01 April 2009

Visiting my School Mate in the bush

This post is by request of Roland, another school mate still living in Thun, Switzerland:

In the 50s when I started primary school, in Steffisburg, Switzerland, I met Martin for the first time as we entered the class room of Grade 1 and stayed friends with him until Grade 4 when I moved with my family to the neighbouring town of Thun. I lost contact with Martin until high school when all three of us joined the same marching band. Martin and Roland were drummers and I joined the trumpet section. During our school days, all three of us were pretty close friends, often getting into mischief especially on band excursions.

After school I completely lost contact with Martin until my mother pointed out an article that appeared in the local newspaper showing a picture of Martin who had emigrated to Queensland Australia and was working as a pastry chef at Lennons, then the top hotel in Brisbane. The article mentioned that Martin had produced Swiss pastries for the President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson, who was visiting Brisbane and staying at Lennons Hotel.

When I arrived in Australia in 1967, we met up again and have met from time to time until about five years ago, after we both retired, when we really renewed our friendship. We now meet monthly for lunch somewhere, either in his town of Beaudesert or near here at Springwood.

Well Roland has requested some pictures, so Diane and I went out bush today to have lunch with Martin and his wife Judy. After lunch, while the girls chatted (and blogged), Martin took me down to his model railway project he is working on where we had fun of our own.

Martin and Judy live at Kooralbyn,
about 70 Minutes drive from us.

They're home is overlooking the valley

They have a lovely garden and fish pond

The boys enjoying a beer in the gazebo

The Swiss chef is preparing lunch

Lovely Swiss 'Kalbsbratwürste'

In his den, Martin is building a super model railway
system which he hopes to complete in the
near future

Of course there has to be a SBB Re460 engine

The faithful Re4/4 Swiss loc pulling the train

Martin assembles a vintage steam loc with modern


  1. Great post but what do I blog about now??

  2. Greetings from Switzerland.
    The Mini Railway looks better than the originals, so do the Kalbsbratwürste...

  3. Great post about frienship who has been kept over many years. This is a lovely area looking so nice and fresh, well I guess the name says it all "Beau desert"! Lunch looks good, can smell the Bratwuerste 'bruzzeln'. The railway looks great and admirable. I love to travel by rail. Especially very long distances.
    Enjoy Sunday and the rain! Grueassli T.

  4. having trouble leaving a comment...
    I said, I love reading about your childhood stories! and boy toose sausages look good!!

  5. Hoi Bill
    ächt spannend di Blog...fröiemi geng go zläse, was dir ds Ouschtralie so machet! Bi üs chunnt itz doch de no langsam dr Früehlig ids Land...hüt isches emu scho ca. 18 Grad gsi...Grüessli vo üs aune...

  6. Great photos, and just the mention of Thun brings back memories of two holidays in Switzerland when our daughter lived there with her Swiss husband. They now live in Canberra but are thinking of moving to Brisbane....perhaps you'll meet one day, after all, blogging can introduce you to all sorts of people.


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