Carols saved by donation
“I FEEL like Father Christmas,” Tony Gilding, owner of the Macadamia Castle at Knockrow, said yesterday after he put his hand in his pocket to help save Lennox Head Christmas Carols.
And well he might – there’s a good chance he may have guaranteed the future of one of the region’s most loved events.
It was after Mr Gilding heard the carols were on the verge ofbeing cancelled because the Ballina Shire Council hadn’t allocated funding for it in its festivals’ budget that he decided something had to be done.
The annual event brings about 2500 people to Williams Reserve and, this year, it is expected plenty of tornado victims will be among them.
“They’ve had a tough year at Lennox Head,” Mr Gilding said. “So I thought it was a bit of a bah humbug to say there’s no funding.”
Mr Gilding, who has owned the castle for four years and lived at Knockrow for six, decided he would put $5000 towards the $10,000 the Lennox Head Lions Club estimates it will cost to stage the carols this year.
Club secretary Don Hurley said: “What we’re hoping is that the council will match that amount. I have been told by Councillor Jeff Johnson that he’s optimistic the council will vote in favour of doing so.”
The final decision on the village’s popular carols night will be made at Ballina Shire Council’s meeting on September 23, so Mr Gilding and Lennox locals will have to wait until then to see whether they’ve been Scrooged or not.
Mr Hurley said the Christmas event was mainly attended by Lennox Head families who came to hear carols sung by local schools and community performers and to see the fireworks display. Everyone looked forward to the big night out, he said.
Like the Lions Club, which has run the event for two years, Mr Gilding said he had his fingers crossed that his donation would spur the council into adding the rest of the financial support.
“As a child I always loved going to the Christmas carols,” he said. “I’m sure a lot of kids in Lennox Head feel that way too.”