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Casino NSW News

Have your say on the Future of Regional NSW

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Future of Regional NSW

Have your say on the Future of Regional NSW

 

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin is urging local residents to provide their feedback about the Future of Regional NSW.

Ms Saffin says the Department of Regional NSW has been holding regional roundtables across the state, including one in Casino recently.

Another roundtable is scheduled for Coffs Harbour just prior to its formal consultation process wrapping up at the end of this month (January 2024).

“These roundtables are an opportunity for local industry, community groups and councils to discuss their local needs and priorities, and help guide NSW Government investment in regional areas,” Ms Saffin says.

“Feedback received on an issues paper released in November 2023 will inform how the NSW Government supports the sustainable growth of regional New South Wales, home to one-third of the state’s population.

“There will be an opportunity for further face-to-face consultation within the Lismore Electorate in the coming months.”

Future of Regional NSW

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin is urging local residents to provide their feedback about the Future of Regional NSW.

The Department of Regional NSW is seeking your feedback on:

A consultation report is due to be released by March 2024. This report will be reviewed by the Regional Development Advisory Council and made publicly available in a recommendations report. For more information, visit here.

 

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Casino NSW News

Max and Marie Maher – North Casino – Part 2

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Max and Marie's wedding day - Max and Marie Maher

Max and Marie Maher – North Casino – Part 2

 

By Helen Trustum

(Continued from part 1) On 4th April 1964 Max married Marie Scheibel from Jiggi. Marie’s parents were Jim and Josie Scheibel. They were married in the Catholic Church in North Lismore (opp timber yard). Their family; Joanne, Darren, Jamie and Donna. The family first lived at 20 Tweed Street, North Lismore until 1971 before moving to Clifford Street, Goonellabah.

In 1967 Max and Marie started their own business calling it “Mahers Car Sales”. This business was at the BP Service Station on the corner of Woodlark and Dawson Street. They were there for 3 years, from September 1967 to September 1970.

Mahers Car Sales - Lismore - Max and Marie Maher

Mahers Car Sales – Lismore

From Woodlark Street to Ballina Street near the Ballina Street Bridge (a little Volkswagen still on the roof) they built a second car yard on the corner of Molesworth Street and Ballina Street. Max owned a 1964 EH Holden called “Any Plum”. With this car he went drag racing at Surfers Paradise. He competed at 24 meetings, winning 21 of them.

In 1969 Max started racing cars at the speedway on Lismore Showground.  President of the North Coast National Spencer Spinaze felt the Lismore Showground had to be used more than the Annual Show. Midway through 1969 Spencer was approached by Neil Mansell and Dutton Stibbard to see if the North Coast National might be interested in starting speedway on the grounds. They were already running speedway in Kingaroy and Toowoomba. After a hurried show meeting Tom Somerville, Murray McKinnon, Ken Somerville and Spencer Spinaze joined Max, Charlie Austen, Richard Rugendyke and Neil Priestly and travelled to Kingaroy for the next race meeting. They were convinced this was the answer for the Society to achieve extra funds. A special fence had to be erected to comply with Police safety regulations. The fence was built by voluntary labour from the show society members and Lismore Car Club members. The speedway is still going and has raised considerable money over the years for charity.

Red Comodore for speedway - Max and Marie Maher

Red Comodore for speedway

Speedway was Max’s way of life from then on. Within 2 years there were over 200 cars competing. A regular tradition of a barbeque following the speedway was always welcome at the Maher Family Home in Tweed Street. Then in later years the barbeque was held under the Members Grandstand at the showground. Remembered is Max’s four door Monaro, after a couple of seasons attending speedways and how spectacular it was. The car had a massive amount of power and torque where it would lift the inside front wheel at least a foot off the ground under power for almost a lap of the showground.

During the 1970’s Max remembers the Americans that would come out to Australia and compete against one another. There were four Americans against four Australians. Max was selected on many occasions to compete against them. Driving his Holden 350 Monaro at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground in 1976 against these men in the 6 events, Max won 5 of them. A great feat and one where he will always remember. These events were also run on the Lismore Showground. Max gave speedway away in 1980 and made a return to racing for a couple of meetings in 1987.

Max and Marie's Family - Max and Marie Maher

Max and Marie’s Family

In 2009 a reunion was held at the Italo Club, North Lismore Lismore where 200 people turned up for the reunion dinner. People including George Jetson, Geoff Limbert, John Leslight, Gerry Flood and of course Max. A great night was had by all.

Lismore Speedway has produced some of the top drivers in Australia. They are Grenville Anderson, Bob Worling, Stuart Herne, Paul O’Neill, Steve Robinson, Robert Armstrong and Neville Pezzutti. These men raced in the 1970’s.

After retiring from speedway, the family purchased a ski boat upon which many wonderful weekends were held. All the family learnt to ski spending time at Bungawalbyn and Swan Bay where all the training was held. The entire family all learnt to barefoot ski, including Max who was in his 40’s when he learnt the art of skiing.

Max singing at Kyogle Country Music day.

Max singing at Kyogle Country Music day.

Not to be sitting idle Max decided to give flying a go. In the 1980’s he obtained his flying licence and purchased a plane. One particular time, along with Marie, her parents Jim and Josie Scheibel, their son Darren and Greg Goulding flew right around the coast of Australia. The trip taking them six weeks, site seeing on the way. Max has flown through the centre of Australia and seeing Ayres Rock/Uluru landing at the airport. There were times when he would fly to Canberra just for the day when there was boat racing on. Achieving his pilots licence for plane travel did not come easy for Max, as his school days were very sparce specially High School.

In 2001 Max and Marie purchased 2 acres in Sherwood Park, North Casino. It is here in Hereford Drive that they have retired in 2013. For a short time, Max worked for Keyside Motors in Ballina travelling from North Casino down to Ballina.

Max and Marie Maher

Max and Marie Maher

Since Max and Marie have retired, they have travelled to a lot of Country Music Festivals and enjoying this part of their lives. Max has taken up singing again at these festivals which he rather enjoys. It was at the Ulmarra Country Music Festival that his good friend Ray Essery encouraged him to get up on stage. A long way from the family farm at Goolmangar, where it was an aspiration and now fully realizing his dream.

Now with 4 children, 10 Grandchildren and 11 Great Grandchildren, what more would you want in life.

Max with Jayden, Darren and Trent. With first names Spencer

Max with Jayden, Darren and Trent. With first names Spencer

Ref: Max and Marie Maher, North Casino – 22/1/2024

 

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Casino NSW News

New $8 million learning centre for Casino students

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Mercy centre

New $8 million learning centre for Casino students

 

By Samantha Elley

There were a long list of dignitaries, community members, teachers and of course, the students who attended the opening of St Mary’s Catholic College, Casino’s refurbished building, called the Mercy Centre.

One key person missing was parish priest Father Peter Slack, who was recovering from an operation, but his words were read out by Aaron Beach, Regional Service Leader, Diocese of Lismore, Catholic Schools.

“It is a building that is spacious with natural light,” said Mr Beach on behalf of Fr Slack.

“It is a building which invites the world into its walls.”

Built on the site of the Sisters of Mercy, who were established in the 1880s, it is fitting that it has been named the Mercy Centre.

Mr Beach described it as a learning space with flexible learning areas that will foster creative and critical thinking.

The project included a complete refurbishment of the previous block.

The new facility includes a number of general learning classrooms, four state-of-the-art STEM science labs, open learning spaces, study pods, canteen, gymnasium and an auditorium- style seating, referred to as the Learning Commons.

Bishop of Lismore, Gregory Homeming gave the blessing which included the people, the building and the plaque.

“I am blessing more than a building,” he said.

“But I am blessing you.”

With that, he sprinkled holy water on all in attendance, giving a double dose to the politicians who he felt needed the extra kick.

Finally, the plaque was unveiled by NSW Senator, the Hon Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

“I understand the building has already been in use for some months,” she said.

“It is an enhancing experience that you all have here.”

The total project cost $8,394,000, with $3,600,000 contributed to by the Australian Government.

Other dignitaries in attendance included Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, Member for Clarence Richie Williamson, Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow and Director of Catholic Schools, Adam Spencer.

 

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Casino NSW News

Max and Marie Maher – North Casino – Part 1

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Penny and Enid with Valerie Darryl, Max, Glen and Nola - Max and Marie Maher

Max and Marie Maher – North Casino – Part 1

 

By Helen Trustum

Spencer Maxwell Maher, known as Max, was born 18th January 1943, to parents Spencer known as “Penny” and Enid Maher of Goolmangar. Their family – Valerie, Nola, Max, Glen and Darryl. As Max was the eldest boy, he was given the Spencer name just like his father and Grandfather, Spencer Wesley Maher. A family trait that is handed down over the years and still carried on. Each boy in the Maher Family Tree that is born first carries the “Spencer” name.

Valerie, Max and Nola Maher - Max and Marie Maher

Valerie, Max and Nola Maher

Max grew up on the family farms at Koonorigan and Goolmangar. He always had a love for horses where he rode to school at Coffee Camp then later competing at Country Shows. Max remembers the February 1954 cyclone when raging waters from the River tore the Coffee Camp School and the local Community Hall at Coffee Camp from their stumps then flowed down the river out of site. Mr Lake, teacher in charge at Coffee Camp School and his wife Mrs Lake recalled the day when they were watching from the schoolhouse and saw it all unfold before their eyes. A document written by Mrs Lake stated: “The school went first tipping over in the water then hitting a tree and breaking up. The hall was shuddering and groaning, it did not want to go. Suddenly the walls opened up and out came the stools and wooden tables. Cups and plates bobbed up and down in the water and then the piano came out”.

Max practising show jumping at home - Max and Marie Maher

Max practising show jumping at home

School lessons were held on the side verandah of the schoolhouse, the teachers dwelling. The piano was found, it was high up a tree further down the river on Reg Parmenter’s farm. The Honour Roll from the hall along with the Union Jack were rescued. A new hall and school were built.

Max remembers one day after school when he and Nola were saddling up their horses to ride home and Nola threw the saddle on where the stirrup hit their teacher Mr Blake on the head. He certainly had a bad knock. The schoolhouse was next door to Max’s Grandparents Percy and Casandra Swift.

Maher Family home on Nimbin Road - Max and Marie Maher.

Maher Family home on Nimbin Road

Shows were a feature of the Maher home, where it was not long before Max and Valerie were competing at the Nimbin Show. They would share the pony “Wally” between them. Their father would take them to the show in his 1948 Single Wheel Bedford. The vehicle was green with black mud guards purchased from W Robinson and Son in Lismore. Max and Valerie would compete for School Boy and School Girl of the Show. Many ribbons were won. Later Max’s father purchased a hunting mare for Max. Her name was “Silka”. Max was 12 years of age at the time. Jumps were set up on the farm where Max would practice. The pair competed at many shows around the district. Eventually this horse was sold to Earl Creighton for his son Guy to ride. Guy was 10 years of age at the time. They competed at Pony Club events and shows. Guy went on to be Australia’s Champion competing at Commonwealth Games.

Valerie riding Wally at the 1952 Nimbin Show copy

Valerie riding Wally at the 1952 Nimbin Show

Penny, Max’s father, was no stranger to the showground as he raced trotters for years. A few of the men that Max can remember are Charlie Langley, Barry King, Ned Coleman, Ray Essery Snr., Barry Troy, Cec Knight and Butcher Dunn. These men would always meet at Dave Wotherspoons Saddlery in North Lismore (near the Winsome Hotel) during the 1950’s.

The family loved attending functions in the Goolmangar Hall. Fancy dress or Christmas Tree concerts were always held.

Family dress up at Goolmangar Hall - 1950

Family dress up at Goolmangar Hall – 1950

Max always loved country music and from an early age he would be glued to the radio every Saturday morning at 10am listening to Radio Ranch on 2LM Lismore. Kevin Knapp was the announcer on Radio Ranch. Kevin went on to Tamworth where he started the Tamworth Country Music Festival. His cousin and good friend Ken Parmenter at that stage purchased a guitar, so Max was always up at the Parmenters farm learning to play the guitar. He would ride his push bike up to Kens and stay overnight. One particular weekend, Ken’s mother, Phyllis, who was Max’s Aunty, beckoned Max to have a look on his bed. There was a guitar waiting for him. What a great thrill. He was eight years old at the time. In later years his mother and father purchased him a guitar and one he still has (see photo). There was no stopping him now going from hall to hall singing and playing. Max would also sing and play at the concerts at Brunswick Heads, Ballina and Evans Head each Christmas. These concerts would raise money for the Life Saving Clubs in the district.

Penny and Max Maher

Penny and Max Maher

When it came time for High School in 1956 Max attended Lismore High along with good friend Ray Essery who lived at Booerie Creek. A friendship he has always held to this day. Ray went on to be one of the best known and loved poets in Australia. His humour and history of the area is second to none.

Max only attended one year at High School then returned to the family farm. The 125 Jersey cows were milked and the cream was picked up and taken to Norco in Lismore, by cream carrier Dick Hayes. At first a horse drawn plough was used on the farm then later a tractor was purchased to plough the paddocks for a paddock of corn. Max was so small on the tractor his head was hard to see above the mudguard on the back of the tractor.

In 1960 Max decided to give the farming life away and began working at Smith Ingots buying scrap metal. The firm gave Max a new Bedford as the job took him as far as Rockhampton in the north to Coffs Harbour in the south. After two years employment at Smiths Ingots, he began working at Bytheway’s BMC dealers in Lismore, selling cars.

Continued next issue.

 

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