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Community picnic a hit for Australia Day

Community picnic Australia Day
Evelyn Bury and her friend Lynn Steenhuis, who was once a Siren of the Surf, and recalled coming to Railway Picnics as a child.

Music, food and mateship were on full display at the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic as the community celebrated Australia Day at Bargara.

Vivid memories flooded back to older folk who reminisced about the good old days and recalled the original annual railway picnics and Sirens of the Surf.

Others just relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine and atmosphere near the beach at Nielson Park.

Lynn Steenhuis was one of the Sirens of the Surf competitors. She recalled the picnics being a stand-out community event that everyone was eager to attend.

“My dad, Douglas Cowan, was a cane cutter and we would come down every year when I was a little girl,” Lynn said.

“It’s just so great to see this come back again, it brings back memories from my childhood.

“It really shows the great community spirit that brings everyone together.

“It’s fantastic and I hope it comes back every year.”

Lynn enjoyed the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic with her friend Evelyn Bury who said the music was a perfect fit for the event.

“Really, who would live anywhere else when we can have it all here like this,” Evelyn said.

“There’s a great line of bands here, all very Australia which is just great and matches the perfect weather.”

Community picnic Australia Day
Mayor Jack Dempsey, Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak ‘s Moe Turaga and Dave Facer along with Cr Judy Peters celebrated Australia Day at the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic.

Memories of Railway Picnic flood back

Helen Timbs enjoyed one of the Great Australia Bite hampers as she also recalled the Railway Picnic from her childhood saying it was a great way for everyone to come together and celebrate everything Australian.

“We had events like egg and spoon races and sack races when I was a kid,” Helen said.

“I can remember the big tubs with the hot ice, dry ice, but as kids we called hot ice as it burnt our fingers, I have really great memories of the picnics and I am glad they have returned.”

Opening the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic and MC for the afternoon was Bundaberg Regional Council Community and Cultural Services portfolio spokesperson Judy Peters, who said perfect weather by the seaside had attracted a huge crowd to celebrate all things Australian.

Community picnic Australia Day
Tracey, Gabriel and Ally McPhee along with Helen Timbs enjoyed the picnic hamper at the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic.

Hopes for community picnic to become annual event

Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak brought the Bundaberg Railway Picnic back to the community and incoming president Dave Facer said he hoped it would continue in some capacity each year.

Community picnic Australia Day
Mia and her dad Brenden Mazeth enjoyed the food at the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic and said it was a great way to celebrate Australia Day.

The community picnic was made possible after the club successfully applied to host Bundaberg Regional Council’s official Australia Day celebrations.

Brenden Mazeth and his daughter Mia enjoyed the food, saying it the perfect chance to come together to celebrate Australia Day with Brenden saying it was a bonus to have a long weekend thrown in.

“We’ve come from Elliott Heads and we are enjoying the atmosphere and can’t wait to hear our friend, Dean Sauer from Hats On who is playing next,” Brenden said.

“We just thought we’d come over and chill out, and maybe even have a swim later too.”

Community picnic Australia Day
Koby, Rylan and Oakley enjoyed their Australia Day afternoon with their mum Denieka Stevens at the community picnic at Bargara.