The predominant goal of the Queen Street and West Woollahra Association is to nurture the community spirit that is so uniquely inherent in our area. Never is this more prevalent than at the annual, much anticipated landmark event that is a lead-up to Christmas and an opportunity for our local residents to come together and celebrate the holiday season. Come December and the families come in droves to our beautiful Chiswick Gardens for the annual Christmas Carols open air ‘picnic’.
In 2018, this event was bigger and better than ever before. In fact, it was so well attended that the confines of the park were somewhat challenged in terms of finding a vacant spot to put down the rug and claim one’s space. Despite the squash, or perhaps because of it, there was a real sense of intimacy, inclusiveness and – yes, community spirit. The joyful singing from the participating choirs, first the Woollahra Pre-Schoolers, followed by the students from Woollahra Public School, entertained us most superbly. We were then treated once again to the fantastic voice of local resident, Gavin McDonough, solo singer and acoustic guitarist, along with musical accompaniment from his talented brothers who, together, created a great atmosphere.
The three face painters were kept busy all night, as were the jumping castles with long queues for the entire evening. The highlight was Santa’s grand entrance, bearing gifts and posing for photos with the children. Our MC, Giles Edmonds (Vice-President of QSWWA), maintained a constant stream of banter and ensured that the event remained on track. We are grateful to Mayor Peter Cavanagh for accepting the invitation from our President, Ken Gresham, to officially open the Carols, and the attendance of Cooper Ward Councillors Megan McEwin, Luise Elsing and Anthony Marano was much appreciated.
We are indebted to our major sponsors, Woollahra Council, Di Jones Realty and Chiswick Restaurant for their generous ongoing support of this event. The fabulous team from Chiswick cheerfully manned the barbecue and struggled to keep up with the demand for their delicious hot dogs. We are also most grateful to the many local businesses for their generous donation of goods. As a consequence, we were able to create 4 substantial hampers for the raffle, valued at around $900, comprising vouchers and gifts. These included beauty products, medical care, fashion, travel goods and dining vouchers.
Chiswick Gardens is looking splendid due to the recent upgrade and beautification by Woollahra Council. It is a privilege to have such a magnificent location for our annual event.
Alan Smith, Treasurer QSWWA
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