Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Presentations for ANZAC Day Support - Tanunda Community

---- We open most Fridays from 5 pm. Everyone is welcome ----Every ANZAC Day we are privileged to have the support of a variety of agents and people who help us make our commemorative activities special.

The key players on the day are:
  1. The Tanunda Town Band
  2. The Liedertafl Choir
  3. Barossa and District Pipe Band
  4. Faith Lutheran College
  5. Mr Steve Kaisler, Barossa Gallery and Soldiers' Memorial (Barossa Council)
The first three organisations, as would be expected, provide spectacular music support. Faith Lutheran College provides a group of students who assist our team to install and uninstall 300 small wooden crosses on the lawn adjacent to Tanunda Memorial Park where our Dawn Service is held.

Mr Kaisler sets up and manages the Gallery and Soldiers' Memorial Hall where we hold an 11 am commemorative service for those who couldn't attend the Dawn Service at 6 am.  As an employee of Barossa Council we are not permitted to provide a monetary donation, but provide him with a small personal gift.

On Friday, 12 July 24 we presented representatives of the first four organisations with donation cheques for $150 in appreciation of their ongoing support. Here are some of the photos of recipients receiving their cheques. Unfortunately, due to school holidays, Faith Luthern College couldn't provide a recipient, so our member, Mr Neville Jaeschke who oversees the wooden cross project received it on their behalf and will forward it to them when they return to school.

Tanunda Town Band

Vice President Patsy Biscoe presented Mr Gordon Alderslade from the Tanunda Town Band with their cheque.

Formed in 1857, the internationally acclaimed Tanunda Town Band is recognised as the oldest continual brass band in the Southern Hemisphere, and has been entertaining audiences locally, nationally, and internationally for the last 160 years!

Tanunda Town Band is an ‘A Grade’  band which excels in traditional brass band and classical music and regularly takes part in community events, public concerts and corporate engagements.  During its long history, Tanunda Town Band has successfully competed  at local, state, national and international competitions.

The Tanunda Liedertafl Choir

Mr David West from the Liedertafl Choir received their cheque.

The Tanunda Liedertafel is a 45-member male choir. Drawing its four-part singing material from traditional popular German culture. The group's origins date back to 1850.

The members were also instrumental in the formation of a "German Club" in Tanunda in 1855, proving the continuous nature of the choir from 1850 to World War I.

The choir was re-organized in 1920 and, aside from an interruption caused by World War II has been active ever since, primarily in Tanunda and Adelaide. Along with third and fourth-generation German-Australians, the group includes singers with Dutch, British, Polish and, Irish backgrounds. 

Given the nationalities of the members, nearly 50 percent of the material is sung in English or Latin (where tradition dictates).

Barossa and District Pipe Band

Sub-branch member and Pipe Master, Mr Alistair McCallum received the cheque on behalf of the Barossa and District Pipe Band.

The Barossa & District Pipe Band is a Scottish Pipe Band based in the Barossa Valley of South Australia.

The band was established in February 2012 by then Pipe Major, Peter Whitehead. The band started from scratch with beginners and learners coming from surrounding areas. From an initial group of six interested people the band has grown over the years to approximately 20 members at its strongest.

The band is currently led by Pipe Major, Alistair MacCallum who took over the role in October 2022 after the resignation of Peter Whitehead.

Faith Lutheran College

Our member Mr Neville Jaeschke accepted the cheque on behalf of Faith Lutheran College.

Amongst church spires and vineyards, the passion for quality education has been instilled in the hearts and minds of generations before us. In fact, we've been trailblazing since 1845 when the first Barossa Lutheran education facility opened in Tanunda.

Langmeil School, as Tanunda Lutheran School was known then, was the first step in our unending pursuit of an education that brings something extra to the ordinary.

As the Barossa celebrated 140 years of Lutheran education, courage and faith guided the opening of Faith Lutheran Secondary School in 1985.

Passionate educators and a supportive community enabled the school to thrive and quickly grow from the inaugural class of 26 students to over 600. 

Note: If you are a Barossa Valley resident, you can read more about these presentations in The Leader of 17 July 24.

Monday, July 1, 2024

RNZAF carries out rare Antarctica mid-winter medical evacuation

---- Today we have 65 members. Would you like to be 66? ----A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130H Hercules crew has today carried out a rare medical evacuation of a patient from Antarctica, taking advantage of a narrowing gap in the weather to fly the challenging night-time mission.

The patient, an American from McMurdo Station, is in a stable condition with a non-life threatening condition, but required medical treatment that could not be carried out in Antarctica. 

Air Component Commander Air Commodore Andy Scott said flights to Antarctica at this time of year were very challenging due to the extreme Antarctic environment, changeable weather conditions and because there was no daylight. “Apart from flying in a combat environment, night flying missions to Antarctica in the middle of winter present the most challenging and dangerous of conditions,” Air Commodore Scott said. 

“The Hercules crew flew into Phoenix Airfield using night vision goggles. The first time this technology was used by the RNZAF to fly into Antarctica was in July 2021 for another medical evacuation. One of the pilots on today’s mission also flew on that mission.” 

The Hercules flew from RNZAF Base Auckland to Christchurch on Tuesday in preparation for the flight. It left Christchurch at 2am and touched down at Phoenix Airfield at 8.50am, and left shortly after 10am for the seven-to eight-hour return flight to Christchurch.

The aircraft was ‘hot fuelled’ on the ice, to protect the engines from the minus 33 degrees Centigrade.

“With a narrow gap of acceptable weather, the crew deployed early in the morning,” Air Commodore Scott said. “The weather had deteriorated again on arrival and so they threaded the needle to get in when they did.” 

Air Commodore Scott said at each stage of the journey the crew had to make “go, no go” decisions on whether to proceed. “Our highly trained crew analyse the conditions every step of the way to ensure they could continue.” 

Work by McMurdo Station staff to prepare the ice runway at Phoenix Airfield, by clearing snow and compacting it, had been completed on Wednesday. With no airfields to divert to en route, the aircraft needed to be refuelled in Antarctica before making the journey home. 

“We’re very pleased we have been able to successfully carry out this Antarctica flight today and get the patient to New Zealand to receive further medical treatment.,” Air Commodore Scott said. 

Article by Brian Hartigan; photo, McMurdo staff