by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
The early morning sun smiled on Millicent on Sunday 30th March for the annual Geltwood market day, promising an enjoyable family day of fun and laughter. Gourmet food and craft stalls stretched the full length of George Street. Locals and tourists wandered the full length of the street, purchasing from stall holders and local businesses, most of which opened for the day.
The Geltwood market day followed the successful launch of the Festival Friday evening at the Millicent Gallery. Mayor Peter Gandolfi officially opened the Festival.
Guest speaker at the Geltwood opening, Noel Boyle, delighted and entertained with tales and fables of his early life in the nearby town of Millicent North! Noel’s talk can be viewed at
5THE FM broadcast live from the market day for the first time; with a new look logo and corporate wear. Rebekah led the 5THE FM TEAM of Chappy, Lance, Maria, Maricar, Terry, Courtney, John and Allan.
Mayor Peter Gandolfi, event organiser Emily White, Martin Sullivan, and Barry Long were guests on the live broadcast. Adam Davies announced the winner of the car display competition live on 107.7.
“When I was asked to organise the Geltwood Festival I first thought, oh just a little country festival but I soon learned that it is a major event and I have really enjoyed it,” Emily said.
The station’s Mothers Day raffle was launched on the day and Allan and Maria sold raffle tickets along with Maricar and Terry through out the day.
A visit by renowned milliner Waltraud Reiner from Victoria was an exciting addition to the festival. Local woman and millinery enthusiast, Helen Varcoe, was given a millinery course by thoughtful husband a while ago and after meeting and working with Waltraud, she invited her to Millicent to meet with other milliners from Adelaide; by chance it fell on Geltwood weekend which was a bonus for the festival.
Waltraud was a guest on 5THE FM on the eve of Geltwood. She was a captivating guest both on 5THE FM and at the opening of the Geltwood on Friday night. She has turned her love of millinery into more than making hats, by combining her skill with mental health concerns, comparing different fabrics with human differences. Helen will support Waltraud in her efforts to bring awareness to mental health issues by holding a walk in Millicent in October this year. Entrants must wear the biggest craziest hat they can find.
The millinery workshop was very popular with visitors dropping in to see what was involved and many showed an interest in taking part next year. (photos below)
A visit to the Millicent Museum transported the local and visiting milliners into millinery heaven as they opened box after box, examining the 1500 hats which are part of the National Trust Collection, formerly housed at the Lobethal Museum.
Helen said Waltraud kindly cleaned and helped restore a very valuable hat while she was here. (pictured below.)
“The milliners visit was a huge success. What started out as a small private workshop created a lot of interest and an invitation has been issued for the HatMobile to make its way to Millicent again next year, with open workshops for all interested.”
Local business owner and MBCA Vice Chair Lisa McCourt said her business was attended well on the day of the market and she was pleased with the overall attendance at the market.
“I think the crowd was bigger than last year and it was a real success.”
Tony and Di Egan, owners of Tony Egan’s (Menswear) had an excellent day, Di said. “I think our shop was busier than other years and just before we closed, people came back to purchase something they had seen earlier. It was an excellent day for us.”
“I slipped out briefly to buy something from one of the stalls and thought there was a good crowd in the street.”
“I have had five emails from stall holders saying it was successful for them and they want to come again next year,” Emily White said today (Wednesday).
Quilting workshops are featured during the Geltwood week and quilts are on display throughout George Street and the Millicent Gallery. Workshops include Jelly Roll, Needle Turn, Paper Piercing, Wall Hanging and Baltic Quilt.
The Tall Timbers Exhibition celebrates the contribution forestry has made to the fabric of our community and is on display at the Millicent Visitor Information Centre with the winners being announced on Sunday 6th April at 4-30 pm at the Centre.
The history of Geltwood:
The story of the Geltwood is certainly one that is treasured by the limestone Coast community. The Geltwood was a three masted iron hull vessel. Built in Scotland, the Geltwood was shipwrecked not far from Ravioli Bay in June 1876 on its maiden voyage from Liverpool to Melbourne. Sadly, of the 31 passengers and crew, there were no survivors. One of the Ship’s anchors stands on Cape Buffon Drive at Southend. Another anchor and memorabilia can be viewed at the Millicent National Trust Living History Museum and further artefacts are on display at the Beachport National Trust Museum.
Some 138 years later the Geltwood story continues to capture the imagination of people across the region. Today however, the name ‘Geltwood’ represents craftsmanship and kinship – two important threads in the fabric of life on the Limestone Coast.
(from the Geltwood Brochure by WR Council)
Local Businessman Brian Foster recently dived on the Geltwood, the first time in 15 years. Photos and full account of this historic dive in 2013 and what led to discovery of the ill fated ship, can be seen by following this link – https://wattlerangenow.com.au/2013/06/06/the-geltwood-d…-over-15-years/
Photos of the Geltwood dive by Brian Foster