Cessnock Advertiser Letters to the Editor: September 13, 2017


Earlier this year The Advertiser had a story about Jascha Gopinko, musician and teacher (Unlocking the Past, March 19).

My uncle Ron Ryder, from Kurri Kurri, was a student of his, and when Jascha moved to Sydney my uncle used to travel down and stay weekends with him until he got accepted into the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

He rose to be leader of the second violins. He was also a founding member of the Austral String Quartet, which was well-received her an overseas.

When Ron died suddenly in 1974, aged 48, the quartet folded. They said it wasn’t the same without him.

After leaving school, he was an apprentice electrician at Hebburn Colliery and rode a bike from Kurri to Abermain to save the bus fare to help pay for his lessons with Jascha. He then caught the pit train to the mine.

His dad, George William Ryder, was a miner at Pelaw Main Colliery. He was well-respected as a miner and chaps used to fight to work with him. Although he had hearing loss, when he said ‘run’, you did. He had an uncanny sense to the slightest creak.

Ron was also a good soccer player, a talented winger, and many times half the team would come to his home in Gillies Street to try to get him to play an important game, but he gave it up for the violin.

My mum was Alice Palmer (Ron’s oldest sister next to her). Uncle Ron was a bit of a favourite of mine. This is the best I can remember.

Grahame Palmer, Cliftleigh


Childcare workers are short-changed in caring for children.

The Cessnock Business and Professional Women (BPW) Club supports the campaign by childcare workers (Big Steps – United Voice) to receive equal pay for hours worked, as they are predominately women and not as valued for their professional education and work as compared to men. We call on childcare workers to look after our precious young, and yet we do not pay the workers comparable salaries for the years of education that the staff must achieve to work in the industry.

It can be very difficult to find a childcare place for a child and if the workers do not receive an appropriate income then they may leave the industry. The impact will be that many women will not be able to have a place for their child and the parent will not be able to return to work.

BPW Cessnock joined with local childcare workers at their rally in Turner Park on Thursday.

Sheila Turnbull, president, BPW Cessnock


On behalf of Kurri Retired Mineworkers Association I would like to say a big thank you to the business people of Kurri Kurri and Weston. For many years I have called on them to request donations for out Christmas raffle – they have been extremely generous. All proceeds have been donated to the Westpac Helicopter. This year due to age and poor vision I am no longer able to do this so once again a very big thank you.

Nell Workman, life member, Kurri Retired Mineworkers Association


We have resided here in Cessnock for the past 18 months. We cannot believe that a town could be so "grubby". Everywhere there is rubbish – from food wraps, local papers and junk mail, not to mention cans empty bottles particularly beer or spirit bottles. With all the so-called "dole bludgers" around, why not put them to work cleaning up the streets keeping them active and occupied. Then perhaps Cessnock would be a more pleasant and appealing place to live.

Ann Curtis, Cessnock

HAVE YOUR SAY: Send your letters to cessnock@fairfaxmedia.com.au.


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