XMAS FESTIVAL - WHAT A HIT Wasn’t the BIMSARA Christmas Festival Carols and Markets at Jock Kennedy Farm a huge success. We know the BIMSARA group experienced a few small hiccups, but it was only to be expected as it was a first time event. For everyone who attended, and about 1000 islanders turned up throughout the later afternoon and evening, they certainly didn’t notice. It was great to see so many islanders get involved with the entertainment, particularly the children. Little Lilah Grant, who was on the front cover of the December edition of The Friendly Bay Islander, was also a hit. She sang a Shirley Temple song and a duo with her mother, Elissa, and they surprised and delighted many. There was great music into the evening with Mama Ju Ju and the Jam Tarts, and Corrie of Corioke fame did a splendid job keeping the evening rolling along. She can certainly belt out a mean song! Anyway, congratulations to all for a job well done. BIMSARA are in it for the long haul and watch for some big things in 2022 with their wonderful Lantern Festival and next year’s Christmas Festival. Maybe the Billy Kart Derby will make a comeback too!! RAPID WATERFRONT CHANGES Things are definitely hotting up on the Russell Island waterfront. Islanders have been surprised at the speed of change. A new walkway out to the boarding platform was fabricated and put in place very quickly, to make way for the new onshore work to be carried out to the new jetty and floating platforms. They are already constructed and are at Thornlands where works on the upper deck area is being carried out. The good news is that the mosaic that was a feature of the old jetty, has been preserved and ready for re-installation at the entrance to the new jetty. The mosaic mural was the brainchild of island resident Diane Little, who sadly passed away all too soon several years ago. The excellent work was carried out by the Russell Island Community Arts Group. The new floating platforms are expected to be floated into position later this year for a near ‘plug in’ connection. MAXIMUS GETS A PERMANENT HOME Remember the story we did about Maximus the dog a few months ago. He was found by Russell Island residents Peter Beard and his partner Nichola. The Staffi was clearly lost and he got their attention by scratching on their back door! Anyway, Peter and Nichola did everything they could to track down the owners, with now success. In the meantime, they named him Maximus and it didn’t take long for him to become one of the family. So much so, that they have decided to keep him with Nichola taking Maximus for daily walks and he is decidedly happy that he scratched on their door way back in July. A happy ending for a much happier dog! BOB’S CAMPAIGN FOR DIFFERENCE When he gets a bee in his bonnet, Russell Island imaginative artist and builder of things, Bob Turner, is a hard man to stop. Bob is adamant that prime water side land should not be ‘wasted’ on car parking. He believes the best water views should be for the community and not their cars. That’s why he is passionate about good foreshore design that is definitely imaginative. He also reckons that designers who are not very aware of the needs and desires of our island communities, sometimes miss the bus. He reckons that the Macleay Island foreshore car park was a bit of a ‘wasted opportunity’. He believes more advantage could have been made of the foreshore for community use and enjoyment. A feature story in this edition explains his ideas more fully and they are definitely worth considering. NEW CAFE POPULAR AT SHOPPING CENTRE The new cafe at the Russell Island Shopping Centre seems to have fulfilled a ‘need’ on Russell Island. It is very busy every time we pass by there, and we have called in for a cup of coffee of two. We just wonder how the shopping centre survived for all those years without a good cup of coffee close at hand. Now we know!! RUSSELL BUS 20TH ANNIVERSARY Great to see the Blue Bus couple Sandra and Geoff Jacob reach a significant milestone. The Russell Island school bus was the ‘first’ of their investment in the bus industry. Back then they lived on the island and, only after some significant family changes, they were required to move to the mainland. The went from strength to strength over the years until a pandemic called Coronavirus knocked on the door. The bus industry was hurt more that most, but fortunately, the school bus side of the business ‘saved their bacon’. Great to see the milestone and the couple getting back some of the business they lost. NEW PRECINCT GAINS INTEREST The idea for a new commercial precinct on Russell Island has gained some traction. We ran a page in our December edition to attract expressions of interest in the project. And the good news is, there is considerable interest. Interest has come from relative newcomers to the island, and we are sure there will be more of them in the coming months. If you might be interested in establishing a business in the coming months, check out the page in this edition of your Friendly Bay Islander and contact us here at the magazine and we will pass your interest on to the developer (see page 69) THURSDAY SHOPPING MARKETS ON RUSSELL? Someone suggested that Thursday night shopping markets might be a good idea on our islands. The idea is being mooted to be held at the Russell Island Rec Hall. Whether the concept gains any attraction we are not sure, but it sounds a pretty good idea in theory on our ever-changing island.