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TIME N TIIDE January 2024


Check out the story in this edition about the new island publication:  Diamonds On The Water.  It is a project by the island writers group after they set up a table outside an island cafe and asked people for their impressions and memories of the islands. The book, Diamonds On The Water,  is a collection of these stories.  Margaret Smeaton was the person who came up with the concept and now the publication is ready for all to enjoy with some amazing island stories. 


Macleay Island’s John Barben of Suburban Art Landscape, has had a tough time of it lately. John was recently diagnosed with throat cancer and will eventually have to have his voice box removed. Recently he had a doctor’s appointment and whilst away from his Western Road home on Macleay Island, someone entered his home and literally picked up his business safe, and took it. Needless to say, John is more than distraught. “My whole life is in that safe. There was other stuff there they could have taken, but the only thing that was stolen was the safe,” John told The Friendly Bay Islander. The theft has been reported to island police, and John suspects whoever took the safe, will endeavour to open it and then probably dump the heavy item. He wants islanders to keep an eye open for the safe in case it is dumped somewhere? If you know anything about this theft, you can make a report to Crime Stoppers where you don’t have to give your identity, or contact island police. 


With Covid and restrictions way in the background, this current Christmas season we have just gone through has just been crazy around our islands. Every group and organisation has had great Christmas parties, and we tried to get to a few of them. RICARTS, MIAC, VISTA, Progress, the clubs of Club Macleay, the Golf Club, Russell Bowls, Russell RSL and so many more big Christmas Parties were held. There was also that lovely formal event for Returned Servicemen at the Russell Island RSL. Great to see!


It seems some smokers on our islands are not aware of the law when it comes to smoking in public places. You would think if you were a smoker, you would be aware of the regulations. You cannot smoke anywhere within 6 metres of a public facility or where any people are congregating. The number of smokers who are not aware of this regulation or just choose to ignore it, is extraordinary. Those with vaping devices fit into the same category. Admittedly, the no smoking signs at our jetties are in place, but they are so small that they are difficult to see. Just the same, smokers know the law. Where there are people, there is NO SMOKING!


Great to see Redland City Council’s traditional Christmas by Starlight at Norm Price Park up and running again. What a great night it was. There were plenty of islanders who went over for the wonderful Christmas event. We have been to a few of these over the years on the Gold Coast, in Brisbane, and here, and the Redlands can hold its head high. The show this year was just wonderful, and it was great to see everything back to ’normal’ after years of disruption due to the Covid pandemic. It was a ‘stella’r line-up of the the Redlands incredible talent. Starlight and its predecessor, Christmas by Harbourlight, have brought much joy going back 25 years, with so many Redlands Coast and island families growing up with it. We loved it!


Check out Ray Matthews, a newcomer to Macleay Island, painting over unacceptable graffiti at the island skate park whilst the whiz with wheels, Ethan, saw a younger boy in trouble with his bike, and proceeded to fix ti for him. Both were impromptu at same time. This was sent to us by our friend Kitti Schell who lives over the road from the skate park. And she has been watching over the skate park since its inception. She rightly thought the voluntary action by two generations was newsworthy!



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