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Relay For Life Launched With Laughs

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South Burnett Relay for Life president Rowena Dionysius, 2018 Face of Relay Sue Cox and 2017 Face of Relay John Bjelke-Petersen at the Mayor’s Breakfast in Wondai

Guest speaker William McInnes was presented with a hamper of South Burnett goodies by Mayor Keith Campbell; William also went home with a special purple Relay For Life cricket ball

May 4, 2018

It’s toss up what the highlight of Thursday morning’s Mayor’s Breakfast was … an hilarious description about emu mating or the exciting news that rugby great Mark Ella will be coming to the South Burnett.

The fifth annual Mayor’s Breakfast, which was held at the Wondai RSL Club, hosted the launch of the yearly South Burnett Relay For Life, a fundraising campaign for the Cancer Council of Queensland.

Guest speaker William McInnes regaled the almost 90 diners with a string of amusing anecdotes, including an R-rated tale particularly appropriate for a town which hosts an emu statue (see YouTube video, below).

The well-known actor is also the author of 10 books, including “Worse Things Happen At Sea”, co-written with his late wife Sarah, which won the 2012 Indie Non-Fiction Book of the Year award.

Sarah – an award-winning film director in her right – died from breast cancer in 2011 which made William a particularly appropriate guest for the 2018 Relay For Life launch.

* * *

2017 Face of Relay John Bjelke-Petersen sashed the 2018 “Face”, Nanango nurse Sue Cox, at the breakfast.

Sue is currently the acting McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse for the South Burnett, following the farewell of long-serving nurse Roslyn Melmeth in March.

Sue is also a cancer survivor. She was treated for lymphoma in 1977 and has survived two bouts with breast cancer, the latest in 2010.

She said that being a cancer survivor helped when she was talking to people who had been recently diagnosed.

* * *

Mark Ella has been described as Australia’s greatest rugby union player (Photo: Twitter)

Another highlight of the Mayor’s Breakfast was the announcement by Relay For Life patron Carl Rackemann about the three special guests for this year’s Captains’ Dinner – a major fundraiser for the South Burnett Relay.

The three guests are:

  • Mark Ella, AM – The Australian rugby union great played a total of 25 Tests, 10 as captain. On the 1984 Wallabies’ Grand Slam tour of the UK and Ireland, Ella scored a try in every Test.
  • Ian Healy – The former Aussie wicket-keeper played in 119 Tests and finished his Test career with a highest score of 161 not out, 366 catches and  29 stumpings. He also captained Australia in eight One Day Internationals.
  • Lisa Forrest – At the age of 16, Forrest was selected as captain of the Australian swimming team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. She was also a Commonwealth Games dual gold medallist in the 100m and 200m backstroke at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982.

The Captains’ Dinner will be held at Kingaroy Town Hall on July 28, and will be sponsored this year by the Kingaroy Telstra Store.

* * *

South Burnett Relay For Life president Rowena Dionysius said online registrations were now open for the 2018 Relay.

She said she was hoping to get registrations from 40 teams and raise more than $100,000.

“Last year we raised $145,000,” she said.

The South Burnett Relay For Life will start at 3:00pm on October 13 at Kingaroy Showground, and will include the traditional candlelit ceremony at 6:30pm.

Actor William McInnes had the audience in stitches at the Relay for Life launch

South Burnett Relay For Life patron Carl Rackemann with Cancer Council of Queensland senior co-ordinator regional fundraising (South-West Qld), Jillian Huth

Guest speaker William McInnes, centre, with South Burnett councillors, from left, Kathy Duff, Ros Heit, Terry Fleischfresser, Roz Heit, Mayor Keith Campbell and Danita Potter

* * *

William McInnes + Emu

Just to save you Googling it … 


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