News and Items of Interest
Check out the latest guidelines on CoronaVirus (COVID19) on the ACT Government website. Remain cautious, practise social distancing, keep yourself occupied, have a chat to a mate and look after your mental health and wellbeing.
30 Apr 2020 – COVID Safe contact tracing app is now available – here’s everything you need to know. TechGuide’s advise on this new Federal Government special tracking app.
Cycling and Walking recommenced from the week beginning 11th May. See Cycling and walking tabs on the menu for their respective pages
24 May 2020 – WhatsApp Users Get Surprise Boost from Facebook
Forbes article about Facebook plans on encryption for WhatsApp and Messenger and plans to enhance Messenger as well as satisfy security services using Metadata
12 May 2020 – Pocket Hits Newsletter – Bored with ABC News, BBC News, Adventures of Big Julie, Wacky Tales of Members why not try out Pocket Hits Newsletter. Its not the Pocket of old. You simply go to Pocket Hits Newsletter Signup and enter your email and choose how often you wish to receive the email list of great articles. You can alter the time selection or cancel your subscription any time. Before signing up you can look at recent examples.
10 May 2020 – Phil Laird Family Tree – From Newsletter #524 – Research your family history. Feeling a bit bored by the current isolation rules? Have you ever wanted to keep track of your family tree but were put off by not knowing the details you needed? Well, there was an brief article in the May 2020 APC Magazine detailing how you can started. I tried out what they recommended and found quite a lot of information about my grandfather – information that I had no idea about. The FamilySearch application is provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons have a giant electronic repository of genealogy information that you can access with Family Search. Anyway, why not spend some time exploring your heritage….. here’s the information from the APC article.
Reconnect with your past in this exciting and revealing pursuit that was tailor-made for your PC. There’s something to be said for connecting with your family history. The thrill of rediscovering your ancestors cannot be matched as you piece together their lives through documents, digging out old family photos and even making contact with distant cousins to share and uncover more insights. These days, most of that research can be done online, and if you know where to look you can make major inroads into developing and expanding your tree without spending hundreds of dollars on expensive subscriptions. The place to start is www.familysearch.org – this doesn’t simply provide a giant, shared tree of human existence, but it’s also a repository of information, including documents, photos and useful sources for further research via its wiki (www.familysearch.org/wiki/). You’ll need somewhere to store all this information, and there are plenty of programs out there to lend a helping hand. If you do choose a paid-for subscription site like Ancestry, then it pays to choose a program designed to make it easy to extract information and digitised images of documents directly from the site into your research file. One free program that supports FamilySearch is RootsMagic Essentials, which you can download and install for free from http://www.rootsmagic.com/Essentials/ – it’s a cut-down version of the main program (US$29.95 from http://www.rootsmagic.com/), but all FamilySearch functionality is completely free.
Link to FamilySearch. The program is relatively simple to use and will be familiar to anyone who’s previously dabbled in genealogy – when creating a new document, leave ‘Begin typing my information’ selected before clicking OK. A blank tree will appear – click the button to add a person and enter your own information as the home person. From here you can add additional facts, attach photos and other information. When it comes to linking in information from FamilySearch, select ‘Tools > File Options’. Select FamilySearch, tick ‘Enable FamilySearch support’ and ‘Match person to FamilySearch when hints found’ and enter your login details. Now follow the step-by-step guide to link individuals to FamilySearch and download information from them into your tree in just a few clicks.
3 Apr 2020 – Facebook Melba Shed Group & the new Messenger Rooms
A Facebook Group is just a simple way for Melba Shed Facebook users to tell each other what they are up to with pictures or just words.
There are a huge number of groups in Facebook where people exchange ideas on any number of different subjects such as Australian Backyard vegetables, Aust Alps Walking Track, etc. You don’t need to download any software, just simply go to MelbaShed Facebook Group. Note that Messenger has many of the attributes of WhatsApp including video conferencing, texting, or just audio talking or multi person chatting. It doesn’t need special software only a Facebook Account and Facebook App on phone or PC. In fact you don’t need a Facebook account to download and use the Messenger App.
Messenger Rooms is a new product that allows Facebook, Messenger and non Facebook, including WhatsApp users to establish a place where up to 50 people can participate in video or audio meetings or get togethers. Info on Messenger Rooms and other Facebook Updates
I have been using Facebook’s Messenger to communicate with my wife who was stuck on the Filipino Island of Negros. She went there to visit her 93 year old mum and didn’t catch a plane out quick enough. Due to total lockdown stronger than at home here, she was stranded. Luckily she got her niece in Manila to get her a local SIM and charge it up. Thus I was able to communicate with by text, audio or video from my Computer or Phone to her Phone. She got out on a repatriation flight on 18th April. There were more repat flights on 28th April. She was in a hotel in Brisbane for 2 weeks. She was discharged from the hotel out Sun 3rd May, stayed with a cousin of mine in Brisbane that night and caught a plane back to Canberra on Mon 4th. Now she has come home I am back to not being able to communicate with her. Umh! You’ll eventually get that!
Roger Amos – Villers Bretonneux Remembers Australian Sacrifice (Newsletter #521 24th April 2020)
Strange but Roger wrote in this Newsletter “In the WW I the Germans took Villers Bretonneux on 24 April 1918, but that night and the next day (ANZAC Day) it was recaptured by two brigades of the First Australian Imperial Force at a cost of some 1,200”. On the night of 24th April 1918 Greg’s great Uncle was killed near the Village of Meteren in northern France near Hazebrouck. He was in the 12th Batt 1Div. They had been rushed north to stop the German 6th Army push. He was Fred Craig whose mother was born in East Prussia. So in effect he was fighting his cousins. The Battle of Hazebrouck April 1918
Paul McCarthy – Covid-19 – Bored and frustrated? Some hints (From Newsletter 17 April 2020)
Most of us are probably feeling a bit despondent at the moment at being locked up (metaphorically at least) and not being able to do the things that we usually do, particularly meeting up with our mates and having a chat (perhaps even solving the world’s problems, if only someone would listen to our ideas). To help keep our sanity until things go back to normal (or something approaching normal), we need to do things that give us a break from the mundane ways that we are using to pass the time.
Surf Lifesaving NSW has a program to help members who have been involved in stressful situations and also some tips on getting through the stress of being couped up at home most of the time. Some of the tips could be useful for us to consider, so, with thanks to SLSNSW, here are some suggestions:
Look after yourself – Taking time for yourself is especially important and vital for your wellbeing. Taking a break and doing something that reduces your stress, rejuvenates you and helps you recover your health, allows you to come back stronger and better able to cope. Most stress build-up can be reduced by engaging in pleasure and leisure activities, even though opportunities are somewhat limited at the moment.
Stay active – Maintain routines where possible. It’s important to keep yourself healthy – stay physically active with some daily exercise and eat nutritious food.
If you need help, raise your hand – Reach out to friends and family, as we can manage this much better together.
Explore new opportunities – This can be a great time to look at starting that hobby or project you’ve always wanted to try.
Take breaks from social media – Be mindful of your media consumption and ensure you are accessing good quality and accurate information. Take a break by putting your phone down, turning off the news and giving yourself a break.
Connect with your mates – Join the Shed’s WhatsApp group and/or Facebook group. Some suggestions about things to do:-
Listen to music | Watch a movie (Netflix?) | Keep in touch time with friends (how about a “WhatsApp”
video coffee and chat?) | Practice your hobby (or take up a new one) | Learn a foreign language | Exercise (go for a walk) | Just lie back and relax.
Signal for support – It is extremely important to seek help if you feel you need it. Call a mate and have a chat. If you need extra support, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for professional help.
Recovery – As the lockdowns are eased, it’s important to realise that we won’t be getting back to the way things were any time soon. We need to discover a “new normal”, whatever that may be. An article on this issue will be included in a future issue of the newsletter, once the current lockdowns are scaled back.
Frank O’Rourke – Australian 1890s swimmer Walter Gormly – Frank’s latest sports history project (From Newsletter 17 April 2020)
Frank has submitted a file showing the current status of his latest sports history project – a biography of Wagga-born-and-raised 1890s world-champion swimmer Walter Gormly. Frank was quite excited about the memorabilia material in the possession of Walter Gormly’s grandson – Les Gormly of Lower Tarcutta – which he allowed Frank to photograph, as you will see in the document.
When Frank visited Les for the first time recently, he was astounded when he pulled from a battered old case a real treasure trove: some of Walter’s medals, awarded certificates, swimming carnival programmes, a beautifully engraved tarnished gold pocket watch presented as a prize to Walter, and even some wonderful studio photographs of some of Walter’s main swimming competitors – such as brothers Tom and George Meadham, S. Davis, W. H. Brown, James Tooher, George Farmer, and also brothers Jack and Charlie Hellings.
Walter Gormly was a world-champion swimmer of the 1890s – one of Australia’s earliest pioneer competitive swimmers – an absolute swimming sensation throughout most of that decade. He was a side-stroker with a most peculiar, ungainly, and quite unique kicking action. Walter was taught to swim by ‘black gins’ in the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga in the 1870s – where Frank also learnt to swim.
3 Apr 2020 – Phil Laird – Setting up WhatsApp Group Messaging System (from 2020-04-10 Melba Shed Newsletter #519)
Phil has set up a messaging group using WhatsApp for your mobile phone and/or PC. The desktop app is available for Windows 8+ (64 bit) and Mac OS X 10.10+ and is synced with WhatsApp on your mobile device. WhatsApp will allow us you to keep in touch with the group of people that matter the most, like our families, friends and specially, our Shed Members. With group chats, we can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once.
For new WhatsApp users, WhatsApp uses your phone or PC’s Internet connection to send messages so you can avoid SMS fees. You can phone or video call other users but the desktop versions do not support video calls or voice calls. With voice calls, you can talk to your friends and family for free (other than usual data charges), even if they’re in another country. With video calls, you can have face-to-face conversations. WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone’s Internet connection, instead of your cell plan’s voice minutes, so you don’t have to worry about expensive calling charges. WhatsApp allows you to send or receive PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, photos and videos and more, without the hassle of email or file sharing apps. You can send documents up to 100 MB, so it’s easy to get what you need over to who you want.
For members to join the group, just install WhatsApp (if you don’t have it already) and let Phil know. he will then issue an invitation for you to join the group. Any messages you send whilst using the Melba Shed group will be received by every other member of the group unless you elect to send it privately. You can, of course, also send messages and make voice or video calls etc to any Shed Members, friends etc who you have added to your WhatsApp contact list.
If you want to join the Melba Shed WhatsApp Group please send a fresh email to email@example.com indicating that you have installed WhatsApp and that you are willing to have your name and phone number given to other members in the Shed Group. You will then get an invitation for you to join the group. Questions; then please give Phil a call on 0428 581 935
Click on this sentence to download mobile phone or desktop versions of WhatsApp. Mobile users may also load WhatsApp via Google Play or the iPhone Apps Store if they prefer.
3 Apr 2020 – Message From Roger (from 2020-04-03 Melba Shed Newsletter #518)
G’day all members of the Melba Shed, I hope you are coping well with these unusual times.
I am reading “Mutiny on the Bounty” by Peter Fitzsimons and am horrified at the brutality of the British Navy Officers of 1790’s towards their fellow sailing crew and the indigenous people of the Pacific Islands. The depredations suffered by early sailors make our lives look like luxury in Paradise.
As everyone over the age of 70 has been asked to self-isolate, I feel uncomfortable when walking our male Australian Terrier at 6.30am each morning and our Aussie/Silky Terrier female at 5.00pm each evening. You may ask why I don’t walk them both at the same time. Well it helps to keep the peace as Neddy is a very anxious dog and at any sign of trouble suddenly attacks Elly, his little kennel mate.
I have been exercising by riding my bike every second morning. I cover up to 16 km as I ride down to circumnavigate Lake Ginninderra before returning home. I have been catching up with other like-minded cyclists but have kept a respectable distance while having a chat.
Coralie has also found lots of gardening jobs for me to occupy my time. Although I may complain, there is something therapeutic about digging soil and planting shrubs and garlic. Coralie has started a 1000 piece Jig-Saw and it is easy to forget all the worries of the World to concentrate on colours and shapes to slowly piece the puzzle together.
Our plans to spend Easter at the South Coast have been cancelled and as we cannot dine out, attend social functions or exercise classes, we are saving money that formally helped the economy to tick over. We will all have lots of savings to spend when this ghastly virus is conquered.
I wish you and your family safe and healthy isolation.
I hope you enjoyed reading about how the President is coping with his isolation so why not consider writing a similar sized article that might be of interest to Shed members and that we can include in the next Newsletter. I’m sure other Shed members would appreciate hearing how you are coping.
Please email any contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org with a heading “Newsletter Contribution”.
3 Apr 2020 – Newsletter – Thoughts from Phil (from 2020-04-03 Melba Shed Newsletter #518)
Many of our members are on their own and will be finding it difficult to stay on top of the situation. Why not make a few phone calls to your friends in the Shed just to see how they are getting on and whether they need any assistance. They will value such a call.
We have all been told that we must stay at home and avoid contact with others for our own protection. This especially applies to people over 70 (that’s most of us!) or aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions. This makes it difficult to shop for food, medication etc. My wife and I have just started ordering our groceries through the Woolworth’s home delivery service. We are expecting our first delivery today. All of us will qualify with Woolworths for priority delivery so why not consider this option and avoid going out to shop. You can learn all about it here.
Australia Post has launched a free Pharmacy Home Delivery Service to facilitate delivery of medicines to vulnerable Australians through Australia Post’s Express Post network. If you need medications, talk to your pharmacy and see if they have joined this scheme. It’s a good idea to leave your part-filled prescription forms with your pharmacist so they can dispense your prescriptions without any need for you to visit the pharmacy. There are smartphone applications like MedAdvisor available for Android and iOS users. Click on this sentence to find out about this product and see whether you can use it to order your medications via you phone (or PC).
3 Apr 2020 – Newsletter – Government Information (from 2020-04-03 Melba Shed Newsletter #518)
You are, like me, probably quite tired of all the Coronavirus content on TV. But it does pay to keep up-to-date on what’s happening on isolation changes etc. Want to know more about Coronavirus and what we need to do? There are two options that can help:
The first is the official government site. This detail is also available on the Coronavirus Australia app which Android and iOS users can load onto their phones via the Google Play or Apple App Store.
The second is WhatsApp. Android and iOS users can load WhatsApp onto their phones and are then able to message other WhatsApp users. You will be surprised at the number of Shed members who already use WhatsApp for messaging. You can invite any one you want to contact to join, either as a one-on-one or to join a group. WhatsApp provides great video calling, file transfer and messaging. It also hosts the official government app called Coronavirus Australia.
23 Mar 2020 – Melba Shed Closed Until Further Notice
Hello all Shed Members, I am sure you are aware of the latest announcements made by our Chief Minister and the Prime Minister in relation to School Closures, Sporting Group and Social Gathering cancellations. To comply with these new guidelines our Melba Shed Meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice. I appreciate your support and we will keep in touch through the Newsletter or a News Sheet. Best wishes to you and your families, keep safe and stay healthy.
Roger Amos, President
12 Mar 2020 – Corona Virus Information Supplied by AMSA & Australian Government
12 Mar 2020 – Security Issues with Melba Shed web site – Note it has been advised that a couple of users found issues trying to access Melba Shed. They used Norton’s Security software which advised them that MelbShed.com was a dangerous page. Checking this out it appears that Norton’s shows Melba Shed with:-
Computer Threats: 0; Identity Threats: 0; Annoyance factors: 0 – Total threats on this site: 0 Yet it still rates MelbaShed as dangerous. They have been asked to re-assess as the rating doesn’t make sense.
Google rates Melba Shed’s Safe Browsing site status as a Green tick and “No unsafe content found”
3 Apr 2020 a new rail trail is opening. It runs from Tumbarumba to Rosewood, which is a distance of 21kms. Luke Wensing encouraged cyclists to try it out and have coffee and lunch somewhere in the district, which is another region that has suffered badly from the fires in January. Check it out
7 Mar 2020 – Roger stood down as MC with Luke Wensing opening the meeting (Luke was standing in for the President who was taking it easy at the back of the room). Luke explained that the Committee has decided to rotate the Chair of the Friday meetings to give the President a break and to give Committee members a chance to hone their chairing skills.
7 Feb 2020 – Arthritis Australia commenced exercise classes at the Shed. The starting date had been delayed until Friday 7 February because some of the Arthritis Australia staff involved have been directly affected by the recent bushfires. The cost is $10.00 per session for attendees. Before starting the exercises you need to fill out two forms which can be downloaded here. Exercises continue every Friday. Photos of some of the activities from the 1st session on 7th Feb 2020.
Exercises were suspended after 20 Mar 2020 due to Corona Virus assembly restrictions
Previously 11th Oct 2019 Exercise Classes – Tori finished her stint (3rd May – 11th Oct) with us as leader of the Exercise Group. The last class were held on Friday 11 Oct as Tori Montgomery-Martin from UC started a new job. Tori ran these further exercise classes, similar to the ones provided in March 2016 by Jon Beale. Each session, cost $5. It continued every Friday before the Shed Meeting. The previous Excercises in a pdf file format from June 2016 – Tori has had an expression of interest from Arthritis ACT in regard to taking over the group class. Their physiologist Sophie Bullock could do the job although they would charge us $10 a session each. Pictures of Toris’ last exercise class. After Sophie’ talk on 6th Dec Roger has announced that we will consider starting Exercise Sessions with Arthritis ACT in Jan 2020 for $10 a person per session, later updated to 7th Feb start.
Financial assistance available in NSW and the ACT to those affected by the bushfires – Jim Grenfell has provided a document that summarises the financial assistance available to those affected by the bushfires. Please pass this information on to anyone who may benefit from it.
19th Jul 2019 – Talk by Vickie Hingston-Jones End-of-Life Doula plus access to documents End-of-life plans, Paying for funerals, Funeral costs, Paying for funerals, Useful contacts.
Shed Etiquette – See here
13 Sep 2019 – Deposits on cans, bottles etc. Ted Kell proposed a scheme to assist Shed finances in June. It involves members bringing along used bottles & cans which are subject to the 10 cent deposit scheme (beer and soft drink containers, including things such as Yakult, but not wine bottles). They can be left in the blue basket in the store room and Ted will take them to the recycling centre and deposit the receipts into the Shed’s funds. Ted said that the numbers of cans and bottles being left have dropped off. So bring in any bottles, cans etc that have had a 10c deposit paid on them and Ted will take them in to the recycling centre. Alternatively, you can take them into the container return centre yourself. To have the refunds paid into the Shed’s accounts they should be deposited using Ted’s mobile number, which is linked to the Shed’s bank account (0438 481 350).
12th April 2019 – Amy Nussio who presented at the Shed on 22 March 2019 on ‘Driving in Later Life’ has asked that Members be reminded about the research opportunity ‘Living with Dementia and Driving Study’ details of which are on Page 3 of Newsletter #471 of 26th April. If you are interested, Amy will be happy to meet personally with any Member wanting in finding out more about this opportunity. She may be contacted on 0457 779 766 on any Monday or Tuesday and on alternate Wednesdays
1 Mar 2019 – Shed DVDs – A couple of hundred DVDs are in the Shed’s DVD library in the store room (thanks to David Ruthven). You can borrow any DVD but please remember to return it once you have watched it. Also, anyone who has DVDs they no longer want could add them to the library.
Brian Wells still collects second hand glasses. He is also from Sep 2019 collecting Hearing Aids (ie spectacles) & cases from members who no longer can use theirs as well as out of date medications and passes them onto less advantaged countries. he does this by taking the items to Sister Kim at the Bonner location of the Congregation of Mary Queen of Peace where they are sent to those in need in Vietnam. See here
24th Aug 2018 – David Ruthven has a 10’ by 5’ trailer, which he is willing to loan to anyone who needs something bigger than the standard trailer to move furniture etc. Contact David is 0487 222 585
5 Feb 2018 – Members are requested to think about any presentations to members that the Shed could organise. If you know of any interesting speakers or know of topics that Shed members might be interested in, or would like to do a presentation yourself, please give the details to Roger Amos or Rick Causebrook
Viewing Shed Google Photos Albums – The Pictures TAB at the top of the web site will take you to an archive site for Picasa which will still show any albums uploaded from Picasa desktop in some strange order. Click on this for more info on Using & Managing Google Photos
12th Oct 2019 – 2019 Spring edition of the Seniors Card Scoop! with information on getting Seniors discounts etc
18th Dec 2018 – 2018 Summer edition of the Seniors Card Scoop! with information on getting Seniors Transport discounts interstate & the NSW Opal Card, plus the ACT Housing Option Advisory Service, Christmas lunch & Volunteering Opportunities, and New Discounts to ACT Seniors Card holders
8th Mar 2019 – Free Movie Tickets for DVA Gold Card Holders. Adrian Shee advised us that Dendy Canberra gave him a free movie pass as he had a Gold Card. An internet search found that Hoyts, Dendy & Greater Union all offer DVA Gold Card holders one free pass per day, conditions apply. Hoyts excludes after 6PM or School or Public Holidays
6th Dec 2018 – Dog Walks in Canberra – Do you own a dog and are looking for great dog-walking track guides for our city? Why not click on the this link, where the site contain terrific information and maps about numerous walks around Canberra that are suitable for dogs. It also provides great links and information about all major issues relating to owning dogs in Canberra e.g. dog accommodation, training, welfare etc. This link was the basis of the recent walk around Yarralumla
30th Jun 2017 – Securing IDs – One member advised us to look at securing our IDs & bank accounts. People can also get a free credit check one a year and also check with ID Care to secure their own ID data. Tel 1300 432 273. Info on Credit Reports & Bans. Also info from The Office of the Aust Info Commissioner
Member & Friends Information
Lunchtime Melodies – Joint Venture between Ginninderra Rotary & Belconnen Raiders Club – Note these are cancelled until further notice – 2nd Wed each month between 11.30-12.30PM at Raiders Belconnen (Kippax), gold coin donation – includes various bands, choirs, individuals, films: coffee, tea & option of $12 seniors lunch after. About Annie & Michael. Annie Sloane is the lead singer of Annie and the Armadillos a four piece concert group with Michael Lynch on guitar and other strings, John Black on keyboard and Ben Schumann on drums. Annie was voted by respected musicians within the industry as ‘Performer of the Year’ in 2004. She gathered her Armadillos in 2000 and is now regarded as a Canberra icon, being the first invited to perform at Summer Sounds in the Australian Botanic Gardens, Government House functions, etc. For future months refer to the Lunchtime Melodies 2020 Program
Yin Yoga – North Belco Uniting Church – Every Tue evening 7.30-8.30PM – Enjoy benefits of Yoga – Gentle stretching, fully qualified instructor, Judith, flexible commitments (no RSVPs), $5 per evening. These 1 hour classes are a great way to take time out & enjoy some gentle & invigorating floor exercises, set against some relaxing music or poetry. Arrive 10 minutes early if you can. No RSVP is needed & there is no commitment to long-term attendance. An enjoyable way to give yourself some breathing space in your busy week & develop your core strengths via safe, stressfree exercises for all levels of fitness. Bring a yoga or exercise mat, cushion & light blanket with you
2014 – Open letter from North Belconnen Day Centre – It meets in the Church building. Any Melba Shed member is welcome to talk to Jeanette Branch on 6258 5784 if they have friends, family or neighbours, men or women, who would benefit from the day centre activities or whose families / carers would benefit from respite by those they care for accessing NBDC sessions (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10am-2pm)