JB’s World: Greetings from Kathmandu

GREETINGS FROM Kathmandu in Nepal where JB is currently representing Australia at an Asia-Pacific committee meeting of the International Scout and Guide Fellowship where we are discussing helping Scouting and Guiding in this farflung country and planning the next region Gathering in Sri Lanka in September this year.

Sorry I missed the last day of Eastwood’s Lunar New Year celebrations but will be back for West Ryde’s Easter Parade & Fair on Saturday March 24.

See you there?

* * *

VICTOR DOMINELLO eat your heart out! 

Several years ago when Victor was Minister for Multicultural Affairs he tried to introduce the Festival of Colours for Asians in Australia and we did a photo shoot at Anderson Park at Shepherds Bay.

Well I can now assure Victor I have experienced the real thing!

Known here in Nepal as Holi or the Festival of Colours it is a public holiday and was celebrated here on Thursday.

Revellers roam the streets throwing masses of coloured powder over everybody and squirting water to make it stick.

Well not quite over everybody.

The locals are very courteous and considerate of obvious foreigners or tourists and people in uniform.

* * *

HOLI IS a Hindu festival that is shared by Buddhists and marks the arrival of spring.

Known widely now as the festival of colours it takes place over one or two days and is a celebration of fertility and love as well as the triumph of good over evil.

T-shirt sellers lined the streets with white T shirts with coloured Holi illustrations and sold like hot cakes.

We soon realised why.  At the end of the day the T shirts were anything but white along with the faces and bodies of the wearers.

I’ll show you some examples next week.

* * *

KATHMANDU AND surrounds were a seriously affected by an earthquake several years ago and the damage was enormous and horrendous with many houses damaged beyond repair and ancient temples destroyed or seriously affected.

Restoration programs are now being undertaken and it is good to see that a number of foreign countries are contributing to the work.

We visited a project where the Nepal Scouts and former scouts are building housing for the homeless and I’m pleased to say some of us in Australia contributed including our Sydney St George’s Guild who held their AGM
at historic “Addington” at Ryde last night and the first in over forty years JB has missed!

Back in town tomorrow night. See you then.

* * *

 

MARIA VENUTI AM our special and favourite superstar entertainer heads This Week’s Birthday Honours List celebrating her double 7 birthday today. As we all know Maria suffered a severe stroke just over a year ago and is now being cared for by her wonderfully devoted daughter Bianca at her Drummoyne home.

All our thoughts and prayers are with you today dear Maria from your vast audience of admiring and loving friends and admirers including JB and Ulrike who will be flying home later today from representing Australia in Nepal at the Asia-Pacific committee meeting of the International Scout and Guide Fellowship.

Also today Yvonne Longfield better half of climate alarmist Patrick Longfield celebrates as does Vanessa Peterson Karas other half of TWT Sports editor Chris Karas with kinder Clifford and Gwennie.

Natalie Peterson faces 35 candles on her birthday cake tomorrow and new mum Christine Evald celebrates 24 with new as yet unnamed bub and hubby in a snowy Denmark.

Joan McKimm received a message from The Queen and many other VIP dignitaries this time last year on attaining her century milestone at Twilight aged care’s Hunters Hill Village and will party again on Friday for 101 n.o. ahead of John Griffiths who will score 88 with wife Elaine.

Allen Horrell of Ryde Rotary fame reaches a round six 0 on Friday and celebrates with better half Bernadette and David and Anna while JB niece Gorgeous Gina and hubby Ian Maxted formerly of North Ryde and now Beecroft celebrate 27 years wedded bliss with offspring Michael, Rebecca and Hayley and family and friends.

They met at JB’s place on Oz Bicentennial day 1988 and bingo! Graham Reynolds turns sixty same day in Canberra. Diane Israel Ash McConaghy only daughter of the late ace photographer Ron Israel formerly of Denistone East celebrates with hubby John and daughters Samantha and Wendy on Saturday while Patricia and Burkhart Foertsch celebrate 47 years wedded bliss.

Yvonne Dornan of Glades Village Pharmacy celebrates a birthday Monday and also this month 20 years in business in Gladesville and on Tuesday March 20 Gladesville Chamber of Commerce will honour her with a special birthday celebration get together to which all local business people are welcome to pay respects to Yvonne who has also served as president of Gladesville Chamber of Commerce for a number of years.

Val Payne a longtime popular member of Ryde Rotary Club and better half of the great Bill Payne will celebrate admission to the exclusive ranks of the nonagenarians on Tuesday and no doubt will celebrate at Ryde Rotary’s Tuesday meeting while Danielle Rose Lange celebrates a much more modest fourteen years with Mum Narelle and siblings Chantelle, Kristy and Brandon.

Marlene and Barry Smith of Eastwood celebrate 52 years wedded bliss next Wednesday and we wish them all the very best for a wonderful helpful and cheery couple. Happy daze all.

* * *

BUMPER STICKER: Socrates said: Woman inspires us to great things and prevents us from achieving them!

* * *

Keep Smiling!

JOHN F BOOTH