There was a full house for our annual fundraiser for Centipede at Glebe Public School this year. Through the generosity of the Glebe Rowing Club we were again able to hold it at their premises overlooking Blackwattle Bay; a beautiful spot from which to enjoy the reflections of the setting sun as it lights up the towers of glass and steel which make up our city. Ridz outdid his catering offerings from last year by providing a range of tasty canapés throughout the event, while Jane served liquid libations to all comers. The festivities were enhanced by cheerful music played by Daniel and Michael from Edama Ruah while we judged the Centipede children’s contest, and the fun of a game run by Centipede mum Rachel.

However the highlight for most was the presence of and reflections on community made by Leigh Sales, ABC’s 7.30 anchor. Her references to the impact of technology on the ways in which communities form and interact was further evidence, if needed, of how our lives are changing. But the one constant here in Glebe is the ongoing support and interaction between Glebites that enhances all our lives. It was therefore with some disappointment that we learned Leigh was on the verge of moving to Camperdown. We thank her for supporting Centipede this year by her presence.

We were further honoured by the presence of some very busy local representatives at all three levels of government. Hon Tanya Plibersek, our federal representative spoke of the cohesion she has found in this part of her electorate; something also reflected by the presence of Jamie Parker MP, our state representative, and Cr Jess Scully, City of Sydney councillor who lives locally. I wondered how many guests took the opportunity to lobby for their views to be heard in these fora. Ted McKeown, past president of TGSI took the opportunity to publically farewell much respected retiring principal of GPS, Vicky Pogulis; sentiments echoed by both Leigh Sales and Tanya Plibersek.

Local member, Tanya Plibersek, addresses the gathered crowd at the Sunset Soiree for Centipede. (image: Phil Young)

Then there was the giant raffle, for which some of the lucky winners were Glebe Society members Phil Young, Melinda Smith, Sue Hearn and Ros Diffey. It was the auction though which raised the greatest level of excitement. The original oil painting, ‘Saturday Morning Glebe’ by John Merlino, generously donated by Edwina Doe who has enjoyed it on her wall since it was shown at the second Glebe Art show 1989, went to Centipede mum Cate Stewart. Two signed and framed limited edition prints by internationally renowned local botanical artist Angela Lober, donated by TGSI vice president Diane Hutchinson were strongly contested and eventually claimed by Jane Gatwood and Lesley Lynch respectively. John Barrer secured the dozen mixed wines kindly donated by Tim Smith of Glebe Liquor while the mounted photograph of the Glebe Waterfront donated by Phil Young will now adorn Jess Scully’s walls. Finally the two Couples Bath House Experience packages were knocked down to Verity Firth and Bill Simpson Young. It should be noted that there were a few moments of palpable frisson when it was mistakenly assumed they were to share one package! Calm was restored when the realization that there were indeed two packages became evident. It is noteworthy that the auction alone raised $3490 to help support Centipede’s good work.

Our sympathy goes to Neil Macindoe who wasn’t then present, a criterion to claim the door prize, a dinner voucher donated by our constant supporter, the Boathouse restaurant, but I’m sure Bill Simpson Young will enjoy it just as much. So the occasion went well, despite the absence of four Friends of Centipede who had serious unexpected matters to deal with that day. It is therefore with my sincere gratitude to Yolande Nardi, Bill and Virginia Simpson Young, Ted and Alison McKeown, Murray Jewell and Lorel Adams who stepped into the breach, and Jane Librieu, our stand-in auctioneer that it proved a successful event. Thank you Glebe Society members for your ongoing support of this annual event.