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APPENDIX 2

The Ballarat Kendo Club

by Gary Oliver


1986 – 1988 – The Beginnings

Late in 1986 my wife Glenda and I were living in Bacchus Marsh with three children all under six years of age. On one wage and traveling to Melbourne daily to work, my weekends were precious to all of us. My first Kendo lesson had been in 1979 but now training in Melbourne on Sundays was becoming a luxury and I found myself more often than not in Ballarat where I was born and raised.

Initially I wanted to run an introductory course in Kendo to help raise my airfare to Okinawa where I wanted to train in Karate, another martial art in my life. Consequently the idea of raising funds as well as introducing kendo to a few colleagues began to grow until I finally made the commitment in February 1987 to run an introductory course.

The Ballarat Karate Club Inc kindly donated their Dojo on a Thursday night for my initial Eight Week Beginners Course. This marked a relationship that enabled the Ballarat Kendo Club to operate for many years since. About 20 persons attended the first course and enough showed sufficient interest to continue with a weekly class on completion of the eight weeks.

From the start the group was made aware that we were a branch of the Melbourne kendo Club and that as a Shodan I was really stretching the rules by offering instruction. Our Sensei was and would always be Sensei Nagae.






Mark Wild 3rd Dan visited and together we were able to demonstrate jigeiko and physically where Kendo was heading. Of that initial group (see photo) Leigh Snibson, Sean Tiller, Michael Nolan, Aaron Sterns And Chris Crawford stayed for the following 2 – 3 years.

Mark returned on occasion with Laurie Scott and helped with instruction and advice. During the year we attended Melbourne for gradings and the Ballarat students were able to observe good Kendo as they watched much more advanced students.

Later in the year Jason Widdy began training. In 1987 we attended Melbourne training in February under the guidance of Sensei Shizawa who was visiting from Nittaidai university. In May we played host to Melbourne at the Ballarat Army drill Hall which attracted much media attention. Long time friend Bob Cartledge organized the venue and Yakov macak and Mark Wild did much to encourage enough Melbourne students to attend on the day.

Because kendo seemed so esoteric and mysterious to the local public we were regularly able to attract the local media who gave us much support. In the first ten years of our operation we were particularly indebted to Jim Murphy of the Ballarat Courier and Glen Driscol of WIN TV .

Tony Pickering joined the Club soon after Jason widdy. Both would become Ballarat’s first Yudansha.


1989 – 1990 – Early Years

Running any sort of club or organization is a huge commitment. Once you have introduced an activity to a group who rely on you for leadership and guidance there is a long term responsibility to look after those involved. In 1989 I was promoted from a St Albans school to Principal of Dunolly Primary school north of Maryborough in the central goldfields area of the state. Fortunately Ballarat was just within striking distance so classes could still be maintained although two car engines gave their lives during the early period of the Club’s history just getting me to training.

We experimented with Club emblems during the year and Nagae Sensei was pleased with the platypus on the tsuba design. I felt it had a similar feel to the Melbourne kendo Club and the AKR emblems as shown below.



Ballarat


Australian Kendo Renmei


Melbourne Kendo Club



At the Australian Championships that year I received the Okura Shield for my contribution to Kendo. This spurred me on to continue with the Ballarat Club. Mrs Nagae painted the Kanji for our Joseki that year and this added to the spiritual substance of the Club. Julian Richardson 3rd dan helped organize some visits from Melbourne and coached a successful team in our “ashes” competition which we hosted in November. A valued visitor from Melbourne was my initial training partner in little Bourke Street, Sophie Macak

Jason Widdy attended the Brisbane Nationals in 1990 and placed 2nd in the Kyu Teams event. This inspired everyone and for the first time the idea of Ballarat producing a student winning a major tournament was raised.

We attended the opening of the Kenshikan in July and were honoured to be among so many Masters and dignitaries from Japan. John butler 4th Dan brought Sensei Haga 8th Dan Hanshi to Ballarat for the day and an evening training.

The year ended on a high with Tony Pickering winning the State Kyu Individual Championship. This was our first major win and reflected Tony’s ongoing commitment to Kendo.






1991 – 1992 Improving

Tony’s win at the State’s led to much enthusiasm within our group. Regular trips to Melbourne by Tony and Jason were lifting our standard overall. At Easter Tony flew to Perth for the Nationals and as a 3rd Kyu took second in the Australian Kyu Grade Individual Championship.

A visiting girl from Inagawa, Japan named Yuki Nishitani was introduced to us by former Mayor of Ballarat, Frank Williams. Yuki trained with us occasionally and helped lift our Japanese profile. Frank and his connection to Ballarat’s sister city, Inagawa enabled a number of visits and home stays to evolve.

Peter Riordan continued to bring members of the Goshin Club to Ballarat and it was during this year that Arpad Maksay began training in Kendo.

In early February 1992 Stilts brought a visiting sensei by the name of Katsumi Kuramochi to Ballarat for the day. Katsumi was on a personal tour of Australia and we were pleased to have a training opportunity with such a skilful teacher.




Back: Bob Cartledge, Arpad Maksay, Jason Widdy, Steve, Tony Pickering, Steve Johnston, Steve Mcmutrie.
Front: Gary Oliver, Katsumi Kuramochi, Stilts Polichroniadis.


A month later stilts visited with Peter Szwarcbord who was hosting Takita sensei from Fukuoka University. With six students they visited Sovereign Hill and Ballarat university courtesy frank Williams. Following training that night we took them to the Eureka Tavern for pizza and the Sambuka ritual.

At the Nationals in Melbourne the Victorian Kyu team won their Championship with tony and Jason as members. It was also Arpad’s first major tournament and he managed to qualify for the Junior event.

A visit from Inagawa by Masami and yumiko Naruso was a highlight and good contact for the Club. Masami (3rd Dan) taught Kend at Inagawa junior high and began a challenge with Gary that continues to this day.

The Goshin Club visited for a spirited training and shiai. Julian Richardson described us as “rough country samurai” which was apt and very much what we tended to be. What was lacking was a quality teacher and as 1992 ended we received news that katsumi was returning to Australia with the intention of living in Ballarat. As it turned out his stay was going to be difficult to maintain but extremely rewarding for everyone.


1993 -1994 – a New Era

Katsumi’s arrival in Ballarat took up much of our time trying to arrange visas and work permits not to mention a suitable place to stay. He was immediately invited to be our resident Sensei and from the start our skill level began to lift dramatically. For me it was a welcome relief from trying to maintain our level of development.

By the time the State titles came round in February we were all running hot. No surprise to find that in the Kyu Individual Championship Ballarat had three in the final four. Tony defeated Arpad in the final, giving us first and second place. In the open Teams event Jason, Tony and Gary advanced to the final against Melbourne B Team. After the three bouts scores were level so a one point match was announced to decide the contest. Because tony was on a role from earlier we sent him in against Peter Day (4th Dan). To everyone’s shock and our everlasting glory tony won, giving us our second Gold medal for the night. That moment remains one of my most cherished memories in martial arts.

At the Nationals Tony and Jason placed first in the Kyu Teams and Jason came second in the Kyu Individuals, receiving the fighting Spirit award. Both he and tony achieved their Shodan certificates and the Club had now achieved my original goal of training someone to Black Belt level.

Minoru Toya from Inagawa Senior high visited our dojo and although his English was not good he conducted a great training. His colleague, Minakuchi also made a lasting impression on us during training although he was only observing.

Katsumi introduced Jodo to a small group of us including Wayne Reddrop (4th Dan Karate) and we trained every Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. in April we organized three days of martial arts demonstrations for Ballarat’s Japanese Week with over 1,000 school children participating. Mrs Nagae came up for the day to demonstrate Naginata which was very well received.

Katsumi was unable to work officially so we organisede a number of demonstrations at schools for a small fee which we gave to Katsumi to help ends meet. We went as far away as Wycheproof and Maryborough with the audience response surprisingly good. Training continued under Katsumi’s leadership until October when he coached Gary to 3rd Dan.

1994 was a sad year for all of us with the tragic passing of friends John butler and Sophie Macak. Tony Pickering was selected to go to Japan’s Summer School for Foreign kendo students. While there he trained with kubo Sensei at Tokyo’s kyumeikan Dojo and also visited our friends in Inagawa. One of our students, Steve Johnston was at the time living there thanks to our Ballarat Inagawa association.

Tony and Steve McMutrie began a children’s class with armour donated by the Kyumeikan kendo club on Tony’s return to Ballarat.


1995 – 1996 – Expanding Horizons

In January Gary made a pilgrimage to Japan, training on Okinawa and in Inagawa, Tokyo and Takasaki. He stayed at the home of Choji Fukuda who arranged a reunion of old friends who had visited Ballarat. Masami naruse arranged a memorable training where they were able to have round two of their personal ongoing challenge. Toya san hosted Gary in Osaka before he traveled to the Kyumeikan in Tokyo.

Kubo Sensei (7th Dan) gave me great insights into Kendo and remains the toughest Sensei I’ve ever trained with. My final visit was to sensei goki saito (7th Dan) in Takasaki who I had met in 1981 in Melbourne. He was an extremely generous host and very helpful.




Gary & Kubo Sensei


On my return Tony left for Europe for a three year adventure while Arpad left for Kagoshima and a 12 month working holiday that took him through Japan to Tokyo. The Club would miss these two exceptional members.

Katsumi by now had finished at the Catholic university and was able to teach. I must confess we couldn’t help him much with his studies, especially when he asked about Jesus feeding the multitude with a few loaves and fishes! Nevertheless we were pleased to be able to repay him in some way for the skill he had brought to Ballarat.

Our demonstrations were becoming very popular and we were highly sought after by local schools doing Japanese studies. Minakuchi visited in august and we entertained him and friends at the home of Bob Cartledge. In September Jason achieved 2nd Dan and our children’s group visited Melbourne for the first time. Notables in the bunch were Tarl O’Mara and Ryan and Cain Oliver.

Sensei Nagae visited Delacombe Primary School to instruct a large group of 30 students which was well received by the press. In December Arpad returned with his Shodan thus becoming our third member to achieve Yudansha level.

In early 1996 Nakakura Sensei (9th Dan) visited Melbourne with his international Kendo Club and we were priviledged to attend training with him at the Kenshikan.Easter in Perth saw Katsumi win the Open Individual Championship at the Nationals. Ballarat had now won Major titles at State and national levels. Katsumi was quick to point out that winning Championships was not the main purpose for practicing Kendo and this was a timely reminder of what we were striving for.

Haga Sensei visited Ballarat later in the year as did Nagae sensei and his brother, Iwao for a second time.

In November we joined five other martial arts to put on Ballarat’s first Gasshuku. This was an excellent event organized by Danny Manning (1st Dan Karate) which encouraged and enabled a much needed sharing of the Budo experience in Ballarat.

Sadly it marked the end of Katsumi’s stay in Ballarat. In December he left for NSW and a teaching position. That which we thought would sustain him in Ballarat eventually took him away. This left a real hole in the Ballarat Club as 1997 approached.


1997 – 1998 A Ten Year Milestone


Training without Katsumi, tony and Arpad was difficult but Jason and gary were still active and shared the responsibility for the Club.
In March Gary traveled to Kyoto for the world Kendo Championships as part of an Iaido group that performed at the Heian Jingo and the Butokuden. Many old friends were there from the past 18 years and it was pleasing to bump into Yakov Macak on the first day.

Gary was hosted in Osaka by Toya sensei and Minakuchi before he flew to Okinawa. The trip was financed to a degree by seminars and a welcome donation and support from the Ballarat Sports foundation. Gary received much personal encouragement from well known sporting personality, Rex Holioake.



Heian Jingu - Kyoto Japan


At the June Australian Championships we met up with Katsumi who was fighting for NSW. In the Veterans championship Gary met Katsumi in the final of their pool, Katsumi going on to take second place to Yakov Macak.

Toya and his wife, Noriko visited in June along with Minakuchi. Our demonstrations at schools continued with notable ventures to Horsham and the Maryborough Tae Kwon Do Club.

Tony returned in October after his three year sojourn and immediately turned up to training. The year ended with Arpad fighting for Monash University where he was studying. His young but fast team took out the open Team title.

In 1998 Arpad enjoyed a scholarship to Fukuoka university where he trained in kendo with some great Sensei.

In May Grand Master Fusei Kise of Shorin Ryu Kenshin Kan Karate visited Ballarat from Okinawa and we were able to demonstrate our Kendo for him at a demonstration at Miners Rest Primary School. This was a typical combined demo with the Ballarat Karate Club and one repeated many times since our inception.

In May 1998 we held a celebration to mark our 10 years of operation at Ballarat. A large contingent of Melbourne Kendo ka came to open our dojo. Demonstrations were held in kendo by Damian Carmody Stevens and Brett Smith as well as Naginata by Mrs Nagae. A formal opening was made by Sensei Nagae himself.

Yo Tsuda from Kumamoto, Kyushu trained with us for the year while he attended Mt Clear Secondary College. Shizawa Kunio Sensei and students from Nittaidai University visited Ballarat in July, taking in the Wildlife Park and Sovereign Hill.

In September members of the Melbourne Fudoshin Kendo Club came to our dojo for a weekend in a now annual gathering. Damian Carmody Stevens 4th Dan took the training together with Gerard Everton (4th Dan) from New Zealand.



Gerard Everton, Gary Oliver, Damian Carmody Stevens, Brett Smith

1999 - 2000 - The Millennium Begins

In January 1999 the year began tremendously with Minoru and Noriko Toya visiting from Inagawa and staying with us at Carisbrook. With them was Satoru Takada 4th Dan from Inagawa who stayed with Jason Widdy. He became our resident instructor for the year.

Satoru was the fastest and most accomplished Kendo Ka we had ever seen and he soon acclimatized to our ways, taking up many of our cultural nuances. During the year he won the State Individual Dan Championship and coached our Kyu grades to individual places; Tarl O Mara came 3rd (at 15 years of age) and Ryan Oliver came 4th.

At the National Championships in Queensland Ryan took 1st place in the Australian Junior Championship in a field dominated by young Japanese and Koreans.

As the year progressed we benefited from training in Melbourne with visiting Japanese Champion, Eiga Sensei 7th Dan. Good news came also from Japan when it was learned that Katsumi Kuramochi had achieved 6th Dan at the Saitama Summer School.

The annual Fudoshin visit incorporated a tour from New Zealand by the Wellington University Kendo Club who warmed to the Ballarat venue. This preparation together with Satoru's enthusiastic coaching led Ballarat into the State Kendo Teams Championship where our Kyu grade team took first place. It was our second such victory since our inaugural entry into this event.




Front: Gary Oliver, Terry Holt, Brent Gazzaniga


During January Tony Pickering achieved 3rd Dan in Iaido during a week long seminar held by Haga Sensei (8th Dan).

The week saw Jason Widdy and Arpad Maksay also achieve 3rd Dan in Kendo. Part of the week incorporated the Australian Iaido Championships with Western Australia winning the team competition over Victoria B which was led by Gary Oliver.

The first Jodo gradings were also held by the AJKR and here Gary, Jason and Tony all attained Shodan. Kuramochi, who also came down from Queensland gained 5th Dan in Iaido and 4th Dan in Jodo.



Haga Sensei (8th Dan) and Oda Katsuo (7th Dan Kendo  8th Dan Iaido)
at Sovereign Hill


At the State championships in March Ryan Oliver won the Kyu Individual Championship with Eoin Cannon fourth. Similarly in the Dan individual, Arpad Maksay (now training with Melbourne Fudoshin) came 1st, Tony Pickering 3rd and Gary Oliver 4th.

Gary, Ryan and Arpad all tried out for State team selection with Gary being appointed assistant coach. Gary and Arpad made the team and individual contingent with Ryan making the same team and individuals in the Kyu grade division. At the end of the National Championships in Canberra, Arpad placed 1st in the individual Dan competition, while Ryan came 3rd in the Kyu individual. In the teams, both Kyu and Dan came 3rd.

In August we demonstrated Kendo in Ballarat as part of the ten year celebration between our two sister cities with many visitors from Inagawa attending.

Shizawa Sensei and a group of students from Nittaidai university in Tokyo visited Ballarat that same month and we hosted them at the local wild life part.

Melbourne Fudoshin came up for a weekend Gasshuku, sleeping in our dojo. This was the start of an annual event and some strong ties with this strong kendo Club.

Another memorable Fudoshin Gasshuku took place that September, this time with a group from Victoria University, New Zealand.

The teams event was held late in the year and Satoru’s training was paying off, our Kyu Team winning the State title.


 



Finally a great year was capped off with the visit of Sensei Terry Holt 7th Dan from London. He instructed at our dojo before conducting the inaugural Mumeishi 3’s tournament. At this event Satoru, Gary and Ryan took first place.

We took Haga Sensei and Oda Sensei to Ballarat for an afternoon to see our local sights.

It was a great start to the year and Ryan seemed to do no wrong. In July his team won the Ohtsuka Memorial tournament with Tarl’s team coming second.

At the 2nd Mumeishi 3’s Ryan, Tony and Gary came second.

In September the University Games were held in Ballarat. Our Club organised the Kendo competitions which drew a good crowd from many universities. Ryan won the Kyu Individual championship and his team, which included Eoin Cannon and Peter Leed won the Open Teams. Melbourne University came up for its first Gasshuku at Ballarat and was lead by Yakov Macak.

The year ended with the state titles and again our team won the Kyu Championships. It was a great year but more advances were still to come.



 L –R; David Fenolar, Scott Jones, Jason Widdy, Tarl O Mara,
Ryan Oliver, Gary Oliver and David Tannard


A NEW DECADE 2001 - 2002

The year 2001 held much promise for us and Ryan and Gary Oliver together with Tarl O’Mara trained for the State team to the National Taikai.

The Olivers drove across the country to arrive on the Thursday afternoon of the seminar held in Perth WA. On the Friday Tarl and Ryan graded to Shodan which was a prelude to a very successful Taikai. In the individuals Ryan became the Open kyu national champion while Tarl received the fighting spirit Award. Their Victorian Kyu Team came in 2nd place.

Ryan was invited to compete in the Open Dan competition and finished in the final eight.





In August Gary went to Saitama in Japan to attend the annual Summer School for Foreign Kendo Leaders. While there he made some great friends as is always the case with Kendo. On the last night he visited and trained with Kubo Sensei at the Kyumeikan Dojo in Tokyo and spent the night with Arpad who was living at Nittaidai university.





The State Taikai in August saw Tarl and Ryan enter the Open Dan competition for the first time. In a brilliant night Ryan came 2nd to Australian Open Champion, Brett Smith. Final score was 2 – 1.

Ryan then left for Japan in September for a 10 month stay at Hakkodate university to study Japanese on a scholarship earned through Ballarat University.

In October Ballarat played host to the National Squad preparing for the next World Kendo Championships.

The Mumeishi 3’s tournament in October also saw the return of Terry Holt from London to oversee the event. The Ballarat team of Tony Pickering, Gary Oliver and David Tannard came in second place.

It was a great year, saddened only by the death of Gary’s parents in March and September.

In December Gary and his wife Glenda went to Japan to visit Ryan. They met up with Don Millar, 5th Dan from Australia and living in Hakodate. From there they travelled to Osaka, meeting up with Toya, Satoru Takada, and the Naruse family before heading to Okinawa and Karate training with Dai Sensei Kise. The final leg was a joint lecture at the Kumamoto University. They also took time to visit Musashi’s cave.

The National Taikai was in Melbourne at Easter 2002 and as State President, Gary took much of the centre stage as MC. The venue was the Melbourne Aquatic and Sports Centre. All agreed this was the most spectacular and well organised championship ever orchestrated thanks to the organising team.

This Taikai marked David Tannard’s first national championship in the Kyu Individual competition.


2003 – 2004 - INCREASING NUMBERS

Hong Kong Invitational Kendo Tournament – Feb 23rd
Ben Kelly (Capt), Arpad Maksay, Tony Pickering and Ryan Oliver made up a team to the Hong Kong Invitational Kendo tournament. This was our first such entry to this tournament and the lads finished in the final eight.

AKR National Kendo Championships – Sydney 23rd April

Gary Oliver assumed the State Coach position in preparation for this year’s Nationals in Sydney. Sydney to their credit took up the organization gauntlet and held the taikai at the Olympic Games arena.David Tannard achieved his Shodan while competing at the Nationals.

Gary continued on as President of the VKR with Tony Pickering as Secretary. Trips to Melbourne every two to three weeks were the norm.

In June Gary drove to Toorak to the home of the Consul General of Japan, Mr Miyashita. The occasion was a formal dinner to celebrate the award of The Order of the Rising Sun with Gold and Silver Rays to Sensei Nagae.

The award was made in person in Japan two weeks earlier by the Emperor himself with Mr and Mrs Nagae at the Royal Palace in Tokyo.

Melbourne Uni Ballarat Bash

Not the best heading but Yakov Sensei brought his neophytes and experienced students over the weekend of June 28th for their first gasshuku to Ballarat.


Ballarat Sponsorship

The Club landed a unique sponsorship deal with local Japanese noodle company, Hakubaku. This Japanese company sponsored us to the tune of $1000 over 12 months in return for promoting their products at weekend trainings, demonstrations and in our newsletters.

At the State Championships we didn’t achieve the Kyu grade results of the 2000 – 2001 era but Gary had a good day and came third in the Open Individuals along with Arpad Maksay.


Inagawa Challenge

In November a team of six from Ballarat flew to Inagawa Cho in Hyogo Ken, Japan to contest the inaugural Ballarat versus Inagawa Challenge. These two sister cities were celebrating their 15 year friendship. The team of Gary Oliver, Ryan Oliver, Tony Pickering, Tarl O’Mara, David Tannard and Walter Butler spent a week training in Japan with local clubs and the Hyogo Ken Police team. This was the pinnacle of our Club’s activities and the hospitality shown by the Inagawa Kendo Association was over the top! We lost the challenge 3 – 1 with two draws but that was not the purpose of this undertaking.




2004

In January the VKR hosted the National Iaido and Jodo Championships at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

At this event Tony Pickering came first in the Open Dan competition (with Marcus Lee-Steere) and was in the winning Victorian Iaido Team in the Open Iaido competition.

Gary Oliver achieved 4th Dan in Iaido after attending the three day seminar. It was a chance to train under Haga Sensei’s leadership once again. On his return to Ballarat he began formal classes in Iaido.

Gary and Ryan competed at the Nationals in Tallebudgera, QLD but did not excel on this occasion. Arpad Maksay was State Coach

In May Melbourne University came up for their annual gasshuku. Later on in December Fudoshin celebrated their 10th year by spending a weekend in Ballarat. Damian flew down from Singapore and Gerard Everton came over from New Zealand for the occasion.

In November a delegation from Inagawa came to Ballarat and announced that Ryan Oliver was the successful applicant for their Assistant Language teacher position.


2005

In March Ryan Oliver left for the two year teaching appointment. A special training was held as a farewell, his younger brother, Cain donning bogu to give his sibling one last fight.The Club was finally starting to grow with over 20 students on the floor most nights.

At the Nationals in Canberra David Tannard and Gary Oliver competed for Victoria. Gary came third in the Senior’s event.

Shizawa Sensei brought his 140 students to Sovereign Hill during their February visit. They again put on a free demonstration at MSAC but began considering Ballarat as a possible venue for 2006.

Gary had some luck in the Otsuka’s in July taking first place.











Gary and wife, Glenda went to Inagawa in October to visit Ryan and train with his local clubs. They flew to Seoul, Sth Korea for the Asian Shimpan seminar before training on Okinawa.

The inaugural Junior Taikai was held in November and all three Ballarat entrants took medals. They were Chris and Patrick Brown together with Andrea Bricknell.


2006 – 2007 Twenty Years On

We welcomed 2006 with the return of Jason Widdy from Queensland. Tony Pickering achieved his 4th Dan in Jodo, making him the highest rank in the state in this slowly growing discipline.

Finally in February Nittaidai University traveled to Ballarat for their free demonstration. The venue was the Ballarat Minerdome which was filled to capacity for what was a great day. David Tannard handled much of the logistics in organizing a spit roast following the demonstration.

Gary attended the delegates meeting at the National in Perth at Easter and was elected as VKR President again.

Ryan returned from Japan for a brief working holiday, escorting a group of his Japanese high School students around Ballarat for 10 days. He was rewarded by being offered an extension of 12 months to his teaching contract in Inagawa. We had mixed feelings about this.

Iaido was becoming much more of an integral part of the Ballarat Club and we held a combined grading with Melbourne Clubs at Ballarat. Tony Pickering by now had an established Iaido and Jodo Club in Melbourne of his own.

We attended seminars and championships during the year but did not achieve any great milestones in terms of successes. The bright spot came with Walter Butler achieving his Shodan in September.

In February 2007 we achieved our 20th year as the Ballarat Kendo Club. It has been a tremendous journey and one which has gone quickly. Looking back the achievements are many but most importantly the fellowship and life’s lessons that have been learnt along the way help make the commitment so worth while. Our collective thanks go to all who have helped us on our journey.



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