60TH MOYNEYANA FESTIVAL CONCLUDES
Perfect weather, perfect activities and record numbers, a perfect way to conclude the festival.
CBD ALIVE: The FREE professional children's entertainment component of the Moyneyana Festival programme concluded when TICKLISH ALLSORTS performed on the Village Green on Tuesday. The eagerly awaited entertainers had the children bouncing, shimmying, twisting, stomping and twirling enthusiastically delighting those gathered and charming passers by. Reg Harry, the Moyneyana Festival Chairman said he was delighted by the enthusiastic response from both children and families for the 5 week free programme which the committee hopes to expand. "CBD Alive alleviates some financial pressure during the most expensive period of the year whist exposing children to fun educational activities and entertainment" he said. When asked how such a small community can afford to keep up free entertainment of such high quality he responded "Sponsorship is always needed because we have to pay the professionals and whilst our hardworking volunteer committee members encourage support throughout the year, we welcome direct approaches from individuals and the business sector."
AUSTRALIA DAY SIZZLED IN PORT FAIRY
Early birds queued for what has become a traditional Australia Day Sausage Sizzle breakfast in Port Fairy. The Lions Club Port Fairy-Belfast members did a wonderful job fueling all-comers preparing for a day of celebration, before Lion President Ray Stokie, opened the official Australia Day ceremony on the Village Green at 10am .
The Australian Flag was raised by members of the Port Fairy Fire Brigade and the crowd rose as one to sing the Australian National Anthem accompanied by the Port Fairy Citizens' Band. The national pride was obvious with the spirit of the perfect day highlighted by the presence of community groups, members of the public and flag waving children.
Jim Kent introduced the key note speaker Miss Amy Holscher. With the theme for 2008 being 'Youth, Peace, Unity' Amy was an apt choice. She spoke of her experiences and involvement in community youth groups including the Moyne Shire Youth Council which organizes events including 'Freeza' which are alcohol and drug free initiatives throughout Moyne Shire.
The James O'Neill Memorial Award was awarded to Jim Fitzwilliam, a very fitting recipient. Jim is a quiet achiever in Port Fairy with a long history of community involvement. In his speech he said he felt “humble and grateful to be receiving the award” and outlined his beginnings in 1947 when he came to Port Fairy to join the telephone company. He finished with a quote of special personal significance, from a comment made to him by Sir Fletcher Jones – “The greatest possible contribution we can make to our community is to be ourselves, at our best”.
The official proceedings were closed by Lion President Ray Stokie to the strains of 'Waltzing Matilda' performed by Port Fairy Citizens' Band.
Amongst those attending the Australia Day Celebrations were members the Port Fairy Fire Brigade, Port Fairy Surf Lifesaving Club, Port Fairy Sea Scouts, Port Fairy Lions and RSL. Dressed for the occasion was resident Judy Scriven and former resident and interstate visitor Pam Davey and 10 year old dog Jess. Her four legged friend, Jess has clothes for all occasions, owning 40 bandannas. Pam's father was formally the baker at the Craig – Lea Café (now Belfast Bakery).
MOYNEYANA FESTIVAL'S 60 TH BIRTHDAY BASH
The Moyneyana Festival's 60th Birthday Bash was the perfect conclusion for yet another successful festival season. The weather was ideal with the Village Green the perfect spot to celebrate not just another successful festival, but the 60th anniversary of this community event which may well be the longest concurrent event of it's type in rural Victoria .
The celebration began at lunchtime with free hot dogs for all prepared by Port Fairy SES members, after which the Port Fairy Sea Scouts took charge of the first Picnic Games where old fashioned picnic favourites were the order of the day. There were many old favourites, the 3 legged race, water and spoon and golf ball and spoon, both fun and variations on the old egg and spoon race, but it was the Hopping Race that got the thumbs up from the littlies with proud smiles aplenty as they crossed the finishing line.
The kids enjoyed these old favourites that were 'new' to most of them, with Mum's and Dad's and other family members having fun too. Exhausted little athletes then relaxed whilst Canya Dantz entertained them but it wasn't long before they were on their feet eagerly participating in the interactive song and dance routines.
Barry Peters drew the winners of the Moyneyana Festival Raffle – 1. Judy Roberts, 2. Lorna Roberts, 3.Scott Mounsey 4. Gus, 5. Tom Farley, 6. Susanne Wallace, 7. Adrian Crosier. Winners will be contacted shortly to choose their prize.
Canya Dantz played 'Happy Birthday' whilst everyone sang along, sparklers were lit on the 60 Birthday Cake and all present received at least one piece of the delicious birthday cake. Cake was then distributed to a large number of Port Fairy shop keepers who support the summer festival and to the Port Fairy Hospital . The delicious cake was a luxurious sponge filled with cream, apples and cinnamon prepared by committee member Ann Holmes. Well done Ann!
Reg Harry, festival Chairman reported "The picnic day was yet another family orientated event, an important focus for the Moyneyana Festival". "The Committee wanted to encourage family fun that showed our youngsters a time when simple outdoor fun was enjoyed by families routinely" he said. "The picnic and games day may become an annual event after all the positive feedback we received with everyone present happy with the day".
'THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER ' CLOSES THE MOYNEYANA FESTIVAL
After a busy 5 week event filled festival programme the Moyneyana Festival officially closed with a free outdoor showing of the classic 1982 Australian movie, 'The Man from Snowy River ' on the Village Green. It was a perfect way to end this very special 60th Moyneyana Festival.
A large crowd of approximately 300 – 350 people arrived and settled in on what was a splendid evening to view one of Australia 's most popular films. And, if the free showing wasn't enough, the crowd was treated to 60th Moyneyana birthday cake too!
"THANK YOU ALL"
said Reg Harry, Moyneyana Festival Chairman. "There are so many people to thank, many of them behind the scenes who quietly volunteer their services every year to ensure the success of the festivals". "Moyneyana Festival's don't just happen, there's enormous input from many, including our sponsors without whom we wouldn't have been celebrating our 60th anniversary this year". He continued; "I know we've got it right, the festival is about families which was brought home again on the last day. A visitor wanted me to congratulate the committee for the outstanding variety of free entertainment provided during the 5 weeks". "She told me that her family wouldn't be able to afford a family holiday without opportunity to enjoy the free entertainment". "That's what the festival's about, encouraging family groups to experience Port Fairy, for a day or a weekend, or longer for those choosing Port Fairy as a family holiday destination". "As always the challenge now is to ensure that next year's festival is up to the standard of the previous 60" he chuckled.
The Moyneyana Festival Committee thanks all community members, groups and businesses who contributed in any way via sponsorship or deeds to the success of this year's festival. Residents too deserve our thanks and congratulations for the way they embrace and support the festival and make welcome the many visitors.
Plans for the 61st Moyneyana Festival are underway and we look forward to everyone's continued participation.
Festival chairman Reg Harry can be contacted on 0438 681 237.