|A glorious morning in Arcadia to celebrate Australia Day, cool, no wind and no Aussie bush flies to annoy us while we feasted on lamb chops, bacon, eggs, tomatoes etc. About seventy people gathered at the Community Centre to socialise, enjoy a meal together and celebrate this day.|
Mathew Christie was the Australia Day Ambassador and our guest on the day. Mathew grew up in Warrigal in Gippsland, he worked in the banking sector for a time before moving to Melbourne at age twenty three. He obtained a position at Crown Casino when it first opened in 1994, his first job was as a blackjack dealer in one of the gaming rooms. Since that time twenty years ago Mathew has advanced his position at Crown, to be now the manager of the main gaming floor at the Casino.
Mathew in his address asked us, who were here celebrating this day, to remember all the people who were obliged to work today, those caring for people such as nurses and those who were caring for our older population. He spoke of the many people from various countries of the world who have migrated to Australia, people who have embraced this country and our way of life – ‘ The Great Australian Dream’. People who have worked hard and have gained the success this country can offer.
He compared aspects of his life as a manager in a gaming casino, his trips overseas in that position and the opulent life of luxurious hotels, restaurants and flash cars. Then back in Australia, visiting the outback, going to the Birdsville races in the dust and dry of Central Australia, where he camped in a tent, ate very basic food, had to walk 500 mtrs to the nearest toilet, take your own toilet paper as well! Here everyone was equal, no one better than anyone else, where the true Aussie spirit prevailed.
Mathew presented the Australia Day awards to the Junior Citizen of the Year, Ellie Porter and to Cris Ferguson who was our Senior Citizen of the Year.
Ellie was nominated by Bridge Youth Services, Ellie has been prominent with her involvement in some of the programs that they have run, especially being a mentor to girls in the thirteen to fifteen years of age bracket, who have difficulty coping with some aspects of life. Last year she obtained her VCE, studying by correspondence. This year she will go on to study accountancy at university.
Cris Ferguson is a local farmer and a qualified plumber. Since the family moved into the Arcadia area some twenty years ago, Cris has been involved in all local activities, his plumbing expertise being called upon on many occasions. He has been involved in Landcare, Progress Association and is the current president of The Arcadia Committee of Management, he also holds the position of 2nd Lieut in the Arcadia Fire Brigade.
To conclude the celebration the Australian flag was raised and everyone joined in the singing of The National Anthem.