A beautiful breeze, plenty of shade, the aroma of a hearty Aussie breakfast and the gathering of community-minded people made for a great start to Australia Day in Bingara.
“We couldn’t have ordered it any better,” Deputy Mayor, Catherine Egan said of the celebration, which was held at Bingara Historical Society Museum. “It is one of the best events on the calendar.”
Australia Day is an opportunity to reflect upon all the great aspects of this wonderful country and acknowledge the many individuals and groups – both well known or the quiet achievers for their varied efforts and pursuits.
At a local level, Peter Turnbull was announced as Bingara Citizen of the Year. Ally Dixon is the Young Citizen of the Year. The Pink Ribbon Breakfast was recognised as the Community Event of the Year. A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to David Noel Dickson.
During the ceremony, New Zealand born Raewyn Boland (pictured left) was also presented with her Australian Citizenship.
Member for the Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall was travelling the electorate and unable to attend the ceremony in person.
“Australia Day is a time of reflection for some and celebration for others,” he said. “I believe the main point of our National Day is to acknowledge the wonderful place in which we live – some by accident, others by choice.” He also extended his congratulations to the “outstanding” local people recognized with awards.
Entertainment for the morning was provided by local duo, Tony and Helen Cornish, while Tex and Glenda Wright led the Australian anthem.
Tim Cox, Gwydir Community Development Officer was Master of Ceremonies. He paid respect to the passing of Pat Reilly following a sudden illness. Mr Reilly, mayor of Willoughby, Bingara’s sister town was well known to the community and visited on numerous occasions.
Incoming primary captain for Bingara Central School Alex Lewis gave the acknowledgment to country and Chris Young delivered the prayer to the nation.
Gwydir Shire Special Events and Tourism Committee member Jenny Mead said, “It (Australia Day) always works so well here (Museum), it is a great venue, with lots of local history and Australian history as well. The Lions Club handle breakfast and the SES (State Emergency Service) put up the shade. It all couldn’t have been better, under a couple of Peppercorn trees.”