john booth 2006

TWO OF our favourite local personalities are recuperating after stints in hospital: entertainer extraordinaire Maria Venuti AM and NSW Senior Citizen of the Year 2017 Dr John F Knight AM of Vimiera Village and Medi Aid Foundation fame. We give you an update on their progress inside this week.


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MARIA VENUTI AM is undertaking rehabilitation treatment at Ryde’s Graythwaite Rehab Centre next to Ryde Hospital where she has been since coming out of intensive care at Royal North Shore Hospital following her major stroke and accident in early November.

Her devoted daughter Bianca Venuti Hughes and friends Craig Bennett and Marie Simone have organised and will host a Birthday Benefit Lunch for Maria on Sunday week March 5 at Manta Restaurant Woolloomooloo two days before her actual 76th birthday on Tuesday March 7.

The Weekly Times will have a table and if readers and admirers would like to join us please contact us by calling Debbie on 9807 6666 or email  me on

Tickets are $200 which includes 3 courses, champagne on arrival, wine and beer and entertainment.

Hope some of you can join us and celebrate and pay tribute to a wonderful and big hearted most generous person who has raised millions for people in need.

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DR JOHN F KNIGHT AM of Medi Aid Foundation and Vimiera Village fame is recuperating after bowel cancer surgery on February 10 at Sydney Adventist Hospital and recovery in the Knight Ward which is named after him and his sponsorship.

His father was chaplain at the SAN Hospital and Dr John a committed supporter.

Dr John continues to make progress after the operation and we hope for the best and will keep you updated.

Just prior to his operation Dr John was celebrated in the federal capital at Canberra as NSW Senior Citizen of the Year 2017 with a reception at Yarralumla and in the Great Hall of Federal Parliament. Get well John.

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ROSS McDONALD “ RUSTY” RUSSELL OAM of North Ryde heads This Week’s Birthday Honours List celebrating 94 golden years on Friday. The 1994 Ryde Citizen of the Year and lifetime Scout member and WW2 ex-serviceman will celebrate with son and heir Kim Russell and daughter-in-law Carolyn and friends.

Scouts and Guides around the world celebrate today the birthday of the founder of Scouting and Guiding Lord Robert Baden-Powell and also his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell although 32 years younger on what is called Founders Day or Thinking Day by girl guides.

Also today Lorraine Cox formerly of Ryde and Ryde Furniture Freighters fame celebrates with hubby Mal now domiciled up north as well as Stephen Baden-Powell Gillies and Daria Gioconda Gorlato in Italia.

Thursday February 23 is a massive birthday date including 112th birthday of  Rotary International plus our most recent AM (Member of the Order of Australia) recipient Nola Barkl AM of Drummoyne and formerly Hunters Hill, Alex Sawyer hubby of Olga and notable Ryde Rotarian turning 83, and Robert Cameron principal of Cameron Legal and Epping  Chamber of Commerce member.

Also tomorrow we have Anthony Dominello turning 41, Penny Beccio of Hornsby Gang Show fame, Kerry Bowden former electoral assistant to Gladesville MP Ivan Petch, Edith Haigh better half of former MP and Labor minister Bill Haigh, Amanda Vass and Bianca Perre turning fifteen granddaughter of De’ann Hespe.

Yet another February 23 birthday girl is Patti Hall Thornton better half of Richard Thornton formerly of Putney and now central coast who had a florist business and health foods shop in the earlier Top Ryde shopping centre plus Dr Peter A Booth twin brother of JB celebrating in Pommieland with better half Maggie of sixty years and daughters Bregitta and Amber and families w hile elder daughter Debbie resides in Oz near Canberra with daughters Eva and  Zoe.

Ryde RSL Sub-branch celebrates 80 on Friday same day as Rusty Russell turns 94 and JB Godson Nathan Stanley Wilberforce Fyffe turns twenty five celebrating with friends and family of ma and pa Adele and Peter Fyffe and siblings Lucas John and Abbey Patricia.

Benji Marshall former Balmain Tigers star footballer and now a Bronco turns 32 Saturday same day as Sophie Watkins daughter of former Ryde MP John and Deborah Watkins celebrates 25 and Aimee Lovett turning 35.

Chloe Lewis who featured in TWT recently in cutting her hair for charity turns twelve also Saturday same day as Barrie Brown of real estate plus Selina Leung of Eastwood, Matt Burgess son of Nigel and Pamela Burgess of Epping Chamber of Commerce and Margo Buckingham better half of Mark Buckingham of Chill It Epping.

Peter Pasqual celebrates Sunday sharing with Gloria Dimaano while Ian and Sheila Hudson celebrate their wedding anniversary and Swati and Siddharth Maheshwari celebrate six years wedded bliss.

John Appleseed Manenti who has been a longtime member of Eastwood’s Granny Smith Festival committee celebrates 66 on Monday with better half Robyn who has performed as the apple mascot same day as Pamela Burgess better half of Nigel Burgess of Epping Chamber of Commerce.

Ian and Maureen Simpson of Epping celebrate 63 golden years of wedded bliss Monday with sons David and John L and families. Gee only seems like yesterday as JB was Best Man at the wedding at Ryde Presbyterian Church and is Godfather of the great John L.

Tara Sheerin daughter of former Hunters Hill mayor Ross Sheerin and Julie misses out on a birthday again this year as she was born on February 29 but otherwise she can claim 29 on either February 28 or March 1.

Ivan Petch former mayor of Ryde and Gladesville MP celebrates next Wednesday same day as Lorraine Clarke of the LCLC (Lorraine Clarke Luncheon Club) fame and Helen Buvinic a former manager of Eastwood Shopping Centre. Happy daze all.

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BUMPER STICKER: England has no kidney bank but it does have a Liverpool.

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Keep Smiling!