CHRISTMAS can be a lonely time for people who are separated from their families and for those for whom the year has brought tragedy.
Nothing can ease the pain of separation and loss at a time like this but a local charity, Australian Mercy, has tried to make Christmas a little easier for isolated, lonely and suffering people by organising a free Christmas dinner on Christmas Day.
This year more than 140 people sat down at the Nowra Showground Pavilion to a sumptuous Christmas dinner of turkey, chicken, ham and roast vegetables with delicious hand-made stuffing and gravy topped off with Christmas puddings lovingly home made by ladies from the Hyams Beach Village Association and trifles made by one of the volunteers.
It was a happy, noisy occasion celebrating all that is significant about Christmas.
Santa arrived on cue and all the children were delighted to receive individual presents from him.
The adults all received a Christmas gift as well.
We would like to thank all the people who made this year’s dinner such a successful and happy occasion.
Shoalhaven City Council kindly allowed the use of the Showground Pavilion free of charge.
The facilities of the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre were offered to cook the vegetables.
Without the selfless service of the volunteers who organised the occasion, set up the tables and decorated the pavilion, organised transport and prepared and served the dinner and cleaned up afterwards there could have been no Christmas dinner.
It would be impossible to name all the volunteers without running the risk of missing some. Thank you all.
Significant donations of money were made, some anonymously, allowing the purchase of the Christmas gifts and there were donations of ham and chickens as well as the Christmas puddings already mentioned.
Thank you to all these people as well.
We also want to thank the guests who attended and made the dinner such a happy occasion.
It was our privilege to serve you and we hope it helped to make this Christmas a happier time and gave reason for hope and optimism for the future.
H. and D. Esdaile,