Home' The Great Southern Star : October 25th 2016 Contents PAGE 44 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, October 25, 2016
By Brad Lester
THE story of a young boy and
his horse accomplishing a phe-
nomenal feat touched Austra-
lians in 1932.
Last Tuesday and Thursday, the same
story moved South Gippslanders again
when Leongatha Primary School per-
formed the musical production, Lennie
The Legend: 600 Miles to Sydney in Leon-
gatha’s Mesley Hall.
Written by Roz Girvan and Janie Hum-
phreys from Clifton Hill Primary School,
the play told the tale of Lennie Gwyther,
who aged nine, rode his pony Ginger Mick
to Sydney from Leongatha – 1000km over
33 days - to witness the opening of the Syd-
ney Harbour Bridge.
Among those impressed by the rec-
Udderly awesome dress-ups
Cow cockies: back row students from Leongatha Secondary College
Lizzie Harms, Maddie Brew, Will Collins, and Alice Howard dressed up
in farmer or cow coloured clothes while at front are Patrick Eadie and
Jesinta Eadie, children of organiser Katie Glassock.
Out in force: students and teachers from Kongwak Primary School
were big fundraiser supporters, back row from left, Gab Patterson, Shaye
Brown, Brooke Hoult, Chelsea Brown, Indy Gibson-Goldsmith, Josh
Brown; front row from left, Vicki Bainbridge, Lucas Rowson-Pickett,
Warren Balfour, Tahlia Jefferies, Jayden Stephenson, Gus Fairlie, Isla
Churchill, Isla McLean, Anna Wilson.
School brings Lennie legend to life
SCHOOLS in South Gippsland
participated in a dress up fund-
raiser last Friday, for those dairy
farmers doing it tough.
Leongatha Secondary College, Kong-
wak Primary School and Korumburra Sec-
ondary College and Newhaven College all
participated with many students dressing
up in brown, black or white colours for
Udderly Awesome Dress up Day.
Funds raised on the day of at least
$1,000 would be going towards the Need
for Feed Disaster Relief Farmer Support
Most of the money raised was through
a gold coin donation as well as other fund-
raising like a bake sale.
The program has already distributed
in excess of $110,000 in food shopping
vouchers, via Rural Financial Counselling
Services, to dairy farmers seeking help.
The day was the idea of the program’s
Katie Glassock who has already run a
number of successful events in the area.
Family interest: from left, Lennie Gwyther’s daughter Mary Gwyther
of Emerald joined her cousin Julie Campbell of Mardan at Leongatha
Primary School’s production about their father and uncle’s feat.
All relative: from left, Hamish Box as Leo, Lennie’s father, and Megan
Richards as Lennie.
So cute: students of all ages were involved in the cast of Lennie The Leg-
end: 600 Miles to Sydney.
Guiding the show: narrator Thomas
Burt held the audience’s interest.
Full house: some of the cast of Lennie The Legend: 600 Miles to Syd-
ney with Lennie Gwyther’s sister Beryl Ferrier (centre). The students are
Sharni Campbell, Tahlia Arnason (who played Beryl in the show), Louisa
Campbell, Ashley Geary, Keeta York, Piper Goldsmith, Riley Harbert,
Lilly Holm, Anna Hanily and Sam Duvoisin.
Many Lennies: from left, playing Lennie Gwyther in Leongatha Primary
School’s production were Sharni Campbell, Ashley Geary and Riley Har-
bert. Absent: Megan Richards.
In person: from left Lennie Gw-
yther’s sister Beryl Ferrier with
Jess Stein, the Leongatha Primary
School teacher who coordinated
the production Lennie The Legend:
600 Miles to Sydney,
Seeing two: Tahlia Arnason played
Lennie Gwyther’s sister Beryl Fer-
rier in the show and was delighted
to meet her in person ahead of last
ollection of the now famous story was
Beryl Ferrier, sister of the late Lennie, who
travelled from Tugun, Queensland for the
“It was absolutely fantastic,” she said of
“It was expertly choreographed, and
an absolute credit to the children and the
teachers who produced it.”
Ms Ferrier recalled with a hint of sen-
timentality the moment Leongatha student
Piper Goldsmith, who played her mother
Clara in the show, approached her.
“I said ‘Hello Mum’,” Ms Ferrier
“And I kissed the children who played
Lennie and said ‘Goodnight brother’.
“It was ethereal. It was like looking at a
ghost. I cannot bring myself to the fact that
is my brother is being portrayed. I cannot
thank Leongatha Primary School enough
for what they have done for the family.”
The production was also attended by
Lennie’s other sister Leta Gardenal of
Cranbourne, his daughter Mary Gwyther
of Emerald and niece Julie Campbell of
Ms Gwyther said of the show, “I’m
absolutely amazed and so grateful the chil-
dren played the parts. I think my father
would be amazed that such a fuss was be-
ing made because he rarely thought about
the journey when he was alive.”
The show was engaging and upbeat,
with catchy music, and involved children
of many ages. Narrator Thomas Burt set the
scene with his captivating tone and smooth
Teacher Jess Stein, who coordinated the
production, was thrilled with the show.
“The enthusiasm from the students is
hard to describe, from the lead roles down
to the youngest Prep student. Students
are buzzing and have a real sense of ac-
complishment and pride in their achieve-
ment. It was a relatively quick process
from beginning of rehearsal to show’s
end but worth every second,” she said.
“The staff have been amazing, just ral-
lying together and making it happen. It’s
very easy for me to receive the accolades
because I am responsible for the finished
product, the singing, acting, dancing. How-
ever I can’ make that happen without an
army behind me, organising students, mov-
ing props, braiding hair, painting faces and
building picket fences.”
Mrs Stein said the tale of Lennie taught
students about local and national history.
“The links the children made between
Lennie, their parents or grandparents in
particular who knew of Lennie and the ex-
citement of having Beryl at the show was
fabulous,” she said.
Mr Gwyther died in 1993, aged 70.
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