I simply had the best weekend ever! Well maybe not ever – but very close.
On Saturday Ian and I went to the Manly Surf Carnival and it was stunning. The sky was the most perfect blue I’d ever seen, the water was clear, sparkled in the sun, and was beautifully warm. A highlight was going out in a rescue boat and look back at the thousands of people on the beach – it was a magnificent sight.
(Thank God for factor 30 or I’d have been fried!) The cheers and organisational announcements, so loud on the beach, were barely audible on the water. I was in the capable hands of an experienced IRB (inflatable rescue boat) driver and could easily have taken up residence on the water. If you want to see some pics check out my Facebook page. (How brave is that!)
Then on Sunday, we went to the Floodlight Benefit for the Queensland flood victims at the Slide Bar in Oxford St (great venue) – which one of our own (take a bow Victoria) project managed (though she humbly allocates credit to everyone else, she did a magnificent job). The atmosphere and the standard of performance was great! I’m not a great party animal so we didn’t stay late but it was terrific. (Very loud)
But I have to say, the very best bit was realising both events were ‘personned’ by volunteers. Australia has the highest rate of volunteerism in the world (don’t know who worked that out but it’s regularly stated so I am using it). All the lifesavers were volunteers and there seemed to be hundreds of them on duty. Some started at 4.30am and were still working when Ian and I left at 3.30pm. That’s dedication.
Then at the benefit; everyone – the performers, the stage people, the bar staff, the organisers (everyone working on anything including photographers and cinematographers) – donated their time! As the MC pointed out, this is their regular job and it was like going to work for a day and not being paid for it!
At that moment I realised I’d spent my weekend in the company of people helping make Australia what it is, and what a fabulous reminder of our spirit as Australia Day approaches. I don’t often get sentimental but this weekend I was emotional with pride, and humbled by the commitment and generosity displayed by people from all walks of life.
Have a great week,