Butler’s Farm – 40th Birthday Celebrations – October 2015

This year’s Butler’s Farm trip was planned around our Club’s 40th birthday celebrations. Invitations were issued to some former members as well as current ones and everyone was welcome to bring friends and family. By the time the long weekend loomed close; around 80 people were expected to attend this big event at the Butler family farm, not far from Minlaton, on the Yorke Peninsula. With the weather forecast predicting fabulous, warm days and lots of sun, the weekend was looking good!

For some, the trip started earlier in the week but it was organised for most participants to arrive Friday night or Saturday morning, with roll call at 11.30am, Saturday. The campsite is in a huge paddock and, not having been here before, it was amazing to see all the facilities.

There’s a huge area in the middle of the camping area that is set up as a meeting place and central cooking and facilities area; fire pits, fire wood, hot water, fresh water, rubbish dumping and recycling bags, long-drop toilet, dump point, playground…. are all set up and
available for everyone to use.

We arrived at the farm around 9.30am on Saturday, having travelled from Port Vincent where we had stayed with family on Friday night. It took quite a long time to set up and organise our campsite as we were continually stopping to have a chat to everyone that walked
past to welcome us!

Looking around the camping area, there was a variety of campsite set-ups including swags, tents, camper trailers and caravans; and an even larger array of off-road vehicles. All together, there were 31 camp sites. Five former members, including Grant and Judy
who travelled from QLD, joined us, too.

The cow bell was rung about 12.30 and about 50 of us mustered together for a briefing. There were strict instructions that no-one was to enter the kitchen area unless specifically asked, as we were having a roast dinner that night, organised and prepared by the 40th Birthday Committee.
Fargo volunteered to lead an afternoon trip to keep us all out of the cooks’ kitchen. A convoy of 13 cars left for the coast and we hit the white sands of Hardwicke Bay before heading along the beach to Point Turton. Everyone was too lazy to lower car tyre pressures.
What a rough ride! The bumps caused the beer in the fridge to froth – luckily there were no casualties!

After getting back onto the bitumen we took a leisurely cruise along the coastal road to Corny Point before heading back to Parsons Beach. We lined up all the cars and took photos of the convoy before getting back to camp with the aroma of roasting meat, in the air; just in time for happy hour.


Saturday evening 78 guests were treated to a scrumptious roast dinner, followed by fruit salad and custard for dessert. The dinner crew did a FANTASTIC JOB cooking and there was plenty of food for everyone. Thank you very much to the committee for a great meal.
After dinner, everyone enjoyed a pleasant night socialising. We headed to bed early, but I didn’t hear reports of anyone causing too much ruckus or crawling into bed too late that night.

With the start of day light savings on Sunday, I’m sure a few of us got up a bit later than usual. It was a special day for Trevor and Val with both celebrating birthdays (someone said they’re twins – I’m not sure who was born first…!). And it was an even more special day for the Butler Family who headed into Minlaton to watch the long-awaited unveiling of the commemorative statue of Captain Harry Butler AFC, a relative of the family, which had been commissioned by a passionate group of family and locals to celebrate his life.

The statue of Captain Harry Butler was crafted by sculptor Tim
Thomson, and shows the aviation pioneer in his most famous role,  delivering airmail from Adelaide to Minlaton on August 6, 1919. I’m sure the family are very proud of their famous family member. I hope they enjoyed the celebrations and family reunion, that afternoon.

Sunday was a free day for the rest of us. Our day started with a drive to Port Rickaby where some had thrown in squid lines to try their luck. I think between them, they did pretty well, catching a dozen or more squid. Mark and I did some exercise and walked the coastal path along the cliffs. It doesn’t take long for the warm weather to bring out the flies! The afternoon was spent with Kerry and Wal. We visited Wauraltee Beach where Mark and Kerry braved the water for a swim, then explored some of the dirt racks along the coast. I heard reports that other groups ventured out in various directions, with some taking advantage of the hospitality of local watering holes for lunch and refreshments.

Everyone returned from their outings in time for a quick dinner before the evening’s event began. A convoy of around 20 cars lined up ready to follow Trevor B, to the Wauraltee Hall. A couple of us were in no hurry to join the line-up, having found the hall during our outing earlier in the day, so we lagged behind and told Trevor we’d meet them there. As the last car left the farm and got onto the bitumen, Convoy 2 got under way…..and …. Guess what?! Convoy 1 took a wrong turn and got lost (we could hear them on the radio getting frustrated) …… so Convoy 2 got to he hall before them! Let me tell you, Barb used some very colourful language when Mark rubbed it in!!

Once all settled in the hall, we enjoyed another pleasant evening being entertained by local bush poet and entertainer, Jeff Cook. Jeff
had everyone singing along to his guitar, playing lots of old-time music while telling stories and reciting poems, in between. He even wrote a special poem about our club, which he read out at the end of the night. A light supper was provided by the local Wauraltee community and it wasn’t too long after that when we snuck away and headed back to camp, where we caught up with a few members who had stayed behind, at the campfire.

With another hot day forecast for Monday, it was organised that the Clydesdale horses would visit for a short while, early in the morning. We had decided to get up early to beat the traffic and hot weather so we left the farm just before 8am and headed for home. I guess others followed not too far behind but I know some lucky people extended their stay on Yorke’s, for an extra day or two or three.
We extend our thanks to Les and Eileen and their family for their hospitality, once again. Thank you, too, to the Club committee for subsidising the event and especially to the 40th Birthday Committee for the wonderful efforts and preparation they did in organising the
birthday celebrations. We really enjoyed the weekend.

Happy 40th Birthday!

Carolyn A
TripReport_ButlerFarm_Oct2015_Pic3 Statue of Captain Harry Butler

Out the front of Wauraltee Hall

Parsons Beach: Norm, Mark, Wal and Gary