Kyabram Free Press

Bingo boost

- By Zac Standish

Two little ducks, legs eleven and two fat ladies will return to Parkland Golf Club’s weekly bingo night in the coming weeks after an extended period of cancellati­on due to COVID-19 restrictio­ns.

The event that brings anywhere between 70 and 100 people together every Thursday night for a spirited and fun game of bingo has long been a favourite among locals, with many itching to make a long-anticipate­d return.

Kyabram Parkland Golf Club secretary Peter Fraser has been a key part of the bingo program and gave the Free Press a bit of background into its history.

“It started in 1977 in conjunctio­n with what was then called Container Social Club. We used to play one week here and one week there, but it became unviable,” Mr Fraser said.

“After about six months we moved the night to the golf club full time and we have been up and running for over 40 years now.

“Over that time it has had its peaks and troughs, but we have always had that strong community that has allowed it to keep running successful­ly.”

A program built around the fantastic work of its volunteers, Parkland bingo president Peter Price explained what a usual Thursday night was like at the clubhouse.

“Under a normal situation we average around 80 players, which packs out the clubrooms, and they all seem to have a darn good time,” Mr Price said.

“The bar is running and there is a great atmosphere among all the players — we start at 7:30 and finish around 9:45, and it provides a fantastic social outlet.

“It is also well worth mentioning that we are fortunate that we have a fantastic team of workers that without their efforts every Thursday night the bingo would not be able to be run at all and they just add to what is a fantastic event every week.”

Along with the large cash prizes and friendly competitio­n the games provide, a major highlight of the night is the social connection between players.

Mr Price said there was a wide range of demographi­cs that come down and enjoy themselves each week.

“We are the only bingo centre that is operating in the Goulburn Valley region west of Shepparton so we get a wide range of people coming from far and wide to enjoy the night out,” he said.

So as Victoria approached the vaccine targets that would spell an end to harsh restrictio­ns, Mr Price said the community was itching to get back involved with bingo night.

“We have to see what happens after those marks are reached and we are given a directive as to how we can operate, so we aren’t sure how it will go, but we are definitely keen to get things back up and running as soon as possible,” he said.

“I was told by a friend recently to not go walking down the street, as every second person says ‘when is bingo coming back?’ ... so everybody is very excited.”

 ?? ?? Numbers game: Peter Price, Peter Fraser and Mel Lusher are three of the power brokers behind Parkland Bingo, which will return soon.
Numbers game: Peter Price, Peter Fraser and Mel Lusher are three of the power brokers behind Parkland Bingo, which will return soon.

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