Meeting 2479 – 30th July 2018

Our guests speakers tonight were husband and wife Guy and Emma Bowley who moved to Temora in 2011 to live at the Aerodrome Airpark.

Emma grew up on a vineyard and was always very interested in it so ended up studying Viticulture at Charles Sturt University. With her parents not agreeing with her choice of degree, she found herself having to pay her own way, so she found employment as a jockey which helped pay the bills while she studied. Emma has worked for Orlando and McWilliams wines and is now using her skills to help Michael and Kelly Harper at Korambi Wines here in Temora. It has been a challenge to adapt her skills to working in small batches but one which she has found exciting.

Emma has a love of aviation and is a pilot. A few years ago as President of the Temora Flyers she won an an International Award for the most outstanding organiser of an event for her role in the Temora Women in Aviation Event. She has been a volunteer at Temora Aviation Museum since 2011 and now works in the office three days per week.

Guy is an Ag and Fire-Bombing Pilot, but he hasn’t sprayed a paddock in eighteen months due to drought. Times are tough in the extended industry and you have to be creative to survive. For fun he volunteers at the Temora Aviation Museum, particularly on the Aircraft Showcase days.

Born in Sydney his family relocated to a farm at Tumut when he was six, so he has always considered himself to be a country boy. When he left school, he completed an apprenticeship as a Fitter Machinist at a local mill and the wages he earned paid for his flying lessons. He still uses his trade here and there. Guy says that people this the Ag flying is crazy because he is flying the aircraft at 220km/h with the wheels 6 feet above the ground under power lines but he considers the fire-bombing to be the most dangerous flying he does. The reason for this is you are usually flying in very turbulent conditions, low visibility due to smoke, windy and many other operators around you that you don’t normally fly with. Guy is also a flight instructor and teaches students to fly here in Temora which helps to pay for the maintenance and insurance on the aircraft.

In 1996, Emma and Guy moved to Jamestown in SA. A small town of 1500 people and they eventually bought a farm and planted a ten acre vineyard – right at the beginning of the drought. Initially they had great success with their wines. In 2004 they made one barrel of Shiraz and one barrel of Cabernet which both received five-star ratings. But at the end of the first three years with no water, the vines couldn’t support the quality anymore and the vineyard failed which was incredibly disappointing for them both.

This disappointment was Temora’s gain as it proved to be the catalyst for their relocation to Temora. What a wonderful diverse skill set this couple possess.