Looking Back

Looking back 10 years to 2007: With the federal election campaign in full swing, Prime Minister John Howard and wife Janette popped into the Station Street Clinic in Pakenham to announce an initiative to establish 50 family emergency centres across the nation over five years. Jumping at the chance to meet the PM and Mrs Howard were, from left, Gina Dowie, Dr Graeme Watt, Cathy Hermans, Dr Matt Caldwell, Dr Frank Demaio, Dr Malcolm McCowan, Melissa Hopes, nurse Jen McKenna, Deb Kirk, Sharon Hopes and Leanne Deken.

30 years to 1987
Victoria’s mountain riders were left in the dust of 16-year-old Warragul lad Phillip Stephens, who stormed to victory in the Barastoc Howqua River Dash at Mansfield. Phillip was the dark horse in the field, taking the crowd and his competitors by surprise when he registered for the race just hours before the start. His face may have looked familiar, though, as his brother Jeremy had entered two years ago on the same horse. Riding six-year-old Smokey, Phillip conquered the field of 56 entrants to claim the prize in one of the most spectacular events of the Mansfield Mountain Country Festival. He collected prize money of $300 for his efforts.

20 years to 1997
Cardinia Shire’s decision to allow the Chairo Christian School into a rural zone attracted a strong objection from the Pakenham branch of the Victorian Farmers Federation. Paul Carney said the decision to allow the school to be built in Bald Hill Road was “unbelievable” given the agricultural nature of the area. “There are beef, chicken and dairy farms along Bald Hill Road, as well as a sewerage farm,” Mr Carney said. “The school should not have been allowed into this area.” The previous week school principal John Durrant raised concerns about the possibility of four broiler shed being granted permits by the shire less than a kilometre from the proposed school. Mr Carney said there were too many things inhibiting rural activities in the shire and accused councillors of hampering agricultural pursuits, saying they should be “kicked up the backside”.

10 years to 2007
A Cockatoo boy waved off Mick Doohan before being treated to his dream of a family holiday on the Gold Coast, thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation. Dylan Calvert, 14, who has cystic fibrosis, joined his hero in the cherry picker to wave off riders in the GP Run at Cranbourne en route to the Moto GP at Phillip Island. He and his family could not have been more rapt as they made their way down to the island for the race. The Emerald Secondary College student was riding on an emotional high when he then visited the famous holiday destination, home to Australia’s best theme parks. Mother Gail said Dylan, an adrenalin junkie, had an absolute ball. She said Dylan, Australia’s current gold panning champion, dreamed of becoming a geologist.