Home' The Great Southern Star : February 2nd 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - PAGE 21
PERFECT weather provided the
backdrop for a great crowd at the
Corner Inlet Australia Day cel-
ebration in Foster last Tuesday.
The Foster Historical Society started the
day early with a giant garage sale, adding
some brisk trading to its usual visitor num-
bers on the day.
The Toora Lions Club allowed local cou-
ple John and Karen Barrie to raise funds for
their forthcoming trip to Vietnam, to train
and mentor staff in a Hanoi hospital.
Children were kept entertained as they
created flags that were displayed alongside
community banners and flags.
Relay for Life, Foster CWA, Foster Wool
Group and Corner Inlet Libraries had dis-
plays. A ukulele band played two brackets
of Aussie songs that were highly appreciated
by the large crowd, and Damien Midwinter
organised a quick game of cricket.
The community enjoyed a tasty treat of
Australia’s favourite cake, lamingtons.
Foster Historical Society raised the flag
while the band played and everyone sang
the National Anthem, and then it was onto
the local Corner Inlet awards.
Sandy Bucello was named Citizen of the
Year. Along with husband Joe, Mrs Bucello
owned and operated the Foster Foodworks
supermarket where she built a specific train-
ing room for retail staff.
From this, Mrs Bucello developed an
online training package for staff in grocery
She became a member of the Prom
Country Aged Care Committee before tak-
ing on the president’s role to manage the $11
million, 60 bed facility upgrade. She led the
formation of a community sub-committee
that would go on to raise $2 million towards
While no longer president, Mrs Bucello
remains on the committee.
South Gippsland Relay for Life won the
Corner Inlet Community Event Award.
Fish Creek hosted the event for the first
time and it raised more than $32,000 for the
Hundreds of people attended the 18
hour event at Terrill Park, which featured 22
teams of 334 walkers.
Fish Creek is set to host the event for an-
other two years before the baton is taken up
by another South Gippsland community.
Proud to be an Aussie
Proud to be an Aussie
Tom Parsons shared
his passion for Aus-
tralia with the Kong-
wak community at
the annual Australia
Day breakfast on Jan-
uary 26, the occasion
of his 93rd event cel-
A packed hall at Kong-
wak gathered to celebrate
Australia Day and enjoyed
the delicious scrambled
eggs and sausages, cereal
juice and toast before Mr
Parsons’ gave his enlighten-
Mr Parsons said he was
schooled in Rochester and
Melbourne’s Wesley College
for only one year, boarding.
“I left boarding school,
as that’s all Dad could afford
in those times,” he said.
At age 16 he started work
at Myer and completed an 18
month training course. In
that year, he said the then
Prime Minister Robert Men-
zies announced Great Britain
was at war with Germany
and so was Australia.
On September 5, 1940 he
turned 18 and in November
became a trooper in the 17th
Light Horse Regiment and
was made a truck driver.
At 19, he left the Army
and joined the RAAF as a
rookie trainee and on No-
vember 13, 1941 trained as
a pilot at Benalla in the old
“This was quite an ex-
perience: open cockpit, no
brakes, no self-starter, no
flaps on the wings except
a small one on top and not
much of anything else and
very, very cold,” he said.
He started training and
flying Avro Ansons, a twin
engine aircraft. Mr Parsons
graduated as a sergeant pi-
lot in June 1942 and was
sent to England, where he
was posted to an advanced
flying unit to fly Air Speed
He was then transferred
to flying instructors school,
a move he said was lucky
as the rest were sent to op-
erational training units and
“most of them were killed
Aussie tradition: tucking into lamingtons at the Corner Inlet Australia Day
celebration were, from left, Corner Inlet Citizen of the Year Sandy Bucello,
South Gippsland Relay for Life representatives Kerry Cripps and Richard
Jones, South Gippsland Shire Councillor Mohya Davies and relay representa-
tive Meg Edwards. The relay won the Corner Inlet Community Event Award
and will be held at Fish Creek in March this year.
top off party
Young patriots: Jasmin and Maddie
wave their flags in front of the flag
competition at Corner Inlet’s Austra-
lia Day event at Foster.
Aussie breakfast: Kongwak Hall committee acting president Brian Brown, Ross Chapman, Graeme
Brown, Beryl Brown, Chris Gow and Merle Axford were flying the flag at the community’s annual
Australia Day breakfast at the Kongwak Hall on Tuesday, January 26.
War reflections at Aussie breakfast
Proud Aussies: Kongwak Hall committee acting president Brian Brown, John
Axford and Australia Day guest speaker Tom Parsons of Leongatha enjoyed
the delicious breakfast served up by the hard working volunteers on Australia
Day in Kongwak.
on operations soon after they
went to their operational du-
ties in bomber command”.
From May 1943 until
October 1944, Mr Parsons
clocked up more than 1000
flights as an instructor and
had 1114 flying hours in his
After this, Mr Parsons
flew a large twin engine
bomber, a Wellington Mark
10 and a Mosquito, and was
later involved in enemy fly-
ing raids, the first for Mr
Parsons over Hamburg.
He was then involved
in firebombing Chemnitz,
where the Germans were
systems for the V2 rockets
being fired on London, and
involved in bombing Berlin
On June 7, 1945 Mr Par-
sons was told his war was
over and he was allowed to
After a long trip home
by sea, he ended up at the
MCG in Melbourne where
the RAAF had established a
depot and met up with, “my
girl Dorothy and father and
“I had been away for
three years. I had not long
turned 23 years of age and
had flown a total of 1260
hours in different types of
aircraft,” he said.
“I guess the only con-
clusion we can draw from
these old experiences is that
war is a dreadful thing for
everyone. May we all enjoy
the life we have in this won-
Mirboo North praises helpers
THE Mirboo North community cel-
ebrated Australia Day in beautiful
Baromi Park – the heart of the town.
David Lewis was MC and guest speaker
was Darryl Jones, a retired police officer who
received the Victoria Police Valour Award,
the Australian Federal Group Citation for
Bravery, the American Helicopter Society
Captain Kossler Award for Bravery, the Royal
Life Saving Society Bravery Cross and a
commendation for Brave Conduct.
Some 150 people joined in the celebrations
which acknowledged the achievements of
citizens for 2015.
Event of the Year was the Mirboo North
Anniversary, a showcase of local
talent held at the Mirboo North Pool.
About 500 people attended and money
raised went to the Friends of the Mirboo
North Pool, that organises grants, special guest
appearances, equipment and sponsorship.
The Youth Community Contribution Award
went to Samuel McCarthy who was nominated
for his community contribution to the Mirboo
North Junior Basketball Association as a
player, coach and general helper.
He plays for the Under 17 boys team
and as team coordinator, shows outstanding
leadership and commitment to other members
of his squad.
Citizen of the Year was Maxine Kiel, who
is president of Mirboo Country Development
and has volunteered with the group for more
than 20 years.
She was also South Gippsland Shire
Council’s Citizen of the year.
Mrs Kiel was instrumental in the
development of the Mirboo North Country
Market, building it from 20 stalls to the current
size of about 60 to 70 stalls over the 13 years
of her market coordination.
Mrs Kiel works with the main street traders
for the Christmas Shopping Night, Santa in the
Park, music festival, arty gras and countless
other events, as well as her commitment to the
Mirboo and District Historical Society and the
Mirboo North RSL.
The Remembrance Tree (Poppy Tree) at
the front of the RSL was a typical community
involvement project spearheaded by Mrs Kiel.
Last year’s Citizen of the Year, Reverend
Geoff Pittaway, spoke of his year and was then
presented, along with Gippsland South MLA
Danny O’Brien and Mrs Kiel, a presentation
scarf from local Mirboo North Scout, Lucas
A community barbecue was held, which
involved the Wednesday Warriors and the
Mirboo North CWA Night Owls providing the
morning tea and coffee.
Paul Evans entertained with Aussie songs
and a special song was written about Mrs Kiel.
Driven young man: Mirboo North’s Youth
Community Contribution Award went to
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