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An enormous donation of mostly new craft supplies made to the Russell Island Community Arts (RICArts) group led to a tremendously successful event and was a major bonus to the local arts community. Jan Nottingham, a Russell Island resident donated the huge volume of supplies to RICArts in a kind and generous gesture to the whole arts community.  Jan was keen to see them used by as many local people as possible and knew that through RICArts was the best way to make this happen.  The sheer volume of the supplies was more than RICArts could ever use so it was decided that most of them would be offered for sale to the community at a fraction of the cost. This resulted in a craft rummage sale that was held in early March at The Farm, Arthouse & Gallery, Russell Island. The event, which boasted around $20k of items for sale at ridiculously affordable prices, attracted loads of enthusiastic buyers. The curious crafters were handed a recycled shopping bag upon entry and let loose in a room full of beautiful papers, stamps and pads, inks and paints, embellishments and books and a plethora of other delightful surprises for the keen crafter. There were smiles all round and many returned to fill more bags. The sale lasted for two days, allowing ample time for community members to browse through the available products and make their purchases. One of the primary factors contributing to the success of the sale was the careful planning and organisation by the dedicated team of volunteers at RICArts who promoted, set up, and held the event.  Their efforts paid off, as the sale attracted a diverse range of customers from art enthusiasts, home crafters, to teachers and parents looking to stock up on supplies for their creative projects. RICArts are grateful to everyone who supported the event and contributed to its success.  The Farm, Arthouse & Gallery is open every weekday morning from 9.30am to 12.30pm with pottery, art, ukulele, creative writing, craft, sewing & mosaics sessions on offer.  


A social dance has been organised DATE: JUNE 1 2024. VENUE: RUSSELL ISLAND RECREATION HALL. TIME: 7.00PM TO 9.30PM. PRICE: ADULTS: $7.50, FAMILY: 2 ADULTS AND ALL CHILDREN UNDER 12 $15 A non alcohol dance event has been organised for the above date. No dance experience is required as all dances will be demonstrated on the night, but you are required to bring a sense of humour and the ability to have fun.  A section of children focused dances will occur as well as many of the old favourite adult dances from years gone by. Supper including tea and coffee will be provided, which is included in the admission price. Soft drinks will be sold on the night.  Look forward to seeing you there for a fun night  


A number of readers have contacted us re parking in and around the Russell Island Shopping Centre. It seems with population growth and lots of working going on in Cambridge Street, there is sometimes hardly a parking space to be had. Then progress down the street towards the jetty, and you will find every nook and cranny occupied by cars owned by workers and islanders commuting daily and casually to the mainland. Last year we kept a tally on the count on all the cars parked within 250 metres of the ferry jetty. the number then was around 430. cars. A recent count has been averaging at 490 cars. Redland City Council’s new car park houses just 120 cars. All the other car park areas are adhoc and somewhat of a mess. Work is soon to start on the Island Secure Parking complex in Fernbrook Road, which will help the situation. However, it seems car parking on Russell will continue to be an on-going problem.


The CBD area of Russell Island is still toiletless, with no reprieve in sight. We pointed out on many occasions to the ludicrous situation of no toilet facilities for the public at the Russell Island Shopping Centre. All that are available are the new toilets at the entrance to the new ferry terminal. Cr Edwards sought advice to see if the toilets at the Recreation Hall could be re-opened, but was advised that the pits for these toilets are now being used by the new toilets at the jetty. Our reasoning was that the old toilets could be recommissioned as the impact on the septic trenches would not change. Having two toilet blocks connected to the same system would not mean a doubling of use. We believe that would be unchanged because patrons would use one or the other facility; not both, and they would not have to trek so far!


Junior teams for the 2024 are taking shape with our Under 13`s Canaipa BullSharks now playing for points for the first time. Lost the first game so coach Oggen has a bit to work on. Our Under 10`s Curlews are all ready to go, and first game set for Saturday 20th April, keep an eye out if it`s a home game, we are looking for a pre-season game over the holidays. Our under 8`s Turtles are building on Tuesdays from 4pm to 5.30pm. Hopefully will have a coach or 2 to continue Saturdays once our season starts. Like us on our Facebook page & keep up dated : bayislandsunitedfc


If you want to get the very latest in population figures for just about anywhere in Australia, the last place to look is the Australian Census figures. That is because they are so out of date. The last Census was in 2021. That was at the very start of the pandemic, and since then, regional and particularly our island population numbers have changed dramatically. The pandemic caused people everywhere to reassess their lives, resulting in a mega migration from the cities to the country. Text 2021 census states the population on Russell Island back then was 3698 people with the average occupancy per household at 1.9 persons. So what might it be now. Well, The Friendly Bay Islander believes the Russell Island population now exceeds 5000. At any given time on Russell Island there are more than 100 homes under construction. Our delivery circulation has increased dramatically, particularly in comparison to Macleay Island. There is a formula for readership and that indicates that the Russell population now close to 5200. The next Australian census is scheduled for 2026.


We are amazed that interested parties have not yet ‘snapped up’ the Russell Island Post Office. More than any other sector it is changing dramatically. Apparently the new additions and changes for what was once a stilted business, it has become revolutionary in many ways. New services are being introduced all the time, and according to Russell Island Postmaster Anthony Gleeson, there are a whole gamut of new changes coming that will see a huge change in the future for the island Post Office. “It is something we would like any new owners to make on,” Anthony said. We think it might suit a new island family who may wish to live and have a successful business on their new island home!


The Bay Islands Chamber of Commerce seems to be heading in some more positive directions under new president Daniel Golin, Dan has contributed significantly to the island since moving here a few short years ago, bring with him his unique Termigold business as well as his construction prowess. He has already completed his Island Storage complex with great success, and now he is about to start work on the new motel he has had approved for construction, adjacent to the storage development. He has brought some fresh ideas to the table and has made the Chamber more relevant, it would seem. 


There will will be plenty happening at our island clubs in the lead up to ANZAC Day, the biggest day of the year for the RSL Sub Branch and Club. There have been some really successful events of late including the Turkish Night, the Leap Year Ball and the Big Car Club event.. There is definitely some imagination going on at the RSL Club at the present time


The private car parking station planned for Russell Island has finally been approved by Redland City Council, and work is about to start. It is to be called Island Secure Parking and will play a pivotal role on an island where car parking near the new island jetty is paramount. Redland City Council’s three-stage car park only provides car parking for approximately 130 motor vehicles. At any given time on Russell Island there are just under 500 cars that park in the streets close to the island jetty. which means there will still be a huge shortfall in parking spots. Island Secure Parking is located at 2 Fernbrook Ave, at the top of Alison Crescent, via a direct entry to the site from Alison Crescent.  Island Secure Parking will be fully fenced by high secure fencing. There are 27 spaces only and the entire site will be monitored by 24 hour security cameras. Entry will be gained via security gates at the top of Alison Crescent providing automatic entry for members only. To EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST please phone 0400004373 or email islandsecureparking@gmail



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