Australian Bradley Family
January 26th we were absolutely delighted when Mitzy had 5 little puppies – 3 boys and 2 girls. It was fantastic to be able to watch them grow but all too quickly they were 8 weeks old and ready to go to their new homes. We kept a female, Kyla, and she is a delightful little dog.
February – Jane started work for Briese Janissen & Associates, Chartered Accountants in Albury on a part-time basis. She is really enjoying the challenge of getting back up to date with all the Tax and Financial packages.
February – Joldy headed down to Melbourne to start his Civil Engineering/ Business degree at Swinburne University. He stayed in Residence this first year and has made a lot of new friends from around the world. Next year he will stay in an apartment on Campus.
February – Jenna started her Chartered Accountants course. She has now completed 3 of the 5 modules and hopes to be finished by October 2010.
March – the dairy industry was thrown into turmoil when our factory announced on 31st March that as of 1st April they would be reducing our price considerably. You can imagine the uproar that caused. Cossack Dairy moved to another factory and prices have now started to pick up a bit. Apart from that the dairy has run fairly smoothly this year. Merlin has bought a lot of new cows recently and they have had a good season at Timboon.
August – Merlin and Jane celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary at the Beechworth Spa for a day of pampering. They then went to Stanley for a meal and stayed overnight. It was a very relaxing couple of days.
We have had a reasonably wet year compared to the last 4 or 5 and it is good to see all the dams and tanks full. There has been quite a lot of hay cut around here this year and there is a lot of feed about.
Jane was Team Manager again this year for the Bandits Basketball team. We didn’t win too many games but we had some really good guys playing for us. Unfortunately one of our Imported Players had a heart attack after only being in Australia 4 days. We are pleased to say that Eric is back playing basketball and we hope that he will be able to come back to Australia one day soon.
Joldy is home for the summer holidays and has a job with Wodonga City Council with the Civil Engineering Department. It will be great experience for him.
Merlin is busy and had to take on the extra duty of looking after the puppies when they were small. We are hoping that Mitzy and Jock will have puppies at the end of January 2010.
Jenna completed her Bachelor of Commerce at LaTrobe University
in November and is now working full time with BMG Partners in Wodonga. She plans
to start her Chartered Accountant studies next year. October saw us celebrate
Jenna’s 21st. One of her presents was a West Highland White Terrier pup. Jock
McDougal arrived on 29th November and has made himself very much at home.
Joldy has completed Year 12 at High School and is now waiting for his final year results to see if he will be accepted into University to study Civil Engineering. He has decided to defer for a year and has just started working for a firm of Civil Engineers in Wodonga as an Engineers Assistant. It will give him the chance to make sure that Civil Engineering is what he wants to study. He has managed to continue playing basketball and is still playing with the Bandits. He has just come back from Geelong where he played in the National Schools Competition for his school. They won their section so it was a successful week.
Jenna has just completed her 2nd year of her degree and is going very well. She was rewarded for her hard work in 1st years and won several awards. She has also completed an Institute of Taxation course which her work asked her to do. Working fulltime during the Uni holidays is helping to pay off her new car that little bit quicker.
Merlin as always keeps busy with the dairy. They have had a very good season at Timboon and with the increase in milk prices this year they have managed to survive the huge increase in feed prices.
Merlin spent 3 weeks in Russia in August and visited the Chita area where he caught up with many old acquaintances and saw some of the offspring of the embryos and semen that was exported in the late 1990’s. He also visited the Moscow area and spent time on a farm between Moscow and St Petersburg which is breeding Galloways.
2007 was a mile stone year for me reaching the tender age of 50. Elaine and I had a party here in our shed. Joldy and Jenna were in charge of the music and I am sure the walls were moving at times. It was great having so many friends come and help us celebrate our half centuries. I helped manage the Bandits basketball team this year which I really enjoyed and will do so again in 2008.
After 11 years working for the Australian Galloway Association I
have decided that I need a change and will step down on 31st December as
Executive Officer. Will have a short break then look for some part-time work in
Albury or Wodonga.
Jenna started studying at La Trobe University in Wodonga in February. She has now successfully completed her first year of her Bachelor of Commerce Degree. In November she started a traineeship with a firm of Accountants in Wodonga. She will work with them full-time during University holidays and part-time during the Uni terms. This week they have sent her to Baccus Marsh to take part in a Rotary Youth Leadership Camp.
Joldy has completed Year 11 at school. He took 2 Year 12 subjects and is waiting for the mail to arrive on Wednesday to get his results. 2007 will be a very busy year for him with study as he has 4 Year 12 subjects to complete plus 1st Year University Maths. Of course Joldy’s live would not be complete without his basketball. 2006 saw Joldy win the MVP for his Wodonga Wolves 18 Boys Rep team. He had a successful year with the Bandits Basketball team getting a few more minutes during the season. Last week he played basketball in Geelong at the National Schools Competition for 5 days then went to Bendigo to play in the finals of the CBC Men’s competition.
2006 started off with good prices for cattle and reasonable conditions. However we are now in the midst of what is being described as the worst drought in 100 years and as I write this letter we have smoke surrounding us from the fires in the High Country. It has been extremely hot and this has resulted in an earlier and more dangerous fire season. Due to the long dry period there is little water available to fight the fires so fires will be allowed to burn and only private property will be protected. The Hume Dam is currently at 6.9%. We are in for a long summer.
The improvements to the dairy are working well and the cows and staff are enjoying the new facilities. However due to the drought, feed prices are rising and it may be a struggle to get the feed to keep the cows producing at their peak.
In September Merlin and Jane went to Europe for 6 weeks. We stopped in Dubai on the way over for 2 days. It was very interesting to see how they have made this massive modern city out of the dessert.
They then attended the World Galloway Conference in Austria. It was great to catch up with old friends and to make new friends at this most enjoyable event. They then spent a week visiting Galloway studs which have used Globex genetics in their breeding programs. It was a most interesting trip and the hospitality we received was second to none.
Then it was over to Scotland where we had a very busy schedule visiting family and friends. They managed to catch up with most of the family and meet the new family members, which was great. Jane had to put Merlin on a strict diet when we got home as we had bookings for Lunch, afternoon tea and Dinner most days.
Jane's term as Treasurer of the Wodonga Basketball Assoc finished in August which freed up a huge amount of her time. However she seems to have used up most of the free time with work for the Bandits Committee so doesn’t seem to have any more time to attend to the garden or the housework.
July saw a new arrival to the Bradley family when Jane was given Mitzy, a 3 year old West Highland Terrier. She is quite a character and a great companion. If only she would learn not to roll in fresh cow pats. Not the best look for a white dog!!
This was Jenna’s last year at school and lots of exams. She has now graduated from High School and has already been accepted into Charles Sturt University at Albury to study a Bachelor of Business (Accounting). She gets her final mark next week but the pressure is off her already with this early acceptance. She has a part time job at one of the Supermarkets in Wodonga and is busy preparing to sit her driving test next week.
Joldy is now in Year 10 and has his Learner Driver Licence. He has chosen the subjects that he wants to study for his final exams in year 12 and is looking at possibly doing an Engineering Degree. He has just completed a week of Work Experience with a Mechanical Engineer and will do a week with a Civil Engineer. Basketball is still number “1” in Joldy’s life and he has had a great year training and playing with the Border Bandits in the SEABL league. He has recently been selected to play for Victoria Country in the Country Cup which takes place in January and will involve all States in Australia plus New Zealand. Joldy showed his Scottish heritage by wearing a kilt at his Year 10 Formal. (Check out the Photo Gallery for pictures)
Merlin has been very busy this year with Cossack Dairy. They have just completed building a new 60 rotary dairy. It is a completely new building with new equipment. The cows have not seemed to mind the change and the employees are enjoying the new facilities. This was the right year to build the new dairy as dairy prices have been very strong.
Jane has been kept busy with the Galloway Office which is running very smoothly just now with lots of new enquiries and new members. Jane is the treasurer of Wodonga Basketball Association which has 700 members and has kept her spare time more than occupied.
We have had a very good season weather wise apart from last Friday when we had a terrible storm and as a result have lost quite a number of trees on the farm and around the garden. We will have to start a tree planting program for the autumn.