TWO local organisations are set to benefit from the generosity of personnel at HMAS Albatross.
As an alternative fund-raising event the Navy Domestic Engagement group initiated a book drive in September in aid of the Smith Family Learning for Life Program and the Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre.
The local navy personnel have certainly risen to the challenge.
Almost 5000 books were donated, with HMAS Albatross Commanding Officer, Captain Gordon Andrew and members of the Navy Domestic Engagement group officially handing them over on Wednesday.
Chief Petty Officer Annie Schofield, of the Navy Domestic Engagement group said she was astounded by the response.
“We never dreamt of getting something like 5000 books,” she said.
“We arranged 20 drop-off points around the base and personnel just did the rest.
“The response was fantastic.”
And there was everything from novels, to history books, children’s books, sports books, you name it.
CPO Schofield said the beneficiaries would decide how to use the donated books.
The Smith Family Learning for Life Program already staged a book fair at Bomaderry Public School on Wednesday afternoon, raising funds for its learning homework club.
The Cullinghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre is also looking to run a similar book drive raising money for soft-fall equipment and toys for the centre.
HMAS Albatross Commanding Officer, Captain Gordon Andrew, said he was proud of the base’s response.
“The base has always supported the community, way back from 1948 when it was established, it is ingrained in the way we think,” he said.
“As a base we are always looking at ways to support the community, be it through providing personnel for community events or staging fund-raising activities.
“I’m extremely proud of the way the personnel have supported this exercise.
“I suppose a lot of the personnel saw it as an opportunity to clear out their bookshelves.”
A self-confessed book addict, Captain Andrew admitted to having to resist the temptation of picking up a book or two as he looked through the assorted titles.