Our Weekend at Butler’s Farm – October 2015

Dennis and I left our home at Ardrossan about 8 a.m. Saturday morning to arrive at the Farm, via Minlaton before 9.00. We were members in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Dennis had several years as President and I was on the committee for many years.

We were immediately welcomed by Les and Eileen Butler. The caravan was set up under some shady trees, in anticipation of the forthcoming hot days forecast.

The program for the day and evening was explained to us, also information about use of the “little room” and to pull up the “flag” when you go in and pull it down again after exiting. A well thought out plan!

Members that were with us during our time there, Grant & Judy saw us arrive and came to welcome us. Lovely to see them after many years.

Another couple of former members, Robert B and Julie arrived and proceeded to set up camp.

At 1 p.m. a group of 12 cars set off heading for Hardwicke Bay and then driving along the beach to Pt. Turton. Most of the journey was on firm sand, with just a few soft patches which all seemed to go through without any difficulties.

Corny Point was the next town with a stop for some at the conveniences there. The trip leader then headed towards the shop at Corny, but, alas, we did not get that far to buy an icecream!

After a few hundred meters he did a ” uee” and we followed down a road in the hope of driving on the beach.

A quick look at the beach showed that the area was full of seaweed with not a hope of driving on it. We headed off to Parsons Beach where the vehicles were all lined up for the photo shoot.

A few toes were put into the water and a short time spent on the beach. We headed back towards base, missing the town of Warooka, by going via dirt roads.

Surprise, surprise. A good few hours with temperatures dropping from 35 degrees at camp to 24 degrees at Pt. Turton. Thanks to the trip leader. A nice afternoon.

Back at camp, the cooks were slaving over hot webbers etc. The bell was rung just after 6 p.m. and we all settled down to a most delicious roast dinner, with 2nd or even 3rd’s if required.

Fruit salad and custard followed the main course. Thanks to all the effort put in by the “kitchen” crew.

During the evening members of the Club came up to us and we talked about some of our times in the Club some years ago. Thanks to those who made us feel welcome.

As dark fell, members headed towards the big bonfire which was to be lit. What a sight. A huge fire which sent people further and further back from the heat. It was fortunate that the wind had completely dropped out, otherwise the bonfire would not have occurred.

Sunday morning members ventured to different areas of the Peninsular. We went to the Curramulka markets, bought a couple of books, a plant and an apricot pie. Yum! After lunch we went in to Minlaton to the unveiling of a bronze statue of Harry Butler which
is situated in the same area as his plane. Speeches by The Mayor, The State Member, and several committee members and a nephew of Harry Butler, gave an insight into his life and how he came to build his plane and fly it.

The moment came to take off the cover of the statue by 2 nieces and the nephew of Harry Butler. At the appropriate time a small aircraft flew over the area, around and around. How great was that. A crowd of 300 -400 were there, many coming from interstate.

The Statue looks really good and an asset to go with the plane. A big project which took many years to bring to fruition . Well done to that committee.

About 7 p.m. the group headed off to Wauraltee to a small renovated hall for a night of entertainment. We were told it was about 13 kms from camp, well, the way we went was by The Great Sandy Desert I think, or did we pass dry Lake Eyre?

As tail end Charlie, the 50 (?) kilometre trip, was an amazing dust drive. (When we washed the car it just about top dressed our lawn!)

We all went in to the hall, given a ticket on entering, which resulted in a few lucky people receiving a raffle prize during the evening.  There is no power to the hall so the lights were run by generator.

Les welcomed us all and introduced Jeff Cook of Minlaton who was an excellent entertainer, playing the guitar and singing many ”old” songs with audience participation. He also read of few of his poems.

A supper was supplied by the committee of the hall which was enjoyed by all. They also had some jams and plants for sale. Of  course, I had to buy a plant and Dennis bought some pickles. You can see who thinks of what can’t you? After supper Jeff gave us some more songs and we finished up at 10 p.m. A good quick drive back to the camp via bitumen roads!!!

Monday saw us packing up ready for the short trip home.

Before we left we stopped near the homestead where Colin was demonstrating things he has taught his Clydesdales horses to do and giving rides to those who wanted them.

Great to see these lovely animals. Have you ever seen a horse with one blue eye and one brown eye? Rosy, one of their young horses, has these. Believe this can happen when the stallion has blue eyes and the mare has brown.

We would like to thank the Overland 4WD Club for their invitation to former members to participate in the celebration of 40 years of the Club and special thanks to Les for running the event so well, even if we were called with a cow bell!

It was lovely to meet up with former members and also current members. Also thanks to the Les’ family for making available the use of their property.

Barbara G