Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The scene from the top of Buninyong Hill, about 50 kms from Sunbury, almost due north. Some of Glenys' ancestors settled this area in the 1850's and in many ways it hasn't changed much. Yes! That is water you can see down there – if this was a normal rainfall year (and the 10 before had also been normal) the fields would be so green they'd be hard to look at.

We had a wonderful trip to the areas of Ballarat with our good friends the Broome's. Cliff and Carolyn took us everywhere, including, you guessed it – cemeteries! We knew there would be people we knew in the small country ones, but it was fun to find some in the Old and New Ballarat Cemeteries as well.

We also spent a great day at Sovereign Hill where we panned for gold – and found some – rode on a stagecoach and had a 'back door' tour of all the venues. Cliff and Carolyn have been docents at SH for years so they could give us lots of info tourists normally don't hear or see. Glenys opted out of the mine tours, dark, narrow places are not her thing, so while Bob and Cliff did that, Carolyn and Glenys went through all the great shops and places of business. Fantastic!

This is a view of Lake Wendouree in Ballarat – as you can see – not a drop of water in the whole thing. People walk across it now from one side of the city to the other. It's where the Olympic Rowing Team practised a few years ago. The really weird thing is to drive along the road and see all kinds of rowing sheds and club buildings, sailing sheds and bath houses, now all sitting high and dry and very forlorn looking. Ballarat is down to 6% of it's water supply – very critical, yet the whole area sits on a huge underground freshwater lake. Perhaps it will be tapped into someday.

Here's the Olympic Rowing Team's practice area – the rings used to sit at water's edge and people could walk out on a pier to watch them row.

Roses from a very thoughtful husband for our 40th wedding anniversary! There were 20 of the longest stemmed roses I have ever seen. We had to cut off about 10” to fit them in this very tall vase. They were lasting well until the temp. went to 96 degrees a couple of days ago and boy did they wilt in a hurry! We don't have air-con at our place so it gets almost as hot inside as it is outside. Still, they were beautiful while they lasted and we really enjoyed looking at them.

The launch of the PROV'S wills and probates online celebration went off really well and we had a great time. They also launched another 10 year section of the passenger lists from Australia to other ports, and it was exciting to hear about that as well. Many really nice things were said about GSU (FamilySearch) by some very prominent speakers and Glenys was chosen to demonstrate the online launch in real time to all those on computers joining in as well as those in the audience. Other than a slow connection because someone had leaked the information to all the genealogy lists and so thousands of hits were hammering the site every minute, it went well and it was very amazing to see images we are responsible for on the web! It's remarkable work and we are so grateful to be a part of it all. I think all were very satisfied. The Director of the PROV had much good to say about everyone's work – almost all of our volunteers were able to be there and so we got some good photos. Will share one below:

Sorry it's a little grainy – it's a scan of a scan. Okay let me identify some folks:

Back Row L-R: Elder Rasmussen, Mark Kelly (Church Area Supervisor), Elder McCann (full time missionary), Sister McCann (full time missionary)

Middle Row L-R: Sister Rasmussen, Lesle Berry (President, Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations), Lesley Southall (volunteer), Juiseppe (Joseph) DeLuca (Volunteer), Gisella Eisenmann (Volunteer), Colin Kemp (Supervisor of Media Images PROV)

Front Row L-R: Daniel Wilsch (Supervisor of Project for PROV), Joyce Trimmer and Keith Trimmer (Volunteers and Glenys' parents), Gordon Lee (Volunteer).

Not shown are: Cliff and Carolyn Broome, Julio and Inez Cannon, Paula Collett, all also GSU Volunteers. Elder and Sister McCann have since been released due to serious health issues, leaving us with a total of 11 volunteers and Bob and Glenys. So, between 13 and 15 people have imaged almost 5 million images in a year for FamilySearch and PROV. We were impressed!!

Well, now that all the PROV celebrating is over we found ourselves with lots of work to catch up and some meetings with Mark Kelly our Area Supervisor. We have lots to look forward to in the New Year and we are anxious to get going. It's hard to be on holidays, so we are working with the full time missionaries a little bit and visiting some folks here in Sunbury ward. Our dear friend, Rose, gave us a couple of buckets full of ferns and succulents to plant so we've done that, our potatoes, beans, tomatoes and onions are up and doing very well, even on their extremely rationed amounts of water – it's because we pray over them, we know that. We've cleaned the house and Glenys has done several batches of baking, including two pumpkin pies (from scratch!) for Christmas dinner. The weather has been incredibly beautiful and it's made even more so by the forecast for rain over the weekend. We will hope and pray it really happens. We are off to Glenys' sister, Julie's house for Christmas after we have Christmas Eve dinner with our amazing friend Paula Collett who is brave enough to invite all the missionaries over for dinner every time she has us! We love Paula! Julie and Drew have invited us for a sleep over, so we will head there after dinner tonight. It will be fun to see their kids (now young adults) open their pressies and join in the excitement. It will be nice to be with family for Christmas. We are a bit lonesome for our girls and their families, but we know they are looking after each other and that is a great blessing to us. Glenys' sister Ruth, has invited us to her home on Monday following Christmas – that will be really fun – we love to be with Ruth and Rob.

Just for fun, we decided to take a half day yesterday and go back to the Trentham area and explore some of the back roads. Talk about going off the beaten track!! It was magic and we had a ball. Meant we had to fill the gas tank an extra time this week, but not such a painful thing these days with the prices dropping to 94 cents a litre. We found a couple of small, out of the way cemeteries so had to go and wander through them. No-one we knew residing therein. We also found a great place called Wombat State Park and followed the road through it, from lovely smooth made road to gravel and dirt to almost a track in the bush. But it was fun and very beautiful. Signs everywhere to watch for wombats, but we never did see one. Probably because they are nocturnal and we were there in the middle of the day. Saw some kangaroos from the distance, and that was fine with us, so many of them around these days with the lack of water and feed, they are being hit on every road and they can cause considerable damage. However, in the middle of Wombat State Park, guess what we did see?? You would never guess in a million years. It was this: (wait until you get there!)

In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Safe and Healthy New Year. We appreciate your prayers and support on our behalf. We love the work, we love the Lord and we love you. Missions are great – we highly recommend it!

Elder and Sister Rasmussen (Bob and Glenys)

In the Wombat State Park – biggest wombat we've EVER seen!!!!



A few extra pictures:

Glenys with her baby sister Ruth

– isn't she gorgeous!!

Ruth and son Adam – this guy is an incredible surfer and has won several State and I think National Championships:

Cliff Broome, a Chinese gold miner display, Glenys. Bob and Carolyn Broome – at the Chinese Gold Museum in Ballarat.

Elder and Sister Rasmussen at Trentham Falls. Looks like Glenys needs help learning how to button up her cardigan!!

At Sovereign Hill posing with a redcoat constable – a very unpopular fellow on the goldfields!! This fellow was very versatile – he also portrayed a fiery minister in a street brawl, a blacksmith and one of the miners in the Eureka Stockade re-enactment. Pretty clever!

Our wonderful volunteer and probably one of the happiest people on earth, our good friend Gisella Eisenmann. She's incredible!!

Niece Maree with one of her slithering friends – the kind Elder and Sister Rasmussen stay as far away from as possible. Called Bob (wonder why?) this Children's Python is reputed to be gentle and happy. Good – we will be just as happy on this side of the camera thank you!!

A stand of magnificent ghost gums – scenery this beautiful is at almost every turn – such a gorgeous place.

And last, but not least, is the official invitation to the launch of the Wills and Probates online at the PROV site. If you want to have a look go to www.prov.vic.gov.au and click on Access the Collection then Wills and Probates then choose your time period and off you go!

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