President’s Report 2011

Ewingsdale Community Association

President’s Report

2010 – 2011

The Ewingsdale Community Association has had a quiet but pleasant year, with two events that were special highlights.

We were able to provide support and assistance to the Byron Bay Scout Group for their Camp Quality Scouting Day and Centenary Celebrations.  The Scouts organized many fun activities for the Camp Quality children, and there was a celebration of 100 years of Scouting on the following day.  More than 200 people were involved.

Our Christmas Party was held on Sunday, 12 December, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Hall.  It was a great social day and around 60 adults and 30 children attended.  There was a sausage sizzle, community banquet, raffle, and a very successful visit by Santa on a firetruck.

Thanks to the Byron Bay Rural Fire Brigade for the Santa visit, and to the social committee of Ian and Gail Pick, Deidre Page, Helen McHugh, and Alan Bainsbridge.  We were able to raise $500 for the Fire Brigade and nearly $600 for the Hall.  The Hall money went to the purchase of a new refrigerator, generously provided at cost by Bridgelands Mullimbimby.

The annual “Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea” will be held again this year on Wednesday, May 18, at the Fig Tree Restaurant.  It is organized by Fay Flick to raise money for the Cancer Council, and we hope it will be a big success.

We also have a real achievement and can be very proud of our continued maintenance of the Ewingsdale Hall.  The Hall is a popular and useful venue for many classes such as exercises, tango, etc, and for functions such as weddings, art exhibits, and seminars.  Special thanks go to Andrew Baldwin for his conscientious management of this very useful asset to the Byron Bay community at large.

The State Government has a program of grants called the Community Hall Renewal Fund, and several of our members worked hard to obtain quotes for repairs needed to the Hall, and to fill out the form to apply for funds.  Unfortunately we were not successful this year.  The total amount needed was $12,684.25, of which two thirds would have been provided by the state if we were successful.

Conversations with the government Office of Rural Affairs, Department of Lands, revealed that the average grants were in the $15,000 to $20,000 range, so our request was modest.  Over the last three years about 150 grants have been made, but the total number of applications has been about 450, so the chances of success are only about 1 in 3.

Thanks to all who helped with this application, and we can only hope that we may be successful in future years.  One bright note of hope is that the RTA has promised new (and badly needed) windows for the Hall, because of highway construction.

Several other continuing concerns have been addressed this year:

  1. The Pacific HIghway construction. The question of whether to build an interchange at Bangalow, and whether the interchange at Ewingsdale will be a huge mess if they don’t, concerns us all.
  1. The new hospital. We have made repeated efforts to assure that the back part of the hospital block, bordering on Parkway Drive, will be reserved as a green space.  This pressure needs to be maintained.
  1. The bicycle path to town. This is nearly completed (hooray!) but we need to keep requesting that the last section, next to the dangerous bit of road down the hill, be built.  Also that the existing bike path be maintained, and the mess near the new Sports Field be cleared up.
  1. We can pat ourselves on the back that one Parkway Drive sign has survived the year without being souvenired by fans of the rock group Parkway Drive. The other, alas, has disappeared from its much-too-short pole.

I would personally like to thank Vice President Bernard Grinberg, Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Baldwin, our website organizer Ian Pick, and all the other members who have done so much to make this a successful year.

Charles MacFarland, President

3 May 2011