Home' The Bunyip : November 12th 2014 Contents Page 20 "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, November 12, 2014
IT has been 70 years since popular
big band musician Glenn Miller
disappeared over the English Channel
without a trace, but in a tiny room at
Hillier Park, his memory lives on.
Keith Fitzgerald has been collecting
Miller items since the mid-1950s and has
watched his impressive collection grow
from a few records to a room packed with
books, cassettes, CDs, programs and framed
Though he was too young to remember
the day Miller disappeared, Keith's interest
in the big band leader's music began a few
years later at the age of 10.
Growing up in England, Keith often
heard his neighbour play Miller's songs on
a piano and that was all it took for him to
"It was a sound of its own," Keith said.
"All you could hear when he was playing
was 'In the Mood' and it all sort of
blossomed from there.
"My mother used to hate it, she
absolutely detested it."
Still collecting what he can find, Keith
often discovers items at markets or online,
but his current mission is to transfer
recordings from his cassettes to CDs.
"There's boxes of cassettes and it's going
to take ages and ages," Keith said.
"The problem is, with
tape, is that it gets worse
over the years."
Miller went missing
during World War II on
December 15, 1944, after
he boarded a flight from
the UK to Paris for a tour
of Europe to play for Allied
shocked the world, but his
final moments have been
debated over the decades,
which is something Keith
has always been interested
"The big thing, of
course, is what happened
to him," he said.
"That has been twisted and all kinds of
things, but the very, very latest, according
to the University of Colorado, is that he
was lost because the weather was foul, the
aircraft was flimsy and it was at a low level
and the engine just iced-up."
Keith's into Miller's swing
ALL things sustainable and environ-
mentally friendly will be on display
again at the Gawler Regional Natural
Resource Centre's Sustainable Living
Festival this Sunday.
The family fun day is in its fourth year
and promotes sustainable methods of liv-
This year, attractions will consist of
various food and craft stalls, workshops,
entertainment, educational displays and
native animal features.
Guests include South Australian gar-
dener Karen Montgomery, who will be
carrying out a wicking-bed demonstra-
tion, as well as a vertical-garden work-
shop, and Sophie Thomson from the
ABC's Gardening Australia.
In a bid to encourage visitors to leave
their vehicles at home, those who walk or
ride to the festival will automatically go
into a raffle to win a prize.
Centre co-ordinator Emily Griffiths
said there would be plenty on offer for
the entire family.
"We've got Sprout Cooking School
coming along and they're doing a cooking
demonstration with some local produce,"
Ms Griffiths said.
"We'll also have lots of kids' activities
here on the day, including Funky Nature
Time, so they'll bring a trailer load of
branches and all sorts of things that chil-
dren can play with."
Compared to previous years, the festi-
val attracted a much-improved crowd of
about 600 people last year and the centre
is hoping for an increase again.
"The first two years, it was quite small,
but we've sort of branched out and got
a bigger area that we run it in now," Ms
-- Amelia Dawkins
Keith Fitzgerald surrounded by his Glenn Miller collection at his home.
PHOTOS: Amelia Dawkins
INSET: A number of books, CDs and records are amongst
Keith Fitzgerald's Glenn Miller memorabilia.
Michael climbs to top of the tree
FORMER Gawler resident
and arborist Michael Potts gave
a strong performance at the
recent South Australian Tree
finishing third overall.
The championship was Mr
Potts' second state competition
and his placing entitles him to
compete in the Arboricultural
Australia National titles held in
Adelaide next year.
The Arbortech Tree Services
employee scored in three of the
five events, including the aerial
rescue, secured foot lock and
The competition focuses on the
skills used in the everyday work
of tree pruning and removal,
and points are won and lost on
Company team manager Jace
Knight said the team was proud
of Mr Pott's achievement.
"Mike joins a terrific group of
successful climbers over the past
30 years at the company," Mr
(From left) Arborist Michael Potts (left) is presented with his award for the South Australian Tree Climbing Championships
from head judge Michael Palamountain and Arbortech Tree Services team manager Jace Knight.
What do you
like most about
Gawler? It is still a
country town. It is the
best place to live and
it is always a pleasure
to come back to after
Who would you like
to see become our
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