Here are a few of our top stories from the month of May.
May began with the unfortunate loss of sporting great, Ray Frost. A life member of The Waratahs Rugby Union Club, Waratah-Mayfield District Cricket Club and the former Waratah Bowling Club, Frost passed away at age 94.
He played strongly for Newcastle and NSW Country in 1954, appearing in all 11 of Country’s matches on a tour of New Zealand. His performances resulted in his selection for NSW in 1955, along with team-mates Ron Harvey and Terry Riley (reserve), to beat Queensland 49-6 at North Sydney Oval.
Frost played 243 matches (160 in First Grade) for The Waratahs, won five First Grade premierships and, in 1955, became one of five original life members of the club – an honour he held for 65 years.
He then retired from football in 1958 but was named as lock in The Waratahs ‘Team of the Decade 1946-55’.
The loss was felt throughout the Hunter and beyond.
By mid-May, school students were heading back to in-person classes.
Sam Jenkins, a Year 12 student at St Paul’s Catholic College (Booragul), joined thousands of pupils across the state in walking back into school.
Different grades had access to schoolgrounds at least one day a week as the COVID-19 shutdown lifted under a staggered approach.
Most students had been learning remotely since late March after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian ordered parents to keep their children at home if possible.
Sam, who wants to study law at the University of Newcastle, said it was a stressful period.
“Being able to come back to a safe environment with a schedule and timetable is comforting,” Sam said.
“It was tough to get into [remote learning] … I know a lot of people struggled in sticking to a schedule and things like that.”
By the following weekend, Supercars Australia announced this year’s Newcastle 500 event would not go ahead.
Homegrown driver Cody McKay was “gutted” by the cancellation, saying he was excited for the three days of action-packed excitement that December 2020 had promised.
“We’re pretty disappointed, it’s our biggest event,” McKay said.
“We know it’s going to return next year, and we are busting to get back out there. We don’t know where, we don’t know when, but we’re holding out for the return – we’ve been cooped up inside way too long.”
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) wrapped up the end of the month.
It was celebrated by businesses, schools and early learning services, as well as organisations and individuals across the country from 27 May to 3 June.
These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey — the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision.
All Saints’ College, St Mary’s Campus, Maitland, is one of many schools in the Hunter that hosted events throughout the 2020 NRW.
Aboriginal Education Support Teacher, Col Love, said the theme for this year – In This Together – was highly appropriate.
“That’s the COVID theme and it’s what reconciliation is all about – trying to get rid of injustices and inadequacies,” he said.
One Hunter couple did not let the coronavirus pandemic ruin their wedding plans.
While COVID-19 restrictions were eased in May, allowing up to 10 guests, couples who wanted to celebrate with their families were forced to cancel or host their loved-up event virtually.
However, Lake Macquarie residents Jodie Cattell and Glenn Burgin were determined to enjoy their special day.
We caught up with the Stewart family to chat about twins Oscar and Felix, who have an undiagnosed rare genetic neurological condition, earlier this year.
We’re pleased to report that the boys are doing well!