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Did you get yourself along to the very first Light Up My Island Lantern event? If you didn’t you sure missed a treat. It was cold and it was windy, but the Lanterns and the families and the children who turned up had the surprise and delight of their lives. It was just wonderful. To see the parade of hand-made lanterns in the parade and in the dark standing out brilliantly, was just spectacular. Even more brilliant were the smiles on the faces of all the children and their families’ was even better. The parade of shining lanterns in all shapes and sizes completely surrounded the Russell Island tennis courts at the lovely The Farm grounds. When all the lanterns were hung from the largest tree in the park, the site was just brilliant. There were plenty of other attractions too, and the huge bonfire on a cold and windy night was just a perfect way to end a surprising island event. Congratulations to BIMSARA and the organisers. If you missed it this year, makes sure you attend in 2022. We can’t wait!


All the effort to get there is almost over! Our Mara Stransky is finally on her way to Tokyo and the Olympic Games and we sure hope she rises to the occasion and performs to her best. Whether that sees her earn a medal, we don’t know, but we sure reckon she has tons of potential and has a great chance. Mara is one of the youngest Australian representatives in the Olympic team. We also know she was one tough cookie who has lived sailing her whole life. We are terribly proud of her being our islands’ first ever Olympic representative. To all the islanders who did so much to help Mara get to the Games, we thank you all. The islands certainly did your bit and we will be all watching ‘Our Girl’ with baited breath.


Islanders will have noticed concrete teams on Russell Island putting down footpaths along a big stretch of Canaipa Point Road. It was part of last year’s budget and, even though it was not finished by the end of the financial year, it rolls over into the next financial year. Other roads to receive the footpaths are High Street opposite the Russell Island State School. Robert Street that leads to the Resilience Centre, is also going to receive the paving works. Good to see happening with a new 2021-22 budget featuring in this edition of your Friendly Bay Islander.


The new Budget is featured in this edition of The Friendly Bay Islander. With funding for island roads almost being doubled by Redland City Council, it means the importance of fully sealed roads is now a priority with Redland City Council, finally! We know the real reason why council is now on the front foot with island funding in this area, and it has to do with our island councillor, Mark Edwards. What a feat advocate he has been for our islands. He has been the ‘architect’ of the road building program as well as ensuring that funding has become a priority.


If you are a female solo vocalist and love 40s, 50s and 60s music then the Island Voices would love you to join their group and participate in a proposed Singalong daytime show. If you would like to join the group, you can get into touch with Phil Goldfinch by emailing: or by phoning 0431 861 857.


There are some great events coming up at our island clubs. The Russell Island RSL Sub Branch is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a formal dinner/dance on Saturday, July 10 at the club. Also coming up is a Blues Brothers Music and Dress Up for Saturday, July 31. The Russell Island Bowls Club has a big Casino night to be held on Saturday the 31st July along with a Music and Magic night at the same time.


If you are a returned service person and have not made contact with the Russell Island RSL Sub Branch, then they island organisation would like to hear from you. It is believed there are quite a number of former armed forced ex men and women who live on Russell Island, who have not yet got in contact with their RSL Sub Branch. There are many levels assistance now available to ex service personnel and they are asked to make contact with the sub branch by visiting the Russell Island RSL Club and leaving their information.


Not so long ago there were houses aplenty to rent on Russell Island. Not so today. The surge that is encouraging Australians to seek a SeaChange is having an impact here, too. Overheard a couple of gentlemen having a discussion at the jetty. They were bemoaning the rise in rents on the island. “You can’t get a place under $300 a week,” one of them said. They actually happen to be correct. We checked with Russell Island Real Estate and they told us there has been a huge demand in recent months and there is hardly a home left to be rented on the island. Supply and demand, or lack of it, usually leads to a rise on prices., hence the $300 figure mentioned. It also means that all island property prices are on the rise! Believe it or not, that is good for a number of reasons. It has always been a mystery to us why island land just an hour from the centre of a capital city and a similar distance from Australia’s most prominent Playground, has so long been underpriced!


There are some major changes coming to the Russell Island Shopping Centre in the near future. A new restaurant is going into the area previously occupied by the Chinese Restaurant. We know the new tenants are very reliable and that islanders will be able to enjoy some new taste sensations. You will see some alterations being undertaken at the present time. We will keep you posted on a starting date for the new food premises.


The deli area at the Supa IGA has some really clever meals to select from, whether it is for an immediate bite to eat, or to take home. As well as some cooked delights, there are also a great range of salads, and the wraps they have are some of the best we have ever encountered. Next to the Deli section the girls actually bake a range of tarts and biscuits every day! Check it out next time you are in the island Supa IGA.