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Surveys were sent to 43 email addresses on 13th November 2018 due for completion by 30th November 2018. I received 35 replies, one who declined to participate, two who won't be attending any more reunions and five who did not respond despite a friendly reminder. Consensus results are:-
1. Future reunions to continue at Sawtell Beach Holiday Park (94% in favour).
2. Continuation with October date subject to further review (90% in favour of which 30% were flexible for early March).
3. Downsize 2019 reunion as per Program. (overwhelming response. Only 12% against).
4. Social gatherings to continue between reunions at Sawtell with no structured organisation. (Overwhelming response. Only two responses would like it held elsewhere).
5. Cruise notices to be sent only to interested folk. (Duly noted).
6. Organisational duties to continue as per previous reunions. Volunteer helpers as required. (100% positive result).
(a). Initial registration fee of $20pp to cover out-of-pocket expenses, administration fees, special guests and costs for website has been waived for the 2019 reunion due to sufficient funds held in kitty. No auctions or raffles. Donation bucket eliminated for 2019 reunion.
(b). Hall skit eliminated. Could have a pizza and singalong night in old Camp Kitchen. September 2018 social gathering found that noise reflection in new Camp Kitchen was a problem for us and other Park attendees. Free breakfast eliminated - can bring own breakfast (gas cooking) any morning to old Camp Kitchen. Dinners at RSL, Bowling Club or Fishtales at groups discretion.
(c). State of Origin. Only Trivia and Croquet teams to challenge for the trophy. Bowls, tennis, miscellaneous games and other activities continue as per personal choice. No more new shirts, caps, badges, patches etc.
(d). Those with caravans and mobile homes may like to organise an additional gathering at another time and accept the kind invitation from Rod & Pam Elkington to attend Standown Caravan Park. They are currently working on an idea of setting up glamping tents and have been wonderful benefactors of our Sawtell reunions. Please support Rod and Pam.
(e). I have issued invitations to special guests to attend our Memorial Service and stay for the RSL breakfast on the basis that attendance will be at their cost except for the breakfast. I expect most of them to decline.
(f). A number mentioned they may not attend reunions if the date was moved to April/May and the venue moved from Sawtell. Almost 95% said that Sawtell would be hard to beat for lots of reasons. Numbers will inevitably decrease due to other commitments and health issues as the years roll by.
(g). There was a very good response knowing that the social gatherings in between reunions at Sawtell was an option to consider - strictly with no structured organisations.
(h). A few responses suggested moving the venue up and down the Eastern Seaboard including Townsville etc. They also suggested moving the venue every two years to support small bush towns in Qld and NSW.
(i). Interestingly, I noted the responses regarding downsizing included those who do the heavy lifting at every reunion. These people feel they just want to attend without the fuss and stress and enjoy the laid back atmosphere like everyone else. They said although past reunions were fantastic they agreed such reunions have had their day. Age and health matters are becoming an issue.
Thank you to everybody for taking the time to map out the future of reunions in an effort to please the majority. Obviously in situations like this we can't please everyone.
Richard Barry.
1st December 2018.