LIGHT rain affected the attendance at the annual Australia Day breakfast on Sunday morning at Beachport’s Centennial Park.
Nevertheless, there were still significant numbers of residents and visitors among the 550 in attendance.
Amidst the grey skies and staged in association with Wattle Range Council, the Lions Club of Beachport and Rivoli Bay served up a hearty and hot breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, tomatoes, bread, baked beans, onions and sausages.
No charge was made for it but donations were accepted for bushfire relief efforts.
As well as celebrating Australia’s national day, many turned out to congratulate two local citizens who had been recognised by council.
The Kintore Ward recipient of the 2020 Australia Day citizen of the year award was Beachport community worker and Vietnam War veteran Bob Wakelin and the young citizen of the year was Rendelsham student and army cadet Brandon Kimber.
Their awards were officially presented by ward councillors Peter Dunnicliff and Dr Kevin McGrath.
Cr McGrath explained the Vietnam War service of Mr Wakelin as well as his contribution to Beachport as the honorary caretaker of a parking bay on the nearby Southern Ports Highway and his membership of the Beachport Hotel Social Club
Cr Dunnicliff pointed out Mr Kimber had achieved much in his six years as an army cadet.
He said Mr Kimber’s late grandfather had served in the same army unit as Mr Wakelin during the Vietnam War.
Mr Wakelin spoke briefly after receiving his award while Mr Kimber described the benefits of his time with the army cadets.
“I was very honoured and surprised when I found out I was going to receive the Australia Day award,” Mr Kimber said.
“I would like to thank my family for supporting me with what every I choose to do and transporting me to and from cadets, to Adelaide for cadet selection processes and for the defence force interviews.
“For the last three years I have been lucky enough to command the Anzac Day catafalque parties in Millicent.
“I have also had the honour of leading Remembrance Day ceremonies at my school for the past few years.
“I look forward to joining the Defence Force this year to be able to give back to the community when, where and how it may be needed.”
Former Lions Club member Frank Boylan, now of Adelaide, was the master of ceremonies for the formal part of the function which included the ceremonial raising of the flag and the singing of the Australian National Anthem.
Mr Boylan spoke of the need for bushfire relief donations and commended taking part in on-the-ground rebuilding work on farms on Kangaroo Island.
Beachport and Rivoli Bay Lions Club catering manager Ian Lister thanked his members and their partners for providing the breakfast and Wattle Range Council for the sponsorship.
He said around 35 helpers were involved in the catering and staging of the yearly function.
“It is something we do as Lions and we get some financial assistance from the council,” Mr Lister said.
“We can cater for up to 700 but the weather kept a few away.”
After the formalities, there was a fun game of trying to lob rubber lobsters into a pot.
Community breakfasts in the Wattle Range Council area were also staged on Sunday morning at Penola, Millicent and Kalangadoo while an informal lunchtime barbecue and games were held at Tantanoola.
The Southend Progress Association staged an afternoon beach picnic to mark Australia Day.