School bell tolls for retiring teachers

EDUCATORS: Jan Milliss, left, and Janelle Smith have spent a combined 86 years teaching. Picture: Brock PerksMOST students can’t wait to put school behind them.
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But for Janelle Smith, 62, and Jan Milliss, 64, it’s taken 86 years between the two of them to finally say enough is enough.

The pair, who began as primary school teachers at Merewether Heights Public in the 1970s and 1980s, are this week celebrating their retirement from the school, a decision that did not come easy.

‘‘It was hard for me to acknowledge that it was my time to leave, as I have built some amazing friendships and memories over the years,’’ Mrs Smith said.

‘‘However, when you know, you know. It was my time to leave.’’

During their time, the two have seen drastic changes to the education system, including the introduction of smartboards and iPad as tools for teaching children.

Mrs Smith said amid change, many things stayed the same.

‘‘The foundations of the education system that I started out in are the same: supporting our children to be the best that they can be.

‘‘As a teacher, there is nothing better than watching that lightbulb moment with children, where they work something out for themselves.’’

The pair don’t anticipate leaving the school completely.

‘‘I would love to come back one day and do a bit of volunteer work, help out with a reading group or wherever I can,’’ Mrs Milliss said.

‘‘If the school is ever in need of some extra helping hands, I’ll be there,’’ Mrs Smith agreed.

■ A NEW principal has been appointed to St Philip’s Christian College Port Stephens Campus.

Dr Timothy Petterson will take over the 750-student school in 2013 following the unexpected passing of founding principal Chris Walkling from a heart attack in July.

Dr Petterson is year 7 housemaster at The King’s School, Parramatta and teaches business studies and commerce.

Celebrate the New Year!

PARRAMATTA will welcome the new year with a bang.
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Residents and visitors to this year’s fireworks display will welcome 2013 with an action-packed New Year’s Eve party on the Parramatta River foreshore.

Last year up to 20,000 people turned up to cheer in 2012, and the lord mayor of Parramatta, John Chedid, said this year they were expecting up to 25,000 people to attend the night.

“Parramatta’s New Year’s Eve event is perfect for those who don’t want the hassle of travelling into Sydney,” Cr Chedid said.

“There will be loads of family-friendly entertainment with activities for children, early fireworks, a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere and an easier journey home.”

There will be plenty of entertainment for the whole family, including roaming street performers, rides and a variety of delicious foods.

Attendees will have the opportunity to watch jet- skis and skiers in a choreographed performance on the river featuring fireworks and flares.

Cr Chedid said the fireworks display for Parramatta’s New Year’s Eve event is always unique and impressive.

“This year we’ve got an incredible show featuring fireworks right along the river as well as fireworks mounted on the jet-skis, which will be synchronised with music and lighting,” he said.

“The high aerial fireworks combined with the

fireworks shot from the jet-skis lets you be very close to the action and see the whole sky

come alive with colour all at the same time –

an exciting way to celebrate New Year’s the Parramatta way.”

There will be entertainment throughout the evening, with live music from cover bands Phonic and Superstitious.

The children won’t be forgotten: The Amazing Drumming Monkeys show will ensure kids can party as well.

Bring your picnic basket and blanket and arrive early to ensure you get a good spot for live entertainment and fireworks watching.

The celebrations will start at 6pm on Monday, December 31.

Details: Parramatta City Council, phone: 8839 3311, website:

CELEBRATE the end of 2012 and welcome in 2013 in style.

Here are a few suggestions as to how you may wish to spend the evening:

■ Wentworthville Leagues Club

Welcome in the new year at a dinner at the Starlight Room at Wenty Leagues with a sumptuous three-course meal and dance the night away with the tribute band Abbalanche.

Details: 8868 9200.

■ Club Merrylands

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Club Merrylands with Groovology.

The band plays a variety of music including top 40 hits, pop, blues, jazz, R’n’B, disco, funk and rock’n’roll.

Prices start at $25 for members and $30 for guests.

Prices includes a meal.

Details: 9637 9099.

■ Guildford Rugby League Football Club

Sing in the new year with karaoke at Guildford Leagues.

Karaoke is from 9pm to 1am.

Details: 9780 1333.

■ Merrylands RSL

Dance in the new year with tribute band, ABBAs Back.

Hear all your favourite ABBA songs.

Tickets cost $22 for members and $27 for guests.

Details: 8868 7777.

■ Parramatta Leagues Club

Celebrate the new year at the NYE Party at the Firehouse in Parramatta Leagues Club.

Free entry and live entertainment on the night.

Details: 8833 0702.

■ Smithfield RSL

The band the Rhythm Cats will bring in the new year with their catchy beats.

They will perform from 8.30pm for a free show.

Details: 9604 4411.

■ Blacktown Workers Club

See in 2013 with Jade Hurley performing the classics from Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jim Reeves and Johnny Cash and more.

Tickets cost $45 for members and $50 for visitors.

Details: 9830 0600.

New Years celebrations planned for Parramatta CBD

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New Karnup station plan unveiled

A TRAIN station will be built at Paganoni Road in Karnup if the Labor Party wins the State election next year.
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As part of Labor’s recently announced Metronet rail service, the proposed Karnup station will service the northern suburbs of Mandurah including Lakelands and Madora Bay.

The station is designed to lure traffic from the over-crowded Mandurah station from suburbs such as Singleton, Golden Bay and Secret Harbour.

With Paganoni Road already an established road connecting the northern Mandurah suburbs to the Kwinana Freeway, the move is the right one according to Member for Warnbro Paul Papalia.

“For us the State must move forward,” he said.

Opposition Transport Minister Ken Travers said the Metronet announcement highlighted Labor’s commitment to public transport and the Peel region.

“With the amount of people using public transport, trains are the backbone of the network; not light rail,” he said.

“Corridors with increased activity will be serviced by the train system.”

With developments across Singleton, Golden Bay and Secret Harbour, plus extra housing areas in Madora Bay and Lakelands, the northern corridor of Mandurah is only expected to increase in size; which Mr Papalia said was why this station was essential.

Mr Travers said the network would not be an overnight job and expected the project would take two terms of government to really make progress.

Mandurah MLA David Templeman welcomed the rail plan as a “huge boost” to the region.

“We finally get a new station north of Mandurah which will take the parking pressure off our only station at the Mandurah terminus,” he said.

Mr Templeman also praised the proposed extension of the Armadale line through to Pinjarra.

“The proposal to extend the rail line through to Pinjarra in the Murray Shire is outstanding,” he said.

Mr Travers said given Mandurah and the southern suburbs of Perth were major growth areas the Kwinana Freeway could only be expanded so far to cater for the growing demand.

Mr Travers said recent figures showed by 2026, 2.3million people will call WA home, up from 1.7million now.

Plans had been originally drawn up in May 2009 to build a station at Karnup to keep up with the population demand but nothing eventuated from there.

Minister for Transport Troy Buswell was contacted for comment.

Member for Warnbro Paul Papalia and Opposition Transport Minister Ken Travers at the proposed Karnup train station site.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

First fatality of holiday driving season

POLICE are investigating the circumstances of the crash that killed an 82-year-old woman at Brandy Hill, near Seaham, yesterday.
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Emergency services were called to Clarence Town Road about 1.30pm following reports a car had struck a power pole.

The woman died at the scene, making her the state’s first holiday fatality this Christmas.

A report will be prepared for the coroner and anyone with information is urged to contact Raymond Terrace police on 1800333000.

The tragic accident marks the beginning of the busy period on the Hunter’s roads, with traffic expected to ramp up with last-minute shoppers and travellers in the coming days.

Bottlenecks at Kempsey and Macksville flared early yesterday, with police patrols beginning in earnest as part of Operation Safe Arrival.

Double demerit points will be enforced for speeding, restraint and helmet offences until January 2.

Among the first charged in the lead-up to Christmas was a Tighes Hill woman, 40, who police allege blew six times the legal limit in a breath test.

Police said the woman was stopped on Sunnyside Street at Mayfield about 7pm Thursday where she returned a positive breath test.

She was arrested and taken to Waratah police station, where a breath analysis recorded a 0.303 reading.

The woman’s licence was cancelled and she will face court on high-range drink-driving charges in January.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Inspector Phil Brooks said the woman’s alleged actions put every road user at risk.

“This woman allegedly told the officer she’d consumed two bottles of red wine and three schooners of beer during celebrations for a friend’s birthday,” Inspector Brooks said.

“To get behind the wheel after drinking any alcohol – let alone the large amount of wine and beer this woman had allegedly consumed – is extremely dangerous.’’

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC: Drivers are urged to allow plenty of time to get to their destination, and to drive with care. Picture JONATHAN CARROLL

HOME: Good vibes in Eleebana

Tucked deep into Eleebana’s horsey haven is a delightful little slice of Australia, where a creek forms a natural boundary and a rooster crows out the back.
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A huge old coral tree spreads its shady limbs around the eastern side of a verandah that stretches from the front to the back of Jeff and Jan Marshall’s house.

To step inside the front door instantly evokes feelings of warmth.

And the owners know it.

‘‘If people keep their houses nice generally, if they care about their yard, then they care about themselves and if they’ve got horses, well they are very special!’’ says Jeff.

A former milko and a compositor for the Newcastle Herald, Jeff dabbled in training and breeding racehorses for a while, among other equine pursuits.

Nowadays the septuagenarian is still very active – kicking up dust daily out the back astride a pure bred Connemara mare, who is ‘‘coming along nicely’’.

Another passion is his chooks.

‘‘We’ve had chooks and a dog ever since we’ve been married,’’ Jan Marshall says.

The beautiful gardens that surround the house are her domain.

The centrepiece is that coral tree with its huge girth and long green beans that prove irresistible to the lorikeets.

The verandah it protects is one of the few things the Marshalls have added to the Federation-era house in their 44 years of ownership.

Like many homes of its time, regrettably its original history has been lost.

What is known about the house is that it started life in New Lambton and that it may have been built for a cordial manufacturer.

The signature sunrise emblem on the front dates its construction at around or just after Federation.

Jeff and Jan are unsure why, but at some point in its past previous owners decided to saw the old house in half and move it to Eleebana.

Their home has seen children come, grow and go over the years it has been in their ownership.

As well as the verandah, a family room has been added onto the back, an old kitchen was replaced, but the majority of the house is essentially the same as it was.

It’s a lucky thing because the original features of the house are outstanding and of a type rarely seen in such good condition.

The rich hues of beautiful timbers adorn walls, doors and windows, and are preserved beneath Estapol, rather than painted over.

Stunning leadlight windows on the western side of the house capture gorgeous afternoon sunset rays through the trees and send them into the lounge and dining rooms.

Aesthetically, this is a very inviting house.

That was one of the reasons why the Marshalls bought it in the first place.

‘‘There are none of those fancy things you get like the modern new houses, but it feels warm and it is,’’ Jeff says.

They paid just $12,000 for the place all those years ago – which at the time Jeff felt was a bit too much.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

‘‘There are a lot of good memories here and there are not many people who have come here and not said ‘What a nice place’.

‘‘I just wish we knew more about it.’’

Do you know any history about this house?

Do you know a house we could feature?

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Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop