Gympie's volunteers in lead
FANS of the Gympie Show, the Muster and the Rattler have more reason than most to be grateful for all the invisible people who make these institutions possible.
But if they live in Gympie there is a fair chance they know all about volunteering already, from their own contribution.
Gympie Show Youth Committee volunteer Josie Laird says Gympie has more volunteers per head than the state average and each of those volunteers donates more hours on average than volunteers state-wide.
The enormous number of services, events, sports, cultural and community groups that depend on volunteers are so much a part of our lives that we often do not even notice them.
And more than 50 of those groups were represented yesterday at the Pavilion, including the buildings best known tenants, the Gympie Show Society and the Gympie Turf Club.
The occasion was a celebration of the volunteers who make Gympie region work.
Community leaders including Mayor Mick Curran said thank you with a morning tea, pamper stations (including massage), activities and quality live music.
Guest speaker was Rattler Railway Company general man ager Peter Blashki, who told nearly 300 guests all the managers and all the grants in the world could not make the Rattler run without the vital efforts of volunteers.
"We've got a full set of left hand and right hand brushes and left and right hand screwdrivers,” he said.
Although it was a joke, it was a serious enough appeal for the return of the people who made it all happen under the old banner of the Mary Valley Heritage Rail.
"We are aiming to provide young volunteers in the workshop with skills they can transfer to their lives, relevant experience so they can get a job,” he said.