2008 & 2009 & 2010 CLUB ACTIVITIES January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January 25-27      2008      Our Gem show was held over the weekend and was very successful (see the report on the 2008 &2006 club shows page) February 20    Club  meeting. Show discussed, new members welcomed. Several members travelling to the Gemkhana on 9/3/08. A group of members will be spending several days at the Gemboree at Murray Bridge next month. March 19   Club meeting. The club has purchased a 'as new' Robilt 8" grinding/trimsaw combination unit for the very reasonable price of $100! Also, the club has had a set of tubular steel mining ladders plus a diff. based winch donated to it. These items will be offered for sale to club members at a nominal price at the march meeting! March 20 - 25   Gemboree in Murray Bridge S.A.  Nine club members travelled over to the Gemboree for a get together with other rockhounds. The weather was fine, sunny and 'mid-twenties' during the days, though' brisk' first thing in the mornings.     Other Victorian clubs were present, and myself, Ted & Val found ourselves camped between members from the Glen Waverly club and the Nunawading club. Many rockhounds from other states were present (QLD, N.S.W, W.A) as well as the South Australians. A great group of friendly people!     Meals were well catered for, and toilets and showers were excellent. Tail-gaters were numerous and the two main halls had an excellent combination of displays and traders.     Congratulations to Chris Ahyee on his win in the open section (fossils)!  One of the great things about these gemborees is the chance to obtain new information about equipment (new and old) , lapidary techniques and competitions. Be sure to attend the next Gemboree in Horsham, Vic. next year! Gemboree :Slide show left side. Chris Ahyee’s win RHS photo.
Close up view of Canadian Ammonite shell
April 4   Our life member Bill Rodgers celebrated his 97th birthday with  club members. Happy  Birthday Bill! April 6  MORTLAKE FIELD TRIP  A great days fossicking, in perfect weather conditions, was had by club members at the quarry today. Matthew started the day off well, finding a very impressive gemmy bomb soon after arriving at the quarry  (1st row rhs, 2nd row lhs). Jenni found a great bomb (!st row lhs), close to Keith's feet as he was explaining to new members what they should be looking for. How did you miss that one Keith? Several club members, both old and young, had good finds during the day. April 29    Club member John Adams (Photo left) has passed away suddenly at South West Healthcare. John was a member of the club in it's early days and has been an enthusiastic member again over the last few years. He was faceting at the club workshop on Saturday (26th) before falling ill at home the following day. Club members will miss John's friendly face around the club and offer their condolences to John's family. May 2-5     A number of club members attended the 2008 Palmer Rockerama in S.A.(photos left).  John & Gillian, Janice & Keith, Brian, Sarah, Tarna, Alan, Jenni, Chris, Janice and John enjoyed the great weather and the large number of tailgaters. Members had a good time (who spent a lot of money in the first few hours John?), with several members taking part in the metal detecting competition. All Warrnambool members who took part in the competition came away with a prize as a result of their efforts. Special mention must be made of Tarna Alexander and Alan Wood who were 'over the moon' when they won metal detectors. And in a pleasant change this year, Alan Wood managed to avoid getting sick, much to the relief of Jenni! During August I also had the pleasure of visiting the 'Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum', which houses the Somerville Collection. The museum is located at 224 Howick St., in the centre of Bathurst, in a refurbished public school building. The museum has a website with much information  at  I recommend parking at the rear of the museum and allowing 4 to 5 hours to view the collection, but take a break halfway through as it can be overwhelming in one viewing. The staff are very helpful and the labelling of the exhibits is excellent. Some of the collection is shown in the slide show above & left. Also the three photos L to R: An amethyst specimen. Tribolite Fossil on display. A magnificent beryl crystal on display. August   I had the pleasure of visiting the Rockhampton Gem club this month while in Q.L.D. The club members are very friendly and helpful and I would recommend dropping in if you are in the area. The club rooms are located in the 'Walter Reid Cultural Centre', which is in the CBD, a short distance from the tourist information centre. This large multi-story building holds several community groups and is an example of how a council can successfully cater for community groups by reusing an older factory style building. October 18-19:    12 club members travelled via mini-bus to Melbourne to view the Melbourne Museum's mineral collection and  attend the Nunawading gem show, meeting up with other club members who had travelled independently to Melbourne.     Our first stop was at the Nunawading show on Saturday. This was the first time the club had attended the show and members were impressed with both the displays and number of people attending the show. From the show cases it was obvious that Nunawading club has many very capable lapidary’s among it's members. See the slide show to the left. On Sunday, club members travelled to the Melbourne museum where we were shown the museum's mineral/fossil/gem collection by a very informative and friendly Dermot Henry. Dermot explained the different parts of the collections and how they are used for scientific and mining purposes. Many of the mineral, gemstone and fossil specimens had members 'drooling' and aiming to improve their own collections. Hopefully one day many of these magnificent specimens will be on display in the main museum area in Melbourne. VALE BILL RODGERS Warrnambool Gem Club members wish to express their sorrow at the passing on October 30, 2008, of Bill Rodgers, age 97. Bill was a member for several decades. He worked tirelessly in maintaining the club workshop and taught many newcomers over the years. Bill was an excellent lapidary; as well as his cabochon work he was a high standard facetor, gem carver and silversmith. Bill was also an outstanding artist and a lover of music. Bill was a life member of the club and a returned 'Rat of Tobruk'. A week before his passing Bill enjoyed viewing the photos of the club's visit to the Melbourne museum and discussing the progress at the club. Bill was interested in lapidary to the end.   A good man, sadly missed! 1st row: left Bill & Phyl Rodgers (LHS) with Ron Lovell, at Moonlight Heads, March 1984 1st row: right Bill Rodgers celebrating his Birthday at a club meeting at 'Lyndoch'. (Roy Coleman in background) 2nd row: left Bill camping 2nd row: right  Bill with his Facetron faceting m/c.
19/11/08 A.G.M.    The Annual General Meeting of the club voted in the following office bearers for 2009. President   TED MORTON Vice-President  ALAN ALTMANN Assistant Vice-President ANTHONY MARSH Secretary  JANICE FISHER Treasurer  KAY KEEN Workshop Maintenance Officers  KEITH FISHER, ALAN ALTMANN, JOHN HONAN Field Trip Officers  ALAN WOOD, JOHN CHIVERS, CHRIS 29/11/08   THE ALAN WOOD COLLECTION    A significant number of attractive ilmenite crystal specimens have been collected from the Mount Shadwell quarry over recent months. If you would like to view these specimens then have a look at the THE ALAN WOOD COLLECTION on this website. Beware that the photos are of a larger size than normally used on the site, to provide you with an opportunity to appreciate their beauty, and so may take longer to download than normal! 30/11/08   On Sunday the 30th of Nov., some 25 members meet at the car park at Childers Cove. Young and old then headed off for some tektite fossicking. However, the tektites were as 'scarce as hens teeth'! Congratulations go to young Matthew for being the only member to find a nice tektite. 7/12/08 Christmas Breakup:    will be held at Keith and Janice Fishers' home at Woodford on Sunday 7th of December, from 12 noon. B.Y.O. meat and a salad or sweet. Bring along a chair and a $5 'present' for 'Santa' to distribute
2009 CLUB ACTIVITIES January, February, March, April, May, June, July,August, September, October, November, December SUNDAY 1/2/09   The club to a field trip to Mt Shadwell quarry in Mortlake. Warrnambool club members were joined by members of the Geelong club, making a total of some 29 keen fossickers at the quarry. Several members and visitors found peridot, calcites and other mineral specimens. Slide show below left. March 2009        Three club members (Alan, Chris & Janice) were at the Hobart Gem Show on the 7th & 8th of March. The show was located at the casino on the waters edge and a good crowd were in attendance. Slide show bottom left. Photo below middle: fish fossils below right: Chris & Janice's stall at the Hobart show.
April 10 - 13 (Easter). Gemboree in Horsham! A large number of club members attended the Gemboree over Easter. One of the best Gemboree's in years! The weather was fantastic, displays and competition entries were impressive and members enjoyed themselves. Many members attended the talks at the show and came away with a greater knowledge of the hobby. The evening entertainment was great fun See the slide show below!
April 09    Recently a club member brought into the club for identification the specimen shown in the photos (above left). It consisted of a fossil shell encased by limestone from a local quarry. Of special interest were the crystals of barite which had formed around the shell and inside it.  The specimen was 15 cm long. The barite was clear with well formed crystals and had the appearance of a 'crystal snake' (top photo) !!!!! NOTE THAT THE MT SHADWELL QUARRY IN MORTLAKE IS OPEN TO FOSSICKERS AGAIN July   Larry, Mary, Keith & Janice  are in Queensland fossicking. Larry has found some nice green/yellow agates at Agate creek. They are attending the Atherton show before spending a few days at O'Brien's creek.     The stadium beside the clubrooms is being demolished at present. Repairs to our clubrooms roof are being undertaken and further works are expected in the near future. September    The club regrets it must announce the passing of Allan White, club member, geologist, geology lecturer and a good friend to many club members. Saturday 10th,    A large contingent of fossickers from the Ballarat club spent several hours fossicking for peridot at Mt Shadwell, along with some Warrnambool Club members. Some members from both clubs ended up with some cuttable peridot and a nice 'vent' lined with calcite crystals was uncovered and some large specimens obtained. Photos below. Friday 23rd,    Two USA citizens, Kevin & Irene Won, visited the Mt Shadwell quarry and spent a few hours fossicking there. They finished the day with some nice calcite & peridot specimens and some small 'cutters'. Photos below: L to R  Ballarat club members working on the 'vent';  A view of the vent, lined with calcite crystals;  One of the calcite specimens (400 mm wide); Kevin & Irene Won, from San Francisco, USA
ALLAN WHITE    1931 - 2009     Professor Allan White grew up on a dairy farm in the Adelaide hills. He studied at Adelaide under Professor Sir Douglas Mawson and was awarded the Tate Memorial medal by the University of Adelaide in 1952. He completed a PhD in London in 1956 and was appointed a lecturer at the University of Otago. In 1960 he returned to Australia, to the Geology Dept. at the ANU, where he quickly established himself with publications on a wide range of petrological topics. He eventually focused on the origin of granites where he became a world leader as a result of integrating detailed field work with their petrography and chemical compositions. In 1971 Allan became the Foundation Professor of Geology at La Trobe University, where he published a number of landmark papers on granites. After retirement, Allan continued his research on granites and was a regular contributor at scientific conferences, publishing regularly in leading journals. Allan taught at the University of Melbourne and was a regular reviewer/examiner of theses, papers and books. He was the best know petrologist in the world. Allan received a number of major awards: 1994  the Browne Medal by the Geological Society of Australia 2002  the Mawson Lecture & Medal from the Australian Academy of Science 2007  the Geological Society of Japan Medal Allan was a director of the Victorian Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences, (VIEPS), which is a co-operative educational and research institution based in Melbourne. In recognition of Allan's contributions to education, the 'Allan White Medal ' was established which is awarded to 'honours graduates of outstanding calibre and demonstrated excellence' each year. THE ALLAN WHITE FRUIT CAKE RECIPE: Allan provided this recipe to club members (the original source is unknown). It is a simple and fairly healthy recipe. 1 kg of mixed fruit, 2 cups of self raising flour (I use wholemeal), 2 cups of unsweetened orange juice (freshly squeezed is best). Mix and place in an 8” (200mm) cake tin, greased and lined. Bake at approx. 175C for approximately 1 ½ hours (this will vary depending on the oven). I cover with foil to prevent burning of the top of the cake.
Photos above: Top Row L to R:  Alan White;  Alan White ( wearing one of the 'hats' he liked for field work);  Alan White's visitor pass at N.A.S.A.;  Medal awarded to Allan White in 2007, by the Geological Society of Japan Middle Row L to R:  Alan White (lhs), doing field work in Scotland;  Alan White closely examining granite, an area where he was the leading expert in the world; Anakie Gem Show (L to R), Alan Altmann, Allan White, Mary Peterson, Heather White. Bottom Row L to R:  Medal awarded to Allan White in 1999, by VIEPS;  Medal awarded to Allan by the Geological Society of Australia;  Medal awarded to Allan by the University of Adelaide;  Medallion awarded to Allan by the Geological Society of Australia. These medals are some of the many awards given to Allan during his lifetime, during which he became known as a world leader in his field, as well as being a driving force in the teaching of Geology in Australia.
October:     Saturday 24th, 11-30 am. Ten club members attended the 'Celebration of the life of Allan White' at the Fritz Loewe Theatre, McCoy Building, University of Melbourne.  Some 140 people from all over Australia, and overseas, attended the celebration. It was a fitting tribute to a great, but very modest, Australian. November: 15th    Thirteen club members travelled to the Geelong Gem show on Sunday with Alan Wood driving the bus down. Club members had a good day, catching up with friends and making some necessary purchases at the show. The standard of the work in the show cases was up to it's usual high standard. See the slide show to the left. December 6: Club members had a pleasant end of year breakup, at Keith & Janice's Place, in Woodford.
2010 CLUB ACTIVITIES January, February, March, April, May, June, July,August, September, October, November, December January:  The 2010 Warrnambool Gem Show was held in January on Friday, 8th to Sunday 10th . For a full report go to the CLUB SHOWS page. February 7    Club members spent the morning fossicking at Mt Shadwell, in Mortlake, for peridot. The morning yielded little peridot, but some anorthoclase was found by two members. For lunch a BBQ was held at Alan Wood's home where members viewed his collection. See the slide show below left.
March 6-7   Club members will be visiting the Gemkhana in Ballarat. April 10   Club workshop reopens after renovations. See the 'Club history page'. April 15-19   Some 14 club members spent the weekend fossicking at Eldorado. Members sieved and panned in Reedy Ck, obtaining some gold dust, agates and quartz crystals. Members also dug at an abandoned tin mine and found quartz crystals, citrine and amethyst crystals. Most finds were small and required a lot of digging. Members had a great time at the 'happy hours' at the Eldorado campground after each day's fossicking. See the slide show above right. May 1    Eleven Post-graduate  geology students from the Australian National University visited the Mount Shadwell quarry in Mortlake as part of their 'geological tour'. Alan Wood and Alan Altmann from our club spent 2 hours at the quarry with these geologists (from Russia, Italy, South America, the U.S.A. and other countries) as they fossicked for mineral specimens. Some nice peridot  specimens in volcanic bombs were collected along with other mineral specimens. The group then viewed Alan Wood's mineral and gem collection where they had 'a cuppa' and purchased some 'bargains' from Woody.  The group then travelled to Tower Hill near Warrnambool, to view the caldera (and emus & kangaroos). A good time was had by all. Photos below L to R:   Geology graduates from ANU with Keith (rhs, shire foreman);   Examining some of the 'really large' volcanic bombs near the entrance to the Mt Shadwell quarry
May 1-2    The Palmer Rockarama  was held over the weekend and kathleen Brockett, John & Marion Chivers attended. They reported that the show was great fun with good attendances. Photos: Left  John and Marion Chivers tailgating at the Palmer Rockarama.  Right  Part of the evening entertainment. Kym stars again! June 19    Some 28 VGCA  members, led by George Faderson, arrived at the Mortlake quarry at Mt Shadwell; as part of a weekends fossicking in the area. Mt Waverly, Mt Gambier, Geelong, Murray Valley, Blue Hill and Warrnambool clubs were represented. See photos left.  Alan Wood, of the Warrnambool Gem Club, guided the visitors as to what to look for and provided some fossicking hints.  After a cool start to the day, the sun came out and the fossicking conditions in the quarry were good. This 'writer' found 2 good 'gemmy bombs' whilst there during the morning. Calcites, aragonites  and some ilmenite crystals were also collected while I was there. Visitors were lucky to have Keith Hargraves in attendance, he is both the quarry supervisor and a club member, and used machinery to provide access to fresh fossicking material. It is nice to see such support for fossickers by the local community. Fossickers enjoyed a BBQ at the local caravan park on Saturday night, with Alan Wood showing some of the cabochons he has cut from the Mt Shadwell material as well as his techniques for making 'Peridants'. There was some rain on Sunday, though I understand that at least one good 'gemmy bomb' was found in the morning. Later in the day, fossickers spent time at Alan Wood's place viewing his collection and having afternoon tea. Mortlake has become a popular fossicking locality for many Australians and overseas visitors!
July    Four club members travelled to the Hart's Range in the N.T. The area was wet after extensive rains throughout the region, however access to the main fossicking areas was still good. Alan Altmann and Alan Wood spent time fossicking at Mud tank and around Mt Palmer. At Mud tank Alan Wood dug up a nice selection of zircons during the two days spent there. In the Mt Palmer area the main items collected were mica books, some beryl, garnets in mica schist. The 'Disputed Mine' site showed signs of extensive fossicking over the last few years. The access track is still in good condition. A good selection of unakite was obtained in S.A., along with gypsum and chert in the 'moon plains' area of Coober Pedy. On the way home we visited an ex member of the club, Brian Alexander, who now lives near Mildura. Photos far left: SOME OF THE FINDS FROM THE TRIP. (bottom left unakite, centre left gypsum, top left zircons & apatite ,bottom & centre right mica, top right chert,  centre large garnet bearing mica schist). Left:  Relaxing at a BBQ at Brian Alexanders' home near Mildura August    Member Kathleen Brockett enjoying her time faceting at the club workshop. Kathleen is making good progress having completed her first gem! (photo far left) September    Several club members attended the VGCA fossicking trip at Lake Cooper Quarry  to hunt for jasper, chert and mineral specimens. Photos:  Left Club members Ted and Val, collecting at the Lake Cooper quarry Far Left: Darren (2nd from left) at Lake Cooper Quarry Left: Looking for some Jasper Below left:  Lake Cooper quarry. Boy, that is a lot of rock to break up! October        Saturday 23rd.  A large number of club members attended the club workshop for normal cutting activities plus a 'thank you' afternoon tea for the Warrnambool City council. Mayor Michael Neoh and councillor Andrew Fawcett attended, along with council engineer John Loomes (who supervised works on the upgrade of the club building). The afternoon tea members put on was very impressive and it was good to see members from 12 to 95 in attendance! An enjoyable afternoon was had, and club members had the chance to show our new work area in full use. 2010 GEELONG GEM SHOW VISIT: SUNDAY NOV. 14 Ten club members travelled to Geelong for a days shopping and browsing. A great day’s outing for all involved. It was good to catch up with members at the Geelong club. See the slide show to the left! December: 10  Club members wish to express their sadness at the passing of Utah Lambert, A long term, and much valued member of the club. Utah was always ready to lend a hand at our shows and will be greatly missed by all his friends. Below: L to R    Keith & Utah:   December 12  CLUB BBQ  A large number of club members met at Keith & Janice Fishers home for our end of year bbq. Fortunately, the weather improved during the day and we had fine conditions for the bbq. As normal, the food was fantastic and the company great! See the slide show to the left!
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