Community good will
In 2011, I had an idea to conduct a community Christmas tea for those who live alone, who are isolated or are housebound in Nagambie and district.
I approached the four church groups in Nagambie and the Hub Community House and the Lakeside Larks choir and the idea spread across the town and showed Christmas good will to those who were alone at Christmas.
In 2017 — the seventh year since the idea took heart — the combined churches and community groups are still spreading their Christmas spirit to those who may not have family near them this Christmas time.
The Golf Club looked festive with its Christmas table decorations and there was plenty of Christmas cheer on Thursday, December 14.
More than 80 attended the Christmas Community dinner and enjoyed the meal prepared by volunteers and the evergreen Christmas Carols led by Reverend Alan Lockwood and Sally Fyfield on their guitars and Fr Gary Atherton with on vocals.
Au str ali aTnwSeeodl es is m Rep dr Go ramp es ptu choir s joined the musicians and encouraged the guests to singalong. St Johns parish priest Father Gary Atherton and his wife Karen and Hamish the Scottish puppet entertained guests with a Christmas play.
The visit by Santa was popular and all the guests who attended said that they had a great time and looked forward to coming again next year. They thanked the organisers of the
Ausptraaliran ty KenatPnum d pkitnhe local businesses and generous donors who gave food, Santa gift packs, and prizes for the raffle.
I thanked everyone who made the night a success; those from the four churches, Nagambie Lakes CommunAuistt yr ali anHSeoe du less seR,GN rap aegs ambie Lions Club, ed Marlene Brew, Champions IGA supermarket, Nagambie Golf Club, Nagambie Healthcare volunteers, and those who shared Christmas goodwill with Australian those Cos who Lettuce live 2 Pack alone or are isolated in our community. — Diane Grant, Nagambie
Sadly I attended a friend’s funeral last week and shared with three others the duty of pall bearer.
Upon reaching the grave site with the other pall bearers we had to stretch an extremely unsafe distance, hovering over the grave to place the coffin above its final resting place. Speaking to the funeral director afterwards I was appalled to learn that this is completely out of his control and that he had raised concerns about this issue on previous occasions with the relevant authority only to be ignored and even it seems antagonised. There is no easy way to raise this; but something has to be done before there is a terrible incident.
Whoever is in charge of digging the graves at the cemetery, it does not have to be 3 m wide.
Thankfully we were able to send our friend off without incident but if this unsafe practice continues it is only a matter of time before a disaster occurs.
The fact that the relevant authority has been made aware of this and continues the unsafe practice is utterly despicable and disrespectful and they should hang their heads in shame.
I'm unaware of any criteria regarding the size of the hole or any requirements pertaining to such things but I have attended many funerals in my life and never have I seen anything like what we were faced with on Tuesday. Everybody there that I spoke with commented on it afterwards.
Funerals are never easy but every effort by the people in charge should be made to make them safe and practical rather than use them to wage some sort of vengeance war that has absolutely nothing to do with the deceased or their mourners.
Make them accountable
I am amazed by the fact that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse actually succeeded. I am also one of probably many who had a story to tell, but whose deep distrust of the links between religious organisations and authority, meant there was no way I was going to risk having them ‘work me over’ again.
I have been gratified to read Tom Keneally’s opinion piece on the impact of the commission at a personal level, and it prompts me to speak out about an issue barely mentioned in the proceedings, if at all.
I am referring to the question of psychological abuse associated with trying to indoctrinate vulnerable but unwilling children in their charge, with the tenets of whatever faith was involved. In my own case this involved constant verbal abuse, sleep deprivation, removal of privileges, and even a savage flogging, all in the perpetual and unrelenting effort to make me believe.
I was lucky in that their efforts only made me more determined to resist. The whole experience did mess with my mind however, until I was 25; because I was unable to equate that experience with the existence in my life of a few wonderful, caring, and sincere religious believers.
Until I understood that I could be a good person without any religious belief, the religious efforts to make me hate myself, and think that there was something wrong with me, did have an effect.
Religious leaders can no longer ‘sell’ the ‘few bad apples’ excuse. The prevalence and the scale of the problem of abuse across virtually all religions is clear and conclusive. Action must be taken to remove religious organisations from providing social services to the needy and/or vulnerable, We need the openness and control of having actual government accountability.
Fair go for all
Country Victorians don’t need a website to tell us regional and rural roads have been seriously neglected by the Andrews Government.
Labor recently announced a bold plan for regional roads, but instead of spending money fixing country roads, Labor has spent money building a website and named it ‘country roads’.
The only bold part of Labor’s plan is its absolute determination to ignore the needs of our country communities. A website won’t fill a pothole. And it doesn’t fix dangerous road edges.
Daniel Andrews is prepared to spend more than $1.3 billion not building a road in Melbourne, but he won’t invest in fixing our country roads.
Daniel Andrews is a Premier for Melbourne, not for all Victorians.
At the next election, country Victorians will have a choice. More of Labor’s neglect or a Liberal National government that will bring spending back to country Victoria.