Thank You! Danke! Merci! and Gracias!

By Martin Veres

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little blog, to raise the ghost of an idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant, M.V.

December, 2016.

We’re almost there, everybody. It’s once again that one time of year when we’re not-so-gently reminded that this is the one time of year that only comes around once a year! The other times of the year then, presumably, come around as frequently and unexpectedly as they like (car insurance payment time certainly seems to). I blame the Gregorian calendar, personally. That thing is nothing but trouble. I wonder where Christmas falls on the Mayan calendar… probably too late.

But enough rambling. I’m not here to blab on pointlessly about the holiday season and encourage you to engage in wanton consumerism. I’m here to give a huge thank you to everybody who has, over the course of 2016, given their time, energy, dedication, blood and, in rarer, more extreme and unavoidable circumstances, money, to help the South Coast Writers Centre.

First off, here’s to all the interns. To Sam, Adara and Ash, to Nicole and Suzie, to Pam and Sofia, to Izy and Joel (I know you’re not an technically an intern, but you’re at the office at least as often as I am, so that makes you an honorary one if nothing else!), and to our brand new contingent of interns: to Amanda, Nicholajs, and Mary – thank you (and welcome aboard). A special thank you also to Penny Bell, our volunteer in the Southern Highlands and contributor to this blog.

The interns are the cogs in the machine that is the SCWC; we are the elves in Rike’s workshop, sculpting reality itself to better suit her magnificent vision… at least, to the best of our abilities. Whether it’s managing the newsletter, the press releases, or the website; designing posters, magazines, and fundraising campaigns; or overseeing, organising or documenting our many events, if you need it done there’ll be an intern to do it. And most of the time we’ll even do it of our own free will. And we’ll do a damn good job!

With an eye to next year, though, it’s worth mentioning a few things about our interns. The first thing is that Suzie has been accepted into the honours program for creative writing, so congratulations, Suzie! Honours is good fun (at least it was when I did it… 6 years ago… in a different subject), and we hope you’ll enjoy it.

The second thing is that our dear Sam has been accepted into a Master of Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne, which means she’ll be leaving us, and we’ll need a new hand model. We wish her the best of luck in Melbourne, and hope she enjoys every bit of the 2 year course, but we also have to offer up a few words of warning, as is customary for anyone venturing out into the untamed, savage South. Be wary, Sam, for one does not simply walk into Melbourne. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just trams. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and—wait, are we still talking about Melbourne? Maybe.

For now, we’re glad you are here with us. Here at the end of all things, Sam. You’ll be missed when you leave, but we hope to see you around – perhaps on a book tour? And if nothing else, we’ll always have Par– Wollongong.

Highest Five

We'll miss you, Sam! Photo by Martin Veres

Moving up the organisational ladder, we come to our ever-vigilant board members, who keep us on our toes and suggest some fun proposals for us to try our hand at. They’re also a great group to bounce ideas off of, and I enjoyed working together with them these last couple months on the gala dinner. So thank you to Aunty Barbara Nicholson, and to Judi Morison, Lynne Cook, Ron Pretty, Sarah Nicholson, Treva Taylor, Garry McDougal (the erstwhile MC at the aforementioned dinner), Helena Fox-Dunan, and Chloe Higgins. And if I’ve missed any of you, you know where to find me!

Then of course there’s Sandy Fussell, our office manager and tech guru. Sandy, as the only mathematically literate person in the entire office, is relied on heavily to ensure that money goes where it needs to go and does a great job of it (we assume). She’s also recently begun to share her love of organisational apps with the rest of the SCWC in what looks to be a promising attempt at increasing our overall efficiency, and streamlining our interactions with one another. I was considering leaving you a thank you note on your Trello board, Sandy, but I figure I’d better do it here. Thanks!

To the organisations who’ve donated to or collaborated with us, thank you. Chief among these is Wollongong Art Gallery, with whom we’ve been collaborating for some years now, and who are gracious enough to host some of our events. Then there’s also Dymocks, Dan Murphy’s, Officeworks, Bunnings, the National Library of Australia, Pot of Gold, the Unishop, Altitude 1148, the NSW Writers’ Centre, Australian Society of Authors, and Arts Law, all of whom contributed to our fundraising efforts this year – thank you again!

And then, at the heart of the web… there’s Rike. MC Rikeleaks. Rike Ticky Tabby. Slick Rik. Tricky Rike. There are many names she doesn’t go by. These are but a few. Rike is our benevolent sovereign, and we are ever striving to please her, that she might bestow upon us but a modicum of her favour (and spare us the lash). There may be more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy, but Rike dreams up endlessly more before she even sits to break her fast. And while custom cannot stale her infinite variety, grant application guidelines can probably give her a good run for her money.

Rike gives her all to the centre, and it’s difficult to see how things would be running as well as they are without her. She organises events and people, from the most important, grandest projects we undertake, to the smallest. She’s tireless in her efforts to see the centre excel, and for those who deserve recognition to receive it. So then, as someone who most assuredly deserves our thanks, our appreciation, and our recognition, thank you Rike, for all that you’ve done. And thanks in advance for all that you’ll undoubtedly continue to do going into 2017.

And that’s it! The year’s almost over, and we’ve only got one more post before we go on Christmas break – so keep an eye on the blog to find out how our gala dinner went! If I’ve forgotten to acknowledge anyone, I apologise, and I will certainly make a note of it in the next post.

Written by SCWC

Posted on December 09, 2016