Stan and Earl: Good of you to come out of retirement to keep us all informed at this amazing and difficult time in the history of the World.
Both Marj and I are very fortunate to be living in Coolangatta, being well retired and living in an area close to the coast which has a mild sub tropical climate and up to date virus wise a very low infection rate. The worst we have had were days of heavy smoke when the bush fires were on earlier this year.
Back in the farm country in some of the ‘fertile’ valleys they have had up to nine years of drought with heavy winds often causing dust storms taking away a lot of the top soil this was followed by fires early this year that burnt out what little grazing they had and in many cases their homes, sheds and equipment as well as the shade trees, livestock and wildlife. To make matters worse when the rain eventually came in February/ March it came in feet rather than points and inches and caused in some areas devastating floods. Now these country areas are like everywhere and everyone else in Australia having to deal with the effects of battling the Corona Virus crisis.
Malcolm Fraser one of our former Prime Ministers who was in power during one of our economic crisis was noted as saying ‘Life was never meant to be easy’.
As regards Shuffleboard, we started 2020 all ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ after spending the last twelve months or so getting things ready for hosting the 39th World Championship, we had a number of contracts and other arrangements in place all ready to go in August.
Then the first ‘cloud’ appeared in early March, the virus we had read about had arrived, as advised by the Government we introduced a number of ‘hygiene’ measures for players to adopt, by about the 10th March further measures were recommended and we we started to became worried for both the local Shuffleboard and the International. By mid March the measures had become regulations and the talk was they would be in place for at least six months which brought us up to September. As a result after many discussions with President Myrna we had no alternative but to ‘pull the plug’ and cancel the event which we did on the 19th March. On the 20th March we suspended all play at our courts until further notice.
It was certainly the right decision to make as the current position is Australia’s borders are closed to International visitors, the borders of many of our States are closed to interstate visitors, all the venues we were going to use for the tournament are closed most businesses also are closed with the exception of food and medical supplies. All citizens are expected to stay at home and only go out for essential supplies and some exercise. People over 70 are requested to stay at home and have other younger people bring them supplies. People who have the virus or who have been in contact with an infected person must self isolate for 14 days under the threat of massive fines or jail. Australians returning from overseas are put into enforced isolation for 14 days the moment they arrive.
For those interested in financial matters due to the efforts of our Management Committee we have fortunately been able to cancel the various arrangements we had made for the International without a loss to the Club so we are now in a strong position to get Shuffleboard going again when the time arrives.
The bright spot here in Coolangatta is we are now in the second month of autumn and sitting out on the balcony in lovely sunny weather and breathing in sea air from the Coral sea doesn’t seem to be too bad a way of being quarantined.
I hope Stan that you are well and being well looked after in your lovely retirement accommodation.
The attached photo is of our very lonely Elanora courts, not a person in sight.