Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fundraising in Geelong for Fiji Cyclone Appeal

We had a story in the local paper on Friday about our Fiji Geelong Friendship Club and our effort to collect money and goods for Fiji.

Yesterday was the annual Pako Festa, a huge ethnic festival in Geelong, Australia and for many years our Fiji Geelong Friendship Club has contributed by participating in the march, performing dance and singing, running a stall, displaying crafts etc. But we intended to have a rest this year. However because of the Hurricane Winston last weekend some members of our Fiji group met on Wednesday and decided we needed a presence at the festival, found costumes, made a banner, designed a new logo, printed posters, made 500 flyers,  got in touch with the Pako leaders to get permission to fund-raise with tins, and we were accepted. On Saturday one community radio station broadcast from Pako Festa and George was interviewed so that gave more publicity to our fund-raising.  We are also collecting labelled boxes to send to a group in Melbourne who are preparing two containers for Fiji. So here are some photos of the event where about 100,000 people attended.  We raised a few thousand dollars towards our project to help Fiji.  Isa, our former President, Rev Peceli Ratawa is no longer with us as he had energised the group for over twenty years in participation at Pako. The next generation have taken over this reponsibility now.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Give up on the Christmas tree

Geelong councillors are concerned about the exorbitant annual cost of the floating Christmas tree. Picture: Mitch Bear
GEELONG councillors were ready  to “can” the city’s floating Christmas tree at a recent council meeting because of its skyrocketing costs, it has been revealed.
Cr Jock Irvine told the Geelong Advertiser a majority of councillors were concerned about the exorbitant annual cost of the tree and few believed this cost would ever be offset by Mayor Darryn Lyons’ “half-baked proposal” for sponsorship.
“Originally it was $135,000, then it went to $340,000 and now it’s possibly $500,000 a year to pull a Christmas tree down, store it and reassemble it. In my mind that’s absolutely ridiculous, especially when he (the mayor) is talking about the pressure on council to be prudent with its finances,” Cr Irvine said.
Cr Jan Farrell, who holds the finance portfolio, said the cost of the floating Christmas tree could no longer be sustained by council.
“The only iconic thing about this tree is the lack of any rigour around its costs. It’s given a whole new dimension to the term ‘cost blowout’,” she said.
Geelong councillor Jan Farrell says Christmas tree costs are no longer sustainable.
“It beggars belief that council is now expected to fork out $500,000 annually to stick it on a barge and float it into the bay for only a few weeks each year. The tree only has a lifespan of five years. It’s two years old already. Let’s bring forward the funeral and save $1.5 million.
“The sponsorship idea is another smoke screen. One might say delusional.”
Cr Irvine said, contrary to assertions by Cr Lyons that Geelong businesses were keen to sponsor the Christmas tree, it appeared there had been no genuine interest expressed to date.
And Environment Minister and Bellarine MP Lisa Neville had clearly stated the State Government would not support corporate advertising on the waterfront, he said.
“From what I can gather, nobody so far has put their hand up to say they are willing to sponsor it at all ... while there’s plenty of rumour around about businesses wanting to sponsor it, nobody’s ever made any official approach that I’m aware of and I’ve actually asked that question of (council) officers,” Cr Irvine said.
He said he had intended to be in a voting bloc of councillors planning to vote down a motion to seek sponsorship for the tree — which would have effectively killed it off — but had changed his mind after lobbying from Deputy Mayor Bruce Harwood.
Cr Irvine said his vote to defer the debate on sponsorship of the tree until Cr Lyons returned had effectively kept the project alive a little longer.
“Deputy Mayor Bruce Harwood tried to encourage us to defer it off because he could see it was going to be defeated so it was out of respect for the mayor that we deferred it, or it would have been canned and he’d have no Christmas tree.
“The $500,000-ask is based on the hope and prayer that we are going to end up with sponsors that are going to subsidise this ... (but) we think that’s a pipedream, especially when we have the State Government saying they are not going to allow sponsorship on the waterfront and they are not about to change the laws. This just hasn’t been thought out properly.”
Cr Lyons slammed his fellow councillors on Thursday for deferring the Christmas tree vote. He said the floating Christmas tree had “taken Australia by storm” and Geelong now “owns Christmas”.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Geelong new stadium named

The new stadiuim in Geelong will be called GMHBA which is a local insurance, but what a mouthful. but as I am not much interested in professional football I am not involved at all. The new stadium cost millions and I would rather the money be spent on non-professional sports in the Geelong region.
from Addie:
GMHBA Stadium is not a name that will readily roll off the tongue when the Geelong health insurance company takes over as the naming rights sponsor of the famous Kardinia Park ground next year.
But we can assure Cats fans and footy commentators that it could be a lot worse.
Below is a list of 10 sporting stadiums and fields from around the world where selling off the names of home stadiums has come at some cost.
1. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (home of the Colorado Rapids MLS team)
2. Park (Newcastle United EPL club)
3. Overstock.Com Coliseum (Oakland Raiders NFL team)
4. 1300Smiles Stadium (North Queensland Cowboys NRL clubs)
5. KFC Yum! Center (Louisville Cardinals US College Basketball)
6. SaveOnFoods Memorial Centre (British Columbia Canadian Ice Hockey)
7. Mitsubish Forklift Stadium (Almere City, Netherlands soccer club)
The KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The Cowboys’ Gavin Cooper all smiles at 1300SMILES Stadium.
8. Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi Baseball Club - Houston Astros affliates)
9. Sleep Train Arena (Sacramento Kings NBA team)
10. Hunky Dorys Park (Drogheda United Irish premier soccer)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

St Leonards

Today a writing/art colleague and I drove down to Portarlington, Indented Head and St Leonards for a picnic of sandwiches and coffee, etc. to do some sketching, feel the fresh sea breeze and yarn a lot. It was a splendid refreshing time together. Some places I'd never stopped at before such as the labyrinth made by children at the spot where Batman met up with William Buckley. Below the pictures include a painting showing Buckley meeting up with the settlers, and then other picture below is a painting I made at Edwards Point (south of St Leonards) some time ago where the houses are almost right on the beach.