CLOSE TO 200 of Corner Inlet’s residents and visitors descended upon the grounds of the Foster Historical Museum on Australia Day to witness the presentations of awards and to enjoy entertainment and activities arranged by chief organiser Marg Haycroft.
The program commenced with the raising of the Australian Flag by Foster Historical Society member Howard Plowright. The audience were then treated to ever-popular Aussie songs performed by local group Soul Purpose.
Many youngsters had put their creative talents to work on making their very own flags and each of them were presented with a certificate in front of proud families,
South Gippsland Relay for Life was announced by Councillor Jeanette Harding as Corner Inlet Community Event of the Year 2016, with the award accepted by committee members Kerry Cripps and Richard Jones and chair Meg Edwards.
“It’s a great honour to win this award. In past years, organisers have had around 12 months to plan the event; we’ve had only about four months, but we all worked well together, making for a successful event,” said Kerry Cripps.
“It was a great event and we had a short time to organise it,” said Meg Edwards.
“ What to me was the most important part, apart from raising $36,000, was how many people were involved. This award doesn’t only go to the community of Fish Creek, it also goes to the community of Foster and to South Gippsland. It goes to all the business, all the community groups, the committees, to everybody who put in. That’s what made it such a success and it was warming to see how many hundreds of people turned out to participate, to volunteer and to be a part of it. That’s the measure of success.
“I’d like to make special mention of two people. We had great support from Cam Abood who emceed the Light Ceremony. He had done that for a number of years, but sadly he passed away a few months ago to cancer. Also a very special mention of Kim Williams who was part of our committee, doing PR. She was an absolute trooper during the relay,” Meg said.
Kim was only 30-years-old and was diagnosed with cancer, passing away late last year.
“Relay for Life will take place again at Fish Creek in 2016, on the 19th and 20 of March,” said Richard Jones.
“We’ve had plenty of time to prepare and have 18 teams and 150 walkers signed up and have already raised $12,000 with two months to go, so we hope to raise even more than last year,” he said.
Cr. Mohya Davies addressed the crowd, announcing that the Corner Inlet Citizen of the Year 2016 is Sandy Bucello.
“Sandy and Joe committed to Foster in 1989 as a place to work and raise their family, to embrace country living and to be closer to the children’s grandparents so that could have a full community and family life and that has certainly been achieved.
“Sandy became involved in all the usual communities, kindergarten, pony club, netball, often an office bearer, often on the catering committees, and her catering skills are legendary. She has a very generous nature and is prepared to go the extra mile in many ways in the community,” Cr. Davies said.
“She took on one of her greatest challenges a couple of years ago, taking on the leadership of the aged care services in Corner Inlet. She worked through the fundraising, the organisation, the construction, and I believed it challenged her in many ways and it proved that she is a leader in many ways as we now have a wonderful facility in Prom Country House in Foster,” Cr. Davies said.
“When we made the decision in 89 to Foster for a sea change it was the best decision we ever made.
“Thank you to the committee and to Joan Liley for my nomination. I was absolutely overwhelmed when she told me she had nominated me because I see so much of the work so many people do in our community I know there are a lot of people out there who worthy of this award. One of the things I love about Foster is that everybody puts their hand up and helps in so many ways.
“It doesn’t matter how much or how little you do, and the fact is that we come together to achieve what we need for our community, and that’s what celebrate on Australia Day,” Sandy said.
Following the formalities, more live music was enjoyed and market stalls held by members of the Foster Historical Society created a lot of interest and added to the relaxed atmosphere.
Members of the Foster Wool Group presented displays of hand crafted woollen items and the ladies of the CWA adorned their stall with tempting biscuits and cakes. Children enjoyed playing in an impromptu cricket match and in making and decorating their own flags.
The barbecue put on by members of the Australia Vietnam Volunteers Resource Group (AVVRG) and was very successful in raising funds by donation for the group to provide live aid and workshops to eight hospitals – including a trauma hospital which has 700 beds but often accommodates 1500 people.
AVVRG member and Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic John Barrie said that patients lie top to toe, or sleep in the corridor – and may be there for six to seven hours – and with no complaints.
Donations were flooding in and the barbecue was very popular, with over 20kg of sausages and five kilos of onions consumed over the course of a couple of hours. Not only was the barbecue enjoyed by many; so too were the slices of delicious lamington cake made by Ros Bryan and Grace Howell of the Fish Creek RSL.