Monthly Archives: November 2018

Remembrance Day in the Hunter: photos

IN MEMORIAM: Wreaths laid during the commemoration of Remembrance Day at Newcastle City Hall. Picture by Simone De Peak Scenes from the Remembrance Day service in Newcastle. Picture by Simone De Peak
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PAYING RESPECTS: Ron Smith of Hexham salutes at the commemoration of Remembrance Day at Newcastle City Hall. Picture by Simone De Peak

PROUD RECORD: A former serviceman wears his medals at Newcastle City Hall, where 150 people attended the ceremony. Picture by Simone De Peak

STANDING TALL: Geoffrey Baigent and Joyce Foster pay homage to the fallen at the Civic Park War Memorial. Picture by Simone De Peak

NEVER FORGET: WRANS members Elaine Wallace, a radar operator in the ’60s and Rhonda Boag, a navy medic in the ’70s. Picture by Simone De Peak

Scenes from the Remembrance Day service in Newcastle. Picture by Simone De Peak

Scenes from the Remembrance Day service in Newcastle. Picture by Simone De Peak

THE Hunter stood silent for one minute at Remembrance Day ceremonies across the region yesterday, when thousands reflected on the brave sacrifice of those who lost their lives or were wounded fighting for their country.

The rain proved no deterrent for attendees with many ceremonies moved indoors, including the City of Newcastle RSL Sub-Branch ceremony planned for Civic Park relocated to City Hall.

A crowd of about 150 inside the venue sang and prayed before observing 60 seconds of silence at 11am – the time when the Allies and Germany signed the Armistice to officially end World War I on Monday, November 11, 1918.

Remembrance Day was originally known as Armistice Day, but was renamed after World War II to commemorate those who had died or suffered in all wars, armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

City of Newcastle RSL Sub-Branch President Ken Fayes was the third generation in his family to serve, following in the footsteps of his grandfathers – who served in World War I on the HMAS Melbourne and in the Light Horse Brigade in Palestine – and his parents who served in the RAAF and WAAF in World War II.

He said yesterday he was thinking of the mates he served alongside in Vietnam, where he was deployed with the army in January 1970.

‘‘I still see their faces every day,’’ he said.

‘‘But no-one remembers the bad things, we celebrate the friendships that have formed through thick and thin and have a laugh.

‘‘There’s virtually nobody out there who hasn’t had someone in their family make a sacrifice of some sort in the name of freedom.

‘‘We wouldn’t be who we are without them, regardless of where it [the conflict] was or when it was.’’

Hunter President of the WRANS Naval Women’s Association Rhonda Boag remembered her father Noel Barden, who served with the army in Papua New Guinea during World War II and later inspired his daughter to join the navy as a medic at 18.

‘‘He never spoke about any of the fighting, only the mischief the young servicemen got up to – everything else was too horrific.’’

Former WRANS radar operator Elaine Wallace paid homage to her father Tom Colquhoun, who was in the Air Force and maintained Catalinas at Rathmines, and his brothers George and Jack who served with the army in the Pacific Islands.

‘‘We must never forget, we need to carry this through to the next generation,’’ she said.

‘‘History governs the future and if you forget history, you end up in the same position again.’’

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Cruise director

Comfortable: A verandah suite on the Seabourn Odyssey. Relax: The spa pool.
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Degustation menu: Restaurant 2 on the Seabourn Odyssey. Photo: Michel Verdure

Were you among the thousands of passengers on board Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel for the Melbourne Cup cruise last week?

If you missed the boat this year, you can book now for the 2014 event on the same ships.

Carnival Spirit is also doing a Melbourne Cup cruise next year and there are some exciting big event cruises coming up, at home and overseas.

First up is the 2014 Australian Open Tennis, which runs from January 13 to 26. P&O Cruises is offering a four-night cruise to Melbourne on Pacific Pearl, a round-trip from Sydney departing January 20. Your fare includes transfers and general admission into the grounds, and for $100 you can get ticket upgrades to Rod Laver Arena.

If you’re a tennis fan who happens to be cruising on Silver Shadow from Melbourne to Bali on January 19, you can take advantage of the line’s three-night pre-cruise package to the Australian Open. It includes reserved seating in the Rod Laver Arena, and access to all outdoor courts, the Melbourne Park precinct for night sessions and exclusive bars.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s biggest parties. It attracts some 2 million spectators to its wild parades and legendary balls and takes place between February 28 and March 4.

It’s not too late to book a cruise on Holland America Line’s Maasdam, which will be in Rio for three days on its 26-day Amazon and Carnaval Explorer itinerary. MSC Orchestra will dock in Rio on March 1 after a three-night cruise that leaves the city on February 26.

Formula one fans also have a choice of ships that will be on the spot for the 72nd Monaco Formula One Grand Prix.

If you’re cruising on Silver Spirit, you could take a land package that includes Tribune K seating, right in the thick of the action, on Sunday, May 25.

Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey will rendezvous at the port on race day; Quest will be on a four-day round-trip from Nice; and Journey is offering an eight-day Grand Prix cruise from Rome

to Barcelona.

Star Clippers’ tall ship Star Flyer will be in town for the trials on May 22 as part of its seven-night round trip from Cannes – an interesting combination of traditional sailing and the world’s most thrilling race for petrolheads!

[email protected]南京夜网.au.

SEABOURN ODYSSEYShipshape: Seabourn Odyssey

LAUNCHED 2009. Seabourn Odyssey, pictured, is almost identical to sister ships Sojourn (2011) and Quest (2011). A fourth ship in the series is due to launch in 2016.

PASSENGERS & CREW 450 passengers (double occupancy); crew 330.

ACCOMMODATION Out of 225 suites, 90 per cent have verandahs. The Wintergarden Suites are the biggest and have their own private solariums; suites range from 30 to 120 square metres.

REGULAR HAUNTS Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe.

PERFECT FOR Sophisticated couples and singles, 40-plus.

DINING Four dining venues: The Restaurant (fine dining in a super-cool contemporary space); Restaurant 2 (degustation menus for 50 guests); The Colonnade (indoor-outdoor buffet and bistro); and the poolside Patio Grill. All drinks are included in the dining rooms and bars throughout the ship.

PARTYING The Club on Deck 5 is the spot for dancing the night away; for a quieter ambience, there’s piano music in the Observation Bar. The Grand Salon hosts a variety of shows.

DOING Odyssey has a smallish water sports marina stocked with kayaks and other water toys used when the ship is at anchor in hot climates. There is a large, two-deck spa that has six treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms, a fitness studio with a Kinesis Wall, and a gym.

DID YOU KNOW? Frequent Seabourn cruisers earn Seabourn Club Benefits – including a free cruise after ten 14-day cruises.

THE DETAILS Fares from $5499 per person for Seabourn Odyssey’s Auckland to Sydney voyage, January 10, 2014. Calls include Tauranga, Wellington, Picton, Akaroa and Oban; cruising Fiordland; stops at Melbourne, Geelong and Burnie. Phone 13 24 02, see seabourn南京夜网.Deals

OFFER OF THE WEEK

When you’re looking for value for money it’s hard to beat this 22-night fly/cruise/stay package from Sydney to Hong Kong for $2439. P&O World Cruises’ Aurora departs on February 16, 2014, and the package includes a 20-night cruise, two nights at the Marco Polo hotel in Hong Kong and return airfares to Sydney. Phone 1300 369 848, see ecruising.travel.

OTHER DEALS

UNIWORLD Save $300 per person on 14-day cruises from Vienna to Amsterdam on luxury vessels River Duchess or River Princess, when you book and pay in full by November 29. All-inclusive fares from $7299 for departures between April 28 and November 1, 2014. Phone (02) 9028 5199, see uniworldcruises南京夜网.au.

AURORA EXPEDITIONS The 20-day ‘‘In Shackleton’s Footsteps’’ voyage to Antarctica and South Georgia (round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina) departs March 11, 2014, on Polar Pioneer. Experts will lead tours. Book and pay a deposit by December 31 and save 20 per cent. From $US12,415. 1800 637 688, see auroraexpeditions南京夜网.au.Tip

It’s getting harder to be a smoker on cruise ships, but it is still legal – you just have to abide by the rules, and these vary from ship to ship. If you’re on a ship where smoking is allowed on your balcony (very few of those nowadays, although the new Europa 2 is one of them), show consideration to your neighbours and book a cabin at the aft end of the ship so the smoke blows out to sea and not into the next-door cabin. Most ships have a cigar lounge and designated areas where cigarette smoking is permitted, but be warned, if you break the rules you can expect a hefty fine.

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Shore excursion

Bob Henry and his wife Rhonda with a staff member at the St Kilian Kellerei.WHAT Visiting a historic Bavarian distillery.
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WHERE The town of Miltenberg, via the port of Wertheim in southern Germany.

THE SHIP Bob cruised with his wife, Rhonda, on Scenic Ruby (scenictours南京夜网). They chose the popular 14-night Jewels of Europe river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam.

THE EXPERIENCE

“The St Kilian Kellerei cellars are a real gem in the beautiful Bavarian region of Germany,” says Bob.

“We docked in the quaint, mediaeval town of Wertheim and took a short coach ride to Miltenberg, where the cellars are in the centre of town.

“We had been offered a huge range of shore excursions, from hiking and mountainbiking to a German biscuit-making workshop, but having the Stone Pine Distillery in our hometown of Bathurst gave us an interest in visiting the St Kilian Kellerei.

“We toured the historic vaulted cellars, which can be traced back to 1482, when tunnels up to 100 metres deep were constructed in the red sandstone.

“The temperature in the cellars is below 10 degrees Celsius all year round, so the conditions are optimal for storing alcohol. With the addition of nearby winter ice, further cooling down to zero degrees was possible, in the days before fridges and freezers.

“After our tour and history lesson we went to the tasting room where you can taste up to 20 samples of schnapps and brandies, predominantly made from local fruits, berries and nuts.

“The blueberry schnapps was our favourite, so we purchased a bottle to take home. We were told it was very good with ice-cream, so we were keen to experiment.”

VALUE FOR MONEY

Shore excursions are included on Scenic cruises.

“We have previously travelled with other tour operators where you are constantly reaching into your pocket to pay for extras, including shore excursions, but everything was included with Scenic,” says Bob.

“Having it that way gives you genuine opportunities to select experiences based on your level of interest, rather than price.”

As told to Jane E. Fraser

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The Tripologist

Papers in order: Make sure you have enough time left on your passport before travelling.MY THREE-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER AND I HAVE A DUST MITE ALLERGY SO WHENEVER WE STAY IN A HOTEL WE ARE OVERCOME BY DUST AND OTHER IRRITANTS. MY DAUGHTER ALSO HAS A PEANUT ALLERGY WITH AN ANAPHYLAXIS RISK, WHICH ALSO AFFECTS OUR ABILITY TO GO ON HOLIDAY. ARE THERE HOTELS OR CHAINS IN AUSTRALIA THAT SPECIFICALLY CATER FOR PEOPLE WITH DUST ALLERGIES AND OTHER ALLERGIES?
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A. BARNES, GOONELLABAH, NSW

Accor (accorhotels南京夜网.au) has a number of hotels with dedicated allergy-free rooms. Allmitee Healthy Sleeping (allmitee南京夜网) is a South Australia-based cleaning specialist that can provide you with a list of hypoallergenic guest rooms in Adelaide and surrounds. Check the Healthy Hotels Guide (healthyhotels南京夜网.au) for a list of hotels that might fit your criteria. Ideally, you want a hotel room with no carpet, but with anti-allergy pillows and mattresses, blinds, no soft furnishings, good natural ventilation and where housekeeping staff use only scent-free cleaning products. The Allergy Friendly Hotels website (allergyfriendlyhotels南京夜网) has useful tips. Most hotels are conscientious when serving diners with an anaphylaxis risk. However, peanuts and peanut oil are frequently used in some Asian cuisines. These restaurants may be best avoided.

MY HUSBAND IS IN GOOD HEALTH, BUT HE USES TWO WALKING STICKS TO GET AROUND. I HAVE ASKED IN LOCAL TRAVEL AGENTS AND FIND THEIR ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS ARE NOT REALISTIC, E.G. A RHINE CRUISE WITH WALKING SHORE EXCURSIONS AT A MODERATE TO FAST PACE, OR SOUTH AFRICAN GAME SAFARIS. DO YOU KNOW OF AN AGENT OR A COMPANY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO HELP? HE IS INTERESTED IN EUROPE.

S. PIPER, WAHROONGA

If you and your husband have a hankering to see animals on the tawny plains of Africa, go for it. In my experience, the staff at game lodges will care for your husband as if he is their flesh and blood. If getting your husband on a safari vehicle is the extent of your worries, you really won’t have a problem. Talk to Bench International (benchinternational南京夜网.au) or the Classic Safari Co (classicsafaricompany南京夜网.au). Europe is not so easy. Everywhere requires walking. A cruise that involves scenery, rather than foot slogging, might be a good option. Special Care Travel (specialcaretravel南京夜网.au), Leisure Options (leisureoptions南京夜网.au) and Clubmates Travel (clubmatestravel南京夜网) are just a few of the operators that specialise in disabled travel.

A GROUP OF US WAS HEADING TO BALI FOR A WEEK; ONE OF US HAD SIX MONTHS AND ONE DAY LEFT ON THEIR PASSPORT AND WAS REFUSED A BOARDING PASS. A FRANTIC DASH TO PERTH WAS MADE – BUT THEY MISSED OUT ON THE HOLIDAY AND THEIR AIRFARES. IF A 10-YEAR PASSPORT IS ONLY USABLE FOR NINE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS, IS THAT A BREACH OF THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND THE TRAVELLER? WHY WOULD A PASSPORT VALID FOR SIX MONTHS AND ONE DAY BE REFUSED FOR A SEVEN-DAY TRIP TO BALI?

P. OLDMAN, ARMADALE, WA

It seems to me the check-in staff got it wrong, and your friend should not have been denied boarding. According to the website of the Embassy of Indonesia in Canberra, the requirement for a tourist visa is “Passport still valid at least 6 months from the date of entry”. By the barest of margins, therefore, it appears that your friend’s passport would have qualified.

Regarding your other question, an adult Australian passport is normally valid for 10 years, and the bearer is entitled to leave and return to Australia until the very last day of that 10 years.

What the Indonesian government requires is another matter. But on the basis of the facts as you’ve presented them, the airline check-in staff were clearly wrong. I’d be pressing your case with the airline in question.

As well as asking for a refund of the ticket, your friend should consider the value of the holiday in Bali that he or she was denied, and include that in any claim for compensation.

Get everything in writing, and if you do not get a satisfactory response, contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (accc.gov.au).OVER TO YOU

The question was: “Do you use a search engine such as Hipmunk or Kayak to book flights, or for information only?”

“Skyscanner lists free flight comparisons worldwide, including the cheapest fares,” writes K. Shanahan. “I frequently use Skyscanner to book and pay for short internal/domestic flights in Asia and Europe.”

P. Markson says, “I really like the Momondo search engine because it seems to find cheap flights that are overlooked by others and it shows me exactly which dates within a month offer the cheapest fares. It’s especially good for flights within Europe.”

“Kayak gets my vote,” writes J. Reddy. “I can filter the results by cost, departure time, flight duration and airline among other factors.”

“I’ve just discovered Routehappy and it’s a real gem for finding the best flights,” according to K. Lim. “Not only does it give me fares, flight times etc in a simple readout, I can also get a ranking for factors such as seat pitch, on-board entertainment and flyer ratings.”

Next question: Have you got a clever way of beating the extortionate parking fees at Sydney Airport’s car parks? Send a response, or your travel question, to [email protected] com.au. All published responses will win a Lonely Planet guidebook.

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Famous Flyer

‘Locals give you insider tips – places to eat, hidden gems’: Damien Leith. Photo: Louisa Kirby Luxurious: The pool at the Taj Mahal Hotel.
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WHICH WAS YOUR BEST HOLIDAY?

A birthday celebration in Stockholm, Sweden in 2002. It was winter so the whole place was covered in silky white snow and we stayed in a boat hotel on a lake that had turned to ice so you could walk and ice skate on it. We discovered these great little vodka bars, trendy cafes and restaurants and partied all night on a sleek nightclub boat. It’s so special sitting by an open fire drinking warm glogg (mulled wine) and eating pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies).

AND THE BEST HOTEL YOU’VE STAYED IN?

My wife and I backpacked for months around India in 2003 and one night decided to splurge at the luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai (pictured above). We met an Indian fashion designer and had a very indulgent night drinking cocktails and swimming in the grand pool until the early hours of the morning. I even sang with the jazz band.

WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS TAKE WITH YOU?

A pen and notepad and my guitar. You never know when you’ll get inspired to write a song or have a good jam session.

WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE?

Locals give you the best insider tips, places to eat and off-the-beaten track hidden gems. On a holiday to Italy in 2001 a local told us to go to Caorle, near Venice. No one spoke English, it had a beautiful beach and a gorgeous old town with colourful restaurants, bars and gelaterias. Magic.

AND YOUR WORST EXPERIENCE ON HOLIDAY?

Getting conjunctivitis in India was gross. I’d sit in the restaurants at night with my sunglasses on to cover my weeping, swollen eyes – people must have thought, “Who does he think he is?”

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

South America. I’d love to go to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Peru to visit Machu Picchu and the Incas, and of course Rio for Carnival.

Damien Leith’s new album, Chapter Seven, came out on November 1. He is touring main cities and regional centres, finishing December 14 in Sydney.

Interview by Nina Karnikowski

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