Members from 16 branches across the Riverina CWA hopped on a bus and headed to the Snowy Valleys on Monday, to sample a few of the things this part of the world has to offer.
They began with the Tarcutta Textiles Co-op, known as Tartex, before heading to Batlow for a tour of Mouats Farm and lunch at the Batlow RSL. They then stopped in at Tumut River Millet Brooms, in Lacmalac, before finishing up at the Adelong Gold Mill Ruins and heading back to Wagga.
At Tumut River Millet Brooms, Peter Sturt explained their process of hand-making a millet broom for the interested group, who clearly recognised their quality – they had the store nearly empty within the first twenty minutes.
“We’re the real deal here, we grow the millet right here on the property,” Mr Sturt said.
“These brooms will last you ten years. The handle won’t fall off like the ones from Bunnings!” He then handed the group over to broom-maker Roger French for a demonstration, who came with a glowing recommendation.
“Roger’s been here with me for 17 years and he’s never missed a day’s work,” Mr Sturt said.
However, Roger himself was more modest about his work ethic.
“I used to do 100 brooms every day but I don’t always do that anymore… I’m semi-retired,” he told the tourers.
The group watched Roger make a new broom right before their eyes, using traditional hand-powered machinery, and expressed their appreciation for Australian-made products.
The Riverina CWA takes a trip together about once a year, not including the excursions organised by the individual branches.