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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A year in review: April 2020

In April, the coronavirus pandemic still had the world on hold and we did our best to bring you good news and keep you updated throughout the month. Here are seven of our top stories.


An Anzac Day for the history books

It was an Anzac Day for the history books this year, with the nation forced to commemorate the day from home.

Renowned Hunter historian Ed Tonks said it would be significant because of how different it was.

“Instead of being community-based as such where you have great numbers of people from a community focusing on a particular ceremony or march, this one will be emphasising the individuals – it is going to become very memorable in that way,” he said.

Although it could not be compared to what the Anzacs faced, Mr Tonks said we’re dealing with a new enemy in COVID-19 and believed we need to look after each other during this time.

For more on that story, click here.

Photo courtesy of Fort Scratchley Historical Society curator Ron Barber.

Psychologist calls for mental health to be a priority

The coronavirus pandemic left many feeling isolated and concerned for the future earlier this year.

Manager of Counselling and Clinical Services at CatholicCare and Access Newcastle, Psychologist Kelly Pavan, called on the community to look after its mental health during the uncertain time.

Ms Pavan shared several tips to support your mental health, including maintaining some structure, practicing physical self-care, limiting news intake, and reframing how you perceive the situation.

To read the full story, click here.


Hunter family backs former detective Gary Jubelin

The family of a missing Charlestown woman was unwavering in its support of former NSW Police detective Gary Jubelin and his “shake the tree” approach.

The high-profile detective, who had led the investigation into William Tyrrell’s disappearance from 2014 up until his resignation last year, was fined $10,000 and convicted for making illegal recordings of a person of interest.

Mr Jubelin was found guilty of recording four conversations with Paul Savage – a man who lived near the house that the then three-year-old William disappeared from in Kendall on the Mid-North Coast – on a mobile phone.

The verdict was announced at Downing Centre Local & District Court in Sydney.

To read more, follow this link.


Rallying around Relay for Life

A flicker of hope was beamed from living rooms across the Hunter in April as part of Cancer Council NSW’s latest initiative.

Hope at Home allowed the community to support those living with cancer after the cancellation of Relay for Life events.

For more, click here.


Cauliflower the cat keeping Teddy company in Kotara.

Teddy Bears a beacon of hope

Teddy bears and stuffed animals united families across the Hunter as the pandemic took hold.

A new social media group called on the region to put stuffed toys in their windows or front yards to create a social distancing teddy bear hunt.  

For the full story, follow this link.


Charity’s local connections make global impact

It was 1996, and war had broken out in the Congo.

Jerome Rugaruza was forced to flee his homeland and spend years in a United Nations Refugee Camp when his father was murdered and 100 cattle were taken from the family farm.

He arrived in Newcastle in 2009 and, two years later, was reunited with his wife, Imaculee, after a decade apart.

Newcastle Weekly spoke with Jerome in April and shared his incredible story.

Click here to read more.


Stay at home this Easter

Communities across the Hunter were urged to stay home over the Easter weekend to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

The NSW Government Public Health Order on Gathering and Movement made it illegal to congregate in groups of more than two and stated people must remain in their home unless they have a reasonable excuse to be out.

Read more on that story here.