THERE was fun in the sun for all at the delightfully informal – thanks to chief organiser Marg Haycroft – Corner Inlet Australia Day celebrations in Foster on Monday.
There were formalities, too, with the presentation of awards for Corner Inlet Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year, and congratulations going to the district’s newest OAM recipient, Olive Worboys.
Ros Bryan OAM JP of Foster was announced as the winner of the award for Citizen of the Year. Leongatha Veterans & Dependants Welfare Centre nominated their senior pension and welfare officer for her passionate advocacy for the health and wellbeing of veterans of all conflicts and their families for over 20 years. Ros has also been a member of the RSL Women’s Auxiliary for 40 years and President for the past 27 years and is very active in the Fish Creek RSL.
The award for Community Event of the Year was presented to Irene Spooner, representing the Toora Community Bank, for the bank’s 15th birthday celebrations. The bank’s long-time treasurer, Irene noted that the bank has given back more than $600,000 to the community through grants and donations since it was established in 1999. “The birthday celebrations were a way of saying thank you to all who have supported the bank,” she said.
15-year-old Emily Duffus of Foster, who regularly helps out with the Fish Creek RSL, was announced as Young Citizen of the Year. She is an enthusiastic bugle player, performing at Remembrance Day and Anzac Day services at The Rock at Fish Creek, and she played the Last Post at the flag raising on Australia Day.
The celebrations started at about noon, when chairs were set out on the lawn in front of the museum, so people could sit and enjoy Aussie favourites performed by local band Soul Purpose from the museum verandah.
Various community groups held stalls in front of the museum and the library, ranging from the CWA with baked goodies and Foster Wool Group with woollen creations to trash and treasure and local history books at the Foster and District Historical Society stall. Jennifer Jones from the historical society urged people to look at the museum, Kathy Whelan encouraged people to visit Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve, more popular than ever thanks to recent refurbishment, and Bev Tyers and Julie Nicoll from the Foster Agricultural Society reminded people to prepare their entries for the Foster Show on February 28. Joyce Simpson said new members are welcome at the CWA, which meets at Foster’s Anglican Church Hall on the third Friday of each month at 10.30am. Foster Wool Group meets in the same hall on the third Wednesday of each month from 9.30am to 12 noon.
There was a range of refreshments on offer, with Toora Lions Club putting on a barbecue and the Corner Inlet Pony Club offering tea, coffee, cordial and cakes.
Representatives of South Gippsland Relay for Life attended the celebrations to promote this year’s Relay, a fundraiser for the Cancer Council to be held March 21-22 at Fish Creek. The Relay promotion tied in with some of the events organised on Australia Day, including a running race, an egg and spoon race and a ‘balloon sandwich’ race, where the focus was very much on fun!
To mark the centenary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, the special competition at this year’s celebrations was an Anzac biscuit baking competition. Special guest Nationals member for Eastern Region Danny O’Brien did the taste test, along with Cr Mohya Davies. They awarded prizes to Theresa Cicero and (children’s section) Mia Mahomed, with a special prize for biscuit presentation to Mirror correspondent Wendy Williamson!
The names of the winners, including running race champions Kiara and Nicholas May, were announced at the start of the formal proceedings, after the singing of the national anthem and the raising of the flag by former long-time Fish Creek RSL president Stan Tindle and Vietnam War veteran and Toora RSL member ‘Ski’ Grzegozewski.
After the award presentations, Toora Lions ladies brought out their beautiful lamington cake and the award winners and distinguished guests were invited to gather around it while they received the congratulations of the happy crowd.