Berri Weekend March 2010

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This years weekend away was held in our favourite location; The Berri Riverside Caravan Park.  The park is run by the Berri community is well kept and has good clean tidy facilities.

Friday nights dance at the caravan park

Friday night saw a surprising turn-up at the function room / BBQ area in the Berri Caravan Park; we had 5 squares dancing outside on the paved area with many more sitting out for a chin wag.  The evening was nice and warm and we had an audience of golfers who seemed to enjoy the free entertainment.  Strange, when later that night we offered them a chance to have a go, they all excused themselves mumbling it had been a long day and they had to hit the greens early in the morning.

Our audience of golfers

Our Papillons though Jeffs’s calling was boring!

Kanella Squares and Wild Frontier presented the Park managers with a framed certificate of appreciation; they really have looked after us every time we have used the Berri Caravan Park for our annual trip away.  The managers also explained how the Park was run by the community and for the community with all revenue raise put back into the park and other community needs (they recently contributed $50,000.00 towards upgrade of the adjacent outdoor tennis netball and basket ball courts – floodlit and used by local youth groups, well into the night).

Jeff, park managers Max & Kay Kubenk and their certificate of appreciation

We wound up dancing until 10 PM (as requested by the Park manager so that we would not disturb other park residents such as the golfers) however, those located towards the rear of the park were exposed for a few hours more to the strains of heavy rock music emanating from the young campers at the back.

Prior to Saturday evenings dance, we all drove over to the Berri Club for a buffet meal.  A pleasant venue, great management and staff, and good cuisine, we all ate (and many drank) very well.  By the time we arrived, the locals were well into celebrating someone’s birthday in the adjacent lounge bar, this added to our party atmosphere (especially if you are addicted to house music).

Saturday nights dance was held at the Berri Town Hall, which has had its floor resurfaced since the last time we were there.  Jeff used a speaker on each side of the stage so we could clearly hear his calls and there was no perceivable echo beneath the balcony as we experienced the last two times we danced there.  At the beginning we had 8 squares dancing with a square sitting out.  This was a very good turn-up considering we were some 250 km from our home town.

A good turn-up considering we were over 250 km from home

It was pleasing to have Margaret and Bob come along from Renmark, with another Margaret & Bob (Clark) joining us from Southern Ocean Waves Square Dance Club, Byron Bay, NSW, Lin, John, Chris & Alan joined us from Pine City Twirlers, Naracoorte, Sheila and Nigel came along from Shooting Stars and Pattie and Laurie joined us from Adelaide Outlaws; TAWS membership was well represented, including their “el supremo” Mal Parrington, importantly, five of our new graduates, Lin, Bret, Heather, Tony and Josephine helped swell our numbers.

Visitors Chris & Allan (Naracoorte) bottom left Margaret & Bob (NSW) bottom right

Sundays workshop (Jeff’s torture session) started at 10 am and surprise, surprise we had 5 squares up with nearly two squares watching on jeering, laughing and being greatly amused at the contortions, mistakes and laughter of the poor souls game enough to try and learn Jeff’s interpretation of circulate (including lots of halves but thankfully no 2 3/8th) and spin chain thru.

Jeff’s Sunday torture session (workshop)

Despite the contorted gyrations everyone had a great time with a lot of squares breaking down in fits of laughter, dancers facing the wrong way or in the wrong position.  This also generated further comment and laughter from the spectators (too afraid to have a go).

Mal Parrington left often found himself in the wrong place

On Sunday evening those dancers that were staying the night got together for an impromptu BBQ.  I counted at least 60 people sitting at the tables outside the function room.  Some stayed a bit longer than they should have and were talking absolute drivel, perhaps attributed to the beer, bottles of red and the 1944 Para Liqueur Port Rod was dishing out (a nice drop and a good year) also the Grants Whiskey added to the spirit of the occasion  (or was it the spirit of the occasion?).  No doubt some of our dancers slept well that night.

The next day, the remaining dancers headed back to Adelaide, except for a few caravans going on to the Speewa Easter dance in Victoria (see http://squaredancemagazine.com/square-dance/speewa%e2%80%99s-2010-easter-weekend). 

A very pleasant way to spend a weekend – perhaps we should do this twice a year?  Any comments?

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