Welcome to the official
Variety Fire Truck
UPDATED 30th July
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2007 Images |
Members of the bash team with
various dignitaries at Chermside fire station for a photo with the
Minister & Commissioner
is a Brisbane Queensland entrant in
Variety Clubs Charity Bash events that helps raise funds for
South Port to Gympie.
Well here we go again, 2010 Variety Bash. It's started for
the crew of OV Fire on Wednesday night with the pre bash dinner where
all the bashers are together for the first time in one place. About
450 people this year which is a great effort. The dinner was held at
Sea World on the Gold Coast where first of all, a few awards were
handed out. Yes even I (David Lloyd) received a five year award for
completing five bashers. Wow I couldn't believe it. Had some great
friends up with me on stage who started bashing the same time and have
been friends ever since.
After the awards there was a couple of appeals to the
disabled and disadvantaged children we fund raised all year for. The
absolute high light was this young girl with
and Variety gave her this small motorized scooter to get herself
around on her own. She did a few laps and then a huge surprise for
her. One of the Sea World Sea Loins come into the function room and
performed tricks for her. You should of seen her face light up and
also everyone else's in the room.
This was going to be an early night for us, as we had to
leave at six in the morning, to do the first official duties that we
needed to perform so the whole bash runs smoothly. The first check
point at Walloon Saloon. The crew of OV Fire had to miss the start and
head directly to our check in point. As we left, it was bucketing down
with rain. Had a chance to get a quick photo of the start line.
And their off
Perhaps I snooze is
Ahh , The serenity
Another day another
town , whoops its just day one sorry!
We arrived with plenty of time to spare and we set up our
check point. We found out that the way the bashers were coming, there
was a rather large MUDDY hill that most of the cars couldn't get up.
The decision was made for the bash to go back and go via bitumen. This
put the bash about 3 hours behind schedule. So we had plenty of time
Once and finally when all the bash cars had arrived we headed
off to our fist school visit. We went to
Fernvale State School were
we had an awesome reception from the children. Blazer made a visit and
was swamped by so many of the kids. OV Fire crew handed out free give
always. A big hit with the children was boxes of McDonald's cookies
which was donated to us by McDonald's at Bracken Ridge. Lucky we only
had 860 boxes, because we had no more room in the truck. While Blazer
was there he made a new friend Shriek and the children just went
OV Fire had another School to visit and also lunch that the
We arrived there just as the kids were about to leave to go home for
the day, but managed to get more of those cookies off the truck.
As you can see it was getting to much for one of the Virgin
bashers (the virgins always falls asleep and the rest of the crew
takes the photo's of them). He fell asleep not long after we left the
start line, then at the check point and again once back in the truck.
The rest of the crew was wondering if we were that boring and he
couldn't stay awake. We fixed him, we made him drive for the rest of
the afternoon. Which may of not been the best idea. We had a few scary
moments in the wet muddy roads and ran wide on a few corners and ended
up in the bush. The rest of us made sure he knew how we felt. But was
all in good gesture and we laughed for ages afterwards.
There wasn't much of a road at times and we came across
another car that had similar problems and couldn't stay on the road.
Everything was fine and we carried onto our night stop over in Gympie.
We got in late at about 7 but was not the last in for a change. Ha
Ha. We had a great meal and had Becky Cole sing for us. She was great.
Becky Cole doing her
You know I just get
the pics and post them
but I have to ask
Gympie to Biloela.
Well we survived day 2 of the bash and it was a busy day.
First up in the morning Variety donated a Sunshine Coach to
School. It is a great feeling to see our fundraising money going to a
good cause and the children that benefit from what we do.
We had no official duties to perform except to visit some
schools, but being an official vehicle if we come across situations
like broken down cars we need to stop and help them as much as we can
and today we stopped and helped three cars which didn't have any get
up and go anymore. Need to tell you about one of them. One of the
broken down cars was being driven by three guys dressed as Nuns. When
we came across them I was sure they should of got help from a higher
person than OV Fire but went and checked anyway. They said fuel was
pouring down the Carby and not stopping which made the car not run.
The guys tried to fix it with no luck and I went up to the car and
just touched the carby (didn't do a thing) and said try to start it
again. I couldn't believe it the car started and everyone was spell
bound and asked what I did. I didn't know but took the credit anyway.
Someone was looking after the so called Nuns.
The School visits today was at Gunalda State School, Mount
Perry State School (who provided lunch for all bashers) and a stop at
Biggenden State School who was waiting out the front of the School for
ages for the bash cars to arrive, Graham Bridges did a quick Fire Ed
with Blazer and the children was so responsive to them both it was
excellent to see. Well done kids. And yes more of the cookies have
Before we went up to a school, Blazer came across his friend
Shriek again and I think there maybe something going on with these
two. I think the honeymoon was over when they couldn't decide who was
going up to the school first to visit the kids. When will Brazer
Today's trip went well but when we came across an old bridge
which crossed the
that said it had a load limit of 5 tons (OV Fire is about 12 tons) we
weren't too sure what to do. Trevor, Graham and myself went across the
bridge to check it out and met up with a local who said that steam
trains comes across and there would be no issues with our truck. So
was in the drivers seat and he brought the truck across without a
problem. We weren't too sure at the beginning. Phew!!!!
We did have another big ask of OV Fire in the afternoon run
and that was to get up this VERY steep hill. The poor old girl
couldn't do it and we had to go back along the bash route and go into
Biloela via bitumen. Just to let you know a lot of other vehicles
couldn't do it either.
It was my turn today to get the bad driver award for the day.
As we were going though Monto and going out the other side someone was
taking a photo of us and as we waved I swerved and clipped a plastic
guide marker. So I got all the ribbing from the other crew members for
the rest of the trip to the days finish. Oh well it happens to the
best of us and again it was all in good fun and something to pass the
It was nice of the virgin crew member that always seems to
sleep stayed awake for the whole day.
We will see what tomorrow brings. See ya
Biloela to Fairbairn
Day 3 and here we go. I
have asked the Virgin Bashers, Lawrence and Graham, if they would like
to share their thoughts and experiences so far of the bash and do
today's run. They were most happy to this for me.
From the Virgins.....
The day starts with another 0500hrs arise to travel to brekkie,
another great spread for all the Bashers put on by the Volunteers of
Biloela. Lloydy's inability to relax got us all motivated and downed
Brekky to leave with the other OV's to set up the first part of day 3
Bash Biloela to Fairbairn. Lloydy's stressed state was possibly due to
the fact that it was "ILean's" turn to drive again.
Our first duty was to return along the already travelled track
to collect some of our essential equipment that fell off, a minor
delay in the morning events. We arrived the 54km from the start of the
Bash to set up OVFrie in the center of a paddock. This was a strategic
decision by the Bash organisation for OVFire to battle the beast
should one of the bashers unfortunately set part of the route on fire.
The beast never showed its head which was excellent for the highly
trained crew of OVFire lead by Lloydy as we carry 2000litres of water
and the property was some 4000Ha.
After all the Bashers had passed we continued on with the route
with the other bashers taking in areas of Queensland that I might have
never seen if it wasn't for Variety. The route had not as many
challengers as day 2 however a very rough trip in some places. OVFire
had a disturbing discovery after lunch, a realization that the only
lockable door on the rear of the truck was open and some fire hose was
missing. A few select phone calls and Lawrence "tinker" Bell was off
to find some new hose unfortunately to no avail at the Duaringa Fire
Station. We continued with the bash route to Blackwater Fire Station
with the anticipation to locate some hose there, once again no luck.
With new information we travelled to Emerald Fire Station, we met the
Emerald Area Director who provided some hose enough to get us going. A
shower at the station and continued the bash site at Lake Fairbairn.
The trip was very uneventful in comparison to the days prior
with very few breakdowns from the bashers and certainly fewer events
from the drivers of OVFire, Lloydy and "tinkerbell" locked them selves
in the rear of the cabin, thus forcing Trevor "its all about me"
Jarvis to remain on the roof of the truck until "ILean" got in the
navigators seat because "its all about me" Jarvis doesn't navigate,
however with Trevor controlling OVFire there was not the off the track
excitement by ILean, nor the flattened guide posts and gear selection
On route to the dam site there was a very busy engineering
workshop, this shop had many bashers lined up onto the street waiting
for welding and repair work some 20km before the last checkpoint, thus
upsetting OV10 delaying the completion of day3 as they were
responsible for the last checkpoint.
The work and logistics that go into the coordination and
organisation of one of these events is so far amazing, We can only
commend the management of Variety on the effort that they and others
have contributed to this event, as virgin bashers, we are extremely
impressed so far and hope that all goes well for the rest of the Bash.
Composed by all except Trev "I don't navigate or blog"
Lake Fairbairn to Lake Dunn
Again the guys wanted to tell
of their day on a Variety Bash, so over them,
Day 4 and to awaken at 0600hrs
to another great looking day, we packed the truck tied everything down
and then off to breakfast by the lake. Dinner and Breakfast was
provided once again by the local community and it was impressive how
the locals all come together to provide a great spread in the middle
of "for us" seems like nowhere.
did a case 4 from the dam.
The crew of OVFire have managed
to steer Trev "its all about me" Jarvis away from the consumption of
"Eggs" in large quantities. Trev "its all about me" Jarvis informed us
early on the first day that the good and hearty breakfasts of bacon
and eggs tend to build up internally which will provide some
discomfort for the rest of the crew of OVFire within the cabin on
dusty roads with no means of ventilation.
As for myself "ILean" it was my
first night camping in a swag, Coming from as my other camping friends
who align me with a 5star camper, this was to pose some thoughts and
concerns for my soon to be first experience. It started with many
calls to the OVFire crew in Brisy as to what to pack in the swag,
because I had no idea!! then when I finally packed all that I felt
would keep me warm and cosy the challenge soon became evident that I
was not able to roll it up without assistance. With much determination
I finally got the swag as large as it was rolled and delivered to the
truck for the journey. At lake Fairborne I asked if there was to be
roof to our evening "No" it will be great looking at the stars was the
reply, as the anxiety built internally as a tarp was thrown on the
ground and the swags were rolled out and the statement was made
"that's camp" the laughter started as my excessive large swag was
questioned as to what I had inside and was I able to get in to it at
all. Time for bed after another dinner and a few medicinal ales to
calm my nerves, for the anxiety of sleeping on the ground in the open
was to be a great challenge for me and the complete amusement for all
at my expense. To answer all who asked about the swag experience it
was a great night sleep with no bad memories.
As the crew of OVFire today's
assignment was to man the final check point of the day was to be
somewhat easy, starting with the trip to Alfa for fuel and confirm
directions, we were met by an Irish backpacker who was new to the
area, so it was clear that there was not going to be any benefit in
asking directions from this guy, the crew decided to get some supplies
for lunch, so if we made Lake Dunn we would have lunch with us. We
went to the store and attempted to get some chook and bread, we were
confronted with the Swedish backpacker attendant for his first day in
a store, where he failed to know what the price of bread or how to use
the till, we informed him of the Bash's imminent arrival at that
location of some 150 vehicles and 400 hungry Basher's, the look was of
instant worry with some Swedish indescribable reply as we left for
We arrived at the Jericho local
watering hole to find PK behind the bar, three staff and two very
friendly locals, being responsible persons most of the crew of OVFire
we had a coke while Trev "its all about me" Jarvis supported PK
employer by having a large brown pill for the trip. Now back to the
bash route and the dust to locate Lake Dunn.
Upon arrival at the Lake we
found that we were the first of the Bashers to arrive but all the
locals were there and almost setup for the night event, We had lunch
and set up our check point waiting for the Bashers all to arrive, this
was to be a very late night for some Bashers and those manning the
last check point. This was to because the Q00 Shrek team decided to
stop some distance from the end to attempt to finish off one and half
Kegs. Unable to achieve this by themselves the invitation was put out
to passing bashers that" free beer" to all at the Shrek self located
checkpoint. As we all know about bashers not able to leave a fallen
buddy behind and always able to help out where possible, the word
passed around and the remaining 20 odd bashers and mobile workshops
all provided assistance to Shrek, making the last checkpoint very late
completion. At 2215hrs we finally completed our easy assignment and
went to bed with no anxiety from "ILean" of another night in a swag,
thus ending day4 prepared for another day tomorrow of bashing.
Composed by all except Trev "I
don't navigate or blog" Jarvis.
Day 5, Lake
Dunn to Charters Towers
After another comfortable but cold sleep in the swags we rose
to another wonderful breakfast by the local sporting clubs. For
today's official duties OV Fire had to do the lunch time check outs.
This meant we could go onto the bash route but needed to be in there
before 12.30 to carry out our duties. The only thing was we had to
make a small diversion because some of the way was too sandy for heavy
vehicles. We were told we had to turn off at a place named Lou Lou
Park and travel to Twin Hills. We travelled with the other bashers and
got to Lou Lou Park with the Shrek bus and we knew from that point it
wasn't going to be as easy as we were thinking. Absolutely no road
signs to tell us which way to go. An executive decision was made to
keep going down this road until we found something that hopefully tell
us which way. How big can Australia be? We knew if we kept travelling
in one direction we had to hit an ocean at some point Ha Ha.
We travelled for some time and didn't see anyone or any sign
posts. We pulled over at a tee intersection and had a conference with
the Shrek bus people and at that point we started to get a bit
concerned. As It turned out, Australia is actually pretty big. I think
lucky for us a local farmer came past and we asked for directions (
yes to all you females, us males did asked for directions). We were
basically on the right track and continued onwards. Again after a
period of driving concern was setting in so we stopped at a homestead
to find no one was there. After some time thinking, "NOW WHAT" a Ute
drove up and the look on his face to see a Fire truck and the Shrek
bus on his property was incredible. He gave us some more instructions
on which way to go on his 250 000 acre property and told us to watch
out for his 13 000 head of cattle. In a short while we came across a
sign that had on it Twin Hills only 77km. 77km doesn't sound much but
on the type of roads we were on it could take awhile. The time was
catching us and we had the afternoon run sheets for all the bashers.
Without them the bash couldn't continue until we got there.
We were only 22kms out and the Shrek bus had issues and we had
just over an hour to go. Oh no do we leave them and send someone back
or try and get them going. Couldn't leave them and after a wee bit
they were going again. We made it with 15 minutes to spare. Phew....
Once there, most of the bashers were in and we had a quick bit
to eat and the spread of food was incredible and the deserts were to
die for. All freshly made from fresh ingredients from their local
Once we finished our duties the local children came around and
the guys off OV Fire showed them around the truck and gave all of them
a go at squirting water from the hose. Yes and some children did get
wet but loved it. One of the children was asked how long do you live
from here. He said, " About 45 minutes by road or ten minuets in Dad's
helicopter". You just have know idea how far the people in the bush
has to travel for special events.
Made it into Charters Towers without any drama's and that night
we had the privilege of Rod Stuart singing us some songs. I am pretty
sure it isn't the real one but had the moves down pat and wasn't too
bad at singing his songs.
Tomorrow is a day off for the bashers so they can rest or fix
their cars for the next half of our trip. Some like us that hasn't had
much trouble with their vehicles can do some sight seeing around
Day 6, Charters Towers - Rest
Today starts with a sleep in, as it is a day off bashing. This
gives most of the bash vehicles time to recover and the bashers
themselves a chance to rest, recover and make the necessary repairs to
their bash cars as most needed something done. 30year old and older
cars “bashing” down some places that they were never meant to go!!!
just because they can and they all call this fun. All for their reward
for raising lots of money for a great cause.
Brekky was provided by the local college in the open just
beside the oval where most of the bashers will call home for today at
least. The day was "cold" even for the locals as they were rugged up
as it was only 11deg. The wind assisted with the chill factor the crew
of OVFire decided to walk the town which was all closed for show day
only to discover the golden arches (McDonalds) were open so a change
of venue for brekky was decided (this was to give us some variety on
bash brekky's which is bacon and eggs, sausages, baked beans every
The students of Thornburgh College held a car wash for all the
bashers for a donation of $20.00 so of caorse we had to have the truck
washed. When we drove in the gate all the children pointed at the
truck and most of them came over to wash it. Another basher came up to
me and said everyone left washing his car to go and wash the Fire
Truck. I told him, "Well it is an Emergency vehicle and needed to be
ready to jump into action if required". That's my excuse and I'm
sticking to it. The children climbed all over it and did a great job
washing it so instead of $20.00 we gave them $50.00.
Back at the motel those bashers that completed or had no work
to make the rest of the journey were sampling one of the sponsors
light refreshments (xxxx). The day passes very quickly with a walk
around the local show arena as the Charters Towers community has the
day off for the local show, the show was on its third and final day
The day will end with a concert and some of the bash vehicles
on the main arena. The concert has some of the Australian Idol
participants singing and not to mention a guest appearance of Mr.
James Blundell. As some programs go on a time frame, the Idol show ran
overtime and James was shunted from list, this allowed the fireworks
to complete the day for all. We can't wait for tomorrow...bring it on.
Composed once again by all except Trev "It’s all
about me and I don't navigate or blog" Jarvis.
Day 7, Charters Towers to
Today OV Fire had no official duties to perform so we had a day
of following the bash route. After the morning debrief where all the
bashers are told of the dangers and what to look forward on today's
route. It was time to catch up with some great old friends that I
hadn't had a chance to see.
OV Fire was asked if we could take one of the guys out of the
open topped Fire Truck which had blown it's engine and was out of the
bash. Lee came with us for the day and he said it was a bit different
to what he was used to. A bit more comfortable. Even Trev was
comfortable...A bit too comfortable maybe.
We had lunch at Trebonne State School where again the food on
offer was just excellent and the children put a concert on for all the
bashers while they were having their lunch. They are so talented and
captivated everyone with their singing. Very enjoyable.
From here it was an easy run into Innisfail, all on bitumen. I
was kidnapped by the guys from the xxxx bus or Top Hat Lounge as it is
called. It was payback time, before the bash I helped repair the bus
so it could go on this bash and they wanted to repay me. Usually you
need to pay $100.00 and you are supplied a endless supply of food and
beer but it was free for me. It was a great afternoon with some other
people that I haven't met before and we stopped at a few local pubs on
the way. At this one pub you wouldn't believe there was 4 Lloyd's.
From the right, first name Lloyd, next was middle name Lloyd and
myself and far left last name Lloyd (but not related we don't think).
Once I found the other guys at the motel we decided to stay in
and have pizza delivered. The night function was not walking distance
and we still are a bit tired, We had some great down time and other
bashers joined us who had the same idea. James Blundell walked past
and had a chat with us and commented if we were still there when he
returned he would sing us a few songs. This request was from Graham.
We went to bed before he returned....oh well next time maybe.
Day 8, Innisfail to
First up for today at brekky, Variety had an appeal
presentation of a Liberty Swing to the local council swimming pool.
Then a quick drive to Ma:Mu canopy walk.
After the walk it was a beautiful drive through the rain
Forrest which came out at a wind farm on green rolling hills. They are
so big when you get close to them.
The lunch was at Ravenshoe State School where Blazer made an
appearance and was such a great hit. There was so many kids around
that Blazer got lost. Again there was no complaints about lunch and
another concert by the children kept everyone entertained.
OV Fire had official duties to perform so had to go straight to
the night stop at Tinnaburra to check everyone in. But before we left
we had time to see the Virgins get welcomed into the Variety family.
This happens each year and they all get wet. Welcome Virgins.
That night was awards night and in this big tent everyone was
thanked by Variety and the top fundraiser was announced. The team that
won raised a record high total of $153 000.00. What a huge effort. Ov
Fire raised it's highest total as well. We raised just on $14 000.00.
Thanks to the crew of OV Fire and the sponsors.
In total, all the bashers raised a great $1.2 million dollars
for the disabled and disadvantaged children of Queensland. This is a
big effort after the financial trouble the country was in. Well done
The last day is nearly here. In one way it's good and we get to
go home but also sad we have to finish and say good bye to friends
made on this bash, well until next year anyway.
Day 9, Tinnaburra to
We have made the last day of the bash with no problems and
again it is a short days run into Port Douglas. Waking up early as
usual in a swag, while over looking Tinaroo Dam is a great thing to
experience. This is one thing we will miss (especially Graham,
secretly I think he likes the swag now).
It was another magnificent drive through the most beautiful
rainforest region and ended up at Kuranda Rainforestation Park for
lunch another great lunch time spread. We really get looked after on
the bash when it comes to food. At lunch you could feel the atmosphere
starting to heat up with everyone knowing in a few hours that the bash
would be finished and then time to party and let your hair down.
Everybody on the bash has accommodation at Port Douglas and knows they
can go wild because they don't have to get up early the next day to go
OV Fire had the last official duty to perform in the afternoon
and that was to corral all the bash cars at an airfield just outside
Port Douglas and set them up in order to go across the finish line in
lots of ten, with the top ten fundraisers to go first. So we left
lunch early to go on the final bash route but the navigator (me) said
turn left but must of meant his other left (right), so we headed down
the range and into Cairns and along the highway to Port Douglas. If
you haven't done this drive before, you really need to, it is so worth
wild to do. The photo's just don't do it justice.
Once at the airfield we set ourselves up ready to TRY and hold
back all the bashers. We had some help from some of the bash nurses
which got most of the bash drivers attention and funny enough they
then listened to our directions.
Once given the all clear to release the bashers, you could feel
the party vibe setting in and what a chance for OV Fire to
congratulate every basher as they went past. I believe only two cars
out of all the cars didn't make it. I don't know the exact stats of
how many cars but a figure of 130 plus was doing the rounds.
As OV Fire headed off to the finish line there was so many
people lining the streets waving to us and yelling "what a great job
and effort Variety has done". I think all the crew of OV Fire was so
proud of themselves and the achievement and contribution that they had
made to the sick, disabled and disadvantaged children to which these
funds are much needed. This is why we do it.
As we were the last across the finish line, we had the majority
of all the other bashers lined up in front of us waving and thanking
us for being there and thanking us of all the work we had put in.
Again our real skills of the truck was not needed again, which meant
it was another safe bash for everyone. This is what we want, we are
there just in case. Now it was time to park the truck up and find our
accommodation and have a party and some well deserved drinks.
The final night was held in a park and was the 21st Birthday
Party of the Variety Bash. The venue was so well set up it was amazing
for the last night of seeing all your bash friends together until next
year. A lot of stories were told all night and the entertainer was
someone called Neily Diamond. It was funny that the old Neil Diamond
songs went off so well..go figure...
The trip home.
We all got up early the next day after a
great night had by all. Lawrence was flying back to Brissy and we had
to take him to the Cairns airport before 8 and mission accomplished.
We headed off towards Townsville where we were doing to catch up with
some old friends and visit the State Fire Fighters Championships.
The remaining crew caught up and had lunch with a fire officer
which transferred up to Townsville, Garry Channels. After we headed to
the championships and after a few funny looks from the crowd we ended
up parking on the running field area. (out of the way of coarse) and
quite a few people came up and had a chat about the truck and Variety.
They said they have heard about us but was good to actually see the
truck and talk to us about what we do and our experiences. The crew
even had a visit from Commissioner Lee Johnson who congratulated us
and asked how our adventure went.
The rest of the drive home was uneventful except the mechanic
of OV Fire got abused for disconnecting the heater as it got sooooo
cold. At one point, my steel caps in my boots was giving my toes frost
bite. The mechanic (me) replied " Toughen up" as you can see me on the
back seat freezing with Blazers hands on. Besides that little hic up
with the heater the truck did not miss a beat and was so reliable. We
all got back safely to our family and friends which is the most
important thing and the thing you look forward to the most.
The next years bash was announced and it is from Harvey Bay to
Gympie (finish at the Gympie muster) but as in true bash style it will
not be the direct route.
All the crew from OV Fire would like to thank our sponsors and
everyone who has helped us and the children in need to again make this
years bash so successful. I hope you can keep on supporting us. There
is way to many people to thank individually but would like to send a
special thanks to Rhiannon Jarvis for designing our logo this year.
She went to a lot of trouble.
I would like to thank the crew of OV Fire, Trevor Jarvis,
Graham Bridges and Lawrence Bell for all their hard work to make this
years event so successful.
Again a great big THANK YOU and see you next time.
See you in 2011!