Top 10 quirky yarns from the Whitsundays
THE New Year marks six months since I started as editor of the Whitsunday Times, Whitsunday Coast Guardian and the Bowen Independent.
It has been a period marked by tragedy and triumphs, but with the spirit of the New Year in mind, here is a look at my top 10 quirky yarns from the Whitsundays since July 2018.
10. Pop goes the python
Jubilee Pocket woman Marlene Manto's surprise find in the plughole of her bathtub was a story which attracted plenty of attention in late December.
This is the first of four stories written by Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp, and is also the first of two stories featuring pythons in the top 10.
9. Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after 63 years
After more than six decades apart, a Cannonvale woman met her step-brother for the first time following a 15-year search.
This yarn on Annette De-Lisle's search for Brian Poulton from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp was a cracker.
8. Tiny frog's miracle recovery
The tale of a remarkable green tree frog, who made a miracle recovery after being found with a lung outside of its body following a brush with a whipper-snipper in November.
7. The rubbish warrior
I loved this story from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian senior reporter Monique Preston about Aydan Wyse, the 32-year-old who spent much of 2018 cleaning up roadsides wherever he visits.
His efforts were warmly received by the Whitsundays public.
6. Fate reunites woman and saviour after six decades
This remarkable yarn from Bowen Independent reporter Kyle Evans about Victorian woman Helen Perikkentis and her meeting with a Bowen man who six decades earlier rescued her from kidnappers.
To borrow a line from Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour, and have a read.
5. Winner winner, chickens and a rooster for dinner
A Flametree resident got quite the shock when she went out to feed her beloved chooks and found a 3.5 metre python curled up in the pen in November in this story from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Georgia Simpson.
4. Living on the edge
November delivered this yarn about a public bus which got stuck on the rocks at Shute Harbour written by Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian senior reporter Monique Preston.
3. Bikini Gate
Barely a week after my arrival, Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan found himself at the centre of a national and international storm after posting a video of himself bookended by two bikini-clad tourists at the Airlie Beach Foreshore.
Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad condemned the "celebrating” of World Bikini Day on Twitter and Facebook.
Then Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian senior reporter Peter Carruthers, now based at the Cairns Post, covered the story extensively.
Bikini Gate dominated headlines in the national television and press, gained extensive coverage across most North Queensland radio networks and received a mention in the international media through the Daily Mail website.
2. Caught between a croc and a shark place
As someone that spent six years working for the NT News, I love a good croc yarn.
Sure, the Proserpine River is renowned for having its fair share of crocs, but this story from October from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp had an extra twist as you can tell by the headline.
1. Backpackers deflated after island adventure falls flat
Clearly my top pick as the quirkiest story of the year was written by Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp in September.
This tale of four backpackers who were left stranded on Gloucester Island after the blow-up mattress they used to float across sprang a leak.
It was a story picked up by a variety of other news outlets across Australia and the world.