Message from the Mayor: 28 April 2023

Published on 28 April 2023

Hello, I'm John Connors, mayor at the Dungog Shire, bringing you this week's mayoral message.  

This week, of course, saw Anzac Day celebrated right across the shire with dawn services in Paterson, Clarence Town, and of course Dungog. Services, I'm told, were all very well attended, at Dungog there were about 250 at the dawn service. Then the main services later in the day were held at East Gresford and Dungog, and again, they were very well attended, in the order of 350 or more at the at the Dungog service.  

I was fortunate enough to be invited to present the occasional address at the dawn service and the main service at Dungog and that was a great privilege and I thank the league for that invitation. The league makes a plea in Dungog and I'm sure everywhere, for younger participation to ensure that Anzac Day continues to be celebrated throughout the shire. Most of those that are currently actively involved are all, at best, Vietnam veterans. So they're all 70 or thereabouts, so there's a need for there to be young blood. So I ask for anybody throughout the shire, who has served or has been in the services, to please make contact with their local league branch through the RSL Club or if necessary, through Dungog RSL Club, who will direct you to the league representatives in the other various towns. 

For the first time, I'm recording this today at the revamped Dungog Library. The library isn't yet open to the public but yesterday afternoon, the Councillors were shown through the library and shown the facilities that it now offers for the community. The library will open on Monday 1 May, and Wi-Fi, borrowing facilities, and the like will all be available. The librarians do however, see that there be some tolerance from the community in the first few weeks because there's bound to teething problems as there are with any new installation and I'm sure this will be no different. But I'm equally sure that all of you who come to use the library will be thoroughly impressed with the facilities it now offers.  

This coming week, the 5, 6, and 7 May sees the Tocal Field Days. Tocal Field Days is in very close association with the Dungog Shire a large part of the Tocal land holding is in the Dungog Shire, whilst the college itself is within Maitland. And as many of you recall the very first Tocal Field Day was held at the Dungog Showground. So, with that close association I encourage you to visit Tocal on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5, 6, and 7. The entertainment on Saturday night I'm told is booked out, which is great news for the organisers. I was also told that exhibition sites were fully booked some time ago and that there was a waiting list. So if you attend you can expect there to be a full complement of exhibitors and this year I'm told there will be some high-tech exhibitors with some innovative agricultural ideas and technology.  

The James Theatre has a film on Sunday at 5pm called A Good Person. I encourage people throughout the shire to utilise the facilities and the James Theatre to attend the movies, to ensure that the movies continue to operate. I’m told there'll be a short period without movies during the month of May. But then they’ll return from strength to strength. So, please put in your diary and remember that there will be films at the James Theatre. And the theatre, of course, is available for all sorts of other uses, for weddings, funerals, it's had both of those in not-too-distant past, musical events of all types. It's had serious music to less serious musical events. As I record this, there’s shortly to be a guitar duet at the theatre. It's unlimited the uses to which it can be booked. It’s got a large flat area, apart from the tiered seating. The screen can be raised and moved out of the way that can accommodate close to 300 people in its maximum capacity. Then of course it's got the outdoor area which is available as well.  

So, I think with those few comments, the week coming up with its activities. I think goodbye and good luck until next Friday. 


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