Giving the dragon vision
By SALLY GORDON
CLARENCE Valley Dragons Abreast Inc members will invoke the spirit of the dragon this Sunday during a traditional Chinese ceremony to bless their new boat.
Over the past year the breast cancer survivors group has been busily fundraising to buy its first dragon boat.
The Pink and Black Ball held at the Maclean Bowling Club in November last year made the group's wish for a dragon boat a reality, along with the donation of 20 paddles, compliments of the Yamba Shores Tavern.
The 12-metre boat seats around 20 people and will push off from the banks of the Clarence River on Sunday after undergoing a series of Chinese rituals to awaken the dragon.
A founding member of the group, Bronwyn Sutton said women would open the dragon's eye by painting a red line down the centre of the dragon's forehead, 'to give clarity and focus'.
"Club members and representa- tives from Maclean Bowling Club and the Yamba Shores Tavern then will dot the Dragon's eye to allow it to see far and clearly," she said.
Two Buddhist monks from the Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery near Lismore will then perform a traditional blessing of the boat and all the paddlers.
Afterwards, members will paddle out on the Clarence for a special flower on water celebration to remember loved ones lost to cancer.
Around 20 women will take part in the ceremony expected to kick off at the Maclean Rowing Club at 11am.