HUNDREDS of proud Australians descended on Emerald’s Pioneer Park on Wednesday to help celebrate all that is great about the great southern land.
The annual ceremony, where distinguished awards are presented to deserving citizens who have made contributions to the community, is usually held at the botanic gardens, but due to recent flood damage, was shifted to Pioneer Park and proved to be a great success.
After a hot breakfast provided by more tireless volunteers, the official festivities started with a blessing and welcome from members of the churches around town.
Before the traditional citizenship ceremony - held to officially welcome newcomers to the community - the crowd hushed for a minute of silence in respect of those who lost their lives in the recent Queensland flood disaster.
Despite the sombre overtones of the last month, the resilience that has been talked about so much showed its spirited face through the smiles and laughs of the colourful crowd united in celebration.
“It is always a great family day and it was good to see so many people dressed up and celebrating,” Central Highlands Regional Council spokesperson Monica Sidhu said.
“It was a good crowd in the end, and the children certainly kept all the staff busy facepainting for much of the day,” she said.
One of the highlights of the day, certainly for the youngsters, came in the form of a hovering helicopter that flew over the crowd dropping armfuls of lollies onto the masses below.
Other activities included sack races with divisions for all ages, and the much anticipated tug-of-war, which was taken out by St Pat’s Teachers and Parents in a thrilling final over the Extra Cools.
“It’s always a great family day...”
Central Highlands Regional Council spokesperson
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