For most, the Christmas picnic commenced as usual at the Johnstone Park clubrooms, with everyone exhibiting abundant Christmas festive spirit. Weather was just great and remained so for the day. Then off to the Palmer Hall in the customary convoy, where the hall had been prepared for our arrival. Just pile in, sit down and start to enjoy the day with tea, coffee or whatever other beverage deemed appropriate.
Myra Wright and her helpers immediately commenced the sale of raffle tickets. Reflecting the preference expressed by many members to the committee, raffles were this year limited to three food hampers, designed to enhance the culinary Christmas festivities of the lucky winners, plus a voucher for a light aircraft flight. Woolworths provided a significant voucher to purchase some of the goodies and careful use of “the system” ensured that additional advantage was gained from their “everyday rewards” card, while the flight was provided once again by “Murray Bridge Light Aircraft Flying School” proprietors Mike and Arlene Chapman. Our thanks must go to both these businesses for supporting our club.
Then the entertainment started, with Peter Geue playing guitar and singing a number of songs, accompanied by Jill Matschoss on keyboard. This of course went over a treat, judging by the reaction of the audience. The first two raffle hampers were then drawn, the lucky winners being Irene Veitch and Mike Chapman.
It seemed in no time at all that it was announced that Lunch was to be served by Brenda Cowie and her helpers, so we all received our cold meats and helped ourselves to an impressive selection of member’s pooled salads. In case we still had a bit of room left, this was followed by the customary fruit salad and ice cream. The remaining two raffle prizes were then drawn, with Maureen Edwards winning the last hamper and Leanne Cooper winning the flight.
With the rumoured arrival of Father Christmas approaching, it was time to wake everyone up with a bit more entertainment, so the “Jingle Belles” were welcomed to the stage. Ably led by Elaine Bretag, the Jingle Belles also consisted of Lyn West, Amber Bretag and Myra Wright and accompanied again by Jill Matchoss, we were treated to a number of familiar songs, sometimes slightly modified to suit the occasion, until interrupted by the arrival of that familiar bloke in red, again alighting from the Graham Paige “sleigh”. Good old Father Christmas again handed out presents to those he considered deserving of them, except that he had a bit of a problem with Pat Kuss. She berated him for not providing her with a suitable present last year and insisted on dropping her shorts to show all and sundry the knickers she was forced to make herself, because of Father Christmas’ oversight.
It was difficult to determine where his red clothing finished and his face started, I think even his beard turned red, but poor old Father Christmas eventually escaped back to the north pole to review his present allocations for next year.
The Jingle Belles then finished off their set and all that was left was to tuck in to another feed. An afternoon tea again provided by the members filled the table to overflowing, so impressive that one just had to eat something (lots!).
And then it was all over for another year. The cleanup seemed to be over remarkably quickly due to the number of helpers and we all toddled of home. I have mentioned only the major players who contributed much to the success of this event but in reality there were lots of our members doing their bit behind the scenes. All of you deserve our heartfelt thanks for a job well done. Thank you all.
Report by John Courtney