Club News

5 September 2021: President’s Annual Report from 2021 AGM

5 September 2021: Management Committee elected at AGM on 4 September 2021

  • President: Not filled. To be filled at October General Meeting
  • Acting President: Michael Hardcastle
  • Vice President: Bill Reece
  • Secretary: Debbie Bloomfield
  • Treasurer: Jodie Sawyer
  • Webadmin: Sokar Phillpot
  • Additional Member: Joe Venables

31 August 2021: August Club Newsletter

12 August 2021: Celebrating and appreciating star member Sokar Phillpot

12 August 2021: Opening new fossicking areas

  1. The QLD government is open to opening new fossicking areas in northern QLD
  2. The club is recognised by the QLD government for the purposes of adding ideas and suggestions
  3. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS FOR GRANTED. We need to add momentum, make all the work required worth their while and help where we can

12 August 2021: News and reports from August general meeting

On 11 August Debbie circulated the minutes of club general meeting on 7 August to members.

12 August 2021: Updated list of Gemfest volunteers

12 August 2021: COVID-19 club lockdown is over

Club open on Saturday 14 August. Mask wearing required.

8 August 2021: COVID-19 club lockdown notice

Club closed until further notice. Please see link above

31 July 2021: June/July Club Newsletter

29 July 2021: Images from all stalls at Gemfest

28 July 2021: Member Photos from Gemfest.

27 July 2021: Peg A Claim and Metal Detector raffle winners.

26 July 2021: Grand Raffle Prize Winners.

24 July 2021: Minister Michael Healy Opening Gemfest

Our three minute video shows Minister Michael Healy cutting 60th anniversary cake, acknowledging the club and members as well as mentioning tradional custodians of the land, the Olympics and making a lap (of stalls, not an Olympics track).

22 July 2021: Update on Club Entrants and Winners at Cairns Show 2021

22 July 2021. News and reports from July general meeting

21 July 2021: Minister Michael Healy to open Gemfest

16 July 2021 : Volunteers at Cairns Show 2021

Many thanks to our volunteers for staffing the club stand and demonstrating Lapidary to Cairns Show visitors.

9 July 2021: Volunteers at Earlville

Many thanks to our volunteers selling raffle tickets

15 June 2021: Full list of Lapidary section winners from 2019 Cairns Show

14 June 2021. New Section on CMLC at the Cairns Show

10 June 2021. The club’s 40 year and 50 year celebratory publications are back up on website

Oops! Sorry! Website error! Club publications Celelebrating 50 Years 1961-2011 and Celelebrating 40 Years 1961-2001 have been missing from the website for the past six months or so.

There is no ‘Celelebrating 60 Years 1961-2021’ publication. It would be hard to match the previous publications. Journalist Bronwyn Webb composed both publications.

Celelebrating 50 Years 1961-2011 has the following foreward by Bronwyn: “This booklet is not claimed to be factual nor in precise chronological order, but a historical account based on the transcribed contents of Minutes of Meetings and other club documentation, and the memories of surviving members of the Cairns Mineral and Lapidary Club Inc.”

Bill Reece recalls Bronwyn invited surviving members to the club for tea and interviewed them for their stories.

9 June 2021. News and reports from June general meeting and other information

On 8 June Jan emailed the minutes from out June general meeting on 5 June as well as other information

Please see selected news and reports from June general meeting.

  • CAIRNS SHOW TIME, Wed July 14 - Fri July 16. We encourage all our members who make jewellery, cabochons, facet gems and any other form of lapidary creations to exhibit in the Arts & Craft section. This is really important to keep the lapidary section continuing each year and for the representation of our club. Jan will email out the Lapidary section of the show schedule when it becomes available and also have copies of this section on the counter.

  • SELLING RAFFLE TICKETS AT EARLVILLE: The roster for the selling of raffle tickets at Earlville is now on the counter. We need 4 people per day (2 for am & 2 for pm). Let’s pull together as a team for this so it’s not left up to the usual few doing it every day. Thank you to those members who have donated prizes for the raffle, however we need more members to contribute please.

  • STALL ROSTERS: On the counter. Volunteers still needed

  • MT SURPRISE CAMPDRAFT Jun 24 to Jun 27. Member Vanese Leetch has a stall and is offering to sell members jewellery as well as her own. Contact Jan for Vanese’s contact details.

  • A chair has gone missing from the faceting area. Any information on who, where, how or why would be appreciated.

17 May 2021

May Club Newsletter

14 April 2021. News and reports from May general meeting.

Jan emailed the minutes from our May general meeting.

Please see selected news and reports from May general meeting.

Please note a correction has been made to selected news and reports from April general meeting. Federal MP Warren Entsch has been invited to attend Gemfest 2021.

19 April 2021

April Club Newsletter

15 April 2021.

Face mask wearing at the club is no longer mandatory as the relevant direction by the Chief Health Officer of QLD has been revoked.

13 April 2021. News and reports from April general meeting.

Jan emailed the minutes from our general meeting on 10 April.

Please see selected news and reports from April general meeting.

12 April 2021. Test room LED trial over

Both test room LEDs are now at 6 000 Kelvin CCT (correlated colour temperature) following a trial with the right-hand replaced broken LED at 30 000K.

Following consultation with club experts and members, the president, Michael Hardcastle, decided to have both the test room LEDs replaced with new 6 000K LEDs. John Heenan procured, tested, and installed the LEDs.

The club thanks participants including Michael and John and including club experts David, Vic, and Trevor.

The only universal consensus was that both LEDs needed to be at the same CCT.  There was evidence the both the brightness and CCT of the remaining unbroken LED had changed with age and use.

There are plenty of spare LEDs with CCTs of 4 000K, 6 000K, 10 000K and 30 000K. The club encourages interested members to conduct their own tests and devise their own usage of the LEDs. All the items in the image below are available from the club for members to use. The regulator is safe to use up to its maximum of 12.5 volts with four LEDS in series (in the image all the LEDs have the CCT shown on the label below). At 12.5 volts maximum the LEDs are at 60% of their rated capacity (0.6 Watts each).

By keeping the voltage around 10.0 volts, as shown in image, samples can be placed on top of LEDs for tests. Controlling with voltage, as opposed to current, is not ideal. Although current controllers are becoming less expensive, the less expensive current controllers have a fixed current and so the light output is fixed. Suitable PWM based variable current controllers have exotic chips, like the Texas Instruments TPS6106x series.

Pease keep in mind the UV output of 10 000K and 30 000K LEDs is higher than in normal LEDs

Spare LEDs, four LEDs wired in series with different CCTs and regulator

An illustrative test is to place the four LEDs in series face down on printer paper in a room in complete darkness with the regulator at 10.0 volts. Printer paper is fluorescent to UV. The only LEDs that make the paper look completely clean, in comparison, are the 10 000K and 30 000K LEDs. Also, there is a larger ring around the 30 000K LEDs, illustrating the florescent property of the printer paper to the larger UV output of the 30 000K led.

30 March 2021

FACE MASK WEARING AT THE CLUB IS MANDATORY. There are exceptions such as when eating or drinking.

Latest public health notice issued by the Queensland government which as of 30 March is headed:

Face masks — coronavirus (COVID-19)

Face mask requirements from 5pm AEST Monday 29 March

Latest public health direction by the Chief Health Officer of QLD

17 March 2021

March Club Newsletter

10 March 2021. President’s report and news from March general meeting.

Jan emailed the minutes from our general meeting on 6 March.

Please see News and president’s report from March general meeting.

10 March 2021. Observations needed with replaced test room LED

The following notice appears on the LED control box for the dual flexible lead LEDs as of 10 March:

Notice and Caution
The right hand LED is a trial high CCT LED. We need your observations in comparison to the left LED so we can replace it if necessary. Please tell David or Trevor.

THE CCT of the right LED is 30000 Kelvin and has a higher UV output than the left LED. Avoid prolonged use.

End of Notice and Caution

One of the two flexible lead LEDs in the test room had been out of action.

The right LED needed to be replaced because the lens, which cups over the LED light, was internally misaligned in the barrel and broke the LED when the barrel was screwed back on. If the barrel needs to be screwed back on again then please hold the barrel vertically downwards to allow the lens to align closely with the LED.

The higher CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) of the right LED does not mean the lamp is hotter to touch than the left LED one.

Higher CCT LEDs have a more even distribution of colour and allow for greater detail to show but can make samples look less attractive because the light appears colder and harsher in comparison to the warmth and softness of lower CCT lighting.

The club received replacement LED parts, ordered through Aliexpress, on 9 March and John Heenan installed a higher CCT LED in the right flexible lead on 10 March.

4 March 2021, upcoming wax casting dates

Wax Casting Workshop: Saturday 27 March and Sunday 28 March
Last day to place your order and get your name in the book at the counter is Monday 15 March

24 February 2021, praise from the top for the new club newsletter

Michael Hardcastle, the club president, is happy to report to the website how pleased he is with the great work of the Newsletter team (Leigh, Jan, Trevor and Joshua) with their first edition of the new newsletter with new editor Leigh at January/February Club Newsletter

22 February 2021

As per email today from Jan to club members

Wax Casting Workshop

Get your name in the book ASAP if you want to do a weekend wax casting workshop. You will also need to place your wax order from the order book at the counter at the same time. A date cannot be locked in until we have names and orders completed.

Gemfest, volunteers and donations appeal

The club already has offers to help and donations for the raffle. Thank you for the offers to help and donations. We need more help and donations if we are to make this a 60th celebration event to remember. Please put the Gemfest dates in your diary (Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July). FRIDAY 23 July is set up day and we need members comfortable with heavy duty work for this.

Two new rules for Faceting Area

  1. Trevor, the faceting instructor, has requested those using faceting machines on Monday and Wednesday to WRITE THEIR NAME ON THEIR DOP STICK AND HAND IT IN BEHIND THE COUNTER to store in the dop stick holder when you have finished. Trevor’s students’ dop sticks are all locked in the faceting cupboard.
  2. Michael, the President, has also requested the faceting machine users PLEASE EMPTY THEIR BUCKET OF WATER at the end of their session to avoid stagnation and mosquitos breeding.

Vacancy on Management Committee

Due to the resignation of John Heenan from the management committee there is now a vacant position. If any member is interested please let the club know.

John is still the club Webadmin.

Cairns Mineral & Lapidary Club News

The first edition is nearly ready to roll out.

For the next edition, Leigh, the editor, is requesting members to supply photos, stories and any questions you may have about cabbing, silversmithing or faceting. Instructors will answer your questions in the next edition.

7 February 2021. Extract of reports and news from Jan GM.

Jan emailed the minutes from our general meeting on 6 February.

Please see News and president’s report from February general meeting.

1 February 2021

Jan emailed members with club information


  • Gemfest 2021 will be held on Saturday and Sunday 24 amd 25 July
  • Lapidary and other prizes gratefully accepted and needed for the raffle. The sooner the better to help sell tickets. The raffle is a major fund raiser for the club.
  • Volunteers are needed for Gemfest. Please email Jan with your task preferences if you can volunteer.


Faceting and Cabochon courses are currently in progress and a Jewellery Silversmithing course is booked out ready to start. To attend future courses please ask to be booked in. You will be informed when there is a place available. You need to be a member to be booked in.

Workroom Protocols

As in any organsation there are expected protocols to help the club run smoothly. Please see email

For sale to members

There is a microscope ($300) and Hall’s MK3 faceting machine ($3000) for sale. Please see email for details

24 December 2020

We wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

There is a record of the club Christmas Party on 12 December, with thanks to caterers ‘The Frying Dutchies’ at Past Events.

We understand it is a busy time of the year and please, no pressure on anyone: if anyone has a nice representative set of photos from the Christmas Party can they please email them to the club and ask for them to be included on the website at the above link. Again, no rush. Thanks. Including photos of happy raffle winners, their names, prizes and prize donors would also be nice. Photos are cropped before going on website so no need to edit photos.

There are two new menu items on the website

9 December 2020

Jan emailed the minutes from our general meeting on 5 November.

Please see News and president’s report from December general meeting.

30 November 2020

Information about the club website updated. You can access this page from the menu with Member, Adding Content. There have been substantial changes to website practices since the last main update a year ago, mainly to speed up administration.

22 November 2020

Jan emailed club members with updates and news:

  • Christmas Party 2020 prepayment required by Dec 2: link to updated Christmas Party 2020 details for 12 December. Now indoors with air conditioning, the key point is to prepay $15 cash each at the club for yourself and your guests by Wednesday December 2nd for the party on Saturday 12 December. The reason for cash is that the caterers normally operate a mobile food van. Please see link for the great menu.
  • Donations requested for Christmas Raffle: tickets will be on sale from Wednesday 25 November for $2. Lapidary and other items accepted for raffle prizes.
  • Gift Certificates: on sale from Wednesday 25 November. Can be used for club membership fee, towards a 2021 course fee or to buy products for sale behind counter. The club thanks Tammi for this.
  • Membership Renewals: now being accepted, even though it is not December yet. This way you can renew membership and book/pay for the Christmas party at the same time.

14 November 2020

November/December Club Newsletter

8 November 2020

Jan emailed the minutes from our general meeting on 7 November.

Please see News and president’s report from November general meeting.

7 November 2020

Facebook 1000 likes draw result. Congratulations to Chantelle Gundrum who has won the 1000 likes facebook draw. Allan Rose drew the winner at the club meeting today. The club facebook page reached 1000 likes on 6 November 2020. Congratulations also to facebook admins Tammi and Peggy who helped accelerate likes. Tammi organised and ran the 1000 likes draw and Peggy made good use of website content by posting links from facebook to different pages of the club website. Also many thanks to Trevor who made and donated the sapphire ring prize.

Christmas Party Saturday Dec 12 at 12 noon. Please let us know if you are going. The christmas party is still being planned and the club wants to know who is going. For members, partners and friends. Jan will email updates and you will also be able to find all the latest information from the link at top of home page of club website.

2 November 2020

New section crediting members with work benefitting all members. New website menu ‘Member, Photos, Club Work’ at /member/photosclubwork/ with first entry showing members fixing the club container and preparing it for a repaint by the CYRC. Images show Damian and Tim. Photos taken by Michael. A lot of non obvious work is done by members of the club to keep the club in good condition and running smoothly for members. This enhances facilities and keeps your membership costs exceptionally low for the facilities provided.

Damian with welder fixing container and Tim working with drill

1 November 2020

Upcoming Club Draw: The club facebook page has announced the first 1000 club facebook likes will be entered into a draw for winner’s choice of a sapphire ring or 2021 club membership. Currently the number of facebook likes sits at 984. The draw is also prominently announced on this websites home page. The sapphire ring has been generously made and donated by Trevor Hannam.

Sapphire ring 1000 likes draw facebook prize made by Trevor Hannam

24 October 2020

Articles: New menu (member, articles) and section for member articles. In the first article, about the closure of the Argyle diamond mine, Mike Rashleigh writes on the The Last of the Argyle Diamonds.

Gem Finds: Debbie Bloomfield found this stunning topaz at O’Briens’ Creek a few days ago.

Reminder: Vic Lahtinen and the club provides a gemology service 9am to 10am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. No need to be a member.

15 October 2020

October Club Newsletter

13 October 2020

Two more valuable additions to the equipment gallery from Bill Reece, a willoughby and fossicking stand

12 October 2020

Jan emailed the minutes from our general meeting on 10 October.

Jan has requested member reply to email ASAP with ideas for our Christmas party this year while under COVID-19 rules.

Please see News and president’s report from October general meeting.

Please encourage friends to like the club’s facebook page, nearly at 1000 likes.

7 October 2020

Mt Gibson field trip 2020 reports and pictures

New menu entry on purchasing (Services, Purchasing) and web page from Mike Rashleigh.

4 October 2020

Field test report on tripod stand fabricated by Damian

27 September 2020

As per notices by email to members by Jan

  1. Faceting machine,
  2. Lapidary saw
  3. Gemmasta lapidary/cabochon grinder/polisher with parts as shown
  4. Eight disc cabochon machine, double sided, two motors

24 September 2020

From notice by email to members by Jan on 24 September:

It is with great sadness to let you all know two of our past members, John Evans and Neville Ridley, passed away recently. It is always sad to see our elderly past members go as you know they take with them so much knowledge, wonderful stories and experience that we wish the young members starting out could embrace.

A sympathy card will be sent from our club wishing their families the sincerest of sympathy during this sad time.

20 September 2020

From notice by email to members by Jan on 20 September:

Just thought I had better keep you all up on what is happening at the club. Attached is a special announcement as per 1. below

  1. Make sure you bring some extra cash with you on September 26th as there will be a surprise pop up stall out the back. Please see the event notice
  2. It has been lovely seeing members we haven’t seen since the COVID-19 closing, so welcome back
  3. Jeanne’s No Stone Unturned is now available in hard copy at the sign out point near the front door if you would like one.
  4. Faceting classes have begun again with Vic Lahtinen doing the Wednesday session and Trevor Hannam doing the Saturday one.
  5. Sylvia’s silver course will start October 3rd with five students which is the limit for this session.
  6. Don’t forget to book in if you wish to do any of the next round of courses. Current membership to be paid and prior payment for the course is a requirement to secure your place
  7. Here’s some links to John’s newest additions & pictures on our website

Don’t forget to have your pockets jingling with extra cash this Saturday so you can stock up on some really lovely slabs etc from the pop up stall

19 September 2020

New faceting class commenced with photograph of new class.

Other Website updates:

15 September 2020

Members showed fossicking sieve stands and a willoughby for photographing and measurement as well as for members to examine and ask questions on 12 September 2020. Thanks to Ken Vaughan, Tim Franklin and John Heenan. There is a report with links to updated information.

7 September 2020

The club AGM was on September 5. CMLC Secretary Jan has circulated the 2020 AGM Minutes, the President’s AGM report and the September General Meeting Minutes.

Jan reported 25 people attended the GM and 26 the AGM (as a new member joined up).

Jeanne Mora became the 15th life member at the AGM

Jan included a link to an online survey and requested members use it if they would like slab trader Bruno Simonetto to visit club on Sat 26 Sep.

27 August 2020

From CMLC Secretary Jan

  • AGM NOMINATIONS CLOSE THIS SATURDAY 29th AUGUST: There are still some positions vacant and we would love to see a nomination in these spaces.
  • SILVERSMITHING: The Silver Room will be taken up on Saturday afternoons for the next 3-4 weeks with Trevor completing the last of his classes that were started before COVID-19 hit us. Personal silver work on these Saturdays will need to be done before 1pm.
  • CAIRNS SHOW VISUAL ARTS 1-5 OCT: We received notification this has been cancelled unfortunately due to lack of help from their member groups due to staff shortages and the shortness of time to the exhibition.
  • AGM SEPTEMBER 5TH: Only nine more sleeps

23 August 2020

  • AGM, 5 September 2020, 12 Noon
    • Sausage Sizzle following
    • Appointing Proxy (see link below)
    • Have your say and vote
  • A potential fossicking trip will be advertised as soon as we have finalised the details with our field trip officers. Please add your name to the form on the noticeboard so it gives us a better idea of how many would like to go.
  • Thank you to everyone adhering to the COVID-19 rules and bringing your own cup etc. We need to work as a team during this time.

Full PDF: CMLC Member News, 23 August 2020

With regard the cancellation of the proposed Visual Arts Exhibition at The Cairns Showground, from 1 to 5 October 2020, to which the club has been invited to participate: the club received a notice after club members were notified of the invitation above that the Visual Arts Association (VAA) were cancelling the exhibition. The cancellation has nothing to do with the Cairns Show Association. The reasons cited by the VAA were a lack of help from VAA member groups due to staff shortages and the shortness of time to the exhibition. The VAA thanked the Cairns Show Association for supporting FNQ visual artists.

1 Aug 2020, Monthly Club Meeting For All Members

The first monthly club meeting for all members following reopening was held on August 1st in the sheltered outdoor back area under new COVID-19 safety rules.

Club Meeting August 1

18 July 2020, Club Reopened

The club reopened following four months closure due to COVID-19 pandemic.

About 14 attended throughout the day.

One person used the silver room, the others were happy to catch up as people came and went.

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