The new 28-bed wing at Haddington Nursing Home is now well on the radar of the Tenterfield community after a glittering fundraising dinner at the Tenterfield School of Arts of Saturday, November 24.
While the total of ticket sales, bar takings and auction winning bids is still being tallied, Tenterfield Care Centre chair Greg Sauer is confident of the night making $35,000 to $40,000 towards the committee’s $700,000 goal.
The night also served as a tribute to inaugural committee chair Col Mann who took on the role back in 1989 of leading the Tenterfield community towards establishing and maintaining a facility to allow aged residents to remain in their community, close to family and friends. Mr Mann only relinquished the role earlier this year, after a spectacularly-successful and much-admired tenure.
His replacement Greg Sauer said he had no intention of trying to match Mr Mann’s three decades in the role, saying three or four years would pull him up.
Mr Sauer thanked all those who “kicked the bucket” to make the gala dinner possible, particularly Darryl and Trish McCarthy whose $10,000 donation meant all money from ticket sales went straight into proceeds.
TCC’s efforts to add a new wing to Haddington to accommodate 28 additional residential care places will, as TCC general manager Fiona Murphy said on the night, “ensure that the people who built our community remain in our community.”
Original committee member Graham Rossington, in a rare public speaking role, provided a background to the community’s contribution of $300,000 towards Millrace’s $500,000 price tag back in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, tracked by a barometer published regularly in the Star.
He described how local farmers donated beasts to be auctioned at the saleyards, raising $10,000 in the first three months on the campaign. and the 300-strong golf day organised by the local police which raised $10,400, plus the many other clubs and organisations which raised considerable sums.
Mr Rossington noted the $30,000 contribution made by the Angliss Group, eight years after it has closed its Riverstone meatworks due a shortage of stock but still keen to support the small community which had supported it.
In his speech Mac Fraser said this widespread community support – from the major donors right down to the chook raffles – gave people a sense of ownership which spread over the whole town.
“Everyone had a chance to say they helped,” Mr Fraser said.
“One person kept the committee pointed in the right direction: Col Mann, and the whole committee stayed with him.
“Now we have a generational change, we’re incorporated, grown up.
“But everyone, when you think of aged care in Tenterfield, give a thought to Col Mann.”
While perhaps a little frail in body Mr Mann proved his mind and sense of humour are still sharp in his address. He thanked those assembled for all the tributes.
“Normally you’ve got to die to get something like that,” he said.
“I hope we’re not preempting something happening next week.”
He thanked his committee members for all their work over the years, and said the new committee “will definitely take off with their tail in the air.”
That they are, with the development application for the new wing about to be submitted and the fundraising night considered a great success. Mr Sauer thanked all those who contributed, many donating their services including Inspired by You who did the sumptuous decorating and Chris Markham and Grant Ovenden who provided the entertainment.
Mr Sauer said the buzz in the room, giving everyone an opportunity to dress up and have a good time, was just what the committee was aiming for. Given the success of the venture TCC is looking to bring back the regular Highland Fling New Year’s Eve party, not in time for the coming new year but perhaps to ring in 2020.