President’s Reports

Our Annual General Meeting is the first Tuesday of May at 7:00 pm at the Hall

At that time the President delivers his annual report. New executive officers are elected at this meeting.

Attached are the President’s Reports from 2009 to the present. They provide a useful insight into the major concerns of Ewingsdale year by year.

President’s Report 2015

Ewingsdale Community Association

President’s Report

2014 – 2015

This year has been both challenging and productive, and has engaged the broader community in a range of activities and projects. Looking back, it has been a very busy year which involved a core of supportive and committed Ewingsdale community members working together, determined to maintain our community amenity.

Projects for the year:

* The ongoing challenge associated with the Seniors Living development proposal has occupied much of our time. There is still no resolution, but throughout the year active community lobbying of councillors, excellent submissions, a survey and community meetings with councillors, achieved a rescission of the initial approval of the proposal and the opportunity to press councillors for an acceptable outcome. Hopefully a acceptable decision will be made in the next few months.

This ongoing challenge has been worth the effort as it has galvanised our views on what we want for our community, which is being surrounded by development.

A big thanks to all community members involved in this project. A special thanks to Kirsty, Colin, Peter, Fae, George, Mick, Andrew, Lorissa, Elisabeth and Charles.

* While the Seniors Living proposal has been our major focus, the additional developments in Ewingsdale including The Farm and the Hospital will add significantly to traffic congestion on Ewingsdale Road. Infrastructure generally will be a challenge. As a community we will need to actively lobby Council and politicians to upgrade Ewingsdale Road and ensure traffic management is improved. Roundabouts at the Hospital, McGettigans Lane, and the BP fuel station may assist, but will not solve the traffic issues long-term.

* The deep gutter in front of the Hall and Church is an ongoing issue. It was filled with gravel earlier in the year but a heavy rain event left us with the same problem. At one point the highway upgrade construction group were approached to fill and seal the gutter. They indicted initially that they could possibly do the work. That now seems unlikely. Further approaches to Council will be necessary.

* A successful film and pizza night was held at the Hall as a community get-together. Although the number of attendees was not large, everyone there enjoyed the gathering and the pizzas. This could be an annual event. Thanks Lorissa.

* During the year the Hall kitchen was refurbished. We now have a wonderful facility which has made catering much more efficient. Thank you Andrew for organising this project and sourcing the equipment.

* The Hall was painted and minor renovations both inside and out were undertaken. Our 100+ year old Hall is in a very good state. Thanks to Andrew, Fae and George. The Hall and the Church are both extremely important heritage buildings in a designated heritage precinct and are Ewingsdale icons.

* During the past year the St. Columba Church was painted the same colour as the Hall and recently celebrated its centenary.

* The link between the Hall and Church was further strengthened by laying a path between them to enable wedding groups to access both buildings without difficulty during wet weather. Thanks to Andrew, George and Fae for co-ordinating this project.

* The Christmas gathering for the Ewingsdale community was held again last December. The families and children who attended had an enjoyable time. The fire engine was again a winner. Thanks to Lorissa for organising this yearly activity

* Our financial position is very strong. At the April meeting of the Progress Association our balance was around $58,000.00. This will enable further upgrades to proceed, including installation of an additional water tank to ensure a substantial water supply is available, even in dry seasons. We are also considering improvement to the acoustics in the hall. Thanks to treasurer Peter for managing the finances.

* Andrew has been developing a special area under trees at the rear of the Hall as a wedding setting. This project, together with the planting of grass and native species of shrubs is creating a very attractive site for wedding ceremonies which are our major source of income. Thanks Andrew.

* As well as wedding events, the Hall is still being used for a range of activities by locals. Functions.

* It is disappointing that it is difficult to attract large community support at social functions in the hall organised by our Association. Conversations around this matter have resulted in suggestions which include more film nights and music evenings. Further discussions need to be held to assess community needs.

* As Andrew has indicated, he may be giving up his role mid year. He has been a driving force in managing the multiple activities and projects related to the Hall. His commitment to this role and his achievements have been outstanding for the past 6‐7 years. Having been involved in many of the projects Andrew has taken on, I am well aware of the time and effort he has given to his management role. A big thanks to Andrew on behalf of our Association and the community for your efforts. Well done. If Andrew does relinquish this role, then this position will need to be filled by a competent and committed person as it is critical to the hall’s continued success.

Thanks to all for your support during the year. It has been a year of challenges, disappointments and successes which have strengthened our community to continue the fight to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Allen Lind

President Ewingsdale Progress and Public Hall Association 5th May 2015

President’s Report 2014

Ewingsdale Community Association

President’s Report

2013 – 2014

The Ewingsdale Community Association has had another quiet but pleasant year, with various important events and issues to concern us.

We had a Christmas Party on Sunday 15 December, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Hall, attended by about 40 adults and almost as many children.  We had a sausage sizzle, a “bring your own” supper and a very successful visit by Santa on a firetruck.

Thanks to the Byron Bay Rural Fire Brigade for the Santa visit and to Lorissa Barrett for her enthusiastic work.  The Association voted $250 to the Fire Brigade in thanks for its contribution.

Ewingsdale’s Biggest Morning Tea is being held again this year at the Fig Tree Restaurant on Wednesday14 May.  Great thanks to Fae Flick for organizing this important event, as she has for several years past.

Plans are afoot to have more gatherings at the Hall to involve the community with the Association.  Lorissa has suggested a kids’ movie night and evening meal for August, and possibly other events as the year goes on.

The Hall continues to be a popular venue for many activities, especially weddings.  The Hall is booked out on Saturdays for weddings for most of this year.  Thanks to this, the Association is very much in the black financially.

Some very good maintenance work and repairs have been carried out on the Hall, including replacement of rotted timbers and a thorough painting of the interior.  Great thanks to Andy Baldwin for his dedicated work as Treasurer and Hall Manager and in making the Hall look great.

We also have a possibility of Section 94 money from the Council for renewing the kitchen.  Negociations with Chris Soulsby of the Byron Shire Council continue, and it looks like the prospects of success are good.  Thanks to Michael Moyle and Lorissa Barrett for obtaining legal advice about this.

We are happy to say that the Ewingsdale to Tintenbar highway project may be completed in about a year.  The RTA (or RMS as they now call themselves) paid no attention to our doubts about what will happen with traffic from the north heading to Lismore, and it will be interesting to see what actually transpires.

Several other issues before the Association continue to be of concern.  The developer of the proposed restaurant at the corner of Ewingsdale Road and McGettigans Lane has applied for longer hours and larger seating capacity.  Our general feeling is that the whole project is a mistake, as it will cause serious traffic problems, as well as degrading the approach to Byron Bay from the highway.

We continue to be concerned about the block of land next to the church, but have been reassured by Alex Caras of Council that any development there would need to be consistent with the heritage value of the Church and Hall.

Thanks to Allen LInd for his efforts to secure this guarantee.

The huge new development project called West Byron is of great concern to the whole of Byron Bay, and a strong movement is going on against it.  The Association is supporting this opposition.  We feel it would exacerbate the already difficult problem of traffic going into town, as well as causing other problems.

I would personally like to thank Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Baldwin, our website maintainer Elizabeth Andel, and all the other members who have worked hard to make this a successful year.

Charles MacFarland, President

4 May 2014

President’s Report 2013

Ewingsdale Community Association

President’s Report

2012 – 2013

The Ewingsdale Community Association has had another quiet but pleasant year, with two important events and various issues to concern us.

We had a Christmas Party on Sunday, 16 December, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Hall.  It was a smaller event than in past years, suggested and planned on short notice by Lorissa Barrett, and attended by about 30 adults and almost as many children.  We had a “bring your own” supper and a very successful visit by Santa on a firetruck.

Thanks to the Byron Bay Rural Fire Brigade for the Santa visit and to Lorissa for her enthusiastic work.  We plan to have a more elaborate Christmas Party at the end of this year, as we have had in past years.  The Association voted $200 to the Fire Brigade in thanks for its contribution.

As for each year in the past six years, there will be Ewingsdale’s Biggest Morning Tea on Wednesday, 23 May, organized by Fay Flick.  For the third time it will be held at the Fig Tree Restaurant, and we thank the owners of the Fig Tree for their support.  Money raised will be donated to the Cancer Council, as it is each year.  Last year the sum raised was $805, and we congratulate Fay for her dedication and effort.

Another example of great dedication and effort is by our Treasurer, Andrew Baldwin, in his management of our Ewingsdale Hall.  The Hall is a popular venue for many activities.  There are weekly activities such as tango, yoga, exercises, and the like, and there are functions such as weddings, art exhibits, and seminars.  Recent events include a vinyl record sale over the Easter long weekend, and an exhibition of aboriginal art 20-21 April.

Perhaps the most frequent major use of the Hall is for weddings.  It is an ideal venue, with plenty of room inside and plenty of parking in front, and the added value of being distant from any houses, so there is no noise problem.  Great thanks are due to Andy for his hard work in booking and looking after the many events in the Hall, which have produced a good deal of revenue for the Association.

We were unfortunate in not receiving a grant this year from the State Government’s Community Hall Renewal Fund for repairs and maintenance to the Hall.  However, there is a possibility of Section 94 money from the Council for renewing the kitchen, and we are currently working on this.

We are happy to say that the bicycle path to town has been completed!

Other issues before the Association include:

  1. The Pacific Highway construction, which has started but looks to go on for at least another year.
  1. The new hospital, which has made a small beginning in the relocation of ambulances to the site.
  2. The large new development of housing sites next to Parkway Drive and Plantation Drive.
  1. The proposed restaurant at the corner of Ewingsdale Road and McGettigans Lane.

I would personally like to thank Vice President Bernard Grinberg, Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Baldwin, our website maintainer Elizabeth Andel, and our the other members who have worked hard to make this a successful year.

Charles MacFarland, President

4 May 2013

President’s Report 2012

Ewingsdale Community Association

President’s Report

2011 – 2012

The association has experienced a somewhat disappointing year that has seen community involvement continue to decline, as is the general trend with many clubs  and bodies at the current time. Membership numbers continue to languish, with only 11 contributors totalling $120, as compared to four years ago when $550 was subscribed. The departure of Deidre Page led to the disbanding of the social committee. Without her energy, no community events were held at all during the year, and clearly fresh input is needed if this is to be reversed.

The Church successfully held the Winter Warmers dinner in July, attended by approx. fifty people, and in September a harvest festival day followed by an auction, which was also a success. The Church however, is also struggling for numbers resulting in their services being reduced to once a month.

On a brighter note, the bike path has been completed to McGettigans Lane, thus ending a ten year saga. Many thanks to Simon Davis and Bernard Grinberg for their perseverance and efforts to see this through.

The hall is functioning (pun intended) very well, and is proving very popular for weddings and parties, resulting in a sound financial position, even without fundraisers or any outside assistance.

The burial of the high-tension powerlines is proceeding and will greatly enhance the amenity of the area. Thanks to Essential Energy.

Less success has been afforded for our other two main bugbears, namely the hospital zoning and the highway upgrade. Despite many meetings and representations, the Area Health Service and council have ignored our requests for a guaranteed buffer zone, and no access  from Parkway Drive. The rebadged but eternally recalcitrant Roads & Maritime services has similarly discounted our representations and reports re noise and upgrade design despite enormous effort  from Bernard Grinberg, Chris Shevellar, Bob Johnston and others, who have attempted in every way to gain community input, alas to no avail. The result is the worst possible outcome for Bangalow residents with the highway on their doorstep, an interchange in the town, and no access to the highway north except by the most dangerous section of St Helena hill which has been retained for 42% of the traffic. Further, the interchange complication as misconceived by the consultants is to be built as planned, with Byron council seemingly unconcerned.

With only “the usual suspects” holding the fort at the meetings, it is plainly apparent that an injection of ‘fresh blood’ into the association is imperative, and that new residents are somehow attracted and included.

George Flick,  President              Andrew Baldwin  Secretary/Treasurer

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

President’s Report 2010

Ewingsdale Community Association

President’s Report

2009 – 2010

The Ewingsdale Community Association has had another enjoyable and productive year, with two events that were special highlights.

The first of these was the Chrismas Party, which took place on Sunday, 6 December, at the Hall.  It was attended by about 90 people, including about 30 children, a very good turnout.  There was a free sausage sizzle of delicious “Hayters Hill” sausages, and people brought their own salads, drinks, etc.  The kids were thrilled with a visit by Santa in a firetruck at 5:30, and a Giant Christmas Hamper was drawn at 6:30.

Thanks to Gary Miller of the Rural Fire Brigade and to Alan Bainsbridge for playing Santa.  We were able to present Gary with a cheque for $816.50 for the brigade.  Many thanks to the Social Committee for organizing the event:  Ian Pick, Gail Pick, Deidre Page, Helen McHugh, and Alan Bainsbridge.

The other big social event was the Car Boot Sale, which took place on Saturday, 20 March, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.  It was also a big success, with 35 stalls inside the Hall and on the lawn.  Many people came and enjoyed fossicking among the bargains.  There was a sausage sizzle run by Stephen, a bake stall run by Fay Flick, and a plant stall run by Ian Pick.  Thanks again to the Social Committee (as above) for their very capable organizing of the event.

The Ewingsdale Community now has its own beautiful website at

This has been organized by Ian Pick and has sections dealing with Our Community, History, Message Board, The Hall, Personal Ads, and Current Issues.  Many thanks to Ian for his work on this project.

We also have a new and more permanent sign at the McGettigans Lane entrance to our community, listing the website and with hooks to hang notices of events such as ECA meetings.

An ongoing project has been to apply for money to restore and maintain the Hall from the Country Hall Renewal Fund, which is administered by the NSW Office of Rural Affairs.  Thanks to Alan Lind and Alan Bainsbridge, among others, for getting the quotes.  Andrew Baldwin and I filled out the form in January to apply for a total amount of $12,684.25, of which two thirds will be supplied by the Renewal Fund, if we are successful.

Repair items include:

  1. paint main hall and storeroom 900.00
  2. refinish floor 3692.00
  3. outside repairs 4468.00
  4. plumbing 1724.25
  5. fix back wall 200.00
  6. repair stumps 200.00
  7. buy large refrigerator 1500.00

The Hall continues to be a great asset to the community and to the whole area.  Many classes, weddings, and other events are held in the Hall.

Great thanks are owing to Di Johnston for her years of service managing the many events in the Hall.  We had a farewell party for her on Sunday, 12 July.

Her work has been ably continued this year by Andrew Baldwin.  He is currently reorganizing the protocols and prices to make sure the Hall continues to be a financial success.

An ongoing concern of the Association has been the worry that the new hospital, when finally constructed, might have an access road from Parkway Drive.  We have requested Council to secure the whole back of the hospital block to be a green belt.  I made a speech to Council in November to remind them of our concern.

We are also concerned about many aspects of the huge RTA project to change the highway south of the Ewingsdale interchange, especially their failure to implement a Bangalow bypass.  Bernard Grinberg and others have worked hard to point out the obvious deficiencies of the RTA plans, but their suggestions and comments have been largely ignored.

On a lighter note, we have an ongoing saga with the street signs for Parkway Drive.  There is a very popular heavy metal group who named themselves Parkway Drive because, when they started out, they practised in a home on that street.  Now they are becoming famous and their fans like nothing better than to souvenir the street signs.  We have had four signs taken this year.  The latest was put up very ineptly by Council at a low height and lasted only four weeks, til (appropriately enough) May Day.

One further community event was the annual “Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea” organized by Fay Flick on May 12 at the Fig Tree Restaurant.  Monies from the event will go to the Cancer Council.

As far as other issues are concerned, this has been a very calm year.   The highway developments will affect us, of course, but we have had little if any response from the RTA to our suggestions, so most of us have given up on that issue and are trying to possess our souls in patience and in peace.  Aside from the RTA issues, this has been a pleasant and placid year.

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

Charles MacFarland

May 8, 2010

President’s Report 2009

Ewingsdale Community Association

President’s Report

2008 – 2009

The Ewingsdale Community has had a productive and successful year.

The most significant long-term development for the EC has been the development of our website,  This is entirely the work of our member Ian Pick and we are very grateful to him.  We hope everyone will have a look at the website and will find it useful.

The Ewingsdale Hall has been another area of great progress and success.  This year we have a new lawn, driveway, path, and side steps.  Our thanks to Di Johnstone for her hard work in taking care of the Hall and managing the many worthwhile events which take place in it, and which give our association a good income.

I would also like to thank my associates on the executive.  Bernard Grinberg, the vice-president, has kept us informed of many issues affecting our community and has worked hard in managing them.  Andrew Baldwin, the treasurer, has kept careful records of our finances, especially those dealing with the Hall, which under his and Di Johnstone’s care has become in effect a very successful business.

Mr Bob Higgins of the RTA, along with two of his associates, met with about 40 members at our AGM on 5 May 2008.  Mr. Higgins presented plans for the so-called highway upgrade to take place from the current Byron Bay interchange south through St Helena Hill and all downhill from there.  The members were pleased to note that a substantial earth barrier will shield Ewingsdale from highway noise for much of the way, but concerns were voiced about the lack of sound barriers up near the tunnel.  Another concern was the need for an interchange near Bangalow, so that northbound traffic from Lismore would not need to use the existing road and the Byron Bay interchange.  The meeting was lively and productive.

The  Ewingsdale Hall completed this year 100 years since its construction in 1908.  Centenary celebrations were held in September and a fine DVD to commemorate this event was produced by Elisabeth Andel.

In January the EC President and Vice-President met with three staff members of Byron Shire Council:  Graeme Faulkner, the General Manager; Ray Darney, the Director of Planning; and Phil Holloway, the Director of Asset Managment Services.  We discussed the following issues:

  1. Proposed developments in Quarry Lane and William Flick Lane.
  1. Construction of a Bike Lane from McGettigan’s Lane to the BP Ozigo. Work on this has started with a 200 m section starting at McGettigan’s Lane.
  1. Additional lighting at the corner of McGettigan’s Lane and Ewingsdale Road. Not much progress on this one because of cost (latest quote is $100,000).
  1. Reduction of speed limit on Ewingsdale Road at the McGettigan’s corner toward the highway interchange. In the past the EC has succeeded in lowering the speed limit on Ewingsdale Road from 100 to 80, but the corner area is still unsafe.
  1. Hospital planning. We met with Ray Darney a year earlier to secure a green buffer zone behind the proposed hospital.  He was optimistic then and still feels the same way.
  1. Road verge maintenance — a perpetual issue, but we put in our usual appeal for more mowing along the roads and in the park near the corner of Plantation and Parkway.

The rock group Parkway Drive are doing very well, and so are we, since Council has recently replaced the street signs souvenired by fans.  Let’s hope these signs last awhile.

With the support of our residents, the EC will continue to protect and nurture our beautiful area.

Thank you for all your support.

On behalf of the Ewingsdale Community members,

Charles MacFarland, President

7 May 2009

Scroll to Top