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A message from Mayor Les McPhee

A message from Mayor Les McPhee

Being my first column for 2014, I would like to wish all our residents a very happy New Year. I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and like myself, are looking forward to 2014.

Speaking of the New Year, I would like to congratulate the organisers of the traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations at Swan Hill’s Riverside Park. The event was a huge success with good reports from the police regarding the behaviour of the (more than) 2,000-strong crowd.

Australia Day celebrations

Just a reminder that the 34th Australia Day breakfast will be held next Sunday at Swan Hill’s Riverside Park from 6.30am. This year’s theme for Australia Day is International Year of the Family Farmer.

Not only will you get to enjoy a hearty breakfast, there will also be live music by local band Top Secret and Australian folk group The Beggars. A car display by the Swan Hill Vintage and Classic Vehicle Club and a display from the Swan Hill Genealogical and Historical Society will also be onsite.

Speaking at the 2014 celebrations will be Australia Day Ambassador Shane Hills, founder of Melbourne-based chocolate salon Koko Black. Shane will also provide the Australia Day address at the Lake Boga lunch.

The morning will also include the presentation of the Local Government Awards and school achievement medals.

Australia Day celebrations will be held across the municipality – at Lake Boga, Manangatang, Beverford, Nyah West, Ultima and Robinvale.

Black Bess

The Pioneer Settlement got an early Christmas present with the return of Black Bess in December.

Black Bess is a 1920 Z7 Class ploughing engine and had been undergoing restoration work for the past five years. Black Bess is now in pristine working condition.

I’d like to congratulate and thank everyone involved in bringing the iconic Black Bess back to life – it is terrific to have this rare and unique engine back at the Pioneer Settlement.

Lake Boga walking path official opening

Just before Christmas, it was an honour to be invited to the Lake Boga Christmas Party, which also coincided with the opening of the lake’s new walking path.

Officially opened by Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh, the walking trail is already being well utilised by the community, which is great to see.

I’d like to thank Minister Walsh for taking time out from his busy schedule to officially open this fantastic community asset, as well as Lake Boga Inc for organising the event.