More than Just a News Service

You've seen our illuminated sign '' beside the main road near the golf club as you drive into town at night.

With news services moving away from the print media, for over 10 years now has moved with the times and gives local residents the news that they can't get anywhere else. Indeed, those travelling around Australia or internationally can keep up to date with a click on a mouse or a mobile phone.

Before our 'hit meter' broke down we were averaging around 2000 views each month. We have a few businesses supporting us but we really don't want advertisers as we are a not for profit community service.

That's not all! Each year we run a national Literature Award (a short story competition) with the support of PSSC, Club Lemon Tree and News Of The Area.

On top of this we offer the public internet access, assistance with the operation of electronic devices and photo copying.

It gets even better. There are constant requests, usually from residents new to the area, for general information about available services and organizations out this way.

We now have an extensive community directory listing some 80 of these which includes: churches, clubs, social groups, cultural events, schools, tourist information, community support, JPs, medical services, play groups and pre schools.

For more details scroll to the bottom of this page or click on 'Literature Award' and 'Community Directory' in the left hand green side bar.

Photo: more than just news.


New Chef for RSL

The bistro at the Tilligerry RSL & Sports Club is under new management and is now called 'Flames and Flavour.'

Proprieter Keshab Chhetri said that with his business partner they also have similar bistros at Salamander Bay and the Anna Bay Tavern.

“We plan to 'open up' the servery area and give the kitchen a makeover,” he said. “So far the reaction to our food and service has been very positive,” he added.

A glance through the menu shows a wide variety of offerings to tempt any palate. Members receive a $1 discount on meals.

Starters range in price from $7 to $16; Oysters are $33 per dozen and the burgers cost $19. Entrees average around $16 and grilled steak about $32.On top of this there is a range of pastas and schnitzels. Seniors' and children's meals work out at $10.

On top of this there are $15 'special' nights and lunches. They also cater for functions such as birthdays and important occasions.

To check out the service we asked a group of regular patrons how their meal was. “Beautiful” was the response. Keshab can be contacted on 0477 428 154.

Photo: Keshab at the Bistro.


Big Jackpot

The weekly jackpot question at Club Lemon Tree's Trivia Night has now risen to $2000! Once answered correctly, the jackpot falls to $50 and is raised by another $50 each week. This current jackpot is the highest ever recorded.

Why not turn up and try your luck? The winning team (maximum 6 players) receives $60 in club vouchers and runners up get $20. If you don't have a team they will fit you in. It starts at 7pm on Wednesday nights in the auditorium.

Money and prizes are not what it's all about. It's more to do with getting out into the community, having fun and interacting with other people.

You don't need a university degree to take part. Questions involve TV shows, films, general knowledge, history, geography and science. It costs a mere $2 to enter. See you there.

Photo: Trivia night.....come and have some fun!

Suspicious Bushfire

Nuisance bushfires seem to go hand in hand with school holidays and this current break was no exception.

Several RFS and Fire and Rescue units were summoned to a small scrub fire behind Tanilba School around 12.30 pm on Thursday 12 July. Police were also on hand to take fingerprints from a pushbike abandoned near the seat of the blaze.

A group of juveniles was seen in the area and residents are asked to report suspicious behaviour at around that time.

The low intensity fire was easily extinguished with containment lines established beside the interfacing roads of the Koala Bay estate.

The scrubland between Koala Bay and the foreshore is notorious for deliberately lit bushfires in school holidays. They have cost the land managers and insurers a fortune in replacing the burnt out boardwalks over the years.

Photos: The abandoned bike; Containment line at Koala Bay and a previously burnt out section of boardwalk.


Black Spot Bend

The notorious 'Black Spot Bend' in Lemon Tree Passage has claimed yet another victim with a young woman flown to the John Hunter Hospital in a serious condition.

It has also left residents on the lower side of the road shell-shocked as this latest accident is just one of many which have seen vehicles fail to negotiate the bend and roll down the embankment and into their homes.

'Paul', one of those affected, believes that speed cameras are the answer.

“The designated 50k speed limit is ignored,” he said. “Without constant electronic surveillance this will happen again and again,” he added.

Fellow residents John Wheeler and Ray Harvey agree. “Speed is the one single factor with these accident and signs have made no difference” “The road is busier than ever and we see permanent speed cameras as the only solution,” they stated.

Meanwhile, Councillor Steve Tucker believes that the proposed bike track link and associated roadworks will improve the situation.

'The widening of the road to incorporate the bike track will help, “ he said. “PSSC has no control over speed cameras.” That's a matter for the RTA and police,” he said.

Photos: Paul, Ray and John with the reclaimed vehicle and a boat which ended up against the side of a house.


Hook Line and Sinker

You've no doubt heard the expression 'hook, line and sinker'. In the case of Glenda Parlett, the new owner of Marina, Boat and Tackle at LTP, she not only has hooks lines and sinkers for sale, she has bait, crab traps, rods, reels and anything boaties require in the way of chandlery. But there's more!

The shop-front which is located beside the hairdresser and 'Kippy's' is also a convenience store. It stocks groceries, milk, bread and newspapers.

Glenda who formerly worked at Coles Tanilba Bay saw a business opportunity and grabbed it with both hands.

“We are open seven days a week from 6.30am until around 4,30pm or as long as customers come in the door,” she said.

More details can be had on 4984 5101, 0491 253 162 or by punching in '

Photos: Glenda displays some of the maritime related products on offer and her new look shopfront.


Thank You Charlie!

Renowned neurosurgeon Charlie Teo is currently copping flak in the media and from other doctors. Reports have it that crowd funding of around $120 000 is needed to pay for his life saving brain surgery.

Dr Teo has caused ripples in medical circles by taking on cases which were considered lost causes by other medicos. His initiative has either saved patients' lives or greatly extended them. He has explained that most of the cost of these procedures go to the hospital and auxilliary services.

“I can personally get as little as $8 000 for an operation,” he stated.

Tanilba plumber Peter Marchant has nothing but praise for the internationally famous surgeon as his wife Kathy explains:

“ In 2014 an MRI scan revealed that Peter had a class 2 brain tumor in the frontal lobe and we were not pleased with what a Newcastle specialist suggested as treatment,' she said.

“A friend suggested that we contact Dr Teo. This we did and as chance would have it, he had a cancellation for the very next day. We grabbed a referral from our GP and headed for Sydney.” she said.

“The operation was a success and we will be forever grateful for the efforts of this acclaimed neurosurgeon. Thank you Charlie!”

Photos: Peter at his Tanilba Bay home and his life saving surgeon Dr Charlie Teo AM.


Literature Awards 2019

The annual Port Stephens Literature Awards are now open for entry. Prize money of $1100 is on offer for short stories of up to 2000 words on any theme. The closing date for submissions is 30th September.

The awards are jointly sponsored by Port Stephens Shire Council, Club Lemon Tree and NOTA (News Of The Area).

Long time co-ordinator Sue Hamilton said that to get shortlisted, writers need to engage the reader within the first page. “With only 2000 words, you need to draw the reader into your story very quickly,” she said. “Be sure the entry is a 'page turner' with an economy of words and develop an intriguing, fast moving storyline,” she added.

“You don't have to be long winded. One year the winning entry was fewer than 900 words in length,' she said.

Full details can be sourced from our website: or by emailing enquiries to or on 49823986.

Photo: Helen Mizrachi – Literature Awards now open for writers.


Last of the Shark Men

Old books about Port Stephens are much sought after and command high prices. Indeed, original copies of Arthur Murdoch's classic tale 'Sheer Grit' were selling on the open market for some $200. This prompted a second and third imprint to satisfy demand.

Another rare book, 'February Dark' (1959) is a novel by Anne von Bertouch. Anne was better known as an art gallery owner and the backdrop for her story was set around the Myall Lakes area. “February Dark' referred to the annual prawn run in the river.

A little known hardback and one which is very hard to come by is “Fangs of the Sea' (1939) by Norman Ellison.

It tells the tale of a commercial shark fishing venture based at Pindimar. The sharks were hunted for their skins which commanded high prices as 'shagreen,' a top quality leather. At a later time the shark livers were rendered down into oil and the fins were sold to the Chinese to make soup.

Tanilba's late Tommy Priestley worked as a child unloading the sharks at the wharf. The business shut down when they 'ran out of sharks!'

You can still obtain these books through antique book collectors online or possibly through the library service. They make great reading.

Photos: 'Last of the Shark Men' Tommy Priestley …...and a 1939 original copy of 'Fangs of the Sea'.


Active Veterans' Network

Port Stephens Veterans' Network based at Tanilba Bay has sifted through some 900 claims in the last twelve months. Of these, 654 have been approved, 214 are pending and 61 are still being investigated. 85% of the claims involve serving personnel.

The network functions under the umbrella of the federal government with a current annual budget of $43 000 and is mainly staffed by former defence force members on a voluntary basis. These include Jim Horton, Cherylee King, Graham Atkinson, Roger Bell, Beth Howell, Michael Lacy, Mick Purden and Barrie French.

The claims are managed through an exhaustive protocol until a final determination is made.

Their shopfront is located by turning left into King Albert Ave immediately after passing under the arched gateway in Avenue of the Allies. They are most grateful for the use of office facilities they share with Port Stephens Aged Care.

All details can be found on their website:

Photo: Cherylee King, Graham Atkinson and Jim Horton at their Tanilba office.


Fascinating Fibres

It was as late as 1992 that a certain Polly Stirling from NSW developed a unique fibre bonding technique. This opened the door for a craft industry which has created exciting textural and colour effects which, in turn has sent ripples through the fashion industry.

Under the umbrella of our local TAG group, Denise Hill is running a series of workshops for a nuno felting self help group in Tanilba Bay Foreshore Hall in Tanilba Avenue. These workshops are just one of a series of creative classes run by TAG from its home base at the old fire station in LTP. They include: water colour and acrylic painting; quilting and children's art and craft workshops (during school holidays).

Denise said that nuno felting derived its name from a Japanese word meaning cloth.

“We use silk as a base material with woollen yarn bonded into it,” she said. “Scarves, handbags and wearables are the end products,” she added.

Locals wanting details of the creative courses can pick up a brochure at the TAG (Tilligerry Art Gallery). Denise can be contacted on 0414 262 920

Pictures: Denise (far left) with her students and their creations........ and a model making a high end, nuno felting fashion statement.


Turning up the Heat

A heat seeking drone was launched above the Tilligerry Habitat recently in an early morning bid to locate resident koalas. The survey was initiated by the Office of Environment and Heritage. Operating under the umbrella of the NSW Government, they monitor threatened species and visited 'The Habitat' at the request of the local conservation group. They have also mapped known koala colonies in other parts of the Port Stephens.

Using a cherry picker, the drone pilots sweep the area to be explored and when detected, a GPS pin-points each koala's location. A ground crew then makes its way to the spot for visual confirmation. With a low profile thermal footprint, the koala is easier to detect in the cooler hours of the dawn. The trained drone monitors can also differentiate the koala's infra-red profile from that of other native creatures.

Three koalas were detected by the survey. Their co-ordinates will be entered into a data base but more input from the general public is needed. Interested in helping? Google: 'Office of Environment and Heritage Koala survey' and report your sightings of the ten listed animals they are monitoring. They also seek your opinions on the perceived threats to these creatures.

Photos: The koala seeking drone gets airborne at the Tilligerry Habitat and a resting koala in a swamp mahogany (eucalyptus robusta) food tree.


New Engineer in Town always gives new businesses a leg-up and in the case of Adam Walker MIEAust; CPEng; RPEQ; EC we make no exception.

Originally from Victoria, Adam and his wife and children have settled in Lemon Tree Passage. He has a new company (AWCE) which offers services which encompass the fields of structural, residential, industrial and commercial engineering.

His new office is in the old Tilligerry Medical Centre and occupies the shopfront on the eastern end which was formerly a doctors' surgery.

He can be contacted on: 0427 886 705 or by visiting: and we wish him all the very best for his new venture.

Photo: Adam in his new office at Tanilba Bay.


Radiation Man

Super hero comic fans may well remember a bad guy dating back to the 1960s. As a Chinese scientist, he absorbed enormous quantities of radiation which turned his skin green. He was able to use his radiated powers against the good guys such as Spider Man and Captain America.

Tanilba Bay has its own Radiation Man in the form of quietly spoken retired teacher Paul Barnes.

Diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer, specialist medicos decided to use radiation therapy to fight the condition. This relatively new procedure consisted of locating the tumor, mapping it and implanting some 76 radioactive 'seeds', each the size of a grain of rice at critical points in the cancerous tissue. An ultra-sound guided the implantation device.

Paul's journey to recovery started when his annual PSI blood test returned a positive result. After a visit to a urologist, a biopsy and a CT scan, the medical procedure then followed.

Paul has suffered no bad side effects from his treatment but our local 'Radiation Man' must avoid close contact with pregnant women and children for three months or so. On top of this, when he passes water he must put it through a sieve. If he finds any radioactive pellets in the strainer, he must put them in a sealed lead-lined container and return them to the specialists.

Photos: Paul lapping it up at our heated pool and the original 'Radiation Man' from the comic books of yesteryear.


Rally for Sally

When Sally Dover ran for the seat of Port Stephens she had her supporters decked out in canary yellow 'T' shirts emblazoned with the words

'RALLY FOR SALLY.' One of these 'T' shirts was souvenired and given to another Sally – Sally Robinson from Tanilba Bay.

Sally had her own rally recently at the General Washington Hotel in Stockton. It was a get-together to say farewell to a long time Tanilba Bay resident and founder of the Tilligerry Bridge Club some 20 years ago. 27 members attended. Sally and husband George have moved to Stockton to be closer to family.

The Robinsons built a home on Tanilba's waterfront when George was posted to RAAF Williamtown. He retired with the rank of Wing Commander.

In the 1980s the couple bought the somewhat run down hardware store in Lemon Tree Passage and then relocated the business to a new site in Tanilba Bay. Coles now occupies that site.

George was noted for his humor and even when customers left the store with empty wallets, they had a smile on their faces.

A tradesman once approached George at the counter.In the upturned palm of his deformed hand he held a couple of nuts and bolts.

“Got any of these?” he asked. As quick as a flash George responded:

“Sorry mate, we don't keep fingers!”

The community wishes them all the best for a long and happy retirement.

Photo: Sally and George Robinson – relocated to Stockton.


New Book Reviewed

Herculean: perhaps this word best describes the efforts of Port Stephens Family Research Inc. in bringing to fruition years of in-depth research for the publication of their latest book.

Topping the scales at 1.8 kg, this weighty tome has more to do with the fine quality parchment it is printed on than its thickness. 'History & Heritage of Tanilba House' is A4 in size, over 170 pages in length and boasts some 73 pictures, maps and drawings. It is perfect bound with glossy colour front and back covers.

Primary source material is the backbone of this publication which traces the time line of the Caswell family from its roots in England to its settlement in colonial NSW. It paints a vivid picture of their lives and times in confronting an unforgiving land with all of its challenges and travails.

The book also dispels undocumented myths such as the claim that Lt William Caswell served with Lord Nelson on the 'Victory' at the battle of Trafalgar. Although he served with great distinction, Caswell did not rise above the rank of Lieutenant. Neither did he command a Royal Navy ship of the line. He was rewarded with the rank of Commander after he retired from active duty.

The book also covers the local Port Stephens native population and their interaction with the white settlers. Great attention is given to the convicts and maids who formed the labour force for the construction of the colonial homestead and for its farming endeavours. Part 4 devotes 44 pages to their biographies. For the first time, this publication details every occupant of Tanilba House since the Caswells vacated, to the present day. It will no doubt be eagerly sought out as an authoritative source by history buffs and academic researchers in years to come. Details of the book's availability can be had by typing the society's name into a search engine.

Photos: Tanilba House and the new book tracing its heritage and history.


The Warmest Place in Town

While most of us are shivering with six degree mornings, the staff at Tilligerry Aquatic Centre are rolling off the blankets to a pool with a temperature of 26 to 28 degrees! We kid you not. Indeed, regular lap swimmers are waiting at 6am for the roller shutters to rise. It is fair to say that this is the busiest time of the day during the cooler months.

The consistently high temperatures have been made possible by solar power, a well maintained pump house and in particular the new blankets which trap the heat beneath them.

Long time regular lapper Paul Comte will be suffering withdrawal symptoms with the current 9 week winter shutdown.

“Swimming improves my lung capacity and a sense of both physical and mental well-being,” he said. “It's also great to socialize with like minded people and the friendly staff,” he added.

The three council pools are currently entering their rotational winter shutdown phase. This ensures that dedicated swimmers always have at least one venue to use. Season pass holders have the option of visiting other centres or extending their pass for the closure time at their home pool.

Tilligerry is closed from 3rd June until the 5th August.

Lakeside shuts down from 8th July and reopens on 22nd July.

Tomaree has its winter shutdown from 22nd July until the to 19th August.

Photos: Paul Comte laps it up in the 27 degree warmth of the Tilligerry Pool.........and......New blankets trap the heat.


Trees Aren't Stupid

Even though trees have no brains, they aren't stupid. You see, most of our native plants have to develop survival mechanisms to get them through prolonged droughts.

Eucalypts are a classic example. They turn their leaves sideways to the sun to minimise transpiration and shed excessive foliage during dry times. What's more, they just can't afford to be browsed by insects or animals.

That's why, under stress, gum trees fill their leaves with toxins to make them unpalatable.

Koala carers know this and that's why Port Stephens Koalas offer up bunches of different eucalypt species to the animals in their care.

Koalas will reject the leaves containing toxins. They also harvest sprigs of leaves from different locations and don't take too many from any one site.

Favoured trees for koalas are the nicolli, the forest red gum, the swamp mahogany, melaleuca and the scribbly gum.

We caught up with two dedicated koala leaf collectors in Tanilba Bay recently. Currently they have eight koalas in rehab which will be released in the areas in which they were found when they regain their health. The koala rescue contact number is: 0418 628 483.

Want to see a koala in the wild? Tilligerry Habitat sends out spotters each morning to locate them. Ring ahead of your visit to see if they have one (or more) found that day in their conservation area on Tanilba's foreshore.

Ph: 4984 5677.

Photo: Volunteers Leanne Parnell and Peter Brown collecting Koala food leaves at Tanilba Bay.


The 'WOW' Factor

“WOW!”....this was the reaction of regular borrowers when they walked through the door to our new look library after its makeover.

New books, new curtains, wicker furniture, new carpet, state-of-the-art shelving and a modern office layout greeted the eye.

Port Stephens Library Services Manager Kris Abbott, praised the efforts of local volunteers and community workers who assisted with the upgrade. This included the donation of new curtains, removal of old shelving and furnishings and restoration of the gardens at the front of the building. Little was wasted with the old shelving being donated to other grateful community groups.

Library staff from the Raymond Terrace and Mobile Library were of great assistance with the planning process as well as hands on with packing up and re-shelving all the book stock.

Apart from library volunteers and customers PSC Acting Community Services Section Manager, Aaron Malloy; Library Services Officer, Vicki Bailey and local Councillor Steve Tucker were on hand to celebrate the event.

The library is open from Monday through Saturday between the hours of 10am and noon.

The TACE office which works in tandem with the library in the same building, offers photocopying, fax service and internet access as well as assistance with the operation of electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers (assistance on Thursdays only).

Photos: 'WOW!' 1.The new layout at the library. 2. Celebrating the re-opening

              1. elebrating the re-opening.

New Community Directory

As the Tilligerry community expands and changes, there is the need to provide residents (particularly newcomers) and tourists with a directory of service groups, clubs and businesses. With this in mind, TACE (Tilligerry Adult and Community Education) will be compiling one in the near future.

It will be available in both an online and printed format.

TACE works under the umbrella of PSSC and coordinates community groups such as art, lead lighting, family history and mah jong. It has its home base at the LTP library. It also publishes our local online news service which has grown to be the major source of local news for residents .Most months it gets over 1500 'hits'. The Port Stephens Literature Awards, a national short story competition, is another initiative of TACE and is run by volunteers.

If you would like to publicise your club, social group or business, email basic contact information to: and it will be considered for inclusion. There will be no charge for this service.

Photo: TACE volunteers Helen Mizrachi and Sue Hamilton at the library.



Have you seen the ads on TV where school kids are showing off their new garden built from logs made out of recycled printer cartridges?

Well, if you would like to help with this initiative you can drop off your used cartridges to the Lemon Tree Passage Library (opposite the motel).

The Library is open six days a week between 10 am and noon. Out of hours you can leave them in a bag or box in the alcove at the front door.

Oh! this recycling facility also accepts spent batteries which can be dropped of at the same time.

Our library always has new stocks of books and FREE magazines donated by readers. They are stacked on a table just inside the door.

We look forward to you helping make our planet just that little bit greener and cleaner.

Photo: TACE volunteer Helen Mizrachi: “We need your old cartridges and batteries!”

Tilligerry Adult & Community Education Inc. (TACE)

Don't forget that we have the only public internet/computer access open 5 days per week. We are located in the community library (opp the Motel) at Lemon Tree Passage.

Normal Hours

Monday         10am to 12 midday
Tuesday         10am to 12 midday

10am to 12 midday

Thursday       10am to 2.30pm *

10am to 12 midday



Cost to non-members of TACE is $5.00 per hour (minimum charge $1) and printing/photocopying is 20c per sheet (black and white only)


Thanks to Club Lemon Tree and Tilligerry Lions for assistance in keeping our equipment up-to-date. We have 3 computers running Windows 7, MS Office 2010, 1 computer with Windows XP and MS Office 2003 and a Brother printer/fax.


If you have any stories you want to put on the send an email to or ring Sue on 4982 3986.


*Please note that during the school holidays our Thursday hours are 10am to 12 midday.


The local Tilligerry Adult and Community Education  (TACE)  volunteers headed by Sue Hamilton has got the site up and running. They welcome all community groups to send in their news or details of upcoming events.


Sue Hamilton said that online news was the way of the future. “It is very hard to promote the activities of community organisations these days so we have decided, as a community service, to provide a site for all to access.  I’d ask people to go onto our website at and have a look and  if it suits them they can send their photos  and stories to for consideration.  Photos should be of low resolution and news items brief, non political and edited. This is a free service run by volunteers and supported by Port Stephens Council.”


 Photo:-   Check it out – Sue Hamilton at the TACE office in the LTP Library.