THE Bay turned on a magnificent day to celebrate Australia Day this year.
Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE
Even the local wildlife turned out with a joey koala spotted high in the trees at Fly Point where the celebrations were held and a baby dolphin was spotted on the sail past from Moonshadow TQC Cruises vessel where local kids cruised free.
The parade through the streets was hailed as a success with participants including everything from classic and vintage cars to our local white whale.
Dancers performed from the Robyn Yvette School of Dance and JD’s Magic kept the kids intrigued.
However, for many Australia Day is about the day they became Australians, this is true for both of my parents and there will be many others living locally who are either naturalised Australians or first generation Australians.
This year the Port saw 28 newly naturalised Australian citizens commit to our nation which traces its rich and diverse heritage back over 40,000 years.
Local service organisations took the opportunity to raise much needed funds with the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay running a BBQ and Port Stephens Koalas were also selling merchandise.
The local woodworkers raffle to win a stunning rocking horse was also drawn at the end of the day.
Helen Ryan has sat on the organising committee for the Australia Day celebrations in the Bay for over 20 years which in itself is quite an achievement.
She told News Of The Area, “It was just one of those perfect days, hot with a beautiful breeze and great enthusiasm, the citizenship ceremony was wonderful with 28 new citizens, the venue is always good and the children had a wonderful time with the pony rides and the reptile park and the shearer.”
Helen is involved in the event independently of Rotary where she has recently served as District Governor.
“It was wonderful to see Kenyon Windeyer winning the Port Stephens Medal for his work with suicide prevention and Lorriane Nicol being awarded Freeman of Port Stephens, she does a fabulous job and there are not a lot of Freemen awards given out, it was really good to see her receive that,” she said.
The committee will be packing up and getting ready to do it all over again in 2021.
By Marian SAMPSON