To make one Boomerang Bag it takes hours of dedication and two Bundaberg women can proudly say they have stitched up almost 6500 Boomerang Bags between them.
Pam Twyford and Tricia Tripp are two of Boomerang Bags Bundaberg’s most valued volunteers who don’t have much free time as every spare second they have is spent sewing new bags made from recycled material.
In 18-months Tricia has made 1445 Boomerang Bags and Pam has made 5000 since Boomerang Bags Bundaberg was founded in February 2017.
It’s second nature to the pair, with Tricia saying she’s even tried sewing with her eyes closed.
In the last three weeks Tricia has created 171 bags and she says she does it because it’s in her blood.
“I am a milliner by trade, and I do this because I love sewing,” Tricia said.
“I tried sewing some of the straps last night with my eyes closed and I got it done.”
Tricia said her passion for sewing was similar to her passion for Bundaberg.
And just like Boomerang Bags is in her blood Tricia said she was born in the Bundaberg Region, and when she moved from Brisbane many years ago, her late husband wasn’t even aware of it.
“I was here until I was about five years old,” Tricia said.
“When my husband asked me to marry him, he said there was one condition and that was that I would have to live in Bundaberg, and I said no worried love.
“About two years later he asked me if I was happy here, and I said of course I have come home, he asked what I meant, and I said I was born here!
“I told him you can’t learn everything about me in the first couple of years I had to have something to tell him every year.
“I am happier here, I have been back 26 years, I love Bundaberg.”
In June, Pam had a goal to sew more than Bundaberg's postcode (4670) in amount of bags and just three months later had now stitched more than 5000 bags.
Bundaberg Regional Councillor Judy Peters congratulated the group and the women for reaching such a milestone.
“What a wonderful way to create inclusion in the community, regardless of age, regardless of cultural diversity, with a real tangible asset that the community belongs to,” Cr Peters said.
“The intention of Boomerang Bags was originally to give you an alternative shopping bag, but I think it has grown far more than that because every bag has a memory.
“It has a history and it has come from somewhere, it’s been repurpose into something beautiful to own.
“I was very pleased to take Boomerang Bags from Bundaberg with me to Women in Local Government State Forum recently and were gifted to all of the attendees.”
From small beginnings
Fellow Boomerang Bags Bundaberg founder Carmen McEneany said the local group started in February 2017 and with members like Pam and Tricia it was one of the most valued Boomerang Bags groups in Australia.
Carmen said people may not realise the manpower that went into making each and every bag.
She said the locally made bags were gifted to Prince Charles, Cameron Smith, the entire State of Origin team and Kevin Walters.
“These are all hand cut, hand pinned, hand sewn and each one takes a lot of time – it’s just crazy,” she said.
“At the moment we have seven regular sewers and we need 50!” Carmen said.
“We can’t keep up with the bags – it’s really hard because they are so amazing, and we want everyone to have them.
“But you don’t have to be a sewer to join in the fun of making a Boomerang Bag.”
She said Boomerang Bags Bundaberg sewing bee were held every second month at the Bundaberg Christian College and everyone is welcome to attend.