Travel Group Victoria ~ Overview

Travel groups are lots and lots of fun! Many wonderful friendships have started at Travel Group weekends, and the informal nature of the group promotes playing Scrabble for pleasure. Handicapped scores are used, so anyone can win the event.

These social weekends at various Victorian towns are open to all ASPA members, and non playing spouses and partners are always welcome. If you wish to know more about travel groups, email Gayle Cameron on travelgroup@scrabblevictoria.org.au

Also, if you are already a member of the Travel Group and change any part of your contact details - email, postal address or phone number - please let Gayle Cameron know.
To email Gayle click here travelgroup@scrabblevictoria.org.au or contact her at 19 Garden St. Cranbourne East 3977, phone 0419 302 185.

Friday 21 - Sunday 23 May 2021

El Khana Retreat
offer luxurious hotel-style accommodation in Marysville, where prior Travel Scrabble Tournaments have been held. It has a variety of rooms with single and double beds, some including a trundle bed for additional occupants, and all rooms have a private veranda or balcony. The dining room offers both home-made menu and Asian cuisine and is close to some of the area's famous tourist attractions.

Oh how great it was after 2 years to get together for another stay at the wonderful El Kanah Retreat. 12 scramblers and 1 non player all agreed it was wonderful time. We played 10 games overall. Each game had a theme and a small prize was awarded to the most inventive, relative or a tickle our fancy one. Saturday afternoon was free time. Some ventured out in the crisp sunny weather to explore, while others had friendly scrabble games or just chilled out.

Keep a look out for possible ECHUCA getaway next year.

Standing: Dianne Gibson, Betty Egan, Patricia Mitchell, Balada Catanchin, Christianne McCann, Trish Raab, Gayle Cameron
Seated: Rod Casey, Lay-Hoon Ng, Mary Cole, Barry Harridge, Jenny Swift

TRAVEL SCRABBLE May 19-21, 2017

Lovely autumn Colours in Marysville

Rod, Sandra, Jenny, Barry at Bruno's Sculpture Garden

Trish Mitchell enjoying playing the piano

Christiane, Trish Magee, Barry, with Organiser Gayle

El Kanah Guest House offers luxurious hotel-style accommodation in Marysville, where our most recent Travel Scrabble Tournament was held. It has a variety of rooms with single and double beds, some including a trundle bed for additional occupants, and all rooms have a private veranda or balcony. The dining room offers both home-made menu and Asian cuisine and is close to some of the area's famous tourist attractions.
Eighteen players arrived on Friday in the soft but constant rain, and stayed till Sunday, playing 10 games overall. The timetable left both Friday and Saturday afternoons free to explore, and to admire the beautiful autumn colours in the town and surrounds. Free time saw people playing Scrabble or cards as well, and most strolled through the extraordinary Sculpture Garden and wandered down to the Steavenson Falls.
Players were handicapped to balance the difference in ratings, and the tournament was won by Mal Eden who won 9 of his 10 games, an excellent effort. Katie Rowe was in second place with 8 wins and equal third prizes went to Barry Harridge, Christiane McCann and Trish Magee … all with 7 wins.
Katie Rowe won the High Game with a score of 576, adjusted to 551 after handicapping, and Mal Eden took away the High Word prize with TRIZONE for 107 points.

Mal Eden

Frances Adams - Tasmania

Latha Weerakkody

Carole Eden

Betty Egan

Dianne Gibson

Balada Catanchin

Marisa Nuccitelli

A vote on the last day means we will be going back to Marysville next May, with dates to be advised later. The next Travel Scrabble adventure will probably be held in October or November, at Moama near Echuca. Details will be advised soon.
Our President Gayle Cameron organised this wonderful weekend and is now planning the next trips. We were able to present her with a bottle of her favourite wine and a card signed by all. She had every detail planned and the weekend was so enjoyable because of her careful and thoughtful organisation. Also thanks to Rod Casey for the photos, lovely memories indeed, Rod.

Travel Scrabble returns to Marysville ~ 19/20/21st May, 2017

Here is a message from the organiser Gayle Cameron, thanks, Gayle.

Join us on our 3rd weekend at El Kanah Guest House, 975 Buxton-Marysville Rd., Marysville.
Great venue - all meals included - wonderful sights to enjoy. Most of all great company and fun.
COST: $385 pp Single
$285 pp Twin Share
$100 DEPOSIT pp by 21/2/17
To pay by direct deposit: BSB 633000. Account number 127541845. Account name "Vic Travel Scrabble Group". The reference is Payee's name.
Enquiries - Gayle Cameron
Mobile 0419 302 185. Email ~ gaylecameron51@gmail.com
PUBLIC TRANSPORT Friday 19/7 Lilydale Station to Marysville (Pack Rd opp Falls Rd) leaves 1.20pm arrive 2.30pm
Sunday 21/7 Marysville to Lilydale Station leaves 3pm arrive 4.30 (McKenzies Bus Line)
For further travel details visit www.ptv.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 800 007


Happy times at dinner

On the lovely stairway at El Kanah

The staff looked after everyone well!

The great playing area, serious scrabble!

Once again 24 Travel Scrabble enthusiasts enjoyed a great getaway at El Kanah Guesthouse, Marysville. There were many good games played, both official and social, and the overall victor was Glen Chandler, with Irlande Alfred and John Parker in second and third places. Irlande also won the High Game prize, and Paula Messer played the High Word for the weekend.
The handicap system made for some close finishes, and the management looked after us superbly. Our deep thanks go to Carole Eden and her supportive husband Mal for their excellent organisation, ably supported by our energetic President Gayle Cameron.
It was good to see a resurgence in building, visitors and foliage in this special place, once devastated by terrible fires. The weather was very kind to us, so there were coffees and breakfasts enjoyed in sunshine, along with various mountain rambles, visits to Bruno's Sculpture Garden and the well-known Stevenson's Falls.....
A repeat weekend is planned there for next autumn. (Thanks to Patricia Mitchell for this report, and our roving paparazzo Rod Casey for the pics!)

Trish with Glen, celebrating

Irlande, very happy!

John Parker on the right

Paula with Gayle

Best mates, a gnome with Rod!

Balada, Trish, Trish, Dot

May 13-15, 2016, plans for Travel Scrabble at El Kanah near Marysville!

Carole Eden is still taking bookings for this event!

Shared accommodation: $275
Single Accommodation: $375
A DEPOSIT of $50 is required by March 25 - pay by EFT or cheque payable to Victoria Travel Scrabble.
Includes 2 nights accommodation and meals, and lots of fun scrabble!
Please let your friends know about this!

To contact Carole Eden: Email ~ malcolm.eden@bigpond.com Phone: (03) 5962 2278 or 0400 249 114

Our trip to Ballarat - November 6 - 8, 2015

Here is a report from Brenda, thanks for this, Brenda!

A great weekend was enjoyed by twenty dedicated Scrabble players, as Mary put it, nineteen boarders and one day girl, as Marjorie Clark joined us each morning and went home each evening. Eight official games were played but many more were contested by some of the more dedicated Scrabblers.
The accommodation and food were excellent. The organisation by Mary ably assisted by Paula meant that everything ran smoothly even though they had to juggle rooms to fit us all in.
The one thing they couldn't control was the weather and Ballarat certainly lived up to it's reputation, next time we go I'm sure we will all pack at least one more warm garment.
Regards, Brenda.

Recording the game results!

The spacious playing room.....

Coming up! Ballarat, Friday 6th - Sunday 8th November 2015!

At the Bell Tower Inn, 1845 Sturt Street, Alfredton, Ballarat

Deposit $50 ~ required by October 18, please
Balance required by October 31, either to Mary, or directly into the Account
Contact Mary for train pick-up at Wendouree
Cost: includes all meals, cooked breakfast, and 2 nights accommodation
Single ~ $367
Shared ~ $247

For more information, please contact Mary McMahon:
Email ~ scrabblemarylou@yahoo.com.au Phone: (03) 5243 3924

Vale Gianna Devcic ~ September 12, 2015

Gianna in 2014
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 regulars.
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 peacefully, Gianna.

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 Ballarat!

Trish, looking good!

Lovely gardens

Yummy food!

Lovely tree..

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 Tournament
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 area
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 ~ scrabblemarylou@yahoo.com.au Phone: (03) 5221 3715

Travel Scrabble Weekend 25 - 27 April 2014 at Stonelea

Sue Bridges 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 photos.)

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:
Anzac theme Lina Camilleri - Pine (Cove)
Team theme Gianna Devcic - Dancers
Food theme Pat Hooper - Cream
Z word 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 Patricia Mitchell.

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 3714
To visit the Stonelea website click HERE

Dates: Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, and Sunday 27th April, 2014

“Early Bird” Special - finishes on March 30 at the Nunawading Tournament: Extra $25 if paid after March 30
(Deposit $50 required by February 9)

Cost ~ Shared ~ $260.00
Single ~ $350.00

Expressions of interest to Sue Bridges, please: Email ~ smbajb@aapt.net.au 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 afternoon ill.

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

A recent photo of the area

El Kanah Guesthouse at Marysville

The Dining Room at El Kanah

The Conference Room

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!
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. Cheers, Julie.

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.
Friday 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.

Checking the scores....

A friendly chat

Tam gets a chocolate from Julie

Day 3, Sunday. The last 3 games were played and the winners announced!
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

The meeting

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 scrabbling,

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 me: jaybel99@yahoo.com or call (03) 9787 1323, or 0438 767 400.
Happy scrabbling,

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 held.

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!
Brenda Thurgar

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 times.

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 good!

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 something!

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

Enjoying lunch

Lake Weerona

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 secretary.

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 Scrabble.
Paula Messer was the overall winner but thanks to Nobby and Marjorie Clarks' 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. Regards

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

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

23 keen Scrabble players 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 Peninsula 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