Canberra Confidential / Young Josh rides on

Josh Goyne... cycling to Melbourne in memory of his granddad.

Josh Goyne… cycling to Melbourne in memory of his grandfather.

IN December last year Canberra teenager Josh Goyne took off from Lake Ginninderra and pedalled 277 kilometres in a bike ride to Sydney to raise money and awareness for stroke victims.

“It’s all in honour of my grandfather, who’s just suffered his fifth stroke and he’s paralysed from the waist down now,” Josh said at the time.

This year, on December 6, the 16-year-old Melba Copland Secondary School student is planning to ride 679 kilometres to Melbourne, sadly this time in memory of his grandfather Barry, who suffered another stroke and died last month.

“I don’t want anything for Christmas, just to make my grandfather proud through doing the ride in his honour and fulfilling his final wish of me fixing and repairing his pride and passion, his 40-year-old tractor, look after his farm and become a bull rider,” says Josh.

Support to or Josh’s Facebook page at

 Happy to be first?

NOT that the debate over which was Canberra’s first Chinese restaurant was raging since columnist Mark Parton nominated Happy’s in Garema Place the other week, but it has been the subject of some recent historical discussion.

Local historian and author Nick Swain, quoting from his piece in the November edition of  “Canberra History News”, says Happy’s began in Queanbeyan in April, 1957, and branched out to Lonsdale Street the following August. By October, the unstoppable Happy’s was at the Starlight Drive-in. However, it was not until 1963 that Happy’s appeared in Garema Place.

“I was also interested to find that in January, 1957, the Casablanca at Kingston was advertising that its meals were cooked by the famous Chinese chef Happy late of The Bamboo, Sydney,” he says.

The plot thickens slightly in that the improbably named Gloucester Restaurant in Civic advertised in June 1956 that it was serving genuine Chinese meals and had a Chinese chef.

“There is still debate about whether Happy’s was the earliest Chinese restaurant in Canberra,” says Nick, saging warning that “terminology is important”.

Smiling surrender

Steve Alt surrenders his driving licence at age 99.

Steve Alt surrenders his driving licence at age 99.

HE looks like the happiest man in the world, but this picture of Goodwin Village, Monash, resident Steve Alt shows him surrendering his licence last year aged 99 after an unblemished 80 plus years of driving and never having been in an accident.

“Quite a record!” says son-in-law Stephen Bills, who explained that a fall and a fractured hip had ended Steve’s car driving, though these days he gets along in a motorised wheelchair.

Bombala-born Steve has just celebrated his centenary at the Vikings Club, Greenway, with more than 100 guests coming from as far afield as NZ, Sydney and regional NSW.


  • AFTER 25 years, La Scala, one of Canberra’s best-known Italian restaurants is closing at the end of December. The Garema Place eatery is making way for its cafe neighbour Shorty’s expansion plans.
  • THE Cock and Crown at the Woden Churches Centre, Phillip, serves beer. But it’s not a pub, it’s a new barbershop for “today’s gentleman of leisure” that serves beer with your cut.
  • Lazy running or lazy spelling? CC isn’t sure but in announcing locations for a come-and-try week of “the new, fun, friendly way to run,” the organisers of Lazy Way Running managed this howler for Lake “Burleigh” Griffin.
  • “THINK before you toss,” is the sound advice of Emergency Services Minister, Simon Corbell. The context, of course, is the $300 fine for discarding a lit cigarette.
  • WOFTAM is an internet slang acronym for what we have politely interpreted as “waste of fecking time and money”. Now knowing that, a reader wonders “would it be appropriate to call the light rail proposal a WOFTRAM, ie. Waste Of  Fecking Time Resources And Money?”


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