Is anyone else still in awe of how flat this part of Australia is? We’ve driven by fields of cotton that seem endless and paddocks with some seriously chill animals.
This morning due a road closure we want via the bitumen and once again a small country town received an unexpected boon. When MEDIA1 was ordering a coffee a local came in and said to the store owner “isn’t this wonderful to see all these people?” to which the Pillaga Cafe owner replied “it is but I don’t know what to do”. Whilst it was just a comfort stop for us, for that cafe owner we can safely say we made her day.
Breakfast and lunch were at two quite different schools today – Lightning Ridge Central School with 200ish children and Gwabegar Public School with 10. Both served incredible food and we left on both legs of the journey will full stomachs.
Some of you noticed the Variety Sunshine Coach at Gwabegar. Chatting to the principal Katie she mentioned how valuable that bus has been in the 4 years they’ve had it. What was so striking was that she mentioned they were saving for an excursion to Canberra that would cost each student around $300 to attend. At Lightning Ridge Central School who were fundraising for a school excursion to Canberra themselves, they were looking at around $600 a student. The difference the Sunshine Coach has made to that school cannot be understated. Although it wasn’t granted on a Bash the funds raised also contribute to the Sunshine Coach program and we hope to bring more of them to regional communities in the years to come.
Another huge round of the AHA Newcastle Hunter Bash Olympics at Baan Baa was a lot of laughs. A huge thank you to AHA Newcastle Hunter for setting these up for us along the way, every event has been brilliant.
Can we take a moment to acknowledge the newest/smallest/most responsible official young Wilbur. For those that don’t know Wilbur is 3rd generation Basher – his grandparents were once Mickey and Minnie before we stole them away for official duties and his parents are Car 95 Lightning McQueen (though this year his Aunt Gemma is taking on the mantel).
The day was topped off with the well deserved honouring of two volunteer legends – with Kevin Leahy and Mark Peterson being welcomed into the Hall for Fame for their 25 years of service to the NSW Bash. Both men, who started as Bashers, have given of their skills and expertise for countless hours helping to ensure the safety of all entrants (and in a few cases the sanity of the other officials as well). We thank both these gentlemen for their incredible service to Variety.
Want to contribute to the Bash?
If you have a mate on the Bash and you haven’t yet had a chance to donate its not too late, just head over to the website here or you can pop into your local Woolworths across NSW and ACT and make a donation (round-up at the self serve or ask a staff member)!
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