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Hot and Dusty work - but Service Above Self

Updated: May 19

The Rotary Club of Bendigo has ‘once again’ done the hard yards to organise and manage the car parking during the annual Caravan and Camping Leisurefest held at the Bendigo Jockey Club in White Hills, over the weekend of Friday, 17th November to Sunday 19th.

Immediate Past Presidnet Peter Reading had re-negotiated the conditions of the work and he and PP Wayne Smith organised the site and recruited the volunteers for the weekend.

In confirming our continued involvement as parking attendants Peter had invited other community service groups to be involved and The Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail Group, the Rotary Club of Bendigo South, the Lions Club of Strathfieldsaye and the Bendigo Harriers Athletic Club all stepped up to the challenge.

Rosters were created to cover set-up from 7 am, early bird workers at 8.15 when the event exhibitors started to arrive and the rest of the team started at 9 am to cope with the general public arriving en masse.

It was hot and dusty conditions for most of the weekend and a good hat, plenty of sunscreen and chilled water was needed on the day. A golf buggy was kept busy all day, driving the volunteers around where needed, to check up and to top up hydration requirements.

Over the years we have witnessed many visitors driving cross country for a couple of hours to arrive early, get out the thermos and have a picnic whilst waiting for the gates to open for the public to enter the event.

It’s a big event that’s is part of an ever growing industry with caravans and camping enthusiasts making it a day out to update, upgrade or get up to date on latest trends.

Our team this year involved 60 volunteers who worked a total of 284 hours over the three days. With over 13,000 people visiting the event we were kept on our toes whilst parking cars from one end of the grounds around the Jockey Club through to the other and then into the reserved horse loading areas.

Apart from our own members knocking up a total of 159 hours, we were well supported by The Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail Group 58 hours, Rotary Club of Bendigo South 21 hours, the Lions Club of Strathfieldsaye 15 hours and Bendigo Harriers Athletic Club 31 hours. Many thanks to those members for their efforts and all money raised is divided amongst all organisations on a pro-rata basis.

Phil Jennings and his team from Good as Gold Carts lent us a cart for the three days of the event – they even delivered and collected it for us - so many thanks to them for their support. There are out in Heinz St, East Bendigo, so if you’re looking for a golf cart be sure to give them a go.

As Rotarians we put in many hours of ‘Service Above Self’ and we thank the many volunteers that helped make it possible.

See y’all next year.

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