Here is a report from Brenda, thanks for this, Brenda!
Gianna was a loyal and regular attendee at the Travel Scrabble Group
outings, and it was with sadness that we heard of her passing after a
courageous and prolonged battle with cancer. Gianna's sister Marisa also
enjoyed the Group get-togethers, and both will be missed by the Group
Gianna was a popular and long-term member of the Essendon Scrabble Club,
and had forged strong friendships with many of the club members,
particularly Lina Camilleri, the late Teresa Scicluna and Norma Engel,
and would often drive them to tournaments, which all enjoyed. Her other
great love was bushwalking, an interest which she shared with a wide
circle of friends, including some of her Scrabble friends. Rest
The Midweek Trip to the Bell Tower Inn, Alfredton, Ballarat ~
October 22-24, 2014
Here are some photos from the occasion, a very happy time away in
Trish, looking good!
Rod, in a tree!
Ballarat, here we come! Wednesday October 22 ~ Friday October 24.
A midweek get-together.....
At the Bell Tower Inn, 1845 Sturt Street, Alfredton, Ballarat
Deposit $50 required by August 24,
at the Fundraising
Balance required by September 28,
at the Essendon Tournament
Late fee $25 if paid after September 28
Cost: includes cooked breakfast, all meals, and separate playing
Single ~ $365
Double or twin ~ $245
Triple ~ $222
Train times are quite good - contact Mary, who will arrange to pick
you up at Wendouree Station
(but not Ballarat.)
For more information, please contact Mary McMahon: Email ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (03) 5221 3715
Travel Scrabble Weekend 25 - 27 April 2014 at Stonelea
organized a very successful Travel Scrabble weekend
for 32 people, at Stonelea Acheron, near Alexandra. (Thanks to Sandra
Masel for this report, and to Barry Harridge and Rod Casey for the
The weather was sunny during the day and chilly at night and the
autumn colours were spectacular. The venue was in a beautiful rural
setting by a lake full of ducks and swans. The beds were comfortable
and the food was great.
On Saturday afternoon people were free to have spa treatments, fossick
in antique shops, drive to Marysville or Eildon, or just relax.
Instead of individual performances and stress over ratings losses or
gains the 29 players were divided into two teams, Green and Yellow.
Yellow won 80 games to Green’s 57 and a good time was had by all.
The 3 non playing husbands judged the word competitions:
Lina Camilleri - Pine (Cove)
Gianna Devcic - Dancers
Pat Hooper - Cream
Julie Belle - Dzho
Additional activities were game sheets won by Barry Harridge and Paula
Messer, and “Guess who I am” ably performed by Rod Casey (alias Humpty
Dumpty) and Julie Belle (alias Nigella Lawson). The door prize went to
Special thanks to Gayle Cameron
for all her work in the
kitchen and to everyone who brought copious amounts of food for
afternoon tea, morning tea and supper!
The next Travel Scrabble Weekend will be 24 – 26 October 2014
at a venue to be advised.
Travel Scrabble in April, 2014
At Stonelea Country Estate,
18 Connellys Creek Road, Alexandra
To visit the Stonelea website click
Dates: Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, and Sunday 27th April, 2014
“Early Bird” Special - finishes on March 30 at the Nunawading
Extra $25 if paid after March 30
(Deposit $50 required by February 9)
~ Shared ~ $260.00
Single ~ $350.00
Expressions of interest to Sue Bridges, please: Email ~ email@example.com
Phone: 5940 3141
Great times at Marysville, October 2013
At El Kanah Guesthouse, Marysville ~ 39 people attended, 36 players
& 3 partners or family. Sue Bridges did an outstanding job
organising the venue and the new format and had to change the draw
twice when Meg cancelled due to illness, and Elaine left Saturday
The players were allocated to either the blue or yellow group and
were neck and neck after the sixth game, however after the 8th and
final game blue were 82 to yellows 70. High game was taken out by
Mal and high word by Elaine. There were theme words, and prizes went
to - Marysville - fog - Latha; Royal baby - coo - Patricia; Food -
stewed - Norma; Colour - tones - Nicole; Flowers - bloomers - Tam;
and Marjorie won the lucky door prize.
Thanks to Julie, Paula and Jennifer for playing additional games in
Meg's absence, and thanks to Rod Casey for the great photos. Mention
must be made of Mary McMahon who played a whopping 44 casual
games..... All attendees are sub committee members charged with
assisting in finding future venues, with President Gayle Cameron,
Secretary Brenda Thurgar and Treasurer Sue Bridges. The next travel
scrabble will be on Anzac weekend, on 24/25/26 April 2014 - more
details will follow in approx one week - Gayle Cameron.
Next outing - Marysville! October 25/26/27, 2013
Hi to all the Travel scrabblers...it was great to see such a good
turn up at Phillip Island recently...and a great w/e was had by all!
A recent photo of the area
El Kanah Guesthouse at Marysville
The Dining Room at El Kanah
The Conference Room
We have some exciting news to share re the next travel scrabble. Sue
Bridges has been hard at work investigating a new location and we
are happy to announce that a booking has been made at the newly
rebuilt El Kanah Guesthouse in Marysville for the weekend of the
25th - 27th October 2013.
An email will be sent to those people who we have email contacts for
over the next few weeks....others will be able to put their name
down if interested at upcoming tournaments.
We have decided to postpone Hepburn Springs till next year as the
whole lodge was not available for the date that we wanted this year.
More news to follow soon, many thx from the travel scrabble team.
Travel Group returns to popular Phillip Island.
A report by Julie Belle with photos from Barry Harridge, Brenda
Thurgar and Rod Casey.
The weekend of the 3rd 4th 5th May saw 26 scrabblers and 2 non-playing
partners make the journey to beautiful Phillip Island for the first
travel scrabble weekend of the year.
A couple of Nobbies -
Rod Casey & Jennifer Swift
It was a great turn-up, so much so that we had the whole of the
Tropicana Motor Inn to ourselves! Jim, Suzanne and all the staff at
the Tropicana (as always) looked after us all so well with delicious
meals and great hospitality. It is great that we have have the
conference room set up for playing for the whole weekend.
saw the gradual arrival of all the guests and it didn't
take long before the conference room was full of friendly banter and
game playing. Our computer whiz, Barry Harridge soon had us all
organised with our handicaps and draws ( thanks Barry for all your
hard work throughout the weekend) and after drinks and a yummy dinner
we had our first official game. Saturday
saw us all up at 8am
bright eyed and bushy tailed enjoying breakfast before the next 3
official games. After a hearty lunch of home made soup, sandwiches,
quiche and scones we all went off on our separate ways to explore the
area. But not for long. As it turned out nearly half of the group
somehow managed to all turn up in the same cafe in idyllic Rhyll. We
all enjoyed afternoon teas and coffees while solving all of the
Saturday papers' crosswords, quizzes etc. Just the thing to while away
a nice, lazy Saturday afternoon. As the afternoon cooled down we all
headed back for some friendly games before dinner and were treated
courtesy of Geoff Shepheard to some home made sausage rolls and tomato
chutney which were devoured and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Well done
Geoff. Very thoughtful! After another delicious dinner, game 5 was
played followed by further friendly games.
Day 3, Sunday.
Checking the scores....
A friendly chat
Tam gets a chocolate from Julie
The last 3 games were played and the winners
Congrats to the top 6 players Sandra Masel, Stephanie Saunders,
Patricia Mitchell, Dorothy Rice,Ann Hagley and Rod Casey. High word
went to Marjorie Barnes for LONGEST
earning her 97 points.
Thanks to Marj also for organising all of the equipment from the Mt
Martha scrabble club. Patricia Mitchell not only came 3rd overall but
also was awarded high game with 553 points. Other prizes were given
throughout the weekend for theme words for each game and also
brainteaser quiz sheets.
The group at play
First place Sandra Masel
High game Patricia Mitchell
After the presentation of prizes we had a meeting to discuss the
organisation of future travel scrabble events and ways in which the
workload could be shared. Sue Bridges has very kindly offered to be
treasurer, which is great. She takes over from Mary McMahon who has
worked tirelessly as treasurer as well as storing all of the equipment
etc. She was not able to attend this weekend through ill-health and
was missed greatly on the weekend and we all wish her a speedy
recovery, and we thank her for her work and enthusiastic support of
Travel Scrabble. Another huge thanks goes to Brenda Thurgar who has
been a stalwart in organising the travel scrabble for many years now.
A lot of effort goes into organising these weekends and it is great to
see people volunteering to help in any way they can. Barry Harridge
has offered to train up Geoff Shepheard as a back-up computer whiz,
good on you both! Gayle Cameron and Sue Bridges are both looking into
different locations for future weekends away which is wonderful...Any
other ideas and suggestions are all gladly welcomed!
All in all a great weekend was had by all. Many thanks to everyone
who came. Keep an eye out on the website for updates of the next
travel scrabble weekend. We are hoping it will be to Hepburn Springs
in October and will keep you posted. Many thanks and happy
Volcanic rocks near the Nobbies,
with Seal Rocks in the distance
First Travel Group Outing for 2013! May 3/4/5
Here is a message from new co-organiser Julie Belle, pictured at left:
Hi to all the travel scrabblers!
Thank you for your patience in awaiting the news of the next travel
scrabble weekend! I have found out first hand what a big job this is
and not an easy one to say the least....so hats off to all of those
people on the committee who have tirelessly organised all the weekends
in the past.
Finding a new venue that ticks all of the boxes and is available in
the first half of the year has proven to be very difficult...so at
this stage we have decided to have the first travel scrabble of the
year at the Tropicana Motor Inn
at Cowes on Phillip Island
where Jim and Sue have looked after us all so well in the past and
have kindly kept the prices the same as last year.....
$260 p.p. twin share (all inclusive)
$390 p.p. single (all inclusive)
A deposit of $50 p.p.is needed by Sunday March 17th, with final
payment to be made in full by Sunday April 21st.
We look forward to seeing you for another great weekend at Phillip
Island...invitations will be sent out this week to those who are on
the mailing list and there will also be information sheets available
at the next tournament.
More good news - we also have a new venue in the pipeline for the
second half of the year which will be in Hepburn Springs on the
weekend of the 18th/19th/20th October.....we're working on the cost to
be on par with Phillip Island...so that will be great!
If you would like further information re these weekends please email
or call (03) 9787 1323, or 0438 767 400.
At Cowes ~ September 7-9, 2012
Once again eighteen Travel Scrabblers and a sister enjoyed a
weekend at the Tropicana Motor Inn on Phillip Island. This has been
a popular venue for us for many years and we were not disappointed
by the welcome or the wonderful food.
As we all gathered there were many expressions of our thoughts for
Marjorie Clark and family, but we knew that she would wish us to
make the best of the weekend.
Gayle Cameron & Jennifer Swift
Lina Camilleri plays Tam Dasika
Gianna Devcic, catching up on the news
Julie Belle, Mercia Cadan & Gianna's sister
The inclement weather resulted in everybody congregating in the
playing room for social games which really delighted the diehards.
As usual we had eight official games with handicaps. The winners
were Barry Harridge, Paula Messer and Gianna Devcic, High word Julie
Belle (Lushing) and High Game John Van Der Schoor (575).
At the Bendigo weekend Nobby had been elected president of the
Travel Group committee. In view of his so recent passing an
extraordinary meeting was held and all agreed that the Presidency be
left vacant until the next weekend when an official meeting can be
Paula Messer, Mary McMahon & Kath Forest
Patricia Mitchell plays John van der Schoor
Brenda Thurgar presents the prizes
Jennifer Swift with a very relaxed Barry Harridge
Julie Belle has agreed to try and find us somewhere for a weekend to
be held in 2013. If anyone knows of suitable accommodation please
contact Julie, Mary McMahon or myself as we are keen to experience
new areas. This weekend was slightly overpriced and we agreed that
those who attended will be given a discount on their next weekend.
My thanks go to everyone who came along, especially Mary McMahon,
Barry Harridge and Paula Messer. And thanks to Rod Casey from Marj
Miller for the photos - she is very appreciative of them!
Vale Nobby Clark ~ 23/04/1939 ~ 1/09/2012
It was with sadness that fellow Scrabble players and friends heard of
the sudden passing of Cyril, known to us all as Nobby. Travel Group
members knew Nobby well for his contribution to Travel Scrabble
activities, as he was very active in organising weekends away and had
recently been elected President of the group. Nobby is survived by
Marjorie, also a keen Scrabble player, and their three sons and two
cherished grandchildren. The pictures show Nobby and Marjorie on their
wedding day about fifty-three years ago, and some taken in more recent
Bendigo Weekend ~ May 18 to 20, 2012
The Lakeview Motel had been very well received by the Travel Scrabble
Group when they stayed there in 2011, so it was a popular rebooking.
It was even better this year : the program ran more smoothly, the
meals were excellent and the weather was good. Twenty Scrabblers (plus
an odd spouse or two) settled in for a weekend of fun and laughter.
Local Bendigo players Ruth Fewings and Linda Findlay joined us. Linda
had not played Scrabble for ten years, but it was clear that her
enthusiasm and skill were undiminished. On Friday night, we had the
opportunity to watch the Letters and Numbers replay of the series one
final with Andrew Fisher and Naween Fernando. Boy those blokes are
We had the use of a dedicated room throughout for our Scrabble
games, both for competition and social games. Saturday afternoon
was, as usual, left free for people to check out local attractions
such as Lake Weerona over the road, the Golden Dragon museum of
Chinese culture, the Art Gallery, the tourist tram, the Central
Deborah goldmine etc. Some diehards stayed in and played more social
games of Scrabble.
There were eight rounds of competition Scrabble over the weekend,
using the usual method of assigning handicaps (75 headstart for
Recreation players, 50 headstart for Intermediate players, 25
headstart for Advanced and 0 for Masters. The top three were John
Parker, Linda Findlay, Marjorie Clarke. And there were plenty of
prizes for other things such as theme words, so everyone got
The committee have tried to keep costs affordable, and although the
weekend expenses are now more than they were several years ago, the
travel group members have often thought it worthwhile to set aside
savings for these special getaways. In this case the costs were
$390.00 for a single, and $260.00 per person for double or twin
share. This provided accommodation, three course dinner on Friday
and Saturday, two continental breakfasts and two lunches of
sandwiches, chips and salad, use of the playing room, coffee and
cakes during the day, and the prize fund.
Watching Letters and Numbers
Linda Findlay and Marjorie Clark
John Parker and Margaret Theobald
Meg Henderson and Mary McMahon
Ruth Fewings and Sita Da Sika
Tam Da Sika and Latha Weerakkoddy
Awakening the dragon (Rod Casey)
A short meeting on Sunday announced the new committee, Nobby Clark
as president, Mary McMahon as treasurer and Brenda Thurgar as
Phillip Island Weekend ~ October 28-30 2011
Twenty-one players enjoyed a most successful weekend on Phillip
Island, the weather was kind, only raining when we settled to play
was the overall winner but thanks to Nobby and
astute shopping everybody went home with a
prize and a chocolate Koala. I think we all ate more than we should
have as the food was delicious and the people in the motel were most
helpful and accommodating. My thanks go to Mary, Jenny and Barry
for their help and support and to everybody who made it such an easy
and great weekend.
Plans are underway for our next weekend which we hope will be in
Autumn 2012. If you have never been why not consider joining us.
At the Tropicana Motor Inn
In the spacious recreation room
The Nobbies, on the western tip of
Phillip Island, not far from Cowes
Fun with cameras - Rod snaps Jenny,
Jenny snaps Rod and John, Barry snaps them all
Weekend in Bendigo April 2011
23 keen Scrabble players
The distraction on Friday evening - Prince
William and lovely Kate marry in London
Scrabble's own Royal Wedding couple - Lorraine
Robinson and Don Marshall married on March 11th
gathered at the Lakeview Resort
on the 28th April 2011. It was unfortunate that Prince William had
chosen that day to marry as loyalties were divided between playing
Scrabble or watching the wedding. That and the belated withdrawal of
three people somewhat disrupted plans for Friday night. However, after
a good night's sleep in our very comfortable rooms the games proceeded
as planned. Weather, food, pleasant company and the excellent venue
all came together to make it a great weekend. Thanks to Marjorie
and Nobby Clark
for all their efforts to get Travel Scrabble
back on track. We are hoping to arrange a weekend somewhere on the Mornington
in October (28th preferred as this seems to be free at
the moment) and a weekend in Castlemaine
in April/May 2012.
Rod Casey and Jennifer Swift take a break
in the lovely surroundings
Jeannie Jones and Margaret Theobold
enjoy one of the social games
Mary McMahon plays Heather Long, with
Peter Bauer on adjudication duty