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Dear ABC Friends
As you know, the ABC is under attack as never before.
Funding has been cut by $500 million (which includes the loss of the Australia Network contract). The cuts will increasingly affect the ABC’s ability to fullfil its charter over the next 4 years unless we can stop them. [click to continue…]

Waiting to start

Waiting to start – click pic to enlarge

Well another Winter Magic is now history. Mother Nature well and truly smiled turning on beautiful sunshine in a deep blue sky after the many days of rain, drizzle and mist. While the damp and misty weather is such a beautiful part of the mountains it is not at all what a huge festival needs: but yes, although sunny it was a tad cool…

Once again the parade was a magnificent display of many different groups, including fabulous bands, wonderful dancers, people in amazing costumes, many different environmental groups and so much more. Both parade and festival were a huge success.

In the thick of it

Entertaining the crowd with ABC themes – click pic to enlarge

ABC Friends Blue Mountains was again well represented with about 20 people, including a few from ABC Friends Sydney as well as some family of members. We were extremely lucky to have with us the wonderfully costumed Madeline and Justin Boerst, the grandchildren of Barry and Bev. They were fantastic and a big thank you to them for giving up their Saturday to be part of the ‘oldies’ of the ABC Friends Blue Mountains group. This added a wonderful extra dimension and also highlighted that the ABC and ABC friends can include all ages.

In the thick of it

In the thick of it – click pic to enlarge

We had great support from sections of the crowd as well as the group in front of us, with clapping, singing and dancing along to the ABC theme music, particularly Bananas in Pyjamas, Bob the Builder, Miss Fisher and New Tricks as they belted out from our ‘boom box’ being pushed up the hills by the Webmaster. Initially it was feared we could be drowned out when we heard other parade participants warming up practicing their fabulous music but this was not the case at all. The parade organiser had managed to separate ‘the noisy ones’ really well.

Ron Fuller’s ‘static stall’ depicting an unused, dying ABC studio was brilliant, but very sad. According to Margaret Foy, who helped ‘man’ the stall, it was a great success, drawing much interest. This provided Ron, Margaret and Phil the opportunity to share information on what is sadly the continuing decimation of our ABC.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the organising and to all who participated in any way. Thanks also to those who had planned on coming but due to unforeseen circumstances were unable to attend. (Next year, hopefully).

We’re looking forward to next year’s Winter Magic Parade and all its sparkle, pizazz and magic.

Photos
Go to the Gallery for a selection of photos of ABC Friends and also general pictures of the parade and festival.

 

Finally getting underway after about an hour’s delay due a medical emergency in the main street

Our branch was represented in the parade this year by a very small but enthusiastic group of members including the NSW president, Mal Hewitt and branch president, Barry Redshaw, waving banners and handing out membership flyers and bumper stickers which were snapped up – we could have handed out more had we been carrying extra!

Crowd support was encouraging

Our new, powerful PA pounded out a collection of catchy themes from popular ABC television shows. The tunes were obviously fondly recognised by many spectators along the route as young, old and teenagers responded by dancing and singing along to the music.

Extraordinarily, a number of members were asked what was happening to the ABC by people from the crowd who had no idea about the funding cuts, staff redundancies and other damaging changes.

Click on the photos to see a larger image and check out the Gallery for more photos.

Spelling out in some detail the impact of the cuts to ABC broadcasting in our region and throughout Asia.

Link to full text here:

Our End of year celebration was great fun and enjoyed by everyone.

It has been a truly awful year for our ABC, ABC staff, ABC supporters, viewers and listeners and it will continue to travel down hill in the years to come.  Blue Mountains members have put in a lot of effort putting ‘bodies on the ground’, so to speak to protest the blatant destruction of our national broadcaster by the current government and the ABC management, so it was good to relax at our end of year celebration. That being said we are all appalled and very sad for the ABC staff who have already lost their jobs and those who are still to lose theirs. This government promised one million jobs in five years and unless I’m missing something all I see and hear are more and more job losses.

We must maintain the rage and continue to fight but we also need to focus on making sure Labor commits to fully re-funding the ABC should they get into power at the next election.

View end-of-year celebration pictures here

FABCdinner-66Year’s end is here, so raise your glass,
to the year that’s been and now nearly past.
Tis time to relax, tis time to smile,
tis time to sip and drink awhile,
or simply lie still and reflect on life,
Whilst recharging your batteries for the coming year of strife.

 

Libby Blackburn