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An entire community gets behind Moree’s inaugural Nashos’ Reunion

MOREE Plains Shire councillor John Tramby has praised the local business community for getting behind a Tourism Moree initiative that offered visitors special discounts and rebates while in town for the inaugural Nashos’ Reunion.

Mr Tramby told a large audience at a reunion dinner at Moree Services Club on Saturday night that he was proud to be able to say that all visitors to Moree were in a “nasho-friendly town”.

“The people of Moree really appreciate what the national service has done over the years, to the point that Tourism Moree gave out bags of goodies to everyone. These included visitor ‘passports’, which offered specials and discounts at various businesses in town,” Mr Tramby said.

“Such was the response, Tourism Moree had to extend the time on this offer because so many businesses wanted to be involved.

“There have been many other organisations to hold reunions in town, but the support shown to the nashos is the greatest response ever from business houses.

“Everyone here for the weekend is in a nasho-friendly town, and Moree loves you all,” Mr Tramby smiled.

“The whole weekend was successful because we were supported by all these business houses as well as the Moree Plains Shire Council.

“Council contributed $3000 from the community development fund to help cover some of the costs, like the band coming from Brisbane and our emcee, Murray Hartin.

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Moree RSL sub-branch president Reg Jamieson and Moree Plains Shire councillor John Tramby at the nashos’ reunion brunch at Moree Services Club on Sunday morning (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

“Murray really lifted the whole atmosphere; he brought it all together,” he said.

The dinner drew around 200 visitors and locals who dined out on good food, a splash of poetry from Mr Hartin and music by the Royal Australian Army Band from Brisbane and the Moree Pipes Band.SoBestCoffee

Mr Tramby said bringing everyone together in Moree for the first time was a significant yet, emotional, occasion.

“I attend my unit reunion in Sydney each year and also go to one at Tweed Heads every second year, but bringing this to Moree was fantastic,” Mr Tramby said.

“I speak to a lot of vets, and I think the older we get the more emotional we become and it gets harder and harder to talk about.

“But it is fantastic that we as a community recognise the services of all servicemen, particularly the national servicemen,” he said.

Three women closely affiliated with the success of the reunion were also honoured for their past and present services to the north-western sub-branch.

Bingara’s Lucy Bilsborough, Mungindi’s Jill Malone and Moree’s Marg Wetzler were all presented with bouquets to thank them for their years of service.

“Lucy carried this organisation for many, many years and, with her husband Ken, organised so many reunions at Bingara,” Mr Tramby said.

“Jill also carried the Moree nashos for many, many years and kept the show going through thick and thin.

“Marg has done a wonderful job fundraising and making sure that this particular gathering was achieved at a cost that everyone could afford.

“She raised an enormous amount of money and did an incredible amount of work, and was heavily involved from day one,” Mr Tramby said.

Moree RSL sub-branch president Reg Jamieson said the collaboration of both sub-branches produced a reunion that Moree and district can be proud of.

Mr Jamieson, a Moree sub-branch life member who has just been re-elected to sit another three years as RSL sub-branch president, wears two caps – he’s also the vice-president of the local arm of the National Servicemen’s Association.

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Moree Mitre 10 was one of many local businesses to support the huge Nashos’ Reunion by offering special discount “passports” to visitors. Kneeling at front is staff member Jazmine Carroll with (at back, from left) store manager Michelle Buxton, staff member Josh Briggs and 2VM breakfast announcer Michael “Ando” Andersen, who helped the cause with plenty of on-air promotions and interviews (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

“It’s all been very emotional,” Mr Jamieson said.

“I feel very honoured that members of the RSL sub-branch have the faith in me to put me back in as president for another three years.”

But while Mr Jamieson wears the captain’s badge, he says the entire weekend was a team effort.

“This reunion has been successful because of our marvellous committee that worked so hard to put it all together,” he said.

“People like Barrie Brooks, Lila Fisher, John Tramby, Darryl Brady, Margaret Wetzler, Barry Fitzgerald, Mark Armstrong, Geoff Cantrill, John Williams, Leonard Hattenfield and Kam Wheeler, who all worked diligently to put everything together – and the number of volunteers who came out of the woodwork is unbelievable.

“The support from all the different businesses in Moree has been amazing, also – they gave everything from raffle and lucky door prizes to cash donations,” he said.

The collaboration of both sub-branches also paved the way for a successful reunion, Mr Jamieson said.

“We knew as a national service sub-branch that we couldn’t put this on ourselves. I put the idea to a meeting of the RSL and the members recognised all the advantages that could come out of such a reunion – for both sub-branches as well as the town,” he said.

“They were only too happy to come on board and we simply would not have been able to put it all together without their help.

“This year has been a learning process for all of us – we’ve dotted the ‘eyes’ this year and next year we’ll cross the ‘tees’,” Mr Jamieson smiled.DCMThatsWhere

Local businesses that kindly offered  visitor passports include A Tasty Surprise, Golden Harvest Motor Inn, Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre (MAAC), Hankey Pankey Takeaway,  Amaroo Amcal Pharmacy, Assef’s, Moree Plains Gallery, My Store, Balo Square Newsagency, Mytyme Beauty, PR Interiors, Relaxing Café, Shoe Elegance, Wisteria Boutique, Woolaway Wines, Beauty Matters, Dragon Phoenix Resort, Dragon Phoenix Restaurant, Fishabout Café, Fork & Spade Garden Centre, Gifts on Heber, Bella Sante Skin and Beauty, Helen on Heber, 61 Balo, Mitre 10 Moree, Moree Amcal Pharmacy, Moree Artesian Wellness Centre (MAW), Moree Discount Drug Store and Moree Indian Restaurant.

Story and Images: Bill Poulos

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