A Fundraiser For The Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Royal Flying Doctor Service was the dream of a Presbyterian Minister, Rev John Flynn, who was very concerned for the pioneers living in remote and rural areas where there were just two doctors trying to cover around two million square kilometres.  He wanted a better health service for these people and in 1928 his dream became a reality with the RFDS launching in Cloncurry, Queensland.

Admiring the cars

Admiring the cars

Still going strong nearly 100 years later, the RFDS continues its great work and with the help of Government funding, working in partnership with companies and donations from within the community, the RFDS is now Australia-wide and owns 61 aircraft.  Their pilots annually fly the equivalent of 25 round trips to the moon and their doctors and nurses are responsible for the care and treatment of around 270,000 people, who all live in remote areas and would otherwise be severely challenged during a medical situation or emergency.

It’s good to support this service!

The back of the bowling club

The back of the bowling club

Last Sunday the Warringah Bowling Club held a fundraising event for the RFDS and so off we went to lend our support.  Now Carl has a soft-spot for the RFDS because Australia’s pioneer female pilot, Nancy Bird, was one of their pilots.  When Nancy Bird was starting her flying career she needed sponsorship and it was Carl’s grandfather who sponsored her plane.

Alfie's lesson

Alfie’s lesson in mechanical engineering

At the fundraising event we met some of the men involved in The Outback Car Trek.  This is an annual event where Aussie blokes (most are mechanics and pilots), get into cars and race from one remote outback post to another with each journey taking around seven days to complete.  With every race there are rules and one of them is that the cars have to be pre-1978.  They are then specifically prepared to endure the rigors of outback road driving.

Everything's gleaming

Everything’s gleaming

Next year is the 25th Anniversary of this event and to mark the occasion they are going on a longer trek that will start in Alice Springs and end up in Margaret River via Broome, a journey of over 6,000kms (3,881 miles).  (And if you live in Sydney, you can add on another 2,000kms just to get you to the starting line!)

Having a turn in the driver's seat

Having a turn in the driver’s seat

I spent quite a bit of time talking to these men who are not only enthusiastic about their cars but also at seeing Australia by road and getting out to all the remote towns and spending time with true-blue Aussies who live in areas that would rarely see a visitor or have anyone passing through.

The CB radio

The CB radio

They all had the hoods of their cars raised so we could admire the pristine engines and Alfie was given quite a lesson on how engines work and he looked rather dazzled by the end of it.  I don’t normally spend a lot of time looking under the hood but what I noticed is that while I might just clean the interior and exterior of my car, these men also clean all those mechanical bits and pieces.  The chrome was gleaming!  Carl had his Mustang with him (everywhere we go!) and he parked it alongside these other relics but he had to keep his hood down as his ‘under the hood’ was a disgrace by comparison.

Don't look under the hood

Don’t look under the hood

After about two hours of shifting my weight from one leg to the other, we left the car enthusiasts and had a wander around the market that had various stalls including the obligatory sausage sizzle that was branching out and also serving bacon and egg rolls.

Good ol' Aussie chunky beef pies

Good ol’ Aussie chunky beef pies

But the bowling club had competitions on the go and as I was sitting down (to recover from my tour of car engines) the announcer was calling for one more adult to take part in a bowling ‘spider’.  They were a player short and all the competitors were lined up on the green waiting and waiting.  After a couple of minutes I felt sorry for the poor announcer so I stuck my hand up and said I would help them out.  And over the loud speakers came, ‘The lady in the orange is going to join us.  Come this way, lady in orange’.   Everyone is now looking at the lady in orange.  I should have worn something less conspicuous.

A machine to clean those balls

A machine to clean those balls

We were given a two-minute bowling lesson and told that on the count of three we had to roll the ball towards the little white jack (small ball) and the person whose ball ends up closest to the jack is the winner.  Right.  Got it.  We had two try-outs and I came last in both.  Just too much power.  My ball shot right past the jack and ended on the other side of the green.

The member's bag room

The member’s bag room

Then it was time for the real thing and restraining the urge to have the fastest rolling ball, I pulled back and set off my ball at a crawling pace.  Ladies and gentleman:  I was the winner!  I actually jumped up and down and clapped my hands but then looked around and no one else was clapping.  So I settled down.  I won a $120 voucher to a local hairdressing salon for a cut and blow-dry.  (I was so relieved it wasn’t a perm and blue-rinse).  All going well I will post the results of my make-over.

The left-handed winning shot

The left-handed winning shot

For the rest of the day there’s every chance I annoyed Alfie by continually saying, ‘Whose mother is the lawn bowls champion?’  Until he said, ‘But winning isn’t everything’.  And being a good parent who is concerned with teaching her child important life lessons I said, ‘Alfie, the person who said that never won anything’.

A winner's grin

A winner’s grin

We came home with Carl wanting to take the family on a road trip across the outback, Alfie telling everyone how pistons and engines work and me shouting over everyone else that I was the unopposed lawn bowls champion.  And all for a very worthy cause.

Cupcakes from Rustique

Cupcakes from Rustique

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  1. Wow! Ladies bowls champion and after only two practise throws, very impressive. I was always fascinated by the flying doctors as a child because we used to have a kids programme on TV all about the adventures. (Must have been an Aussie show). GG

  2. That was so funny about the bowling. I just read it out to Mr Beach House and we both had a laugh. You are a great story teller and I look forward to the new do.

  3. That makes me giggle!

  4. Haha I’d be bragging too! Except bowling of any kind never really was my forte. 😛

  5. Hehe well done to the lovely lady in orange!! 😀

  6. You go girl! Ladies championship in lawn bowl! A great cause to support and so glad they are in place and it needs a strong medical and pilot team to keep this going.

  7. Boys and their toys!! Congrats on the hair voucher, can’t wait to see the results xx

  8. Love it! Great post, you had me laughing and nodding in understanding at the shifting weight from foot to foot while staring under car hoods. What a fabulous cause to support and how cool that your husband has a personal link to it.

  9. Congratulations you lawn bowling champ! What a badge of honor! I’ve never tried the sport, and to be honest, it’s not one I’ve been yearning to try — regular bowling is enough for me, at least the once every ten years I get roped into doing it!
    The salon certificate sounds lovely; $120 for a cut and blow dry does seem a little steep, hopefully it’s at a really posh shop. At my salon a cut from a senior stylist is $60, and I hear that a full colour is $65, although I wouldn’t know for sure ;-)!

  10. Congrats lawn bowling champion. It’s true … winning isn’t everything … until YOU’RE the winner.

    Between the Flying Doctor Service and the Car Trekkers, a fun glimpse into Aussie life and history.

  11. Untapped talent! What fun 🙂 Can’t wait to hear about your trip to the salon!

  12. Sending you love Down Under, Sweets.

    Can you send me a couple of those beef pies? Oh, and some of those colorful cupcakes!


  13. G’day and well done Orange lady, true!
    The Royal Flying Doctor is PHENOMENAL in what they accomplish and do; GREAT doctors and nurses too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  14. Oh good, I’m not the only mother who sets her kids straight about ridiculous sayings! A wins a win, in my book and you can gloat all you want! Great job, btw. The flying doctors seem like a great cause and one worth supporting.


  15. You have the best weekends – never a dull moment reading your posts. Well done to the Orange Lady. Have they signed you up yet?

  16. Well done you!! That’s a wonderful prize – better than a meat tray, I reckon.

    I had a ’67 green mustang but mine had a top on it. 🙂

  17. I can just see Carl bush bashing in his Mustang with Alfie as navigator! The outback wouldn’t know what hit it. And congratulations to you orange outfitted one on your bowling prowess, very impressive indeed. I hope the makeover is a big success 🙂 xox

  18. Congratulations on being the lawn bowling champion, make sure you keep telling everyone :). Looking forward to the makeover 🙂

  19. O you are such a good sport. You have to be in it to win it! Like the look of those pies and cupcakes and a lefty to boot! Well done.

  20. Be proud be loud and why not for a good cause. You are my kinda mother Charlie. A great day and funny story x

  21. Go Charlie! Well done!

  22. Have a great weekend!

  23. Lol!!! so many life lessons in this story… I love your parenting… wifeing style 🙂
    Great story!

  24. Wow, congratulations – I have no idea how one even plays bowls but it looks like fun… can’t imagine it’s easy either! Looks like a great day – is the RFDS the service which was featured in that soap/drama series called Flying Doctors back in the… wow, eighties, was it? Or am I thinking of something else entirely?

  25. What a lovely post!

  26. Well done!!! I’m so bad at bowling 🙂

  27. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing and hearing about your trip to the beauty parlor.
    Alfie is so mature for his age.

  28. Wow, looks like a lot of fun! I have always been terrible at bowling 🙁

  29. Well done you for both volunteering and winning, and all to support a fabulous cause! My mum’s husband has a vintage car with a sparkling engine bay that he takes out to events like this – the dedication required to keep a car like that is beyond ridiculous!

  30. Congratulations Ms Champion! What a jam packed day out – and all the better for supporting a worthy cause.

  31. Congratulations on your win and only after two practice throws! We used to have lawn bowls competitions for our work summer parties. They were so much fun…and like you, I wanted to win 😉 What a great idea for a fundraiser and such a great cause.

  32. ‘Alfie, the person who said that never won anything’. You go! 😉 Sounds like a fun time. Glad you avoided the perm and blue rinse – so totally not appropriate for you. Good post – thanks.

  33. Good cause, lots of fun. Congratulations on your fast learning curve with the bowls. That’s most impressive!

  34. What a fun afternoon.. I think the word “fun” in “fun”draiser is paramount! I’m so glad you won!! Yay!!! I would have been content with a few cupcakes myself:D

  35. I hope you had a great weekend!

  36. Awesome! Well done Charlie! Can’t wait to see your make-over.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  37. Congrats on your lawn bowling win! How fun is that! And I’m with Carl – a road trip across country is always tops on my wish list of things to do. 🙂

  38. WooHoo!! Good Job! 🙂 Winning isn’t everything, but it’s better than losing!! 😉 I just can’t stand it when people say “It’s not whether you win or lose…” Blah blah blah…If you aren’t going to play to win, why bother?!?!? Nothing wrong with wanting to win and working for it! Now knowing you can’t always win, now that’s a healthy attitude to have!! 😉 xo

  39. What a great cause and fun day. 🙂 I didn’t know about the Flying Doctors until I moved to Oz, but have loved learning more about what they do. When I read about the car race I thought it sounded so fun until my husband started describing the state of the roads to me. 🙂

  40. I knew you were born to be a winner 🙂 Even in Lawn bowl hehe! What a fun event and for a very good cause, I have always thought about the people who live in rural parts of Australia and what they would do when they need medical help or things like that ~

    Alfie looks so proud and happy of himself hehe look at that smile on his face!

  41. thanks for sharing such a lovely post. Congratulations on your winning!

  42. What a fun post–made me laugh. Congratulations as well. I always thought that if (if only…) I were a doctor, this is just what I would like to do with my life.

  43. Sounds like a really fun time – though yes, I might have gotten a wee bit bored with all of the car stuff, too. I don’t know if you know this, but anything Australian is very cool and exciting here in the US. So a road trip across Australia is nothing less than terribly romantic and the stuff of movies to our ears! That flying service sounds marvelous and so important!

  44. What a great time for a worthy cause!
    Kids are always embarrassed by their mothers, no matter what you do,Charlie; you have to know that by now!

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