The sun shone and
the winds abated for a beautiful Australia Day ceremony in Rotary Park, Merimbula.
Bega Valley Shire Citizen of the Year and Merimbula's Australia Day Ambassador, Ryan Campbell, spoke of his love of the area and of the Sapphire Coast spirit which had helped him get his dream of flying solo around the world, off the ground. He particularly thanked the Frogs Hollow Flying Club.
In the local youth address, Tom Baker, of Lumen Christi Catholic College spoke eloquently of the need to recognise that Australia Day was not a cause for celebration for everyone and that we need to ensure that the Aboriginal people share fully in the benefits that this country has to offer.
There was music from the Sapphire Coast Concert Band, 720 eggs cracked and cooked by the Merimbula Rotary Club team who ran the breakfast barbecue and plenty of lamingtons handed out.
Greg Whitby was named the recipient of the Community Service Award for his involvement in many fundraising and local community events.
The Australian flag was run up the gum tree by the 1st Merimbula Scouts and bush poetry from Karl Auer, accompanied by timely laughter from the local kookaburras. It was all the perfect start to Australia Day.