Getting to know…

Almost every month, we profile another club member in this section. Most of the interviews have been done by veteran member, Gordon Keatch. If you are new to our club, you might get a call from Gordon for an interview. If you have a suggestion of someone who might be due for an update, please let us know. Click on the headlines to read the entire interview.


  • April 10, 2019Yarn April – May 2019
    The spring edition of The Southern Yarn is now available for download, and for those favouring the fine B&W on yellow paper version, it will be in the post en route to your mailbox soon. As usual, you can catch up on back issues by visiting the Southern Yarn section of this website.
  • February 13, 2019Yarn February – March 2019
    The Southern Yarn’s February – March 2019 issue is ready for your reading enjoyment again. Here’s the editorial to get you started: Thanks to Jenny Gates for typing up the Getting to Know feature for this issue – about “Two-Up” (p.6). Now, I think there needs to be some explanation for readers who have never attended one of our events here in Winnipeg. We play Two-Up at many of our gatherings – it is easy and fun for all ages, and results in a winner in just a few tosses. So, here’s the explanation: the way we “place our bets” is to ...
  • December 12, 2018Yarn December 2018 – January 2019
    The end of the year is upon us, and the final Yarn of 2018 is upon us.  Here is the message from the Editor: The month of November heralded several momentous events: the Melbourne Cup, the US mid-term elections and the DUCW’s Annual Meeting, to name a few. More seriously, of course, it was the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Here in Canada, “Remembrance Day” is commemorated more like ANZAC Day is downunder – the 11th of November is a public holiday, there are dawn services as well as larger gatherings at 11:00 around cenotaphs in most towns, Veterans, active service personnel ...
  • June 8, 2018Yarn June 2018
    The June issue of the Yarn is available for download. You can download it here, or from the Yarn archives page. And let’s start adding in the editorial on these announcement posts… Apologies for not getting a Yarn together for May, but I was away for half the month, downunder. The primary reason was a reunion of the class of ’69 who attended Queensland Agricultural College – it was certainly great to meet “old” mates again. Of course, with every trip back “home” there are always many reunions – other friends, family and, naturally for me, the birds. I managed to photograph ...
  • February 11, 2018Burrumbuttock Hay Run
    This post was originally published in the February 2018 issue of the monthly newsletter of The Down Under Club of Winnipeg, The Southern Yarn – http://downunderclub.mb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Yarn2018_02-Feb.pdf On January 26, 2018, the 13th Burrumbuttock Hay Run headed west to provide essential resources to drought-stricken farmers across regional New South Wales and Queensland. What exactly is the hay run and how did it get started? The Burrumbuttock Hay Run (BHR) was founded by Brendan Farrell in 2014. When he heard about a farmer in Bourke, NSW, struggling in the drought, Brendan offered to take him a truck load of hay to help him out. There ...
  • September 13, 2017Yarn for September 2017
    The September issue of the Southern Yarn is available for you to download now! Get the details on the most recent and the upcoming activities, including our formal dinner, for which you need to make a menu selection as part of your RRSP. Get on it, mates!
  • June 14, 2017The Southern Yarn – June 2017
     Yarn2017_06-June Sorry for the late posting of this month’s newsletter, mates! Inside is lots of read, and don’t forget the seventh page, exclusive to our colour online version! Don’t you feel special now?
  • April 9, 2017Yarn April 2017
    The April 2017 issue of The Southern Yarn is here for your reading. We mark the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, along with the 150th year of Canada. Lots of news items for everyone. Note: Some important location changes for the passports appointments and the alumni event. Read the bottom of page one.
  • February 13, 2017Yarn February 2017
    Time to read the Yarn again! Check it out online for the colour, the links at the end of many articles, and the extra page of content.  
  • January 17, 2017Jan 2017 Yarn
    Another year is upon us, and the Yarn keeps on delivering! Volunteer driven efforts sometimes result in delays, but we come through buysoma.net eventually. Download it now here, or go to the Yarns page and find the current and back issues of The Yarn.
  • December 12, 2016December Yarn
    The December Yarn was done on time, but posted here a title late. Sorry folks! Catch up on all the news! Yarn page is here. All the best for Christmas and a terrific conclusion to 2016.
  • May 1, 2016Happy birthday, Mr Keatch!
    On behalf of everyone in the Down Under Club, happy birthday to our mate, Gordon Keatch, who is celebrating 92 years young. For he’s a jolly good fellow, and so say all of us! x
  • March 10, 2016Yarn March 2016
    The March 2016 issue of The Yarn will be in the post soon, but you can download it here, in glorious colour! Remember, too, that the digital edition often has little web links at the end of some stories, where you can go and read more details. Enjoy!
  • October 6, 2015Yarn October 2015
    The October, 2015 issue of The Southern Yarn is ready for you to view and download. Print it out if you like, even in colour on your own printer! We’ve got details on the annual Formal Dinner and lot more to read. And if you have not renewed your DUCW membership, this is a great month to get that task done. Pay online or, even better, at the Formal Dinner.
  • November 10, 2014Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
    We’ve had many ‘Getting to Know’ interviews with our club members, so we are also featuring some brief biographies of notable Australians and New Zealanders from history. – Ed. Raised in Lincolnshire, where men usually turned to agriculture for a livelihood, Matthew Flinders showed originality by choosing the sea. Flinders was born on 16 March 1774 at Donington, Lincolnshire. From a family of doctors, Flinders was expected to take up the same profession, but inspired by reports of Cook’s discoveries, and the reading of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, he decided to go to sea. Flinders began his naval career at the age of ...
  • September 12, 2014Getting to Know: Gordon Keatch
    Gordon Keatch One of our favourite people, Gordon Keatch, has retired as our intrepid “getting to know” columnist. In his letter of retirement, Gord wrote that his monthly column in The Southern Yarn about getting to know members was “a most rewarding and interesting experience”. We are looking for someone to take over the column, but first we thought we’d let you all “get to know” Gord a little better. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Gordon “Kangaroo” Keatch came to Canada in December 1943 when he began military training as a wireless/air gunner under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). More about this ...
  • July 18, 2014Thank you, Mr Keatch
    One of our favourite people, Gordon Keatch, has decided to put down his pen as our intrepid “getting to know” columnist. And since he did so in a most official and gentlemanly way, we decided to share his letter of “resignation” for everyone to see (click below). Thanks, Gordon, for telling the stories of 150 or more members over the years and helping us really get to know each other. Cheers, mate! Gordon’s letter 2014 PS If anyone is interested in taking up the pen and keeping the column going, we’d love to hear from you.
  • March 12, 2014Dennis and Janet Woodford
    Getting to Know: Dennis and Janet Woodford I have said it before, but it bears repeating, that I am often struck by the careers of many of our members who have come from rather humble beginnings. Dennis Woodford is no exception. He was born in Melbourne, Australia. His father, a WWII veteran, worked for the Wool Commission and qualified for a soldier’s settlement at Bobinawarrah East, a speck on the map southeast of Wangaratta in the Great Dividing Range area. This was Ned Kelly country and several of his artifacts have been found there at Bobinawarrah, not far from Glenrowan, Kelly’s last stand. Dennis ...
  • March 12, 2014Matt Sutton
    Getting to Know: Matt Sutton Matthew was born in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla – famous for its beaches – and took all his schooling there. He started in on-air radio broadcasting and moved around a lot, working in Goulburn, Dubbo, the Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast, and 3 ½ years in Brisbane at B105 FM. About three years ago, he backpacked by car across Canada and became infatuated with the country. In London, Ontario, he worked in a bar for six months. Back in Oz, Matt received a job offer from Winnipeg. He accepted and has been here almost a year. You ...
  • March 12, 2014Geoff and Marian Ashworth
    Getting to Know: Geoff and Marian Ashworth As reported in last month’s issue of the Yarn, our Australia Day and Waitangi Day celebration was well attended by more than 40 members and friends. Geoff and Marian were among them, and signed up as new members of the Club. Geoff was born in Perth, WA, and the family farmed at York, just east of Perth. He went to school there from primary to junior high. They then moved to Bunbury, south of Perth, to complete high school. He joined the Main Roads Department (Perth) as a cadet draftsman and was with them for 25 ...

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