Lunch today–Steelers or Hellenic Club?

I chose the Hellenic Club, but was almost blown away after lunch and shopping at Figtree. The wind does seem to have settled down.

Now had I gone here, as I do around once a week:


Inside The Steelers earlier this month.

Things might have been more interesting

Police say there are concerns a grandstand at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium, south of Sydney, could collapse after strong winds snapped a support beam and caused the roof to buckle.

Wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour are also hampering efforts by engineers to secure the western stand of the stadium, which is one of the home grounds for the St George Illawarra Dragons NRL team.

Officers have closed Harbour Street to traffic and people are being urged to stay away from the area.

"There’s obviously the potential for it to fall down depending on what the winds do," Sergeant David Potts said.

"It could fall down … they’ve got their engineers there assessing what they’ve got to do."

Police say the grandstand could collapse on to the nearby Steelers Club or the oval.


They don’t call this “Windy Wollongong” for nothing. I suspect whatever happens – and I hope Steelers is spared! – there are going to questions asked about this BRAND NEW section of stadium, lately mentioned in dispatches for NOT using Illawarra steel…


I see the roof did stay on overnight, and people are asking the relevant questions.

… By 6pm stadium lights were switched on as police and engineers inspected the structure from a safe distance in the stadium’s northern grandstand.

The man who had long lobbied for the construction of the building, Illawarra Venues Authority chairman Chris Christodoulou, said the roof sheeting, as well as the main support structure, had buckled under the wind gusts.

On hearing news of the situation, construction unions began demanding answers.

"I will be seeking to get an urgent telephone conference with the relevant unions and we would be looking for a report from WorkCover in the first instance as to what happened," South Coast Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris said last night.

"We need a specialist investigation and people with the credibility to undertake those investigations. We need to know the status of the building and we may well take our own action."

Throsby MP Stephen Jones said that after the structure was deemed safe, work should begin to get to the bottom of the issue.

"We need to look very quickly at a thorough inquiry into both the materials and the work," he said.

"I would be deeply concerned if government money was used for the purchase of substandard materials for an important regional facility."

Around 60 per cent of the steel used to construct the grandstand came from Victorian manufacturer OneSteel and the remaining 40 per cent from China.

Others, including Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said they were simply thankful nobody was hurt….

One Mercury reader asks something that occurs to me too: “What happens when it get really windy? 60 km/h winds are not uncommon on the coast the last time I checked!”


How to drive the new template

Each dot here is a featured post. Check them out. They will change regularly, drawing on the archive here.

I have gone to a lot of trouble to maximise the advantages of this template. Weird, I know, but central to the design is this:


… because I like it and it’s so Australian…

Then the various versions over about a week were tested in my Netbook as well as the main laptop. Many failed that test. This one came out best, and also has features I haven’t started to use yet – and may not, of course.

One trick is to click on a post title when you read. This makes the side bar, but not the bottom bars, disappear and makes for a really clear uncluttered view.

On the photoblog  I am using a brand new template. It is just right for photos, not so good for text. However, if you click a tag or archive over there you will see something brilliant. No other template I have ever used does that!

Here I am at the Cronulla High 50th!


And a couple more from a really great album on Facebook.


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And in another school not too far away and a couple of days later, my grand-niece Lauren is in Year 12 muck-up mode! Can’t believe it! At the weekend I was talking to people who had sat the very first HSCs  from 1967 to 1969 – and I taught them!


Sorry, Lauren – but it is such fun!


I didn’t attend the dinner dance that night, returning to The Gong instead. However, I see an album has appeared on Facebook.





Left: Professor Brian McCaughan Right: Professor Geoff McCaughan

That 1968 class ranks as one of the most remarkable I ever taught!