Reflections of the past - February 14

By Cassandra Power

Ten years ago

Echuca police have praised the behaviour of the Victoria Park crowd during the Southern 80, however, the large number of speed and alcohol-related offences elsewhere over the weekend has left them disappointed.

Inspector Neil Thomas said overall he was quite pleased with the general crowd behaviour, but police still had problems with anti-social behaviour in Echuca's central business district at night.

He said 81 people were issued with penalty notices for drinking in the street, while six people received penalty notices for offensive behaviour.

"On average, around 100 people are arrested for being intoxicated each year. Last year, because of Black Saturday, we had a record low of 25,” Insp. Thomas said.

Three people were seriously injured in a car crash on the Murray Valley Hwy, west of Echuca just before noon on Saturday.

Two of the injured were flown to hospital, one suffering burns to about 20 per cent of her body and the other with a broken leg, when the car they were travelling in was hit from behind and burst into flames.

The other patient was taken by ambulance to hospital.

Police said a Holden Commodore sedan travelling west had slowed to a halt as it waited for oncoming traffic, intending to make a right turn into Braund Rd.

The water ski community was in shock yesterday after the death on Saturday of a skier racing on the Murray River.

The accident was one of seven over the weekend, in which team members were injured or boats were damaged.

In three of the accidents, team members were taken to hospital with suspected spinal injuries.

Tim Driver, aged 42, from View Bank, Melbourne, and 40-year-old Ian Baker from Narre Warren North, were being towed behind Mayhem in the President's Invitational Dash on Saturday when the accident happened around 4pm near Braund's Bend, a hairpin about a third of the way into the 20km course.

Twenty-five years ago

Ron Bennet has made the big switch.

After seven years of speedway racing, Ron has said goodbye to the adrenaline pumping sport which has seen him represent Australia in England in 1992 and collect six Australian speedway titles along the way.

The 36 year-old Peter Maye's Tyrepower employee has retired from speedway but the need for speed has steered him into road racing sidecars.

Ron’s final night on the speedway track took place at Undera Speedway on Saturday night but not behind the wheel.

History was made at the Port of Echuca recently when the three Port Authority-owned paddlesteamers, the Pevensey, the Adelaide and the Alexander Arbuthnot, left their berths at the same time for cruises along the Murray.

Port Authority manager Jenny MacLean said it was the first time in the history of the Port the three boats had left port carrying fare paying passengers.

“O fcourse, on special occasions, the Port owned boats have all set sail at the same time, but they were not carrying customers,”she said.

Mrs Maclean said the Port Authority was so taken with the success of the simultaneous sailing, it was now scheduled to take place on the last Sunday of each month.

Powercor yesterday announced the closure of its new $500,000 retail office in Echuca.

Managers dropped the bombshell in a 7.30am meeting that seven customer service staff would be either offered redundancy packages or moved to Shepparton.

The seven are Noel Dunn, Tony Holmfield, Peter Melgaard, Connie Paynter, Doug Pratt, Ashley Thompson and Brendan Tuena.

An eighth position which was vacant was also axed.

Fifty years ago

With only three points separating the top five teams, all games in the Echuca Cricket Association round which commences tomorrow will be interest-packed and will have a big bearing on the final composition of the four.

None of the five are safe, and even Mathoura, who are fifth, are still an outside chance of making the finals.

They kept their chances alive last week when they scored a meritorious win over Moama and should maintain their faint hopes when they meet Bamawn tomorrow.

My Harry White has tendered his resignation from the Board of Directors of the Riverine Herald Pty. Ltd.

His resignation took effect from Friday afternoon when it was tendered to the Board on medical advice.

Mr White became a foundation shareholder in the Riverine Herald when it became a proprietary company in 1948.

He was appointed a director following the death of Mr W. G. Newton in 1958, and became chairman of directors following the resignation of the late Mr W. Wearne in 1963.

A sub-committee to prepare for the staging of the second annual Citizenship Award dinner in Echuca has been appointed by the Apex club of Echuca.

The club inaugurated the function last year to mark the presentation of the first award for Echuca’s citizen of the year.

The club was very pleased with the response from Citizens of the district and the choice by an independent committee of Dr J. Alexander proved extremely popular and convinced the club that presentation of such an award annually would foster and maintain the interest of local residents in recognising the work which many local citizens perform for the community.