Port Dou­glas branch punches above its weight in state fundrais­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols

“WOW, there’s some weight in this . . .”

Cen­tury 21 prin­ci­pal Phil Hol­loway strug­gles to bal­ance the plat­ter of fruit cake with one hand as he calls for the open­ing bids from the room full of pun­ters.

Fri­day is al­ways cake day at the CWA hall in Port Dou­glas but this one is spe­cial.

It’s the CWA’s statewide 57th Cook­ery Com­pe­ti­tion (and fundrais­ing auc­tion -hence Mr Hol­loway’s star­ring role as auc­tion­eer).

The Port Dou­glas branch – mem­ber­ship 22 – is de­fend­ing noth­ing less than the state tro­phy for fundrais­ing, an ac­co­lade it took off In­n­is­fail in 2009 and has re­tained ever since.

The lo­cal branch punches above its weight in many things. Fundrais­ing (for the ru­ral cri­sis fund), public speak­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy, and other skills in com­pe­ti­tions with other branches at the state con­fer­ence – Port Dou­glas has proudly iced all of those things too.

And boy do they rock a kitchen, not least cakes and jams, the ever pop­u­lar items on sale every Fri­day at the CWA hall. Even tourists know about it.

“They of­ten long for some home cook­ing,” says branch mem­ber Cris­tine Cas­tle.

Phil Hol­loway clev­erly bags a cou­ple of the prize win­ning en­tries for a trip away. The short­bread hadn’t es­caped his at­ten­tion, along with a choco­late cake.

He hefts another en­try into the air – “Ginger chif­fon” – “I don’t even know what this is,” he ad­mits.

There’s solid bid­ding in the room with some halves of cakes reach­ing 15 and 16 dol­lars.

Buy­ers will not be dis­ap­pointed. The cakes look amaz­ing, and the il­lus­tri­ous judge, up from Cairns, con­firms the qual­ity.

“The ex­hibits are ex­cel­lent,” says Jan Anderson, who reg­u­larly judges cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions in shows from Townsville, Ing­ham, and Cairns to Ather­ton.

“For a place like Port Dou­glas they’ve got top grade cooks, the stan­dard and qual­ity of the cook­ing is ab­so­lutely mar­vel­lous. They’ve used a lot of trop­i­cal fruits, which is re­ally good. A credit to the ladies and the men.

“These are top grade, I can tell you that.”

For a place like Port Dou­glas they’ve got top grade cooks, the stan­dard and qual­ity of the cook­ing is ab­so­lutely mar­vel­lous

Culi­nary judge Jan Anderson


Auc­tion­eer Phil Hol­loway is an old hand at cake auc­tions

Eleanor with Sam and Sascha de­cid­ing what to bid for

Mag­gie Mil­lidge, Janet Steele-Bar­nett and Cris­tine Cas­tle

Cake con­venor Alice Jenkin (left) and judge Jan Anderson

Pres­i­dent Pa­tri­cia Gil­bert

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