Letters to Editor

Letter to the Editor...

I, like many others have been concerned about our town`s future. We have a great deal to offer to tourists, but also to our own local residents in the form of shopping as well as the variety of activities and entertainment. It seems that local shops are often overlooked prior to going out of town. Many items can be purchased here at comparable prices and most shopkeepers will order goods in where possible. I do shop out of town when necessary, but check local wares first. There  is a great need to support Grenfell and I urge you to do so.  We ARE limited and we Are a small town, but that does not mean that we just ignore what we have and do not encourage the shopkeepers at all.

Take a walk from one end of the Main street to the other (on a good day, of course!) and GO INTO the shops to check their wares, you may be pleasantly surprised, and by making even a small purchase will help to keep our town alive and to GROW GRENFELL.

Joan Bolton OAM

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Dear Sir/Madam,

I am in the process of researching for the regimental history of the 1st NSWMR Contingent that served in the Boer War 1899 - 1901 and as part of that history I intend providing a small biography on every man who served in the 5 squadrons that constituted the 1st Contingent. I will certainly need a great deal of help from descendants and local communities in that regard, and I am hopeful that you might assist me in my appeal to these sources. Whether my appeal should be in the form of a letter to the editor or as an article which I can embellish with a photographer or two, I defer to your good selves. I certainly look forward to your advice in this matter.

Appeal to Descendants of Boer War Soldiers: Researcher Robin Droogleever is keen to contact descendants or interested parties from associations such as history societies, family history groups or genealogical societies, who might be able to provide him with primary source material from lads who fought with one of the five squadrons of the 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles in the Boer War. These were the men who sailed on the steamships Aberdeen and Southern Cross to the was in South Africa in 1899 and 1900. These were the men who fought at Klip Drift, Paardeberg Driefontein, Poplar Grove, Abrahams Kraal, Osfontein and later acted as the van of Lord Roberts Grand Army that marched from Bloemfontein to Pretoria from April to June 1900. They were to fight at Diamond Hill and then chase the Boer General Christiaan De Wet where they had epic engagements at Palmietfontein, Bothaville and Rensburg Drift where they captured on of De Wet’s artillery pieces which can be seen today in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. They served a year but many chose to return to South Africa with successive contingents. Robin also intends to provide a small biography on every man who served in the five squadrons, all 666 of them, so even if there is no memorabilia on South African service, personal information on the lads will be as valuable if a biography is to be provided. Contact Robin Droogleever on email: jerwfd@optusnet.com.au or write to P.O.Box 42, Bulleen, Victoria, 3015. 

Yours sincerely

Rob Droogleever

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To the Editor,

Last year's proposed NSW greyhound racing ban and local government amalgamations are incomparable.

I strongly denounced the ban on greyhound racing because it would have had a devastating and direct impact on the livelihoods of so many in our community. "The dogs" are part of Australian rural culture. As a child in Yass, it surrounded me. Every family seemed to either own a greyhound or be involved in some way with the dogs. Fast forward to 2016 and my immediate impulse was to fight the ban. I knew that without being able to rely on income from racing under the ban, many of the animals would have had to be put down.

The reasons behind the ban would have rendered farmers involved in dairy and sheep breeding in a very difficult position, needing to justify the way they do business. Breeders, pet food manufacturers and distributors, trainers - so many small businesses would have gone out of business overnight. Thank goodness the ban was overturned and steps are being taken to clean up those crooked operators that reflected poorly on everyone.

Meanwhile, local government amalgamations are effectively boundary redistributions. There is nothing pleasant about boundary redistributions; I have been through three of them myself since entering politics. Regardless, I have supported the community by making many representations and personally arranging for former councillors, mayors and other citizens to meet with various ministers on request since the amalgamations were announced. This culminated in a lengthy meeting with the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, and a delegation from Gundagai at State Parliament. The Premier gave us a good hearing. She recently wrote to us, thanking us for putting forward our views, but stating the amalgamation is here to stay.

There will be local government elections in nine short weeks. Those nominating will need to represent all ratepayers across the new region and I congratulate those who have already nominated. I imagine it may become quite competitive as the 9 September election date looms. I will be supporting the newly developed councils of Hilltops and Cootamundra-Gundagai to the best of my ability, fighting for more than our fair share, including urgent infrastructure projects such as the desperately needed sewage treatment plant for Gundagai.

There is a forward path here for new, inclusive and forward-thinking regional councils, cognisant of their place in the broader region and able to create a strong financial position for their ratepayers.

Katrina Hodgkinson

Member for Cootamundra