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What the Wheatbelt had in store for us.

A trip in the South Eastern and Eastern Wheatbelt this time was a trip down Memory Lane. Beautiful spring weather and the countryside looked magnificent. Crops coming into ear, hay cut ready for baling, canola now developing seed with the spectacular yellow paddocks now green. Comparing to our trip north in May it was hard to believe everything looked so grim just those few months ago.

Bernadette was again my travelling companion. She was closer to her roots as she grew up in the Eastern wheatbelt town of Trayning. We travelled as far as Dowerin which was only 80 kms away, so she was in familiar territory.




Our trip coincided with the 49th Anniversary of the Meckering Earthquake. We spoke to the proprietors of HCT HCT Rural Agencies and Meckering General Store and they told us that plans were underway for the 50th Anniversary of the Earthquake which was on 14th October,1968.

This photo is of the remains of the house that Ron’s family lived in until we were married in February 1956. It was our family home until January 1967 when we moved to our own property (still in the making) west of Badgingarra. The house was condemned after the earthquake, declared to be dangerous to live in. Barry had the house demolished and left these remaining structures.  The lounge room fireplace chimney and the No 2 Metter’s stove which was the centrepiece of the large country kitchen.

The request to hold books to be sold on consignment at the various outlets were received with a positive response at most places. The Community Recourse Centres provide an amazing service for the local communities. They are not all the same. Each centre provides what are the needs of the locals  Some of the CRC’s had petitions to be signed by concerned users, as the WA Labor Government is threatening to reduce funding for these facilities. I was asked to attend an Art and Craft event in Cunderdin where I was given a stall to promote ‘A Piece of Good Land.’  That exercise was not so successful, but I was given the opportunity to display the book. Mostly local farmers ‘wives were displaying their talents and wares including patchwork, handmade cards, propagated succulents, Olive oil, Children’s Growth Charts made of wood and Face Painting. A sausage sizzle was provided by the local Lions Club. The staff from the Cunderdin CRC made all the arrangements and set up the hall…and cleaned up.

An impressive list of services provided by the Cunderdin CRC facility was displayed in the hall. Some of their services include Agent for the Department of Transport; Transport Ticketing Agent; Government Information Desk; Centrelink Access Point; Local Newsletter; Broadband for Seniors; Public Library; Internet Access; Printing—B & W and Colour and Desktop Publishing; Workshop & Education Courses; Westlink Broadcasts; Function Room Hire; Equipment Hire and Photo Lab.



We left Cunderdin just after noon on Saturday to travel home. As we approached Meckering this structure (new to me) welcomed us. Most towns have a Welcome structure placed at the approach of their towns. The hand-held plough, a couple of sheep and a section of the Kalgoorlie pipeline that had been damaged by the earthquake all those years ago, were fitting symbols to depict the town and district.  I must admit I can’t work out what the centre of the structure represents.  If you know, do let me know too.

All in all, it was a very pleasant four-day drive through the country. Books have been placed at many outlets to be sold ‘On Consignment,’ and tentative arrangements have been discussed for me to re-visit to meet the local people at an Author’s Talk, or Meet the Author morning or afternoon event.

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