Kyabram Free Press
Tonny garages open for sale
Regional Victoria’s release from lockdown conditions was welcome news for everyone, none more so than Tongala Community Garage Sale co-ordinator Kellie Brennan.
The community event is slated for Saturday, October 2, and after a slow start to registrations, last week’s news of the relaxing of conditions for regional Victoria has had an immediate impact.
“As soon as the announcement about regional Victoria was made we had two or three more registrations,” Ms Brennan said.
Registrations for the giant garage sale, which has previously involved up to 50 households, close on Monday, September 27.
Ms Brennan was part of Tongala’s Community Events Group, which originally ran the garage sale, and is now a member of Tongala Development Group, which has taken on the project.
“This is my little project. I helped run it with the events group, but when the group folded so did the garage sale,” she said.
Ms Brennan said the community feedback led to the resurrection of the event and, despite the setbacks of 2020, this year was back on track — at least for now.
“We do have a back-up day, on Sunday, October 17 — just in case,” she said.
Ms Brennan said she had started advertising the event far and wide, but was intentionally holding off on promoting the event to Shepparton people until she knew more about the status of the city’s current lockdown.
“I won’t be advertising over that way until their restrictions ease. I usually advertise in Bendigo, Yarrawonga and throughout our region,” she said.
Organisers usually print 500 maps, showing the locations of the garage sales, and most years there are none left at the end of the day.
“Some people don’t even get a map. They just go off the map on Facebook,” Ms Brennan said.
“Others just enjoy driving around and finding the sales for themselves.
“The real diehards, though, are there at 7.30am and plan out where they want to go.”
So far the group has 13 registrations, a far cry from the record participation level of 52 garages.
“If we can crack 20 I will be happy. There is a little bit of time before the registrations close (on September 27),” Ms Brennan said.
Forms are available at Tongala Post Office and the $15 registration fee is also payable there.
The range of items on offer at the garages is extraordinary, with the current list including an old-style combustion stove, a water fountain, an electric folding bike, a vintage engine, gym equipment, lava rocks, antique garden tools, plus tents, clothing and toys.
Ms Brennan said she hoped for a surge in registrations now everyone knew what was — more than likely — happening.
“A lot of people didn’t want to get themselves organised and then not have the restrictions lifted,” she said.
“People will be more inclined to register now.”
Updates between now and the staging of the garage sale will be on the Visit Tongala Facebook page.
Ms Brennan said the garage sale event was not so much a fundraiser for the group, but more for the community.
“We do a post-sale survey every year and some people make thousands on the day, depending on what they are selling,” she said.
“They only paid $15 for registration and even if some make a few hundred dollars, it is well worthwhile.
“We’ll make enough money to put adverts in the paper. It’s more of a community event, to bring people into the town.
“We will really promote the street art, the Light Horse Memorial and the Avenue of Honour.”
Tongala’s shire lawn is usually a hive of activity on the day, as people take advantage of spring conditions to eat their lunch on the grass.
“We are lucky to have the support of the Bendigo Community Bank of Tongala, which covers the cost of the insurance for us,” Ms Brennan said.
On Thursday, September 9, St Patrick’s Primary in Tongala celebrated R U OK? Day.
Students were asked to wear something yellow while involved in an online lesson with their teacher.
The winner of the school’s R U OK? Day competition won a yummy treat box from Papercake.
R U OK? cookies were also delivered to teachers and staff.
▯ More pictures on opposite page.