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A warm welcome

To celebrate Probus Day a little early, a party of 15 members of the Ladies Probus Club of Strathalbyn car-pooled for an excursion to Wellington, South Australia on 14 September.

It proved to be a very chilly, wet and overcast day but, despite the inclement weather, a most warm welcome awaited the group.

First port of call was to the courthouse, built circa 1864 for approximately 1,460 pounds, situated with a river frontage on the grassed banks of the Murray River. It is adjacent to the first ever Murray River ferry crossing established in South Australia in 1838. The building also comprises of a police station, telegraph station, post office, ferry house and other rooms for associated uses.

Members of the visiting group of Probus ladies from Strathalbyn were able, at no charge, to undertake a weekday self-guided tour of what is now a museum, as it is normally only opened on weekends when an entry fee is charged.

The National Trust-listed complex passed to private hands in 1946. Later, the National Trust purchased the museum in 1975. It closed for a while but re-opened in 2012 when a group of private citizens purchased it. It has since been sold again, in about 2017, with it now trading as a museum and B&B accommodating 30 guests, with a cafe, dining hall, function area, a covered courtyard, with wine barrel bar, and an outdoor, alfresco dining deck overlooking the Murray River.

The Probus ladies were photographed by the caretaker, Michael, with three members looking very guilty in the dock, and the remainder of the ladies surrounding them as witnesses waiting their turns.

The final port of call was to the nearby Wellington Hotel for lunch. Most of the ladies chose from the seniors’ menu that included a beverage of choice, including beer, wine or soft drink, a number of very generous mains from which to choose, and a large serve of ice cream with topping for dessert, all for the extremely low price of only $20 per person!

The hotel staff were very accommodating, most welcoming and friendly, going out of their way to make the visit a very pleasant one in a heated dining room.

There was an option to conclude the visit to Wellington with a tour of the Pangarinda Botanic Gardens, planted over a 30-year period with South Australian and Western Australian native species but, this did not take place, as the majority of the ladies voted not to go ahead with an inspection, because of the inclement weather conditions.

The Strathalbyn Ladies Probus Club members thanked fellow member Mavis Cowley for her excellent organisation of the Wellington excursion, and all of them look forward to the next tour that she organises for them.

Happy Probus Day to all members on 1 October!