Latest News from Councillor Ian Doney - Thursday 29 September 2016

It is with some trepidation I write a column on behalf of Mayor Sajowitz. Greetings from the balmy climes of O’Connell, where the soils are not as good, the rainfall lighter and the temperature two degrees warmer.  It has been a Spring that is drawing many comparisons, as the whole district is drenched once more with good rains.

The O’Connell community, like much of the Central West is enjoying many of the benefits of a strong economy, good employment prospects and the mixed blessing of changing times and communities. Our Café goes from strength to strength under new ownership and I recommend a visit. The historic O’Connell Hotel has a strong Thursday night locals and hamper draws, remains a lovely spot for a weekend meal and a warm place to watch some sport on a winter evening.

The O’Connell Walking & Cycling Group continues strongly, catering for a range of distances on foot and on bike, finishing each of its Friday and Sunday jaunts with a coffee break at the café. O’Connell Public School is full to the brim and sits on the natural river levee with a lovely aspect south east, up stream and along the river valley.

St Thomas Anglican Church meets first and third Sundays in one of the prettiest historical churches in the district.  Concerts are scheduled for Saturday 8 October in the church and Saturday 19 November in the hall. Meanwhile O’Connell Amateur Drama Society (OADS) met recently to catch up after this years efforts and encourage the vision for the next production. The moneys earned here go to the School P&C and OADS who normally expend their share on heritage/restorative work in the village. A new heritage group is forming with the aim of saving Lindlegreen Pise Barn one of, if not the oldest, pise barns in the country.  And the O’Connell ANZAC Memorial remains the heart of the village.

The O’Connell Rural Fire Service has a large brigade of dedicated locals, one of the largest in the district, who also focus on community activities at the shed and in the classic old tradition have dinners at the O'Connell Hotel. They are great servants of the community.

On a less positive note, unfortunately there have been a number of break ins to rural properties and residences across the whole district in recent months and I encourage residents to take extra care of theirs and their neighbours properties.