Call for gathering of volunteers
MACLEAN Highland Gathering organisers, gearing up to celebrate the 106th festival this weekend, have issued a call for more volunteers and a good measure of fine weather.
“We have contingency plans for rain, but nothing short of a flood is going to stop us from going ahead,” Highland Gathering chief Peter Smith said yesterday.
The good news for the Highland Gathering is the forecast for tomorrow and Saturday – ‘mostly sunny’ with temperatures expected to reach the high 20s.
Mr Smith said, however, that more volunteers were needed to assist with gate-keeping, and he urged anyone who may be available this weekend to contact the treasurer, John McPhee, on 6646 0120 as soon as possible.
“Our volunteers are real legends,” Mr McPhee said yesterday at the launch of the call for more helpers.
“They are always there to help, but we could always use more,” Mr McPhee said.
Mr Smith said volunteers would meet interesting people and he hoped the community’s interest would extend to the long term and increase numbers on the organising committee.
Secretary of the Lower Clarence Scottish Association and president of Maclean, the Scottish Town Australia, Bob MacPherson, said being a volunteer was rewarding and a great way to connect with the community.
He said that without the generosity of hard-working volunteers, events such as the Highland Gathering would struggle to survive.
Janice Hayward, of Maclean, has been a volunteer for the Highland Gathering for ‘a good few years – but don’t ask how many’.
She said her primary role for the Gathering is to order and stock the Scottish association food stall at the Maclean Showground on Saturday.
“It’s rewarding and I love doing it,” Janice said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing many friends.”
Mrs Hayward believes the Highland Gathering has done much for the town of Maclean.
“It’s a great place to live and I do it (volunteer) as my way of giving back to the town,” she said.
“I love it. Besides, who wants to be bored?”
While entries are expected to be down by 15 per cent on previous years for the event, due to the unavoidable shift from the usual Easter weekend date, the enthusiasm of Highland Gathering organisers remains.
“The Maclean Highland Gathering is a family day,” Mr Smith said.
“It’s a chance for people all over the country to catch up, renew friendships and enjoy the competition.”
Mr Smith encourages everyone to come and experience the Gathering, and said events on Saturday were ‘must-see’.
“The massed band display at the showground on Saturday afternoon is one of the weekend’s major attractions,” he said.