Bre&d Week @ Rahamim
Rahamim participated in Bathurst Region Eats & Drinks the week after Race Week. Rahamim's doors were open for devonshire teas, tours and the pizza oven was fired up on the Sunday.
Several tours and devonshire teas occurred throughout the week and on Sunday 14 October 2012 the gates were open for Pizza and tours. Heritage tours and Eco-demonstration tours were the order of the day. Pizza was enjoyed by many, as well as children playing with the puppies under the shade of the blossom trees and adults enjoying convivial conversation under the umberellas or shade of the trees. Many of our neighbours came to take a look and share in some "daily bread" in the form of pizza.
Welcome Bishop Michael - A Special Morning Tea Celebrating our Volunteers.
The Rahamim Community welcomed Bishop Michael McKenna to a special morning tea where three volunteers were thanked and farewelled.
This gathering of Sisters of Mercy, Rahamim Board Members, Staff and Vlunteers was also an opportunity to welcome Bishop Michael and share with him the work and hopes of Rahamim.
John Fry, our Project Officer, took Bishop Michael on a site tour, explaining the benefits of organic planting using special pink tree guards.
Youth Leadership Camp @ Rahamim
Welcome to Thirty New Trees!
June 21 - Winter Soltice- and winter it was. This day was earmarked for planting the replacement trees on our Busby Street boundary. 2pm! and down came the snow, followed by rain and the wind was something else to contend with. But this did not deter the eager tree planters at Rahamim. One row of Canadian maples - Lipstick and Trident, one row of "Yellow" trees (referring to their autumn colours) and a row of flowering ornamentals. Carefully placed and then planted with good soil, tree minerals, lucern mulch, Matt Kilby's pink tree guards and a good tree tonic to finish off the job. We can't wait till spring to see them in their fuller glory.
The Snow Fell as We Began. All at work inspite of the rain and snow!
John & Sr Ann-Maree - is it straight! Mrs Fav in improvised wet weather gear.
Sr Patricia not getting wet! What a difference a day makes!
Planting the next day!
Farewell Busby Street Trees!
On Thursday 14 April 2011, removal of our Busby Street trees began.
When these trees were planted, power lines did not exist!
Over the years the extensive trimming have left them very lopsided, and in their old age they have become more and more of a hazzard, espeically in the strong storms we've been experiencing. Several had been felled by the wind. The rest are now been felled in a more controlled manner.
Proximity to powerlines does not go well with large trees!
The diseased Elms have become home for a couple of possom families, the hollow trunks provided a great nest!
But have been an increasing danger to the human community as they lost two very large branches in strong storms last year. The rotted wood gave way under the weight of the old wood and the strength of the storms. The possoms have to find new homes.
Mum & Bub possum are eyeing off a potential new address...
in the tree next door!
We intend using the viable wood from the elm trees for bench tops and furniture at St Joseph's Mount.
The viable timber from the cypress and radiata pines for building projects and garden furniture, the rest will be used as woodchip for mulch around the many trees planted on the property in the last few years. The mulch will also be used to create swales on the contours to help conserve water on the property.
Good Friday & Earth Day 2011
St Joseph’s Mount has often been referred to as “the lungs of South Bathurst”. It is home to many beautiful, well established trees: elm, oak, pine, spruce and native eucalypt, as well as ornamental trees and shrubs. The Sisters of Mercy, who have lived on the property for over one hundred years, planted and nurtured trees for a future full of hope.
But this week, with heavy hearts, we have been saying “good-bye” to a row of radiata pines that have dominated the Busby Streetscape for more than fifty years. They are old, and some are sick. But all of them compete with powerlines for space. And they are becoming a danger to the public. Each year we mourn the “pruning time” round Bathurst, when beautiful trees are disfigured and mutilated to keep powerlines free. The pines on Busby Street have been no exception. Their northern aspect has been gutted making them ugly and lopsided. And in the severe storm events, to which we are becoming accustomed, both pines and elms have lost big limbs, which fortunately fell into the property, rather than onto the street or into the powerlines. But it is only a matter of time!
The team of contractors who have been felling the trees are both skilled and sensitive. This is very risky work for them, so close to powerlines and so high above the ground. A family of possums, who had made their home in one of the trees, caused a work stoppage at one stage. Possum boxes were quickly found and placed in safe trees nearby, and the possums were given time to relocate before work resumed.
Another feature of the streetscape, which has disappeared along with the pines, is the long, grey paling fence. It will be replaced with a “see through” boundary to welcome those who would enjoy the peace and natural beauty of this place.
A ceremony of gratitude for the life & gifts of the pines will take place after Easter - Friday 29 April at 4.30pm before Green Drinks - along with the planting of the first of the deciduous trees which will replace them – well in from the powerlines! All who love trees are welcome to join the Rahamim Ecological Learning Community for the occasion.
Earlier this year our Community Garden was visited by students from
St Mary's Primary School in Orange.
Grand Opening of Rahamim Community Garden & Garage Sale with a Touch of Class
On Saturday 25 September Rahamim Ecological Learning Community opened their new Community Garden. The garden plot has been redesigned on permaculture principles, in the last four months and has taken on a very new look and function. The garden has a mix of communal and individual plots. Members of the community can rent a plot of land to grow vegetables or flowers, or simply pay a small membership to help work the communal plots. Members are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills as well as their work and produce. After only one week we have allocated all plots and we are witnessing community gardeners coming into the garden to plant, mulch and water.
The “makeover” was made possible by a very generous donation from Gunnedah Sisters of Mercy, local environmental groups, Macquarie River Care and Greening Bathurst and generous discounts from local suppliers. The work was entirely carried out by the Bathurst Correctional Centre Outreach Team and its Officer Scott Keen. These men worked enthusiastically and creatively to construct an interesting array of beds from recycled cardboard, newspapers, rubble, railway sleepers and woodchip.
The project was overseen by the Rahamim Community Gardens Committee and Ann-Maree O’Beirne rsm (Rahamim Property Manager).
On the same day Rahamim Auxiliary led by Mrs Josephine Marais, held our first fundraiser - “Garage Sale with a Touch of Class” and raised some much needed funds for our ongoing work and ministry. There were a number of stalls: fashion, books, blue elephant & Bric-a-brac, garden, furniture and the DUCKS also ran a stall. Mr Fav & Eugene Marais sizzled hundreds of sausages and Sr Michelle’s and Mrs Fav’s famous scones were served on the Mount Grounds as Devonshire Tea. There were many Bathurst Mercies, friends and family who came to assist on the stalls as well as Christina Aitken rsm from the Wilcannia Forbes Mercies. Goods for the stalls were generously donated by local people. We were all very exhausted afterwards, but what a wonderful day!
Rahamim Receives NSW Government Grant
The NSW Government has granted Rahamim Ecological Learning Community $205,205.00 to improve water and energy saving measures, retrofitting the heritage house and property to demonstrate more sustainable practices. These changes will collect storm water run off, redirect it onto the property and reduce Rahamim's carbon emissions. Eventually, it will reduce costs through complete change over to solar hot water, adding some photo-voltaic electricity production and installing ceiling insulation. The grant will also enable the employment of an Education Officer who will run demonstration workshops about all its water and energy saving measures to help educate anyone willing to learn.
See article in local Bathurst paper: The Western Advocate www.westernadvocate.com.au/news/local/news/general/sisters-of-mercy-turning-greener/1737322.aspx
Celebration of the Century!
Celebrations with decendants of both Busby & Meagher Families.
St Jospeh's Mount was gifted to the Sisters of Mercy on December 8 1909 by Hon. John Meagher. The property "Logan Brae" was originally built by Mr John Busby in the 1870's.
Sr Gabriella Gresz rsm, Congregational Leader, honoured the gifting of 1909 by making a gifting to the Wilcannia/Forbes Catholic Education Office to establish a program of Restorative Practices in Teaching and Learning in three Catholic Schools of the Diocese.
Celebrations began with a gathering and ritual in the Chapel, which was followed by afternoon tea in the John Meagher room, Dining Room and the Front Verandah.
Over one hundred guests reminisced over photos and artifacts from the Bathurst Mercy Archives whilst being entertained by harp and piano in the Catherine McAuley room and Tiled Hall.