The first Allora State School Speech Night held at the Allora RSL Hall in 1964. The school will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Speech Night next Tuesday evening.
The first Allora State School Speech Night held at the Allora RSL Hall in 1964. The school will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Speech Night next Tuesday evening.

50th speech night at Allora

NEXT Tuesday evening the Allora State School will host its 50th anniversary annual speech night in the school's Performing Arts Hall, celebrating the highlights of the school's academic, community and sporting prowess in 2013.

The program for the evening is sprinkled generously with links to speech nights from the previous half- century, presentations to this year's achievers being made by past students from those former speech nights. The sporting awards will be presented by Jan Gilmore (Petersen) and Carol Ryan (Geaney), who were among the first Year 10 class to graduate from the school in 1966, Jan sharing Sportsperson of the Year honours with Brian Byrne in 1964, and Carol sharing the same award with Terry Doyle in 1965.

Academic awards will be presented by former duxes James Dougall (1968) and Kaye Mullins (Withnall) (1969).

Interesting to note that James, who went on to join the RAAF, study at Queensland University and work in the electrical engineering field, was the designer of 'stump cam' so necessary in modern-day cricket.

A highlight of the evening will be the unveiling of two honour boards, listing the Allora State School Dux and also the Sportsperson of the Year, both boards starting in 1964. The polished timber boards chronicling a significant niche in school history, researched by the school's Head of Curriculum, Mrs Robyn Westerman, as part of the 50th Speech Night celebrations.

Wayne Lawson was the first Dux of the Allora State School in Year 8 in 1964, and achieved the award again in 1965 and 1966 in Year 9 and 10, while Brian Byrne and Janice Petersen were the Sportspersons of the Year in 1964.

Forty-nine students have been honoured in being named Allora State School Dux since 1964, while Sportsperson of the Year honours have been spread between 65 students, the award having a boy and girl winner from 1964 to 1991, but for 1970 to 1976, when specific records nominating overall winners cannot be located.

Rugby Union international Greg Holmes won the sporting excellence award in 1998, before embarking on a career that resulted in over 100 games for the Queensland 'Reds' and 13 Test matches for Australia.

Allora State School's annual speech night, celebrating and acknowledging the achievements of students from Grade 6 - 10, and 50 years of Speech Night tradition, will start at 7.30pm in the School's Performing Arts Hall, Tuesday, November 19.

Volunteers versed in emergency response

The concerns raised by so many in the Allora community in the wake of the flood incidents of 2010, 2011 and earlier this year were all brought to the fore on Monday evening at the Allora RSL Hall when 21 community members from the Allora district, Clifton and Warwick gathered for a program of Disaster/Emergency Response Volunteer Training conducted by Bette Bonney, the Volunteer Project Co-ordinator with Southern Downs Regional Council.

Mrs Bonney considered the evening a great success, and felt "there is lots of potential" for a response plan for Allora to be mapped out to assist when confronted with future emergencies.

The program highlighted the skills and confidence required to respond effectively to a natural disaster or other emergency scenes, as well as safety and working as an individual or a team member.

Other subjects covered

included Responsibilities of a Volunteer, the SDRC Volunteer Policy and Code of Conduct, Essential Communication Skills, Working Effectively with Others, Basic support skills, Basic Risk Management and Self Care.

One significant outcome for the evening was the awareness of a need for an organised initial response in Allora when faced with an emergency event, particularly in a flood situation when the town became isolated and inaccessible to vital emergency services available from Warwick and other centres. Allora's local police and fire service may well be involved in rescue and other emergency activities during a flood event as was the case in recent years, so there is definitely room for a community-organised response to deal with the many other aspects of a flood or other emergency.

Allora's response to a future emergency event, in co-operation with all emergency organisations, is vital for the safety of all in the area. The summer storm season upon us now highlighting the importance of community awareness.

Skilled community members are a vital and significant component of emergency management and community recovery in times of disaster or when general support is required through unexpected circumstances.

Happy Hippies home

Allora's Happy Hippies, Bev O'Halloran, Debbie Meddleton and Kaye Wilson, have arrived back in the 'Best Little Town on the Downs' after successfully confronting the challenges of the inaugural NSW Great Endeavour Rally. Not only have they arrived home safely after travelling over 5200km, but triumphantly with four significant awards in recognition of their efforts.

After departing the Mt Druitt Endeavour Business Service Centre on October 19, the psychedelic trio in the HQ sedan headed to the far-flung Outback and passing through Coolabar, Hungerford, Tibooburra, Packsaddle, Cameron's Corner, Tilpa, Condobolin and back to Bathurst.

Their impressive swag of silverware was won for 'Best Presented Car', 'First place in Class A', 'First place in the Cruise section' and 'Fifth Highest Fundraisers'.

Six Endeavour clients accompanied the 30 rally cars in the Super Hero bus and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

"The Rally had to contend with bushfires, extreme heat, icy mornings and lots of dust, but it was all part of the fun" according to seasoned rally pilot Bev O'Halloran, "It is not about winning a trophy but raising money for people with a disability".

The Happy Hippies would like to thank The Railway Hotel, Allora Pharmacy, Allora Newsagency, Shaun Henry Plumbing, Wattles Junior Rugby League Club, The Blue Cow Hotel, DIY Motor Homes, Goomburra Forest Retreat and Glenmar Fuels for their sponsorship and everyone who supported their fundraising.

Dalrymple seat up for grabs

Last Saturday saw a feast of sporting ability take to the greens and fairways of the Allora Sports Club, for the annual "Allora True Value Hardware/Allora News Dalrymple Seat Golf-Bowls Day". The event has been a great success since its inception in 2009, the result of social visionary's Beetle Wakeford and Dave Dwan using some 'good time' nous to add to Allora's events calendar.

Beetle and Dave again put together a sensational array of prizes to be won on the day which supports the Allora Sports Club, generous sponsors including Allora Hardware, Allora News, Elgas, Dulux Paints, Mobil, Electroserv Trading, Luxury Paints, Macsim Fasteners, Philmac, and Mocare.

The novel trophy, the "Dalrymple Seat" is one of the more eye-catching in the "sporting corridors" of Allora, a shining stainless steel, unused toilet pan with a polished and varnished timber lid adorned with names of previous event champions. The May family of Allison, Adam and Lindsay upheld their family's sporting name in Allora, hoisting the Dalrymple Seat as proud, but deserving victors.

The accolades for last place went to intrepid trio Sue Wakeford, Mel Rubie and Sharon-Lee Burrows.

Eighteen teams took part in the event, "it was a great roll-up" said Beetle, "we are more than happy with the day, special thanks to all who assisted, looking forward to 2014".

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