Mayor's Christmas message

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 20-Dec-2017

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Mayor Margaret O'Rourke.
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Merry Christmas everyone.

We’re at the end of another year and hopefully this column finds you well on your way to completing your Christmas to-do list. Perhaps you’re super organised and all done, lucky you.

Last Sunday I attended Carols by Candlelight in Rosalind Park and I also went to the Canterbury Park celebrations in Eaglehawk earlier this month.

There were so many people at both events; it was beautiful to see families and groups of friends celebrating the season together. 

I’m pleased to report that my travels across the municipality have confirmed the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Greater Bendigo.

I know we will never escape the commercial element of Christmas, the advertising we’re bombarded with at this time of year is testament to that, but from talking to various people it seems like the focus is more and more on goodwill towards each other. 

People are being more thoughtful with their gift giving, including making things or making donations on behalf of loved ones, and opening their hearts and homes to those who don’t have anywhere to go. 

In our family, this year the focus is on coming together. We’re scattered across the country, so everyone is making a big effort to travel to Bendigo. 

It will be the first time in six years that we’re under the one roof on Christmas Day. 

We lost a loved one in our family this year and I am sure many families will have experienced that sadness, and will find this first Christmas without them particularly hard. 

Whenever I put the Christmas tree away each year I wonder where our family will be when it’s time to put it up again. What will we have experienced? What will have challenged us and what will have brought us great joy? Who will be with us and who won’t be?

In this fast-paced world we live in, take a moment to reflect. 

Be patient with each other on the roads, in car parks, at the supermarket, in the shops. It can be a stressful time of year. 

Taking the time to wish someone a Merry Christmas can be a welcome relief from the rush. 

Whatever your beliefs, be they religious, spiritual or otherwise, I hope you have a safe festive season and may 2018 bring you good health, new opportunities and great happiness. 

By Margaret O’Rourke

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor

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