Australia Day 2023 in Boolarra

Another enjoyable and sociable Australia Day for Boolarra.

2023 Australia Day - Boolarra
Australia Day Award Recipients: (L to R) Lyrinda Carter, Ann Morgan and Rob Franssen.

After the run of hot weather we had been experiencing, it was good to get a cooler day for the event, although we weren’t expecting the slight drizzle we had for half an hour or so. Speaking to Ian Gibson, who had done a bike trip up to Mirboo North, he said that it was quite heavy rain, and quite cool up there, so as in all things in life, perhaps we should count our blessings.

Numbers seemed to have been down a bit from normal with between 80 and 100 people. Speaking to other organisers in other towns, this seemed a bit across the board, possibly because of the day falling on a Thursday, with people making a long week-end of it, and parents preparing for the return to school on Monday.

Certainly early on the number of kids seemed to be down this year, and those that were there were happily ensconced on the playground, so we didn’t stage the kid’s games this year, although by the time the presentations were being done the numbers had increased.

However a lovely time was had by all who attended, and it was great to meet some people new to town, and to catch up with some who used to live here and had come back for the event. With the assistance of the sound system from the Boolarra Memorial Hall, we were even able to present a reasonable rendition of the National Anthem.

The volunteers on the BBQ started at 7.30 to ensure the hungry masses were very well catered for, and everything went very smoothly. A special thanks to the Rotary Club of Traralgon, who provided several volunteers, they were greatly appreciated. Well done also to Chris Wareham for bringing the Koffee Kart along and providing free coffees to the masses, and to the Boolarra Football Netball Club for allowing us the use of their trailer BBQ.

A big thank you also to the staff at Latrobe City, especially Wendy Hrynyszyn, for their assistance in working through the approvals maze to stage the event in a COVID-compliant manner and supplying a range of extra signage, bins, and even a cleaner for the day.

Boolarra Community Awards are nominated by people in the community who like to take the opportunity for recognising the efforts of people who have in their own individual way worked for the benefit of the community.

Ann Morgan has been a stalwart of the Boolarra Historical Society for many years, and has made a significant contribution to the quality and accessibility of the historical records and material maintained by the Society.

This knowledge and experience have been put to great use on behalf of the community this year, in collating the stories and photos that make up the entrance signs for the Grand Ridge Rail Trail.

Lyrinda Carter has been nominated for her hard work and commitment to the Boolarra Community Hotel.

Through difficult times, Lyrinda has put in hundreds of hours of unpaid labour at the hotel, and always provides a friendly, down-to-earth presence, and this award reflects our appreciation of the efforts she has put in.

The volunteers of our local CFA brigade play a critical role in keeping our community safe, and their efforts are greatly appreciated by the whole town. Rob Franssen was chosen by his peers in the brigade for recognition for his hard work and commitment to the Boolarra CFA Brigade over many years as most worthy of this community recognition award.

Another summer season done and dusted, with a very successful Christmas Carols and now Australia Day. Now we move onto the 20th Boolarra Folk Festival on March 4. Then on Easter Saturday, April 8, we have an Easter Egg hunt in Railway Park for the kids, and a Community Garage Sale and Car Boot sale, along with music in the park.

Finally on May 13, there will be a Do it for Dolly fundraiser at the footy ground (Boolarra Memorial Park), with stalls, activities, music, car displays and much more. So plenty coming up to look forward to in Boolarra.

Colin Brick, OA
Boolarra Community Development Group