Monday, April 30, 2012

Thank you Bundaberg!



I’m very good at finding the best in a person or a place. But I didn’t have to look very hard to find the best of everything when I visited Bundaberg recently. From the minute I touched down at the airport and was met by Sue Gammon – Acting Library Manager for Bundaberg Regional Libraries  – I couldn’t wait to get amongst the local community and knew I was in for an extraordinary few days. That’s Sue and I above proudly spruiking the National Year of Reading!


Having never visited the city before, I was wide-eyed for the entire time I was there and I have a bit of a travel blog for you coming in a few days time. Today though, I just wanted to express my absolute and heartfelt gratitude to all the library staff, the local Bundy Writers’ Group, Gerardine from Dymocks Bundy (pictured above) and all the local readers who came along to the library for a yarn about books and writing. I had a ball and was wowed by the library space with its soon-to-be-opened café on site, which will raise money for the local hospital. I understand the slogan for the café will be: ‘Have a cuppa and save a life!’


The morning after my library shin-dig, I was blessed to spend time with students at Bundaberg South State School, where Years 3, 4 and 5 (picture above and below) gave new meaning to the concept of being enthusiastic about reading. You can see the passion in the raised arms all wanting to share their favourite book, where they most liked to read, and where someone like me should visit as a tourist. 

 
Phew, I was exhausted after only an hour but headed upstairs to Years 6 and 7 (pictured below) for a quick writers workshop where the students brainstormed the best things about Bundy, and set about writing limericks. Another delightful and energetic bunch meant I was ready for some Bundaberg Ginger Beer and a lie down shortly afterwards.


Meeting beautiful souls wasn’t over though, as I was an invited speaker at the 2012 Rotary District 9570 Conference hosted by the Rotary Club of Bundaberg East. With literacy a key issue targeted by Rotary, I was pleased to be able to share the workings of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation  with Rotary members from around the region. I’m thankful for the interest they all showed in the ILF and look forward to seeing partnerships and fundraising events take shape over the coming months. A shout out also to the Channel 7 cameraman who got in may face, up my nose and into the back of my head, as pictured below. Lucky we both had a good sense  of humour!

 

Finally, as an added bonus to meeting the locals, I got to catch up with a friend who is in the sky more than I am... well almost. Robyne Forester happened to fly in and out from her home in Canberra the same time I was there, so was great to have a coffee and a chin wag! Oh, she also bought out Dymocks as you can see below!


Thank you Bundaberg, I look forward to returning and yarning some more and shortly, I’ll post my tips on a great holiday experience to be had up your way.


2 comments:

Robyn Forester said...

How surpised was I? Reading your blog only to find my big face at the end of it. Glad you enjoyed your time in my home town of Bundy. I am sure that everyone you met was inspired by you just as much as all your friends are each and everyday. Who knows when our paths will cross again but it's always a pleasure to spend a coffee and a chat with you. Good friends always RF xoxox

Toni Burley Teacher-Librarian, Bundaberg South State School said...

Thank you, Anita, for visiting our school. You are an inspiration to all of us and the students loved working with you. This was obvious when the Year 6 and 7 students wanted to keep writing their limericks instead of going out for lunch. Your visit will have an impact on them for a long time to come. Thank you also to East Bundaberg Rotary Club for supporting your visit to Bundaberg.