News

In the Archives: Peg learns to soar like an eagle

By Benalla Ensign

1995

When Rosalie (Peg) Lewis of Lurg spotted an eagle flying over her property several weeks ago she made the offhand comment to her family that it would be magnificent to soar like an eagle.

Little did she know what it might lead to.

Last week for her 68th birthday, her children and their partners, Brian and Trudy, Trevor and Carol, with Mardi and Peg's grandchildren, treated her to a glider flight over the Benalla district.

This was her first flight in any type of aircraft.

Peg did not have any idea of what she was being led into when her family drove her into Benalla on Thursday, and as they drove into the airport and spotted the helicopter, she thought that this was it.

But they drove past and pulled up next to a glider and said: "you are going up in this to soar like an eagle".

It was such a surprise that even husband Grant was not aware of what was happening.

Once in the sky, Peg thought it was magnificent and there is no reason why she would not go up again.

She said the scenery, especially over their property at Lurg, was glorious.

2010

As someone who doesn’t play the game of tennis, it may seem strange that Tom Sweeney has exchanged his audio-visual technician job at Federation Square to become a full-time international linesman and umpire.

Sweeney, 24, went to Benalla East Primary and Benalla College and was more interested in tossing footy and cricket balls than watching fury yellow balls. That all changed at 16 when he got the opportunity to be a linesman at the 2002 satellite tennis matches in Benalla.

Tom Sweeney

‘Satellite’ was the old term for the Australian Pro Tour ITF Futures events currently held in Australia.

They are the stepping-stone tournaments for players wishing to earn enough points to make the ATP (men’s) and WTA (women’s) professional tours.

Sweeney said he thought being a linesman would be a good job to occupy him over summer.

“I met other people working at the Australian Open and other tournaments around the world,” he said.

“It thought it was an exciting way to earn some money and to be part of the big tournaments.”

Sweeney is one of four Australians selected to head to India to participate in a three-day advanced officiating training school.

The school focuses on advanced techniques and procedures to prepare students for the pressures of international officiating and Sweeney said it was “grueling”, with not everyone passing.

If successful, Sweeney will upgrade from an International Tennis Federation white badge certificate to a bronze badge chair umpire, allowing him to chair umpire higher ranked matches.

Also in The Ensign this week in 2010:

● More than 400 union members at Thales Benalla and Mulwala began industrial action in support of reaching an acceptable settlement for a new enterprise agreement.

● The Benalla Art Gallery received government funding of up to $686 000 to undergo a major upgrade, which would include the creation of 15 jobs.

● Benalla couple Mavis and Alby Hales last month celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

● Felicity Holmes, daughter of Peter and Christine Holmes of Lima East, married David Hostettler on the Holmes’ property, Sunnymeade Farm, on March 20.