Home' Plains Producer : PP_130314 Contents The Riverton community is
in mourning, sharing feelings
of sadness and disbelief, at the
sudden death of energetic com-
munity stalwart Julie Matthews
Julie and her good friend and
business partner Lesley Smith
met when they worked together
Four years later they joined
forces and moved to Riverton
with plans to open a café.
"Jules' grandmother was in
Gilbert Valley Homes and we
took a drive to Riverton one day
to see where she had lived."
The friends took a look around
the town and decided it would do
them both good to move to the
country and work on a project
together -- both had suffered
sadness with the loss of loved
ones and looked forward to a
"We decided to sell our houses
and start a business and moved
here six years ago."
They got jobs at the Riverton
Hospital, sold their respective
homes and made the leap of faith,
purchasing the old Hammers Em-
porium store in the town's main
street. A year later renovations
began to turn it into a vibrant
"We knew this was where God
wanted us to be, and we became
business partners," Lesley said.
The cornerstone of the wom-
en's friendship came from their
attendance at the same church
and their faith.
In that frst year in their new
town, Lesley was asked to man-
age the Gilbert Valley Homes
and Julie continued working as
an enrolled nurse at the hospital.
They also worked hard at
renovating and improving their
business premises until they
were able to offcially open Jules
Café on January 23, 2008. Julie's
background in hospitality, her
boundless energy and way of
making everyone feel imme-
diately welcome saw the café
evolve into a vibrant community
meeting place and hub.
She quickly developed a pas-
sion for the town and turned her
formidable talents for organisa-
tion to improve every aspect of
its development that took her
Julie worked closely with
Clare and Gilbert Valleys Coun-
cil making plans for Riverton's
involvement in the frst Tour
Down Under celebrations where
she got everyone helping to stage
the Wheelie Fun Fair -- her ef-
forts were applied again two
years' later when the cycle race
A member of the Riverton
Community Management Com-
mittee, Julie always had plenty
of ideas for the town's growth.
Skills in writing church
newsletters were transferred
to a quarterly town newsletter
packed with local information
and touches of humour.
"If there was an opportunity
for Riverton she would go for it,"
Julie's proudest achievement,
according to Lesley, was the café
and the part it played in the fabric
of the town. "Money wasn't her
goal. It was always the com-
munity and what she could do
to bring them together."
The café employs 12 people
and over the years of its opera-
tion has given opportunities to
many young local people to learn
Julie's other passions were
local history, compiling many
family stories for residents who
marvelled at her discoveries.
Tributes have been paid to
Julie's contribution to the Gilbert
Valley by Member for Wakefeld
Nick Champion, Member for
Frome Geoff Brock and Mayor
Allan Aughey .
"She backed up the talk with
the walk and got things done,"
Mayor Aughey said, "she was
an inspirational fgure and a great
Mayor Aughey said Julie
would be an immense loss to
the community and the district.
"She was a great innovator.
People like her are a rarity and
it was both a pleasure and a
privilege to have had her in the
Riverton Community Man-
agement Committee chairman,
Gary Davis, said more than 30
people turned up at a community
meet and greet event at the week-
end -- a tribute to Julie, who's
initiative it was to hold a regular
get together for new residents.
Julie became unwell last
week and was admitted into the
Kapunda Hospital only expecting
to stay in overnight -- she died un-
expectedly on Tuesday evening,
March 5, while still in hospital.
Julie's funeral will be at the
Salt Church in Gawler with the
date yet to be set. She is survived
by her two sons, four grandchil-
dren and father.
Riverton mourns loss of
Plains Producer, Thursday March 14, 2013
'Work in progress'
for Hamley plan
Julie Matthews dies suddenly
Work proceeds on memorial
Decision awaits community, sports revamp THE original planning document devised by UniSA
students after public consultation last year.
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A DRAFT plan for the redevelopment of
the Hamley Bridge Community and Sports
Centre (HBCSC) has been received, but is
yet to be endorsed by the community group
Wakefeld Regional Council chief execu-
tive offcer, CateAtkinson, attended two meet-
ings between local clubs and other Hamley
Bridge groups and TSM Consultants, the frm
hired to devise the revamp.
Walking trails, exercise equipment, caravan
park spaces, and upgrades to the sports club to
allow for bigger functions were all suggestions
to be included in the redevelopment.
Mrs Atkinson said the Hamley Bridge
Community Management Committee (CMC)
had engaged TSM's Tony Stacey to under-
take a masterplan of the sport and recreation
She said it would provide a comprehensive
approach for the future development of the
site to address a range of issues being raised
by local clubs.
"The two meetings were workshops with
the clubs to get their views and then present
a draft plan," Mrs Atkinson said.
"The plan has not been endorsed by the
CMC and there has been no formal discus-
sions with the Council about moving forward
to deliver on any aspect.
"There has been no grant applications
made to date."
Housing development talks
There was also progress on the proposed
Gembuild (new group, previously known as
Gemtree) residential development at Hamley
Bridge. This was frst publicly announced in
MrsAtkinson, along with WRC community
and development services manager, Chris Par-
ish, recently met with Gembuild with a draft
plan of the subdivision in order for council
to consider any of the details in it.
"We are giving some feedback to the de-
velopers before they lodge a development ap-
plication," she said. Gembuild's Simon Cross
has been involved in the both the residential
development and sporting precinct meetings.
THE Tarlee War Memorial is being
busily recrafted after it was destroyed
in a car accident late last year.
Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council
chief executive offcer, Roy Blight, said
negotiations had continued between
council, its insurance frm and Tarlee
Community Services Committee since
The Department of Planning,
Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI)
has installed a protective crash barrier
to reduce the risk of a similar incident
in the future. A new soldier monument
will need to be crafted for the memo-
rial, given the extent of damage from
"This work, together with the restora-
tion of the memorial, is being arranged
by Pearce Memorials," Mr Blight said.
"No indication for completion of the res-
toration is available at this stage because
of the painstaking process and attention
to detail in rebuilding the memorial."
THE memorial as it was after
the car crash last year.
DUBLIN LUNCH -- DUE to the hot
weather, Dublin's St Patrick's Day lunch
scheduled for March 12 has been postponed to
March 19. It will be held at the Dublin Institute at
noon and costs $11.50 for a three course lunch.
The lunch is part of Dublin's St Patrick's Day
celebrations. Bookings to Pat on 8529 2028.
DAY OF PRAYER -- A WORLD Day of Prayer
service was held at St Paul's Lutheran Church, Balaklava,
on March 1, with all churches represented. Guest speaker
was Kay Herring, from Eden Valley, who works as a vol-
unteer with "Initiatives of Change,"an international non-
government organisation which promotes peace and security
worldwide. Fellowship and a "cuppa" followed the service.
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