A PERFECT Far South Coast day brought out big crowds to Australia Day activities at Narooma and where better to celebrate than right down at the beach.
The decision this year to hold both the Australia Day breakfast and official ceremony at Narooma main surf beach proved a big winner.
The day kicked off at 8am with the breakfast hosted by the Narooma Surf Life Saving Club and the Narooma Lions Club.
Flags of a different sort were flying as was the Aussie bunting and tables all set out neatly.
The Narooma Community Choir was warming up ready for the anthem and official ceremony later in the morning.
The line for the snags and eggs and bacon grew quickly as families from near and far sat down to breakfast in the bright sunshine with the decent swell breaking on the beach making for a great backdrop.
The Rotary Australia Day duck race saw the ducks dropped off from Narooma Bridge at 9am, drifting down to Apex Park where they were collected by a mixed crew from Rotary, Narooma Surf Life Saving Club and the VRA.
The winners were two Narooma locals – Saskia Loader won $1000 for the first-place duck and Jeanne Medlicott from the Narooma News won $100 for the last duck.
It was back to the surf club and the beach for the official Narooma Australia Day ceremony with Eurobodalla Shire Council deputy mayor welcoming the crowd.
Narooma Australia Day ambassador Petrea King, who had been hanging out on the beach since breakfast, said she was no stranger to Narooma visiting often in the past.
She often came down to the coast from her hometown of Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands where she operates the Quest for Life Foundation retreat.
“”I’ve been here many times and it is a bit of a fantasy to come and live in Narooma,” she said.
Her message for Australia Day was that you can overcome any difficulties, as she herself had overcome cancer, her brother’s suicide and a pretty rough early life.
Part of her duties includes travelling to communities around Australia faced with disaster and tragedy and helping these people overcome obstacles.
“We are all ordinary people but sometimes extraordinary things happen to us and we find ourselves being stuck between a rock and hard place,” she said.
“But being able to overcome these extraordinary things is in our human nature.”
At the ceremony at 10am, Judy Glover was named the Narooma Citizen Year for her work with the art community and Narooma Oyster Festival.
Narooma Rural Fire Service brigade volunteer and environmental campaigner Gilly Kearney received the Narooma Community Event of the Year award.
No surprises that Ben Potter who was named Eurobodalla Youth Citizen on Friday also received the Narooma Young Citizen of the Year award on Sunday.