The one, the only Rebel Wilson - what is her interest in Gympie. It is real and it is exciting.
The one, the only Rebel Wilson - what is her interest in Gympie. It is real and it is exciting. Richard Shotwell

The exciting interest Rebel Wilson has in Gympie

THE tragic cluster of life-ending and life-threatening drama that has happened in our region this past week has, thank God, been ameliorated by at least one story with a happy ending.

FOREVER REMEMBERED: Tributes are flowing for much-loved Gympie resident Noel Ormes who died in a workplace accident on Wednesday morning. Noel Ormes (pictured) volunteered for the Chatsworth Rural Fire Brigade for many years.
FOREVER REMEMBERED: Tributes are flowing for much-loved Gympie resident Noel Ormes who died in a workplace accident on Wednesday morning. Noel Ormes (pictured) volunteered for the Chatsworth Rural Fire Brigade for many years. Contributed

I grew up running and riding around the mountains near Langshaw and Amamoor, and have walked the weaving, shaded walking trails near Cedar Grove too many times to recall.

Cedar Grove Forest Recreation Area is closed for the time being.Photo Craig Warhurst/The Gympie Times
Cedar Grove Forest Recreation Area Craig Warhurst

I know how easy it would be to get lose and can only imagine the fear and dread the parents of those three youngsters who got lost there over the weekend went through.

Equally, I know I could never know what it was like for the loved ones of Stuart McKay who fought so bravely to save his life further up the Mary Valley on Saturday when the unthinkable happened during a happy day of riding adventures for a group of mates.

Fatal at Imbil
Devastated mates try to come to terms with the loss of their friend in the Imbil Forestry. Troy Jegers

My thoughts and prayers now go out to the loved ones of the man critically injured in a terrible crash near Gympie on Sunday night.

SERIOUS CRASH: Emergency crews rushed to a serious crash near Gympie where a car reportedly crashed into a tree. A 46-year-old man has a head injury and will be flown to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
SERIOUS CRASH: Emergency crews rushed to a serious crash near Gympie where a car reportedly crashed into a tree. A 46-year-old man has a head injury and will be flown to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Troy Jegers

On a completely different note, I was one of the many enormously proud parents who watched their "babies” and many of the kids they grew up with, make their debut at the Gympie Civic Centre the weekend before last.

Noah Strachan and Lara Urwin
Noah Strachan and Lara Urwin athte 2019 Gympie Debutante Ball. EeVee Photography

Rhys Ferguson and Paris Petersen
Rhys Ferguson and Paris Petersen EeVee Photography

What a proud night that was, and how absolutely stunning did those so-called "kids” look. They were all - boys and girls - a picture of poise and elegance, having a ball doing their old time dances to some pretty funky modern country music.

Here's a little secret just between you and me: attending the Gympie debutante ball was a, shall we call her, scout working on behalf of the (or for the) Rebel Wilson Production Company - yes THE Rebel Wilson, which is reportedly working on a film calling something like Australia's Last Debutante Ball.

Rebel Wilson hosts the 2013 MTV Movie Awards. Supplied by Foxtel.
Rebel Wilson

Apparently, the Gympie deb ball has a reputation for being one of the - if not THE - most traditional deb balls still being held in Australia, and young Hannah was in Gympie to check out how it was done.

So stay tuned for more on that front. I have said it before and I will say it again, all roads lead to Gympie.

And for a special thank you to those readers who have made it to the bottom of my newsletter, the first 10 of you who click on this link and find out where to email their name, address and phone number will receive a free Gympie Times keep cup, to keep your coffee hot and help save the environment.

Renee King with The Gympie Times keep cup
The very talented Renee King with the keepsake The Gympie Times keep cup which 10 lucky readers can have if they are the first to email our lovely ladies at the front counter.

Thanks again everyone and have a great week.

Gympie Times Editor Shelley Strachan
Gympie Times Editor Shelley Strachan Frances Klein