Following on from the first Mirboo North Italian Festa back in 2016, this event has become quite a popular one in the annual calendar. Of course it wasn’t the first Italian Festa, but it was the first that brought the entire community, and those from further afield, together to experience this unique festive event. And as the event has grown and become more popular than ever, the organisers have become more experienced and aware of the effort needed each year. I understand that the South Gippsland Shire has also lent their support for the event, which no doubt helps immensely to sustain events that draw people from far and wide. And I might also note that Paula Calafiore, one of the volunteers that makes the Italian Festa possible, was recognised in this year’s South Gippsland Citizen of the Year awards for her extensive contributions to the community.
The afternoon today on New Year’s Eve 2017 was a truly great time at Inline 4 Cafe Mirboo North. Along with many other people, we were celebrating the good times that Inline 4 Cafe has brought to Mirboo North including the amazing Blessing of the Bikes that put Mirboo North on the map. We were also there to give Marcel and Sabine our best wishes in the coming years. Had we known, I would have been there much earlier in the day to appreciate how many riders had come from near and far to say hello and goodbye. It was only goodbye in the sense that Inline 4 Cafe was moving on, not disappearing.
This is the last in my series on Mossvale Park 2017. I could go on about many things, but a lot has already been covered in other stories, so no need to become overly repetitive. One of the things that is ever present at Mossvale Park is the birdlife and other fauna. It’s not overly diverse and seems to host a resident group of familiar and not so familiar birds. There are also other hidden dwellers about, but they are nigh on impossible to photograph and can only be done at night with much perseverance and fortitude, and I’m not that keen on wandering about the park at night for an obscure denizen.
As I alluded in Part 2 of this series, Autumn is perhaps the most vibrant time of year at Mossvale Park. The European trees change colour and then carpet the grounds in an array of shapes, sizes and colours before they fade and eventually get mowed away. The onset of these vibrant colours can be variable and at times slow, as so much is dependent on the temperatures dropping low enough to shock the leaves into their coats of many colours. We don’t quite have the protracted zero degree nights and mornings that you might find in the Alpine regions of Victoria such as Bright or Mt Beauty, where the much colder weather brings about dramatic change. And European trees aren’t found everywhere, except places where the first settlers and later immigrants brought along memories of their homeland. And at least the trees didn’t bring with them the problems that other memories of homeland brought, such as rabbits and foxes.
The Barry Sheene Tribute Ride travelled through Mirboo North this Thursday on its way to Phillip Island, as a prelude to the MotoGP on the coming Sunday. Once again I thought I’d cover the ride as it travelled through town, but there’s not a lot that I can write about this event as it’s more of a fleeting glimpse of riders as they pass through Mirboo North. However, I tried to do something a little bit different than I’ve done previously and incorporated still images to supplement the video of the riders travelling through town, somewhat like I did at the Blessing of the Bikes. Of course the moment the ride was about to hit town, the sky opened up and it started a Victorian rendition of mild monsoon rain, thankfully for not too long and became just a regular drizzle shortly after.
Like last time, I won’t try and write anything about the bikes themselves, I’ll just leave them to tell their own story. The shots are basically what I found interesting as well as approachable. There were so many more I could have covered, but with the sheer numbers, the bikes being packed in, and the people milling about, it was often impossible to get a shot.
It’s been a tumultuous year for Marcel and Sabine from Inline4 Cafe and I know that they have been sweating bricks all year over the change in venue for the Blessing of the Bikes from Mirboo North to San Remo. But their efforts have not been in vain, as this year’s event has become something much more significant and far more mature than what came before. The past three years has seen the Blessing of the Bikes grow from a hesitant 500 or so riders to one that this year appears to have eclipsed 8,000+ riders (my estimate). And it’s all to do with support. It’s not just the riders and sponsors that have thrown in their support, but it should be recognised that the Bass Coast Shire and the San Remo business and broader community have also put in a magnificent effort to ensure that this event would succeed and succeed it has. In fact, were it not for the efforts of the latter, this event may well have faded into history.
When the Bureau Of Meteorology (BOM) reported that Winter 2017 was the hottest on record, it immediately gave me the theme for Part 2 of ‘A Year at Mossvale Park’. The hottest Winter on record indeed. I don’t think there was one person in Mirboo North this year, or the region for that matter (I’ve spoken to a lot of people), that would have thought that the Winter just past was the hottest on record , as everyone was thoroughly sick and tired of the endless cold. Mind you, what may have been a record was the demand for firewood, which became something of a scarcity as this ‘hottest on record’ Winter came to a close. But not to be outdone, Spring came on with a vengeance and produced even more cold and then unrelenting rain for weeks on end. If firewood was in short supply towards the end of Winter, it became a luxury item in Spring. I’m just waiting for the BOM to claim that the beginning of Spring was also the hottest on record (of course it was).
Mossvale Park means many things to many people. For some it’s a place to take your dog for a run, for others it’s a place to have a picnic or wedding and still others just like to enjoy the trees and gardens. Then there are those for whom it’s a place to remember. For me, Mossvale Park means many things, but it’s especially a reminder of a bygone era and our European history, which we should never forget. Originally, I was going to write ‘A Year At Mossvale Park’ from a seasonal point of view, watching it change from Summer to Autumn and then Winter to Spring. However, there was so much overlap in subject matter that I decided to base these stories more on what I observed, trying to place related subject matter into each part, rather than doing a ‘seasonal’ theme. The thing that dramatically changed my mind about the style was something I came across towards the end of August while on one of my, almost, daily visits to exercise my hounds.
After having travelled Gippsland roads for over 40 years and now living here, I’ve always suspected that tourists and other visitors, local and overseas, don’t have a very good understanding of Gippsland road rules. So I thought I’d put pen to paper (figuratively speaking) and outline a few of the most important rules applicable when driving along Gippsland roads. Now some may wonder what I’m talking about as aren’t the road rules all the same everywhere in Australia? Not so! Gippsland road rules differ somewhat from those elsewhere, especially in metropolitan Melbourne and major regional centres, so it’s important to understand what these differences are if you’re to have a safe and enjoyable journey while visiting or travelling through Gippsland.