Boggabri swimming pool hosted activities for Australia Day with lots of people taking the time to cool down and meet the Narrabri Shire’s Australia Day Ambassador Len Pascoe.

Prior to the official speeches, iron men and iron women events, as well as the 33-metre dash, attracted swimmers of all ages and abilities supported by a large contingent of cheering spectators.

Craig Devine was MC for the day and delivered the welcome to country. Alexia and Stephanie Hancock, representing the Boggabri Girl Guides, raised the flag while the crowd sang the national anthem.

Once again, the two Boggabri schools can be proud of their student leaders.

Cameron Valks, Molly Rees, Haylee Turner, and Cooper Shields told the crowd what Australia Day means to them.

“Australia Day means so much more than just family and barbecue. It means appreciating culture” Molly Rees said,

Molly went on to say many people will not be able to celebrate today without thinking of the recent natural disasters – whether that be the worst drought in recent history or the widespread catastrophic bushfires, in true Australian spirit, “we stick together.”

She concluded her speech saying it wouldn’t be Australia Day without a delicious lamb chop on the barbecue, catching a crawbob at home in the dam or having a chance to win the ‘dash for cash’ at the Boggabri pool.

“Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the first fleet at Port Jackson and the raising of the British flag at Sydney Cove,” Haylee Turner said.

“January 26 is a day that every Aussie loves.

“It’s a day off work, a barbecue for most, the beach for many, in our case attending the Boggabri pool, sunburn, but hopefully not, and a chance to sit back with family and friends and realise how good we have it in this amazing country.”

Haylee finished by telling everyone how she likes to celebrate Australia day.

First is the good old Vegemite on toast, maybe a game of cricket, watching tennis on television, definitely, a swim in the pool and ‘finish off the day with a few sausage sangas.’

Cameron and Cooper echoed these sentiments in various forms, spoke confidently and displayed why they have been chosen as leaders.

Mayor Cathy Redding gave an address and introduced our Australia Day Ambassador Len Pascoe.

Cr. Redding also thanked and paid tribute to the numerous emergency personnel and volunteers who have been fighting fires and the family sacrifices that they have made.

The audience was captivated with Mr Pascoe’s address.

Peels of laughter rang out as he told of numerous funny things children had said to him over the years of his coaching career.

Mr Pascoe and the mayor then joined the crowd in a sausage sandwich for lunch.

Mr Devine thanked everyone for their help and input for the celebration with special mention of Rotary, Lions and Swimming clubs, the pool staff and the community members who attended.

Congratulations to Joanne Tailby who was a worthy nomination in the Narrabri Shire Australia Day Citizen of the Year. Mrs Tailby was recognised for her numerous and varied fundraising activities in the community.

She does everything from fundraising raffles, running events, preparing food, loading firewood, and gathering donations.

She has been heavily involved with the successful Drovers Campfire.

Mrs Tailby has been a long-term member of many community organisations, including junior rugby league, Sacred Heart Parents, Teachers and Friends Association, Swimming club, and is member of the board of directors of the Boggabri RSL club.

Mrs Tailby organises and fills 100 boxes for Samaritan Purse for disadvantaged children each year, as well as volunteering at the Lions Club mine barbecues. Donating her share first to the Sacred Heart School and more recently the Boggabri Hospital Auxiliary.

She is a happy, down to earth person who provides whatever assistance is required to anyone who asks.

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