Author Archives: Jenny Gates

Winnipeg Fundraiser for the Australian Bushfires

The devastating bushfires in Australia are continuing to take an almost unimaginable toll on that country. At least 34 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.

PLEASE NOTE that tickets are only available until end of day on Monday February 18.

  • 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 by Monday February 18) for your choice of either a chicken/baked potato or pasta/pizza dinner with Caesar salad, garlic breadstick, and one complimentary beverage
  • Tickets — to purchase tickets or to make a donation, contact Peter Debenham at 204-955-0393
  • For more information — Peter Munn at 204-237-1805 or Jenny Gates at info@downunderclub.mb.ca

In addition to the Silent Auction, 50/50, door prizes, spot prizes, Aussie music and didgeridoo, 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.

The event will be co-emceed by Beau from 99.9 BOB FM and Jenny from the DUCW.

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

How you can help

Thank you to Jacqueline Cassel-Cramer for the idea and the Australian High Commission in Ottawa for this list of some of the main organisations supporting communities impacted by the fires. If you want to make a donation, please click on the link provided and contact these organisations directly:

Tax-deductable donations can NOW also be made through the Canadian Red Crosshttps://www.redcross.ca/ or 1-800-418-1111 (donor relations office).

As the bushfires continue …

Kookaburra perched on a burnt tree in the aftermath of a bushfire in Wallabi Point, Australia, on November 12, 2019. Photo: ADAM STEVENSON/Reuters.

Local Aussie Phoebie Peters was interviewed by Caitlyn Gowriluk at CBC Manitoba about the bushfires in Australia.

You can read the entire piece at “Houses, memories gone in ‘blink of an eye’: Fires spark worry for Australian expat in Winnipeg“.

Phoebie is an apprentice tattoo artist at Rising Phoenix Body Art on Winnipeg’s Sherbrook Street, and providing one of six designs for $50 a piece — koalas, wombats and kangaroos. Half the proceeds are going to WIRES — NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. — that has been rescuing and caring for native animals for more than 30 years, and is currently working with animals affected by the fires.

Visit Phoebie for a tattoo — “We plan on doing this until Australia is no longer burning” — or make a direct donation to WIRES.

Thanks to CBC Manitoba for doing the article, and to all Canadians who have reached out with their concerns, their donations, and their help.

 

 

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!

“The Aussie Firefighters”

Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

Kudos to DUCW member Charlie Powell for penning and posting this ode to the Aussie firefighters currently battling the blazes in Australia.

Although some rain has fallen – a gift from Mother Nature on Christmas Day, perhaps? – the fires are not out yet, and the firefighters still need your help.

If you would like to donate, The Guardian has provided a list of the best ways to contribute to the firefighting and recovery effort.

Good on ya, Charlie!

The Aussie Firefighters (to the tune: Lili Marlene)

Here’s to the men and women battling ev’ry blaze
Haven’t slept at home in over 40 days
Can’t think of quitting, can’t turn their backs,
Can’t see an end, and can’t relax –
They are the Firefighters down in Australia.

There’s graziers and farmers and the city folk
Can’t tell the difff’rence peering thru this smoke
They-just-want-to-keep the fires at bay,
and so we pray it’ll rain one day –
They are the Firefighters down in Australia.

And Mates have come to join them from way across the pond
Kiwis and Canadians – they’ve struck up quite a bond
They’ll fight together, beat this thing
While embers sting, we all can sing –
They are the Firefighters down in Australia.

Sunsets look so pretty, don’t they through the haze
But not so very pleasant when breathing it for days
Can’t get no respite, this flamin’ thief!
There’s no relief, so says their Chief.
They are the Firefighters down in Australia.

While you enjoy your beaches and frolic in the surf
Or hit that little golfball and chase it ‘cross the turf
At shopping mall or tennis court
Please spare a thought, don’t leave them short.
They are the Firefighters down in Australia.

All across the country, from Brisbane ‘round to Perth
Never seen the likes of it anywhere on Earth!
Climate change or just a phase – quite the big debate
Please just donate* and help your mate!
They are the Firefighters down in Australia.

Charlie – in Winnipeg – December 21, 2019