The Centralian advocate Tue 5 May 2020
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs.; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers.
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TUESDAY MAY 5 2020 NEWS 03 V1 - CAVE01Z01MA ALICE Springs real estate agents have reported that the industry is weathering the COVID-19 period well, with house prices holding and expectations that the market will bounce back. Demand for homes has been consistent during the pandemic, despite open inspections and auctions being banned under sweeping coronavirus restrictions that came into effect at midnight on March 25. Crucial funding for services CANCER Council NT is encouraging Central Australians to contribute to the organisations $5 for five campaign to help facilitate five essential services for cancer patients throughout the Territory. Receiving 83 per cent of their funding from fundraising events, the services financial reserves have been hit badly by COVID-19, facing the very real and terrifying possibility of falling short in funding needed for critical services, now and into the future. In Central Australia, the $5 for five campaign will contribute to a Cancer Support Nurse in Alice Springs providing information and counselling support, prosthetic breast and bra fittings to cancer patients in the region with a fundraising target of $112,000. It will also help develop a transport to treatment service in Alice Springs providing transport for patients from home to treatment, as well as an ostomy program, with fundraising targets of $69,000 and $62,000 respectively. Each donation will receive a tax deductible receipt. Visit cancercouncilfundraising.com.au/nt/5-for-5 Territory Day in a different way TERRITORY Day will be celebrated a bit differently in 2020, but it wont stop Territory schools from showing their Territory pride in a creative, new way. Using the Territorys own Black Rock Bands song Family, students are encouraged to submit a short video sharing what they love most about living in the NT, in particular the place they live. There are no restrictions on creativity students can sing along, incorporate artwork, history or poetry. LJ Hooker Alice Springs managing director Doug Fraser said restrictions forced changes to how business was done. We have still had a good sales month, he said. People who make appointments are genuine buyers and it separates them from those just looking at the market. Professionals Real Estate proprietor Steffi Hart said the Territory had been luckier than other states as it was still able to hold private viewings which had led to sales. Her company did not have any open inspections, despite getting the green light this weekend. They will be looking at opens in the future. Eli Melky from @realestateco did not hold any inspections through April and did not sell a property. He said there had been only a slight drop in rentals for the month. We were unable to do open inspections and it was difficult to privates, he said. I am resetting the marking strategies with the owners. There was only a slight drop in rentals as the stimulus packages from the NT and Federal Governments, banks and businesses supported the residents who needed it. House prices have held and I expect the market to bounce back. Ruralco sales manager Lindsay Carey said the sales for the past five to six weeks were down overall. The start of the month was quiet as everyone adapted to the restrictions, he said But it has improved in the past couple of weeks with inquiries coming in as there is a bit more positivity in the community. There are still challenges Virus changes industry STEVE MENZIES firstname.lastname@example.org in front of us and we will look at whether we hold opens in the future. First National Real Estate Framptons resumed open inspections on Saturday. Director Andrew Doyle said sales had been made and other inquires received. The market is reasonably sound and we look forward to holding opens again, he said. Access to properties was controlled to conform with social distancing requirements. People were met outside and numbers admitted depending on the property. Organs at heart of a bloming wonderful retirement ALYCE MOKRZYCKI Senior reporter FRED Blom has found his passion. And its at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a town in Central Australia that this passion is helping to keep a fantastical part of European musical history alive for future generations to enjoy. Originally from Holland, Mr Blom initially attended art school where he completed an apprenticeship in stained glass before serving seven years in the navy. Moving to Alice Springs in 1971 with his dearly loved wife Mien and their six children three boys and three girls he became a skilled woodworker before working as a picture framer and artist at a business on Smith St. It wasnt until he retired in 1995, however, that the now 89-year-old discovered nirvana when it came to his work. When I was in Holland I saw the bellow organs and I thought they were marvellous and I was intrigued as to how they worked, Mr Blom explained. It was all wood and I was a woodworker so I thought Id try my hand at making organs. I had a friend in Melbourne who had two organs and we started restoring organs together, and through bits and pieces on the internet and corresponding with friends I started making them myself. To date, the avid creator (also skilful at painting Central Australian landscapes) is responsible for the construction of five bellow organs building the entirety of each magnificent piece from the ground up. It is a hobby and the hobby goes out of hand. You cant stop. You have to make it, Mr Blom said with a twinkle in his eye. Im not a part maker by trade, those people know exactly what to do, and I have to do it by ear. So I make a part and if it doesnt sound right I make a longer or shorter part until I get the pitch right. Adding to the impressiveness of the musicality of his feats of construction is the fact that Mr Blom is hearing impaired, not that his organs would ever betray him of the fact. If I had have known about this skill when I was in Holland, maybe I would have gone for an apprenticeship in that industry, he said. Its a lesson to us all that its never too late to learn a new skill and fall in love with what you do. In fact, it may even be the secret to a long and fulfilling life. If you keep busy and you do things you dont have time to get old! Mr Blom laughed. Fred Blom, 89, with the Dutch bellow organ he is making in Alice Springs. Picture: EMMA MURRAY Real estate works within restrictions