Jun 18

Big year wrapped up for Shanna’s School

UP FIRST: Eviiyah Pedler started the night with her performance of ‘Rockin’ Robin’. ON STAGE: Aaron Duregon performed ‘If Today Was Your Last Day’ by Nickelback.

CENTRE STAGE: Nikia Skinner sung ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston.

ANGELIC: Lucia Franks performed ‘People Help the People’.

THE KING: Makenzi Harrison impressed the crowd by singing out ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ by Elvis Presley.

ORIGINAL: Darly-Skye Pedler performed an original song, ‘What Did You Do .

THE musical talents of Ceduna youth were on display at the Shanna’s House of Music performance showcase and graduation on Saturday, December 7.

The performance gave students a platform to gain experience in front of an audience.

Level One students performed in front of a closed door audience to have a positive first experience on stage.

Doors were opened to the public for the Level Two performances.

Darly-Skye Pedler, who was the sole Level Four performer then sang two songs, including an original song written with her mother Shanna Pedler titled ‘What Did You Do’.

The night ended with the graduation ceremony and students who completed their music exams received their nationally recognised certificate in music for their current grade.

For instructor and school founder Shanna Pedler it was relieving to finish another year of lessons.

She said the students did a good job.

“It was a big and successful year on behalf of the students, because they have great parents supporting them,” she said.

She said there were many improvements the school wanted to make but it was looking for more people to help.

Ms Pedler said next year the school would be more organised and also do annual performances.

“Going annual will provide more time for students to learn more songs, make it easier for everyone involved and improve the quality of the lessons,” she said.

She wanted to thank sponsors and supporters in the Ceduna District Council, Darly-Skye Lash and Beauty, Robert Skinner, Jake Robertson, Kelli Page, and Ceduna Area School Head Space Hair Dressing Program and Kirsten Pilmore.

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Jun 18

A lasting imprint on Whyalla

John Croall

27.2.1933 – 11.12.13

For many local families John Croall, or Doctor Croall as he was better known, was the kind yet thorough obstetrician guiding them through one of the biggest moments in their life.

For more than 30 years Dr Croall delivered generations of local families at the Whyalla hospital and residents young and old alike would have a lasting imprint of his name on their birth certificate.

Born in Glasgow Scotland, a lifetime of serving others was always a pathway that appealed to Dr Croall and as an 11-year-old he studied at a seminary school outside of Aberdeen.

Later he was sent to Rome to attend Scots College near the Vatican City to be a trainee priest.

At 21 though, Dr Croall left priesthood and after looking at a few other career pathways, went into medicine at Glasgow.

A few years later, Dr Croall met his wife Ruth at a hospital where they were both working at the time.

The couple married and welcomed three children- Grant, Fiona and Heather.

The family moved around England before moving to Australia in 1970 where they took up residence in Griffith, New South Wales.

Here, Dr Croall worked as a general practitioner however his love for a chat and the opportunity to develop a relationship with patients was not fulfilled in this role.

In 1973, Dr Croall and his family moved to Whyalla where he could pursue the speciality of obstetrics.

He became the first obstetrician to work at the Whyalla hospital and in 1975 became the first doctor to use epidurals in Whyalla.

Before retiring, Dr Croall had delivered almost three generations of babies in Whyalla.

Despite delivering babies on a weekly basis for more than three decades, Dr Croall said he was thrilled each time he helped bring a new person into the world.

An advocate for regional health services, Dr Croall was a firm believer that health service should not be based on a postcode but everyone deserved the best health care across the board.

Outside of his work, Dr Croall loved nature and was known for his passionate yet at times eccentric tree-planting in nearby scrubland and at the Whyalla Golf Course.

Few people would know that they have Dr Croall to thank for the thousands of trees planted along the Whyalla skyline and at the local golf course.

The trees of course were always natives and his gardens at home were also filled with flowering gums and an array of local Indigenous plants.

A bit of a “greenie”, Dr Croall’s family said he was very ahead of his time when it came to conservation and even in the 70s he was always trying to save water and “recycle, recycle, re-use”.

Before shower timers, you could always rely on Dr Croall to knock on the bathroom door and say “time’s up” if you had been in the shower for more than a few minutes.

He was often mending things and re-mending things with the affirmation in mind of waste not, want not.

The rule of recycling was no different for anything and Dr Croall was famous for his battered cream Volvo, always saying that there was nothing wrong with it despite it being close to falling apart.

His love of nature and recycling saw him create some beautiful pieces of furniture and other features at the Croall family home including tables, wooden feature walls and rock faces to the exterior of the home.

Always thirsty for knowledge, Dr Croall loved to look up things in atlases and dictionaries and was forever the fan of ABC and SBS which he passed onto his children, “banning” them from watching commercial television.

Dr Croall loved Whyalla and while everyone else would complain about the heat, he saw 40 degree days as a great opportunity to get outside and plant or tend to his beloved trees or play a spot of golf.

Earlier this year, Dr Croall’s service to the community was recognised with an official letter of appreciation presented by Whyalla mayor Jim Pollock who personally thanked him for years of service.

Battling with ill health in more recent years, Dr Croall passed away on Wednesday, December 11.

He leaves behind many fond memories and a lifetime of love and laughter for his wife Ruth, children Grant, Fiona and Heather and his five grandchildren Lucas, Matthew, Joshua, Violet and Hannah.

A funeral service will be held today at 2pm at St Teresa’s Church, anyone wishing to pay their respects is welcome to attend.

FAREWELL: Whyalla has farewelled Dr John Croall.

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Jun 18


Young talent time

FOUR Penrith Panthers have been selected to attend the annual 16-18 years Emerging Blues camp at the NSW Rugby League’s Narrabeen Centre. Robbie Graham, Soni Hala, Reed Izzard and Soni Luke are the Panthers. Parramatta Eels attendee Tepai Moeroa plays for Colyton/Mt Druitt. The one-day camp on January 9 will include two skills sessions, presentations on Origin culture and lectures on sports science and team leadership.

The tough get going

PENRITH has scored a major coup by gaining the Ironman 70.3 triathlon event for 2014-2016. Known as a half-ironman, the event is one of a series of middle-distance races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation. The 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles. Each distance of the swim, bike, and run segments is reduced to half the distances of an ironman triathlon.

The first race will be at the International Regatta Centre on November 30, 2014. Athletes will cycle on fast, smooth road surfaces with the Blue Mountains as a backdrop. They’ll swim in the purpose-built Penrith Lakes and then complete a two-lap run that circles the centre.

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Jun 18

Lucindale gets festive

Laetitia Ludwig (left), Cheryl Fitzgerald and Sarah Skillen help to cook donuts for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital stall at the annual street party. Annie Borg (left), Barb Woolard and Heather Pitt catch up at Lucindale shed party.

Shirley Waters (left) and Lynette Skillen make fairy floss for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital stall.

Jack Wheaton (left), Sam Pitt, Dylan Koennecke and Alex Pitt enjoy the fairy floss at the Lucindale Lions Street Party last Friday – Pauline Rivett photos.

Leanne McCarthy (left), Graham Clothier and Steph Brooker-Jones enjoy the social atmosphere.

IT’S one of the highlights on the Lucindale calendar each year and the 2013 event did not disappoint.

The Lions Christmas street party, which has been held in a shed at Yakka Park for the last five years, was on December 13.

A large crowd of children, parents and community members gathered from 6.30pm to celebrate the festive season in a social and fun environment.

Coordinator Heather Somerville said everyone had a wonderful time.

“It was great,” she said. “The whole district wasn’t there but everyone who was had a fantastic time and said they hoped to do it again next year.

“There was a great feeling of community camaraderie.”

The local CFS sold hot beef rolls as its major fundraiser for the year while Red Cross had a dessert table set up.

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital also had a stall selling donuts and fairy floss.

Activities for the children included a jumping castle and mini go-karts.

There was a special visitor all the way from the North Pole too – Father Christmas, who rode in on “Pip” Pilgrim’s vintage car.

“Father Christmas was wonderful,” Mrs Somerville said.

“He gave out little bags of lollies to the children. They just loved it.”

There was a monster raffle to help cover costs and the major prize – a coffee machine – was won by Lynette Loechel.

Second and third prizes – a leg of lamb and a steak pack – were donated by Scott Bittner from Southern Australian Livestock and there were smaller prizes donated by various members of the community.

For the first time a Christmas lights competition was hosted by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital which had lots of entries.

“Everyone put in a lot of effort,” Mrs Somerville said.

“It went really well and there were a few encouragement awards given out as well. Next year we are hoping for it to be even bigger and better.”

The Christmas street party was supported by Lucindale Lions Club and a generous financial contribution from Naracoorte Lucindale Council.

It will be held again next year on the last day of school’s fourth term in December.

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Jun 18

Assistance for small business

Local businesses will now benefit from a state government scheme to assist in reducing energy bills.

The government scheme, which began about four years ago, has been extended to 2020 and will now encompass small businesses.

Whyalla Computer Centre managing director Jane Gray said a reduction in any cost for small businesses would help.

Ms Gray said energy costs for the business had risen steadily, and she had spent $5000 on power in 2011, $7000 in 2012 and $8500 in 2013.

“I think any reduction in costs for businesses is good, so if the government can help to reduce energy costs I’d definitely welcome that,” she said.

When asked if the reduction in costs could filter onto savings for customers Ms Gray said it would differ from store to store.

However she said a reduction in energy costs would help more small businesses to stay operational.

“It would definitely help a lot of businesses to stay open, especially the new businesses which open up and then have to close down after 12 months,” Ms Gray said.

Espresso Cafe owner Liz Attard said she believed the federal and state governments should be doing more to help keep small businesses’ electricity costs down.

“Commercial pay a lot more than domestic for electricity,” she said.

“It seems like every quarter they’re putting prices up.”

Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis said creating greater competition was one element to the government’s strategy to ease cost of living pressures to homes and businesses.

“Helping South Australians to find more efficient ways to use electricity in their homes and their shops and factories is a further way we can help to reduce energy bills,” he said.

The government scheme helps to reduce energy bills by assisting with the installation of energy saving light globes, standby power controllers and water efficient shower heads.

Ms Gray said there were other ways the government could help to foster small business and ease operational pressure.

She said an investigation and revision of the warranty laws was in order as they did not protect small businesses when it came to warranty claims.

Ms Gray said if a customer returned an item because it was faulty it was up to the store to deal with this, as the bigger companies rarely took responsibility.

“It could take just one item like that to ruin a business,” she said.

“If they return it and the company doesn’t give any support to them it could potentially ruin them.

“There are no laws to protect against loopholes.”

Ms Gray said occupational health and safety laws were also a problem.

She said keeping up with the changing laws was difficult as the government rarely provided information to businesses.

“It costs money when we have to comply with all of this stuff and I mean we run a very safe workplace here, but when we have to comply with these laws we have to spend money,” Ms Gray said.

REDUCE ENERGY: Local businesses will benefit from a state government scheme to help reduce energy costs. Whyalla Computer Centre technician Josh Schulz was pictured turning off at the plug to save power.

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Jun 18

Wanderers cast eyes to Asian club comp

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic at a training session at Parramatta Stadium.7th November 2013Photo: Wolter PeetersThe Sydney Morning Herald A-League. Western Sydney Wanderers vs Melbourne Heart. Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta.Western Sydney FansSaturday 7th December, 2013Photos: Anthony Johnson

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 06: Frank Lowy, Chairman of the FFA and Lyall Gorman, CEO of the Wanderers looks on before the round one A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers FC and the Central Coast Mariners at Parramatta Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

TODAY Western Sydney, tomorrow the world.

That could be the new motto for the Wanderers as they prepare for yet another climb up the ladder of success.

This one is reward for last year’s A-League success and will see Tony Popovic’s western suburbs heroes take on the best Asia has to offer in the 2014 Asian Champions League.

Wanderers fans will be treated to some great Champions League games at Pirtek Stadium in February, March and April and judging by the phenomenal success of the club just two years into its history, few would bet against them doing better than any other A-League club so far.

After last year’s huge effort, when the club was beaten in the grand final but had earlier snatched the premier’s plate — the minor premiership — everyone just expects this incredible club to succeed at everything it tries its hand at.

The Red and Black Bloc march en masse to the club’s home ground on match day and make an incredible noise for the entire 90 minutes of the game.

Then there’s the numbers: In their first year in the A-League, the Wanderers turnstiles turned 235,991 times. There’d be European soccer clubs envious of such figures. Their average attendance this season is 15,744 (fourth in the league). But wait, there’s more. The club has 16,521 season ticket members; out-of-towner and supporter members sit at 87.

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Jun 18

Therapy dogs bring many smiles

Comfort: Betty Bailey, left, holds Annemarie Schuster’s dog Tyrone while she has a talk with handler Nicole Celeban and her dog Sage. Picture: Gary WarrickDOGS in Nepean Hospital can sometimes be as important as nursing staff, say their handlers and some patients.

Nepean Therapy Dogs’ volunteers regularly visit the hospital with their pets, giving patients an opportunity to cuddle and speak to the animals.

“I couldn’t live without them,” Nepean Hospital patient Betty Bailey said. “The dogs are friendly, they’re beautiful, they’re so understanding, they’re a great comfort.

“It’s a pleasure to have them in the hospital; it makes the day go by.”

For many years Annemarie Schuster has been visiting patients at the hospital with her dogs, some of whom are no longer with her, but still remembered by all they touched. Mrs Schuster said about 15 years ago her dog, Bella, revived a boy who had been in a coma. She cannot forget the day her labrador retriever, Bonnie, was sitting by a man in the cardiac ward.

“Bonnie suddenly went stiff,” Mrs Schuster said. “I thought, something’s not right, so I ran to the nurses’ desk and said we need help.” The nurses rushed the man, who had suffered a seizure, to intensive care and managed to revive him just in time.

“A nurse said to Bonnie: ‘You’re one of us; you just saved a gentleman’s life’,” Mrs Schuster said.

“Bonnie put her head on the man’s bed and he just patted her, saying: ‘Thank you, thank you’.”

Fellow dog-handler Nicole Celeban said the smiles of patients were the best thing about her visits.

“They can be as glum as can be, but when the dogs walk in their eyes light up and they smile,” Mrs Celeban said.

She said visits sometimes ended in sadness.

She recalled taking her dog to a woman in a coma, who had her family waiting around her.

“The woman’s hand moved towards her; she was aware of my dog,” Mrs Celeban said.

“She soon died, but it was a more comforting end.”

Nepean Therapy Dogs: 4727 7292 or 4573 1894.

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Jun 18

Beautiful minds and numbers dominate

You little beauty: Well, no. Parramatta’s Nick Bertus survived this appeal but the end was nigh. Picture: Helen NezdropaTHERE are statistics, statistics and cricket statistics, and the latter don’t often lie.

They certainly tell a story of why Penrith are unbeaten in the Sydney first-grade cricket competition, if not the full story.

Bowlers win matches and the Penrith attack has some impressive stats.

Pat Jackson has taken 17 wickets with his left-arm offspinners at an average of 16.06 and an impressive economy rate of 2.60 an over.

Opening bowler Josh Lalor has claimed 16 at 18.75 and a strike rate of a wicket every 41.75 balls. That’s potent stuff; and Matt Halse has made some crucial contributions, taken 10 at 17.7.

Jackson is a different player from the one known as a spinner in his Blacktown days.

He answers to several descriptions: all-rounder, opening batsman, spin bowler.

Jackson has scored 461 runs at the top of the order, including a century, and has scored them at a steady clip of 69.4 per 100 balls.

Aaron Beach has been the reliable middle man every team needs, scoring 687 runs at 52.80. Neither dasher nor slow coach, he’s scored at 48.4 per 100 balls.

Opener Luke Morrissey rounds out the grade top 50 and all the elements were there when Penrith maintained their unbeaten record, in the two-dayer against Parramatta at Howell Oval on the weekend. Lalor, 4-57, and Jackson, 3-26, reeled Parramatta in as the visitors were restricted to 209 after an opening partnership of 62.

Morrissey, 79, then provided a foundation at the start and Beach, 55 solidity in the middle as Penrith reached the target for the loss of seven wickets.

Penrith now sit on 36 points, two behind leaders Sydney University.

They are six ahead of third-placed Sydney, their opponents in a 50-over one-dayer at Howell Oval, Penrith on Saturday.

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Jun 18

Wanderers to face Sydney FC

DESPITE their 1-0 win in Newcastle over the Jets on Saturday night, the Western Sydney Wanderers are still five points behind A-League pacesetters Brisbane Roar.

But more tantalisingly, the red and black from the western suburbs are just one point ahead of third-placed Sydney FC after 10 rounds of the 2013-14 season.

Being so close — and so high — on the table is bound to make for a fascinating Sydney derby when the two clubs meet on Saturday, January 11.

The match is a home game for the Wanderers, which will give them a lift in trying to win bragging rights until the next local derby with Sydney FC.

Meantime, the Wanderers will be at home for another grand final replay with the Central Coast Mariners next Monday, December 23.

The match will kick-off at 7pm.

It will be another opportunity for evergreen Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic to keep a clean sheet to show Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou he should be considered for a place in the World Cup team for Brazil next June.

Covic, 38, has been one of the standout members of the Wanderers since their formation a season and a half ago.

Nobody knows which way the Socceroos coach will go when selecting his final 23.

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Jun 18

Licences should be cancelled: ICAC

THE granting of the Doyles Creek, Mount Penny and Glendon Brook exploration licences was so tainted by corruption that those licences should be cancelled, the Independent Commission Against Corruption has recommended.

In his final report on the licences that was tabled to State Parliament on Wednesday morning, Commissioner David Ipp said the government should consider enacting legislation to allow it to cancel the licences, which were issued by former Labor minister Ian Macdonald, and refuse any pending applications related to them.

Consideration should also be be given to provisions for compensating any innocent person affected.

The ICAC said enacting special legislation was preferable to avoid court challenges.

Otherwise, powers under the Mining Act, which the government rushed through parliament last month, could be used to cancel licences on the grounds of public interest.

For Doyles Creek, the government could also use powers under the Act to cancel a licence on the grounds the holder provided false or misleading information for its licence application.

Wednesday’s report follows findings of corruption against Mr Macdonald over his decision to directly allocate a licence to Doyles Creek Mining, a company that involved his friend and former union boss John Maitland and Newcastle businessmen Andrew Poole and Craig Ransley. All three were also found corrupt, and made millions from their shareholdings when their company was later acquired by NuCoal.

The ICAC found evidence that false and misleading statements had been provided to the Department of Primary Industries as part of their licence application, relating to the size of the coal resource and financing arrangements for their proposed mine.

Corruption findings were also made against Mr Macdonald and former Labor MP Eddie Obeid in relation to the issuing of exploration licences in the Bylong Valley, including Mount Penny and Glendon Brook, to the benefit of Mr Obeid, his family and associates.

NuCoal was placed in a trading halt on the stock exchange this morning pending the report.

In a statement, NuCoal chairman Gordon Galt said it was ‘‘extremely disappointed’’ with the recommendation to cancel the Doyles Creek licence.

“We continue to urge the Premier and the NSW government to consult with us directly before any decisions regarding [the licence] are made which would affect NuCoal and its 3,400 shareholders,’’ he said.