In the true yuletide spirit of giving, Cobram Barooga seniors facing the prospect of a Christmas Day alone are invited to attend a free community lunch.RIAHN SMITH December 24, 2013 4:30am
Christmas company: Bev Anderson and Wendy Brewster are encouraging all seniors who may be without family or friends this Christmas to enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch with the Cobram Barooga community.
No-one should be alone at Christmas.
That’s the philosophy behind Doug’s Christmas Party — a free community lunch for seniors who will be without family or friends on Christmas Day.
The event was developed by the late Doug McCarthy and his wife Rose, who hosted people at their home.
When the gatherings grew to beyond their capacity, they moved the festivities to a room at Cobram Community House with the help of then community services co-ordinator Bev Anderson, before upgrading again to Cobram Bowling Club.
Committee secretary Rosemary Blower said the lunch created a sense of community cohesion.
‘‘Nobody likes the idea of being alone at Christmas,’’ Ms Blower said.
‘‘This way, they get a very good meal .
The event caters for more than 100 guests each year and relies on donations of goods and cash from community-minded residents and volunteers who offer their time for the greater good.
For the past few years, Wendy Brewster has used her culinary skills to provide diners with traditional Christmas puddings.
‘‘We’d like to thank the businesses and individuals who’ve made donations,’’ Ms Blower said.
‘‘This year, we haven’t had to request so much because of the generosity of previous years.
‘‘We really appreciate the work that the hospital do, their staff give their time free and prepare and cook the meals for us.’’
Ms Blower, who has been involved with the lunch for more than a decade, said it was a great way to showcase the true Christmas spirit.
‘‘I didn’t like the commercialism of Christmas,’’ she said.
‘‘I wanted to do something for my new community when we first moved over here (11 years ago) — and we’ve done it every year since.’’
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