OPINION: Nancy's festival vision leaves lasting legacy

I FIRST met Nancy Bain through playing music at the Cane Harvest Festival, and later on through covering it for the newspaper. She was seemingly everywhere; no matter what it was, Nancy was involved and able to organise it all.

My memories of the festival are always one of togetherness, and happiness. Whether it was the kids laughing at the dress-ups, the music and shows in the streets, or the adults celebrating the best social night of the year, Nancy's constant hard work for the festival that was relevant for its time meant those days would live large in the memories of the Lower River.

In a fitting eulogy, original Surfing the Coldstream president Dom Ferry reminisced how it was Nancy that had guided him at an initial committee meeting that he went to with "just an idea". He said Nancy quickly showed him the ropes, and within five minutes he was president, and the rest is now history. Such was her method.

And now, with Phil Nicholas and his band of volunteers continuing the festival, the parallels are obvious. A cursory glance through our photo gallery from the weekend shows crowds of all ages - all smiling, laughing and enjoying the offering - the festival gaining momentum all the while.

It is a thoroughly modern festival, daring to bring different acts to town and encouraging local acts and, hopefully, it creates memories just like those of the past.

Vale Nancy Bain OAM. She wouldn't want it any other way.

Topics:  cane harvest maclean surfing the coldstream festival

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