it into the house you can see today.  Set on a stunning 11.7ha block surrounded by picturesque countryside, Mulberry Hill is filled with fine Georgian furniture and glassware, Staffordshire ceramics and a collection of Australian art. When you enter the house you’re instantly transported back in time to see first-hand how the Lindsays lived. You can inspect Sir Daryl’s painting projects and see the typewriter that Lady Joan used.

Guided tours will enable you to discover how the home was created with mementos of the Lindsays’ world travels while making use of local reclaimed materials.  National Trust guides can answer any questions that may arise as you bask in the diverse works of art and rich history that the property has to offer. Wander among the grounds as you locate the Lindsays’ original vegetable garden and stumble upon simple outbuildings used to maintain the property.  You can also pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn under a mulberry tree.

Mulberry Hill, 385 Golf Links Rd, Langwarrin South, is open on Sundays from 11am-4pm for guided tours (last admission to the house is 3.30pm) and by appointment for special events. It is closed during July and August and on Christmas Day.  Admission is $4 for children, $7 concession, $10 for adults and $26 for a family of two adults and two children; National Trust members are admitted free of charge. To arrange a group tour or acquire tickets, phone the booking office on 9656 9889 weekdays. 

For more details, go to nationaltrust.org.au/places/mulberry-hill/