Welcome!

G’day and Kia ora to all Kiwis and Aussies
in Manitoba and beyond!

Welcome to the Down Under Club of Winnipeg. We’re a social club based far, far from our original homes and hold regular events for members and guests. We also produce a monthly newsletter about connections in our new community and all things happening down under. Go on, explore our site and consider joining our group. Hooroo, mates!

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Revisiting Our Bushfire Fundraiser

The video is online and the reviews are in. The video by Brian Rougeau of our Winnipeg Fundraiser for the Australian Bushfires is “beautifully done”, “incredibly moving”, “a powerful testament to all the work you did”, and viewers “… can’t stop watching it”.

If you haven’t seen the video yet, be sure to check it out today. And please take a moment to “like” the video and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We only need 100 subscribers to get a dedicated name for our channel, and then we can start adding more videos about the club and other interesting topics.

Stay safe, well and happy, everyone!

Yarn June-July 2020

The Southern Yarn for June and July is ready for you to download, either directly, or through the Yarns page.

Many of our anticipated events will be impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions, but perhaps now more than ever, we value our connections with one another, even if meeting in person is harder to achieve.

Here’s Charlie’s editorial to get your started: 

One thing I enjoy about this “job” (as editor of The Yarn newsletter) is hunting for good news stories to share. So, it is encouraging to find a good number of sites devoted to offering just that. You will find some of them in the following pages.

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And here’s to you, High Tea Bakery!

Another friend of the DUCW has been featured recently in the Winnipeg Free Press – Sunday May 17 edition, pages A10-11.

Many of you have enjoyed the treats and eats at High Tea Bakery on Portage, which is part Australian owned and has hosted many of us for afternoon tea.

You can see more at this link – you will have to locate the issue in Editions on the right margin – but here are a few snippets to tempt your taste buds. BTW, the Bakery is open for take out, if you’ve got a hankering for lamingtons.

When life gives you lemons, make lemon tarts. Or lemon squares. Or lemon cranberry scones.

Belinda Bigold is the owner of High Tea Bakery, a St. James institution well known for its British-style goodies. On March 17, Bigold, who founded the business in 2003 along with her mother Carol Bigold, sat down with her management team to crunch numbers.

Forced to immediately lay off three-quarters of her staff, Bigold told the remaining employees the bakery would honour any orders still on the books for that week. Then she posted a message on Instagram and Facebook reading, “Closed for now, not forever.” Practically overnight, longtime regulars of the bakery began reaching out to Bigold on social media, wondering how they were going to “survive” the days and weeks ahead without their usual fix of imperial cookies, gingersnaps or snickerdoodles.

Reading some of the comments was really humbling. It was so sweet people took the time to write and let us know how much our shop means to them,” says Bigold who, based on demand, began offering curbside pickup two days a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, near the end of March for people who placed orders online ahead of time. “At first I was thinking the last thing people would need during a pandemic is a cookie. As it turned out, lots of people were looking for a bit of normalcy in their lives, and wanted that special treat that makes Saturday still feel like Saturday.

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Here’s to you, Miss Browns!

Photo: Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press

It’s always great to see members of our Australian and New Zealand community featured in the local media, especially right now when we don’t get to connect as often as we might like.

Thanks to President Peter Munn for letting us know about an article by Eva Wasney in the Winnipeg Free Press this week about Jenny and Steve Tyrrell of Miss Browns.

As many of you know, Miss Browns is one of our favourite places for an excellent meal, and members of the DUCW have been there many times for many different reasons. We particularly enjoy going there for brunch and lunch on Australia Day or just because.

Although they are currently closed due to COVID-19, they are clearly not sitting on their laurels, and instead cooking up a storm at home – with two of their best critics, Liv and Billie, to sample each and every one of their creations.

We look forward to supporting Jenny and Steve and all at Miss Browns when the tide turns, and in the meanwhile, enjoy this snippet from the article:

The couple met in a hostel in Bath, England, where Steve was “working for beer and food and accommodation.” They struck up a year-long email relationship and reunited in Vancouver before moving to Australia, Steve’s birth country.

They bonded over a shared passion for food and spent their downtime watching cooking shows about famous chefs, such as Anthony Bourdain and Matty Matheson. Neither is classically trained, but Steve helped Jenny develop her cooking skills by sharing knowledge he developed working in kitchens around Australia, including at the Sydney Opera House.

Their love affair with sandwiches and smoked meats started at Steve’s family-owned vineyard, where they would cater lunches for club members and weekend visitors.

While the couple’s return to Winnipeg — where Jenny was born — was prompted by the sudden death of a family member, the move created an opportunity to fulfill a longtime dream and open their own lunch spot.

As lovely as Australia is, it’s very competitive,” Jenny said. “We really quickly realized that if we were going to open a place, we needed the support.”

Support of family and customers has allowed them to expand their vision to include a catering operation and a second location in the Hargrave St. Market, which opened last December.

The coronavirus pandemic ground the business to a halt in March, but the unexpected pause has created more opportunity for home cooking and quality time with their young daughters and two dogs.