The Mirror News

Community contributions applauded on Australia Day

AUSTRALIA Day celebrations in Foster traditionally provide the community with an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made by Corner Inlet’s most dedicated volunteers. This year the top honours went to David Grylls of Welshpool, Peter Lee of Agnes and the committee behind the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival.

In glorious sunshine last Sunday, on the lawns in front of Foster Museum, David Grylls was named as Corner Inlet Citizen of the Year, the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival as Corner Inlet Event of the Year and Peter Lee won the 2014 Community Service Award.

The awards presentation came at the close of the Australia Day celebrations in Foster. These were, as they have always been in the deft hands of the chair of the Corner Inlet Australia Day Committee, Margaret Haycroft, refreshingly informal, including snowball making (out of marshmallows) and a competition to find the best decorated bicycle. The snowballs tied in with the Winter Olympics theme, while the bicycle competition was judged, appropriately enough, by Corner Inlet’s Australia Day Ambassador, former Australian professional cycling champion Robin Daubeny, and his wife, Pat.

A sprinkling of stalls manned by volunteers from various community groups, including the Foster Show Society, the Friends of Agnes Falls, the Foster Wool Group and the CWA, added to the community spirit of the occasion, along with a barbecue hosted by CFA volunteers (from out of town) and afternoon tea provided by the Corner Inlet Pony Club. Toora Lions helped with the snowball making and local favourites ‘Soul Purpose’ entertained the crowd from the veranda of Foster Museum.

The formal part of the Australia Day celebrations in Corner Inlet began with the raising of the flag by Fish Creek RSL members Stan Tindle and Ros Bryan, while everyone sang ‘Advance Australia Fair.’

Robin Daubeny acknowledged Woolworths for sponsoring the Australia Day Ambassador program and said he was delighted to have been invited to attend the Australia Day celebrations in Corner Inlet. “This is a beautiful part of Victoria,” he smiled.

He had a Foster connection, he remarked, his daughter-in-law’s parents having lived in Foster for a while. He was a guest speaker at a Sportsman’s Night in Foster several years ago and he had also been to the Meeniyan Hotel, which occasion was particularly memorable because of a bomb scare which had led to the evacuation of the pub!

Presenting the major awards, with the assistance of South Gippsland Shire Councillors Mohya Davies and Jeanette Harding, Mr Daubney acknowledged the importance of good citizenship, saying that it was about volunteering time and energy.

Deidre Granger and Joce Meyer came forward to accept the Community Event of the Year award on behalf of the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival committee. Cr Davies said that this quirky festival had proved a winner for the town of Fish Creek. More than 2000 people visited Fish Creek over the course of the festival last May to view the 180 astonishing entries in the tea cosy competition and enjoy a host of tea-inspired events. Most of the profits were distributed amongst 14 local community groups, with some retained as seed funding for the next festival. It is set to become a regular event on the local calendar, with the next one to take place this May.

“We were overwhelmed by all the support,” said Deidre. “This year’s festival will be even better!” she vowed.

Recipient of the Community Service Award, Peter Lee moved to the district in 1995 planning to spend his days fishing and playing golf, but he soon became involved in community life at Toora and Welshpool. As a consequence he has had his boat in the water twice and has only had five games of golf!

Presenting the award, Cr Harding said that so long was the list of community activities in which Peter had been involved, she would name only a few. These include eight years as Vice President of the Toora Progress Association, active service in the Welshpool Horticultural Society, construction work and help with working bees at the Toora Bird Hide, establishment of the successful Toora Highway Markets, tree planting in Stanley Street, Learning Assistance Program volunteer at local schools, and most recently a major commitment to the Friends of Agnes Falls.

“Peter Lee is a very worthy recipient of the Community Service Award!” declared Cr Harding.

The winner of Corner Inlet Citizen of the Year Award, David Grylls, was unfortunately not able to be at the award presentations. However, he said later that he felt very honoured to have been nominated. He said he had worked for the community not to win any award but because he saw the need for the work to be done and he was happy to do it.

David was nominated because of his enormous contribution over many years to the CFA – as captain of the Welshpool brigade, Group Officer for a time of the South Gippsland Group of Brigades, a CFA training officer and leader of interstate-bound strike teams – and the Welshpool Recreation Reserve, as well as his involvement in other local groups.

“If there is a job to be done, David is always there, along with the fire brigade, to help. He does a lot of volunteer work that is never acknowledged. I can only say I wish there were more people that would put in as much to this community,” said Carmel Van Kuyk, endorsing David as a very worthy recipient of the honour of Citizen of the Year.

The celebrations wound up with the distribution of snowballs from the amazing concoction that was the Australia Day cake.

Jennifer Jones from the Foster and District Historical Society then called for three cheers for the woman responsible for all the fun and games – Marg Haycroft.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE RECEPTION

Anyone who has ever attended an Australia Day celebration in Corner Inlet and seen all the hard work Marg puts into such occasions will be pleased to know that she was this year congratulated by the Governor himself. Last Wednesday she was invited to attend the Victorian Australia Day reception at Government House, hosted by Governor Alex Chernov and his wife Elizabeth. Over 600 people attended, mainly young people, who were congratulated and thanked by the Governor for their contribution to their communities in voluntary roles including navy and army cadets, guides, scouts, sporting and cultural activities.

Premier Denis Napthine also acknowledged the role played by the Australia Day ambassadors and those who organise local events in their community. Margaret was able to attend with her mother Eunice, and enjoyed not only the ballroom where the function was held, but the gardens which were opened to those present following the official ceremony.

Road repairs for key South Gippsland roads

MORE than $1 million will be spent rebuilding and upgrading sections of the Fish Creek-Foster Road as part of the State Government’s $170 million Repair and Restore package.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said significant road surface upgrades on the Fish Creek-Foster Road, near O’Gradys Ridge Road, would begin next month.

“The Coalition Government will invest $1.27 million to complete this much needed work, with the project expected to take approximately one month to complete,” Mr

Ryan said.

He said the government, through its $170 million Repair and Restore package, had also invested $670,000 in restoration works on the Foster-Promontory Road which began late last year.

“VicRoads crews have removed a 1.32 kilometre section of the Foster-Promontory

Road, just before the intersection with Meeniyan-Promontory Road, completely rebuilding the road to make it much stronger, more skid resistant and waterproof,” Mr Ryan said.

“All that remains are some minor finishing works, which will be carried out over the coming weeks.”

Mr Ryan said that while the road rehabilitation works would cause delays for motorists, it was important that the work was carried out during the summer months when conditions were most suitable.

“Motorists can expect to see plenty of road works occurring over the coming months as the road construction season ramps up to coincide with the warm and dry weather,” Mr Ryan said.

“Around the South Gippsland area, significant repair works will be carried out on a number of roads, including eight separate sites on the South Gippsland Highway, Waratah Road, Barry Road, Meeniyan-Promontory Road and Buffalo-Tarwin Lower Road.

“Motorists should note that traffic controls will be in place to help minimise traffic disruptions and to factor in an additional 10 minutes of travel time.

“I thank motorists for their patience while these important works are undertaken, and remind them to observe the reduced speed limits for their own safety and the safety of workers.”

Mr Ryan said the government’s $170 million Repair and Restore package, which is in addition to existing road maintenance funding, was helping VicRoads to develop a comprehensive program of works to be rolled out across the state.

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