Fishing is one of Australia's largest participation sports and whether your living on or near the coast or in regional and rural Australia near waterways, fishing clubs play an important social role in all such communities.
So too at Midge Point on Queensland's Whitsundays coast right next to the Laguna Quays Resort and the Laguna Quays Respite cottage where missionaries are able to visit for rest and recuperation.
The local community had its first fishing competition day last weekend on Midge Point Beach and the photographs can be viewed on their mpbnews web page.
Rural communities make their own fun and social mores and the fishing club is just one of these. Other activities are associated with horse trials on Midge Point Beach, the arts and craft, and with Proserpine only 20 minutes away there are all the other things such as sports, music, youth groups, classical activities, book reading and the like.
Another community effort has been the sand restoration on Midge Point Beach which has been functioning for 15 months. Approvals have been provided to the Midge Point Progress Association to restore the sand dune as the high tides combined with the cyclones or very heavy raining swell, are enveloping the final dune and the seas rushes onto the streets of Midge Point.
Their effort has been to engage a special canvas with is laid upon the sand dune and then sewn by the locals into one long strong dune. The problem has been that super high tides have certainly prevented the sea streaming into Midge Point, but the water has got behind the canvas and swept the sand under it away leaving only an empty canvas (as it were).
Locals planted 280 small trees along the top of the sand dune all the way along Midge Point Beach a month ago to aid this process of retention and photographs of all these activities can be found on the Midge Point News mpbnews web page.
Local Midge Point community champion Roe Jackson 79 passed away last week in hospital. Roe Jackson was a significant land holder in the district, he lived on Repulse Bay waterfront until 4 years ago he and his wife relocated to much smaller acreage near bye. He was the local Midge Point Rural Fire Captain for many years and his major business was that of u-haul houses and heavy machinery. It was not uncommon for him to attend an auction, buy the house, then truck it to a new location, sometimes for hundreds of kilometres, then re-set the house in its new location.
He treated his workers well and was highly respected in the community, but had a most jovial attitude to red tape where those who issued such paper work had little idea of what was involved in practical matters. He battled it all his life and often won out after closer investigation.
He was also leader of the Midge Point locals 35 years ago when the last sand retention was engaged by Midge Point residents. He spoke how there were boat sheds and a house years ago where the Midge Point beach now is, along with four rows of huge palm trees which have all been destroyed by the sea. The generation before saw the opposite. It is very shallow a very long way into the Bay, with a huge sand-bar which over numerous decades blocked the sea. The same has occurred over hundreds of years. It's the cyclical physiological movement of sand (oceanography), not climate change.
Laguna Quays Respite
Roe Jackson fell very ill some years ago and had heart by-pass surgery on more than one occasion. It was at this time his family insisted he sell some of his properties so his wife Inas would not have to deal with I all should the worst happen. One of these was the cottage in Midge Point which Roe Jackson transported in 2002 from Clare west of Townsville, the then Water Board Manager's residence. When relocated, his daughter and family lived in it for some years and then his wife Inas' brother and wife. For the past four years on our visits I visited Roe, it was an education to sit at his feet.
It was this cottage that was purchased for missionary respite in 2011. The improvements have been the concrete drive ways, the entertainment bbq car port, the gardens and five foxtail palm trees along the front, the stone steps back and front, air-conditioning, and the like. Roe said he put in the 9 foot high cyclone fence after work at dusk every night for a week, as his daughter had little children and he was so busy he not once noticed the lovely view of Repulse Bay.
Interestingly, having seen what we'd done, Roe said they should have themselves moved into the cottage and have his tractors and equipment somewhere else, which Inas concurred. Inas coordinates the Midge Point community hall, and took off my hands the coordinating of the Basil Sellers Art Prize which Well-Being Australia established for the local community three years ago.
We welcome missionaries / home missions / school chaplains to contact us for your respite visit to the Whitsundays â firstname.lastname@example.org 0487 245 207
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html