Category Archives: New Zealand

Winnipeg Fundraiser for the Australian Bushfires

The devastating bushfires in Australia are continuing to take an almost unimaginable toll on that country. At least 27 people have died, livelihoods have been lost, countless native animals and livestock populations have been decimated, and millions of hectares of land have been burned beyond recognition.

To help those in need, the Down Under Club of Winnipeg (DUCW) is organising a large local Bud ‘n Spud Fundraiser with monies raised sent to the Australian Red Cross through the Canadian Red Cross office in Winnipeg.

  • When — Saturday February 22, 2020, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Where — Nashville’s Event Centre at Canad Inns Destination Centre Transcona (826 Regent Ave West)
  • Cost — $20 (tickets purchased in advance) for your choice of either a chicken or pasta/pizza dinner with baked potato, Caesar salad, garlic breadstick, and one complimentary beverage
  • Tickets — to purchase tickets or to make a donation, contact Peter Debenham at 204-955-0393
  • Silent Auction — if you would like to donate a prize for the auction, please contact Charlie Powell at 204-806-6965
  • For more information — Peter Munn at 204-237-1805 or Jenny Gates at info@downunderclub.mb.ca

In addition to the Silent Auction and 50/50 — tickets available on the night — there will be several speeches and presentations from members of the Australian and New Zealand community, as well as local individuals and dignitaries, and we will acknowledge those members of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre who have returned from Australia after helping with the fires.

On behalf of the members of the DUCW and the people of Australia, THANK YOU for joining us in helping those affected by these devastating bushfires, the impact of which will be felt long after the fires are extinguished.

  • Jenny Gates, Media and Communications — 204-228-9959
  • Peter Munn, President — 204-237-1805
  • Peter Debenham, CPA, CA, DUCW Treasurer — 204-955-0393
  • Charlie Powell, Silent Auction Coordinator — 204-806-6965
  • EMAIL — info@downunderclub.mb.ca

Vegemite in Stonewall

Charlie Powell and I are happy to confirm that you can now stock up on Vegemite from the Family Foods store in Stonewall.

Thanks to Glenda for letting us know when the Vegemite was back on the shelves.

Judging by the interest from members in getting their hands on a jar, or two, perhaps make a trip to Stonewall in the next little while. Of course, you can always phone the store first – (204) 467-5553 – to make sure they still have some in stock.

We are always on the lookout for – and often asked about – places that stock Vegemite, but other than Stonewall, there are no other places right now that we know of.

According to London Drugs, “We are sorry to inform you that the Kraft Vegemite has been pulled by CFIA, and we are not allowed to sell it in Canada, due to the ingredients listed in the product.”

This has been an ongoing comment for many years, in both Canada and the US, and when I periodically check with both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), I am told there is no problem bringing Vegemite into either country. Earlier this year, CFIA confirmed by email that the product has not in fact been pulled by them or anyone else.

However, the rumour persists, so, I am going to try again to get a definitive answer and will keep you posted when I get a response.

In the meantime, get yourselves – or get someone on your behalf – to Stonewall and stock up while the jars are on the shelves.

Enjoy!

Yarn Dec 2019 – Jan 2020

The December-January edition of The Southern Yarn bridges the start of a new decade as we enter 2020. We’ve got reports on the not-so-formal dinner, the AGM, the Christmas party, and other club events, Give it a read, and we look forward to seeing you all next year. 

And here are some photos from the Christmas party that we could not fit into the Yarn.

Enjoy the photos.


Continue reading

Thank you, Gordon Keatch

The following words were shared on behalf of all the members of the DUCW at the memorial reception for Gord on Thursday August 8. Twenty four Club members attended the service to say farewell and thank you to our dear friend.

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Ah Gordon, you were the best mate any of us could ever hope for, especially those of us in the Down Under Club of Winnipeg.

We loved your kind and generous heart, your wit and wisdom, and your willingness to step up whenever anything needed to be done. You were our friend, mentor and sage, and despite umpteen years as a Canadian citizen, you were still a fair dinkum Aussie through and through. You loved the AFL, cricket, lamingtons, pavlova, the Australian anthem, and wearing a kangaroo embroidered baseball cap. You still even had your accent, and you loved the Down Under Club.

As co-founder of the Club and president for 49 years, you guided us from humble beginnings getting together in people’s basements over beer, wine and chips, to an active group of Aussies, Kiwis and Canucks meeting regularly at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre over beer, wine and chips. Continue reading

Farewell to our best mate, Gordon Keatch

It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to our dear friend and best mate Gordon Keatch who, at age 95, passed away on June 25, 2019, after a fall at home. Gord was recovering in emergency for a few days and settling into an assisted living facility before he died.

Gord is survived by his sons, Ron (Janice) and Don (Sheila), grandchildren, Allison (Klaas), Erin (Patrick) and Michael (Gemma), and great-grandchildren, Ethan, Liam, Iris, Olivia and Mia. He was predeceased by his infant grandson Graham in 1977 and his wife Anne in 2007.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Gord joined the Australian Air Force at age 18 and came to Winnipeg to train as a wireless operator. He met Anne during that time and they were married in Australia after the war ended. In 1949 they returned to Winnipeg where Gord started his business career.

He became Secretary Treasurer of Kipp Kelly Limited and enjoyed many years with this successful Winnipeg-based manufacturer and distributor, retiring in 1983. During that time, he served two terms as Trustee of the St. James School Division, followed by a term as Councillor for the City of St. James. He was a founder of the Down Under Club in 1950, greatly enjoyed his association, and was the last of the original members.

Gord was an avid golfer and had a long association with Niakwa Country Club, including serving as President. He and Anne enjoyed many winters travelling, particularly to Hawaii. Gordon had a special affinity for the theatre. He was President of MTC and a long-time supporter right up to the time of his passing.

Gordie was a Sinatra fan. As Ol’ Blues Eyes said, “I did it my way.”

In lieu of a funeral service, there will be a memorial reception for Gord on Thursday, August 8, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club, 275 Stradbrook Ave.
Flowers are gratefully declined, but if you would like, a donation to the Manitoba Theatre Centre, 174 Market Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3B 0P8, would be very much appreciated.

Thank you, Gord, for your friendship, your unique sense of humour and wit, your kind and welcoming nature, your commitment to the DUCW, and your generous spirit that bound us all together. We love you and we miss you. Rest easy, mate.