Wayne Reiser has stepped down as President of the Canungra Sports and Recreation Grounds Committee after 35 years at the helm.
The organisation runs and maintains the area colloquially known as Canungra Showground on Coburg Road and was established in 1918.
“It may have been 35 years ago that I started, but it seems like only yesterday,” he said.
It’s been something of a roller coaster ride, but Wayne is leaving at the very top of the ride with this greatly enhanced community facility in absolutely top shape.
Casting his mind back to 1998 when he first became President, he recalls that he and his fellow committee members were faced with a daunting task.
“The grounds were not in the best order, we had no money and we had no plan for the future,” he says.“
We could barely afford a lightbulb. In fact, it was so dire that our treasurer, Bob Murphy, used to take the light bulbs out for fear of them being stolen, as we couldn’t afford to replace them.”
“It was at this point that we began to run some fundraisers, with the most successful being the Six Pick which was a lotto style/bingo type game. They ran weekly at the hotel and were highly successful in bringing in much needed funds -more than $100,000 over ten years.”
“We ended up going from a situation where volunteers would turn up with their own push mowers and Bob Murphy’s cows to keep the grass down, to having a caretaker and ride on mowers.”
“And with the community in mind, the profits we made were shared with various other clubs and committees.”
“Over the years, our community-focussed approach has funded the installation of a new cold room at the School of Arts Hall, a defibrillator for Canungra Ambulance Station, a new truck for the firies, and computers for the school.”
Following the great success of the Six Pick, other successful fundraisers for the committee followed, including the running of the canteen for the Show and Rodeo for several years.
“Now the fees from the campers and the caravans keep us ticking along,” says Wayne.
“The grey nomads keep coming by the thousands -year in and year out -with no sign of things slowing up any time soon.”
Many groups and events have utlilised the grounds in the past 35 years, clearly demonstrating their importance for the Canungra community.