The Allworth Rocket Club in the Hunter has had an official discussion about whether or not to bestow honorary membership on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Unfortunately for Kim, who’s also known as the supreme leader, the vote went against him.
A couple of the adults in the club thought Kim should be allowed to join the club.
They thought it’d be cool if they notified him of his membership and then he wrote back.
But the kids in the club weren’t having it. They know a baddy when they see one.
The supreme leader of the rocket club is Shane Griinke, a 52-year-old electrician from Singleton Heights.
Shane’s a rocket enthusiast. Some refer to him as a rocket man. He loves letting kids push the red button.
“You should see their faces when they first launch a rocket,” he said.
“The idea of this rocket club is to inspire kids – my own three kids and nieces and nephews initially.
“It’s expanded now through family and friends.”
So where did this hobby start for Shane?
“When I was a little kid, I saw the moon landing,” he said.
The 50th anniversary of that momentous event falls in 18 months.
“That’ll be a big day for us,” he said.
“I’m already planning with my son to build a large rocket to fire on that day.”
We’re assuming he doesn’t believe in the conspiracy theory that the Americans faked the moon landing.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
“I’m very much into the Soviet manned space program. They were way ahead of the Americans and everyone else.”
There’s no way the Americans could have got away with faking the moon landing without the Russians knowing, he said.
“The Russians observed everything.
“In fact, during the moon landing, they actually had a lunar probe in orbit around the moon.”
After the moon landing in 1969, Shane thought “we’d all be living on Mars by 1980”.
To Shane’s disappointment, that didn’t happen. Nevertheless, he believes space is “our future”.
“I won’t say we’ve all got to leave the planet. But if we’re going to get anywhere and learn anything more, we have to go further and further,” he said.
“I think we’ll have a base on the moon in my lifetime. I want to see people not just go to Mars but actually colonise it.
“I never doubted that we would. We’ve had the ability to do this since the ‘70s.”
His wife Jennifer said her husband was “pretty special and a very knowledgeable chap, too”.
“He fills the house with space books. He’s always putting the kids lives in perspective – their place in the universe and the revolving planet.
“He’s also mad keen on fireworks. I’m not so happy about that.”
Shane and his club let off seven rockets last week to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Australia’s first satellite.
The Weapons Research Establishment Satellite (WRESAT) was launched from Woomera in outback South Australia on November 29, 1967.
“We were the fourth nation in the world to design, build and launch our own satellite. People don’t know about it,” Shane said.
“We’ve got the largest rocket range in the world at Woomera.
“Kim Jong-un would love to be able to test his rockets there.”
We’ve all seen those awkward and hilarious silly-season snaps doing the rounds online of people posing in embarrassing Christmas-themed clothing.
Now you’ll have the chance to create your very own version.
Charlestown Square will generously hold its Cringeworthy Christmas Portraits daily until Christmas Eve.
“Gather your gang and head to our Cringeworthy Christmas Portrait set where you will be able to dress up in our awkward festive gear, including hilariously ugly sweaters and Christmas accessories galore,” the shopping centre promotion said.
“Each person will receive a wallet-sized photo and a digital copy of their cringeworthy portrait, so you can share your cringeworthy joy with all.”
Cost is $5 a person.