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Bowen’s Encore in Collinsville

Bowen’s planning for its Regional Seminar October 1st - 5th 2005 is ‘beaut’ - on track; she’ll be right, no worries!

The Prestoungranges were mandated to call in and report that all in Lindsay, Kati Kati and Sheffield had received word of mouth and paper backup for the forthcoming event in 2005 and to see if any assistance might be needed from the Global Association. And whilst the visit was as ever enjoyable [this was their third visit following on from April 2001 and April 2003,] it found most of the Seminar details had already fallen well into place. The early morning meeting at the TAB/ Murals Shop HQ and the evening in The Peacock for a Chinese buffet both oozed the relaxed deluded calm of an events management team still 23 months away from its moment of truth!

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‘Beaut’ includes the creation of a website led by Librarian Dave Cornwell that will give all the information required online for potential Seminar attendees and scope there also for Registration. Accommodation details for self booking will be there too and a chance to book for some of the social activities scheduled in the Whitsundays.

The Cent Sale

It was also education time for fund raisers as Henry, Joyce, Helen and the Murals Society team set to work with a will selling raffle tickets to more than 100 guests @ 20 cents each in colours of your choice for the biggest raffle we have ever beheld. Prizes? All donated by well-wishers and local traders There must have been 300 + so everyone was in with a shout and few came away empty handed. For a modest investment of $30 in a mauve/ green/ white/ blue/ red selection we came away with 5 prizes before The Smoko – a half way breakout for tea. Pictures of the assembly were duly captured and appear below and after the event at the Port Dennison Sailing Club, the Murals Society was $1000 + better off.

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Why then call a 20 cents raffle a Cent Sale? Well, before inflation you got one raffle ticket per cent paid .. and we were probably unreliably informed that in NW Australia it still goes that way.

Reclassified + Bus Tours - and Schutz Expected with Harvey!

Way back when Bowen and Collinsville got started on murals the catalyst was an Australian lady, married to a Canadian and now living back in British Columbia. Her name was/ is Lil Hardy. She knew about Chemainus, as Canadians do, and she suggested, as you do … and Karl Schutz came a visiting .. and then Bowen staked its claim to be ‘The Murals Capital of Australia’. All of which implies that a ‘right beaut’ Seminar should have Lil Harvey and Karl Schutz as Guests of Honour. So the campaign is on to convince the Grant Givers that such an invitation is in the best interests of tourism to the region.

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And Bowen is already benefiting from a recent change in the definition of the Whitsundays tourist region, that now also includes themselves. And the town has its own dedicated full-timer to help that cause. Already all the bus companies have been approached to promise them a guided tour when they include a stopover downtown. And of course the global message to ensure that such guests linger awhile is never missed. Its already possible to get a free cuppa for Murals Walkers at the local Pie Shop- which finds it also sells a lot of extras with the free cuppa. So the same notion will be on display for the buses too.

Collinsville for the Encore

Three times in Bowen and we knew for certain that we must make the 100 mile trek there and back to Collinsville to see its own murals suite. It was even warmer there than on the coast but the journey is the one many a wagon train made to carry supplies and equipment inland from Port Dennison at Bowen.

Collinsville has been doing some fresh painting as they have in Bowen. At each entrance to the town new murals are to be found as shown below – the brilliant colours greeting the arriving visitor from Bowen depicting the dragline at the open cast mine.

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The town is certainly very well worth the visit. Its more modest than Bowen but its welcome at the United Mine Workers’ Clubhouse was a warm as ever and the Manager turned out to be a Scot from Kirkcaldy. Inside the club rooms some interesting murals were to be seen including the maquettes for the sculptural memorial outside were there also as shown below.

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Click on pictures to Enlarge

And for a final thought, and a tip for The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, the place setting mat in the bistro takes some beating – advertising special weekdays including the ever popular Taste of Asia on Thursdays.

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Published Date: November 9th 2003

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